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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88 Visitor comments
chris blythe ex stepp guitar
March 23, 2011 @ 9:09 pm
the GT version is indeed worth the extra the basically xy ribon controller is either momentary when and where touched or locking when it remembers where you touch it (holding until retouched) hence drumming your fingures on it will produce various tonal changes or in unlocked mode will release very usefull especially when conected to a filter tones. The GT can resample itself on the fly and one of the resons I bought was that it can sample without timestretching/shortening allbeit with a processing operation after the sample is taken, I can live with that though a superb and unique kit
March 11, 2011 @ 8:42 pm
A question please, that may also be of import to others; I understand you can't use multi samples on the V Synth, but if you were to load a sample into it, seeing as it uses a take on the Variphrase technology, would the sample change length as you played up or down the keyboard? Is it possible to acheive this with editing or only real time tweaking? Or am I being thick, and this is the entire point of the sample engine?!! I ask this because even though I've never played one, I'm getting serious lust (!) for a V Synth and I see this as an important point.
Thanks :)
February 13, 2011 @ 7:48 pm
I bought GT Ver.2 a year ago. I turn on this one everyday and tweak presets, but I do not save them usually as user interface is very friendly and I can reach to my desired variation of a preset fairly easily. I have not got bored with this process yet. I have to say this is the best synth I ever had in my life. I own M3Expanded with Radius board, Virus TI, Micron and Blofeld, and I also own DSI Tetra (real analog), love each of them in their own respective features, but V-Synth GT would remain as my master keyboard and source of inspiration for years to come.
December 22, 2010 @ 6:44 pm
The V-Synth is a superb machine from Roland. I have the original version 2 V-Synth. A superb selection of nice presets too, especially the pads - many of them are simply gorgeous!!

I can only think of two minus points. Firstly, it is NOT multi-timbral. You can split the keyboard into 'zones' and edit the settings of an existing patch in additional zones. But you cannot simply split the keyboard and assign preset sounds into each split. This is a shame, as there are some fantastic Arps and pads to use here.

The second minus point is simply the Owners Manual. It is well illustrated, but in places some of the 'instructions' (how to split/create zones being one of them!) are very vague and unclear, with certain 'steps' missing! For the majority of us who are not quite expert users yet, this is something Roland need to improve on.

I LOVE the SuperSaws and Pads!!! OUTSTANDING!!
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.
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Rated 4.45 (689 Votes)

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  • 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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