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Roland MC-101 Groovebox Drum Machine, Sampler and Sequencer

Pocket-sized battery-powered production toolkit!



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SKU: MC101

Product Description

Roland are responsible for some of the most iconic drum machines and production gear of all time. With the MC-101, they’ve demonstrated their groovebox prowess, combining classic Roland sound with cutting-edge functionality. Equal parts drum machine, synthesizer, sampler, sequencer and controller, this is a production powerhouse that’s armed to the teeth – it even runs off AA batteries!

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Portable Beat-Making

Just like the classic 707, 808 and 909 drum machines, the MC-101 is designed with quick, punchy groove-making in mind, but with a pocket-sized portable form factor. You’ve got 4 assignable tracks at your disposal, with 16 ultra-sensitive pads for playing or sequencing drums, basslines or chord progressions.

Add a wealth of onboard sounds, easy sequencing and sampling tools, and 5-hour AA battery power, and you’ve got the ability to create a professional-sounding track end-to-end.

Studio Quality Synths & Effects

The MC-101 comes equipped with a mixture of classic and state-of-the-art sounds with DAW-like flexibility, all in one place. And yes, it includes the Roland classics: TR-808, TR-909, TB-303, JUNO-106, and SH-101.

You can take these incredible sounds a step further with the MC-101’s built-in effects. All 4 tracks have independent effects processors with a huge number of variations. From lush modulation to mind-bending ambience, amp simulation to wild distortion. Add the final touch with master effects like filters, bit-crushers and bus compression for polished punchiness.

Intuitive Controls & Connectivity

Those familiar with Roland’s line-up may recognise the control panel as being similar to their Aira series but in a pocket-sized design. Vibrant backlit pads, intuitive faders, an easily-navigable button layout. The addition of a handy screen makes tracking and composing easier than ever.

MIDI in/out, stereo output and a headphone connector allows you to easily integrate the MC-101 into your existing rig. Whether you want it as a DAW controller or a fully-fledged centerpiece, it can hack it. You can connect it via USB and use as an interface; all 4 tracks can be individually recorded into your DAW.

Work with Samples

Import your own sampled sounds to use them within drum and tone tracks to create your own custom kits and synths.

Clip Chain Function

Each of the MC-101s 4 tracks contains 16 slots for sequences called Clips. You can chain your clips together, so they play in a specific order, allowing you to create a song by automating changes between different sections.

Intuitive Performance Tools

Bored of playing with a chromatic keyboard? No problem, set the MC-101 in any number of different scales to perform in new exciting ways whilst always staying in key with your track, while the chord designer function lets you create custom chords and assign them to a single key press. If you are a traditional keyboard player, plug in an external midi controller to play the MC-101 sounds and change parameters over its MIDI input.

Whichever way you choose to record, you can either work quantised to a grid, completely unquantized to capture the true human performance, or somewhere in between for a little natural shuffle.

Computerless Setup

The MC101 can be used in a computerless setup with a Midi controller allowing you start your creative workflow wherever you are.

Share & Collaborate

Download additional sound packs from Roland Cloud to expand the 3000 built in tones. Even better, save and export your own custom sounds to share with friends or use within the Roland Cloud Zenology plug-in.

Version 1.60 Update

With the new Version 1.60 update, the MC-101 GROOVEBOXES continue to evolve with inspiring features for music creation and live performance.

A powerful new arpeggiator livens up your productions with tasty melodic lines and real-time control over motif, rhythmic variation, octave, and hold on/off.

USB generic driver mode lets you connect your MC GROOVEBOX directly to a smartphone or tablet, great for producing with Zenbeats app (available on IOS, Android, Windows, and Mac) or your favourite DAW.

Random Tone Generator sparks fresh ideas with multiple algorithmic options that create interesting new tones on the fly.

Expanded ZEN-Core compatibility lets you import Sound Pack drum kits in addition to instrument tones.

Video Manual

Want some help getting started with your MC-101? Roland have created a full video manual to help you along the way.


  • Sound Engine: ZEN-Core (Tone, Drum Kit)
  • Maximum Polyphony: ZEN-Core: 128 voices (varies according to the sound generator load), Looper: 4 (varies according to the available number of Looper track)
  • Tracks: 4 tracks
  • Clips: 64 clips (16 clips per track)
  • Preset Tones: 3,000+
  • Preset Drum Kits: 80+
  • User Sample (as a Tone or Drum Kit): available by importing form SD CARD
  • Looper Sample (as a clip of Looper track): available by importing from SD CARD, recording via EXT IN/Tracks
  • Available total time for User Sample: 12 minutes in mono, 6 minutes in stereo (44.1 kHz)
  • Available format of User Sample: WAV 32--96 kHz/16-bit, 24-bit (mono, stereo)
  • Available total time for Looper Sample: Approx. 60 sec (44.1 kHz)
  • Available format of Looper Sample: WAV 44.1 kHz/16-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit, 32-bit float (mono, stereo)
  • Track Multi-Effects: 90 types
  • Chorus/Delay: 9 types
  • Reverb: 7 types
  • Master Effects: 90 types
  • Master Compressor
  • Master EQ
  • Step Sequencer Maximum Steps: 128 steps
  • Looper: Time Stretch, Pitch Shift
  • Display: 16 characters, 2 lines LCD (with backlit)
  • External Storage: SD Card (SDHC supported) for saving Project Data and Audio Data


  • Phones jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
  • Mix out (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
  • MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
  • USB port: USB B type (Audio, MIDI)
  • Power: USB Bus powered
  • Battery Power: Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4 / Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) x 4

Dimensions & weight

  • 224(W) x 132(D) x 61(H) mm
  • 8-13/16 (W) x 5-3/16 (D) x 2-7/16 (H) inches
  • Weight: 716 g / 1 lb 9 oz


  • Owner's manual
  • Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4
  • SD Card (installed in the product when shipped from the factory)
  • SD Card Protector (installed in the product when shipped from the factory)

Customer Reviews


11 reviews





Trusted Customer31st May 2023

Value 5Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Mr Colin Montgomery5th Nov 2021

Perfect, does everything I need it to and arrived super fast

Value 4Looks 5Durability 5Sound 4

Trusted Customer25th Mar 2021

Great piece of kit. Love it

Value 4Looks 4Durability 4Sound 4

Trusted Customer1st Feb 2021

I have used an electribe 2 for the last 4 years and that has a serious amount of menu diving and frustration within it. However once you know your way round its brilliant. The MC101 has menu diving and loads of hidden features too but way better layer out. The zencore engine is unmatched in sound imo and roland are updating their groove boxes to a great level of refinement. In the tight hands and with patience the MC101 is the most powerful portable synth out there. Totally underrated like the electribes. The random tone generator is unreal and i reckon after a year if practice will become a permanent machine for me.

Value 5Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Mr John Burwell14th Jan 2021

Brilliant sounds and easy to use. Even for a beginner like me.

Value 4Looks 5Durability 4Sound 5

Mr J Olano18th Dec 2020

Its suits beginners that want to try electronic music creation but leaves space for gaining more skills and progression. Very Portable it runs on AA batteries.

Value 5Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Mrs Barbara Saunders18th Nov 2020

Batteries Dead presumed used., not in sealed inner packaging. Had to use our on.

Value 5Looks 5Sound 5

Trusted Customer8th Nov 2019

Very similar workflow to the old MC303 but more than twice the sound and power. The 4 tracks might seem a little limiting but as a very useful audio notebook to start my idea I am really happy with it. The looper function is great for stacking up tracks to give a little space. The use of the SD card is also great for importing sounds and loops... This chap is for the win

Value 5Looks 4Durability 4Sound 5

NIgel23rd Oct 2019

Does what it says on the box very well, 1,000’s of slightly tweak-able presets and drum kits. A bit overpriced, so loses a star.

David Wilhelm13th Oct 2019

Plenty to keep a novice occupied!

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