Synth Site: Roland: XV-2020: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.2 out of 5
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simon a part-time user from UK writes:
I bought this kit along with the Roland pick-up and the other box of tricks that completes the synth. The whole lot cost me about £750UK. I had a specific job in mind: I wanted to find a way of making my bass guitar sound like an acoustic upright bass - a bull fiddle or double bass. You can by the 'Vbass' synth and pickup, but it costs about the same, and by adding a guitar pickup to my Les Paul I can also play my six string through it.

1. The manual is very nearly incomprehensible. It looks as though you could programme the thing to be a drum machine, but I haven't enough lifespan left to figure it out. 2. The organisation of the sounds is pretty haphazard. You have to look through the library and make notes of the four or five sounds that are actually useful to you. 3. Most of the sounds are garbage - dogs barking, 'puking' sounds, gunshots etc etc. Some, though, are surprisingly nice and might turn out to be useful if I ever get round to composing at my computer. 4. The effects that I wanted are just spectacular. There are about five double bass sounds in the box - the program B/13 is the canine's cojones.(Or dog's ballocks as we say in the UK). I can now switch on the synth sound from the guitar and go from growly modern electric bass to clicky upright in about half a second. I'd defy anybody to know that it wasn't an acoustic bass.

Problems: attaching the pickup means you really do have to drill holes in your expensive Warwick (eek!). It is fiddly to set up. It means carrying another box of kit with you to a gig, plus about ten million wires. It is rather expensive, but costs about the same as the alternatives, and you do get the added bonus of being able to make your bass sound like a gunshot, a man puking, birds tweeting and so on. To get the real benefit of the acoustic sound, you have to turn down the volume, and pluck quite hard. There is a very slight, but just audible delay. These are easy to overcome, but you do have to change your technique very slightly.

Benefits: at last, the bandleader of the big-band has stopped moaning that my bass guitar doesn't really sound like a 'proper' bass. (Now, he asks me to turn it down! Bandleaders. Don't you just love 'em?)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-24-2004 at 16:16
Bill a professional user from USA writes:
I have a Roland XV-2020 and I'm sure I'm going to love it IF I CAN EVER GET THE INSTRUMENT DEFINITIONS to use with Cakewalk!! Anyone know where they are?

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-11-2003 at 21:07
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