Roland just unveiled two new hardware grooveboxes: the MC-707 and MC-101. Both are standalone music production devices that come with knobs, faders, pads, and tons of sounds coming from legendary Roland devices like the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, and the Juno 106 and SH-101 synths. They’ve got onboard effects like reverb, chorus and compressor.
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They also have a variety of inputs and outputs, including 1/8″ headphone and 1/4″ output jacks plus Midi In / Out ports. They also have an SD card slot for importing your own sounds and exporting projects, plus a USB jack for connecting to your laptop if you want to work with a DAW.
The MC-707 is the bigger, more full-featured unit. It’s got an eight track sequencer that you can use to build your tune, eight faders for controlling their volumes and filter, modulation and FX knobs for tweaking. It’s also got 16 step buttons for laying down a groove using the TR-REC step sequencer feature, and 16 velocity sensitive RGB pads that you can use to trigger one shots on the fly and to build loops and phrases. It has an onboard display that shows you menu settings, data, and even waveforms for easier editing on the unit itself.
The MC-101 is smaller and more portable. This time, you get a four-track sequencer with four faders, master control knobs for global filter, modulation and FX tweaking, and 16 RGB pads. While it doesn’t have as much controls and features as the MC-707, it does make up for it by being small enough to stash in a tote bag (or even larger fanny packs) and you can make it run on four AA batteries for producing on the go.
Roland’s groovebox history and pedigree are unparalleled (808 and 909 ring any bells?) with a sonic palette that has shaped modern electronic dance music and pop as we know it. From legends in the 80s to newer classics like the SP-707 sampler and SPD-SX drum pad, the company continues to define the drum machine / groovebox category.
The new MC-707 and MC-101 look to make hands-on producing and performing even more accessible to a new generation of beatmakers. Watch out for our review of them soon.
Check out the promo videos and photo gallery below.
• The Roland MC-707 retails for US$999 and the MC-707 for US$499. Both will be available mid-September 2019. Check the Roland site for more details.
What are your thoughts on these grooveboxes? Which one would you want to add to your collection? Let us know in the comments.