Alavux Talks About the Roland MC-505, and Why It's Such an Integral Part of His Music

Alavux live with his MC-505 © Goran Alavuk/Facebook

Alavux is a veteran of the new school Electro sound. A persistent force with consistent output on many of the great labels such as Bass Agenda, and Twilight 76. His music, defined by an adventurous, aggressive, abstract and always ingenious spirit that pushes forward into realms unknown with pure passion for music that exists on levels most of us can barely imagine.

By his side, and infused into basically every one of his productions, is his trusty MC-505. Roland's follow-up to their MC-303, the infamous machine that would launch their "Groovebox" series, and inspired a whole new generation of Ravers and synth enthusiasts alike to pursue a path in Electronic music composition.

Here, Goran Alavuk aka Alavux, takes some time from his studio and composing on the 505, to explain to us why this particular machine has been so integral for him, and why through so many years, and with so many affordable releases of analog gear as of late, he still hangs on to this vintage beauty and has it as the center of who he is as an artist.

Talk about your first experiences with the MC-505. Where do you first remember reading about it, or what artists were using it inspiring you to do the same?

I got it in the beginning of 1999 (few weeks before that infamous bombing period in Yugoslavia). I read in Future Magazine about it, so I purchased it blindly :) I wanted first to buy MC-303, but after reading it I change my mind for MC-505.

Do you remember actually going to buy it? Where did you get it?

Very vividly! Just got some inherit money from father's aunt, we just drove to Novi Sad (Serbia) in only store in that time who was legal distributor for Roland gear. We bought right away a Roland A-33 MIDI keyboard (which I still regret selling it, probably best keybed ever), and MC-505. They tried to sell me JX305, which I refuse since I already bought, plus I already have some plans for live performance in that time.

Roland MC-505 © DJFLEX-mk2/Wikipedia

What specifically about the MC-505 do you find so interesting?

Everything that I need is on front panel. If you need some menu diving, is very easy to access. Also I was in that time hooked on XP50 where I done my first track, so all sounds from the JV-1080 cards were there...lucky!

Which of your records as Alavux that used the MC-505 stand out to you as some of the most representative of that character you love about this machine?

Ohh plenty! I don't even remember, but for example recently released “Bender” track let’s say. 505 was on 808 drum duties, and Micron as CZ machine(s) :) As on duties on sound design, this track is small good example what you can do with sounds, again with a combination with Alesis Micron (MC-505 is drums, and the synth sound and jet sound). This one here is only the MC-505.

Roland intended to make some boxes not for just for simple jamming, but also to create your own sound!

In this renaissance of analog hardware synthesizers, is there a Groovebox type of machine that catches your attention? Perhaps the Tempest, or new Electribe series? Are there things about the 505 that you see as a strength that these new machines don’t have perhaps?

I still have wishlist for MC-909 because is perfect Groovebox, and have what MC-505 lacks of simple sampler. I can freely say that MC-505 having probably the best drum sound sets ever (those are again in the TR8S! Believe it or not). Almost close to the originals, also with various presets/waveforms (don't expect TB303 sound waveforms there).

Pathetically people judged the 505 on very weak presets when you dive into programing. Of course everyone with their own, to be clear I like all usable gear, but people don't get it with Groovebox concept when they say it lacks something, for me only gear that I had for very long time (since 2007). Roland intended to make some boxes not for just for simple jamming, but also to create your own sound!

Here is the original promo video from Roland from back in 1998: