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

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V-Producer Software

V-Producer screens
The rack unit is only half the story, the other half being the "V-Producer" software. This comes in versions for Mac OS9, OSX, and PC. I could write an entire review on just V-Producer, but due to space, the most brief of introductions:

The V-Producer production environment includes several windows which make efficient use of screen real estate. At the top is the locator bar, indicating tempo, bars/beats, start stop record functions, etc. Below that is the Vari-Track screen, where the six audio tracks are displayed. This is where you drag your audio files to build your arrangements. You can have polyphonic tracks, so even a single track could conceivably use all 14 voices, or as few as one. In reality, the way the VariOS will likely be used within a DAW environment, one would be printing tracks along the way and freeing up polyphony.

Next are sample list and sample edit screens, wave edit, scope editor, and frame properties. Most of those are self-explanatory, but the sample edit and wave edit screens are a bit different than they might sound. Wave edit is where you would re-encode samples from the sample list, to change their encoding type or modify the tempo data. The sample edit screen is where you work with LFO's, and various processing of the sample data. Key to the VariOS: it's all real-time. Make a change, it happens. Want to change it back? Just change the parameter. It's like editing a synth, except with audio.

In use with Mac OS9 I've found the V-Producer software to be stable and trouble-free. Roland has posted a PDF document called "VariOS Tips", which helps enormously in setting it up with your DAW. I *highly* recommend downloading this document and following the instructions to the letter, as it makes setup and syncing to your DAW sequencer a breeze. You can find it here. I wasn't able to test V-Producer with a PC or Mac OSX.

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

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