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Roland MC-101 Groovebox

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Roland Groovebox MC-101

"The MC-101 is the most portable all-in-one music creation device on the market. It's not that much bigger than an old VHS tape and it's lighter than a book. It comes with batteries, so 'when you are on the move, you can keep in the groove'. You have access to a whopping 3000 instruments internally (inc drums), covering all genres and types. Not only that, with an SD card, you can load in your own samples to create custom user kits and instruments. The MC-101 comprises of 4 Tracks, which can be either Drums, Synths or Samples, in whatever combination you like. You can even record on the grid or completely unquantised, giving your loops a 100% human feel. Each track has space for 16 clips (patterns), meaning there is plenty of space to piece together your own songs. It has loads of onboard effects and filters, meaning you can enhance your sounds in realtime. It also has MIDI and USB, so you can sync to external instruments and your favourite DAW. For those wanting to get deeper into sound editing and sampling, check out it's big brother, the Roland MC-707. The Roland MC-101 comes with a 3 year warranty and lifetime tech support with myself." GAK's Roland/Boss Product Specialist, James Purvis.

Overview By GAK

The MC-101 is groovebox, meaning it is an all-in-one portable music creation tool.

It has 3000 instrument sounds, made up of synths, drums and SFX, powered by Roland's most powerful sound engine yet, Zen-Core. You can also load in your own samples with an SD card and assign them as user drum kits or create custom user synth instruments.

It is a Clips and Scenes based sequencer, meaning you can create mulitple loops and stitch them together to create your own masterpiece. You can even record without quantisation, for a much more human swing. 

The Groovebox is batttery powered, but can be also powered off USB. It features MIDI IN/OUT, so it can integrate seemlessly with your setup. 

Click here for a How-To guide on the MC-101.

For more sound editing capabilities and more manipulation of samples, check out the bigger Roland MC-707.

Small size. Massive groove. Produce and perform music anywhere, anytime—without clutter or complications. The MC-101 GROOVEBOX has all the high-quality sounds, sequencing, and effects of the professional MC-707, in a compact four-track version that’s go-everywhere portable. Get started with an inspiring collection of ready-to-go sounds and patterns, or easily create your own. Craft a unique style by importing custom sounds and loops that sync to tempo. And you can perform with the MC-101, triggering clips and shaping your sounds with direct, hands-on control.

Pocket production studio. The MC-101 is a professional production tool, sharing the sounds and many of the capabilities of its bigger sibling, the Roland MC-707. And there are advantages in being small. The MC-101 is solid-yet-light and runs for about five hours on four AA batteries, so you can design sounds, create drum patterns, and compose musical phrases just about anywhere. And it’s not just a scratch pad for simple ideas. You can produce fully-fledged professional tracks or create backing tracks and accompaniment for live performance.

Turn a creative spark into fire. The MC-101 has a four-track sequencer optimised for creating today's electronic and dance-focused music. You can use the 16 RGB pads to create drum, bass, and synthesizer patterns and produce your own original music. Explore a musical playground, where you can freely combine loops and one-shots with melodic phrases including your own MIDI sequences and imported audio recordings. Compose and trigger clips, rearrange, re-sample, record automation, and more.

A portable studio full of vintage gear. The MC-101 has the Roland sounds that have defined electronic and dance genres for over forty years. Legendary instruments like the TR-808, TR-909, JUNO-106, and SH-101 are all here, ready to replicate classic sounds or be combined, tweaked, and processed into entirely new sounds.

Expandable sounds, patterns, and phrases. Compose from a curated collection of built-in beats, phrases, and sounds, all expertly crafted by renowned artists and sound designers. And the MC-101 is part of an expandable platform. So, when you're ready for more, or want to explore new genres and styles, you can easily change things up by adding new content.

Play your own custom audio in perfect sync. Each track contains a powerful sample player so you can import your own custom sounds. Use your own voice, or the sound of your favourite instrument from your computer. Imported audio can sync with the MC-101's tempo or be processed with the arsenal of built-in effects and hands-on controls.

  • Roland MC-101: GROOVEBOX
  • - Sound Generator
  • ZEN-Core (Tone, Drum Kit)
  • - Track Type
  • Tone, Drum Kit, Looper (Audio Loop)
  • - Maximum Polyphony
  • ZEN-Core: 128 voices (varies according to the sound generator load)
  • LOOPER: 4 (varies according to the available number of Looper track)
  • - Tracks
  • 4 tracks
  • - Clips
  • 64 clips (16 clips per track)
  • * Clip Type: Tone, Drum Kit, Looper (Audio Loop), it varies according to the track type.
  • - Tones
  • Preset Tone: 3,000 or greater
  • Preset Drum Kit: 80 or greater
  • User Sample (as a Tone or Drum Kit): available by importing form SD CARD
  • Looper Sample (as a clip of Looper track): available by importing from SD CARD
  • * Available total time for User Sample: 12 minutes in mono, 6 minutes in stereo (44.1 kHz)
  • * Available format of User Sample:
  • WAV 32--96 kHz/16 bits, 24 bits (mono, stereo)
  • * Available total time for Looper Sample: Approx. 60 sec (44.1 kHz)
  • * Available format of Looper Sample:
  • WAV 44.1 kHz/16 bits, 24 bits, 32 bits, 32 bits float (mono, stereo)
  • - Effects
  • Track Multi-Effects: 90 types
  • Track EQ
  • Chorus/Delay: 9 types
  • Reverb: 7 types
  • Master Effects: 90 types
  • Master Compressor
  • Master EQ
  • - Step Sequencer
  • Maximum Step: 128 steps
  • * Available on a Tone or Drum Kit Track
  • - Looper
  • Time Stretch, Pitch Shift
  • * Available on a Looper Track
  • - Display
  • 16 characters, 2 lines LCD (with backlit)
  • - External Storage
  • SD Card (SDHC supported) for saving Project Data and Audio Data
  • - Connectors
  • PHONES jack: Stereo miniature phone type
  • OUT(L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
  • MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
  • USB port: USB B type (Audio, MIDI)
  • - Power Supply
  • Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4
  • Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) x 4
  • Obtained via USB port (USB bus power)
  • - Current Draw
  • 500 mA
  • - Expected battery life under continuous use
  • Alkaline battery (AA, LR6): Approx. 3 hours
  • Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6): Approx. 4.5 hours
  • * This can vary depending on the specifications of the batteries, capacity of the batteries, and the conditions of use.
  • - Dimensions
  • 224(W) x 132(D) x 61(H) mm
  • 8-13/16 (W) x 5-3/16 (D) x 2-7/16 (H) inches
  • - Weight (including batteries)
  • 716 g
  • 1 lb 9 oz
  • - Accessories
  • Owner's manual
  • Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4
  • SD Card (installed in the product when shipped from the factory)
  • SD Card Protector (installed in the product when shipped from the factory)



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Customer reviews

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  • Oliver Coleman


    A perfect music sequencer ??

  • Tom Owen


    Still getting to grips with it, however despite the learning curve due to limited buttons because of its size, it has a huge amount of potential. Even if I don’t!

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