The interface of the MC-09 looks simple and straightforward, but Roland has hidden away a lot of options in obscure places. You'll spend quite some time pressing buttons before you get a grasp on what this unit can do. The manual is a "Roland Vintage", meaning it is difficult to get through at best. Still, if you know what you are looking for, you can find it. Programming the step-sequencer is a tricky job, but that also is nothing new.
The MC-09 has a bit of a shabby look. It's made out of plastic, the turning knobs and faders are a bit flimsy, and the audio-connectors are of CD-player type (OK Roland, you can put the crackpipe down now...). Still, I have yet to have a Roland (or Boss) product break down on me, so I have faith.
The synth in this unit has a very decent sound, but it is limited. If you are looking for harsh, aggressive sounds, the MC-09 delivers. Otherwise, it won't be much use to you. The sound it generates is good, but I'd like to have seen a little more 'bass' in the bass. (But OTOH, it being a Roland, there might be controls I haven't been able to unearth yet ). It will hold it's own in a live setting. When you use it in a studio environment, you might want to use a little chorus and/or eq to fatten it up a bit. The fx-processor is decent. The filter and the slicer are OK, the phaser isn't that great, the isolator is a 3-band eq. The drum sounds it packs are horrible. Roland could have done a little better there. I've seen people comment on the lack of sound quality in the sampler. This might be true, but then again, the MC-09 will never, ever do as your main workhorse. I like the ability to record a few loops here and there, but I'd never rely on it.
Do I love it? Hell yeah! If you're on a limited budget such as I, it offers great value for money. Don't view it as a standalone groovebox, view it as a synth, a sampler and an fx-processor in 1 box. Despite it's obvious limitations, it's a very, very versatile box. You can spend hours exploring it's possibilities. I've had tons of fun with it, and it's been a great source of inspiration. It still is.
Originally posted on FutureProducers.com
Posted by: Unknown ( 2-, 2005)