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date: 22 November 2019


  • Steven C. Burczyk


Electronic instrument for creating live, loop-based music with a high degree of user control. The term was originally applied to the Roland MC-303 (1996–97), a versatile ‘drum machine plus loops’, but it evolved into more general use for products by different firms that feature essential groovebox components and capability. These features include: a drum machine, a (MIDI) sequencer, synthesizer or sampler, a hardware control unit, and the ability to allow real-time manipulation with a hands-on controller capable of use in live performance. Priced modestly, the MC-303 was intended for DJs and amateur musicians. It features 24-voice polyphony, an eight-track sequencer, and real-time storage of up to 50 patterns and ten songs. The MIDI sequencer can also control other external devices. Roland’s expanded MC line includes the high-end MV-8800 (2007) with greatly extended capabilities. Other notable firms making grooveboxes include Akai with their ongoing MPC series (originally designed by Roger Linn beginning in ...

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