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Any users still recommend - V Synth, Fusion?
Old 6 days ago
  #1
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Any users still recommend - V Synth, Fusion?

I'm curious how these 00's digital synths stack up in 2017 and can be replicated with hardware.

Especially the V Synth. I've heard many neat things about it but I always think that a software sampler and a VA can do what it does, more or less. I never liked its VA sound that much, it's sort of "polite"?

I cannot keep up with what Roland is doing now in terms of its System 8, its cloud, all these expansion sorts of things that seem to revamp and re-release its own gear. The V-Synth XT "was" a D-50, but now that's all in this cloud? Is the V Synth basically out-moded now? There's the System 8, the JDXA, etc.

The Fusion just struck me as cool and somehow edgier than its more expensive competitors and it has good VA and FM. It seems like a cool toy to have if cheap enough now, assuming its reliability is good.

I'm trying NOT to get GAS here.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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V synth always looked fun to me. If I found a cheap one I'd grab it.

I've owned a Fusion in the last few years. Was a bit glitchy, and I thought maybe it was trying to do too much, odd interface... If you find a cheap one maybe, but it didn't really do it for me. For the prices these are going for on eBay i kinda would have to just say no.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
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I haven't seen anything else that can do what a V-Synth can do in software [or not]. It's more than just the OS, the hardware and performance controllers are also very much a part of the V-Synth's unique Mojo. I love mine and can't imagine selling it. Definitely GAS-worthy.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

beta tester for the Fusion. Thought the sum was not quite more than the parts.

I guess if you need/want a 'almost do everything' kind of machine, it might be worth checking out. I know the Hollow Sun banks were an improvement over the stock stuff. Interface was a bit wierd, but you can get used to almost anything.

Had a V-Synth for a while. After replacing the buttons and some of the knobs (seller couldn't be bothered to fully check it out with the built-in diagnostics/calibration and in fact it had issues) got a chance to play around for a few months with it.

My impression is that if you stripped away the effects, the core engine had a certain sound to it that you couldn't get away from. Personally I don't like the sound of the raw V-Synth oscillators and I have better outboard and the Octatrack does a faster and better job of sampling and mangling sounds so I sold the V-Synth.

There's definitely plenty of folks that love it and consider it a top 10 synth, but for me if didn't replace anything I had nor sounded better than any particular piece of gear here, so it went out.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmey View Post
I haven't seen anything else that can do what a V-Synth can do in software [or not]. It's more than just the OS, the hardware and performance controllers are also very much a part of the V-Synth's unique Mojo. I love mine and can't imagine selling it. Definitely GAS-worthy.
I definitely second that. Like SOS said in their review, it's a case of being more than the sum of its parts.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
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the V-synth is a timeless piece. It was so unique and wore many hats. It was misunderstood.

Just look at the D-50. People still use that synth for ambient pads and for 80's cover band patches.

If just to pick up the D-50 card for the V-synth to have a newer D-50 laying around with the V-synth stuff as icing. It still samples and mangles. It still does VA OK. The only thing that will date it is the sample memory limitations. It will become more of a minimalist synth/sampler in the future where people by it for it's sound an character.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
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Soothing Sound's Avatar
V-Synth for sure. I have one with the D-50 card, it's an amazing combination. I found the card really cheap (25€ I think) like new, it's a must have IMO.

The Octratrack is nice, but what makes a big difference is the big touch interface on the V-Synth. It's really easy and fast to create new patches, explore and combine sampled sounds with VA etc. It also features a complete FX system.

Despite people making fun of the D-Beam (including myself) It's actually a neat tool for ambient music, because you can assign a variety of parameters to it, so everything becomes more organic and unpredictable using the D-Beam.

It's definitely a synth you SHOULD wipe out all the presets, and slowly explore the possibilities from scratch, it really begs you to do it.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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Diametro's Avatar
 

What was different about V-Synth implementation of D-Beam is that it has dual sensors for a much wider range of possibilities ... Along with the X-Y pad, you could really engage in some interesting jams ...

That said, I let mine go a long time ago ... Whenever I tried to make V-Synth sound distinctive it always seems to have "that V-Synth sound," with a lot of crunchy textures ... Held on to V-Synth XT for much longer but let that go about two years ago ...

In the end, while V-Synth/XT has much to offer, I really just wanted a polyphonic synth from Roland with a full interface in a compact size... In that regard, I find the synth(s) currently occupying that niche, JP-08x2, a much better fit for me ...

I owned Fusion as well ... So many features, but terrible as a workstation, which is what it was actually supposed to be; the four sound engines are all good — especially VA and FM — but with four knobs there's not much to tweak and it's cumbersome to program ... Sample-based engine is slow to change presets (and probably seems even slower in 2017) ... There's so much to potentially say, but ultimately, nothing really works together to create a cohesive experience ...

I would definitely use one again, but that would be after 75 percent of the better keyboards and synths out there were somehow obliterated ...
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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I was GASing for a v-synth recently.. mostly for what you can do with sample mangling. The vocal stuff on Skinny Puppy's 'Greater Wrong' is apparently all V-synth and I just wanted that kind of sample FSU capability. They're still pretty expensive.
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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Diametro's Avatar
 

You used to be able to find the keyboard version for $650-700 ... Considering the quality and uniqueness of the instrument, I always found that a bit crazy ...

If the original V-Synth had managed to be bi-timbral, I think it would have done much, much better ... There's really something to be said for a synth that can layer, especially when it's digital ...
Old 5 days ago
  #11
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IIRC the V-Synth could 'layer' by setting all it's midi channels to the same voice destination or something. It would probably be mono then I never used that 'feature'.

I like the V-Synth, but prefer the JD-800 (or JD-XA if I had one as I've demoed one for some weeks and think it's awesome!), but they are different things. Really you need to want all the V-Synth offers to make it worthwhile. If you aren't going to be sample mangling etc then using it as a pure VA is a waste, and there are better VAs out there. It's very unique though in hardware and you can get some crazy sounds out of it or even more standard stuff

Here's a SC demo from back when I had mine:
Quote:
Some improv noodling with some custom sounds I've made on the V-Synth (original V2 Keyboard - using only on-board effects). Showing some of the warm thick pads and unique FM sounds you can get. This is using mostly the built in VA section.
The last sound (pad) is using a sample of a JD-990's string PCM sample (sampled into the V from the JD) on both oscs.
Nicely built synth, good interface, original V-Synth V2 that is. I've had a couple in fact but overall I definitely preferred the look, feel, interface and most importantly tone and filter of my JD-800 when it came time to sell one, of course JD-800 is a lot more basic and you may be better getting a JD-XA these days though that would cost at least twice as much, it can do a lot more, but still JD-800 is a beauty.

I think with the original V-Synth you can pick them up cheap enough to try, and really that's the only way to know if you'll like it, if you just use as a VA or just want a VA then I'd say get an AN1x instead, even cheaper and more to the point (and better sound for a VA imo). If you want something complex and capable of many sounds and futuristic stuff, JD-XA, if you want just a warm sounding big digital with character, great filters and beautiful looks/feel/UI then JD-800, something more vintage and warmer still? D-50.... or look at analog.


oh, I had the D-50 (and Vocal) card for my V-Synth, it's cool to have, much better to program than the original but it did lack some character IIRC, it was missing something vs the real D-50 (I've had a few D-50's and know them very well), still it gets you in the ballpark, though the JD-800 is much better to/for me and my music than the D-50, more modern, better filters, better interface, overall much better tone and an epic presence, just love the bandpass and highpass resonant filters, it just lacks that live waveform generation and grit (noise) of the D-50 so isn't quite a warm. Both great digitals though.
Old 5 days ago
  #12
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tweekyboo's Avatar
 

V-Synth, quite simply one the of the most versatile synths ever created.

Best user interface (IMO), and one of the best synths for creating out-there sounds.

Fantastic instrument, I can't praise it enough.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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namnibor's Avatar
My Alesis Fusion HD6 lives in my closet. It only comes out when I need something from The Hollow Sun Banks, which are numerous and sound wicked good, then it goes back in it's cave. It's never earned the right to sit next to my Waldorfs and Virus KC. Although I have never owned a V-Synth, I would go for that over the Fusion unless the Fusion is dirt cheap because it does have a really great set of keys on it. The rest was not completely baked or fused in the Fusion. (sequencer is PITA)
Old 5 days ago
  #14
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robotunes's Avatar
Everybody treats the V-Synth as just a sampler with a VA stuck on. It's actually a wavetable-style synth that uses your samples like a wavetable. People have legitimate misgivings about the "too polite" VA, but they don't realize that the VA is meant to augment and complement what you can do with the samples, not to be the main show.

I blame Roland. The manual only tells you what the parameters are, not how to use them creatively. Jim Stout told the story on GS about how he pleaded with Roland Japan to let him show what the V-Synth could really do when the synth was unveiled at NAMM. But no, they insisted he just show off how you can play a single violin sample across all 61 keys convincingly. Consequently, people still think that's what the V-Synth excels at, so the demos you hear are of people treating the V-Synth as just another synth instead of the unique instrument it is.

Instead, how about a wavetable that's gently FM'd by the VA then sent through a bank of 16 effects, with the arpeggiator picking a different effect on each step and the step sequencer modulating the effects to create shimmering, giggle-inducing madness?

How about layered V-Synth patches? Or a cappella hip-hop phrases that are replayed to the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner" are your own national anthem?

Loved the hell out of my GT (and my original V-Synth and XT before it). Swore I'd never sell it. Regretfully I did. It does have that inescapable V-Synth sound, but it's tamed greatly by the master EQ and by creatively using the best hardware interface I've ever used on such a complex synth. I loved the keybed and other performance controls: aftertouch, assignable switches and knobs, D-Beam and X-Y pad. I miss it every day.

Seriously, I urge you to avoid the V-Synth unless you are willing to deeply explore what samples to feed it, how to make the VA filter sound more analog, and how to use zones, the step arpeggiator, mod matrix, mod sequencer and — most important of all — the Time parameter to make it do things most sampling synths cannot.

But if you plan to treat it like just another synth, you'll be all like, "meh." You'll get more out of software or a used Motif.
Old 5 days ago
  #15
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mikefellh's Avatar
I guess you don't want to hear of the mint GT (with store warranty) I picked up on Boxing day 2015 for $1000CDN ($750USD)?

I spent months on Craigslist/Kijiji searching for one, especially for a good price...the store had it listed for $3699 regularly, $2699 used, but for Boxing Day they knocked it down to $999...had to line up in front of the store, but was lucky to find it within a minute of entering the store as someone else was hovering over it and a Juno, but I put my hand on it...was at the cash desk less than 30 seconds later).

Although in a way I'm disappointed it didn't have the D-50 option, but then again I already owned a D-550 and a D-50 (the D-50 used to be owned by the band Saga).
Old 5 days ago
  #16
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rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
Everybody treats the V-Synth as just a sampler with a VA stuck on. It's actually a wavetable-style synth that uses your samples like a wavetable.
Go on....

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post

I blame Roland. The manual only tells you what the parameters are, not how to use them creatively. Jim Stout told the story on GS about how he pleaded with Roland Japan to let him show what the V-Synth could really do when the synth was unveiled at NAMM. But no, they insisted he just show off how you can play a single violin sample across all 61 keys convincingly. Consequently, people still think that's what the V-Synth excels at, so the demos you hear are of people treating the V-Synth as just another synth instead of the unique instrument it is.
I suppose that marketing could potentially sell more units. But if they are going to already have such a deep sampler in place with a mod matrix and realtime control, why don't they have a 2nd demo of it showing the mangling side. Why even make this type of synth in the first place, if they aren't going to show anyone it's strength. Roland is notorious for that though, so it doesn't completely surprise me as much as it leaves me mystified.
Old 5 days ago
  #17
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robotunes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
Go on....
"Should I get a V-Synth?" threads come up two or three times a year. Here's what I said in the 2015 "V-Synth vs. Omnisphere" thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
People misunderstand the V-Synth, which is why I usually recommend against it.

V-Synth works best when you encode harmonic content that changes over time. A piano passage, a guitar phrase, a sustained FM note that evolves over time. Any of those sampled through a phaser, or delay, or reverb provides a whole world of sound to explore. EDIT: Your job -- the fun part -- is to scroll through the phrase to find interesting harmonics.

V-Synth is designed to lock onto a sliver of an interesting sound and spread that sound over the keyboard. You then have a ton of tools to manipulate that harmonic spectrum into something that sounds wildly different from the original content. That is the beauty of the V-Synth.

Too many people use the V-Synth as a sampler or as a virtual analog and find the results disappointing. The VA is there to augment the harmonic spectra you’re manipulating, not to be the star of the show.

Finally, people don’t realize that there is a master EQ on the V-Synth that goes a long way to removing some of the digital whine that can ruin some patches.

As I said before, V-Synth is easy to use and provides outstanding results if you know how to use it. Roland did a poor job of telling people how to get the most out of it. They never explained how to use the V-Synth’s biggest trick (capturing a sliver of sound, as I mentioned above).

So it’s not the user’s fault that they don’t get the most out of the V-Synth, that they’re disappointed when they treat it like any other sampler + VA.

So yeah, Omnisphere 2.
Instead of saying "disappointed" maybe I should have said "underwhelmed." Or maybe just "whelmed."


Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
I suppose that marketing could potentially sell more units.
Not just marketing but explaining the unique features of this unique synth. If they had made a series of 2-minute videos showing not just what it could do but HOW it did it, I think people would understand it more.

It's like they love showing you a magic trick so you can say, "Wow! I need this!" But after you get it home, they won't show you how the trick works because a magician never reveals his secrets.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
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abruzzi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robotunes View Post
Not just marketing but explaining the unique features of this unique synth. If they had made a series of 2-minute videos showing not just what it could do but HOW it did it, I think people would understand it more.

It's like they love showing you a magic trick so you can say, "Wow! I need this!" But after you get it home, they won't show you how the trick works because a magician never reveals his secrets.
Yeah, a lot of people here seem to give marketing too much credit. But when you have a synth that works differently than any other synth you've owned, a list of parameters doesn't get you that far. The king of this for a period was Yamaha. Not only a FM synth but a formant synth with lots of complex features, 16 operators per voice, lots of other stuff, and the manual is something like 90 pages and is only a list of all the parameters with a 1 sentence description of the parameter. (similarly, the TX802, basically a DX7II in a rack, has something like a 40 page manual that is also useless.)

I've never used a V Synth, but I suspect its unique enough that a new user may need help wrapping their brain around what it can do, and how you can do that. I'm sure many will disagree with me, but the Kurzweil manuals used to be the absolute best, with detailed information, use cases. Of course they were the size of the Manhattan phonebook.
Old 5 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
Go on....



I suppose that marketing could potentially sell more units. But if they are going to already have such a deep sampler in place with a mod matrix and realtime control, why don't they have a 2nd demo of it showing the mangling side. Why even make this type of synth in the first place, if they aren't going to show anyone it's strength. Roland is notorious for that though, so it doesn't completely surprise me as much as it leaves me mystified.
They probably demoed what THEY thought was its strength, not what people used it for.

Remember, the 303 was supposed to replace a bass player.
Old 5 days ago
  #20
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mikefellh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
(similarly, the TX802, basically a DX7II in a rack, has something like a 40 page manual that is also useless.)

I've never used a V Synth, but I suspect its unique enough that a new user may need help wrapping their brain around what it can do, and how you can do that. I'm sure many will disagree with me, but the Kurzweil manuals used to be the absolute best, with detailed information, use cases. Of course they were the size of the Manhattan phonebook.
Well, the V-Synth GT has 8 different documents including a 56 page Quick Start guide (56 pages just for the Quick Start?) and a 248 page Owner's Manual. Also they have a FAQ guide questions gathered from the Knowledge Base.

But in addition to all that, there are a couple of books put out by Roland and others:
https://www.rolandus.com/go/v-synth/...SynthBook1.pdf
http://www.deepsonic.ch/deep/docs_ma...nth_book_2.pdf
http://www.rolandclan.com/media/docu...ok_Preview.pdf

But Roland has put out some great V-Synth videos...the best ones are the ones are a series of 8 videos by Tatsuya Nishiwaki (they are originally Japanese, but can be found in English). Here's a link to the first one, but you can find the other 7 in the suggested videos:


There are also some good Jodan Rudess V-Synth videos out there.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
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This is the kind of demo that makes me want a vsynth...

Old 5 days ago
  #22
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Hazmatic's Avatar
Roland couldn't have said it better:

"V-Synth offers virtually unlimited potential for extending, and ultimately transcending reality. It may be appropriate to consider V-Synth the most signifi cant sound-synthesis innovation since the invention of the analog synthesizer in the 60’s; an instrument that introduced time-variant control as a method of bringing life to sterile geometric waveforms. It is the sincere wish of the V-Synth design team that this instrument, which grants control of the time dimension that is the foundation of musical sound, will inspire creative artists to embark on a slightly risky (and thrilling!) voyage of temporal travel through timbral space. As it always has been (and always will be), the true creators are the artists and users; the instrument developers are merely providing potential."
Old 5 days ago
  #23
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DrJustice's Avatar
 

I'm still lusting for one of these... one day, perhaps an XT...
Old 5 days ago
  #24
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mikefellh's Avatar
Here's a new one (for me) from Tatsuya Nishiwaki doing the operatic parts of Queen's "Somebody to Love" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" alone using the V-Synth's vocal designer:
Old 5 days ago
  #25
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Muser's Avatar
I've had my XT since it was first released and worn one set of knobs out. they don't really have a lot of sample memory but using the memory card makes it able to store a huge library of sounds as sounds or tools. you can do all kinds of things if you're the kind of person who's willing to spend the time. but you can also have some strait forward fun too. the main power in the synths architecture is the fact that a single oscillator has about 48 controls.

if it's a feedback oscillator that feedback section has 12. a pulse width has 12 and a oscillator pitch control has 12. then there's 12 for the oscillators Amp envelope. the oscillator choice determines what is made available but there is always an Amp env. each one of the 4 sections for a single oscillator has a 4 stage ADSR. so that's 4 ADSRs per oscillator. there's ADSR's everywhere and you can really make the thing do things you wouldn't expect. when you embark on a project it can sometimes take three days to investigate if it can do it. but eventually you find out that it usually can.

the experience you can gain is cumulative and because you can store your work, it becomes a potential powerhouse piece. and that's not even mentioning the vocoders or D50. I also now have the multi timbral side of it working too. receiving program changes with volume, pan & expression settings from an external controller. it handles it all pretty well and allows me to use the MV8000's pattern sequencers to hold multiple choices of content recall while working on a project.

there's a lot to the unit but it can take it and really deliver. I'll give it that much. for its sheer amount of features and the fact it all works. I'd call it a technical success. which is no mean feat for such an ambitious design.

Last edited by Muser; 5 days ago at 09:29 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #26
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Shadowkast's Avatar
How well are the touch screens on V Synths holding up throughout the years?
Old 5 days ago
  #27
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Soothing Sound's Avatar
Mine is working good.

However I had an issue with the backlight, it would take a lot of time to turn on. Now without any intervention, it's working as it should, I think the screen doesn't like low temperatures.
Old 5 days ago
  #28
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Muser's Avatar
I wouldn't be averse to having a spare capacitive sheet for the screen and maybe a spare drive board for it. though maybe a replacement of the capacitor on that board might suffice. it might not be the actual screen panel which gets to suffer the most.
Old 4 days ago
  #29
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robotunes's Avatar
Loved messing with vocals on the V-Synth.

When my daughter was 5, she insisted on singing me this little song she had just made up. So like a good dad I grabbed my phone and pressed record.

Then just for fun, I quickly ran it through the V-Synth and this is what happened:
Attached Files

V-Synth_Before_and_After.wav (4.65 MB, 616 views)

Old 4 days ago
  #30
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Loving the V
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