Roland MKS-50

The Roland MKS-50 is a rack-mounted synthesizer module version of the Roland Alpha Juno 1/2 keyboard synth from 1986. It offers 6-voice polyphony and utilizes DCO-based synthesis for stable and classic analog-style sounds. The MKS-50 features a flexible modulation matrix that allows for versatile sound creation and manipulation. With its rich sound palette, including warm pads, punchy basses, and vibrant leads, the MKS-50 became a popular choice for musicians and producers seeking the iconic Roland analog sound in a compact and versatile module form. It's been used in tracks by Human Resource, Joey Beltram, The Prodigy, Future Sound of London, Larry Heard, Black Marble, Uberzone, and Information Society.

The "hoover" sound, famously associated with the Alpha Juno 1, Alpha Juno 2, and MKS-50 synthesizers, emerged as a defining element in 90s techno music tracks like "Dominator" by Human Resource and "Mentasm" by Joey Beltram. The hoover sound is characterized by a distinctive portamento, an envelope that sweeps the pitch and pulse width modulation amount of the unique pulse width saw waveform mixed with a sub oscillator.

The hoover sound gained significant popularity in the early '90s gabber and hardcore scenes, becoming an integral part of the emerging genres. Its intense and piercing qualities made it ideal for creating energetic and hypnotic lead lines that cut through the mix and energized the dance floor. Due to its association with iconic tracks like "Dominator" and "Mentasm," the hoover sound has become a recognizable and nostalgic element in the history of electronic music, symbolizing the vibrant and innovative spirit of that era. The M:68 "What the?" patch is a factory preset on the Alpha Juno synthesizers that shares similarities with the hoover sound. Many modern electronic and EDM producers may choose to sample the original hoover sound from "Dominator", but you can create your own hoover variation in our studio.

One or more accessories you should consider: 

This instrument is available for use at our studio in Long Beach, Ca for playing and recording. Contact us to book your time.

Custom patch loading is possible for this item. Send us your sysex, midi files containing sysex, tape backup audio, or even Opcode Galaxy Bank or Bundles or Unisyn files for pre-loading for synth rentals or synth recording services.

Are you outside of LA or OC? No problem! We can record the synthesizer, drum sounds, or effects tracks for you! Send us your MIDI or audio files, we play it through the instrument or effects unit, record it, and send you the audio files. Learn more about our synthesizer and effects recording services.


Delivery of this item for weekly rentals in select areas within Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Make your rental reservation!

Book time at the studio