Roland V-synth Original V2 by Deleted User
The Roland V-synth is quite possibly the best digital synthesizer of all time. It nails the main criteria of what a great digital synth should be and goes beyond in its feature set. In value it gets an "A" rating. The build quality and key action is exceptional. Currently, 9 years after its release, there are no other hardware system that can match what the V-synths do.
The main idea behind the original V-synth was to take a sample and re-synthesize it to be used across the keybed. It does this independent of time and pitch, like Ableton. With its endless array of effects and filters you create a sound thats never been heard before. Traditional OSCs are included. Only 2 OSCs are available but each has a Sub osc making it sound like 4. The V-synth will also resample its output allowing you to endlessly stack tones. This is the best machine available for Roland's "SuperSaw" which allows independent detune of the seven saws. Secondarily, the V-synth is a semi-modular system. 3 buttons on the top face allow you to change its patch structure instantly. The responsive touchscreen allows you to dive into important settings in its structure. FX & COSM selections are extensive. Controls and outputs/inputs are excellent providing endless modulation. You can use the V-Synth as an external Guitar or vocal processor. If you have the expansion cards you can transform the V-synth into a Vocoder or Roland D-50. Its number of features make it a chameleon.
The sound results from this machine are generally fantastic. Vari-synth does a good job of making sampled sound express itself naturally. In extremes or used improperly vari-synth can sound robotic. Oscillators are generally high quality. Filters sound good. Resonance doesn't compare to its analog brothers, but not many machines can emulate that. COSM effects are useful and often make your patches shine. Distortions & Amp modeling are not its high point but they get the job done with tweaking. Certain combinations of effects create life in your custom sounds. In general, this is a great sounding digital keyboard with endless options for expression and sound creation. If you can't make the V-synth sound good to your ears, you should probably learn more about synthesis itself. If you can dream it, you can make it, and most of the time it sounds very good.
The V-synth is easier to use than any digital Korg or Yamaha synth with a viewscreen. Tabs are organized properly, unlike Korg's Oasys, M3, and Triton line. Drop down menus perform functions and don't change schizophrenically. The V-synth touchscreen "knobs" will respond to finger dragging unlike Korg. Most everything on this system is labeled correctly and placed logically; That includes the external controls. The extensive amount of features will take some time to learn but don't get in the way of having fun. An insane amount of LFO knobs are placed on the top to start warping sounds immediately. V-synth is not as simplistic as one knob per function but it was never meant to be. Its organized features and controls make it easy to use, or at least easy to learn.
This machine's current used price is competitive with newer 49-key synths and Access Virus modules. It is an excellent value. It is a wonder why it doesn't cost more? None of the machines in its price range can do what the V-synth does. None have its full feature set. While not good for multi-timbral use like the Virus modules, its full size keys and controls combined a cheap price make this the best of ANY synth available for the money. At $650-$850 there is nothing greater. Only Roland's GT or Jupiter-80 can compare to the V-synth, but may not be as easy to use and cost double or triple. This is a great value.
The V-synth is currently the best digital hardware synthesizer that is easy to use. This system is for people who are looking to synthesize new sounds and don't want to pay a lot. While not perfect at emulating analog filters, it comes close to emulating vintage sounds. Its digital features push sound into places nobody has heard before. You will have fun with this keyboard. This is an A-class product from Roland.