The Groovebox Lives! Roland announces MC-707 and MC-101

Roland has announced two new grooveboxes. The MC-707 and the MC-101. No word on an MC-1001, yet.

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The groovebox was a peculiar device that allowed musicians to create both beats and synthesizer loops on the same device. Roland and Yamaha had both released products in the early 2000s, but software suites have largely taken over electronic music production in 2019. That was until today. Roland has announced two brand-spanking-new grooveboxes, the MC-707 and the MC-101. Please take a look at the promotional video for the MC-707.

The Roland MC-707 will offer a lot of music production options in one device. Roland promises a deep and customizable way to produce something new. Musicians can compose from a collection of built-in sounds, phrases, and beats. Users will be able to combine loops, and their own audio recordings and MIDI sequences. 

The MC-707 is the first groovebox from Roland since the MC-909.
The MC-707 is the first groovebox from Roland since the MC-909.

The MC-707 will feature an eight-track sequencer and has been optimized by Roland for today's ever-changing electronic music scene. The TR-REC step sequencer resembles the features found on classic Roland drum machines like the good old TR-909. There are also 16 touchpads for playing or sequencing drum parts, chord progressions, or basslines. Sequencer clips will even save knob movements along with note data. 

The I/O of the MC-707 resembles predecessor grooveboxes.
The I/O of the MC-707 resembles predecessor grooveboxes.

The MC-707 also features a sampler for on-the-fly recording that syncs with project tempo. Musicians can record vocals or instrument parts or even import from their own existing sample libraries. There are also some features for tweaking and mangling samples like truncating and reversing. 

The MC-707 will boast some awesome studio-quality effects.
The MC-707 will boast some awesome studio-quality effects.

All eight MC-707 tracks have independent effects processors. Effects range from chorus, delays, reverbs, overdrive, distortion, amp simulation, and much more. Users can also run the entire mix through master effects like bit-crushers, filters, and a master bus compressor. Roland describes these as studio-grade effects.

Maybe the most important thing about a physical groovebox is the ability to get your hands on your music production. Each track has a fader, and knobs can be assigned to control whatever you need. Roland claims that the 8x2 pad array will not only be great for composing drum loops, but entering melody and chords with velocity. The pads can also trigger MIDI and audio clips.

The MC-707 was built with computer music production in mind. The advanced USB interface will make the device a welcome addition to production setups. Musicians can record all eight tracks to individual DAW tracks. Sampling sounds from your DAW is also a possibility with the groovebox's USB functionality.

Roland also announced the MC-101 groovebox today, which is a smaller and more portable machine than its bigger sibling the MC-707. Check out this MC-101 announcement video.

The Roland MC-707 will cost $1000 and the MC-101 will be priced at $500 at launch. I will definitely be picking up an MC-707 (or two) when they ship. Today's announcements of new grooveboxes are great news for fans of analog music production and it is great to see Roland continue to push this product category further. 

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Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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