About two years ago I purchased a Roland PCR-800 with Roland PSB-100 Adapter. This week I found out that the Roland PCR 300/500/800 series keyboard controllers are fantastic for controlling the Roland MKS-50. Today I spent some time hooking everything up and I must say it adds a whole new dimension to the Roland MKS-50. It’s like a fully operation synthesizer now and I won’t have to mess around with software editors or spend a ton of money on the original PG-300. Of course there may be some slight differences, but for starters, I think the PCR-800 will work great.
Here’s what I did to get things connected up.
1. Updated PCR-800 System with version 1.05
The following have been fixed.
* At entering value by the rotary encoder, the operation might cause strange value move like going reverse or skipping values.
Used Roland’s UpdateSMF to transmit the p00001.mid file to the PCR-800
2. Installed the PCR Map Editor V2.0 for Windows 7. I installed the Vista version as the XP one was not accepted. There is now Windows 7 PCR Map Editor specified on Roland’s website, but I found the Vista version to work just fine for editing and transmitting PCR Maps.
3. Installed the Roland PG-300 Custom Control Maps for the MKS-50. Roland has made available a 3 Custom Control Maps for the PG-300 that work well with the Roland MKS-50. Download the Control Maps from the Roland website here: http://www.roland.com/downloads/en/PCR/index_PCR-800.html
You will get three midi files PG-300_A.mid, PG-300_B.mid, and PG-300_C.mid that you can import into the Roland PCR Map Editor. Then simply transmit one at a time to the PCR-800. Then save them to memory. For instructions you can consult the PCR-800 manual. It’s really easy to do.
4. Connected the Roland Midi Ins/Outs to the Roland MKS-50. Note that if you also use the USB cable you will need to change a setting on the PCR-800. You must change the MIDI I/F Switch to specify whether the MIDI connectors will be used as a MIDI Interface. Check on page 76 of the PCR-800 manual for details. Now you can use both the USB and regular Midi In/Out Connectors.
It’s really fun using the Roland PCR-800 for controlling the Roland MKS-50. So far I haven’t encountered any issues, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post an update here. Thanks! – Jim