Roland V-Synth

Roland V-Synth Image

Released in 2003, the V-Synth was a new flagship synthesizer from Roland debuting some of their coolest features of the time, allowing for a new world of sounds full of life and motion. The V-Synth combines multiple oscillator technologies, user sampling and new COSM filtering for incredibly dynamic new sounds. The user has realtime control of a waveform's pitch, time and formant plus a killer arpeggiator and a host of realtime controllers including the revolutionary TimeTrip Pad and twin D-Beam controllers. All this leads to sounds that can move, morph, evolve and sound totally unique.

The V-Synth has dual oscillators that offer a choice of three different synthesis methods: analog modeling, PCM waveforms with user sampling, and external audio input processing--all with up to 24-voice polyphony. The PCM oscillator is powered by VariPhrase for complete sonic control. Choose from over 300 preset waveforms or sample your own. Then use the "TimeTrip" function to manipulate a waveform's time aspect in any way you wish. Slow it down to uncover rich moving harmonic content; speed it up to create high-speed tonal motion; freeze it at your favorite spot; or rewind it backward at any speed without changing pitch and formant, which can also be independently controlled. The Analog modeling offers several fat-sounding analog style waveforms. The third oscillator type is External Audio Processing, which lets you process any signal arriving at the V-Synth's analog inputs. All three oscillator types can be layered and mixed in several ways, or modulated using FM, ring mod and oscillator hard sync.

All programming is achieved via the large LCD Touch Screen plus a bunch of hands-on controls and knobs including the new TimeTrip Pad, twin D Beams and the velocity/aftertouch sensitive 61-note keyboard. While you can independently manipulate the pitch, time and formant of sampled waveforms using VariPhrase technology there is also powerful COSM processing offering analog-style filter modeling, a resonator and Side Band Filter, plus global reverb, chorus and multi-effects. The V-Synth's programmable arpeggiator can modulate sound parameters to provides additional rhythmic and timbral controls.

The V-Synth is fully suited to the modern day studio as well, with analog I/O and MIDI ports supplemented by USB and digital S/PDIF I/O ports. Use the analog or digital inputs to sample your own waveforms to be used in the variable oscillator. You can even exchange .WAV and AIFF files via the built-in USB port, which also works for MIDI. Resampling is also possible, allowing users to capture any performance with the TimeTrip Pad, D Beam or arpeggiator - or even effected sounds - as an entirely new waveform. All Preset Patches are fully re-writeable, giving users plenty of space for their own creations, which can also be saved via USB to a computer or to an optional PC card. With PC card adapters, other media such as CompactFlash, SmartMedia and MicroDrives can also be used.

Additionally, with V-LINK Onboard Video Control users are allowed playback and performance of video clips with music created on the V-Synth via the Roland DV-7PR Digital Video Workstation (sold separately). Use V-LINK to trigger different video clips with V-Synth's keyboard while using the bender to change playback speed. Using the TimeTrip Pad, you can scan a clip forwards or backwards with your finger, or change colors using the Twin D Beams. A totally unique feature perfectly suited for live use.

Roland V-Synth Image

The V-Synth GT was later released in 2007 which adds Roland's Vocal Designer technology with revolutionary Articulative Phrase Synthesis technology. Articulative Phrase synthesis recreates the ever-changing behavior, nuance and sound of an instrument as it's being played. The results are stunningly expressive and realistic, and can be applied to acoustic instrument simulation as well as new, never-before-heard sounds. In a nutshell, it lets acoustic instrument sounds such as a violin sound like it's being played with a bow rather than keys on a keyboard. New front panel features include a color touch-screen with eight universal control knobs, and the addition of dedicated buttons and sliders to make access faster and easier. The GT could also has a maximum 28 voices of polyphony.

Roland V-Synth Image

The V-Synth XT is a rack-mount module version of the V-Synth released in 2005. Same amazingly powerful synthesis engine, minus some of the on-board perfomance controllers like the D-Beams and Trip Pad. However the large user touch screen is still fully represented. The XT comes pre-installed with Roland's VC-1 (D-50 emulator) and VC-2 (Vocal Designer). V-Synths have been used by BT, Asia, Ladytron, Orbital, Richard Barbieri, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) and more.

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89 Visitor comments
November 20, 2010 @ 11:50 am
I'm a happy owner of a V-Synth XT since 2007 and I just wanted to correct a little bit the phrase "minus some of the on-board perfomance controllers like the D-Beams and Trip Pad." in your review.
In fact the V-Synth does not have D-Beam, but it does have Time Trip Pad with both Rotating and X/Y controllers, like in the original V-Synth and on GT. The Time Trip Pad is accessible by pressing the CONTROL Button in the front Panel while PATCH PLAY Mode is selected.
John Smith
November 8, 2010 @ 11:34 am
Great synth! I just realized that you can sample using an USB cable with the XT (not sure about the keyboard version though). This is a great way to obtain sounds from soft synths to the XT. And all you need to do is connect the module to a computer via USB, access Sampling mode, select the USB sampling template, and then start sampling! What a lovely machine.
September 24, 2010 @ 10:37 pm
The V is a great synth that just continues to grow with you the longer you use it.

Does anyone know if the XT can output arpeggiator data to other MIDI devices?

It appears that it is possible, but it isn't totally clear from the PDF manual.
June 6, 2010 @ 11:36 pm
I was watching Doctor Who Confidential, and it looked like the sound effects man was using a V-synth to make the sonic screwdriver noises!
May 4, 2010 @ 9:31 am
@Biscuit Tim, and everybody else using V synth: The preset sounds in this thing surely sounds digital, in fact, the whole VA engine is very digital sounding. Samples processed as 'solo', 'backing' and 'ensemble' also automatically get a very digital character. After all, it's a digital synth! BUT!!! Try to sample a simple waveform out of your moog or any other analog synth (only ONE osc.) and make a single-cycle sample. DO NOT process the sample, leave it as 'lite'. In the osc. section, turn off all buttons except 'loop'. I don't understand why this sounds so INCREDIBLY much better than the factory shipped samples and VA engine, but it does. Add a tiny amount of lfo depth with a relatively slow rate to the pitch, call up the same sample for osc. 2, detune slightly, do the same lfo mod to the pitch but slightly different depth and rate. VOILA! Digital isn't exactly the first word that comes to mind anymore...TRY IT!!!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.45 (692 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Up to 24 voices (depends on CPU load); 16-part multitimbral (12 when using arhythm kit)
  • Oscillators - Dual Oscillators: Three types:
    2: PCM/Variphrase (Preset waveforms + Sampling waveforms)
    3: External Audio.
  • Sampler - Yes, make your own PCM samples. Sampling Frequency Internal: 44.1 kHz; Digital Audio IN/OUT: 96, 48, 44.1 kHz
  • Effects - MFX (Multi-effects): 41 sets; Chorus: 8 sets; Reverb: 10 sets; EQ; COSM: 16 types (OD/DS, W-SHAPE, AMP, SPEAKER, RESONATOR, SBF1, SBF2, COMB, DUAL, TVF, DYN-TVF, COMP, LIMITER, F-SHIFT, LO-FI, TB-FILTER).
  • Memory - 1 Project; 512 Patches; 999 Waves, Wave memory (RAM): 50 MB (When the unit ships from the factory, 32 MB of this is taken up by the preset waves.); PC CARD slot (Microdrive, SmartMedia or CompactFlash can be used with PC card adaptor.)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (with velocity and channel aftertouch)
  • Control - MIDI In/Out/Thru; USB
  • Date Produced -
    V-Synth: 2003
    V-Synth XT: 2005
    V-Synth GT: 2007
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Roland-US.

    Reviewed August 2008.

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