AES08SF: Exclusive: Cakewalk Goes Hard - In a BIG Way

US New V-Studio audio IO/control surface/Fantom Synthesizer integrates everything      03/10/08

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We were delighted to join Brandon Ryan and the gang at a secret location (Modern World Studios) deep in the heart of the West Country recently to see the latest BIG thing to come from the collaboration between Roland and Cakewalk, as well as the latest SONAR 8 features. The new V-Studio 700 package comprises of large control surface element theV-700C � which on first look is not unlike the Mackie Control but on steroids, with considerably more controls and acreage. And an audio IO component the V-700R, which houses the 24-bit 192kHz capable AD/DA and the on board DSP which drives the built-in Fantom VS 128 voice Roland synth, with two additional ARX expansion boards. AND you get SONAR 8 Producer Edition, which includes the much acclaimed Rapture synthesizer, BeatScape and 47 other instruments and effects. The idea is that this totally integrates the DAW environment with the hardware. SONAR 8 and the V-700 control enables you to work almost entirely from the control surface without touching the computer. EQ, plug-in selection and editing are all achieved through the ACT (Active Controller Technology) section as well as key commands, arrange page edits and other functions. I must admit it was pretty impressive, I especially liked the use of the T-bar control when mapped to the X-Ray function, which reveals/hides the plug-in windows. You can hook up two V-700R units (the audio interface bit) for larger IO counts and it can be purchased separately, so you don't have to buy the controller if you already have something along those lines, but the level of integration with SONAR will not be available if you use a third party MIDI controller. The V-700C (the controller bit) will also talk Mackie Control , so you can use it with other software packages, BUT the dedicated sections such as ACT, will not function in the same way � the package is designed to be closely integrated with the SONAR 8 DAW.
  • Nine 100mm touch sensitive, motorized faders arranged in a bank of eight channel strips with a master control section
  • Users can tab between fader banks and also lock specific channels offering flexibility in your mixing control
  • Access Panel section provides one-button functionality to call up different views and utilities, and allows for custom assignments from over 45 SONAR commands
  • Dedicated section of 12 continuous push-button rotary encoders which can be used for EQ, Sends, or ACT control
    o When controlling EQ, the knobs edit four stages of parametric EQ gain, frequency, and Q for whichever channel has the focus
    o When configured for ACT, encoders automatically remap to control effect, instrument, or mix parameters of whatever view or plug-in has focus within SONAR
  • Full featured Transport
  • Jog and shuttle wheels and X/Y cursors for project navigation, scrubbing and zoom
  • Full surround implementation with Joystick Panner, F/R Balance, LFE Send, and Width controls
  • V-Link integration switches VS-700C from controlling SONAR to video and imaging hardware including the Edirol DV-7 line of direct linear video editing systems
  • Multifunction T-bar for surround F/R balance, X-Ray, and video hardware control, and other parameters via ACT
  • Convenient audio input at the front of the console with switchable Hi-Z setting for recording high impedance sources such as electric guitar
  • A 2x13 LCD display that shows track names, parameter values, and markers
  • 7 Segment LCD display for time code and now time position
  • Responsive metering for each channel and the master section
  • Monitor section provides control over the stereo mains, sub mix, and two sets of headphones
The V-700C connects to the V-700R via a prorietary cable, the V-700R hooks up to the computer via USB 2.0
    V-700R - interface
  • Low-latency USB 2.0 24-bit, 192 kHz audio interface
  • 20-inputs/26 outputs (18/24 simultaneous)
  • Digital effects on input for compression, LF Cut, and Pad
  • Eight analog inputs (XLR or 1/4" balanced/unbalanced) with +48v phantom power
  • Ten 1/4" balanced/unbalanced outputs
  • XLR main monitor outs
  • 1/4" balanced/unbalanced stereo sub outs
  • Digital I/O (AES/EBU, S/PDIF, ADAT)
  • MIDI I/O
  • External sync through two digital options and Wordclock I/O
  • Front panel metering to supplement the metering on the VS-700C
Pricing and availability Expected to ship in the new year (around February 2009 we're told), price is said to be around $4,000US for the complete system.
SONAR V-Studio 700 is available through Roland and Edirol distribution partners and select retailers worldwide
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