Roland MC-8 Micro-Composer

Vintage Roland MC-8 Sequencer Archive

Creating swing feel on the Roland MC-4b

From the video description:

A demonstation of how to create swing on the Roland MC-4, you could also apply the same technique to the MC-202, MC-8 or other similar device, if this video proves popular I may do some more tutorials.

This is not a musical performance just a demonstration of technique so I have kept it to a simple 16 step sequence, of course you can use any length of sequence depending how patient you are.

First set the timebase to 48,12,6, this gives you 48ppqn so each 16th note will last for 12clocks, and enter your notes as normal. in the first part of the clip I am playing the sequence straight – so all step lengths set to 12.

Next we enter step time mode (shift 2) and change each alternate step to an offset of 12 but so that each 2 adjacent steps add up to 24, for example 14 and 10 as in the second example, or 13 and 11 (third example), higher difference = heavier swing feel. You can have the smaller number first or second depending on whether you want a rushed or lazy feel, also you can experiment with more complex timings for different types of groove, such as a pattern of 4 – 14,10,13,11 or whatever, just make sure that your total measure length is equal to 192 so that the sequence cycles correctly when synced. That’s pretty much it, hope you find it useful and thanks for watching.

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Technical, Tutorials, Videos | 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

Quick MC-8 Tutorial in Japanese

January 23, 2010 Posted by | Tutorials, Videos | Leave a comment

Roland MC-8 MicroComposer Unboxing & Demo

I just bought this old beast on eBay. Since it came complete in the original box in essentially unused condition, I thought I’d make an unboxing video. After spending an hour or so getting familiar with its arcane operating system, I made a quick programming demo. A couple revisions to points made in the video:

1) you don’t need to hit “time base” just before “tempo.” you just need to make sure you set the time base just before the tempo, otherwise the MC-8 thinks you want to start programming dynamic tempo changes.

2) you don’t need to hit “meas end” after entering step time and gate time data.

A bit of extra info since I didn’t explain it clearly in the video: the time base is basically the resolution of a quarter note. Most sequencers either have this set in stone, or you can choose between 2 or 3 different resolutions (ie 24, 48, etc). On the MC-8, you have to program this number, which can be anything from 4 to 255. You then use this number as a reference for determining the step/gate times for all the other note durations (ie at time base 32, an 1/8th note is 16, a 16/th note is 8, etc).

January 22, 2010 Posted by | Tutorials, Videos | Leave a comment