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In-depth Feature:  Roland XV-2020
Albert Potts writes: .

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XV Editor/Librarian Software

The supplied XV-Editor/Librarian
Roland is to be commended for bundling Mac/PC editing & librarian software with every XV-2020. Why aren't all synth makers doing this? The XV Editor software looks great and is essential for getting the most out of the XV-2020. All patch/performance parameters in the XV-2020 can be programmed and saved as advertised. I found the software easy to learn, and haven't looked at the HTML manual even once.

After some initial difficulties setting up the software, communication between computer and XV-2020 has been rock solid and I haven't experienced any crashes at all. It should be noted that Roland posts recent versions of the XV Editor software on their web site.

I've had success connecting the XV-2020 directly to the computer's USB port, and also to a powered USB hub. Roland recommends not connecting the 2020's USB port to a USB keyboard. Communicating with the XV-2020 via midi interfaces has also been trouble free. All editing features are available via USB or midi. It is worth mentioning that the software is not auto-updating, meaning that you must manually save your changes to the 2020 by clicking on the "Write" button and choosing a save destination. If you call up another patch or performance before saving, your edits will be lost.

I feel the software needs some additional development in the area of patch/bank management. I'd like to be able to open full banks of preset and user patches in their own window, and select them individually or in non-contiguous groups for copy/pasting from within that window. In the XV Editor, patches must be selected one at a time by clicking onscreen up or down arrows, or by mouse navigating a pull-down menu that goes three menus deep before you get to the patch.

"So what" you say, just use the included librarian software. The librarian is a separate application, and it only loads and displays the user banks, no preset banks. The librarian is primarily useful for copy/pasting user patches and banks between multiple XV units. Incidentally, I didn't find much if any speed gain with USB versus midi as far as patch/performance loading times.

Roland's XV Editor & Librarian software shows a lot of promise. A few feature requests: I'd like the ability to print patch lists from the librarian or editor, a feature especially important with the XV-2020 as the only way to view patch names is in software. As stated earlier, the editor should provide views of all user and preset banks in their own window. Also worth noting is that the only key commands in the Mac version are Open, Save and Quit. More key commands would streamline work-flow considerably. I'd like to see commands for patch up/down, bank up/down, and for opening the various detail editing windows. The ability to tab through edit boxes would be great. Finally, the XV Editor requires over 40MB of RAM to run properly. That seems high for a patch editor, and I hope the application will be streamlined in the future.

There is no question you can do everything you need to with the XV Editor, though the process is not yet as efficient as it could be. Here's hoping Roland will develop the software to the same level of refinement as the XV-2020 hardware.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • XV-2020 pages at Roland
  • XV-2020 User Reviews@ Synth Site

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    DMorrow    Said...

    Thank you for this great information. I now have this discontinued item and it is still revalent.

    08-Mar-09 11:12 AM

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