mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

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mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by danialad » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:58 pm

(this hasn't been done already has it??)

so i've watched all the videos i can find, and compared the specs...
they each seem well suited for my needs...

but what do you guys think?

are there any similar units i'm forgetting in this (obviously used) price range?
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by balma » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:56 pm

Well, I have used the three models extensively (well the RM1X not so much) for live performances.


no matter wich video you watched, 99% of them all s**t.

Lots of producers take these live performance little romplers, with pre conceptions and then underrate them. The sound is weak mostly but they are very intuitive and handy when manipulating sequences, specially patterns.

The MC 505 has enough tools to make it a very affordable and easy to use live groovebox. 8 sliders for fading, volume, pitch, pan, transponse, reverb, delady and insert effect levels, plus 4 small mini sliders for ADSR, and other controllers.

but the collection of presets is awful, and very, very cheesy. Must work a lot on the sounds, it has a lot of samples of the TR series, but at then end. the synthesis is very limited.

however, it has an awesome PATTERN MAP, that is very handy for playing live. You can tweak a single pattern in the memory, and morph it in multiple ways, and store it on a sequence map, that can be accesed easily.

The MC 307, came after the 505. Is smaller, cheaper, (terrible rounded noisy clicky buttons). It has 100% the same engine from the 505, without the sliders, but with a bigger screen, and 3 more banks of 128 sounds and more waves sampled to work with. That's good.

It is obvious, that ROLAND realized the presets on the MC 505 sucked a lot. The 307 is a MC 505 with less hardware (except for the grip control that rules) but more sounds to work it. It has a better sound.


THE RM1X now, kicks the 505 and the 307 on several aspects. It is a total different way to approach the dance music than the Roland ones. If is focused more, on the groove effects, better arpeggios, better sounds. the display is HUGE. This synth will show you all the information in its screens, is very easy to read, and handle.

In my opinion, the best of all three is the RM1x. Besides, it is more solid built, robust, and have better controllers.
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by ford442 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:33 am

i just want to add that the MC303 is the worst tool i have encountered - weak, thin sound with very little variability.. the 505 has more features, but i for one will not spend on the MC series again...
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by balma » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:15 pm

Yeah the MC 303 is a little piece of s**t.

The 505 stills a nice groove machine for the live act. I wish I could find such cool feature for song composition on other synths like the pattern map. Is simple awesome. You can take one pattern, change the effects, patches assigned, pitch of each track, pan, volume, mute un mute settings, etc, press the shift button and store it on a location of a pattern map (32 maps of 16 locations). Then, change everything again, and save it on the next location. SO in a live act, you just have to pick locations and you'll have multiple variants at your disposition from the same pattern. Perfect for progressions and creating a song based on patterns. But is a shame, the sounds you have at your disposition for this great feature, are totally cheesy. The effect section is cool, specially the isolator and the slicer. The sound of the MC 505 series, since there are not too much places where to go and getting modern sounds, is becoming kind of retro now.
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by Syn303 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:26 pm

balma wrote:THE RM1X now, kicks the 505 and the 307 on several aspects. It is a total different way to approach the dance music than the Roland ones. If is focused more, on the groove effects, better arpeggios, better sounds. the display is HUGE. This synth will show you all the information in its screens, is very easy to read, and handle.

In my opinion, the best of all three is the RM1x. Besides, it is more solid built, robust, and have better controllers.
Although you forget to mention the RM1X's soundset is quite s**t.
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by danialad » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:42 pm

thanks for the responses!
looks like the mc-505 is coming out on top so far...

i totally forgot about the electribes though.
i had the er-1 for awhile and really disliked it's sound.
but the EMX-1 seems a lot more advanced in many ways...

how does the EMX-1 compare to the MC-505?***

edit:

holy h**l... i think the EMX-1 might sound a h**l of a lot better...
but can it also sequence other external synths??
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by balma » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:14 pm

the patches set for the RM1x are not so bad, but very dated.

I think that's the main problem of the 3 machines right now. Since they are romplers with a standarized synthesis, aimed to live act performers, is not easy to modernize their sound to the last dance electronica. In my opinion, the three of them sound dated nowadays, since they are almost strictly for dance music, and have 10 years on the market since they were released.
However, I had great moments with the crappy MC 505.

I also had the EMX1. It sounds fresh to my ears, comparing it to the MC and RM1X. But it is a very, very limited synth, with a better sound than them. The sequencer is totally quantized (maximum resolution is 1/32) with monophonic tracks, it has one mini oscillator, wich can produce very decent sounds for dance, some nice basses, a good filter, a crappy effect section. Is has the most basic features for sequencing. I used it 2 years and sold it.

EMX1 is overpriced, if you compare it with gear of the same value ($350-450). The ESX1, the sampler wich has the same look, is the one to go for its punchy feeling and handy for managing your samples.

electribes sequencing other gear? I wouldn't use a sequencer with no detailed resolution, no groove effects for the sequences, monophonic tracks, that does not transmit end of note, and have only 8 bars as maximun lenght.

The ER-1 is kinda of cool toy. Nice elastic delay effect
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by danialad » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:29 pm

well! i'm not too sure i'll mind the "outdated sound" as i'm not going to be using it for dance music really. so hopefully the machine can bend to meet my needs at a lower bpm.

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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by balma » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:56 pm

yes I heard one of your drone tracks

I suppose you are getting it for down tempo right?

For that purpose, the RM1X sounds are a LOT more suitable than the Roland ones.

Lots of the MC drums, comes from TB 303, TR 707-909 samples. And the sounds are oriented to fast dance. Also the patterns included.

Off-topic: have you ever think on getting the Fizmo for your sound?
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by danialad » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:07 pm

the fizmo! i've heard wonderful things, but otherwise don't know much about it. looks to be a bit high/out of my usual price range.

i don't know what to call music i make... but i do make a variety of stuff (which you can hear on the m'space, linked below), but yeah... i tend to want it 120bpm and below. i don't think the rm1x sounds too outdated for my needs... and it's sequencer seems to come out on top. either way... it's probably going to end up being whichever i can get cheaper on the 'bay.

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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by computron » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:17 pm

the rm1x would be great for what you want to use it for.The sounds are not nearly as bad as some say.The leads pads and synth section (its seprerate) are great and so are all the drum kits.it also has your standard GM sounds.Effects are very good or should I play fx rather.I used a mc 505 before I had a rm1x and I got much more work done with my rm1x.The sequencer is great!!the rm1x is so fun to punch parts in and out live in your track.Be warned the rm1x has a learning curve is larger then the rolands and by far.The manual is mindboggling when you want to do something its"go to page 16 and once there its go to page 32 then once there go to page 66 then and so on and so on.Lots of sub menus and job functions makes the rm1x great midi delay rocks too! The one DESIGN flaw yamaha made on the rm1x was for machine with such great MIDI the ARP CAN NOT be controled by external gear.Kind cheaps the arp out badly and can only be used on the face or have pre recorded arps ready to go.Besides that though the rm1x rocks and is a great drum machine/synth/sequencer!
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by Zamise » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:47 pm

505 is underrated but will die on you, 707 is a piece of DJ gear but maybe I'm underrating it, the RM1X is full blown so it wins this one but I'd prefer its successor the RS7000 ;)
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by danialad » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:54 pm

well my plan is definitely for the RM1x now.

but! even though it's in a different class i'd say...
i'm contemplating the MC-909 as it's got a little bit of everything. but hmm.

can anyone strongly urge for or against an mc-909?

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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by stikygum » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:50 am

For sounds, MC is better by far. For sequencer, the RM1X is better and has really cool midi effects to use.
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Re: mc-505 vs mc-307 vs rm1x

Post by balma » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:02 pm

MC 909 is the most disctintive of the MC series, since the sound engine changed dramatically. MC 307, 505 and D2 have exactly the same engine. MC 303 has no engine (je je ), MC 909 changed, added a sampler, huge display of information, and COSM effects.

Also, the hardware was improved. The minikeyboard of the MC505 is simple TERRIBLE. the sliders are low quality, also, the knobs are s**t. Half of the sliders of mine, became unsensitive. The pitch knob died, also, several keys of the minikeyboard.


In my opinion, the MC 909 is one of the funniest groove machines for playing live. The key is the arsenal of sliders that can affect multiple parameters, combined with the intuitive pattern chaining, huge displays, possibilities of increasing the sound spectrum with samples, etc.

Is a nice synth for live performers
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