Roland MC-808 No Longer Available

Sampling Groovebox with 8 Motorized Faders, 128-note Polyphony, and Powerful Sequencing Features
Item ID: MC808

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Roland MC-808
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A New Sampling Groovebox from the Masters!

From the company that started the groovebox phenomenon comes a powerful addition to the famous Roland groovebox family: the MC-808. Optimized for real-time performance, the sleek, silver MC-808 features eight motorized faders on its surface - a groovebox first! With the sampling and sequencing power identical to the MC-909 and Roland's most sophisticated processor at its core, the MC-808 possesses top-of-the-line sampling, sequencing, and synthesizer features. Yet it comes in at a new low price.

Roland MC-808 Sampling Groovebox at a Glance:
  • The same sampling and sequencing features as the MC-909
  • Eight motorized faders for more control
  • Fresh new sounds and patterns
  • Includes editing software

The same sampling and sequencing features as the MC-909
The Roland MC-808 shares two key attributes with its elder sibling, the flagship MC-909: The same top-of-the-line sampling and sequencing features that made the MC-909 so famous are built into the MC-808, making it a serious tool for sampling, editing, track building, and mixing. Performers are in for an extra treat with the MC-808, however, as it has a remarkable feature that no other groovebox has....

Eight motorized faders for more control
This is a groovebox first! The MC-808 includes eight motorized faders to make complex mixes and sound-shaping moves easy to accomplish whether you're programming in the studio or performing live.

Fresh new sounds and patterns
The Roland MC-808's internal sounds and patterns have been created fresh by artists around the world. Make no mistake - these slammin' new dance and hip hop grooves are instantly ready for prime time. A few "must have" sounds from the MC-909 are also included. But playing and manipulating the internal patterns is only half the fun. The MC-808 allows you to sample any sounds you like, edit them, and add them to your productions. You can even import WAV and AIFF files from your computer into the MC-808 via USB.

Includes editing software
Besides the live performance features of the MC-808, you can make fine-tuned edits on your computer. The MC-808 ships with an editor software (Mac OS X, Win XP/2000) that lets you perform serious sample editing tasks on the luxury of your large computer monitor. Use the patch editor to tweak sounds and work on the part editor for part mixing to finish up your patterns.

Roland MC-808 Sampling Groovebox Features:
  • 8 motorized faders
  • Same powerful sampling and sequencing features as MC-909
  • Brand-new sounds and patterns
  • 128-voice polyphony
  • CompactFlash slot for memory backup
  • USB for storage and AIF/WAV file import and export
  • 16-step pad bank, D Beam controller
  • Editor software included (PC/Mac)
The Roland MC-808 has fresh new sounds and proven groovebox reliability!

Additional Media

Roland MC-808 Review
Roland MC-808 Review
Roland MC-808 Review

Tech Specs

Manufacturer Part Number MC-808

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews

Sweetwater Advice

Michael Mancini

Being a guy who prefers computer sequencing and sampling I was a little apprehensive to try a pattern-based groove-box. But after a few minutes of playing with the Roland MC-808 I must say that not only was I grooving with this groovebox, but I was also creating some really cool music. The first thing that impressed me was the quality of the sounds. Roland has recruited some of the top producers in the business to contribute their original sounds and patches to the MC-808. The result is a cutting-edge original sounding fresh array of sounds you can use on your own productions. That is certainly a great plus to this groove-box but what if you want to sample your own sounds? The MC-808 has a built in stereo sampler that ships with 4MB of RAM that can be expanded to 516MB. You can sample and edit any sound or change the existing sounds and resample them. But wait - it gets even better! As I was playing one of the presets I noticed some of the faders were moving. "Oh no you didn't!" Yes, Roland has done it again with the creation of the world's first groovebox with eight touch-sensitive moving faders. Now you can program and recall not only your fader moves but also panning and filter changes in real time. This is a great feature for live performing. With one glance at the MC-808 you can see your levels and grab a fader and not worry about returning the level to its original location. As I kept piling on the parts I noticed that I never ran out of notes because of the 128-voice polyphony. This is really an important feature and I am very happy that Roland did not skimp on this. Another cool feature is the D Beam controller. This baby allows you to move your hand up and down above the D Beam and control up to three parameters. The first is the pitch of a solo instrument, the next one is a turntable mode where you can slow down or speed up the song, and the third is a filter. I was having a lot of fun with this feature and I am sure DJs will really appreciate this function. There are effects like four different reverbs and a compressor. There is a Mastering section that has a 3-band compressor. My favorite feature was the sample and patch editing software for Mac or Windows. After you hook up your MC-808 to your computer with the supplied USB cable and install the included software you will get a full-screen color display and will be able to edit just like the big boys do. This really makes it easy to edit, transfer and assign samples and patterns to your MC-808. You can save them to your computer hard drive or to the built-in CompactFlash slot that will hold up to a 1GB CF card. All I can say is I am very impressed with the MC-808. The sounds, ease of use and incredible features make this a great tool to create music with. I would recommend the MC-808 to any DJ, dance, and hip-hop producer or anyone who wants to create music with an easy-to-use, self-contained music production system. Roland has done it again!
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John McCormick

The Roland MC-808 sampling groovebox really shines when it comes to a do-it-all "beat box." This is a deep unit - not only does it have great rhythm tracks, it can also serve as a powerful sequencer with real synthesizer features to boot. Right out of the box, I realized the power this machine has under the hood. From sampling to building tracks, from editing to mixing, this is a top-of-the-line DJ's dream come true, but with the special added bonus of 8 motorized faders. I started to listen to the patterns and was immediately swept away in rhythm mania. While playing along a unique melody on the sixteen keyboard-style pads, I thought, "This is a blast!" It's a really cool feature if you have any keyboard skills at all, because it's simple and intuitive. It allows the user to become one with the device very quickly. Plus, learning the features is just more fun through the experimentation process. One of the most interactive features on board the Roland MC-808 is the D Beam control. I had great fun using my hand to add a synth part, in real time, over the infectious groove streaming out of my system. This is a must-have for a "beat monster" who loves to create his own styles and rhythms. The MC-808 is a concept-to-completion machine and you can store your all ideas into your computer via USB or by using up to a 1GB Flash card. If making beats is your thing, pick one up - you'll be glad you did!
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Matthew Kamar

Have you ever wanted to make world-class, block-rockin' hip hop and electronica beats? Well, I have, and to that end, I got my hands on the Roland MC-808. To say that I was impressed with my initial testing of the unit would be a gross understatement; quite simply, I was blown away. From the light weight and small profile, to the amazing sounds and motorized faders, it comes equipped with everything you need to sample, program, mix, and arrange your music right out of the box, without taking up a lot of real estate in your studio or live setup. I started by checking out the multitude of preset beats, savoring the incredible thump that the 808 is known for, and waiting for my neighbors to pound on the door and give me a talking-to. After twenty minutes or so, they did, so I switched to my trusty headphones with a smile of contentment and carried on. Listening to the presets only made me want to make my own music, so at this point I felt that a brief look at the manual was in order. Soon enough I was back in front of the flashing lights, ready to give it a try. The interface was as simple as I could have hoped, and within minutes I was cranking out phat beats! After I had a few that I liked, I experimented with arranging and remixing them in real time, and using the D-Beam turntable effect to elevate myself to DJ-in-training status. Sequencing patterns into songs is equally easy, for recording or whatever other need one may have. Lastly, I hooked up the unit via USB to my computer, and imported some samples. This feature can also be used to move samples and patterns in the other direction, so archiving your work on the MC-808 is a simple task. The included software editor is very cool, and works on both Mac and PC. All in all, I felt like a lot of thought had been put into creating a product that was easy to use, while also being powerful enough to handle the demands of professionals and novices alike. I hope to be able to add one to my own setup in the near future, and for anybody involved in dance or hip hop music production, the Roland MC-808 is a must-own.
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See also: Roland, Roland Sequencers