Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synths?

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Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synths?

Postby Alex E » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:38 am

I have a crapload of hardware synths now and I was thinking about getting some sort of groovebox to sequence with them without my computer... Anyone have experience with either of those two?
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby meatballfulton » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:03 pm

The RS7000 has a sequencer very similar to the Yamaha Motif series. 16 tracks, two modes Pattern and Song. You can move between the two modes, using Pattern for loop-based sequencing and Song for linear. There is an unusual feature in Pattern mode called Grid Groove where you microadjust each step of the pattern in real time after it's been recorded. Each step can have the clock shifted, velocity, gate time and pitch :shock: offsets. Step entry supports CCs as well as notes, you can overdub as many CCs as you like in multiple passes. Patterns can be really long, too...up to 256 bars! There are 64 onboard each with 16 "variations" which allows for up to 1024 total patterns. Variations can be chained together to create songs on the fly and chains can be converted into songs. Editing is possible right down to individual MIDI events. Song looping allows individual tracks to have different loop start and end points.

I know nothing about the 909 sequencer, sorry.
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby abruzzi » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:36 am

Im curious about the RS7000 pattern vs song mode. I recently bought its baby brother, the RM1X because everyone raved about the sequencer. What I didn't like (and I'd love to know if this was changed in the RS7000) is that I can create a bunch of patterns, I can sequence those patterns using pattern chain mode, but if want to do something linear over top of the patterns, I essentially have to print them to song mode which makes them linear. The E-mu command station song mode is essentialy pattern chain and song mode in one, meaning I have a track (that can play multiple channels) that can play linear over top of my pattern sequence, but the patterns are still patterns.

(The other annoying thing with the RM1X, not sure about the RS7000, is the step record can't do chords--if you want to do chords, you have to step back, add another note, step back again, etc.)
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby thehighesttree » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:34 pm

I only own the MC-909, and from what I can tell it's a fussy b***h: in theory it's great--the centerpiece of a studio-- but in practice the MIDI spec is compromised to shoehorn that sh*tty V-Link*, you can't change the channel assignment (brutal), and I'm pissed because I can find no option to stop it from sending Note Data (wtf Roland?). Maybe another owner can clarify "Shift Clock" for me as well, cause I'm banging my head against the wall trying to shift a pattern by half a beat.

Don't get me wrong, as a sequencer it's powerful--really powerful--but isn't happy to integrate into your setup. No, it has to DOMINATE your s**t. And it doesn't have a lot of the cool sequencing features I've heard the RS7K has. It does most things amicably, but I've had enough frustrations customizing the way it communicates with linked stuff that I can't fully recommend it over the RS7K. It also lacks a 2nd MIDI output like that one has.

One fantastic feature is the Turntable Emulation, which does a great job--again, as the master--of controlling the tempo of all your other gear: for DJ-like performance it's incredibly powerful, especially with the "Push" and "Hold" buttons so you can quickly tweak EVERY DEVICE'S tempo turntable-style! This slider can be also used as a pitch bend, with toggle buttons to have it control internal Pitch AND/OR tempo (!) to a definable +-range...if this sounds like it'd appeal to you, IT WILL! The front sliders and controls also speak nicely with other gear I've tried, so it's not as bad as I might make it sound. It's very comprehensive and workstation-like, and does a generally good job sequencing, but with some omissions as noted. For the record I've never used song mode, but each pattern can be set up to 99 bars (maybe 999?) so for almost all purposes you can consider this a song mode, or make it as short as a single bar if you'd prefer.

Overall I'd say the RS7K is probably the better of the 2 for external sequencing (based on what I've heard) but the MC-909 is probably a better all-in-one with its superior sampling spec and comprehensive patch editing.

*(I have 8 pieces of video gear, most of them have MIDI and 2 are Roland/Edirol, and NONE OF THEM benefit from this 'feature" taking up prime button space on the board...more proprietary Roland c**p! Truly a company milking their legacy, it's a shame they continue to do this.)
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:11 pm

abruzzi wrote:I What I didn't like is that I can I can sequence those patterns using pattern chain mode, but if want to do something linear over top of the patterns, I have to print them to song mode which makes them linear.


All the Yamaha sequencers that use the pattern/song mode method work like this.
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby krzeppa » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:06 pm

Not sure if it applies to the MC-909, but my friends MC-303 constantly falls out of time and is very noticeable. I know the 909 is major upgrade from the 303 though. So maybe they fixed the problem?
Although, my Fantom FA-76, which came out around the same time, also falls out of sync.
Maybe we both had luck though....who knows.
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:56 pm

The MC-303 is notorious for losing synch when the sequences get too busy...that means not only lots of notes, but lots of controls being tweaked.

This actually can be a problem for many hardware sequencers, which is why it's common to strip out unwanted controller data (aftertouch being the big one) or thinning out data (slow sweeps of the mod wheel for example). It gets worse when sequencing other hardware because then the MIDI data rate becomes a factor. Just blasting out program change and/or sysex messages on the first beat can cause hardware sequencers to stumble.
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby krzeppa » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:52 pm

meatballfulton wrote:The MC-303 is notorious for losing synch when the sequences get too busy...that means not only lots of notes, but lots of controls being tweaked.

This actually can be a problem for many hardware sequencers, which is why it's common to strip out unwanted controller data (aftertouch being the big one) or thinning out data (slow sweeps of the mod wheel for example). It gets worse when sequencing other hardware because then the MIDI data rate becomes a factor. Just blasting out program change and/or sysex messages on the first beat can cause hardware sequencers to stumble.


This makes total sense. Thanks! :)
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby thehighesttree » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:38 am

Never had an issue with MIDI messages glitching, but for the record there is a sequencing option to "Thin Data"
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby Zamise » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:00 am

Statistically, the 909 rips the RS7000 but the RS7000 continues to reign supreme on no level other than being the top #1 all time machine in the universe.
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby ellaguru » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:11 pm

meatballfulton wrote:There is an unusual feature in Pattern mode called Grid Groove where you microadjust each step of the pattern in real time after it's been recorded. Each step can have the clock shifted, velocity, gate time and pitch :shock: offsets. Step entry supports CCs as well as notes, you can overdub as many CCs as you like in multiple passes. Patterns can be really long, too...up to 256 bars! There are 64 onboard each with 16 "variations" which allows for up to 1024 total patterns. Variations can be chained together to create songs on the fly and chains can be converted into songs. Editing is possible right down to individual MIDI events. Song looping allows individual tracks to have different loop start and end points.


wow, that's a fantastic feature of the rs7000
i have to try that

by the way
the mc909 is ok for sequencing other synths, editing notes with piano roll, editing CC, and sysex etc it's possible.
other cool features for sequencing could be its RPS mode (sort of phrase sequencing on the fly)
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Re: Yamaha RS7000 or Roland MC909 for sequencing other synth

Postby Alex E » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:25 am

Picking up an RS7k tomorrow for $320... Wish me luck, lol
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