Roland MKS-80 Editor (MPG-80 Emulation) mk1

After many years of having this famed module kicking around in my studio rack without a good editor for it on MacOSX which has plug-in integration and support for 32bit and 64bit VST/AU hosts, I stumbled across CTRLR which has revolutionized the way in which I can integrate my hardware synth collection within Ableton Live! I decided right away to get my hands dirty, contribute something of value to the community and bring this module to life since there was no panel for it created already.

Here is mk1 version 1.0 (latest versionuploaded 19-02-2015) of my Roland MKS-80 CTRLR Panel (essentially an emulation of Roland’s MPG-80 programmer).

Current Limitations:

– This mk1 version edits the Upper Tone only of a Patch (for mk2 I will extend functionality to have simultaneous editing of the Lower Tone).

– SysEx dumps of single patches and Bulk dumps have not been implemented yet.


NOTE: With the current implementation of the Programmer Channel selector, behaviour is as follows. The range is from 0-15 and which translates to 1-16 of “real” MIDI channels. So this means if your MKS80 is set to MIDI Channel 9, you *must* select 8 on this Panel’s Programmer Channel knob (you can’t miss it – it is coloured orange). If you do not set the channel correctly on the Panel,  your tweaks on this Panel will not reach your MKS80. I will investigate a means of correcting this behaviour so the displayed MIDI channel matches the real MIDI channel.

I’m looking forward to developing this further as I get my head around LUA scripting (this will take some time). For now, enjoy tweaking this awesome sounding synth if you’re lucky enough to have one and be sure to make use of Snapshots to store your sounds to give yourself full patch recall with your self created sounds being faithfully stored within your DAW project files. Liberating yourself from the tedium of managing patches within the synth own memories is the key to achieving robust recall of your precious sounds).

Special mention must go out to my good friend, John Grant, for the extended loan of this module he was no longer making use of! Much respect! Additional thanks going out to forum member, Layzer, for adding nicely rendered animated slider/knob caps and making the Programmer Channel selector work! MANY THANKS!


Best Wishes,



DOWNLOAD: Roland MKS80 mk1 v1.00

21 thoughts on “Roland MKS-80 Editor (MPG-80 Emulation) mk1”

  1. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for this great panel.
    I am experiencing a problem with the HPF slider and the mixer knob on the left of HPF. The problem is when i move the HPF slider the mixer knob moves as well. The same thing does not happen with mixer knob namely the HPF does not move when the mixer knob is moved.

    I would appreciate if you could help me to solve this problem.
    The other problem i am having is with the names of the snapshots i make.
    Snapshots names appear as “Snapshot – 16:28:17” and i can not rename them. Is it possible to rename the snapshots?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Yes I noticed these issues as well since updating to the latest nightly build of CTRLR. Regarding naming of Snapshops, the Snapshot manager doesn’t appear to be in current versions which did indeed allow you to rename Snapshots after taking them but I could be wrong. Will post a revised version up here shortly.

    • Hi Mr. ToR,

      RE: the linked sliders issue.
      I haven’t found a way to fix the linked HPF/Mix sliders (it appears there is a bug in newer builds of CTRLR which has caused this problem for a large number of Panels). Thankfully it is still workable.

      RE: Naming Snapshots there is a way to do it. Go to the Menu bar and select View -> MIDI Toolbar … MIDI Toolbar appears at the top of window. In the Options section at the left side of the Toolbar click on the first icon – that is the Library Manager … from there you’ll be able to navigate to your Snapshots and rename them.

    • Hi Fubsan, sorry I haven’t completed the update yet. I have made the background graphic – just got to do the hard work of replicating all the controls and shrinking them slightly to fit (that’s ALOT of parameters). Distracted by developing a new panel for the Ensoniq ESQ1 I bought recently. Stay tuned – just don’t hold your breath 😉

    • hi,
      i am using “Roland-MKS80-mk1-v1.00.bpanelz” but i still have the odd linked behaviour. I would appreciate a fix for this. Also could you please give an update on mk2? thanks a lot.

    • Hi Fuzzyderango – I’m glad you’re loving this panel as much as I do! I didn’t use my MKS80 for years since I lacked a decent editor for it and this panel really makes it come to life. Try automating the parameters which normally can’t be modulated (e.g. using Ableton Clip envelopes) – you can even do wavesequencing with it. I’ve done the GUI design for the mk2 version I have in the works for both Upper and Lower tones however have yet to finish building it.

  2. Great suggestion jasefos! Using max for live I was able to modulate different parameters with the midi LFO and the midi envelope devices instead of drawing automation curves. I haven’t tried yet, but I guess you could also make any parameter respond to velocity using the m4l expression control device. I’m still getting the HPF/mixer linked behaviour in the latest version though…

  3. Hi,

    I got also the HPF/Mixer issue.
    When will you finish the mk2 version?
    So sad that REKON doesn’t work with osx 10.9 !! 🙁

    Congrats and thanks!

    • Hi barracuda,

      I’ve got reKon MKS80 editor working on yosemite. As far as i remember i had it working on maverics too. Are you using 32bit or 64bit host. Since many of my plugins did not work, i switched to 32bit host. That might be your problem…

  4. My god I can’t thank you enough – amazing tool! Two quick questions:

    – is it possible to write automation while manipulating the panel with the mouse?

    – is it possible to map a cidi controller to some of these parameters?

    Thank you!

    • I should mention that I’m trying to write automation in Logic X. I’ve got this panel loaded up and controlling the MKS-80, sounds great, but I can’t change some of the midi plugin options… I think that’s my problem. They’re not greyed out, but they don’t become selected when I click them. Would love to get automation running on this, but again, well done to get it to this point!

  5. Hi for those who have the HPF/Mixer link here is the fix…

    I checked the panel and the problem is that the mixer is set to VST ID 0 and the HPF to 1.

    It doesn’t seem like Ctrlr allows 0 as an ID so what’s happening is that it gets rounded up to 1, which then of course conflicts with the HPF.

    The solution is to put the Mixer on an ID other than 1. For some reason in this panel it only seems to work within the number 1-62, anything higher and Ableton was ignoring it when I tried to configure it.

    With other panels I’ve been able to put any number I want, maybe there is a config setting on this one somewhere…

    So what I did was set the Mixer to ID 62 and then set the Programmer channel to 999 (any number above 62 will do).

    I don’t need that parameter automate-able/controllable so it was the best candidate to get rid of.

  6. Btw if you want upper and lower control you can do that pretty easily modding this.

    Just set the programmer channel to only 1 and 2 for allowed values. Search and replace k0 in the Sysex with 00 (will hardware to MIDI channel one, use other values if you need it).

    Then replace the 01 (fifth value from the right in the sysex) to k0. Now the programmer channel will set the sliders to be either lower or upper (when set to 1 or 2…).

  7. Hi,

    I was very happy to find this editor as I am considering a purchase of the MKS-80. However the VCO1 range knob does not seem to behave as it should, the knob is restricted to middle values, unlike the VCO2 Range knob which is not restricted to middle values.


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