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#2464120 01/21/13 10:32 AM
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Roland V-Combo VR-09

Travel-ready, affordable, and outfitted with top-level Roland sounds, the V-Combo VR-09 is the ideal all-in-one solution for performing keyboard players. Dedicated piano, organ, and synth sound engines—organized in three intuitive blocks on the front panel—provide all the essential tones you need, right under your fingertips. The powerful real-time controls give you maximum expression on stage, with nine sliders for tone shaping and a large array of knobs and buttons for tweaking the seven simultaneous effects and various parameters. Other great features include an onboard looper, a drum section stocked with a library of rhythms for practice and jamming, and more. With its versatile sound selection, inspiring operation, and smart user interface, the V-Combo VR-09 is a dream come true for gigging musicians.

•Professional keyboard with instant-access operation for performing musicians
•Light and mobile; battery or AC power
•Pro-quality acoustic and electric pianos, including grand piano with 88-note stereo multi-sampling
•SuperNATURAL-powered Virtual Tone Wheel organ with nine harmonic bars, plus newly developed transistor-type ‘60s organ tone
•Wide range of synth tones, from vintage classics to modern essentials
•Seven simultaneous effects with dedicated real-time controls
•Looper and built-in rhythm patterns; WAV/MP3/SMF song playback via optional USB memory
•Free VR-09 Editor app available for iPad

Last edited by whitenoise; 01/21/13 10:38 AM.
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If it's cheaper than the Nords and Hammonds SK, looks like a good choice for a stage keyboard. Did not figure out how to split/layer and determine where each sound go on the keyboard, by looking on the picture... Looks like it's a menu thing? If we can grind up easily the EPs and clavs and assign things to the exp pedal like wah or ring mod, better yet... The less it's derved from the VR700, the better.


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Hmmm...a clonewheel-ish rig-in-a-box that can run on batteries...add a battery-powered amp and take busking to a whole 'nother level... grin

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Last edited by B3Nut; 01/21/13 10:56 AM.

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Looks Great on paper and it looks like a really cool "all in one" but unfortunately it's still got the VK series organ (which I can't stand), however given the quality of clones these days you have to hope that they've improved the organ, and the documentation does referenace a new "twin" leslie effect.IF the organ is any good this could be a great keyboard!! The write up states that capable of splits and layers and the fact that it has an s on the end of each of those words suggests that it's not limited to one split/layer (like the SK series) and perhaps it's capable of splits that involve piano and strings for example (which is beyond the capability of the SK and the Nord stuff as well) Once again, there only seems to be one stereo output so I would expect you can't send the organ sounds to a separate output for use with a Ventilator or a real leslie.. this is dissappointing but the d-beam is a great feature an the ability to edit sound and programs via the ipad interface is really cool.. Personally if it sounds good, it could be a great little all-in-one.

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Originally Posted By: Craig MacDonald
".. once again there only seems to be one stereo output so I would expect you can't send the organ sounds to a separate output for use with a Ventilator or a real leslie.."

If this is true it would be the 3rd keyboard (VR760 and VR700 being the other two) where they missed the mark on this ...


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Looks like a 10 pound battery powered toy. I bet that is one fine action.


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I had predicted a 61-key 2-zone Jupiter 50/80 variant, but at least this is somewhat in the ballpark. ;-)

It looks like it might use Jupiter 50 keys, which are great, though since the model is organ-centric, it would have been nice if they had kept the waterfall keys of the VR-700, which was also a great keybed. They do make a point of saying that the keyboard "has an extremely fast response, perfect for essential organ techniques such as trill, sputter, glissando, and percussive hits" so I wonder whether they may have implemented a shallow trigger on it, which the 50 doesn't have (though it's a good feeling action for organ regardless).

It's interesting that the say it is a "SuperNATURAL" tonewheel organ model, which is what they call the organ modeling in the Jupiters. I don't know if that necessarily means its fundamentally different from its VK based predecessors, or whether they may have retroactively applied that moniker to the same technology (since it does seem to be a catch-all phrase for sounds that are at least partially modeled rather than sampled, which would also describe the VK organ technology). But I like the iPad app they show, to give easier access to some of the deeper organ parameters. As someone mentioned in another forum, it would be excellent if that app were to be adapted for the Jupiter 50, whose organ model is weak... and it is unclear how much of the issue is in the sound engine, and how much is in the lack of any easy way to manipulate all its organ parameters in a sensible way.

I think they skimped just a little too much on the front panel buttons, though, in that you *must* have the iPad app if you want immediate one-click access to a number of the parameters that organ players generally want at their fingertips, i.e. switching percussion from 2nd to 3rd, and the other similar percussion and C/V settings. Without the iPad, it looks like you have to create presets for the ones you want, but on the fly, you can only turn those things on and off, rather than being able to adjust their parameters.

I'll be curious to hear what they have done with Leslie simulation. They do say "a new 'Twin Rotary' option delivers a deep, aggressive effect never before heard."

It looks like a good competitor to the SK1. I'm guessing the SK1 may keep the edge in organ sound and ergonomics, and the Roland may have the edge in most other sounds, more flexible splitting, possibly key feel, and probably price. As a MIDI controller, the Roland has pitch/mod controls, but I'll be curious to see whether it has the multi-zone Program Change functionality that the Hammond has.

Though having broken with tradition with a 64-key piano, I do wish they had extended this down at least to 69 keys to get a low E for splits. (The previous V-Combos were 76 keys.)


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Originally Posted By: Delaware Dave
Originally Posted By: Craig MacDonald
".. once again there only seems to be one stereo output so I would expect you can't send the organ sounds to a separate output for use with a Ventilator or a real leslie.."

If this is true it would be the 3rd keyboard (VR760 and VR700 being the other two) where they missed the mark on this ...

Yes, it would be a shame if, again, you couldn't pan different sounds out to different outputs.


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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Yes, it would be a shame if, again, you couldn't pan different sounds out to different outputs.


Yeah, that rules it out - again - for me. Three strikes, Roland...

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Let's not forget that the electros also have similar outputs and they allow splitting between organ and other sounds. Let's hope that Roland made their homework on this and on better and more flexible offerings on the EPs and Clavs, with pickup combinations on the latter and the possibility to assign wah to the exp pedal.*


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Synth keys on a keyboard that emphasizes organ, piano and EPs seems like a mistake. If the clavs are like the ones in the Jupiter they are very weak, IMO. I think everything else would be pretty OK.

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Just a comment on the "supernatural" organ designation.. I tend to think of the sounds that Roland designates as "supernatural" sounds are simply instruments that have charactistics that are specifically "modelled", and by this I mean that it's more than a sample merely played out from beginning to end, but in this case they create s unique, instrument specific, Effect that Affects that tonal characteristics or performance/playability of the instrument. So because the VK Organ "engine" has organ specific characteristics (like percussion and C/V etc.. they simply now categorize it as a "supernatural" sound.. So from my perspective the "supernatural" organ is nothing more than the standard VK series organ, perhaps with some minor tweaking and a new leslie sim.

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But hey, they seemed to have learned something from Nord: reduce the number of program (registration) buttons to four. Interesting that they take one of the few things that was better on the previous VR series models and adopt an inferior design here. Sigh....

This (combined with the lack of a dedicated percussion button and extra outputs) makes me scratch my head.

I'm an engineer. I understand design tradeoffs. There are areas where some people will disagree (mod wheel vs paddle, placement of the control section,etc.) But the items above are things that almost everyone will complain about and they should know that. How? By simply reading comments about their previous VR series and competitors. It's like they think they are still in competition with just Korg and Yamaha.

OTOH, I'm sure the other sounds are probably top-notch ROMpler fare and there is a price point where this will draw some folks (non-Hammond purists) in. We will see if they meet that price point.

I've owned a lot of Roland gear in the past and I always thought their reliability was top notch and (unlike some folks) appreciated their "recycling" of technology into low-cost packages (e.g. JV-1010). But I haven't been excited about anything they've done in a while.


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Originally Posted By: Sam Mullins
I haven't been excited about anything they've done in a while.

The Jupiter 50 and Integra 7 are pretty cool pieces. Though not without their requisite "scratch your head" design decisions.

On a side note, any chance an Admin can shrink the pic in the first post so that the whole page isn't so wide that those of us with laptop screens need to scroll left to right just to read posts?


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Originally Posted By: Craig MacDonald
Just a comment on the "supernatural" organ designation.. I tend to think of the sounds that Roland designates as "supernatural" sounds are simply instruments that have charactistics that are specifically "modelled", and by this I mean that it's more than a sample merely played out from beginning to end, but in this case they create s unique, instrument specific, Effect that Affects that tonal characteristics or performance/playability of the instrument. So because the VK Organ "engine" has organ specific characteristics (like percussion and C/V etc.. they simply now categorize it as a "supernatural" sound.. So from my perspective the "supernatural" organ is nothing more than the standard VK series organ, perhaps with some minor tweaking and a new leslie sim.


I agree. My point on the clavs, again at least based on the Jupiter. Roland might claim the SN sounds don't use samples but listen to the clavs and you'll hear right away the initial attack sound followed by a static loop. It sounds no different than any of the clavs they've done in the past, even if you can tweak the release or something similar. I think SN is different on some of the other instruments like the trumpet, violin, guitars, etc. So I'm not saying it's BS, only that when they say everything in the Jupiter is SN, that's a stretch.

This is all just speculation based on other models. Maybe the clavs are completely new and awesome--one needs to stay positive.

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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Sam Mullins
I haven't been excited about anything they've done in a while.

The Jupiter 50 and Integra 7 are pretty cool pieces. Though not without their requisite "scratch your head" design decisions.


Yeah, the Jupiter 50 would probably have interested me the last time I replaced my second tier, but I wanted something shorter and lighter. But that's just my peculiar situation and I'll grant you that the Jupiter keyboards are worthy offerings.

The Integra would interest me at half the price. I just can't justify 2K for something that will duplicate a lot of sounds I already have.


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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Sam Mullins
I haven't been excited about anything they've done in a while.

The Jupiter 50 and Integra 7 are pretty cool pieces. Though not without their requisite "scratch your head" design decisions.

On a side note, any chance an Admin can shrink the pic in the first post so that the whole page isn't so wide that those of us with laptop screens need to scroll left to right just to read posts?


yeah, this is a PITA to read


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Can u split just the organ on the single keyboard?

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price?


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Why do they even bother


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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Let the bitching begin. The fuckin keyboard just came out and people are complaining.


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Curious about what that tone knob is for. Some kind of EQ?


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Originally Posted By: Joe Muscara
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Let the bitching begin. The fuckin keyboard just came out and people are complaining.

LOL. So Roland does have something in common with Hammond...


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Originally Posted By: To B3


At first I thought this was purely a Nord Electro knockoff,

I suggested an onboard looper in a Kurzweil forum six years ago. And it's cool to see it implemented in a bread and butter board. It really works.

Despite the fact that I hate Roland's clonewheel, this keyboard seems strangely fascinating.

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I will give them credit for using the drawbars for something useful outside organ mode. This isn't the case for Nord (not sure about the Hammond SK...I'm sure someone who has one can comment here.)

From the video: I thought the pianos/epianos sounded good. Clav and organ not so much...but would have to play them in person to adequately evaluate.


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If the price point is right, these will sell a lot. Happy to see a lot of Electro competing products as that's a good area.

Last edited by Kent-H; 01/21/13 02:52 PM.
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Could be an interesting entry-level keyboard if the price is right. I see it as being in the same niche as the Juno series -- unlikely to be sought after by the kind of players who inhabit this forum, but more suited to, say, high schoolers or maybe serious musicians who are dabbling in keys. The previous VR keyboards were priced out of those people's range. They were priced as serious do-it-all keyboards, but didn't compete well in that market. This one should be priced to compete at a lower strata.

Last edited by Adan; 01/21/13 03:00 PM.

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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott


On a side note, any chance an Admin can shrink the pic in the first post so that the whole page isn't so wide that those of us with laptop screens need to scroll left to right just to read posts?


If the VR09 didn't have the characteristic Roland real estate on the left end, this thread would be more easily readable!


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Yeah, I think they need to market this as an all-in-one first and a hammond clone second. The video is structured that way and it makes sense. Play to your strengths (better overall non-organ sounds than the Hammond or Electro) and it also does organ. I could see it appealing to people who might buy a MOX/Motif but need better organ sounds.


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