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Rating and Reviews: Roland MC808 Groovebox

8 motorized faders. 128-voice polyphony. Editor software included.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Superb Quality, 1.2 mil note hardware sequencer, 16/44 sampler ASM makes the MC-808 an essential tool for groove creativity" submitted April 25, 2006

By a customer from msa.hinet.net
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: Producer-Recording Artist Musician
Music Style: Progressive, Electronic, Classical, Rock, Psychedlic Trance
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: This is a good working board to lay your sequence down on, and compared to the earlier MCs, the generic sounds are much improved. I suggest that you might use the MC-808's million plus note sequencer as a central hardware sequencer and master for convenience and use tones from better synth engines such Jomox and Access or even the great JP-8000. Feature: The board comes with a AC converter and you get a xlr to 1/4" if you get the case. The USB connection delivers good midi response to your software but there is no realtime audio except by line so a/d conversion must be done post 808, which I found disappointing. You can transfer wave and aif files via usb for sample in and storage out. This is because the usb only has two modes. The faders are cool and they access tva and tvf functions as well as volume and pan and more. To tie everything together the usb tocomputer connectivity is essential because more microscopic or granular level wave form and patch editing are facilitated on your computer via the interface software. This software is not a recording or sequencing environment, its strictly for sample tuning, patch editing and pure on-screen convenience, but there are functions which are only reachable through the computer interface. Again I found this exciting and abit frustrating at the same time because Roland stops short as I mention above. Naturally the compromise is you are paying juist over a grand for a 16/44 sampler, 1.2 million note sequencer, and 128 voice synth with USB interconnectivity, so that's pretty big already. Think about the Access T/1 which is the super synth and audio computer interface but no sampler or sequencer, the difference in $650 is not relatable because the quality of the Access synth engine is light years better. These are things that anyone with a budget needs to contemplate. The arpeg does not have a Note Follow mode, which is the only major problem I found. The D-beam is tricky because the solo synth is a real joke, and access to the patches is through the filter mode. Ease of Use: This is a very easy to learn unit if you have experience with the groove machine logic or if you are good at Rolandese. The manual is are well laid out but when you get through sorting out all the functions available through the shift and other button combinations your manual will be well used. It is a great hardware sequencer and the best groove box around unless you are looking for a stronger sampler, then consider also the Akai line of grooveboxes. MC-808 works great with Reason. Quality: Roland's boxes are legendaery for live use and reliability and are almost mil spec durable but the knobs and sliders need to be adequately protected. The electronic quality is at a refined state in the 808 and the brushed aluminum is nice. Low light Viewability is always an issue and you will find the fader/parts section with blue back lighting pretty nice. The patch and pattern parameter notes are not readable in the dark and this would be a really big improvement on the livability. The quality is good all around. I would say from Roland's thoroughly experienced engineeers . Value: This is a best value no doubt at all. I was extremely happy when I heard ofthe MC-808 and got the first unit to be available on Taiwan. Overall: The MC-808 willgrow on you. It is nice looking, contains a few great kick patches and a few great synth tones. It is a best value but there are small compromises such as the USB interface. The MC-808 can do almost everything well all the way down to granular editing on your computer. I am surprised at the user patterns, they all sound the same from style to style and because the MC-808 is so versatile I will undoubtedly initialize all the factory patterns. The arpeg is slightly alien because it does not have a generic note follow mode. But you can program your own arp pattern. I still look forward to working with the 808 on a daily basis and this means it is an essential tool for creating.
19 of 23 people (82.61%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"best thing ever!" submitted October 31, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: electronica/experimental/indie
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: The sound on this machine is a piece of art! I promise it sounds beautiful! Feature: it cam with a power cord for an outlet...but you need to buy a USB cable...atleast i did. Ease of Use: Well i do admit...it takes some time to get used to the controls. but once you do, you will be making some nice music. depending on how creative you are. no musical talent needed here...just a good ear. Quality: doesnt feel like a 700 dollar machine, thats were i was disapointed. but it is durable, trust me. Value: if i for some reason broke my mc-808 or something happend to it...i would 100% get another one. Manufacturer Support: i give support a 10 out of 10 becayse i havent had no problems with it yet. The Wow Factor: YOU MUST GET ONE! Overall: i plan to use this groovebox forever.
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Perfect for any studio!" submitted February 15, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: producer,engineer,musician
Music Style: hip-hop,R & B,
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Sound: the sounds are beautifull and "BIG". theres a mastering section, but i just ran mine into the tascam 2488 and BAM professional sound outta the box. Feature: I wish it had came with a usb cable or a card. Ease of Use: After a quick session with the manual i was up and running, this piece is very easy to learn. You really need a set of keys though the pads are bland. Quality: it is veery light, if i took this own the road it would definately be kept close. Value: YES worth every penny!! Manufacturer Support: Roland support has always been good to me i have a few roland products. The Wow Factor: Very sexy piece of equipment! Overall: I LOVE IT. if it had the ability to sequence other midi instruments i would sell my MPC!!
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Get one, youll like it!" submitted June 8, 2006

By a customer from mac.com
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Features
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Hip Hop, Trip Hop, Break Beats
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: The unit sounds great, much better sounds then the 909. Feature: It has everyhting you need to lay down a tight beat. The only thing that I am disappointed with is the lack of velocity sensative pads and the motorized faders are kind of quirky. Ease of Use: Start Bangin the beats out right away! Quality: I would have liked to see a little more sturdiness, but good overall. Value: PIMPIN! Manufacturer Support: NA The Wow Factor: I own it! Overall: Great tool Period.
7 of 13 people (53.85%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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