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In-depth Feature:  Roland VariOS
This little box wears a lot of different hats and they all look good
Albert Potts writes: .

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Every once in a while a product comes along that defies easy description. Sometimes exciting and often ambitious by design, they don't necessarily fit easily into marketable categories. Such a thing is the Roland VariOS. The VariOS is a production environment with audio editing and sample playback, based on the technology from the oft-overlooked VP-9000 Variprhase Processor.

Of course, anyone familiar with the VP-9000 Variphrase Processor will already have an idea of what this unit can do with sample data, particularly in the time/pitch domain, although there are differences between the two. The VariOS has 14 voice polyphony versus the 6 voices of the VP-9000. A computer is required to use the VariOS, as front panel editing is extremely limited. The VariOS has a USB connection to the computer, not SCSI as in the VP-9000. Additionally, the VP-9000 will sample, whereas the VariOS will not. With the VariOS, audio files must already be recorded to disk in one of several supported formats, so VariOS is designed to be used in close integration with a DAW, and the V-Producer software can be synced with a DAW as master or slave via MTC.

The VariOS's built-in DSP powers processing of sample data, plus a nicely featured COSM effects processor with three modules that can be used simultaneously. All on-board processes are controlled by the included V-Producer software via the USB interface - the software does little more than send commands to the rack unit, i.e. no actual audio data is stored in your computer's RAM memory. So the VariOS takes on all the memory and processing tasks required. This is great in that you don't need a super-powered computer to run the VariOS, it will work with any compatible computer system.

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

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