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#2893549 - 12/01/17 11:12 AM Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe?
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2284
Loc: San Francisco
I searched for a thread on the VR730 but only found the one concerning the NAMM announcement. By now there may be folks on this forum who have played if not purchased one. Also, I figured a new thread could be justified if it had a provocative title.

My situation is I have a gig in a couple weeks. This would be the first gig in a few years that isn't solo piano (kiddies have grounded me until now), so I need a keyboard and would like to go with one do-it-all board. I can judge the sounds and features of the VR well enough through videos and whatnot, but I'm very curious how the action works for pianos. On the videos I've watched, pianos sounds seem to be triggering with little or no nuance. It may be that there's a sensitivity adjustment that the demonstrators on these videos didn't bother to adjust. What I'm hearing on the videos seems borderline unacceptable to me. Can anyone speak to this?

Also curious about how the swell pedal works for organ? Is it just a volume pedal or is it true swell and is it as smooth as it should be for a real clone?

There's a couple user reviews on the Sweetwater site that aren't very helpful. My questions will be answered once the VR is in stores, which I expect will be soon, but timing is tight with this gig.
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#2893565 - 12/01/17 12:31 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: Adan
timing is tight with this gig.


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#2893566 - 12/01/17 12:37 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
allan_evett Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 3718
Loc: Westville, IN
I just picked up one of these. So I guess this will be an initial, mini-review as well.

The VR-730 is not quite an 'Electro Killer', though it is pretty cool. The Electro 5 has flexible piano and synth memory; so you can make use of the Nord piano and sample libraries. Plus it has a much more flexible effects section, larger patch memory, and a couple other pluses. What is doesn't have is pitch/mod control, built-in drum tracks/looping, and the depth of synth power and programming that Roland provides.

As for piano touch, it's as nuanced as one could likely get on a waterfall action (which I found, BTW, to be stellar with the organ and synth sections); in other word, very passable for band work. Haven't played an NE5 action, but I can compare the VR-730 action to my SK1. I much prefer the VR-730 action, especially for piano tones. There are ten levels of velocity; coupled with a wide choice of piano tones, I've been able to dial in some surprisingly playable pianos.
I haven't connected a swell pedal, yet. The VR-730 only provides two pedal inputs: damper, and assignable - which I've been using with a pedal switch assigned to rotary speed.

The VR-730 is basically a slightly expanded VR-09b - with the 73-key waterfall action, and a nice handful of additional synth tones. I'd sold off a few pieces of gear recently, and had planned to pick up a Stage 3 Compact, but some unexpected expenses caused my compact, all-in-one to become this particular keyboard. I do miss detailed effects editing, multi-band EQ, and sample importing.... But the VR-730 does sound great; its core engines are solid and inspiring to play. Also, I just ordered in a Zoom MS-70CDR stereo effects pedal, which should help me feel more at 'home' on the VR.
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#2893571 - 12/01/17 12:50 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: allan_evett]
iluvchiclets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/10/13
Posts: 301
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The VR-730 keys/action would be viewed by "most" keyboardists as an improvement over the original VR-09. The action feels much more classy:)

That being said, I never had a problem with the action on the VR09 when I owned it...
I found it very easy to adjust my playing style to the piano and Rhodes sounds...no issues. But, if you have trouble doing that, there are velocity parameters you can adjust to suit your playing style.

It is a great keyboard for the price, but I feel the Nord Electros sound much better on the Hammond Organ modeling. And, speaking of action, I never have been able to adjust to the Nord action when playing pianos or EP's...quite the opposite of my VR experience! I have always wished Nord would make a synth-action keyboard with their Electros...
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#2893591 - 12/01/17 02:54 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: iluvchiclets]
Marillo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 345
Loc: UK
I own a VR-09 (updated with the latest rotary which is a big improvement) and was tempted by the 730, but what surprised me was the pricing. It's almost double the price of a VR-09, at £1300.

Given the Nord Electro 5 73 is only a couple of hundred more, I was more tempted by this option for the better Hammonds. I think Roland could have pitched a bit lower if they wanted to steal market share from Nord here.

However in the end they won out since I kept the 09 up top and bought an FA-07 as the bottom board!

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#2893599 - 12/01/17 03:49 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: allan_evett]
The_Star_Guy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 194
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I really appreciate the mini-review Allen! This keyboard is currently on my sub-$1500 'short list', along with the Kurzweil SP6. As soon as Sweetwater gets an SP6 in-house I plan to head there for an afternoon of hands-on playing time evaluation. i understand that the VR-730 has several additional new voices from the RD-2000. Could you elaborate on how well these sound and play from the waterfall keyboard?
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#2893600 - 12/01/17 04:07 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: allan_evett]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2284
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: allan_evett
Haven't played an NE5 action, but I can compare the VR-730 action to my SK1. I much prefer the VR-730 action, especially for piano tones.


That's a useful reference. For piano, I thought the SK1 was passable for band work, but just barely. Good to know the VR surpasses it.
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#2893663 - 12/02/17 09:26 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: The_Star_Guy]
allan_evett Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 3718
Loc: Westville, IN
Originally Posted By: The_Star_Guy
I really appreciate the mini-review Allen! This keyboard is currently on my sub-$1500 'short list', along with the Kurzweil SP6. As soon as Sweetwater gets an SP6 in-house I plan to head there for an afternoon of hands-on playing time evaluation. i understand that the VR-730 has several additional new voices from the RD-2000. Could you elaborate on how well these sound and play from the waterfall keyboard?


Star Guy, It will be interested to get your impressions of the VR-730, once you’ve gotten some hands-on time with it.

Regarding the additional voices (beyond the VR-09 sound set): There are two versions of the V Grand from the RD-2000, and having 10 levels of ‘Initial Touch’ - VR-speak for velocity - is a plus, in that individual players should be able to find their ‘sweet spot’ in the action. So far I’ve been using Levels 9 and 10, on the most sensitive end of the scale. It’s about the same as the fingers-to-ears connection of the JP-50’s action, as used with its SuperNatural pianos.
_________________________
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#2893671 - 12/02/17 10:10 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: allan_evett]
ApprenticeGary Offline
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Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 46
Loc: Beijing
Korg Vox continental 73 looks tempting.
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#2893678 - 12/02/17 11:54 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: ApprenticeGary]
brenner13 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 951
Loc: Kansas
Not sure about the new ones, but the VR09 does actual swells; overdrive ramps up with the volume. Ended up using Yamaha FC7 with an Ashby adapter (unfortunately out of production) as I just could not get decent amounts of throw with Roland's EV5 or M-Audio's EX-P and the small amount of control seemed jittery and difficult to set. Recently, my 2nd Yami in 20 years broke and was pleased to find that Behringer's FCV100 works nearly as well however only with the Ashby in line. Perhaps the new ones have addressed the foot-controller parameters?

I'm just a local bar band hack, but have been quite pleased with this little board. Four-and-a-half years of dirty bars, sunny weddings, hot festivals, dusty fairs, and damp pool parties, this light-weight keyboard has really held up well.
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#2893749 - 12/03/17 07:29 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: ApprenticeGary]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2284
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: ApprenticeGary
Korg Vox continental 73 looks tempting.


How did I totally miss this keyboard? Indeed it looks like a worthy competitor for my needs. But the 73 is not available in time for my gig.

Is there a thread on the Korg Vox? I tried to search but maybe I'm not finding the right search terms, all I see are threads about the classic Vox.
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#2893756 - 12/03/17 07:46 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
J. Dan Offline
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#2893760 - 12/03/17 08:59 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: J. Dan]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2284
Loc: San Francisco
Well it's time for a new thread on that keyboard too!

I think the CX-3 engine might be considered a weak point, but only if you're holding this up against state of the art clones. As a do-it-all lightweight board dressed up in retro clothing, I think it looks pretty great. The tube could be a big plus.

OK, so it's a "Vox Continental," but I mean, they could has called it almost anything. . . a Korg Pianet, because it's got that sound engine on it too. I exaggerate, but only a little.

It's pricey, but maybe it deserves to be in the same price category as the Electro.
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#2893761 - 12/03/17 09:08 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11273
Originally Posted By: Adan
Is there a thread on the Korg Vox?

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2877322/1
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#2893765 - 12/03/17 09:25 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: AnotherScott]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2284
Loc: San Francisco
Thanks, Scott. Looks like still no user reviews by forum members. The thread ends with Teashea saying he's posted a review, but I don't see it.

Like others, I was fooled into thinking it's dual timbral and it's not. Still, looks like a very cool board in its own right.
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#2893781 - 12/03/17 12:33 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: Adan
The thread ends with Teashea saying he's posted a review, but I don't see it.

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2887531
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#2893873 - 12/04/17 07:54 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: brenner13]
DannyDep Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 8
Loc: FL, USA
I'm new to these forums and certainly wouldn't consider myself a keyboard player.... more like a user.
I haven't played live since the late 70s, except for a high school band reunion in 1996.
All of my playing now is done in my home studio, where I can quickly fix any strange sounding notes that might have gotten in the way while recording.
I am also new to Roland keyboards.... but I remember sitting down to an A-90 way back when they first came out and was very impressed by the keyboard action.

So for what it's worth, I am the happy new owner of a VR-730. I've had it a couple of weeks now and
really like the ability to change the action on the keyboard.
My fingers need lots more exercise to be able to play at the Initial touch setting of 10.
I am happy that I can lower that to where it is much closer to the touch on my Triton Studio.

As for the pedal, like Brenner13 I too am using a Yamaha FC7. It gets much closer to the Hammond EXP-100F pedal that I have for my XK3C.
Tried both the M-Audio and Ernie Ball 250K Mono and they don't come close to the FC7 for use with the VR-730, imho.
The reason I bought the VR-730 is to practice for a 51st year Reunion gig later next year...
based on how that goes I might consider getting out and playing live again... we'll see.

I also tried an SK1 first, but felt that the learning curve was going to be much longer with that keyboard as opposed to the Roland.
Also I feel that the Roland has better non-organ sounds than the SK1...
Because I have an XK3C my Hammond sounds are already taken care of.

There are a few software problems that I'm having but the only real concern is that it appears that recording with the VR-730 into my sequencer, Cubase,
may be not quite as easy as turning a Local On switch Off like it is with my Korg.
I am having problems recording organ swells.... and awaiting Roland support's answer on how to use the VR-730 with Cubase,
as there appears to be, hopefully not a Rubik's cube solution to this problem.

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#2894005 - 12/05/17 12:43 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: DannyDep]
mojkarma Offline
Member

Registered: 09/18/17
Posts: 16
Originally Posted By: DannyDep

There are a few software problems that I'm having but the only real concern is that it appears that recording with the VR-730 into my sequencer, Cubase,
may be not quite as easy as turning a Local On switch Off like it is with my Korg.
I am having problems recording organ swells.... and awaiting Roland support's answer on how to use the VR-730 with Cubase,
as there appears to be, hopefully not a Rubik's cube solution to this problem.


The VR is a simple bitimbral keyboard (bitimbral meaning it produces not more than two sounds at once). It's a simple setup with cubase because you cannot create complex songs on the midi level.
If you want to record midi, you don't need to turn local keyboard control off. There is also a way to tell cubase not to pass the notes back to the keyboard when you play. I don't use cubase at this time but I think you simply need to turn the monitor function off. It should be right there in the track where you solo/mute/set record.
Since the keyboard is bitimbral, you anyway need to record everything as audio to free the keyboard up for new tracks.

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#2894151 - 12/05/17 03:30 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: mojkarma]
wcsound Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/16
Posts: 9
My new 730 is in the mail and I already have a problem. Was excited to review all the available axial sounds for it and have the ones I like waiting to install, but find the Axial site totally confusing.

The page seems to be divided into collections per model and the VR-09 only has one choice - 'Cover Band Collection'.

Click on that and you get a page where you can download Cover Band but seemingly also preview any of the following in it... 'Lead - Organ - Pop - Rock - Synth'.

Click on Lead, you go to a japanese site with 20 collections similar to the ones you DIDN'T have a choice of if you first chose VR-09 in 'select your synthesizer'.

And you can keep going in circles from there.

Bottom line, does anyone know what Collections or sounds from the Axial site are available to download into your VR-09/730? Boy would it be disappointing if only that one collection was the only one, seemingly the only one with a little picture of the VR-09 as being compatible with.

Thanks in advance!


Edited by wcsound (12/05/17 04:42 PM)

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#2894169 - 12/05/17 05:17 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: wcsound]
LX88 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1765
Did they put vibrato on the percussion like the VR-09 has?

If so, I'd still like to find an affordable VK8m module, one of the best pieces of gear Roland ever put out ( for those who like the VK organ engine concept.)

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#2894172 - 12/05/17 05:58 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: LX88]
allan_evett Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 3718
Loc: Westville, IN
Originally Posted By: LX88
Did they put vibrato on the percussion like the VR-09 has?

If so, I'd still like to find an affordable VK8m module, one of the best pieces of gear Roland ever put out ( for those who like the VK organ engine concept.)



That was one of my favorites, as well. I gigged with a Triton Extreme 76 / VK8m combination for several years. I saw a few VK8m modules on reverb.com today..
_________________________
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#2894175 - 12/05/17 06:14 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: LX88]
brenner13 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 951
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: LX88
Did they put vibrato on the percussion like the VR-09 has?


This has been fixed with the latest firmware. No more warbley perc.
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#2894197 - 12/05/17 08:46 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: brenner13]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2284
Loc: San Francisco
Well I ordered a Vox Continental. The VR730 might be a more logical choice, but I just couldn't get excited about it. I think the Vox is going to be one of those keyboards that, despite its functional shortcomings, can get you excited about playing something that feels like a real instrument. We'll see.

That the Vox can't do splits is a major shortcoming, but I've always been ambivalent and splits anyway. Is it worth the convenience of one board to be compromising either piano or organ action? I'm never able to resolve that debate for myself. My plan, for now , is to use a Vox + RD64 on gigs but bring only the Vox to rehearsal.

I'll report on the VOX in a week or so.
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#2894205 - 12/05/17 10:04 PM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5584
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Adan
Well I ordered a Vox Continental.


It's 1966 all over again ! My second keyboard and first upgrade over a really funky Wurlitzer my Mom bought for me that I seem to remember being $100.

The Sweetwater demo sounds great ! A bit of an SV-1/Grandstage vibe, which I guess is no surprise.


Edited by Dave Ferris (12/05/17 10:15 PM)
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#2894212 - 12/06/17 12:34 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: LX88]
The_Star_Guy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 194
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Originally Posted By: LX88
Did they put vibrato on the percussion like the VR-09 has?

If so, I'd still like to find an affordable VK8m module, one of the best pieces of gear Roland ever put out ( for those who like the VK organ engine concept.)





FYI, the "C/V applied to percussion" bug was fixed in firmware update version 1.12 by Roland for the entire current V-Combo series.
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#2894460 - 12/07/17 07:12 AM Re: Roland VR-730: Electro Killer or Wannabe? [Re: Adan]
teashea Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 73
Originally Posted By: Adan
Originally Posted By: ApprenticeGary
Korg Vox continental 73 looks tempting.


How did I totally miss this keyboard? Indeed it looks like a worthy competitor for my needs. But the 73 is not available in time for my gig.

Is there a thread on the Korg Vox? I tried to search but maybe I'm not finding the right search terms, all I see are threads about the classic Vox.



I did a review of mine, which I posted here. It is a terrific machine. Solid build quality and excellent sounds with a very good layout.

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