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Arguably one of the best synths from Roland in a while, allowing relatively unique means of manipulating samples (and internal waveforms) using their Variphrase and COSM technology. Variphrase allows for - among other things - direct control over the formant of any sample (or internal waveform) which in turn has a significant effect on how the sounds are manipulated. The many COSM models (especially in the filter section) go some steps further in treatment of the oscillators. Don't be fooled by the presence of "only" two oscillators, because when you get digging into what you can do with just one oscillator, you'll hear that it doesn't take much to make some huge pads, fat basses and leads, etc, etc (although sometimes at the expense of polyphony). The large LCD touchscreen and a wealth of dedicated and assignable controls allow for an immediacy of editing. The dual D-beam is assignable to practically any parameter, as is the Time-Trip pad which, among other things, allows the performer to "freeze" a sample and wind it backwards or forwards in realtime. Arpeggiator and 4-track Step-Modulator allow for even greater sound mangling possibilities. It also has three effects sends allowing for a ton of choruses, delays, reverbs, distortions, EQs, etc, etc. They even include emulations of the classic Roland tape effect units (Space Echo and Space Chorus) along with some old Boss pedal emulations. Many of the effect parameters are able to be modulated via the D-beam or T-T pad. Probably the biggest drawback with the original V-Synth is the discontinuation of the VC-1 and VC-2 cards which remain extremely hard to find and much sought after. Although not essential, they do expand the V-Synth's already substantial tonal capabilities (the VC-2 Vocoder especially)
I got this legendary Roland V-Synth used at a local Guitar Center and it rocks hard.
The Variphrase Synthesizer is an automated digital powerhouse of techno and exotic musical dimensions, complete with lots of drum kits, hip hop programs, and freaky space alien sequences.
This is V-Synth Version 2, with 512 presets. Version 2 brings new analog-modeled oscillators, a completely new set of patches, and expressive features such as Sound Shaper, Multi-Step Modulator, Rhythm Kit Screen and more.
A notable addition is the presence of the classic SuperSaw, typical of the JP-8000 and JP-8080, and a staple of Trance music. SuperSaw generates multiple sawtooth waveforms in unison, to achieve a distinct sound often heard in electronic music.
Other improvements for the analog-modeled oscillators include the Polyphonic Feedback Oscillator for screaming sounds, and an X-mod (Cross Modulation) Oscillator for creating clangorous distorted timbres.
An amazing machine of synthesis that you can modulate with keys, touch pad, filter knobs, D Beam light sensors, and a touch screen menu.
It's basically a Granular Synthesis meets Virtual Analog meets weirdo Physical Modeling synth (AP Synthesis).
The time trip pad is fundamentally a fancy means of manipulating the index of what might as well be called a "graintable".
The variphrase encoding modes of "lite", "solo", "backing", and "ensemble" basically streamline how the grains are treated in some ways.
You can lock on single grains, jump around between the grains in weird ways, etc. There's a lot more to the V Synth than its granular abilities, but that's definitely a BIG part of what makes it unique.
It's large and heavy, but I plan to take it up on stage with me at my next live performance, along with the Roland JD-Xi, Moog Sub 37, Kaossilator Pro Plus, and Kaoss Pad 3 Plus.
File under: Instant Entertainment Machine.