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What should new Roland VR-09 successor look like?


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I am guessing that Roland have a new version of the VR in development, given that by and large the VR-09 has been a success.

I would definitely be hoping for:

 

Nice waterfall keys

Proper draw bars

Updated B3/rotary sim

Arpeggiators

Bit more work-station leanings.

 

What do you guys predict?

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I had one for a while. Liked how it was set up and very intuitive for me to operate. If they had just built it a bit better I would have hung on to it - a decent waterfall keyboard and drawbar sliders that didn't pop off so easily.

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Given current trends, I'd expect 49 keys, no physical drawbars. :crazy:

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

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Man, I'd love to see it as a bit of a nord stage killer and offer it with a 76 key weighted action (like the Nord HP, light hammer action).
Viscount Legend, Leslie 142, Nord Stage 3 HA88, Rhodes MK1 1977, Moog Sub 37, Dave Smith Rev2, Juno 106, DX7
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It needs to accept programme change messages!!

 

And it needs to be programmable so that my favourite sounds (with tweaks ideally) sit at the top of each category so I can get at them easily....

 

And it would be VERY GOOD if, in each registration, you could set one sound from each of the three categories and swap between them.

 

And the factory soundssettings should have much less reverb etc. added to them so they are actually usable without tweaking

 

And much more than 4 sounds in a bank. Ideally 10 (or more,)...

 

If it did all this I would order one right now.

 

 

 

 

"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" ;) Bluzeyone
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I am guessing that Roland have a new version of the VR in development, given that by and large the VR-09 has been a success.

I would definitely be hoping for:

 

Nice waterfall keys

Proper draw bars

Updated B3/rotary sim

Arpeggiators

Bit more work-station leanings.

 

What do you guys predict?

Waterfall keys are not a must for me. Some real tonewheel Hammonds didn't have them. The first digital Korg CX3 was lipped... they replaced it with waterfall, but the waterfall action didn't feel quite as good! All else equal, sure, go waterfall, but it's a low priority for me. I would like the action to be better, though. If it was the action of the Jupiter 50 (or 80, but I assume that's too heavy/costly), I'd be fine with it. I'd prefer either of those actions to the waterfall action on the Nords, for example.

 

I would prefer properly spaced drawbars like the older VR (and VK) models. That's more important to me than waterfall (as long as it's a good action), but still not a deal-killer.

 

Rotary sim/overdrive is an interesting one. Roland can do better than what they've done in the VR-09, they took out the COSM amp simulations from older models. But I assume that was part of the cost cutting, considering how cheap the VR-09 was compared to its various predecessors. So I guess I'd say it's a cost-benefit consideration to me. Action is more important... if it cost $200 more to get a good action on it, I'd do it, you can't fix action after the fact, and it would create a much better instrument. But if it's going to cost $200 to get a good rotary sim, I'd rather they just provided enough routing to get the organ out its own output, and let me put a Vent or whatever on it if I wanted, since I'm skeptical that whatever Roland would do would be as good as some of what's out there, and what's in there is usable for many. I don't want to pay a bunch more for something I still might not be satisfied with and would want to enhance with a pedal anyway.

 

I've never used and don't even fully understand the purpose of an arpeggiator for gigging. (Expect maybe for trying to cover Baba O'Riley.) But I guess that's just me.

 

VR is a performance board. Maybe Roland should have a new high end workstation, that's a whole other topic, but I'd say if so, the new VR should not be it. I'd say more workstation features would be more of an FA enhancement, of the two. I wouldn't expect or even want them to be in the VR, where the emphasis is on direct controls and simplicity. (I tend to think arpeggiator probably falls into this same category.)

 

As for other things I'd really like to see added... I'd like the drawbars to have an option for sending out standard MIDI CC (ideally, a global default but something you could also turn on or off with a setting in a Registration... and if you want to get fancy, even the ability to change which CCs they send within a given Registration).

 

I'd want to be able to use the stereo outputs as dual mono outputs, so I could do things like send the organ out one jack and everything else out the other, or LH bass out one jack and everything else out the other, etc., with that setting having a global default with a registration-specific over-ride. (And/or the addition of a separate assignable out, like the FA. Ideally, both. But I could settle for either one,)

 

Registrations should be able to store what you want the pedal to do on a patch-by-patch basis, instead if pedal function only being a global assignment. I want the option of using the sustain pedal as a rotary toggle on organ, without losing the ability to use it as a sustain pedal when I switch back to piano! (A second foot switch jack would be nice, too, but I'd settle for more flexible assignment of the one that's there.)

 

Registrations that involve Splits should be able to store two MIDI Program Changes, one for each side of the split.

 

I'd also want the ability to externally recall a Registration with a MIDI Program Change.

 

It's funny that they design the VR-09 with a high expectation that you may have an iPad (a lot of what you can do with the VR requires their app), but then cripple its ability to work with the iPad in so many other ways, with its weak MIDI implementation (i.e. in terms of its limited abilities to send MIDI CCs or send/receive Program Changes).

 

I'd want 10 patch select buttons instead of 4.

 

I'd want 73-ish keys, and aftertouch, though that much seems a lost cause these days.

 

Short of the keys and buttons, in theory, most of this can be done with the hardware that's already there. A software update to do these things would be great, if it were feasible.

 

I have no reason to believe Roland is working on any of this. ;-)

 

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'd like them to take the clone engine and combine it with all that the FA offers for a multi-need live performer. and fix whatever it is about both keybeds that everyone on KC hates (I've not played either for more than a couple seconds).

 

and make every model in a 7x option. just in general.

 

 

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Man, I'd love to see it as a bit of a nord stage killer and offer it with a 76 key weighted action (like the Nord HP, light hammer action).

 

I upgraded from a VR-09 to an NS2EX this year and let me tell you that the difference is orders of magnitude more than just the keybed and action.

 

The Nord just makes it SO INTUITIVE to get what you're going for. No menus. No combined rotary encoders that change both effect depth and effect speed. The sound manager and sample editor and ability to import samples of your own creation put the NS2 in a completely different class.

 

 

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I'd like them to take the clone engine and combine it with all that the FA offers for a multi-need live performer.

The clone engines are virtually identical between the two already (some difference in rotary effect options). So I guess what you really want is an FA with drawbars. Which was actually something you could get until the Ocean Beach unit was discontinued. (video below)

 

And yes, if the the FA were available in a 7x key config, I'd likely have bought one.

 

For those looking for a reasonably lightweight and well-priced 7x key rompler+clonewheel+MIDI controller board, the Kurzweil Artis7 is nice, with the usual caveat of how you feel about the action.

 

[video:youtube]

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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The suggestions/comments above are all spot-on - are you listening Roland?

 

I've been holding out on buying a Hammond or Mojo because I do like 95% of my VR09, and am hoping Roland will release its "big brother - just so many relatively minor (and not so minor) annoyances keep me from total joy with my VR09:

 

1. Keybed is fast, but way to springy. My Roland Juno Gi feels much better, yet is only a few years older - what happened?

 

2. The above noted 4 registrations vs 10 - why 4?

 

3. Dedicated effects knobs with quick access - such a great idea, but why no ability, even in menus, to vary the effect intensity? Its crazy, the amount of effect is mixed way too high to be useful for some application, delay for example is pretty much all on or off, no slight amount of background delay. nothing you can do about it. Speaking of delay - no ability to turn delay (or any other effect) on with a button push at the end of a musical passage (for trails, etc.) - have to twist the knob, which is pretty much impossible to get the timing right. As Scott knows above (and I can confirm with my Juno Gi) Roland has the COSM amp sim and effect technology, if they would put it in the VR09 it would be a killer combo.

 

4. As xKnuckles noted, no ability to accept Program Change over MIDI - come on Roland, you've been doing MIDI as long as about anyone out there - what happened, did all those MIDI engineers retire, and the only one left is the guy who still insists on the stupid D-beam thing? I'd swap out D-beam for better MIDI implementation in a heartbeat, and I bet many others would too.

 

5. Slightly better 2nd keyboard implementation - its pretty good, but there are enough quirks/impediments that makes you figure oh well, I'll just bring a full 2nd keyboard and not bother with MIDI'ing it in.

 

HAVING SAID ALL THAT I still am very happy with my VR09 purchase, and it has been a great keyboard for live use.

 

Would happily pay ~2X more if they could fix the above issues, and release a "Pro" version - it would then be a fantastic live machine, half the cost of a Nord, and much more capable than comparable Hammond or Mojo offerings.

 

Guess their market analysis suggests there are not enough people who would buy something like that, not sure.

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Yeah, I wouldn't miss the d-beam. The times I can spare a hand from playing, I can do what I need with a wheel or other hard control, with the benefit of tactile feedback. I never understood what the d-beam brought to the table, other than maybe theremin emulation.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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In addition to a 76-note Keyboard I would like to see other Organs modeled. Every major Clonewheel models Vox and Farfisa but Roland could really set themselves apart and also model Gibson/Lowrey Organs to cover those Doors, Band, Who, Steppenwolf, and Beatles sounds.
C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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But seriously guys... Do you have any source for a possible new VR ? :)

People are just talking about what they'd like to see. There's no indication from Roland that a replacement is imminent.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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There is no indication that Roland are waiting to unveil a new VR. However, I have been a big e-drum enthusiast for many years and Roland seem to have a pattern of incremental development of successful products.

 

I am really hoping for a re-vamped VR-760. I have had this board before and would love it to be updated ( not like the VR-700)

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I am really hoping for a re-vamped VR-760. I have had this board before and would love it to be updated ( not like the VR-700)

Was there anything you liked better about the VR760 (compared to the VR700) other than aftertouch and the ability to take an SRX card?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I much preferred the VR-760 over the 700. I liked the lay-out and hands on controls of the 760- very Nord like. I remember reading that the VR-760 was originally developed by Clavia.

The pianos may have been improved on the 700 but I felt that it was a step backwards generally.

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I much preferred the VR-760 over the 700. I liked the lay-out and hands on controls of the 760- very Nord like. I remember reading that the VR-760 was originally developed by Clavia.

Interesting, I hadn't noticed that. You're right that the VR-700 has a similar basic interface to the Nord Stage 2... there's an organ section, a piano section, and an "everything else" section, each with its own volume and ancillary controls. It's knobbier than the VR-760 for better real-time tweaking, and has a 2-line text display vs. a 2-digit display, also all more Nord-Stage-like. And some of that knobiness give it synth functions (attack, release, cutoff, resonance). The VR700 combines the piano section and the "everything else" section into one entity ("ensemble"), and loses those synth functions in the process. Related to that reduced knobiness, there was a lot more control over effects on the 760. Yeah, looking into it more, I have to say you're right, the VR700 was generally a step backwards.

 

The VR700 did pick up a couple of advantages, though. One notable thing is that you could split/layer two "ensemble" sounds. So you could, for example, do a strings/brass combination, or a piano/EP combination, which IIRC you could not do on the 760. More importantly for me personally (and what turned me off to the 760 before I had looked too deeply) is this also meant the 760 was severely limited in terms of being able to do LH bass on it. If you wanted a bass guitar sound on the bottom, that used up your "synth section" (non-piano-or-organ) sound, so the only thing you could put above it were sounds from the piano or organ sections (since my understanding was that you could not create a split that included two sounds both from the "synth" section). Functionally, to me, that would have been the biggest improvement of the 700 over the 760. That limitation also made the 760's SRX expansion pretty useless for people who do LH bass, as the SRX sound was part of the same section, meaning you could not play an SRX sound if you were doing LH bass.

 

The VR700 also dropped over 2 lbs in weight, though that still left it pretty chunky.

 

One thing I'm curious about, from anyone who may have played both, is how the actions compared. The VR700 does have a great action, not just good for organ, but if one must play piano from an unweighted action, it's one of the better actions for that purpose as well. Was the VR-760 the same in this respect?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'd like them to take the clone engine and combine it with all that the FA offers for a multi-need live performer.

The clone engines are virtually identical between the two already (some difference in rotary effect options). So I guess what you really want is an FA with drawbars. Which was actually something you could get until the Ocean Beach unit was discontinued. (video below)

 

And yes, if the the FA were available in a 7x key config, I'd likely have bought one.

 

For those looking for a reasonably lightweight and well-priced 7x key rompler+clonewheel+MIDI controller board, the Kurzweil Artis7 is nice, with the usual caveat of how you feel about the action.

 

[video:youtube]

Ahh, thanks for the correction - I thought FA was a sampled organ. Love this KC thing!

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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One other difference is that the VR09 clonewheel engine has CV, the FA version doesn't. I always forget about CV, I think because the real tonewheel Hammond I used for years was so old it didn't have CV either! As a prog rock guy, I can't say I really missed it. (As an aside, some people have complained about the CV on the VR09 as being inauthentic because it puts the percussion through the CV as well.) Someone here posted that something of a workaround on the FA is to load the EXP-02 axial soundset which include some organ sounds with CV baked into them. "For occasional use only."

 

Anyway, there's also some more info on this at

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2584081/Roland_FA_06_Organ_Sounds

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Thanks AS - I actually googled and found the VR09vsFA thread after I read your post. KC is such a load of great technical information, there's no place like it on earth! Long Live KC! (or just restart KC2, I guess :))
The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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I agree about the toy - but the thing is, the overall hardware is not too flimsy, just very light (and as noted above, the slider caps come off easily).

 

the biggest problem to me is the keybed is so light and springy that it gives it an odd feeling, at least until you get used to it.

 

I wonder if some of that was done on purpose, to facilitate the high trigger point response for the organ?

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I really want to like the VR09, I find it sounds pretty strong, and it's well priced - but it seems Roland stopped at about 90% when designing it and it's got just a few too many gaps in its functionality.

 

What I'd like to see:

- better pedal implementation (sustain piano + rotary on organ with the same pedal)

- patch management (export/import single patches, multiple files on a USB stick)

- split outputs

- sensible MIDI access to registrations etc, perhaps make "everything" a registration (like the Nords and the Casio PX5)

- a quality action (ideally 7x, but 61 if they insist).

 

What I expect to see: a lightly warmed up VR09i with essentially the same actions and firmware/OS (and the same restrictions as above) and a tweaked rotary sim, and perhaps additional SuperNatural instruments...

...but NOW WITH MORE "I". So some pointless "social" microsite where you can share patches, and an iPad app where you can rate those of others. If they can get the single patch export/import to work, of course.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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Roland, like the other Japanese companies, get product directives from Japan as opposed to the other way around. I'm sure the US operation would like to see an upmarket version as well, but that may not matter.

 

For my two cents, I like the unit but do not have one. I would certainly think they could do a "Pro" version with waterfall keys, better keybed, internal power supply and a handful software revisions. Seems like a no-brianer......but we'll see at NAMM. Certainly not holding my breath....

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