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Roland MKS-7

Super Quartet (1986)

Roland Mks7

"A strange module with 4 sections (the "quartet") basically  - but not totally -  it's a multitimbric Juno-106 with drum machine from Roland Tr-707 in a whole rack unit. "


OVERVIEW midi module with just a bunch of controls: master tune (50 cents) , 4 sliders mixer, dynamic slider , headphones output, 20 buttons and a very simple segment numeric display. MKS7 Exists in black version the same, but white (ivory) one cannot be rackmounted.  

Back panel terminal connectors:  
- pitch bender sensitivity knob 
- Modulation sensitivity knob
- Bass detune knob 
- mix out (with 3 impedances switch) 
- separate out for rhythm 
- separate out for bass section 
- separate out for chord 
- Midi Interface IN + THRU

Roland mks7


SOUND OSCILLATOR core CPU NEC D7811G-102 manages on 6 DCO ( IC X MC5534A WG waveform generators) from juno106 + 1 slimmed-down + a digital drum kit.   The oscillator features 4 wave sapes: square with variable width, triangle wave, square sub-oscillator (set to 1 octave lower) + white noise. 

STRUCTURE: The Mks7 logic is composed by 4 sections each with individual volume set and assigned Midi channel (it can be changed by panel). Edit parameters are quite limited and external exclusive program is necessary:
1- MELODY : 2 allocated voices assigned to Midi Channel 1
2- CHORDS: 4 voices assigned to Midi Channel 3.
NB: Pretty strange, the chord section sounds like those old arrangers! 
3- BASS: Monophonic assigned to Midi Channel 2. The bass can be directly detuned by rear pitch knob. The Bass oscillator DCO is slimmed down compared to melody.
4- 11 digital voices PCM assigned to Drum Midi Channel 10; the sounds are partially derived from Roland TR-707 cult machine. ROM with 1/kit 11 sounds: drum, snare drum, low tom, mid tom, hi tom, rim shot, claps, hihat open/close, ride and crash. it Cannot be edited.

TIP: it is possible to assign 6 DCO as a single part, a kind of Juno 106. The procedure is a complicated combi: Press MIDI + Rhythm + Bass+ Chord + Melody. While holding the CHORD button, press the MELODY button.

Roland MKS7 module


EFFECT internal warm analog chorus based on bucket brigade MN3006 + Mn3009 + MN3101 driver

FILTER: Classic analog filter based on IR3109 with 2 modes: Lowpass resonant (self-oscillating) at 4 poles + Highpass (not resonant) 

LFO: Single delayed triangle modulator, relative frequency range from 0.1 to 30 Hz and 3 destinations: DCO pitch, VCF cutoff and DCO pulse width 

ENVELOPE: 1 ADSR (4-segments) EG for both VCA amplitude and VCF cutoff filter based on same dreaded 80017A (also VCA read about the issues and fix)  Note: bass generator (DCO "7") has its own EG.

MEMORY: 100 ROM melody tones sound + 
20 ROM bass sound, NO RAM sound...a shame!  sound must be edited from external software (CTRL. org is free)

Roland mks7

Roland Mks-7 specifications

Company: Roland
Model: MKS7 super quarted
Rackmount: 2 units (only black version, "ivory version" has no rack ears)
Display Type: segment display
Date: 1986 
Synthesis: Analog subtractive + digital PCM
Multitimbric: 7 parts
Oscillators: 7 DCO + 11 PCM
Polyphony: 7 voices (synth) + 11 PCM
Filters: Lowpass resonant (self-oscillating) at 4 poles + Highpass (not resonant)
Portamento: NO
LFO: 1 modulator
Envelope: 1 ADSR per voice
Scales : standard
Memory: 100 melody tones sound + 20 bass sound + 1 drum kit (11 sounds)
MIDI: yes + exclusives
Effect: analog chorus based on BBD MN3006, MN3009, MN3101
IC: BA662A (VCA) 80017A (VCA+VCF)
OS: enter test mode pressing "3" while switching ON.

Dimensions: 482 x 88 x 400 cm
Weight: 7 kg

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Are you a MKS7  fan? how do you use it? You do not agree with our review?  Let us know in the comment field just below 



Audio and Video Demo


Roland MKS-7 Superquartet Roland MKS-7 Superquartet
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