Synth Site: Roland: VP-9000: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.6 out of 5
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Todd a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Well, I must say I was taken on this one. I am an unhappy owner of the Very Poor-9000

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-28-2001 at 18:22
whocares a professional user from USA writes:
Yes, it's overpriced...but no other sampler can do what this one can. I've had no problems with mine. My only complaint is the price tag. I haven't had any OS crashes or distortion or anything else for that matter. Now that Roland has opened the door with variphrase technology, I'm sure other software makers will jump in and make the idea work better and faster and easier for much less money. Anytime there's a new technology, the price tag is appropriately higher. For those who've had major problems, there must be a resolution with Roland either to update your machine and make it work, or at least a refund of your money. Not even Roland could survive if they didn't sell products that people want. Of course there's no excuse for ripping people off with second rate garbage, but that's not the case with My VP. I would have immediately returned it if I had experienced some of the problems described here. Who DOESN'T use plastic knobs on their gear?

No one wants to part with hard earned cash and end up with a boat anchor. But that's exactly what happens every time you buy technology. There will always be something better around the corner. Besides, technology can't write good songs yet...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-21-2000 at 18:16
JB a professional user from UK writes:
Not wanting to be too cynical but a number of magazines are guilty of not investigating the equipment that they are reviewing. Articles are often re-written promotional brochures accompanied with a viewpoint on presets, sad, but often true. Good examples of this are when reviewing "deep" products like a Kurzweil K2500/K2600, the programmability is often overlooked and an unfair review is published.

One reputable magazine has a reviewer that still complains when a synth doesn't have a breath controller! Nowadays technical information is dropped in favour of how the knobs feel and what colour illumination the LCD has.

Regarding the VP9000, there is no reason to point the finger at Roland for being the only company that has released an unfinished or inadequately tested product, most companies have done this at one point or another (There were problems with the ESI-32 when it was first released, we've all read the problems with the timing problems of early O/S releases for the Akai S5000/S6000, the sequencer polyphony/timing problems of the Ensoniq ASR-X, the Alesis HR-16 was another example of a machine that received a vital O/S update before it was useable).

Unfortunately, if a synth or sampler works in a demonstrative environment it will probably sell, problems are mostly encountered when using the instrument intensely which is unfortunately when you are most reliant on it to perform. I remember going to an Akai demonstration for the S2000 and S3000XL samplers. MESA was being used to edit the S2000, a note was hit and it hung, the repdemonstrating the machine continued talking and subtly turned down the main volume dial. After the demo we were invited to look at the kit so we went forward and immediately wanged the volume of the S2000 back up and asked why the note had hung, the rep actually had the front to say that he had changed the samples loop parameter to "infinite" and that was why it was still playing, at which point he switched the machine off. Sad, but absolutely true.

Conclusion: by all means use brochures and reviews to short list products by factual technical details, but when it comes to parting with your money ALWAYS spend at least a couple of hours with a machine.

The funny thing is that a month ago there was a program on British television with Jamiroquai using the VP9000 and dealing out all of the spiel about how innovative it is and that absolutely nothing else can do what it does (obviously haven't heared of Reaktor), anyway, they pitch shifted a vocal line up a couple of semitones and the interviewer stated that with other instruments this function would take "days or even weeks" to perform the same function - probably referring to using a ZX81 for formant pitch shifting.

Sorry about this message being "off topic" but the thread had already left the path of constructive criticism of the VP9000

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-03-2000 at 08:35
charming ray a hobbyist user from chicago usa writes:
hey, y'all, take it easy on the Very Poor 9000.

mine has NEVER frozen on me -- but then, i never sample anything into it, and i never try to match samples of differing bpm. who would ever try to do THAT with a sampler?!

i love the large backlit display -- but it only lures me into a web of tedious submenus. yeah, it's a creativity thief, a spontaneity snatcher, but then, my ideas are never that good anyways.

but i love the knobs because they have a reassuring familiarity to them -- but then, the knobs are familiar because i bought them on the similarly overpriced mc505.

i bought the Very Poor 9000 for two reasons: 1) it does a passable job at letting me create new melodies from sampled vocals; 2) i'm a status-seeking, no-talent trust-fund baby.

i returned it after one week. as i told the salesman, "it's cool, but it's not $3,000 worth of cool."

does roland think musicians have become insanely wealthy and insanely insane?

for similar head-versus-brick-wall frustration, try roland usa's new web site. on second thought, don't.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-02-2000 at 03:08
Damian Karas a part-time user from Georgetown, United States of America writes:
One thing that has not been pointed out is that the effects on the VP-9000 are some of the most useless , flat and uninspiring onboard effects I have ever heard. They all (around 40) nearly sound the same . They are equivalent to something you would find on a little home keyboard unit that one would get free at Zody's when you buy a SlurpeeĀ© and a Hot Dog.

If someone spends nearly 3 grand on a pro unit then one would expect to get 3 grand worth of equipment. I am afraid the only thing of value on the VP is the zip drive. I suppose if one wanted to re-coup the money they spent on the VP you could always remove the zip and at least get something for that as everything else is substandard.

The same cheap plastic buttons used on the Jp8000 can also be found on the VP9000 in addition to the obviously cost-cutting sp202 knobs. How can Roland have the gall to cut costs on a unit they are charging an extremely high premium for??? That is main question I have with this unit. You simply are getting old stuff repackaged in a new and ugly box. (What is the deal with those blue lines that are painted on the fron panel that are below the display .... it looks like something modeled off a 1983 Celica !).

Another factor is that the sound that eminates from the unit has a hard time fitting in a mix. The sample dynamics sound nothing like a EMU or Akai . You can tell whenever you have a VP9000 playing in your songs. It's that 1 dimensional flatness that gives it away every time.

Luckily , I am manager at Stockdale Music here in Georgetown and am able to take items home for training purposes. We have only sold 2 VP9000's since their release and 1 has already been returned (they said it kept freezing up) and the other was purchased by the boss. I guess he has money to burn.

As far as the positive comments about the VP , I would say it is a stretch to say it is a good machine. It isn't. I do however enjoy the simulated tape effect but that is about it...oh wait I do like the included Demo disc.

I'm sorry . I wish I could say I like this unit as I was looking forward to it ever since I heard the demo at NAMM, but after using it for a substantial amount of time the thing has left nothing but a stale taste in my mouth.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-01-2000 at 15:27
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