The Roland MC-505 Groovebox is an 8-track MIDI Microcomposer and a followup to the MC-303.

Improvements over the MC-303 include:

  • A modified Roland JV-1080 Synth engine, allowing a better shaping of onboard ROM sounds using ADSR envelopes
  • A greater array (and higher quality) of built in effects (reverb, chorus, etc...)
  • "Megamix" function making transitions between two songs easier (basically mixing two 8-track MIDI sequences together)
  • 8-track onboard mixer (volume levels) in conjunction with the 8-track part muting
  • 6 1/4" outs (3 stereo or 6 mono) in addition to the main L/R pair
  • Smartmedia card slot for storing patches and sequences on 2 and 4mb flash RAM
  • An infrared D-Beam controller allowing you to wave your hand above it to modify sound parameters, e.g. cutoff
In terms of an "instrument", the MC-505 blows the MC-303 out of the water. The 505 is ideal as an all in one package for bedroom DJs who want to play around with constructing tracks. Another alternative is the Yamaha RM1x which is a 16-track MIDI sequencer with built in AWM2 sound source (drums, synths & effects).

The all in one Microcomposer concept (sequencer + sounds) can also be seen in the Roland MC-202 (analog sound source with digital 2-track sequencer) and the MC-303 (PCM sample playback with an 8-track MIDI sequencer).