Roland MC-8 Micro-Composer

Vintage Roland MC-8 Sequencer Archive

Roland MC-8 Factory Demo Program – Bach Invention

This is another of the demo programs provided in the Roland MC-8 manual. This time it’s a Bach Invention, played back on a Roland SH-101 synth (not seen in the video). The first part of the video is specifically designed to bore you with stunning footage of me entering the channel 1 CV data for the first 3 pages of the 10-page score. Be thankful that I didn’t decide to include the entire CV/Step/Gate data entry process for the entire score. In the 2nd part of the video, you hear the entire mixed piece, played back in sync with the MC-8 displaying the CV data for channel 1.

Here’s an mp3 of just the music:

And here’s the program data for anyone who might have an MC-8 to load it into:

After posting this video, I was informed that Yellow Magic Orchestra featured this very same demo at the very end of the show during their 1980 world tour. You can hear their version here:

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Files, Music, Technical | Leave a comment

Blank MC-8 Program Data Sheet

Here’s a blank MC-8 program data sheet for you to print out and scribble on!

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Files | Leave a comment

MC-8 Instruction Manual pdf

Clicking on the image takes you to a pdf of the MC-8 Instruction Manual.

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Files, Technical, Tutorials | Leave a comment

Human League ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ Studio Notes.

Human League ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ Studio Notes., originally uploaded by Neil Vance.

This is supposedly MC-8 data for the Human League’s “The Things That Dreams Are Made Of,” but I entered it into the MC-8 as best I could, and it’s something else entirely. Here’s the sequence with some drums added to it:

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Files, Images, Music, Technical | Leave a comment

Roland MC-8 Sequencer Demo Song – ODD RHYTHMS

This is one of the demo programs supplied in a supplement to the Roland MC-8 manual. It’s a piece called “Odd Rhythms,” written by the “godfather” of the MC-8, Ralph Dyck. I decided to spend a couple of hours punching this thing in to see what it sounds like. The lead, bass and chords are playing back on a Roland SH-101 (overdubbed via the MC-8’s tape sync one monophonic line at a time), and the cymbal and conga are playing back on a SCI Pro-One. For the cymbal, I had to use VCF accents instead of the VCA accents the score calls for, because the Pro-One doesn’t have a CV in for the VCA. I didn’t spend much time on the sounds or on the mix, so it is what it is. But as you can see, you can get as musically complex as you want with the MC-8.

Here’s an mp3 of just the music:

Here’s an excerpt from Ralph’s recording of his 1974 piece that that “Odd Rhythms” was based on, called “The Babylonians:”

And here’s an mp3 of the MC-8 data for this piece for those of you who have an MC-8 to load it into:


January 22, 2010 Posted by | Files, Images, Music, Technical, Videos | Leave a comment