The V-Synth GT is Roland’s groundbreaking synth unit. This synth packs a lot of power in a functional package. It’s an incredible buy for synth enthusiasts, siding closely with the synth days of old. What’s important about this is that Roland has OVERCOME the problems of old, but kept the sound as close to the classics as they come.
When I first started using the GT, I was impressed. Right out of the box, so many knobs and buttons… it’s hard to tell where to start. But the great thing about the GT is that almost everything that is assigned to a knob can be edited on the screen as well. Thus, I recommend directing your focus on this screen. The LCD is a touch panel, delightfully bright for all you stage guys with the cans shining down on you. Roland has defined a simple and deep edit mode. Right out of the box, editing within the GT is simple. Pro mode flips things around, providing a lot more depth to editing and some additional features. I had the pleasure of working with both and for the most part I found the simple edit to be the best for my needs. What is great is the interface in completely icon-oriented and nearly everything you can touch does something… what you expect it to do 99.9% of the time!
So… how does the V-Synth GT sound? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in front of an array of workstations like the Motif and Triton as well as having played with a MiniMoog and a slew of software synths. In my mind, a single engine of this unit is just as powerful as the competition. But what should be noted is that there are two INDEPENDENT engines on this unit! Imagine my surprise when I realized that Roland has made it easy to route them in series or parallel with minimal effort. Even dual sounds, combos, and key maps are easily setup. It is all a matter of a couple of clicks.
One of the most fun things about the GT is the vocoder. Who doesn’t like to play with a good vocoder? Well… if you typically ask for “good,” this is the best! If you find a sound you really like on a COSM engine and want a vocoder with the same properties, a couple of icons in a menu or a click of a button on the face of the unit gets you there. As powerful as the GT is, I felt this was really Roland’s way of giving synth enthusiasts a gift. I would recommend if you love vocoders to invest in a headset that has a mic on it. Playing the keys and holding a mic or leaning into a mic can be a real pain when you are really enjoying the music. I loved the sounds though. The factory presets ranged from choirs to infants, but I found it best to create my own vocoding engines for truly custom feels.
This is just a breeze over the major features I loved about the GT. If this has you sold, please remember that is it also does USB audio and MIDI, has digital outputs, USB host for data (great for saving patches, backups, etc… easy and cost effective), a ton of useful (and fun) presets, and MIDI I/O (and yes, those can also be accessed as interface ports through USB). These were just icing on the cake to me.
Roland has gone over synth technology with a fine-tooth comb and their labors have paid off. This synth workstation is in a class of its own, sporting all the best features that people love about its competition and then some. As frightening as it was to me at first, it quickly became a focal point of my recording rig and really seemed to keep my attention on the music in a way that other hardware and software devices could not do. The screen really helps keep one focused. But what’s really important is that the GT is fun. And isn’t that why we play? In my eyes, the power, the sound, and the joy of the V-Synth GT just can’t be beaten.