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Tweak Unwraps the:
Roland V-Synth GT
Who the V-synth GT is for:
Let us be clear this is not a workstation. If you want to read about those--start here.There is no sequencer, no multi timbrality, and no huge pool of ROM instruments. A realistic acoustic piano? Forget it! Not in the V-synth. Get a Fantom, Motif XS, or S90EX if you need realism. Though there are the samples for some great sounding classic rompler pianos in the box. After an hour of playing around with the onboard "MS-JD Pno" samples I was totally impressed by the growling mix cutting vintage sounding pianos I was able to create. You will find outstanding flutes, a solo violin, and erhu and a few other solo (mono) instruments that sound utterly real. The synths are fantastic! The pads are just gushing with goodness
As an Analog Modeled Synth: High marks. The Roland synth modeling is convincing and full. Not only do you get 14 Modeled oscillators which can be combined with each other, but you get pulse width and a modifier called "Fat" and I assure you, it is. The classic Roland SuperSaw waveform is there. Every oscillator has its own TVA and TVF, each with their own LFO. There are 16 filter types which are all unique, including the famous TB filter from the TB303 (Rebirth fans, rejoice).
The Analog Synth is laid out logically when you hit the "pro Edit" button. This helps you think you have some control over the sound. But the possibilities are so enormous, you really do not know where you will end up when you start a patch.
As A Sampler: OK, the V-synth is designed to do well with the Variphrase time and pitch controls, which act upon sampled data that is in the V-synths battery backed RAM. It does that well. But how does it fair as a conventional sampler? Its quite mediocre in that regard. You won't be doing multi-samples with velocity switching, 88 key drum kits, or pristeen pianos where every note is sampled. Plus the amount of sample RAM available is fixed. if you erase all the factory samples, you have about 64MB to play with. That is not much. As a Rompler, the V-synth would be weak.
Using Variphrase: Loading samples was pretty easy. You can do it over analog line, resample the output, over USB audio, over s/pdif, or do a file transfer from your PC. Once in the machine you can edit it in all the usual ways. Crossfade looping is not there, but I found I was able to get clean loops. You can choose how the sample will be processed. As straight sample (lite), as a "solo" voice which is good for leads using the Variphrase. You can also choose ensemble and backing. Once encoded, the Variphrase can come to life in the V-synth with its Pitch, Time and Formant controls. Using the Variphrase functions you can get a lot out of each sample. One sample can span 36 keys and make useful sounds. There are a lot of possibilities when you assign the dual d-beam and time trip pad to the sample. It can do huge 2 octave pitch bends, or you can "scratch and screw" the sound on the time trip pad like you were on a DJ turntable. Or you can listen to the sample decompose and fly apart into fragments of audio, or stop dead and create an unearthly bell tone. Space composers, there are few synths that could be as satisfying as a V-synth for those weird extra terrestrial sound colors.
As a Vocoder: I can easily say this is the best vocoder I have ever had the pleasure to use. While you can make it sound grainy and mid rangey like a 70's vocoder, you can also make it sound modern and hi-fi clean. And its a joy to use, even if you can't sing. Sing your little poetry and listen to it come out as a choral backing. Or do some really hot vocal hits and licks, repitching your own voice up 1 or 2 octaves.
The Vsynth color display is a touch screen like the Korg M3.
As an Outboard Audio processor: The COSM effects are fantastic and well chosen. Route an output from your audio interface and create a send to the V-synth from inside your sequencer. You'll find a wealth of effects that can be tweaked in real time and recorded back to the sequencer.
Perhaps the best way of working is to create a new V-synth for every project. You can use up to a 2GB USB memory stick and store you projects on it.
Bugs? : On my V-synth with my Mac G5 1.8 with Leopard, the Mac would NOT recognize the USB storage in the V-synth. I had to use a PC to invoke this important function. Windows XP saw the internal storage right away.
Things you must know about the V-synth
1. Its is not multi-timbral. This is not your orchestra/jazz band do
everything in a box synth.
If you do not want to program stuff, this is not a synth for you. If you wanted to learn synthesis, you could do it on a V-synth, but it would be tough! The V-synth is an advanced tool, and it will do best in the hands of someone with synthesis experience who has a huge desire to explore new sounds.
Defining Custom Bank Select Methods in Logic with a V-Synth GT
The Roland V-Synth GT 2.0 OS and PDF with the patchnames can be found at this
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