The Roland MC-505 Groovebox is a pattern-based sequencer and synthesizer. Its synth engine is in the Roland JV family of PCM (sampled waveform) based synths.Back to top
No. Even though the 505's synth engine is sample-based, the samples are all in ROM. You cannot make yor own samples.Back to top
No. Even though the 505 is in the JV family, it has no capacity for JV expansion cards.Back to top
Many subscribers to mc505@ONElist.com mailing list regularly post links to their music, much of which is produced using the 505. To subscribe, send a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to hear a lot of 505 music right now, head to the Grooveartists' AI Benefit 2000 page at mp3.com. Some of these songs use nothing but the MC505. The competition was organized by subscribers to the 505 list, and all proceeds from sales of the CD will benefit Amnesty InternationalBack to top
The 305 has a built in keyboard, more waveforms (mostly GM type sounds), and is about half the price of the MC505. However, the 305 only has 2 outputs compared to the MC505's 6, and it doesn't have the mixer section, D-Beam, or Megamix functions of the MC505. It is primarily geared towards studio use, while the MC505 is geared more towards live performances. That doesn't mean that the 305 couldn't be used live, and the MC505 in the studio however.Back to top
Roland has a gig bag available on their website, www.rolandgroove.com. Rok Sak also makes a padded gig bag that will work with the MC505. As of the time of writing this FAQ, there is no official hard case available for the MC505, although the hard case for the Roland VS1680 will work. Also, try photography equipment cases.Back to top
No. The 505 has three effects processors, but one is dedicated to Reverb and one is dedicated to delay. That only leaves one that can use the effects from the EFX section. Sorry.Back to top
First, put the part mixer into EFX/OUT mode, then hold down SHIFT and move the R part slider until the display says 'RHY'. (The other choices are 'DRY', 'EFX', 'DIR1', and 'DIR2'.)Next, you need to change the RHY TONE settings for the Rhythm set (patch) you want to use. With the display in PATCH mode, Press EDIT-16 to access these settings. They are seperate for each individual rhythm tone. Back to top
No, this is not possible. Drum kits are only available on the R-part. However there is a way to create a pseudo drumkit on parts 1-7. By creating a User patch with custom keysplits, and assigning a different drum sound to each octave of the keyboard, it is possible to create some basic kits. For instance, you could use a Bass Drum waveform for one octave, a snare for the next, tuned toms to the next, and a cymbal waveform to the last octave. In this way, it is possible to have a part with multiple drum hits, and still use the drums of the R-part too. Also, by using the TONE ON/OFF buttons, you can even mute and Unmute these drum voices on the fly. Due to the voice architecture of the MC505 though, it will only be possible to assign 4 different drum sounds to a particular patch (4 waveforms per patch).Back to top
Yes, there are 26 different functions the D-Beam can be set to control. These can be assigned by pressing SHIFT + the Chiclet labeled Controller. Press PAGE -> a few times until you get to the first of three pages dedicated to assigning D-Beam functions. A list of available functions is in the MC505 Instruction Manual. Once you are done, press EXIT and wait for the MC505 to store these settings. Bear in mind that these settings will be lost when performing a System Reset.Back to top
It's simple, just hold down SHIFT and press PART SELECT. The PART SELECT button will now flash, and the PART MUTE buttons now tell you which part Real Time Quantize will be applied to. If the PART MUTE button is lit, Quantize will be applied to that part. Press the PART MUTE button once to turn off Quantize for that part. Pressing PART SELECT once more (without shift) to leave this mode.Back to top
Yes, although you can only have real-time control over one type at a time. Apply the Quantize to the parts you want. Now you can actually change the note data in your pattern to be permanently saved with those Quantize settings. Press EDIT and then the chiclet labeled QUANTIZE in white letters. You will then be prompted to select Quantize part. Any PART MUTE buttons that are lit will have Quantize applied to them. Unmute the ones you don't want the Quantize applied to, then press ENTER. Press ENTER again when you are asked ARE YOU SURE. You can do this multiple times, effectively allowing you to have a different type of Quantize for each part. To fix a part that has Quantize applied to it by mistake, simply use the GRID version of Play Quantize, and the adjust the timing resolution to fit your application. Now perform the above procedure to store those Quantize settings to your note data in the pattern.Back to top
Press TEMPO/MIXER below the display on the MC505. Now set the mixer section to control EFX/OUT by pressing the mixer select button to the left of the sliders. While holding SHIFT, move the slider for the part you want to send to the outs up slowly. Watching the display, you'll see the options for that part go from DRY, EFX, OUT 1, OUT 2. Note that assigning parts to the separate outs is only possible while SHIFT is held down. Also note, that if you are doing this for the Rhythm Part, there is another option that displays, "R". When "R" is selected, the effects settings for the drums become dependant on what each hit is set to in the selected drum kit. The effects levels are not global across all drum sounds in this mode.Back to top
Turn on the MC505, and before the display settles, press and hold the following buttons:
TEMPO/MIXER + PTN/SONG + PATCH +chiclets 12,14, 16. Now, while continuing to hold down the first three buttons, you can press Chiclet 16 to toggle between the SYS version, the CPU version, and the DAT version.
The current version of the MC505's OS (1.07) is available at www.rolandgroove.com/updates.html. Fixes to the OS in previous versions include:
*it should be noted that this fix list is not authorized from Roland, and they will not support any claims based on this knowledge.Back to top
Yes, instead of doing a Factory Reset (which is required in order for the OS upgrade to take effect), you may do a System reset as well. This will allow you to upgrade your MC505 without losing any valuable information. You will however lose all information restored by a typical System Reset. See elsewhere in this FAQ for a list of information that will be lost.Back to top
Yes. It is possible to upgrade the OS via the Smartmedia card. First you will have to find a MC505 with a version of the current OS. (See elsewhere in this FAQ for ways to check the OS version.) Next, with the power off, insert your formatted Smartmedia card into the slot. Now power ON while holding down TEMPO/SONG + RPS SET + PATCH below the display. Scroll with the data wheel until you come to the screen that says OS save. Press ENTER at this screen and wait for it to save the OS to your card. Once that's done, take the Smartmedia card back to your MC505 and insert it. Now once again power on while holding down TEMPO/SONG + RPS SET + PATCH below the display. This time, scroll until it says OS load. Press ENTER and wait for the OS to load into your MC505. Once this is completed, you will need to do a SYSTEM RESET in order to have the new OS take effect.Back to top
To get the arpeggiator to record as it sounds whenyou play it, you must turn off the record quantize feature. Press REC once, then page right until it says REC QUANTIZE. Rotate the dial until it says OFF. Arpeggiated parts will now be recorded exactly as they sound when recording. The arpeggiator has a separate setting for making sure that arpeggios are played in time. Press [SHIFT-11] and then [>] five times and be sure it says "Arpg Sync = ON" if you want youtr arpeggios to be in time. (Tha arpeggiator always plays at the 505's current tempo.)Back to top
You have to set the slider position at the appropriate time. It is best to set your starting slider position after you hit REC, but before you press PLAY. That way, the 505 will start out the pattern at the appropriate CC value. Alternatively, you could insert the correct CC value into the beginning of the pattern. Press STOP twice to back the pattern up to it's very beginning. Now press REC twice to enter Microscope Mode. Press WRITE once and the display will read "INSERT EVENT?" Page right once and then scroll until the display says "CC xx" You can now place the cursor where the 'xx' is, and then scroll to select the appropriate Controller. Once you have the correct controller, you can them place the cursor in the value field and scroll to get the correct value you want. Once you are done, press ENTER, then STOP to leave Microscope mode.Back to top
First select the pattern that you wish to copy from. Press EDIT + Chiclet 1 (Copy). Chiclets are the little keys used on the MC505 in place of a real keyboard. Now, all of the Part Mute buttons will be lit up for that pattern. Turn off all of the Part Mute buttons, except the one for the part you wish to copy. Specify which measures you wish to copy in the display, then press ENTER. Now specify what you wish to copy (i.e. Note, CC, PC, etc.). Press ENTER again. Now the MC505 will ask you to specify the destination pattern. Do so, and at this point press the Part Mute button for the new part you wish to copy to as well. Make sure to deselect the old part you are copying from as well. Now press ENTER, and again when it asks if you are sure. That's it! Note, the MC505 will only copy the data from the pattern that you specified, not the patch used. You will have to reselect the old patch from your previous pattern once you have copied a part to a new pattern. You may also use the Parameter Copy function of the MC505 to do this, although many times it's quicker to just reselect the previous patch.Back to top
The MC505 uses 5 volt cards only, and in the 2 meg or 4 meg size. Other sizes will not work correctly with the MC505, and should not be used except at the owner's risk. Data may become lost, or unreliable if the wrong card is used. It should be noted that cards do not have to be Roland brand to function properly, and that buying non-Roland cards can save the user up to $60 per 4 meg card.
Smartmedia cards are also used in digital cameras, so camera shops may carry them. Also, for online purchases try:Back to top
Yes. Insert the card you wish to copy from while the MC505 is turned off. Then, while holding CARD in the bank select buttons, turn the MC505 on. You will be prompted to insert SOURCE card (already done), then press ENTER. Now the MC505 will prompt you to insert DEST card. Do so and press ENTER again. You will have to repeat this process 5 to six times for each card. Once you are done, the display will read CARD COPY COMPLETED! You can now press EXIT to use the MC505. Note that this process is the only time you should "hot swap" memory cards. That is, insert or remove the cards while the MC505 is on. It is typically better and safer to turn off the MC505 before you change a Smartmedia card.Back to top
Unfortunately, it is not possible to write over the Presets of the MC505. Additional memory may be obtained by using a Smartmedia card to add to the MC505's memory. Using a Smartmedia card provides the user with an additional 2 banks of User pattern locations, and 4 additional banks of User patch locations.Back to top
There a good and bad points to each of these methods. Storing to the user memory results in typically quicker scrolling through patterns and patches, and increased reliability in storing. However, there are some problems that occur occasionally with the MC505, that can only be fixed with a Patch or Factory reset. In those cases, all patches will be erased from the User memory. Storing to Smartmedia cards allows greater memory expansion, although then the user runs the risk of a card becoming corrupted, thereby losing important data. Saving data to a Smartmedia card is also noticeably faster than storing to the User memory. I would recommend storing to the Smartmedia card, and keeping an additional back up at all times. This should be sufficient to insure that you don't lose any important patch or pattern data.Back to top
Saving patches and patterns to a Smartmedia Card speeds up the process by about 3 to 4 times. The nice thing about using a Smartmedia card for saving, is that it appears just like every other BANK in the MC505. That way the process is exactly the same as it is saving to the USER bank. Just be sure you don't remove the Smartmedia card while the MC505 is on, or you may lose data.Back to top
All resets can be performed by turning on the MC505 while holding SHIFT. There are three types of resets that the user can do; Factory, Patch, and System. Factory Resets restore the machine to the condition it was in when it was first purchased, all User information stored in the machine is lost. This reset should only be done as a last resort. A Patch Reset clears the MC505's memory of all User created patches stored in the User bank. A System reset will reset the MC505's operating system, and is generally used to help free up the MC505 from any bugs that it may have over time. All system settings are restored to the way the MC505 was shipped from the factory. This includes all RPS assignments, D-beam assignments, MIDI settings, and PTN call settings.
The different resets can be accessed by scrolling the data wheel after the MC505 has been powered on with SHIFT held. Make sure you are doing the right reset to avoid losing any information you may want to save!Back to top
Yes this is possible. Connect the MIDI Out from one MC505 (master) to the MIDI In of a second MC505 (slave). You will have to set the sync out of the first MC505 to "ON", and the second MC505 will have to be placed in slave mode. These settings are found in the system settings menus. Note that the Thru function of the MC505 does not transmit Midi Clock messages, so it is therefore impossible to sync up more than two MC505's without a midi sync box.Back to top
Yes, although there are a number of settings that may need to be changed. For all parts you want to control external gear with, you must set the Seq. Out of that part to EXT. These settings must then be saved with each pattern, as they are not global.
Second, if you wish to use the knobs of the MC505 to directly affect the sound of other modules, be sure to set the MC505's MIDI mode to "Mode 2". Mode 1 makes use of primarily Sys Ex data to control it's parameters, and external gear will not respond to these messages. If you wish to use the MC505 as a master for Midi Clock messages, it will also be necessary to set the Sync Out to "ON". All of these settings are available in the MIDI settings menus of the MC505. See the owners manual for more detailed instructions on changing these settings.
Roland US also has some Acrobat files available for download detailing the more specific uses of the MC505 with external gear. They can be found at:Back to top
Yes, performing a System Reset usually fixes the problem. See elsewhere in this FAQ for instructions on how to perform all Resets.Back to top
It has been reported that the MC505 will lock up during recording operations if the transport (Stop, Play, Rec, Fwd, Rev) buttons are pressed quickly in succession during a recording process. Upgrading to OS ver 1.07 fixes this to some extent, as will slowing down button presses when changing Recording Modes. If the MC505 does lock up, there is no solution but to turn it off and start over. For this reason, it makes sense to back up regularly while recording.Back to top
This is caused by one of two things. Firstly, you may have set the MC505's system parameters for RxPG to OFF. This means that the MC505 will not respond to incoming Program Change messages. Unfortunately, this also means that all of your patterns will use the currently selected patches, even if you scroll through patterns from the MC505's control panel. Secondly, you may have set the RxBNK to OFF as well. This will allow the patches to change, but only with in the current bank (I.E. Preset, User, Card). It works on the same principles as the RxPG above. To fix this problem, you simply have to turn these settings back to ON.Back to top