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Programming and tweaking a Roland MC-202


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Programming and tweaking a Roland MC-202

Added by: admin  |  Date: 06-Sep-07  |  Class: Synth


This is to show that programming a MC-202 is pretty simple, even though it's ancient technology. It shows the whole process, right after plugging it in.
I first program a sequence by playing it in real-time, no need to follow a precise tempo as it auto-quantizes itself.
I run through the steps again to input portamento, in this sequence i do it on every step, so i can control the amount on any step with the portamento knob (you can also program it into specific steps, same as with accents). I check the sequence to see if i like it, i then choose the "cycle" function to have the sequence loop at its end point. I start Ableton Live to sync it and start tweaking. The beginning uses only the triangle wave, sounding close to a TB-303 bassline, the square wave is then added into the mix, followed by the sub-oscillator, making it very fat sounding, at that point it sounds like a typical SH-101 bassline. The MC-202 is being synced by Ableton Live's midi clock message going to a Novation Drumstation. The Drumstation transforms the midi clock into a DIN-sync signal, it also plays a 909 beat. This was a relatively simple sequence, it can get more complex, with the second channel controlling a second synth via cv, sequences playing up to 2600 notes, different note lengths, different gate lengths for different notes and portamento and accent programmed on specific steps.

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