the VP9000 unit is a pain to own at this time, because Roland Japan simply did not do their homework before shipping it.
Some examples: Most memory that meets Roland’s published specs will not work in this machine. Roland doesn’t warn you, so I will. The memory you buy will probably not work. There’s only one vendor, Vital Technologies (www.vitaltechnology.com/samplers.html) that Roland US believes can supply working memory at this time. I can’t personally vouch that this is so. Hopefully in the future Roland will post a list of memory products that will work.
Another problem: The add-ons are out of date parts that are quite hard to find. The memory is a throwback to the days of 68K Macs. You’ll want to find an external SCSI CD ROM, but those aren’t easily available any more, especially if you want o buy a new one with a warranty. Roland believes that only certain models of CD ROM will work, but they can’t supply a list yet. The list they’re working on suggests that you buy a new SCSI CDR drive, but waste the "R" part of it. Also, if you want to upgrade the operating system, and you’ll have to, you can only do it via MIDI sysex, and if something screws up while the update is in progress, the machine can’t be descrozzled in the field. This would not be as big a hassle if the machine was already stable and well understood, but it really is more of a beta test unit at this point. A very very cool one, but as I write this, in May 2000, it’s probably wiser to wait a while until some of the early adopters have earned street smarts and there are users groups with web sites to lean on when the going gets rough.
Overall Rating: 1 If it were lost, I’d wait a year and then think about buying one again. By that time there will be cheaper software-based tools to do the same thing. I hate to say it, but overall I regret this purchase. Too much of a headache. Roland should be paying me to be the first on the block to figure this stuff out. The worst case of early adopter syndrome I’ve run across in the synth world.