Roland V-synth Advice

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wavecircle
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Roland V-synth Advice

Post by wavecircle » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:23 pm

I am very curious about this synth/sampler. It seems like some machine. I have been doing a bit of reading and there seem to be a few versions. There is the V-synth, V-synth XT and V-synth GT. There are Versions 1 & 2 also.

From what I have seen the GTs are the most expensive but are these only monotimbral? The V-synth and XT seem to be 16 part multitimbral. Can a v1 be upgraded to a v2?

What are your recommendations?
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Post by lukas412 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:50 pm

I just picked up a V-Synth XT. I know the least about the GT. They can all be updated to v2.

The XT comes with the Vocal Designer and D50 cards built in. The GT has Articulative Phrase synthesis which seems pretty cool but I've never used it. On the GT you can use the vocal designer and the vsynth engine at the same time. The other two require switching between one or the other.

From what I have read V1 has the nicest user interface, and I honestly kinda wish I would have gone this route as I could use a decent controller keyboard and so far I have not used the d50/VD cards much. The XT and GT have a color screen. Original is monochrome.

I didn't even dig into the GT all that much because its just so expensive still and I wanted to see if I liked the sound of the machine. But have read that a lot of people think the UI is a downgrade from the original keyboard.

Sound wise I am still deciding. It's very interesting and so far the most interesting things Ive gotten have been vocal samples and just other random samples. I will say that I've gotten the creepiest vocal patches I've ever made with this synth. The interface is nice and quick, just don't expect an iPad quality touch screen. Sampling with it is fantastic, and editing on it is also great. Lots of input options. Overall I think its a very interesting synth.

The multi mode is a little different than other synths I've used. It's more like you can create zones up to 16 I believe. Also has a really cool drum mode that gives you 12 full vsynth voices.

Only thing that has kinda turned me off so far is that when using the touch pad or knobs on the panel you get stepping on filter sweeps. Seems that this is lessened somewhat by using an external controller to do this, but honestly this isnt really the synth for doing creamy filter sweeps with anyway.

Luke

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Post by wavecircle » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:01 pm

Can the original V-synth have the vocal designer and D-50 cards installed? I like the idea of having a D-50.

Really what I want is a kind of sound module type keyboard and then some. I'd like to make really weird atmospheric sounds, twisted pianos and strings etc... I've always liked that VP9000 style sampling engine.
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Post by tron23 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:05 pm

The VC1 D50 and VC2 Vocal designer cards are meant to be used with the original VSynth but only one can be used at a time as these occupy the front panel PC card slot.

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Post by darenager » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:06 pm

XT is pretty killer, it has both the cards installed as mentioned, finding the cards is difficult and expensive as they did not make many, the VariOS can also use the cards.

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Post by ronaldroy » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:01 pm

Brilliant synth - my desert island digital. I have the XT.
re multitimbral: it is ... sort of. Effects from channel 1 are used for all channels and you can't change or edit sounds easily. Only the patch on channel 1 can be edited. Also, the synth tends to become a little sluggish with more than 4 MIDI channels working (patch dependent).

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Post by justin3am » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:31 pm

The V-Synth is probably my favorite digital synth evar! I have the original keyboard with the V2.0 firmware.

I've never used it's multi-timbral functionality but it appears pretty straightforward. The key-splitting is pretty easy to set up as well.

Some of my favorite things:
Using an oscillator/sample to FM a sample
Using polyphonic comb filters on live audio
Using the arpeggiator as a mod source
Slicing loops in the sample editor and playing the slices, Recycle style, from the keys
It's an amazing effect processor in addition to being a great synth and sampler
I could go on.
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Post by BTByrd » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:50 pm

I had an XT for a while and sold it, but I miss it dearly. It's a very capable synth which really excels at creating unique timbres; it's not the best for emulating other things (apart from a D50 and maybe a JP8000) but is really its own synth. The VA engine isn't my favorite, but it's certainly usable... I wouldn't want it to be my only source of analog-style sounds though. But that's not what the V-Synth is about anyway. I'll add that the Vocal Designer produces the best and most usable vocoder-style effects that I've ever used, Eventide and Nord Modular G2 included. They stopped producing the XT a couple months after I sold mine and prices have creeped up a bit. The asking prices are still within reason... it's a very fun synth. Nice interface, fun sound... capable of some very interesting timbres using the formant-shifting aspects of the sample-playing engine. Also useful for pitching and time-stretching loops. It's not going to function like a traditional sampler (capable of complex multisampling, velocity switching, all the rest) but it can twist and morph whatever basic waveforms or loops you load into it.

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Post by MrDys » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:55 pm

I have an XT and I have to say I really love the effects on it. It's worth it just to use as an external processor.

I've also got a lot of milage out of grabbing single cycle waveform samples (like the Adventure Kid pack) and using them to build up synth voices.
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Post by sydilaxe » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:05 pm

I have an original vsynth... Updated the os to 2.0 when i bought it. I hunted for the vcards over the next year and scored both for reasonable prices. Everything mentioned above is quite true. It also is really great for running a midi controlled external oscillator (from a modular,etc) as one of the oscillators can be an external source. It has the most intuitive interface or any synth i have used. When I picked it up, I wondered why it took me so long to get one of these. The va engine is not as bad as people make it out. If you map the two controllers to the filters, you get higher resolution filter sweeps, etc.

As i have just discovered, a varios is great to combine with a vsynth if you need something portable to host your vcards. I edit them using the vsynth interface and then can use the patches in the varios.

As others have mentioned, the vc2 is amazing, i sold my synton spx216 when i started using it. It is that good.

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Post by _seph » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:26 pm

I really can't add anything that hasn't already been said. I have the original V-Synth with the D-50 card and it is in my opinion the pinnacle of synth/sampler evolution and easily the greatest thing that Roland has ever made.

The biggest difference between the V-Synth/V-Synth XT and the newer V-Synth GT is that the GT has the vocal processor worked into the V-Synth engine. On the V-Synth and the XT you cannot use the expansion cards with the V-Synth itself, meaning that it either boots as the card or it is a V-Synth. The GT allows for extensive vocal control and there is also its Articulate Phrase Synthesis which utilizes a sort of physical modeling algorithm that simulates the playing dynamics of various instruments but it unfortunately wasn't fully implemented and can only be used on select waveforms. The GT also has no way of becoming a D-50

The original keyboard is my favorite of the three as well as my all-time favorite synth (yes, of all of the synths ever). It is also worth noting that the VC1 card is a better D-50 than a D-50 is, which just happens to be another of my favorites.

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Post by Synthbuilder » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:43 am

I had an original V-Synth. Upgraded it to V2 software but disliked the waveforms provided so managed to get the V2 with the older waveforms - which was much better for me.

Sample mangling was great but it's not that straightforward and it has a very clumsy way of loading in files. It also does imprint its own sound to the samples. Which can be a good thing.

The keybed is OK but it's not one of Roland's best. I found the keys to be quite shallow and it took me some time to get used to. Aftertouch was a bit on or off too.

The User Interface is excellent for the most part. It does suffer from the daft Roland tones and patches business. Edit a tone and every patch that uses it gets changed. Grrr.... I tended to keep tones and patches similarly named so I'd keep them together.

The virtual analogue side of it is shite. No, I hated it. It's why I sold it in the end. The D-50 card sounded more analogue than the VA part of the V-Synth. Horrid aliasing and nasty noises that shouldn't be there.

But if you ignore the VA side of things it is a great synth and I miss mine from time to time. But not often enough to buy one again.

Tony

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Post by sydilaxe » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:16 am

VA is definitely not the strong point of the V. It can work well when layered with your own encoded waveforms.

I should add that tempo synced modulations are also a strong point on the synth.

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Post by flo » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:46 am

:love: V-Synth rocks hard! :sb: I have an XT.

Can't add too much to what has been said so far. I completely ignore the VA side, apart from an occasional noise source.

The V-Synth does beautiful things to your samples. I spent whole evenings just patching up strange stuff on the modular to sample it into the V-Synth. It's beautiful. It will take anything and do its own thing with it.

Ignore the internal storage and just work with a PC card. Get a card reader and ignore the computer connectivity of the synth itself. The previous owner has left a nice project with AKS samples in my PC card. :hihi:

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Post by plaeground » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:22 pm

any thoughts or tips on integrating a vsynth into a modular setup?

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Post by flo » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:57 pm

Yes: modular synth sounds => v-synth sample bank :hihi:

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Post by sienisetä » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:13 am

That, or you could just use the V-synth as an effects processor or use the comb filters at some point of the signal chain or whatnot! Also I guess you could try feeding modular stuff to the vocoder :goo:
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Post by REwire » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:39 am

I ignored the V-Synth for years as a crummy VA but somehow the Aira System-1 reminded me of the classic JP-8000 Supersaw and Feedback osc that I haven't heard Roland really get well since the JP.

I just got a v2.0 V-Synth keyboard and really like it. Yes, its VA engine is a bit cheapish sounding but the patches with samples are really alive, especially FMd with the VA. Also the sounds with the supersaw and feedback are just like the JP8K and this unit takes them way further than most synths. I thought the Nord Wave would fulfill this sample mixing function but that was 10 times worse sounding than the V-Synth.

Man, I searched E-bay for VC-1 cards and, $500! Not happening. My Nor Modular will suffice.

Dan

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Post by skychance » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:24 am

:banana:

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Post by secretkillerofnames » Sat May 23, 2015 7:28 pm

I just got a V-Synth with V2 Firmware! What an amazing beast! :sb:

I have a question though - what do wigglers use for PC-Card expansion these days?

Is this something that might work?

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