Roland MC-202

Although the MC-202 does have CV and Gate input sockets already fitted, these input sockets are not satisfactory for control by a MIDI to CV converter in most cases.

Firstly, the MC-202’s CV & Gate inputs are designed so that you can enter information into its internal sequencer using an external keyboard (or indeed, the CV converter), the significance of this is that it quantises the notes into discrete steps. In other words if you try and do a pitchbend, you will end up with the notes going up in semitones only, not smoothly. This isn’t a fault with the CV converter, but the action of the quantising process within the MC-202’s sequencer.

Secondly, the fact that the note is quantised, sent to the internal sequencer and then played by the sequencer circuitry, means that the response is fairly slow and sluggish doing it this way.

Thirdly, you are limited to the note range that the sequencer can play. For these three reasons we recommend that you have your MC–202 fitted with additional CV, Gate, Filter Portamento and accent sockets. We can supply a 5 socket kit to fit your MC–202 with proper CV, Gate, Filter cutoff, and Portamento & accent on/off input sockets which do not suffer from the above limitations. We can of course fit them for you if you send the unit to us. (See our terms and conditions regarding sending synths to us)

Using the added CV, Gate & Filter sockets ( see note #3 below ) and possibly also the Portamento & accent sockets in conjunction with the CV converter you will be able to play the sounds of the MC-202 from a mother keyboard or from a sequencer directly.

The MC-202 also has a 5 pin socket for sync input. This can be connected to the Sync 24 output on the converter ( see note #2 below ). This will enable you to run the MC-202 in synchronisation with your sequencer. In this mode, you will need to program the patterns you want to play, directly into the MC-202. You will need to program the MC-202 in the normal way, from its own front panel, you will not be able to use any added CV, Gate sockets for programming.

When you start your sequencer, the MC-202 will play the patterns in time with your sequence ( see note #1 below ). You will always have to start the sequence from the top as the MC-202 will not recognise song position pointers. If you only want to run the MC-202 in sync you do not need to get any additional sockets fitted.

You have the following options for a MC-202:

  1. Clock the internal sequencer
  2. Fit a 5 socket upgrade kit so that you can use it with a MIDI to CV converter
  3. Use a MIDI to CV converter (after you have fitted a 5 socket upgrade kit)

1. Clock the internal sequencer

You can clock the internal sequencer of the MC-202 using the DIN sync output of one of our converters. This doesn’t require any modification to the MC-202. You will need a DIN sync lead for this.

Click here for DIN sync leads

Note that the SYNC IN socket on the MC-202 often gives trouble as the soldered joints to the DIN socket pins become cracked and require re-soldering.

Fit a 5 socket upgrade kit

You can fit a 5 socket upgrade kit which will allow you to use one of our MIDI to CV converters to give you control of Notes, filter and on/off control of the MC-202’s inbuilt portamento . In addition, built-in features in our MIDI to CV converters allow you to control pitchbend, modulation and portamento (not only on/off but also time and type).

Click here for details of the 5 socket upgrade kit

Use a MIDI to CV converter

Use it with one of our range of MIDI to CV converters such as the Pro-Solo mkIII (requires 5 socket upgrade kit fitted)
On all of our converters the default setup is suitable for a MC-202 (V/Oct mode and 5V Gate)
Connect the CV out of the converter to the added CV IN of the MC-202
Connect the Gate out of the converter to the added Gate IN of the MC-202
This provides control of Notes including pitchbend, modulation, portamento (using features built into our converters) – see our MIDI to CV converter pages for more information.

Once you have got the notes playing successfully, you can connect the Aux1 out of the converter to the added Filter IN of the MC-202. You may not hear anything if the filter is too closed. Open the filter using the filter control on the MC-202 or advancing the controller for the Aux output you are using.

To control the Portamento on/off and Accent on/off you need to connect Aux 2 and Aux 3 to the Portamento and Access sockets.

Kenton MIDI to CV converters

3.5mm to 3.5mm jack leads – you will need 5 of these

If you are using the older Pro-Solo mkII, you can get access to Aux2 and Aux3 by setting the ‘Thru’ socket to become Aux2 and 3. You will however need a special DIN to 3.5mm mono jack lead.

DIN to 3.5mm mono jacks lead – needed to control Portamento and Accent with a Pro-Solo MkII.


  1. You need to make sure that the clock output is enabled on your sequencer, this is very often on a setup page or on a pull-down menu. The sync 24 output of Kenton CV converters cannot be disabled, so if your MC-202 or MC-202 doesn’t start with your sequencer, you can be sure that the CV converter isn’t receiving MIDI sync (see note #4) or you have a faulty lead (see note #2) or even maybe a faulty sync input socket on the MC-202 (this is quite common).
  2. The lead you need for connecting the sync 24 output of the CV converter to a MC-202 or an MC-202 may look like a MIDI lead, but it is not. MIDI leads need only 3 connections out of the possible 5 on the 5 pin DIN socket, the sync connection requires that all 5 wires are connected, which means that many MIDI leads won’t work. You need to get a standard 5 pin DIN to 5 pin DIN lead which is readily available or Kenton can supply.
  3. You need both CV & Gate signals to control an analogue synthesizer. The CV signal tells it what note to play (CV means control voltage). The Gate signal tells it when to play the note.
  4. MIDI sync isn’t on any particular MIDI channel, it’s on a sort of global channel of its own.
  5. A MIDI to CV converter, converts an incoming MIDI data stream into control voltages of various kinds for connecting to synths with suitable inputs. A CV converter does not convert the analogue signals back into MIDI, you would need a CV to MIDI converter for that.
  6. References to filter control, mean control of the filter cutoff frequency, sometimes also called filter sweep or VCF frequency control (VCF means voltage controlled filter).