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

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


Even more news...

20 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
DJ Sean Sax    Said...

Thank you Apple! If you hadn't insisted that I buy a Mac in order to run Logic years ago, I would've never discovered Sonar. The Cakewalk team has been making strides in developement that other music software companies could only DREAM of! With this new V-Studio 700 system, a secret that many of us have kept to ourselves for some time now will finally be out: the best platform to make music on, bar NONE, is a PC based Cakewalk Sonar system. Well done folks!

03-Oct-08 09:37 AM

Nick B    Said...

It's interesting isnt it? Actually one thing that is becoming very possible is just turning your mac into a PC and running SONAR.

Looks to me like the Logic team are really falling behind in DAW development - with this and the PT 8 announced they are going to have to do something pretty impressive.

03-Oct-08 09:45 AM

Hidden Driveways    Said...

This is nice for some users, but personally the latency inherhent in USB 2.0 spoils it for me. They did a bang-up job on that mixer though. SEXY.

Had it been PCI or ExpressCard then I would have to rethink my plan to invest in a RME Hammerfall rig.

03-Oct-08 10:38 AM

GOD    Said...

Soft'n'small, more like

Actually, it is BIG.... too BIG and ugly

03-Oct-08 10:41 AM

Bernard    Said...

Nick in the video he said 1 ARX expansion per rack. If you add a second rack then you have two Fantom VS synths each with one ARX expansion slot to get to a total of two.

Thanks for sharing the news, looks great.

03-Oct-08 10:42 AM

FC    Said...

I don't need the synth or the I/O as I have all of that sorted.

If the controller was available on it's own I may well consider migrating back to Sonar as the whole system seems very well intergrated but until then, I'll stick with what I've got.

03-Oct-08 03:40 PM

Nick B    Said...

FC, I'm not certain of this, but the control element needs the IO to make the interface between it and 'puter. Not sure if one can just go controller only, at least not with this. But presumably it's only a short step to get a controller only version made?

03-Oct-08 03:50 PM

FC    Said...

Thanks for your reply Nick.

Yeah, it seems that the controller communicates with the rackmount via a proprietary protocol.

Perhaps the easiest option for Roland/Cakewalk would be to leave the controller hardware as it stands and develop something along the lines of a half-rack 'decoder' module just for the controller functions?

I'd guess that would appeal to those like me who already have half a dozen hardware synths and are happy with the audio I/O they have.

With a bit of luck they're already working on something like this...

One can hope!

03-Oct-08 05:03 PM

Loxan    Said...

emagic made logic control 6 years ago...what innovation are you talking about? since then all project studios use mackie control. this thing is far too ugly/big and is going to have worse fate than steinberg houston...

although it's true that logic 8 may has fallen behind the competition,apple chose partners with great reputation for the hardware integration ,such as apogee & euphonix. just an opinion...

04-Oct-08 06:37 AM

GOD    Said...

Damn str8

Euphonix has set the gold standard and if you are not going to release a product as sexy and for cheaper, then DON'T BOTHER

As I said, this thing is UGLY, as in ... looks like it was made 20 years ago by the Ruskies

04-Oct-08 07:07 AM

Nick B    Said...

Euphonix has set the gold standard?!?

What makes you say that? I'm not sure they've earned that accolade just yet. I have a feeling that USB2 might be a little more responsive than ethernet for control data.

Plus they arent PC compatible? Sure, they look quite nice.

I would agree about the Logic Control being old in the tooth for sure.

Loxan, you are right but there's always room for a new kid on the block and from what I understand, Sonar does have quite a large customer base, as do Roland

04-Oct-08 08:13 AM

Bernard    Said...

Leak or shelved preproduction idea (look at the rack unit) ?

400 series with VS synth and two srx expansions slots.

The 700 rack has been set out in the press release to have just 1 ARX expansion.

04-Oct-08 01:04 PM

Roderick    Said...

It does look sweet, at least for Sonar users like me. The last comment is interesting, when he says that in the future it will be other models (the number anyone?). The only thing that worries me is the USB 2.0 connection, mostly when we are only 6 months away from USB 3.0. Ugly? It looks perfect, with exactly so many knobs as needed.

04-Oct-08 02:03 PM

Jake    Said...

At least its USB2 to computer and not some proprietary R-BUS type thing. Remember the SI-24?

05-Oct-08 12:10 PM

shekhar dhain    Said...

we're only six months away from usb 3???

how did you come to that conclusion?

20-Oct-08 02:29 PM

semee    Said...

you guys are all just full of yourselves. Try getting over your "vast" knowledge for one second and think. Nobody wants to read reviews with a bunch of chuckling third graders all fighting to sound the most educated. If you have never used the thing, how the hell can you even have an opinion.

22-Oct-08 12:27 PM

okan    Said...

sounds thinny, pretentious

17-Dec-08 05:23 PM

Andreas    Said...

Thats really great stuff,thank´s for the fantastical report, i like the idea of the V700 Combination.

For more Produktinformation in German Language you can look here:

19-Dec-08 10:59 AM

Andreas    Said...

Thats really great stuff,thank´s for the fantastical report, i like the idea of the V700 Combination.

For more Produktinformation in German Language you can look here:

19-Dec-08 11:00 AM

Michael Miller    Said...

Great Team.Great Product. Thanks for the vid. Could donkey punch Brandon for A:always doing a good job and B: showing me I am an IDIOT!!!!

25-Nov-14 10:15 PM

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