Roland MC-303

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The Roland MC-303 is the first of a series of musical instruments known as a Groovebox. It combines a simple sound module with a sequencer to record and store notation, along with controls aimed at encouraging the musician to improvise the music while it is playing. Despite the number in its name and the hype it received at its launch, the MC-303 has more in common with other MC prefixed synthesizers (such as the Roland MC-202), which contain built-in sequencers, than it does with the famous Roland TB-303. As the first Groovebox, the MC-303 was the first in a line of inexpensive products specifically targeted towards house DJs and amateur home musicians rather than professional producers. It was superseded by the Roland MC-505. It is the predecessor to the Roland D2, Roland MC-307, Roland MC-909 and the Roland MC-808.


The key features of the MC-303 are:

  • Sound generator with 24 note - voice polyphony based on the structure model of Roland JV-80 synthesizer
  • 8-track sequencer (7 pitched instruments and 1 drum kit)
  • 8 part timbrality
  • 448 preset sounds and 12 drum kits (includes the Roland CR-78, TR-808, TR-606 & TR-909)
  • Reverb/delay and chorus/flanger effects
  • 300 onboard dance music variation patterns such as drumbeats and basslines
  • Recording length of up to 32 bars per pattern
  • Instant storage of up to 50 user patterns, 300 pattern variations and 10 songs
  • Storage space for up to approximately 14,000 notes
  • MIDI in and out connections (but no MIDI thru)