About buying Roland MC909

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marshaller
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About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:21 am

Hi there folks!
I've been using this website as a guide for vintage gears, specially hardware related with hiphop because that's what i'm doing right now. So thank you for all the info and tips!

Nowadays I'm looking for a cool workstation where I can make my beats, mostly sampling but also, maybe, using some synth like the "new edm rap style" or maybe something like classic G-Funk rap as Dr.Dre or Snoop Dog (back in the days I mean).

I'm intereseted in the Roland MC909. I know that it's more orientated to edm, teckno, electronic music... but it also has a sampler so I could use it as an Akai MPC (more or less, i know it sounds diferent) to make some "classic" rap beats.

Also i would use the Roland MC909 to record the rap voices and make some mastering things there, I imagine it's a good idea to use the same preAmp for sampling and recording voices because, imo, it will sound every thing really integrated.

What do you think about? Pros? Cons? I really want an all-in gear that can allows me to make a whole track by itself. Imo what i'm looking for is a complete workstation and I think roland is a good one. Anyone has tried it? It's easy to mastering there? Let me know.

Thank you people!

ellaguru
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by ellaguru » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:04 pm

hi
i have a 909
i use it also to make beats, in fact you can trasform it in a mpc pad style (there is a part called rythm to do that)
-pro-
mixer section: useful
16 tracks: enough
2fx simultaneusly
edit: good chop section, combine section and amp
mastering: cool and useful
sequencer: good (you have also a piano roll inside)
smg (a sort of crazy roll)
filter,lfo,picth,amp right in front of you
resampling: you can resample patterns, songs and external sources
usb port for storage/upgrades
3 separated stereo outs (i included the master out)
rps: you can improvise playing parts from different patterns on the fly
arpeggio/chords: cool, you can wrtie your owns
Patches: maybe comlicated at first, but is a good system to create your own sounds/samples banks
internal sounds: some are usables (especially the drums), for the rest see Patches above

-cons-
not enough time (you have an xd card trick to expand to 256mb)
seq tracks: they are fixed, you cannot choose,for example, 2 tracks on the same midi channel
sampling saving: a bit complicated on a first sight, but once understood the process is ok
mute group: there is a good mute group, but it is conceived to be driven mostly from external midi machines (damn...)

if you really don't need internal sounds, another machine that maybe you could look for is the roland MV series (mv8000/mv8800), a bit expensive than the 909, but lot of memory more and a sequencer a bit more defined

marshaller
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:40 pm

Thank you for your fantastic pros and cons list! Really usefull!

In a general view imo there are many pros and just a few cons, so I understand it's a really good gear. I also was looking to MV series, specially mv8800 but I would prefer something just a little bit cheaper.

I got a MPD24 that maybe I could connect to my (future) Roland MC909. Would they work fine together?

About the time, I got a Smart Media card with 128MB of storage. Would It work fine? Otherwise, I found on ebay a 256MB extra RAM memory for Roland MC909, really cheap, but i don't know if it's hard to install. I'm not really good with electronic devices (opening them and make some modding). Do you know something about it? It's just a plug-and-play memory?

EDIT: I'm looking into the Owners Manual and it looks really easy to install an extra RAM memory. Take a look here at PAG 147 http://media.rolandus.com/manuals/MC-909_OM.pdf

I know there are many questions, thank you for your time.

ellaguru
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by ellaguru » Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:51 pm

marshaller wrote: I got a MPD24 that maybe I could connect to my (future) Roland MC909. Would they work fine together?

About the time, I got a Smart Media card with 128MB of storage. Would It work fine? Otherwise, I found on ebay a 256MB extra RAM memory for Roland MC909, really cheap, but i don't know if it's hard to install. I'm not really good with electronic devices (opening them and make some modding). Do you know something about it? It's just a plug-and-play memory?

I know there are many questions, thank you for your time.
for the mpd24, yes why not? also midi Keys would work too
the 128 smartmedia is fine; pay attention to the 256mb: it is only for internal volatile meomory, id est: once you put the 909 on "off" all those sampled sound will dissappear...
ps
i forget to say that on the cons side there is also a fantastic trick with the 4tones section, a sort of mixer of the 4 tones that let you improvise more

marshaller
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:15 pm

Okay, i figured out about those samplers on the RAM memory. I would use the ram to sample a lot of minutes from a vinyl (for example) and then just select a few one to pass them to the Smart Media card.

By the way, did you record any voice with your Roland MC909? I mean a whole song, not just few seconds. I'm thinking right now that maybe there's some kind of problem with storage stuff.

I just have to really thank you ellaguru. You've been really usefull and you cleared all my doubts! I think i'll purchase the hardware right now.

ellaguru
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by ellaguru » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:11 pm

marshaller wrote:
By the way, did you record any voice with your Roland MC909? I mean a whole song, not just few seconds. I'm thinking right now that maybe there's some kind of problem with storage stuff.

I just have to really thank you ellaguru. You've been really usefull and you cleared all my doubts! I think i'll purchase the hardware right now.
no i didn't , i just use it sampling only portions of records not entire instrument/vocal sessions...for that aim is maybe better to think about MVs/MPCs i think, they got more memory...if you record just one project/track per time, then the 909 is ok, but more entire tracks it became difficult due to the not very strong storage...

and, man, you're wellcome, feel free to ask more about the 909

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:58 am

Thank you again!! There's something i would like to know. About patterns, can you trigger patterns to make a full song? i.e. you have a pattern with a only break on it, another one with only a melody and another patter with only a bass. So you trigger the break, then the melody, then the bass.

I mean, can you play simultaneous patterns? Or you need to have, in this exemple, the break alone, the break+melody and the break+melody+bass. It's easy copy/paste patterns?

Imagine I have a regular 8 bar break looped. But in some moment i just want to cut a kick or a snare, what i should do? Copy the pattern and erase the kick/snare? Maybe record some "fade out" volume, with the mixer fader maybe?

I've already bought the MC909. I'm really exited about it! :D

ellaguru
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by ellaguru » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:21 am

marshaller wrote: Imagine I have a regular 8 bar break looped. But in some moment i just want to cut a kick or a snare, what i should do? Copy the pattern and erase the kick/snare? Maybe record some "fade out" volume, with the mixer fader maybe?
-there is the RPS function that let you do that in the middle of a pattern but is not like ,for example, on ableton live that you launch clip in time, the timing on the 909 it depends on yoiu, it's "by hand" timing...by the way, RPS is not like triggering patterns, but triggering predefined parts from other patterns...
-other method:
you can use the internal 4tone mixer to record 4 different parts of a song (a break+a chorus+melody etc) on just one 909 part (track) and assign it to one knob per track parts, for example the Matrix Control knob. To make it easy there are examples
http://mc909.org/utilisation/31-tmt-ctrl1-xfade; this site is in french, but it's a 909 BIBLE, there are many tricks and the OS updates (check the 1.23 version to have the Sample Machine Gun and other things)...
check also the editor on this site, it's a bomb
marshaller wrote: I mean, can you play simultaneous patterns? Or you need to have, in this exemple, the break alone, the break+melody and the break+melody+bass. It's easy copy/paste patterns?
no.
but you have 16 tracks wich play simultaneously. Sometimes i think about songs using the 16 tracks of a single pattern to do progression/melody/breaks etc but this is depending on the workflow of each one...
by the way copy/paste patterns or copy/paste parts in the same or other patterns, is very easy

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:17 am

ellaguru wrote:no.
but you have 16 tracks wich play simultaneously. Sometimes i think about songs using the 16 tracks of a single pattern to do progression/melody/breaks etc but this is depending on the workflow of each one...
by the way copy/paste patterns or copy/paste parts in the same or other patterns, is very easy
Ok, for me 16 tracks are enought, i usually work with 12/14 tracks on Ableton so it's fine. I'll check that bible you tld me :lol: I hope I can undestand it by translating to spanish or english with google :roll:

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by ellaguru » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:33 pm

marshaller wrote:
ellaguru wrote:no.
but you have 16 tracks wich play simultaneously. Sometimes i think about songs using the 16 tracks of a single pattern to do progression/melody/breaks etc but this is depending on the workflow of each one...
by the way copy/paste patterns or copy/paste parts in the same or other patterns, is very easy
Ok, for me 16 tracks are enought, i usually work with 12/14 tracks on Ableton so it's fine. I'll check that bible you tld me :lol: I hope I can undestand it by translating to spanish or english with google :roll:
don't worry, if you have difficult with french i can translate it for you, this is not my native Language but i'm living in france (...and you know what? sometimes this language is still hard for me too :lol: ! )

ps
another method to live with tracks, patterns etc is to build up songs on the 909...this is not a method i use often, but is another way...Patter Call -check the button- is another one (organizing a bank with some patterns and calling up different patterns one after the other on the fly)

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:01 pm

Great! Deal! :lol: :lol:

Just another thing, Do SRX expansion worth it? Because i find them really expensive: about $130... Remember I want the MC-909 to make hiphop beats, maybe it's a better solution (to me) to just sample my drums as i've been doing all my live.

Here in Spain we have a proverb (or a typical saying) that says: "Te voy a hacer un monumento Ellaguru!". The translation should be something like: "I'm going to make you a monument Ellaguru!" :lol: :D

Thanks for everything!

ellaguru
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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by ellaguru » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:30 pm

marshaller wrote:Great! Deal! :lol: :lol:

Just another thing, Do SRX expansion worth it? Because i find them really expensive: about $130... Remember I want the MC-909 to make hiphop beats, maybe it's a better solution (to me) to just sample my drums as i've been doing all my live.

Here in Spain we have a proverb (or a typical saying) that says: "Te voy a hacer un monumento Ellaguru!". The translation should be something like: "I'm going to make you a monument Ellaguru!" :lol: :D

Thanks for everything!
ahaah thanks!
for the SRX: i never used one, many says that it has really great sounds inside (piano and drums), but who knows...

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by Percivale » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:45 am

I have the SRX-05 and yeah it's a little pricey for what it does. Try to find a used one.

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by marshaller » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:59 am

Percivale wrote:I have the SRX-05 and yeah it's a little pricey for what it does. Try to find a used one.
Cool. But first of all I'll spend my time learning how to make everything on the MC909 (i'll have it before the month ends :yahoo: really exited about it). If I find I need more sounds then I'll think about buying one. I think there are different types, right?

Btw, what kind of music do you make with your MC909? Just curious about that

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Re: About buying Roland MC909

Post by Percivale » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:37 pm

Generally, I do not record my music, just jam as a synthesizer enthusiast. I used the MC-909 mostly for it's drum beats and some bass tones. The faders worked a treat when morphing from one scene to another.

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