Roland MC-303
Roland MC-303

Groove Machine of the MC series

User Reviews: 4.234

All user reviews for the Roland MC-303

Average Score: 4.2 ( 4.2/5 based on 34 reviews )
  17 reviews 50 %
  8 reviews 24 %
  6 reviews 18 %
  3 reviews 9 %
Target: Beginners
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

5
It's definitely a fun groovebox, once you get past the 2 digit display, it's really a "fun" box to use. Sequencer is a bit blah, but surprisingly the arpegiator is a blast to use, tons of presets not just your basic up down up/down you see on other synths. And hell, got a tap tempo button which is great to sync with a live band. Midi is great, I sync'ed the MC as a slave to Electribes and had no issues at at all.

$120

UTILIZATION

Once you get past the 2 digit display, it's a decent machine under $125, hell it's a GREAT machine under $125. You can pretty much decipher the display without reading too much of the manual, but again, always helps to have the manual handy.

This thing is built rock solid. Casing is like metal and the knobs are big and bulkier (than say those of korgs) which is a good thing when tweaking those knobs in live situation. 1996, and still going strong!!!

SOUNDS

Well this groovebox is a rompler and was built in mid 90s. Straight up, I find the patches thin, but some workable presets, with some tweaks and effects not too bad at all, definitely usable. Filters are smooth, but again, not the greatest but do open up the patches somewhat.

OVERALL OPINION

MC-303 is a love and hate relationship. It has it's own personality and definitely a fun box to "#*!" around with! I wouldn't use it by itself that's for sure, definetely belongs in a team

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: lanlan (January 1-, 2006)
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

5
There sure are alot of features... some of which work better than others. The sequencer is easy to work with for short patterns, complete with midi out and flexible quantize. My roommate has had some good luck stringing patterns together with the song sequencer. The arpeggiator is *amazing*, and makes it really easy to get really funky drums happening really fast (really!). Easy to use filters for playing with sounds. The onboard effects never worked that well or sounded that good. I don't use them. RPS sets never worked well for me either. Features i would like the most: 1) Multiple, assignable outputs would instantly upgrade this machine from "cool toy" to "cool instrument". So sad. 2)Midi in without having to revert to 'sound module' mode where everything sounds utterly cheesy.

UTILIZATION

Wow. For a six digit display, this thing is pretty easy to work with. This was the electronic machine that i learned to make music on. I guess i'm partial to the interface beacause of it.

The reliability of my unit has always been truly questionable at best. It has often bumped it's head on the ceiling of available memory when only *approaching* 80%, rendering the entire contents of memory as mostly useless. (ie hours of work, down the tubes). I guess i ought to back it up via a memory dump every once i a while, but instead i just use it for short, simpler patterns, and don't get too attached. It really does tend to flake out if it tries to do too much at once. I've had to repair a few pots on it, which didn't cost me much.

SOUNDS

Alot of really cheesy sounds, but they are easy to tweak, you can get many of them to sound really neat (and even really nice!) by playing around with the octave ranges and filters. There are are a LOT of sounds in there, and i've spent many hours having fun mining out new ones, and playing around with them.

OVERALL OPINION

What can i say? This was my first music machine and i love it to bits. I still use it today for the arpeggiator, the simplicity of the sequencer, and even for nice sounds which i can get to quickly. For the price you can pick them up at these days, i think it would be well worth it even if only as a flexible drum machine and arpeggiator with external triggering.(umm... that is to say "flexible" minus having multiple assignable outs, mind you!)

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: jl. ( 4-, 2006)
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

4
The features are quite jam packed,unfortunately I still after having this for 2 years have not fully put this to use.

Price paid

$250 USD

UTILIZATION

When I first got this I stared at it blankly.Getting through this groove box was like exploring a pyramid.I should try using this more often to learn it quite a bit better.

I would say this is built fairly well,although when I got this secondhand a corner of the frame was slightly bent and the boost knob on the back is still broken.

SOUNDS

For something held to such acclaim by my friends I wasn't overly won by this.I do like Rolands sounds,but to sculpt them on this wasn't very simple for me.Perhaps I was browsing and tweaking in the wrong areas of this groove box.Browsing through the first few banks of sounds was like listening to the same synth tone slightly changed slowly as you dialed up through the numbers.It wasn't until further into the banks where I became happy.Mostly with their brass and pad sounds.

OVERALL OPINION

I'm not completely excited about this piece of hardware.Overall I think I would farm it for some of its brass sounds and a few synth sounds.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: TheOracle ( 6-, 2005)
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

4
Has a 16 note keyboard- limited but with the octave range button will provide every sound that would be wanted from any of the instruments. I maily use the arpeggio which has a number of settings, and I like the real time modifiers- cutoff and resonance. It would be great if it had sampling capacity. Another dissapointment is the MIDI only has basic output with the realtime modifiers not able to be outputed.

Price paid

$350 in 1998 second hand

UTILIZATION

Fairly easy, but you need the manuals to work off initially. MIDI is a bit tricky the outputs have to be set.

I got it second hand and it has had no problems so far. I noticed there is a little play in one of the outputs, but it still works fine and its most likely over 10 years old

SOUNDS

The quality is great, but of course limited to its presets (although it has many and these can all be messed up with its cutoff and resonance knobs) There is a bass boost at the rear for beefing up drums/bass. The percussion sounds are a little limited for certain styles of music- you couldnt get an amen break directly. Good for other styles- house, trance and hiphop I guess.

OVERALL OPINION

My knowledge of other equipment is very limited so its rated compared to nothing else! I got it with out knowing what I was in for and I have no regrets, although it would be so much better with a small sampling application. I wouldnt sell it!

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown (January 0-, 2004)
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

5
I paid alot because I bought it back when it first came out. Now I see it on ebay for a little over $100 and I might buy another one. It does it all, it just doesnt have the clarity of the big boys. The arpeggiator rules. So easy and alot of different presets. Great for snare fills in trance or fast moving hi-hats in hip-hop.

Price paid

$800

UTILIZATION

This is a true story. It was like 1996 and I went to a house party years ago and there was this dude that had cerebal palsey tearin sh*t up with this machine. He just had it plugged into a dj mixer then into an amp and like 5 house speakers. He tore the shit up for like 3 hours straight. I never even heard of the machine at the time. About a month later I got mine. Read the quick start and you are a producer. Everything is easy.

Strong lil box I must say. One key stuck then broke. One button stuck then broke. I actually took it apart with like 5 screws and repaired it myself. But Roland usually makes good stuff.

SOUNDS

Sound quality is just okay. Great for dance genres but hell, nowadays they are pullin dance synths into hip-hop. The lead synths just arent good enough to make a professional trance/house track alone. But the basses are primo and I miss having them. Since the sounds arent huge on polyphony, the ones that purposely sound rough, are awesome.

OVERALL OPINION

I want another one for a couple sounds you cant get anywhere else. I miss its appreggiator and basses. Imma get another one. I shouldna sold mine. My advice to everybody. If you can....NEVER SELL YOUR EQUIPMENT!!!!. Youll miss it later and it makes for a bigger versatile studio.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown (January 2-, 2003)
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

5
Well, for the price paid, it doesn't have everything for sure. But for the task as a groovebox, it's awesome. Only problem, too little memory and no memory card. It can't be used alone for sure. I luv the realtime features, can manipulate easily to get what i want. The arpeggio naming is confusing with digits and numbers. However, the arpeggio manipulation is unlimited, and that's good!

Price paid

$850

UTILIZATION

Very easy to manipulate, takes awhile to read the manual, but once understand, it is so easy to control that my hands can flicker between the controls as fast as a DJ scratching the decks.

Very small, buttons are easy to press and actually fun. email roland for queries about battery life, quick reply and detailed.

SOUNDS

Awesome fat sounds! Good drum sounds and bass sounds. Sound for acid, d'n'b, hip hop, techno, psi/goa, breaks. The synth sounds are bad, unclear, muffled. But well, it's a groovebox not a synth. FX sounds ok only, sadly, not much fx appliable. Filters are pretty good!

OVERALL OPINION

I luv this model becos it sounds good, easy to carry around and very easy to manipulate. Normally, i filter the sounds a lot and get a lot of combinations. The ability to manipulate arpeggio patterns are fantastic, making it a very artistic tool. I think it has a lot of potential if Roland can add in good storage, parametric eq, more room for loops and better fx, it could very well set in as a DAW directly without a pc.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown (January 1-, 2003)
FP User 10/31/2008

FP User's review

5
I like this thing alot....many features packed into a little metal box.

Price paid

250

UTILIZATION

Easy. Simple as that. Short on memory though.

Typical roland quality....which is very good.

SOUNDS

Sounds are OK. Work at them and you can get some cool things going. Effects arent that good but for a all in one box...the price and features can't be beat.

OVERALL OPINION

I dig it and have made some excellent tracks on this unit alone...Just use you imagination.

Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown (January 0-, 2002)
Modulator18 11/29/2014

Modulator18's review (This content has been automatically translated from English) " I did not like"

2
Roland groovebox.
At the time of its release, pubs announced: TB303 republication, that's why I bought it new at its output for about 3.500frs (500 €).
Facade solid scrap iron knob that breaks against which crachotte. Nickname keyboard with rubber rubber that does not take the year (classic Roland). a dual 7-segment LED display.

UTILIZATION

Very simple, turn the knobs to modify some parameters, jog to chain sequences, one tries to play the keyboard and that's it.

SOUNDS

Sounds, ...! Some bass sounds and synths exploitable, otherwise the rest is awful, stained (not the right way), and soulless.
Integrated sequences, I did not find anything extraordinnaire, it makes the sequences and the final result looks like demos found over much of the range of Roland keyboard without interest!
The effects do well their work, but when it's ugly at first, the magic can not operate.

OVERALL OPINION

I kept for years in a closet. From time to time I ressortais for the few minutes of the time the weather improves, but she left on the shelf as fast as I'd exit.
I traded against something else and I do not regret it at all.
This is MY OPINION, I know that musicians are enjoying it, I have much preferred electribe Korg, everyone's tastes.
It's clear that I do not rachèterais the MC303, for against TB> 303, so I will buy this one day!
03/31/2013

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from English) " EXCEPTIONAL"

5
See details on the roland site.

UTILIZATION

The manual is fairly simple and use like I managed to make my first pattern in a few hours without too much trouble and all the settings are accessible from the séquenceur.Tout is available that takes place during pattern effects and cuttof company and it's great ...

SOUNDS

There are about 400 very few keyboards sounds good but all the same the rhodes piano sound is more for the dance, but you can work with easily, and organs that go well violons.Les bass sounds and leads are all was correct, but due to some old-fashioned one that is 17 years old this is understandable.
Parcontre drum kits are almost the same we hear in the sequencer or digital synthesizers actuels.C is not realistic at all and we know it is not the goal!
The effects are very good especially the reverb and delay it gives color to the sound.

OVERALL OPINION

I use it for about a week and I have my sequence with synthesizers and the result is acceptable.
I do not like its interface specially but considering its age it's normal since today is the tape to the eye works and proffessionalisme pass from behind!
But its interface is very complete much I appreciate all potentionmetres on the 303 is probably the most complete machine that I had in my mains.J 've had one for a few months but it had MC808 sounds more modern but they were untouchable without computer so I had less fun to play with even if it was more complete on paper and with this one I ordi.Que progresses faster and is more intuitive and the relationship between man machine fills. A simple beat us very far away enmene even for me it is a must to be able to touch her without pressing stop.
I tried the korg emx 1, and although it sounds more possaidait his recent mono blocking me serious because I love rocking my own chords and make a minor chord on three tracks off it is not for the moi.Je 'I had for 130 euros I do not regret my choice and I was very lucky that it is in very good condition no scratches no screen or other picnic.
And I'm happy to have a collector in the first celebrity groovebox and I understand why she made a full house and I do not revendrais pas.Car it is small it does not take place and the result is effective field is produced quickly with the sounds of hell but some criticize the pick of all of these machines on the market that has people who criticize even the next release this année.Mais I have had a few years ca I have previously great Kiffe
It should not be too demanding that n (is not synthe jupiter or spectralis but rather a proper synth with a sequencer of fou.Qu we either techno or hip hop can easily make good delires in minutes on sounds retro Surtour if we want to deepen the warmth of presets.
And no it does not age as ca the 303 proof is still talking about it and it is sold and purchased while some models that are less than 10 years to oblivion.
Now I have a mad desire to know the 505 ...
simc 01/22/2012

simc's review (This content has been automatically translated from English)

5
Groove Box with effects (chorus, reverb, delay). MIDI in and out. audio output (2 x mono).

UTILIZATION

Operation is super simple and complete. The functions are easily accessible. This is a really well thought out machine. The manual is Sufis.
Unfortunately innefficace MIDI in a PC integration.

SOUNDS

The sound was really good for that time and are are quite flexible. (Filter, LFO, envelope). To date it could still be useful if she behaved better with a pc. The effects are small but really good.

OVERALL OPINION

Purchased OCASI there fifteen years, this machine has really been very useful. She taught me a lot too. I still love her and I am disappointed at not being able to integrate better in a set up with PC. I bought 15,000 FB (350 €) and for that price I would do certainly the choice. I can not find anything equivalent from the point of view of efficiency to date. (I find the same ELEKTRON toneau but it seems very fragile for the price).