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Re: Roland MC-09

The MC09 is a very strange piece of gear for Roland to have made. It's
part Groovebox but not really. It has a clone of what is perhaps the most
hyped electornic instrument ever (the TB303) but no one ever even
mentioned that. It is called a "phrase looper" but in fact that seems to
be almost an add-on rather than a major useful component.

in particular the Phrase looper works by sending external audio or the
internal sounds (Bassline, drums, etc) to one of the four "channels"  You
capture the loop and then set the slider in the mixer section and bring it
up or down in volume. It sounds somewhat lofi and has a bit of aliasing to
it IMO. When you turn it off the loop and internalmemory is lost unless
you save it to 3.3 VT smartcard. the only problem with this is loading
from a smartcard on the MC09 is Verrrrrry Sloooooooow. I mean horribly
so. I have saved patterns from the internal synth on it (only a fraction
of the size of an actual sample) and those take abotu 10-20 seconds ot
load. I have never sucessufully waited to save a sample, i just give up
and turn the thing off.

As a little twiddle synth and acid/box it is very cool IMO. It can so a
reasonable TB303 under certain alighnments but also can do other more
intersting things. The sliide and accent programing are infuriating and
canel each other out at time but on it's own merits (ie: not calling it a
TB303 clone) it can be quirky and fun.

I did a track with it and an EMS SynthiA on my downloads page:

(it's under Music For Isolation Tanks "MFIT 2004 - Track updated 7/04")

All the drums and sequenced parts are the MC09 caputred into it's own
phrase looper. There is a live twiddled MC09 part and then the Synthi
under and over it all here and there. 

I have no idea about midi implementation but if you're looking for an
inexpensive plastic fun looper you might do a lot better with something
like the SP202. if you want a cute bubbling synth with some loop features
the MC09 might be worth a spin. 

Personally at the current price (about $125 or so US) I think it's a
steal for anyone who digs experimental electornic tools and is a bit
outside the box.

On Mon, 14 Feb 2005, jan wrote:

> Someone told me about the Roland MC-09
> I have looked at parts of the manual, and it has 4 banks with 6 sec 
> loop space each that one can fill with an audiosignal through the line 
> in.  Donīt know how to go about controlling the thing (midi 
> expression) or if its possible to add to loop or any other features. 
> Perhaps someone here has some insights?

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