NAMM: Roland VS-2000 CD Adds Plug-in Support and More
Loads of third party stuff, 20 tracks and CD burner 19/01/04
Fully expanded – here’s what you could have
There was quite a hooha surround the latest VS recording addition, Roland say that the VS-Studio range are the best selling digital multitrack studios ever, and looking at the new features that they have added one suspects they’re right. The new VS-2000CD has broken the mould by allowing the addition of extra DSP with the optional VS8F-3 to the mix. This means that you can now run DSP powered plug-ins on your VS. Not only that but there are a bunch of third-party plug available to sweeten your sounds – including Antares, Universal Audio (1176 and LA-2), Mac DSP, IK Multimedia T-Racks, Massenburg and more.
The VS-2000CD boasts 20 recording tracks, eight XLR inputs, an optional VGA output with mouse-based graphical editing, plus a 40GB hard drive, CD-RW drive, USB 2.0 (for faster file transfer)
The VS-2000CD records 44.1kHz at a choice of 16 or 24 bits. When in 16-bit mode, up to eight tracks can be recorded simultaneously with full 18-track playback and a stereo mastering track. An internal 40GB hard drive provides hours of reliable multitrack recording, while 320 Virtual Tracks give users room to be creative and “comp” the perfect take. Eight XLR inputs with phantom power make recording multiple vocalists or an acoustic drum set a reality, while a Hi-Z input handles guitar and a S/PDIF digital inputs lets users connect with digital gear.
The VS-2000CD’s 40-channel digital mixer makes mixing inputs, tracks and effect returns a snap—with to 17 faders and dedicated Channel Edit knobs. In addition, there are four knobs for controlling the dynamics and 4-band EQ for any input or track. Onboard effects include all the studio essentials, plus COSM® Guitar Amp and Microphone Modeling and a new Harmony Sequence function for adding realistic harmonies to a vocal – we saw this in the demo and it really does sound pretty good. Tracks can be finished off with the Mastering Tool Kit and burned to CD using the internal CD-RW drive.
By installing an optional VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board (the VS-2000CD has room for two), users can enter the world of plug-in effects. Every VS8F-3 includes a selection of high-quality Roland plug-ins; optional plug-ins are available from a growing list of 3rd party developers.
The VS-2000CD also comes with a new Rhythm Track feature, which lets users program stereo drums on tracks 17-18 using high-quality PCM sounds. A variety of preset patterns are included, or users can create their own. A chromatic tuner is also included, making it easy for guitarists to tune up before recording. The VS-2000CD includes Roland’s V-LINK technology for integrating audio and video, plus USB 2.0 for easy data transfer between the VS-2000CD and a computer.
Finally, by adding the optional VS20-VGA Output Board (with Version 2.0 software available later in 2004), users can see their projects on the big screen by connecting an optional VGA monitor and mouse. With full mouse control and a monitor, the VS-2000CD feels less like a hardware studio and more like software—giving musicians the best of both worlds.
Connections to the VS-2000CD include eight XLR/TRS inputs, a Hi-Z input, two 1/4-inch TRS outputs, four RCA outputs, a stereo Headphones output, plus S/PDIF digital I/O in coaxial format, MIDI In/Out jacks, a Footswitch jack and USB 2.0 port.