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To Keep or Not to Keep the MC-303 Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

To Keep or Not to Keep the MC-303

I've had my Roland MC-303 for a while hoping I could find some use for it, but it hasn't worked itself into my workflow.

Was wondering if anyone had any nuggets of wisdom on why to keep it or should I just get rid of it?

-Wh
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
get rid of it...

Back in the early 2K I worked with a guy that used one as his primary device, we would bring it in and then rip out the sequences he had done on it and put into the MPC. We then would track each part individually from the MC-303 sequence on the mpc to separate the parts out into individual tracks. I loathe that machine... .

Before working with him I had a MC-303 and sold it to upgrade to the 505, then sold that and later got a deal $100 for a MC-307 which was the best Roland groove box that I owned. In the end I sold the 307 to the guy who used the MC-303, then he bugged out and did some stupid stuff and now is in jail for a very long time.
Old 1st September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I'd say keep it... U will not get much $$ for it... But i'm sure few things (like arppegiator or even couple sounds) can still be useful...
Old 1st September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
Ditch it
Old 1st September 2011
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
All its sounds are in the SRJV Techno expansion. If you want to keep them and have 'm sound better too, get the JV1080 with that expansion. Bonus: you can edit the sounds properly now.
Old 1st September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
wax808's Avatar
 

Keep it, let your friends tool around on it. Good for little kids too.
Old 1st September 2011
  #7
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Boogaju's Avatar
 

I'd say keep it... for now. Specially if it's in good condition. Store it if you don't need the cash, you never know...
Wish i still had mine sometimes (got stolen), it was fun to play and could swing and groove. keep it!
Old 1st September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
Emu command station costs 3x the mc303 and is 100x the machine (imo)
Old 1st September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Sell it. No one really uses paperweights anyways.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
dhollmusik's Avatar
I've heard from so many different sources that the 307 & 505 sound loads better. I've had positive personal experience with the 505, and a friend of mine makes great music with it (as does MIA)...whereas the 303 seems to have quite a cheap reputation.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #11
Gear Head
 

The only real reason it was hanging around was because it's got 808 and 909 sounds on it. Hell I'd even keep it if the damn thing would lock up to a computer well. But, having heard the clock is a little flakey, I don't see any reason to keep it. Not to mention it isn't even analog, so I can get those 808/909 sounds @ a better quality than what I'm getting now. It also just seems to collect dust, literally. Between all of my gear, the MC-303, for some reason, seems to just attract ridiculous amounts of dust which I have to keep cleaning from it.

Anyway, how much do you think one could get for a 303? $100?

-Wh
Old 2nd September 2011
  #12
I sold my MC303 for $100. Personally I wouldn't pay that much for another one, so I was happy about it. If you can figure out how to use it as a drum module (sequenced by something else, or just sync'd) then it might be worth keeping, there are some decent 707/909 drum sounds on it.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #13
The downfall to the 303 is Bad user interface and Midi implementation.

The 505 polished the interface and made it a better instrument and added some missing functions that the 303 had.

The 307 is more of a expanded 1080/2080 with a built in sequencer.

That said I never seen them all at one spot at once. IMO the 505 and 303 sound very similar, the 307 is crisper. Because you can edit a little deeper on the 505 I could see how it could be "better" than the 303.

I never messed with the MC-808 or MC-909.
Old 7th October 2011
  #14
Here for the gear
 

I got one as an intro into grooveboxes and step-sequencing and I love the drums. They're by far the best part of the box. That said, sometimes when I'm using it just for the drums with other synths, I feel like I can't get them out of the box, if that makes any sense. They get kind of lost in the mix, like they're too dusty to be heard. Yet, for some reason, I kind of love it.

Keep, if you don't need the money.
Old 7th October 2011
  #15
Oli
Lives for gear
 
Oli's Avatar
 

Some people like the sequencer on it. I don't love it that much. I think if you have a decent sample collection, and just about any other synths at all, then there is not a lot of need for the sounds. It can be handy to have a an external drum module sometimes, but just depends how you work, and if you would use it live etc. You already said it doesn't fit your work flow, so I think you could drop it quite happily.

If you do need something for kids to play with, then keep it. This is one of the reasons I like to keep my AN1x. It's cheap and robust enough, and capable enough for sounds. It happens also to be my favourite keybed for a master controller too, so it is in the right position for kids to reach.
Old 7th October 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 
tvsky's Avatar
if you can sell it for 100$ take it . if you miss it save up and get an mc 909 . they can be had for about 500$ these days . really good combination of synth/sampler/drum machine . fantom sound engine , good rom , nice filters , very nice efx and a great UI with knobs and a big screen.
Old 7th October 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
best answer ive heard is keep it for the kids to play with
Old 7th October 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
Buttons break easily (fyi)
Old 7th October 2011
  #19
Deleted 2ecf148
Guest
sometimes when im jamming on my panflute i like to trigger random stabs on the mc303 by lowering the bottom of the pipes on to the keyboard of the grovebox whilst im blowin' its an awesome combination. Keep it!
Old 7th October 2011
  #20
Here for the gear
 
Hudds's Avatar
 

I loved it, great fun but ultimately the sound quality just made it a toy from day one. The stock synths and drums that come with most Daw's far exceed it these days.

To reiterate the general feeling above unless you need the $100-150 I'd say give it to someone as a present or store it away.
Old 20th October 2011
  #21
Gear Addict
 
RubixGroove's Avatar
 

I think it is funny that everyone talks smack about this box's sound because that is one thing that is attracting me to it. Been thinking about picking one up as a SOUND MODULE to be sequenced by my OctaTrack.

The price is right for the sounds I've heard... not looking for anything more, really.

I don't think that it'd bring me too many headaches if used like that, but I am also not sure because I don't have the chance to play around on one before I buy.

Does the 303 have a hard time being sequenced? I've read the MIDI implementation isn't thaaaaaaat great, but Roland would have to have been really off their game back then if you can't even sequence it externally...

Thoughts? :D
Old 20th October 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
If you're going to get a roland groovebox, go for the 505 or 307. The 303 is distinctly chintzier sounding. They're more useful as a sample source than as a module to sequence IMO. Editing them though not impossible is a bit of a chore. Nice collection of classic roland sounds for $100 tho.
Old 11th December 2014
  #23
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
All its sounds are in the SRJV Techno expansion. If you want to keep them and have 'm sound better too, get the JV1080 with that expansion. Bonus: you can edit the sounds properly now.
I realize this is a very old thread, but I can't verify this claim. The only information I found on the SR80-11 techno expansion is that it uses TB-303 sounds, not mc-303. The patches don't line up either, so I can't tell if the raw patches are in there, or if the building blocks are or anything. Can anyone verify the claim? Is it worth getting the expansion, or would it be very difficult to replicate the onboard patches of the mc303 in the mc-909?

Thanks
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