MATRIXSYNTH: Rare Vintage 1977 ROLAND MC-8 Sequencer for CV / Gate Analog Synths SN 600000

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rare Vintage 1977 ROLAND MC-8 Sequencer for CV / Gate Analog Synths SN 600000

Roland MC-8 vs Arturia Microbrute vs Korg Monotribe

via this auction

"Vintage Roland MC-8 Micro-Composer, interface unit, and a reproduction data cable (sorry, no hard copy of the manual is included, but you can download a copy here). 8-channel digital sequencer for analog (CV / Gate) synthesizers, circa 1977. This particular MC-8 is the only one I've seen with a blue cover. Also, it's serial #600000 (both units match). I don't know how these units were numbered (my other MC-8 is serial #680904), but in theory it's possible that this could be the first one off the line. You can learn more about the MC-8 by visiting my blog.

In any event, this unit is currently in good working order, though as always with vintage electronics, you should not expect it to work perfectly up to factory spec indefinitely without ever having to troubleshoot problems. This is a delicate old computer, and frankly it's amazing that it still works at all. When I originally got it, it was missing the proprietary data cable, without which it won't work. Previously I've used it with the factory data cable that came with my other MC-8, but for this auction, I had a new data cable made for it, which cost me around $300 in parts/labor. The new cable (see last pic) actually uses better quality cabling than the original, and it was made well and fully tested. It's the same length as the original factory cable. The only thing is that you might want to find some sort of tubing to cover it with.

I used this very MC-8 to sequence an Arturia Microbrute (multitracked using the MC-8's own FSK sync signal) and a Korg Monotribe (drums, synced via programmed clock pulses generated by the MC-8) for this little demo track" [embed above]

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