Topic: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

I'm looking for a decent master hardware sequencer that has cv/gate outs and Din Sync, the Roland MC-4 Microcomposer looks ideal but I don't think you can program chords on it and saving sequences to cassette could be time consuming and unreliable. They also seem pretty hard to get.

Are there any other alternative sequencers worth considering, something similar to the Roland MC-4 but with a more modern spec? (It must have cv/gate outputs, the ability to control more than one synth and Din Sync at the same time, a decent easy workflow and be able to record chords from a Juno 60) A Midi port would be a nice addition too but not essential.

Need to get away from the computer screen!  mad

In a world where the dead are returning to life, 'trouble' loses much of its meaning.

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Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

This looked good but out of production:
http://www.future-retro.com/mobiusimages.html

....and not much in the way of cv/gate outs.

Last edited by Abstract Forms (2012-01-17 15:02:50)

In a world where the dead are returning to life, 'trouble' loses much of its meaning.

www.abstract-forms.com
www.abstract-acid.com

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

This would probably be the thing for you I think: http://www.sequentix.com/cirklon.htm. Expensive but a serious master brain. 16 cv and 8 gate outputs with the cvio option.

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

What you want doesn't exist.

1. First of all, you can't play notes over DIN Sync to a Roland synth, only using DCB: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Control_Bus

2. Nobody but Roland made a DCB-compatible sequencer - you would need a DCB to Midi converter.

3. You're speaking of programming chords, so do you mean that you want something with multiple CV outs that can handle polyphonic CV's?

Just buy any nice sequencer and get a MIDI-DCB converter (or a Juno-60 Midi kit like this http://www.engineersatwork.nl/catalog/p … cts_id/548 ) and a MIDI-CV interface.

Last edited by sneakthief (2012-01-17 15:24:28)

http://sneak-thief.com - raw electrofunk

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

- Cirklon is 1175 UKP ($1800 USD) including the CV expansion, but the waiting list is seriously long so don't expect to get one for several months, if not longer.

- A Roland MC-4 with the OP-8 DCB expansion board is about $1400 USD, so it's not that much cheaper.

- There's the Tetra Maps for $1400 USD:
http://www.signalarts.ca/satproducts.html

- A cute non-chord capable alternative for $550 USD is the Modcan Touch Sequencer:
http://www.modcan.com/EuroRack/Euro_main.html

(You'll need some kind of case and a +/-12v for this - and obviously some other sequencer to drive the Juno)

Last edited by sneakthief (2012-01-17 15:53:16)

http://sneak-thief.com - raw electrofunk

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

Thanks for the info , very helpful.

yeah I was aware that i'll need DCB or DCB to Midi (I have a Kenton box for that). But I really wanted Din Sync to run the 808/606, i've yet to find a reliable form of Din Sync to midi conversion, generally I think the timing is pretty sloppy so I prefer to run Din Sync.

The Terta Maps looks interesting, especially combining it with an ipad but for that money i'd rather get a nice condition MC-4.

The Cirklon looks great but as you say, a long wait indeed.

In a world where the dead are returning to life, 'trouble' loses much of its meaning.

www.abstract-forms.com
www.abstract-acid.com

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

the future retro one is nice. it din sync works ok, but it's single channel (and no chords). i stopped using mine when i got xOxbox.
i have to re connect it.

"Need to get away from the computer screen!" <- i feel you. i hardly do it as well.
i use RM1x or electribe and split its midi out to other synth + CV convertors + dinsync from xox.
i was looking for MC4 for long time but gave up, i don't think they ever made it to my area.

Last edited by Mule Driver (2012-01-17 18:06:32)

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

i think it´s not even possible to get proper midi->sync24 conversion, there will be always little delay on it..
it´s nice that you can toggle the midisync delays in ableton to make it right, if you have multiple midi outputs from the computer..

but i have no other answer for the hardware sequencer nor gettig away from the screen than just close your eyes and play the damn keys.

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

Abstract Forms wrote:

the Roland MC-4 Microcomposer looks ideal but I don't think you can program chords on it and saving sequences to cassette could be time consuming and unreliable. They also seem pretty hard to get.

1) You can program up to four note chords with the Roland MC4. It has four gate and cv outs.

2) You don't need a cassette to save sequences, you can record the sequences to anything that can record audio, eg Logic, Ableton, whatever. I use Logic 8.

I've owned an MC4 for a while, it's an incredible piece of technology, the most super on-time thing I have as the four channels are all sequenced in parallel unlike your average midi sequencer which will send serial signals down each of its midi outs.

Re: A modern alternative to a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer?

skkatter wrote:
Abstract Forms wrote:

the Roland MC-4 Microcomposer looks ideal but I don't think you can program chords on it and saving sequences to cassette could be time consuming and unreliable. They also seem pretty hard to get.

1) You can program up to four note chords with the Roland MC4. It has four gate and cv outs.

2) You don't need a cassette to save sequences, you can record the sequences to anything that can record audio, eg Logic, Ableton, whatever. I use Logic 8.

I've owned an MC4 for a while, it's an incredible piece of technology, the most super on-time thing I have as the four channels are all sequenced in parallel unlike your average midi sequencer which will send serial signals down each of its midi outs.

thanks for the info, that really helps, lets just hope I can find one!

In a world where the dead are returning to life, 'trouble' loses much of its meaning.

www.abstract-forms.com
www.abstract-acid.com