Roland MC-101 Cases, Stands, Batteries, Headphones, Charger and other Accessories
This is what I consider the “essential accessory kit” for my Roland MC-101 groovebox. These accessories are what I personally have ended up using after a lot of trial-and-error. I think you’ll enjoy how they make your MC-101 easier and better to use 🙂
The Roland MC-101 is a very compact, portable groovebox that has a full synth engine with sample playback and strong sequencing capabilities. If you want a machine that can fully utilize your sample library, combine it with a real synth engine and be the most portable groovebox this side of a Pocket Operator, this is the machine for you.
Topo Designs Tech Case
This case happens to be perfectly-sized for getting outta the house with the MC-101. With two main compartments, I can fit the MC-101 in one side and there’s just enough room left for cables, a Pocket Operator, earbuds and spare batteries. If you’re into this, be sure to see my recorder combo that works with this bag, below.
But if you really want a hard case…
Analog Glide Case
Purpose-designed for the Roland MC-101 and TR-6S, these cases are supposed to be pretty nice if you’re looking for something with slightly more protection, or more minimalistic than the Topo Tech Case (but I think that’s the better value, by far). Note, I have not tested this case, but I’ve read enough good reviews of Analog’s cases in-general that’s it’s worth mentioning here.
This stand is perfect to improve the viewing angle of your MC-101 when you’re at a cafe table, on the bus etc. It actually has two angles available, and I find it helpful to have the lower setting when I’m at a high-top bar table or something taller, but mostly I use the larger setting. The low-profile keeps your MC-101 slim, and the grippy feet prevent sliding. (To make the stand fit perfectly flush, some modification is required. I peeled off the two rubber feet at the rear of the device before sticking on the stand.) Also, the black version blends into the MC-101 color scheme pretty amazingly!
Hestya Feet Set
When we angle the 'box, the front pads get little to no contact with the surface. Let's upgrade those front feet with the square black sticky feet from this set. They soak up some of the clacky-ness of loud buttons, and they make this box feel even better. I got this larger set because I use them around the house.
Here are the batteries you'll need for this box. I prefer the rechargeable ones because they last plenty long enough for my sessions (hours, plural). But if you need longer, the best choice is here, too.
Amazon AA Rechargeable Batteries
Rated as one of the best deals on high-performance, high-capacity rechargable batteries, it's hard to go wrong with this set of four by Amazon Basics. Trust me, they offer hours of consistent jam-time, and go perfectly with the charger above. (I personally bought two sets so I can always have one set charging and the other in the box.)
Panasonic Battery Charger
The MC-101 runs off four AA batteries, so I did the digging to find the most compact and effective battery charger. Most chargers require you to charge batteries in pairs, but this one lets you charge AA or AAA size individually, with individual charge LEDs. It also has a VERY small footprint and has a folding wall plug. Works a treat.
Energizer Ultimate Lithium Batteries
These are the best AA batteries that you can consistently find off-the-shelf. They outperform pretty much anything, and they tend to have a significantly longer battery life than any rechargeable batteries. If you just want a really long play time, these are your best bet.
These are the headphones I use. Generally, I like the big cans for when I'm at the studio mixing and mastering. But when I'm out, I like to use some smaller, high quality earbuds. Because even though you're not supposed to, I can't help but mix and master while I'm producing.
Audio-Technica ATHM50 Headphones
These cans are renowned for their unparalleled value for over-ear monitors. Their wide & flat frequency response makes them good enough for mixing, mastering and vocals. Also offered in a wireless Bluetooth version, which is what I bought so I could use them for movies & phone calls. I plug the removable cable in for music work. The slightly cheaper wired pair will also be fantastic.
1MORE Quad Driver Earphones
The cans above are bulky and draw attention at cafes. I tried the Shure SE-215's, but I didn't like their behind-the-ear fitment. I wanted something that still sounded good, but was easier to use. These quad-driver earphones are built like a tank, have an inline mic + remote, and are very portable. Their frequency response is wide & flat. They're more expensive than the Shure's, but the increased usability is worth it.
A Perfect Pair?
In the Topo bag, I’ll typically have a spare set of 4x AA batteries, a short 3.5mm patch cable and SD card reader (to get sounds in and out of the ‘101 on the go, from my iPhone/iPad). I also have a Tascam DP-008ex 8-track digital recorder that fits into the other side of the Topo bag. It has phantom power built-in, so you’ve basically got this whole studio-in-a-bag thing going on. Such a cool setup! If you haven’t yet, see the video above!