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V-synth GT


timwat

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Okay - I finally spent some quality time last week with a V-synth GT at Bananas at Large in San Rafael - 'bout the only place in the Bay Area I could find one.

 

Meh.

 

Was extremely unimpressed with the presets. I can see where the architecture allows some pretty deep programming, but I could not for the life of me find more than one or two presets that hinted at the potential under the hood (unlike some impressive YouTube vids I've seen).

 

What is up with that?

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GT is weird... it doesn't make you want to program your own sounds like the regular V-Synth does.... the dual tone architecture and lack of dedicated buttons is the main cause.

 

Regular V-synth is better for programming... I have the GT and I only use it for the vocoder and some leads and basses most of the time.

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Funny you say that, when I was shopping the V-Synth I was looking at the GT thinking it's more up to date and more powerful. But after playing with it for a couple of hours I was un-inspired. The salesman told me that he had an XT and liked it a lot better. So I tried that out, and immediately fell in love with its flexibility and power.

 

The GT's presets are trying to hard to impress with the dual brain architecture. Most, if not all, of those preset were unusable, whereas the XT has much more of your typical leads, basses and pads as well as the more specialized spacey FX stuff that the V excels at. But these machines aren't really about presets anyway. They're all about programming your own sounds.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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yeah, the regular V-Synth is really easy to program... just edit and save... the GT is harder... you edit select tones, make sure that tone doesn't affect other patches, or copy the tone, or, or or... etc... I have created some nice patches on my GT and lost them when I accidentally pressed something... annoying

 

V-Synth regular all the way...

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V-Synth GT programming sounds like the Nord Lead 3... before the v1.20 update. :-)

 

I can't imagine being inspired to program a synth that gets in your way like that.

 

V-Synth shouldn't have any presets at all, as they only do a bad job of selling it. Even quick-and-dirty raw patch creation produces more musical results than the presets.

 

The GT is the only model I've never sat down in front of and worked with for any length of time. I loved the original V-Synth, and this settles the question of "which one to get", should I ever add a V-Synth to my collection. :-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Ok, let me see if this summary is close:

 

The GT experience is less than the sum of its parts - Roland buried the direct programming that the original had, and the UI isn't really a pleasure. And it's pricey. But you can access both the Vocal Designer and V-Synth engine simultaneously, although the D-50 card doesn't work on the GT.

 

The XT has both the D-50 and Vocal Designer built-in. But you have to choose at boot, and it's a rack module so programming suffers vs. the KB version.

 

The original V-Synth has the most fans in terms of programming immediacy and original sound set. Does that get wiped with the 2.0 update? And you have to buy the VC2 and D50 cards separately if you want that functionality. But pricing used is getting reasonable.

 

Is that close?

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The XT has both the D-50 and Vocal Designer built-in. But you have to choose at boot, and it's a rack module so programming suffers vs. the KB version.

 

You don't have to turn off the machine and reboot to access the cards, just hit the V-Card button and select the mode. It does take a good 15 seconds or so to load though. I find the XT a pleasure to program. I usually pull it out of my rack and sit it on top of my keyboard to do my programming, then when I use it on a gig my patches are set and forget. For me it's better than having an extra 61 note keyboard with very limited controller capabilities. It's not like you want to be programming the thing live. If you're going to use it as a studio instrument it sits perfectly as table-top synth. The touch screen makes it a breeze to navigate and you get tons of visuals for your lfo's and envelopes.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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I think it's one of those things that you can only determine through experience. I have been similarly torn about the relative merits of the original vs. the XT, and as many of you know, compromised by getting VariOS Rack and the D-50 card a couple of years back, only to sell a month later when I was disappointed in reliability, poor sound (bad converters mostly), and extremely crippled architecture (as well as a dead-end product that wasn't likely to work with Intel Macs).

 

That was a bad compromise, and just further postponed the "real" decision on XT vs. keyboard. The Roland reps tried to convince me at NAMM that XT is better in terms of programming, even though it has fewer controls, as the reassignment of the controls that it does have is quicker and more intuitive than on the seemingly more control-laden original keyboard (the GT is no comparison).

 

So, Ian, am I reading between the lines that most patch programming on the original V-Synth is not adequately covered by the control surface and still requires deep menu-diving? That was my impression during my several 2-3 hour sessions with it a few years ago, but memories are by now a bit faint.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Yeah, Storm the Bastille... I mean, tell the local Guitar Center that we know ten people and they each know ten people, and maybe a Group Deal starting with just us two?

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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The original V-Synth has the most fans in terms of programming immediacy and original sound set. Does that get wiped with the 2.0 update? And you have to buy the VC2 and D50 cards separately if you want that functionality. But pricing used is getting reasonable.

 

Is that close?

 

Version 2.00 added a lot of new capabilities but came out with a different soundset than the original. Enough V-Synth owners bitched and Roland was nice enough to provide the version 1.00 soundset for version 2.00. So with the original V-Synth, you can run either soundset. Version 2.00 is the same as what's in the XT. I run version 2.00 OS with the 1.00 soundset.

 

Yes the Voice and D50 cards are extra. The voice is very hard to find (at a reasonable price). I have the D50 but never use it.

 

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=538

 

Busch.

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Yeah, ironically, it was the failure to find the Voice card that drove me to sell VariOS more than my frustration at its flakiness ans crippledness.

 

It's also why I didn't buy a V-Synth keyboard, now that I think about it, as I didn't want to put the applecart before the horse, so to speak. VariOS was $300 on blowout and sold back for almost that much, so was a very low cost investment even if it didn't help inform future V-Synth decisions the way I had hoped.

 

I hated the D-50 card, whether used in modern/clean mode or vintage/grunge mode. I shouldn't have been surprised, as at one point in the early 90's I owned SOMETHING in that series (I have no recollection which model it was), and didn't like it at the time either. Horses for courses.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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