Looking for the user manual?


Check the heading on this page:

Product manual or files


Or search our  Samples/Files/Manuals  section!
We have hundreds of manuals added to the site!

You'll see this reminder one more time after which it will not appear.

Hide
skin: 1 2 3 4 |  Login | Join |

Roland MKS 30

18-Aug-2017

Info-line:   [synths]    [sampler]    [drumbox]    [effects]    [mixers]     [mics]     [monitors]    [pc-h/ware]    [pc-s/ware]    [plugins]    -    [links]    [tips]

Roland MKS 30



Category:  Products / synth / old digital dco

Added: 13-Dec-98  |  Author: admin

New price: 0  |   S/H price: 250 - 350 ish UK

Roland MKS 30

One of the first mass-appeal digital DCO synths Roland released was the JX3P, and the MKS-30/ 'Planet-S', is basically the rack version. The PG-200 control unit, is essential to get as an add-on, and naturally works with both the Planet, and the JX3P.......

Basically, it's a 2 oscillator polysynth...... each Osc' has choice of Square, Saw and Pulse wave..... Oscillator 2 also offers Noise, Tune & Fine-Tune.... Each oscillator has octaves of range....... Each Osc' can be switched to Freq' Modulation with choice of LFO or Envelope, and there is also a Cross-Mod' option with Sync or 'Metal' which is Ring modulation....

The MKS Envelope Mod' choices are Inverted or Normal envelope mode, and the LFO offers Sine Square or Random waves, Delay-time & Rate.........on to the Filter section...... This has Source mix, a High-Pass filter control, with Cut-off & Frequency, as well as Depth setting controls for Envelope Modulation & LFO Mod'.......... again, the envelope here can be inverted..... Finally the VCA has a Level Control as well as a Mode switch, selectable between Envelope, where it is assigned to the 4 stage Envelope control section, or Gate mode....... There is also a Pitch Follow control and finally as a finishing touch, a built in Chorus with On/Off switch.......

Well, the sound is very digital, and I love it actually....you can get some really cool sounds from this unit if you fiddle with the PG-200 controller.... All synths have their own character and sound.....that's what I love so much.....often you hear people ask about pro-quality, or which synth etc....... I think it's the difference of character between units and even software synths that creates an interesting blend....... Honestly, I'd rather have a track with a basstation, a DB9 or Orange and some lines created with VAZ , Stomper, Rubberduck, Rebirth or whatever, than a sodding great Trinity workstation...... cos in the end, all the sounds will sound like they are from a Trinity !!...... Believe me, it's the same with my K-2000........Yes, all the sounds are different if I use it in multi-mode, and try to create a track....great !!....... But it all sounds like the K-2000...... so.......

The MKS-30 is midi, accepts velocity, channel and pitch & wheel & pedal data......It has a simple 2 character LED readout for patch & bank positions, and cursor buttons for data scrolling........ Also on the front is a Master Tune and 'Brilliance' control, a slot for a plug-in data cart, the socket for the programmer unit's lead, and a useful Midi Message LED to let you know the signal is getting there.......Round the back, the unit has a stereo out in the form of 2 x 1/4" jacks for the stereo chorus which can be added in the edit menu........and midi IN and THRU, plus a 3 way output volume switch..



In edit mode, the synth sections are assigned numbers on the LED screen.....41 - Oscillator-1 tune..........16 - Filter Cut-off etc...........punch the number, then edit the number using the cursor buttons........ The LED display can be scrolled numerically up and down to adjust single parameters at a time, you then switch to the next parameter etc etc, and save it in any of the units 64 locations which are devided into 8 Banks x 8 patch locations. You can also add a plug-in data cartridges for further 64 saves..........



Due to the 'Choose 'n' Edit' cursor method, the MKS alone obviously cannot perform real time control changes on a track other than envelope, LFO, wheel or pedal assignments....so the trusty PG-200 comes to the rescue, looking like some techno hedgehog.........Once you get this baby, the MKS really comes to life

The PG-200 is about 9" X 6", and connects with a (not long enuff cable)......... it also has 2 magnetic strips underneath..... these are added, so that when you sit the programmer on top of the flat blank metal case top of the keyboard version JX3-P, it sticks !!....... Not much use with the MKS-30 rack version tho'........For that, ideally you need a longer cable, as the unit will be in a rack, and the controller is desktop........

You could make up a cable if it was mega critical...... It's simply choosing a place to put the controller to allow access whilst mixing.....If you want to add any filter or other control knob effects ................ It's live time !!......yup, do it live in the mix.......or create patterns, and sample to sampler or hard-disk...........the Planet has some nice sounds......

The Planet's square wave is nice.....not upfront like analog, but very hollow.....I've used it before in tandem on a track with a Basstation, both playing the same channel, layered........ Massive digereedoo type lines a-plenty, I tell you !!....... Also, it is good for creating some nice sort of thin transparent washing filtered staccato lines over ambient or trance stuff....... I dunno if I'd use it for a solid-style bass-line, but all-in-all, with the programmer, it's a synth with a sound at around the 300 mark, making it a cheaper source than stuff like Pulses, SuperBasstations etc...... Ok, both they and other new synths of this style are fully midi'd with controllers for filters etc........this would make me really recommend them first...... But......

If you want to add a decent unique sounding synth, with loads of storage positions, a controller unit bristling with pots for super rapid sound creating........then check it !.......I'd say it's best as an add on after you get something more beefy.......Often you see these advertised as analog, and people get a bit dissapointed........this unit has it's own sound.......if you see one going cheap, then check it out ........it's one of the few cheapish older units with a dedicated controller unit.













Product Manuals or Files

no user manual




Product Resources










User Comments

Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Kilo
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

Commonly available & cheap early Roland DCO synth with dedicated Controller unit

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Mindspawn
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

Haven't tried the MKS-30, but your RA tracks really rock. Excellent stuff!

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: nimanda
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

if ya get it for 250 its a great buy , but this toy is not my thing!.......... I would maybe get it just to show of on a gig coos it looks sooo funky !!......

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: J.Austin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Jan-99

Well, unless I'm mistaken, one omission was made, while using the Jx-3P or Mks30 in midi mode, realtime tweaking of the pg200 is not supported...its sounds are alot like a juno106's without the sub osc IMHO... a good synth to have as they have midi and are cheaper than alot of others with the same features.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: kilo
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

sory.......you're wrong...... You can adjust all ther parameters whenm playing back via midi....but..... as I said in the review, the controls dont respond to or send midi data.....but you can twiddle away happily in real time and record the results either to the final stereo mix, or to sampler or hard disk to create a loop...

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: J.austin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Jan-99

Interesting... well, I guess the midi implemention is different between the JX-3P and MKS-30 'cos when I send midi data to my jx-3p it has to be in midi mode, which defeats programmer mode i.e. you can't do both at the same time... BUT you can twiddle in real time without midi.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: kilo
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

er.......that's wierd, cos the midi mode, doesnt exist on the mks, you simply set a midi channel, and that is that.... editing from the controller is unaffected by incoming note or other data....

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: J.Austin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Jan-99

I would definately recommend the mks over the JX-3p then(assuming you don't need the keyboard) because it also always starts up in omni mode, and the only way to get it out is to plug a midi cord from in to out and power up while holding down 6 or more keys( a real pain in the ass!) then its set to midi channel one only... you can use an anatek pocket filter, but I haven't really had a need for this board for a while...

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Ted Stahl
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 19-Jan-99

Great to see someone praising this often overlooked module! I've had the MKS-30 for over a decade now and it will always have a special place in my mixes.



Regarding the comments about MIDI implimentation and realtime control, the JX-3P is not setup to function the same way. The Planet-S responds to realtime control no matter what. It doesn't have a separate MIDI mode because the only way it can be triggered is via MIDI.



Another difference between the two is the ability to respond to velocity. The MKS-30 has this ability while the JX-3P does not.



On the other hand, there is one thing that the Planet-S lacks that the JX-3P has -- a MIDI OUT jack. If memory serves me correctly, the MKS-30 was one of the very first MIDI modules that Roland released and they couldn't imagine why one would ever need to transmit MIDI data from a rack unit. All it was required to do was respond to incoming MIDI signals. This is all well-and-good if you never intend to use the module in conjunction with an editor/librarian. Because of this, the only way to back up sounds with the MKS-30 is to keep an archive of cartridges or write down the knob positions on the PG-200.



However, if you can afford to buy both instruments, you can take the cartridges upon which you've saved your MKS-30 patches and plug them into the JX-3P. At that point, you can access them and back them up to an editor/librarian because the JX-3P has a MIDI OUT.



In spite of this lack of foresight on Roland's part, the functionality of the Planet-S within a MIDI studio is far superior to that of the JX-3P and I would reccomend it to anyone who would like to experiment with a dual DCO-based synth that generates a digitally-flavored form of analog. By all means, get the PG-200! It makes this unit a pleasure to use.



F.Y.I. I have a reference to it on my "Music Tools" page on my website with a couple of RealAudio examples. In fact, I have audio snippets of virtually all of the synths in my setup on that page. If you're interested, by all means drop by and check it out!



The Page is: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Gallery/6190/mtools.html



Though my page can't hold a candle to Kilo's (WONDERFUL RESOURCE!!!) I'd love any feedback you can offer. Thanks and never stop savoring this ability we have to electronically sculpt sound through synthesis!

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Silvio Almeida
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

Hi!



I do own a MKS-30 without the PG-200 :-(

and i just love it!

Would advise anyone into buying it.

Anyway i m not thinking about selling it and

i do think its not that easy to find one!

But all is not lost cause Synths like the

"Nord Lead" keep tha Heritage...:-)))))

So if you have the money... go get one quickly

before they become a legend. ehehehe;-)

I do believe that the MKS will not "feel"

rejected for beeing replaced.



Old Synth Rulez as "Nord" does!!!!



Peace!



Silvio Almeida

WM Studio

PORTUGAL

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: T.G.NOYES
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

I don't own a MKS-30 or JX3P, but I do own the one other roland synth that shares the same architecture and uses the PG-200.....the GR700 Guitar Synthesizer! Used along with the PG it's an awesome setup for real-time sound creation. I actually still use it live in conjunction with other rack mount synths to perform improvised ambient soundscapes when I perform. My big drawback is the GR-700 has only MIDI out, no in or through, and after searching all over for a mod that was once available to add MIDI in, I was turned on to the fact that the MKS30 would be the ticket, so now I'm patiently waiting for a used one to present itself to me at the right price.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Antoine Palade
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

One great way to get filthy bass sounds using the MKS30

AND the DX7/TX7 ( duh!.... ) is to get a "sine-wavy",

dubby-kind -of sound from the MKS30 ( it will have the

roundness and bottom-end ), layer it with a "wood bass"

kind-of-sound from the DX/TX ( it will have the attack,which the MKS30 is not very good at ), AND finally pan each hard-left

and hard-right! Unconventional,yes, but try it!

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Black-Man
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 19-Jan-99

I bought one (JX-3P) when they came out in '83. Heavy use over the years and never any problem.



Transparent pads, easy to program, but doesn't take long to reach the machine's limitations. DCO's suck, filters nice. PG-200 MANDATORY.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: RAMON
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

Modulo y programador ideal para atmosferas y secuencias delgadas.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: k
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 19-Jan-99

to take the 3p out of omni mode, try sending midi control #127 with a value greater than one. This is considerably easier than the hold six keys down bit.

The JX-3P doesn't have a cartidge port like the MKS-30. And the 3P doesnot send out sysex info either.
Furthermore, it is actually quite difficult to port sounds from one to the other. The mks has paramter values of 1-100, while the 3P only has values of 1-16. Using the pg-200 with the same settings on each machine will produce slightly varying results and isn't all that easy to get the two to sound exactly similar. (Though, "close enough" isn't that hard to obtain."

The mks-30 is a wicked machine and if you can find one cheaply, pick it up. One last note, ht e3p can be programmed quite easily without the pg-200. The same can't be said for the mks-30.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: dj VoCoRE- kArM
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Jan-99

i iMpLeMeNt tHiS BeAuTy In MaH PyScHeDiLiC TrAnCe cOmPoSiTiOnS

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Johannes
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 19-Jan-99

I have made a MIDI upgrade (sysex, etc.) for the MKS-30,

which is available as a kit from me.

Look at:



http://home.c2i.net/iotech/analog/

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: simon riddle
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 25-Jul-03

Hi,
I have just bought a roland jx 3p but do not have the pg 200 control unit.
Do you know where I can get one?
Chers.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: aaron
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 22-Aug-07

This review is inaccurate (like many other reviews of the jx3p). The filters and oscilators are indeed analogue. DCO means digitally controlled oscillator. It is a method of keeping the oscillator in sync (pitch) on a more reliable basis than voltage controlled. In plain words, they are analogue oscillators with a digitally controlled clock. The Juno and all the JX's of the time (jx8p, super jupiter, etc) and use the same synthesis engine, some with more oscs, waveforms, or more filter options, etc.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Loic Rathscheck
Email: Email supplied but hidden
www.myspace.com/loicthefrenchman
Activity: Professional
Date: 08-Jun-09

Exactly as mentioned in the previous comment, you made an important mistake when reviewing this synth.
It is an analogue synth with analogue oscillators! They are only digitally controlled.

The sound is 100% analogue!

You may want to correct that because the MKS 30 does not deserve to be called digital.
Other than that, the review is ok. Thanks for sharing it online.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: admin
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 09-Jun-09

well i own one and it doesnt sound analog at all like a typical analog synth does. It is listed here as a DCO synth which is correct isnt it? Hard to describe the sound, but it's got a thinner sound, more ringing in tone, and it does square wave sounds more like a yamaha dx series with a very hollow ringing more digital sounding square wave for example. great synth tho. IF you have the PG controller, otherwise a bit of a nightmare to edit with cursors and buttons.

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: laurie
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Aug-09

[quote] Kilo wrote: Commonly available & cheap early Roland DCO synth with dedicated Controller unit [/quote]
Poor guy.....thinks it is digital........

The JX3p is Analog oscillators, analog filters and amplifiers.....

The Souns is real analog....

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: laurie
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 18-Aug-09

The JX3p is entirely analog.....
The DX7 is completely digital.....big difference....
Dx is like my SQ80....thin and aliases everywhere...

but the JX3P is analog...exact same osc as in the Juno....
DCO is a replacement for a VCO...
The Analog oscillator is more stable tuning wise as it is not controlled by a fluctuating voltage(due to heat etc...)
The Amp and the frequency of the analog oscillators are digitally controlled...but that only affects the stability....not the analog sound....

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Last added comment

Product:  Roland - MKS 30
Name: Pat
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 02-Apr-10

Just because I like replying to posts that started 10 years ago. :)

Referencing the schematics, the JX-3P and MKS-30 use an assortment of timers and discrete analog components for oscillators. As mentioned above, the MKS-50, Juno, JX-8P, JX-10P, MKS-70, etc, are also DCO synths, with variation on the details of implementation.

Notably, the JX-3P/MKS-30 use the same filter (IR3109) as the Jupiter 8.

As was mentioned above, there is no slot for carts on the JX-3P, and no tape i/o, etc, on the MKS-30.

I can say with certainty that the PG-200 is able to adjust with 256 steps of accuracy, which sounds like a lot, but you can hear stairstepping in the filters if you adjust manually. I'm not sure where k above got the 16 steps notion, the "sens" knob can be used for data entry. There is no way that I know of to do this on the MKS-30.

Personally when I could only afford 2 synths, I sold my JX-3P since it lacked portamento and also (as many find) I personally felt the sound was very lacking in depth. That said, I now own a MKS-30 and a JX-3P, and even developed a box that lets me record knob twiddles off the PG-200 via MIDI. It is a great synth for what it does... IMO sweeps and pads, and some novelty sounds (certain techno basses, etc)

Product rating out of 5: 

Reply |  Add review/comment



Add your comments here for the product:

'Roland MKS 30'

Looking for the manual? - Check this page above under the heading: 'Product manual or files' - We might have it!


Your Name   * required field!

Your Email   * required field! (will not be displayed)

Add your email if you want replies to any question you post - You will receive an email if someone replies!
To receive automated replies be sure to add a valid email address!

Comments   * required field! - NO weblinks allowed in this feild!

My user type is:    * required field!

Professional   Part Time   Hobbyist




Rate this product out of five:   * optional

   5 - TOTALY AWESOME POWER !!!!!...

   4 - TOTALY 'AUSTIN POWERS' !!!!....

   3 - HOT HATCHBACK POWER !!!.....

   2 - PIZZA-MOPED POWER !!......

   1 - HAMSTER/TRUNDLE-WHEEL POWER !.......

Please copy the displayed number into the box to post:

473443  

     

Note: To cut down on spammers, cookies must be enabled to post comments to this page.



Looking for the manual? - Check this page above under the heading: 'Product manual or files' - We might have it!



 [back to top]

1: No good!
2: Average!
3: Great stuff!
4: Excellent!
5: Awesome!
Rate this product!
  • Currently 4.1 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Currently: 4.1/5 | 82%

Total stars: 103  |  Total votes: 25

Read 25 comments
Add review/comment 

144 other
products from
Roland








dancetech
  & thomann
partner store

Help support the site & the users music space - Buy via our partner store for EU customers. One fixed price delivery for most items!