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In-depth Feature:  Roland VariOS
Albert Potts writes: .

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Wish List
There are a few features I wish Roland had included on the VariOS. First and foremost would be the ability to sample directly into the V-Producer software from the VariOS hardware. The USB connector is there, the analog inputs are there, but samples must already be recorded and stored on a hard drive. This means the VariOS *must* be used in conjunction with a DAW sequencer, and that other recording and/or sampling gear be present. It's so easy and pleasant to use the V-Producer software, I would have liked the option of using it as an entirely self-contained environment (in addition to the current ability to integrate with DAW's of course).

Multiple undo in the V-Producer software would be great, improving what is in my opinion, this very smoothly running software.

It would be wonderful to use the virtual synths within the V-Producer environment. No doubt the heavy processor load makes that impossible, but one can dream! And as mentioned before, it would be ideal if the user could load the virtual synths without having to reboot the VariOS rack hardware.

Not a long wish list actually!

Summing Up
If the VariOS was a concert performer it would be a country star that crossed over into rock and then hip hop! The VariOS starts as an audio production platform with sample playback and realtime editing, and then crosses over into being a couple of full-featured synths. This little box wears a lot of different hats and does them all well.

The Roland VariOS is a great sounding synth/sampler/variphrase processor that does indeed live up to its name of an "audio-based music production environment". Once I got past the setup issues with OMS/FreeMidi I found it stable and easy to use. For anyone working with drum loops and vocal arrangements, this box could well be a life saver. The virtual synths sound great, and best of all they can be saved to PC card for live use without computer. The VariOS is a worthy update to and expansion of the concepts introduced in the VP-9000, and is quite unique in its capabilities. I've never had as much fun with drum loops as I had with the VariOS!

VariOS and V-Producer package lists at $1,495 but can be found at $1,249 street

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • VariOS Tips and tricks (pdf)
  • VariOS @
  • Watch the NAMM 03 VariOS video demo

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