Make Music I by I 05.09.19

Roland revives MC Groovebox series with two new models

Synths, drum machines and sequencer in one box.

Roland has revived its MC Groovebox series as part of the AIRA line with two new models: the full-size MC-707 and portable MC-101.

Roland’s original Groovebox models offered a way for DJs to make a track with just one piece of gear, incorporating a sound module capable of replicating classic Roland drum machine and synth sounds alongside a sequencer. The new range follows the same principle, but features a more sophisticated sound, sampling and hardware engine that turns it into a mini home studio.

The MC-707 looks a lot like Roland’s AIRA TR-8 and TR-8S drum machines, with the addition of a screen for displaying parameters, synth modelling and sequencing. The sequencer layout is slightly different too, with pads instead of buttons. The MC-101 doesn’t have a screen and only allows for four tracks instead of eight, but both use the same sound engine.

Roland’s ZEN-Core sound engine isn’t a straight virtual analog system, instead using mixture of PCM samples and virtual analog modelling. It’s a similar in principle to the company’s D-50 digital synth released in the late ’80s, but the ZEN-Core engine is more advanced and features presets that emulate Roland classics like the TR-808, TR-909, JUNO-106 and SH-101.

Roland will release the MC-707 for $999 and the MC-101 for $499 later this month.

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