Ambient Groovebox Jam On A Roland MC-303 (+ Free Download)

Sunday Synth Jam: Here’s a subtle synth jam, Hard Talk, via reader Andrew Current, that makes clever use of a Roland MC-303.

Here’s what he has to say about the MC-303 and his track::

It gets a lot of flack as a groovebox and for good reason. But if you dig deep, you can squeeze out a lot of beautiful sounds from it.

I think this track shows how first, you can make interesting and pleasing music on almost anything and second, even out dated equipment like the MC 303 can perform well in modern contexts.

The track was entirely done on the MC-303, even using the built-in effects. Time to take another look at some of that old gear, eh?

You can check out and download Current’s music from his SoundCloud page.

13 thoughts on “Ambient Groovebox Jam On A Roland MC-303 (+ Free Download)

  1. That was pretty cool, I listened to the whole thing. Nice contrast, using just the one machine, to many videos we see with an ensemble of boxes (which are cool too), and nice sounds, using technology that isn’t (and wasn’t) cutting edge.

  2. These boxes are eBay for about $200. After hearing this, I think it’s worth checking out now. And if I son’t like it, I wont be out of a large sum of money

    1. I bought mine (the one in the video, booyah!) for $115. As much as I love it, I wouldn’t pay more than $150. It’s worth waiting for a deal.

  3. First, I really liked it. It reminds feeling-wise me of “Love on a Real Train” from Risky Business. 🙂 If you have friends that make movies ask them to use it. And since it doesn’t have a name, I will suggest for you the name of the ad that came up when I played it: “End Chronic Pain Now”. 🙂 🙂


  4. Nice job! I would enjoying seeing more MC-303 songs performed like this. Maybe someone else with this machine can do the same. MC-303 Challenge! Anyone out there able to one-up this track?

    1. I’d be up for an MC 303 hoe down throw down! I have a ton of other videos with the groovebox on my channel. Depending on your taste they might top this one. Others, definitely not, haha.

  5. This was my first piece of kit. It was a lot of fun and I learned the basics of sequencing and synthesis with it. I ended up getting the MC 505 a year later and I still own it. I love that box, it’s full of some pretty lame patches, but you can get some pretty killer sounds out of it. The filter is surprisingly squelchy. I have played whole gigs with just that box and rocked the house! I used to take it to parties that we would throw in the mountains and get some asses moving. I really like the built in mixer, something that most beat boxes lack. It’s cool to use the pitch knob on your drums, if you twist all the way up, your drums will reverse! The arpeggio is cool for doing live drum rolls during your build ups. I also like using the D Beam to do live filter sweeps and kind of dance and do “popping” style movements with my hand. Being able to trigger the beat by waving your hand over the Beam is cool as well. I’ve made everything from trance to DnB, downtempo and hip hop with that machine. Surprisingly neither of these boxes have any TB 303 sounds that are very convincing, but you can still get some pretty good acid out of it. I was a nice brother and gave my MC 303 to my younger bro. I primarily produce and perform with a laptop and controllers now, but I still get on my 505 once in awhile. It’s cool to use the step sequencer to sequence some of my outboard gear, I still do that from time to time as well.

    1. I still have my MC-505 (with barely working LCD) some of the sounds i made on that thing are still original to me, sure the patches roland offered were terrible but didn’t matter, cause i could mix four samples and destroy them into something so sick. I’ve also wanted to get a MC-303 again, ever since mine died. The AUB patch on it was STELLER!


  6. These older MC boxes are somewhat underrated. Preset patches and patterns are seriously lame but beneath that there are pretty deep editing possibilities. It’s very cool to see people still use these. The workflow is totally different than modern DAWs and it can be just what you need sometimes!

    1. nice stuff… makes me kind of wish I hadn’t gotten rid of my old Yamaha RM1X…
      I think older gear has more mileage left in it than many people think… It may not do some of the latest, greatest, but this video shows where the 303 is still the instrument it used to be…

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