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Roland V-Combo VR-09 61-key Stage Performance Keyboard Reviews

4.5 stars based on 55 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland V-Combo VR-09 61-key Stage Performance Keyboard?

Questions about the Roland V-Combo VR-09 61-key Stage Performance Keyboard?

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  • from January 10, 2017Music Background:
    Tennessee

    82 year old with a bunch of grand and great grand kids.

    Love the VR09. Purchased strictly for home use. We have made a nice and sturdy black wood stand with a music holder. Hope to spend many hours getting acquainted with it. Harold Sublett, Hohenwald, Tn.

  • from Columbia, SC November 18, 2016

    Great Keyboard

    I've been playing for 25 years in a variety band. We play mostly clubs with an occasional festival or private event. I bought this keyboard because my Yamaha gave up the ghost and I wanted something without all the sequencers and recorders that I could set up easily and play. I didn't go wrong. This is an awesome live performance instrument. I literally took it out of the box and played the next night. It's easy to navigate and has a ton of great pianos, organs and everything else. Layering sounds is as easy as holding down two buttons simultaneously. Roland has always been and always will be the best. The drawbar organ is unbelievable. Sweetwater is also the best. I ordered one day and three days later I was playing...Even with regular ground shipping!!! I've bought several items from you guys and have received everything quickly with great customer service. Thanks Sweetwater for being there for the guys in the trenches!!!

  • from Bedford, NH November 10, 2016Music Background:
    prof playing since 1975 and still going!

    Unbelievable Keyboard

    Just stop reading all these perfect reviews and buy this Keyboard. I was actually going to give it 4.5 stars because I would like it to have 73 keys, but that minor deficit is not worthy of .5 of a star. This keyboard really can handle any gig.... as a stand alone keyboard. Honestly! I have play professionally for over 30 years now. in the late 70's I was a keyboard hoarder. It took me two hours to set up with 3 synths, main piano and a Hammond X-5. then in the late 80's and 90's scaled back a bit with only 3 keyboards and an aluminum A frame stand. I have to say this keyboard covers all the others. It splits and layers like my old Yamaha s90xs. One of the so many major advantages is that you can really change the sound of all of the presets just by merely turning a knob. The sounds are all of Roland's flag ship sounds. buy the wifi adapter and download the free app. then you can really dig into the sounds and alter the base sounds dramatically. 73 keys would be better for me because I have never owned anything less than 73 keys and mostly had 88 keys. But at only 12 pounds this keyboard is a Monster.

  • from October 3, 2016

    VR-09

    Great instrument. It's small and compact, yet big enough to feel like a real piece of gear. It's extremely versatile with lots of sounds. I especially like the real drewbars.

  • from August 21, 2016

    What I Was Looking For

    I was looking for a keyboard with this layout. I didn't know anyone made such a keyboard but here it is: pianos, organ, synth and a rhythm section to boot. I'm a guitar player so I'm re-learning a lot of the tunes I knew on guitar to the keys. The Leslie sim is quite nice, the pianos, electric and acoustic are right on. The brass takes some doing to get it in the real of real brass and not the splatty synthetic tone but I'm getting closer. I love the transposer too. You've learned a tune but realize it's a 1/2 step too high. Just lower the whole keyboard a half tone.

    There are limitations of course. Only two sounds at one time and no quick way that I can see to change on a dime one of the split tones during a tune. The rhythms aren't bad for what they are and I use them, although I don't see 3/4 times. I wish there were more shuffle choices. The swings go pretty jazzy pretty quick.

  • from Long Island, NY July 31, 2016Music Background:
    Keyboards and Guitars

    Gigging is lighter and easier

    Gigging on Long Island NY (especially Fire Island) can be arduous with heavy keyboards. Taking ferries and God knows what else to get to your gigcan really challenge your wrists when you're carrying a big keyboard. So consider this: THIS keyboard is light, sounds fantastic (The bonus sound-set is great!) and just what you need to get in, rock the house with killer B3, string pads and piano parts, and get home. Highly recommended from a long time keyboard player.

  • from Western New York July 28, 2016Music Background:
    Keyboard, guitar, vocals

    Perfect fit and lightweight

    I have a Roland Juno Gi and a Roland VR-09...both are 61 note keyboards that weigh about 12 lbs each...so when I was looking for a keyboard bag, it was between the Roland 61 key Gold case, and the Gator 61 slim...I ordered the Roland case because I figured it would just have to fit...well it was a very nice case, made very well, and well padded, but it just seemed too bulky and it was so heavy that it defeated the purpose of having a lightweight keyboard...so I sent it back and ordered the Gator 61 Slim from Sweetwater...it arrived fast...and it fits the Roland keyboards perfectly...it weighs much less than the Roland case, and is much easier to handle...I have several other Gator guitar bags and accessory bags, and they've always been great...and as usual thanks to Mark for making a smooth transaction...

  • from Indianapolis July 22, 2016Music Background:
    Blues and R&B

    roland vr-09

    I've played for 50 years and a lot of keys over the years but can say this keyboard is AWESOME!!!!!!! Thanks Roland and Sweetwater!!!!!!!

  • from Texas July 15, 2016Music Background:
    Semii-pro guitarist, keyboardist, and bassist with 25 years of stage experience.

    Some will love it. Some will not. I love it.

    First off.. .I have been losing sleep because i cannot stop playing this board. It draws creative ideas out of you. There's the short review right there.

    I play keys and guitar in cover bands and for hire to original acts. As I often have to play two instruments in a set (and stages can be small), I needed something light with 61 keys to take up a minimum of space. Yet I needed to cover all the sounds needed for rock, blues, country, pop, dance, etc. This is traditionally Juno territory, so I considered the Juno DS-61 heavily right up until the VR-09 was ordered.

    What sold me on the VR-09 over the Juno DS for my purposes were the following:

    Better key action. It feels semi-weighted whether it is or not. Very similar to my friend's NI Kontrol S 61 with a semi-weighted Fatar keybed. Slightly lighter action, but still firm and solid feeling. Not springy at all. I have no problem playing piano on it, though a weighted board is always better for that.

    The clone wheel organ, obviously, is great.

    Dedicated effects knobs right there to tweak any sounds you're playing. On most keyboards it's too much trouble to tweak the reverb or add a little delay on stage. It's part of using this board. Very light use of the overdrive knob also makes a great solo boost. The Leslie can literally be put on anything. I

    FAST creation of layers and splits on the fly. No long process to remember. Hit the two buttons for the sounds you want - instant layer. Hit the split button - now it's a split. String too loud in the layer? Dedicated buttons right there to adjust relative volume.

    200+ sounds is way easier to find the one I need with speed than 1200+ sounds. I'd rather have 200 good sounds that I know exactly where they are than 17 different accordions I will probably never use.

    Very little use of menus. Mostly WYSIWYG. When you do use a menu, it doesn't have pages and pages of options. Simple and quick. For my basic sounds, I more save templates than tones. Here's the EP I want to use... I want this tempo delay when I ask for it... I want this particular phaser as needed... this type of reverb... and so on. Then sculpt from that at the show by adding effects just like my guitar with a pedal board.

    The velocity curve for the keyboard is saved in each registration (basically user patches) you save. Meaning you can have heavy touch for playing piano... light for a synth lead... on/off for organ. This is usually a global setting forcing you to choose. Very important feature for making one keyboard able to "do it all" in my opinion.

    At gigs... every room sounds different. I may be sticking out or not cutting through with the exact settings I used last time. The more I can easily tweak my sound without a hassle, the happier I am with my sound.

    This board is not for everybody. It's like having a collection of vintage keyboards with a dedicated, very accessible, effects board. Overdrive raises the volume and can overdrive the amp or PA easily if you don't compensate for it. Adding too much resonance to a filter sweep can vibrate the walls and stick out of the mix. It requires a little responsibility of the part of the user... just like real synths and effects do. You have true power to sculpt the sound in real time... so you can make it sound terrible if you don't use that power properly.

    If you want a set and forget board full of a million sounds... The Juno DS, a Roland FA, or the Mighty Korg Kronos or Krome are all better bets.

    If you want something that sounds great and can be customized to your taste on the fly... on stage... I have never seen a better keyboard for it. Works fine as your only keyboard at a show. Would be the best "top keyboard" I can imagine with an 88 key piano under it.

  • from Circleville Ohio May 16, 2016Music Background:
    I have played keys and harmonica with Teeny Tucker at major blues festivals since 2008. I have also played with various local bands since the 1980's.

    Killer B3, Great keyboard for real-time performance

    This is an excellent keyboard for live performance, with some great sounds. It is very easy to adjust during live performance, and its weight and size are a big plus.

    I bought this to serve as a "Hammond B3" for my blues band and for other sit-in gigs. Sounds great, and it is easy to adjust during a show. I like that for any preset, the rotary speaker parameters can be adjusted and saved. Also, split-keyboard presets are possible, and it's easy to jump to the top voice by just hitting the "split" button. There are 25 banks of four presets, and the first four banks are very quick to access. The display shows the important information of the active settings, including the drawbar positions for both upper and lower voices. All the important parameters have convenient knobs or buttons for live adjustment, without the need to dive into menus. This includes all the typical Hammond ones, and also things such as distortion, tone (EQ curve), reverb and delay. It is also easy to set up split voices or dual voices "on the fly", and even adjust the volume of either voice with dedicated buttons or a slider.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the pianos and electric pianos. I am a piano player with classical background, so I want a good weighted action. Surprisingly, even though the action is not weighted, the pianos and electric pianos create expression similar to that of a weighted keyboard, and the keyboard feel is amazingly good, although not as good as that of a weighted keyboard. The pianos sounds are pretty good, and some of the electric piano sounds are great, producing distortion and overtones when played hard, much like the real thing. The "octave up" and "octave down" buttons make this five-octave keyboard play like a full 88-key one.

    For serious gigs, I will use the VR-09 as my upper keyboard, for Hammond organ, clavinet, and maybe even electric piano. I will use my Casio PX-3 as my lower keyboard for pianos and electric pianos. However, the VR-09 plays well enough that I can use it as my only keyboard for jam sessions, less-serious gigs, and even home practice of piano and electric piano songs.

    At 12.2 pounds (20 pounds in a Gator case, with all necessary pedals and accessories), this is easy to put in the trunk and take anywhere. I will take this for all of my traveling blues gigs, and have my own "B3", all configured to my preferences.

    As always, it was a pleasure dealing with Sweetwater. Ben Robinson always provides excellent advice, and spends plenty of time to be sure that I get what is best for me. I never feel any pressure, and delivery is super fast.

  • from TN October 18, 2015Music Background:
    Christian music

    LOVE THIS KEYBOARD!!!!!!!!!!!

    Considered a lot higher priced keyboard before buying this one. Then I went with this keyboard pretty much because of the price. This is the best keyboard I have ever owned. Awesome piano voices, probably the best I've ever heard but the main thing with this VR-09 is the organ. WOW! so realistic it's unbelievable. I would recommend this keyboard to anyone, especially if your gonna play in church, it is AWESOME!!

  • from Cape Coral, Florida July 27, 2015Music Background:
    Professional

    BEST BOARD FOR GIGGINE

    A pleasure to play, easy to work, so many capabilities. Lightweight, can't believe the quality and price either.

  • from Alabama June 28, 2015Music Background:
    Church musician

    Sweet.........

    AWESOME!!!!!!
    IT'S A MINI B3!!!
    STILL IN AWE.........You can download more sounds from Roland also!
    Daniel Fisher is The bomb......I love the sound bank!!!

  • from Austin TX June 2, 2015Music Background:
    Professional musician/ producer

    Perfect

    Outstanding stage rig! Versatile and easy to navigate during performance. The patches are high quality, nothing Rinky-dink about this sound! Studio quality patches and clarity in a feature packed keyboard. The organ function is awesome - lots of control over your sound parameters gives convincing B3/ Leslie feel. Wurly sounds like the real deal. A joy to play... Love it!

  • from TONAWANDA,NY April 23, 2015Music Background:
    POP, BLUES , SOME STANDARDS

    GRRREAT KEYBOARD

    i'm an old B3 player. i have a Nord electro 3 and this board matches it to the "t". All of the other sounds i'll be using are spot on. Thanks Roland and the great service from Sweetwater and my rep Andy Plank. First class all the way.

  • from Hoxie AR . USA January 21, 2015Music Background:
    Retired Professional Musician , Live Sound Eng, Studio Owner. Member of a Gospel Group.

    Very Pleased with the keyboards features and weight.

    I am getting older and needed a keyboard that would replace my other keyboards. I could not believe that a keyboard that weighed 12 pounds was not a toy. THIS THING IS NOT A TOY. It will do everything that I need it to do and more.The only thing that i am having trouble with is getting use to the keys. They are a little smaller than my weighted keys i was use to, but no big deal the pros far out do any cons. I will recommend it to anyone . Thanks to my sales guy ( Jeff Hollman ) and the tech staff at Sweetwater. You have been there every time I have needed you.

  • from Bethlehem, PA December 30, 2014Music Background:
    SemiPro Musician, Live Performance, Recording

    I Love This Keyboard!

    My keyboard was delivered today. I've only played it a short amount of time so far but I can tell you I'm already hooked on this thing! The sound quality is incredible. The drawbars make dialing up the perfect organ sound a breeze. Everything you need is right at your fingertips. I can't believe Roland packed an organ, synth, and piano all into one extremely lightweight product. Absolutely blown away by this thing. I highly recommend you get one NOW!

  • from Rutherfordton, NC December 23, 2014Music Background:
    Keyboard player, singer, studio owner.

    Great value

    Couldn't ask for so much in such a light weight well thought out package.

  • from Columbus, OH August 20, 2014Music Background:
    Professional keyboardist and recording engineer

    No, seriously, BUY IT!

    Everything about this board is designed from the ground up for getting great results fast. From the onboard organ engine with a full set of (slightly downsized) drawbars, to the 6 effects knobs, to the butt-simple layering and split modes, this keyboard immediately became a staple of my live and studio setups. If there's a keyboard in this price range that does as many things as the VR09 does half as well, I'd need to see it to believe it. This thing rocks!

  • from Oak Island,NC July 30, 2014Music Background:
    Multi Instrumentalst, Former Semi-Pro, Home Studio Attempter

    VR-09....Great Stuff!

    I am, by far...an amateur keyboardist ( primarily a bassist, percussionist, vocalist....and decent amateur guitarist!) that wanted a cost effective keyboard addition to my budding home studio. My 10 year-old daughter ( a fine drummer/vocalist in her own right!) selected this keyboard as the next addition to my studio, due to its combo aspect. I got about a week ago, and I must say....ORGANS!!!! Wow! The organs on this are amazing! The pianos, EP's, and basic synth patches are great, but the organs are STELLAR! I cannot recommend this keyboard enough. What a perfect, basic all-around studio keyboard for the basic bread-and-butter sounds any home studio would need (perfect addition to my Little Phatty and Bass Station rig)... Too much fun...thanks again to my Sweetwater Sales Engineer, Ikes Taylor, for all of his great advice and superlative customer service. The BEST!

  • from July 25, 2014

    A Hammond "SK" inside a Roland "Juno" Box?

    This Roland VR-09 is bound to be one of those "you-got-to-be-kidding-me" organs if there ever was one!

    It is very similar, even identical in concept in many different ways, to the Hammond SK-1 for the same price as for the Roland Juno Gi!

    Now this has got to be among Roland's bangs for the buck! Lighter in weight than a Hammond SK-1, too!

    It is rather like a Lucina AX-09 with two extra piano-key octaves tacked on, a drum rhythm box. The Lucina lacks the 9 organ sliders the VR has but it packs most of the 200+ sounds (150 in all), it has a sleeker body and priced now at just a third! I love both!

  • from Kansas City, Mo. June 20, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro weekend musician

    My new rig

    After 22 years of playing as a "weekend warrior"some 30 weekends a year I have replaced my stage rig with one keyboard. This keyboard covers all the bases and at 10 lbs. I might get a few extra years out of my back.

  • from Lawrenceburg, TN April 8, 2014Music Background:
    retired semi-pro

    Great Keyboard

    I'm not really a keyboard player but this board is great for string, horn & organ fills. I also use it for a duo using sequences. I have been wanting one of these since they first came out. I am not disappointed.

  • from San Diego, Ca USA January 13, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    VR 09

    The Roland VR 09 is a light weight versatile keyboard that is easy to use. It has very nice Organ, Piano and Synth sounds that can be modified while playing. I am delighted with how the Looper feature functions and how easy it is to use. Since it can be powered by batteries, it is a take anywhere instrument.

  • from Wynnewood, PA January 25, 2017Music Background:
    recording engineer, musician, composer

    Good amount for the dollar.

    Half star removed for build quality. The chassis feels fine despite the light weight, but the buttons and especially the drawbar faders are fairly wiggly. The knobs wiggle but less so. It would have been nice if they could have been chassis mounted instead of PCB mounted. (at least I'm assuming they are PCB mounted from the amount of wiggle). The feeling of the actual slide and rotation is fine. Keybed feels good to me, and I'm pretty picky. Not so great for classical piano, but expressive enough to get by. Great organ feel, though despite the lack of waterfall keys. Also, due to the light weight, I'd recommend putting velcro on your stand to keep it from sliding too much.

    My reasons for deciding on the VR-09 were 1) affordability 2) some dedicated real-time controls 3) physical drawbars 4) decent acoustic samples 5) VA synth engine 6) weight

    So, after honeymooning with the new keyboard for several hours the day it arrived, I'm very happy with it. Yes it has limitations and it's share of quirks, but it is pretty easy to dial up a sound quickly, it boots quickly, the keybed feels sturdy to me (good organ style action somewhere between synth and semi-weighted) It's not a "great" keybed for acoustic piano (you really need a decent hammer weighted keybed for that) but I still find it expressive enough, and it gets the job done. Setting layers and splits are pretty straight forward. The organ engine is quite good with the Leslie rotary emulation. The piano section has a couple decent acoustic grand pianos, and some good electric Rhodes and Wurlitzer style sounds. The clavichord samples are "okay". The synth section has some pretty good capability for tweaking as well, and doesn't sound bad. Other acoustic samples, such as string ensembles, brass, solo trumpet, trombone, sax, violin, and cell are also located in the synth section, and sound pretty good when tweaked and adjusting fx. Some of the N solo samples are also modeled to simulate some articulation e.g. lip slurs for the N trumpet.

    Outside of the organ section, the drawbars handle basic filter and envelop duty. Effects have a dedicated knob for their levels; overdrive, tone, compressor,dely, reverb, and multi-FX. And the d-beam can be set to control pitch, sfx, or control a parameter (like Leslie rotation speed) Drum section has a number of kits including a few acoustic kits, and all the Roland standards (606, 808, 909, etc.) Though I probably won't use it, the keyboard includes a 20-second looper for overdubbing tracks. There is also a song mode for recording a full song (though it's not a full workstation like the FA-series, or the Korg or Yamaha equivalents). The USB port is used with a USB stick to access user registrations, update the OS, or export registrations and songs. The VR-09 can also play back mp3 and wav files from a USB stick. (I will probably use this feature to record our rehearsals, throw it on a USB stick, and then play with the band, but not with the band)

    Basically, it's a jack of all trades, and not a master at anything in particular, but it does a lot of things right for quick access and real-time tweaking and adjusting on the fly. It's affordable compared to the Hammonds, Kurzweils and Nords, and did I mention it's REALLY light and easy to haul to a gig?

    Granted this is a first impression, and I've read my fair share of criticisms of the board, and one of the big ones is midi capability. It's a bit limited on that front, and not really a good keyboard for being a master controller in front of your DAW. I think the Effects knobs send CC, but the drawbars do not interface with midi, unless they are sending something like sysex data. Reportedly some expression pedals (including Roland's own EV pedals) don't respond well for controlling an organ swell type of sound. Navigating to the deeper programs within a registration bank is also a slight niggle.

    Overall, it's a great sounding board especially in the space of a band, decent feel to the keys, easy to use, easy to transport and carry, easy to set up quickly, and easy to tweak some settings on the fly. It's not a Nord killer, but it's on the right track. I'm having a blast with it, and honestly, I have a hard time keeping my hands off of it. I'll be using the VR-09 on first tier, and my Nord Lead 2X on the second tier for primary synth duty. Some people who already have a decent 88-key stage piano might use the VR-09 on the 2nd tier, but probably not as the primary or sole keyboard, particularly if they perform classical jazz. Though they might take it alone to rehearsals as it's easy to carry and set up. Might also be a good solo board for really cramped or small gigs.

    Oh, and I also forgot to mention that it can run on batteries, increasing the portability, and maybe being a good consideration for busking.

  • from Georgia November 9, 2016Music Background:
    Performer, Project Studio Owner, Local Producer

    Great Board

    Having used this board on a few gigs & rehearsals now, I'll point out the pros & cons of a real-world weekend warrior and project studio guy like myself. These are first impressions.

    PROS: Layout is good, easy to get around. The effects layout is great for on the fly tweaking. You'll really dig the "Tape Echo" effect in real time when speeding up or slowing down, providing that pitch-changing / tempo changing effect you hear on the old tape delays. Distortion effect is good, along with the other basics - reverb, multi-fx, etc. Drawbars are a plus. Very light-weight, which is nice for a change after hauling around full sized Yamaha Motif and MOXF8 keyboards. (I'm a pro-level horn player who doubles on keys). I'm still getting into the programming and presets, but so far the sounds are great. I do wish it had a baritone sax patch, and maybe a bigger variety of horn combos, but not a deal breaker. Accessibility to the sounds are quick & easy.

    CONS: Feels somewhat breakable since it's so light and the keys offer no resistance. But on the flip side, low weight is good for smaller gigs & tight packing, and even though the keys feel less durable than other keyboards I use, at the same time they feel as if they will last for a very long time. Gotta be careful doing glissandos, as the keyboard may actually slide on you - depending upon your stand. The keys seem to be a tad smaller than full-sized piano keys. I have big fingers, so full-sized keys are desirable for me.

    One thing I did notice at first is that the patches sounded 'thin' to me, but after using the keyboard on my first legit gig and going through a good PA & amp, this board sounded much better than me playing on it at home with mediocre headphones and an average amp. I've used Yamaha, Nord, Korg and Roland keyboards in the past, and I have a huge virtual instrument library. I'd feel comfortable using this keyboard in practically any setting. Definitely a tweakable keyboard with good options. The drum / rhythm section is extremely basic, but most of us won't be using the drum patches for anything other than demos & rehearsals anyway. It's nice to have a 'tap tempo' button to dictate effects or rhythm. The looper is a cool function. I can see myself using it more and more, although it is somewhat limiting at 20 seconds.

    My typical rig setup is a Yamaha MOXF8 on bottom, and the Roland V on top. The Roland replaced my old Nord 2 which I gave to a charity group. I also play through a Center Point Space Station by Aspen Pittman, usually coupled with a Behringer B1200 sub, or an older Peavey KB300 amp for low end.

    I'm looking forward to knowing this board better and getting the most of it. Although it feels like a toy, it sounds like a machine. Not a keyboard that will make you go "WOW!", but it definitely gets the job done.

  • from West Hempstead, NY October 7, 2016Music Background:
    Playing in bands since 1964, Bass, Guitar, vocals, and recording bands.

    Roland V Combo VR-90

    The Roland V combo VR-90 has great sounds. Light weight and very portable. Itís great addition to the studio and gigs. Iíve had the pleasure of purchasing items since 2009. And as always, quick shipping service and follow up calls from Zack Neels and the Sweetwater crew.

  • from Pacific Northwest July 11, 2016Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior

    Worth the money

    I've been eyeing this keyboard for a couple of years. Other reviews convinced me to try it. It is a fun, do almost everything keyboard. The pianos are not as good as my Kawai. But the organs have been great to use. I'm still undecided on the synths. Some of my soft-synths seem more sophisticated and realistic. But to be honest I really bought this for its portability, organ settings and price-point. So, on those fronts it has really delivered. And all of its other functions are a bonus. Other sellers offer extra stuff for your money. But Sweetwater has always been 100% reliable with a great product delivered on time. And even though I haven't relied on my sales associate, Kurt, a lot he's been there for me since my first order in 2005. That speaks volumes of the company!

  • from Powell, OH June 9, 2016

    Perfect for a Gig Warrior

    Although many want to view this keyboard as primarily a Hammond Clonewheel, that is really just one feature of this board. When I purchased the VR-09, I knew it would not be the best Hammond clonewheel on the market (That would be the Crumar Mojo IMO). I just wanted an acceptable Organ with drawbars, and more importantly, everything else I would ever need on a gig (ep's, synths, etc). This board really shines as a gigger's swiss army knife, it has all the bases covered, and is super easy to operate without even reading the manual. Splits and layers are a piece of cake. Lot's of fun little effects and knobs to twist. The price is right. This really is the board I needed 15 years ago when I was bouncing from gig to gig all week. Out of the box, the organ needs a little tweaking (a little more Key click, a little less vibrato intensity), but everything is adjustable. And this board has real Organ action (ie fast response). The piano is decent but a little brittle for my taste, but that is roland piano's for you. The Ep's are great. The synth's are great. Brass is decent. Strings are very good, especially the old jupiter strings. Good basses. The drums and sound effects are really good but the on board beats are only marginally useful.
    TIP: If you want to add an even better B3 sound, buy the GSI VB3 software intrument ($50) and map it to the drawbars on the VR-09. Then you basically have the sound of the Crumar Mojo plus all the goodies of the VR-09.

  • from New York April 28, 2016Music Background:
    I've been playing piano, organ, and guitar for decades, most recently in churches in the US and UK.

    highly recommended

    There are only two downsides worth mentioning. First, the keys seem to be a bit shorter than I would like so if your fingers stray too far towards the back the reduced leverage is noticeable. And second, it's not possible to apply the rotary effect(s) to just the organ on a combined piano and organ patch.

    That being said, it is in every other respect outstanding. I got this for use at church and the pianos (especially when blended with just a touch of vox or strings) and organs are so good I can't get them out of my mind. It's radically tweakable (as described elsewhere) and I can dial in whatever I need in seconds. My most recent discovery combines the first sampled church organ with the tone-wheel jazz organ. By tweaking the drawbars while playing I can get a wide range of lovely organ tones that still sound like a pipe organ (and are nicely modulated either by the slow rotary or the chorus effects). As an added bonus, cranking the tone knob brings out a bit of the sound of wind in the works.

    In general, this could be just the ticket if you are looking for a portable players' keyboard that rapidly becomes an extension of your creative self.

    And, thanks Sweetwater for your excellent service.

  • from March 19, 2016Music Background:
    Motown, Stax, funk, jazz fusion, AOR pop rock

    Best Performance Synth/Keyboard For Under $1,000

    I play keys with a professional seven-piece group specializing in Motown, Stax, funk, blues and AOR pop/rock (Toto, Dave Mason, Elton John, Little River Band, etc.) It's the kind of band that requires great keyboard tones, particularly in the acoustic piano, EP and organ departments, with the occasional need for strings, synth brass, clav, etc.

    For the past year, I've been using a Korg Kross which is lightweight, and quite versatile. However, although the Kross *is* a workstation synth with all the prerequisite features inherent therein, it's too much of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none for my tastes/needs. While the onboard 16-track sequencer and rhythm step sequencer are great, there were obviously corners cut in essential meat-and-potatoes areas (like quality acoustic/grand piano patches) in order to keep the price low. I decided it was time to upgrade. Enter the Roland VR-09!

    When I decided to upgrade from the Kross, I had a few key requirements: 1) Great essential tones/waveforms (acoustic piano, organ, etc.); 2) Sensible WYSIWYG layout tailored to live performance; 3) As much real-time, on-the-fly control over sounds as possible; 4) Price point no higher than $1,000. The Roland VR-09 exceeds all these expectations in spades.

    -All tones ~ pianos, EPs, organs, strings, brass, synths; even historically 'iffy' tones like acoustic guitars ~ are completely usable, viable, even outstanding.

    -The layout and interface is elegant and perfectly suited to live performance: I had a three-set gig to perform the evening after my VR-09 was delivered. With less than a day to dial in tones and learn my way around the UI, the gig went flawlessly. Splits, layers and tone registration are easy, intuitive and idiot-proof.

    -Real-time controls on this thing are arguably its BEST feature; a full set of organ tone bars, A/D/R & Cutoff/Resonance synth controls, and dedicated dials for Distortion, Tone, Compression, MFX, Delay and Reverb. As a nice bonus, the pitch/mod controller is an X/Y axis joystick style, which I much prefer over the old-school parallel wheels.

    -Extras: The drum grooves and looper are awesome creative tools; furthermore (and this is something I believe many players don't realize about this board), even though the VR-09 doesn't have a 'sequencer' in the technical sense, it *can record audio tracks/demos to USB memory*. I already have a good DAW at home, so a workstation sequencer is redundant for me. However the audio recorder still allows me to scratch that creative itch and dump it right over to my PC later if desired!

    -This thing sells for $900. Almost laughably inexpensive! As my title states: For the money, you will not find a finer live performance keyboard. Highly recommend.

  • from NC February 18, 2016Music Background:
    BSEd Music Education

    Roland VR-09

    This keyboard is the ticket. Pianos and Organ presets are very authentic, among others. Drawbars are spot on. There is a learning curve, but who wants a new board that doesn't present a challenge? One of the best features, apart from the sounds, is the weight. I use to lug around fifty and sixty pound keyboard, but now, I'm into "light", as in "less tonnage"! For the price, I don't think you can be it. Yes, I would buy it again in a heart beat.

  • from Pittsburgh, Pa. USA April 22, 2015Music Background:
    I've been playing keyboards and guitar for 53 years now. Have a small home studio, and have played in local Rock bands most of my life.

    I got my B3 back!

    Got my VR-09 delivered this morning from Sweetwater Music. It's on the rack, the free patches have been uploaded and this thing sounds amazing. Since I quit hauling my B3 around back in the late '80s, I've been searching for a light-weight keyboard to replace those characteristic sounds, and now I have it. I have a lot to learn but everything seems simple and easy to do so far. I can get the growl of a B3, with the pedal maxed out and the rotary simulations are excellent. The VR-09 tops off my gigging rig of a Roland SX-300, and a Roland KC-550 keyboard amp.

    Thanks to everyone at Sweetwater for their excellence in customer service!

  • from Brooklyn, NY March 20, 2015

    Impressive for live gigs

    For the price and the versatility, this is a truly impressive keyboard. I've only had it for about a week now, but this is exactly what I was looking for in a gigging instrument.

    Before I got this I was lugging my VR-760 around (I play funk/rock/soul) and the 45 lbs. was wearing on me. Now I can carry this--including pedals/cables/stand/etc.--in one hand. I was a little nervous about maintaining sound quality and playability, but I'm happy with the trade-offs here.

    Pros:
    - Light and portable
    - Simple, intuitive interface (especially for Roland)
    - Lots of good sounds, and a deeper bench than I expected (especially around the synths)
    - Very easy to use
    - USB drive and aux input are clutch. Welcome to the future.

    Cons:
    - Limited key sensitivity--what did you expect?
    - Controls are dumbed down a bit vs. other Roland gear I've had. I guess they're trying to KISS but they cut a few things I wish they'd kept--full EQ, FX controls, and amp modeling.
    - Bass instruments are a little weak. Most of the best sounding ones are monophonic.
    - Wish there was a little more flexibility mixing 2 tones. Most FX seem to apply to both, and apparently you can't use a switch pedal to turn on/off a 2nd layer.
    - Sure wish they made a 76 key version!

    Overall, though, most of my complaints are nitpicks and in a live music setting the pros far outweigh the cons. This is a great gigging keyboard and it sounds great for all of the fundamentals.

  • from Cleveland, OH February 20, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Keyboardist - Classic Rock, Prog Rock, Pop

    Roland VR-09, a Winner

    Love this 'board. Probably obvious, but the organ engine, which is excellent, was the primary catalyst for purchase. In my situation, it'll sit atop my Yamaha Motif XS-7 to cover prog rock such as ELP, Yes, Genesis, etc. And it's perfect for this. Aside from the organ sims, the bread-and-butter synth sounds are solid (even if re-used)... as a child of the early 80s, can you really ever get enough JP Brass or Staccato Heaven? ;-) The iPad editor is nice and will be used heavily to expand on my VR's classic rock synth palette.

    If I could change anything, I'd give it a little more physical build strength (e.g., XP-30, and yes, I'd have paid the extra $), although the light weight is nice. Also, a 'board with this design needs CP Electric Grand, RMI and Mellotron strings patches (hint, hint, Roland, for a future system update!).

    Bottom line, at this price point, you can't beat it for classic rock, prog, jazz, pop or even as a very easy-to-carry, all-in-one rehearsal 'board. If you're on the fence, do it!

  • from MC CALLA, AL January 20, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Lots of great sounds

    I was looking for a good all-round board with strong piano and organ tones given that I don't want to haul my A-100 to gigs and was lacking a good piano. I'm very happy with the pianos and pleased with the organ. I find the Leslie sim to be quite acceptable as well. The keybed, while not the best, is a fairly standard synth/organ touch that is also acceptable. The effects are quite good with the exception of the distortion which is fizzy and generally horrible.

    The synth section contains a lot of bread-and-butter tones and is better than I expected even though the ability to create/edit sounds is a bit limited. For a live board, perfectly acceptable once again. The Sweetwater sound package came on a USB drive and contains excellent patches.

    All in all, this board met most of my expectations and exceeded some with the most notable negative being the laughable distortion. It is a very nice package indeed, particularly when one considers the low price. If you're piano and organ-centric as I am and need a basic palette of synth tones as well, you'll be happy with this sturdy and light keyboard.

  • from Long Island, NY December 22, 2014Music Background:
    Bass player and non-professional recording engineer.

    VR-09

    Talk about 5 lbs of sugar in a 1 lb bag.
    The piano, synth, brass, strings and hammond voicings are excellent.
    The user interface is simple and intuitive (even a bass player can master it).
    The price for all these goodies is very reasonable.

  • from Bonney Lake, WA November 5, 2014Music Background:
    Lifelong music enthusiast

    Wonderful Sound

    You buy an instrument to make music ... for wonderful sound, buy the Roland V-Combo VR-09. The rest is up to you.

  • from Louisville, KY USA June 4, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro Musician

    OMG, WOW

    I've been wanting a B3 sound for a long time. Bought a couple of other keyboards and pedals to try and simulate it's distinctive sound,but, to no avail. I saw this and have been watching videos on it and decided to bite the bullet and purchase one. OMG! This thing is da Bomb! The only thing closer to a B3 sound is the Hammond sk-1 at twice the price. The pianos, and other sounds are decent, but not mind blowing by any means, however, with the ability to "tweak" this should not be a problem. I'm looking forward to creating my own sounds as this is the first keyboard that can be adjusted on the fly. Also the Ipad editor should make it even easier to get great sounds to put into the registration memory. I can't comment on its reliability as I haven't had it that long,however, it looks very sturdy and well built. My only regret is I don't have a gig for a while and I'm dying to use it onstage. Lol. Kudos to Nick, my sales engineer, he was on top of it as I was trying to order. His phone didn't ring as he was calling me to let me know they had come in. Lol, Sweetwater Sound's service is top notch. Their staff are always available for ordering or just answering questions about products you've purchased. A great resource to have as a musician. I will be make more purchases from Sweetwater Sound in the future!

  • from Washington D.C. March 18, 2014Music Background:
    Professional multi-instrumentalist and recording artist.

    Perfect Keys for Blues/Rock/Funk

    This is the keyboard I'd been waiting for for a very long time. It's a solid workhorse with all the basics a gigging keyboardist needs, right on top and close at hand. The dedicated organ, piano and synth sections make it easy to find the right sound at the right time, without digging through menus. If you play primarily organ and piano, especially blues, funk and rock, this may be the ideal board for you.

    The organ section is top notch, and the drawbars make it really easy to dial in the perfect sound. The rotary simulation is awesome. One feature I really appreciate is that the slow/fast rotary switch can be routed to a pedal. Everything you need is right at your fingertips (or toetips). I have just one organ sound saved to registration that I use as a starting point. When I need something different, I simply dial in what I want, on the fly. It's amazingly easy.

    I happen to love Roland piano patches, and this unit includes some of their best. My favorite is "GrandPianoV2", but I find I use "Rock Piano" a lot for uptempo blues and rock, as it really cuts through the mix. A few tweaks of the effects knobs can easily tailor the sound to fit any situation. The tone knob is a dream come true for getting just the right sound in a live setting. The electric pianos ("Vintage EP" for Rhodes, and "'60s E.Piano" for Wurly) are full-bodied and responsive. I like to add a little grit with just a tiny twist of overdrive. The clavinets especially benefit from a bit of EQ and FX. Try "Clav 1" with a dash of OD and compression for that "Trampled Under Foot" sound.

    The synth section is designed for quick access to the best bread & butter sounds. The trade-off is that it's not as deep as a dedicated synth, like a Juno. There aren't hundreds of patches to scroll through. But you'll find mostly solid, useful sounds (with few exceptions). The strings and pads are excellent, as are many of the synth leads. There's a good variety of brass sections (I like "80's Brs 1"). Overall, I'm very pleased with Roland's selection of sounds here, however limited.

    The magic of the VR-09 really happens when you put it all together. It's amazingly easy to split or layer sounds to instantly create lush, powerful combinations. Want to layer strings under your piano lead? Hold down the "piano" button and tap the "strings" button. Done. Wait, want to split them instead? Tap split. Done. Want to change the split point? Hold "split" and tap the note where you want the split. Done. It's a joy having so much versatility instantly available when inspiration strikes.

    This brings me, however, to the VR-09's limitations.

    When I got this keyboard, I was in a jam band that performed mostly blues, rock and funk. What I needed were meat-and-potato sounds, easily accessible. The VR-09 delivered in spades. We often take songs in unexpected directions, and the nimble versatility of the VR-09 makes it perfect for that situation. All the basics are right at my fingertips, so it's a snap to flow from song to song on the fly. It's the keyboard I'd always wanted, and the price was right.

    Since then, however, I joined a second band that covers a lot of 80's and classic rock. Because that music is extremely synth-oriented, I found the VR-09 somewhat lacking in certain respects. The first issue I had is that it's limited to only one split or layer, for a total of two combined voices. One split doesn't cut it for the more produced tunes so prevalent in the 80's. Since the arrangements are tighter, there isn't as much need for improvised sound changes. I really needed something with more splits/layers and a wider variety of sounds, as well as an arpeggiator (curiously missing from the VR-09). If I had known I'd ever be playing in this kind of band, I might have opted for the Juno.

    The VR-09 does have a few tricks, however, that have helped me adapt. One is the ability to create completely new sounds by connecting an iPad and using the VR-09 editor app. This allows you to get into the nitty gritty of synth tone production, saving your creations in user registration banks. Synth editing has a steep learning curve, but virtually any sound you can dream of can be produced. There are a couple "gotchas" worth mentioning. There's no straightforward way to save your tones, other than putting them in user banks. And once saved, it can get a little weird trying to use them in splits or layers. I've had to completely recreate a couple sounds to get them to sit where I wanted in splits. Not fun, but at least it's done (and safely backed up to USB flash memory). And of course, you must have an iPad to be able to do this. Gotchas aside, the power of being able to deeply edit tones like this should not be underestimated. Each sound has three oscillators, making some pretty complex tones possible. If you know what you need, and how to program it...there's no limit to what you can create.

    Another very useful trick is the MFX (multi-effects) knob. This is basically a "catch all" control for whatever special effect you have loaded at the moment. Some of the effects include the basics like chorus, flange, tremolo and wah. Others can make creating the "right" sound surprisingly easy. For example, you can add a quick and easy sweep effect to strings or brass with "Small Phaser 2". Although lacking an arpeggiator, there's an effect called "Step Phaser" that can produce a somewhat similar effect. "Slicer" is like tremolo on steroids, making it a snap to recreate that "Won't Get Fooled Again" effect. Both of those can use tap tempo, so locking with the rest of the band is as easy as tapping your finger. The one shortcoming here is that you can only have one MFX loaded at a time. But since delay, reverb, OD, etc. are all on separate knobs, this isn't as limiting as it may sound.

    There are a couple less obvious features I've found noteworthy. If you connect an external MIDI controller, you can choose to control either the VR-09's core sounds, or a built in GM bank. I haven't spent a lot of time auditioning the GM sounds, but they're all solid Roland quality. The GM synth is separate from the VR-09 tone banks, so this gives the instrument another possible level of application.

    Secondly, the VR-09 can, itself, be used as a MIDI controller. I'm considering attaching an external synth for additional layering of tones. From what I've read, I wouldn't choose the VR-09 if all I needed was a MIDI controller. There are better options for that. But it's great to have the ability available, when I want it.

    Overall, I have no regrets about choosing the Roland VR-09. Even though my situation has changed somewhat, I would have a very hard time parting with the VR-09 for its quick and easy versatility, and solid workhorse tones. If I had to choose just one keyboard to take to a jam, this would be it. No contest. It probably wouldn't be my first choice for heavily synth-oriented music, but when it comes to blues, funk, and good old rock and roll...the VR-09 has everything I need, and then some.

  • from Alexandria La. January 17, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer

    congrats to Roland

    I'm an organist for a church and often attend services at other churches lacking a organ. The (hammond sound) needed on most gospel songs make a difference in ok and outstanding in a lot of gospel songs. This keyboard is remarkably close to THAT B3 SOUND, organist must have. This unit also-provides a variety of good acoustic and electric pianos. Good price for a great portable organ. This board allows easy tweaking and overall access to refine sounds on the fly. Great job Roland.

  • from August 4, 2013Music Background:
    Veteran weekend player

    Roland VR-09

    After a three month wait (this seems to be a popular model) my Roland VR-09 arrived last month, Since then I've had a good chance to test it., and am happy to give it two thumbs up. Here are my conclusions:

    1. The organ section, with its drawbars and built -in Leslie-simulator, is first class. It sounds great - as good or better than the more expensive Hammonds and Nords, to my ears.

    2. The synth section is excellent - plenty of usable preset horn, string, pad, choral and lead patches.

    3. The acoiustic piano and electric piano sounds are OK, but not as good as the organ. For gigs where the piano parts are critical, you'd probably want to bring something better, and with a weighted keyboard.. For a casual gig with a band theVR-09 pianos are fine.

    4. The bass sounds don't cut it. If you play left hand bass in a band, you probably are going to need a second keyboard. I love the fat bass samples in other Roland synths like the Juno D, but they aren't here for some reason.

    There is much more I could say, but if you need a great portable Clonewheel type organ with piano and synth voices built in, this is it. The price is a pleasant bonus,

  • from Oakland, CA January 7, 2017Music Background:
    Music professional since 1991

    Genius!

    I would echo what everyone else here has said. It's a great live board and super light. The B3 organ & Leslie section is stellar. My only critique is that I wish the acoustic piano sounds were a little better. They're not terrible, but a little harmonically stale. Once I layer some Omnisphere patches on top that's fine. Does the trick, meets my needs. So glad I bought it!

  • from Fayetteville, NC May 18, 2016Music Background:
    Psychedelic Rock

    Thoroughly impressed

    I have owned this keyboard for a few weeks now and I have to say it was just what I was looking for. I primarily bought this keyboard for the organ section but I must admit that I am most impressed with the synth section, but the whole keyboard sounds great. The Daniel Fisher sound package is awesome as well.

    the only downside I see with this keyboard is that there is no arpeggiator or aftertouch and for the price I think it deserves both.

    Shout out to Brian Loney for being a great sales engineer. I plan on shopping with you guys for a long time.

  • from High Point ,NC March 30, 2016

    the good and bad. bout the vr-09

    This keyboard is all what was advertised. Easy to use
    very Quick to get what you want with a couple of slides and turning of knobs great authentic sounds.was a little disappointed in the programing aspects of the vr-09.This. is really a hands on type of play.and if you have foot pedals like a mp-113 or a PK pedal the RAM will only let you play organ sounds
    But For less than a grand outstanding. Thx

  • from Los Angeles December 30, 2015Music Background:
    California

    Nice!

    Bought this last January 2014. Pros: Easy to use. Only 12 Lbs. Sounds good with the right amount of power behind it. Cons: Sound not as thick as a Motif, Noord or Hammond. Elec Pianos OK. Grand is weak. But if weight is an issue it'll do well..

  • from Springfield , NE September 25, 2015

    Bargain bang for the buck.

    Won't blow away the $2k+ options, but covers all the bases rather well. The sound is incredible for the price! Would have preferred waterfall keys, but they do feel much better than expected. And the pianos perform quite well triggered from a weighted controller. Kudos to Roland for proving that a modestly priced board doesn't have to feel cheap!

  • from Murrieta, CA December 11, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician, songwriter, studio owner

    VR-09 - Good 2nd Keyboard

    Had my VR-09 for about 6 weeks. It performs pretty much as advertised and is a good choice for those of you who play pro and need a 2nd keyboard (my primary is a Motif XS-7).
    So no sequencer, and it doesn't have a gazillion patches, which is OK for it's intended purpose and cost.
    I play a lot of organ (7-piece $$ cover band with 3 vocalists), so I was attracted to this board primarily because of the complete drawbars. These work just like the real thing and are placed on the control surface just right. Also has an extra drawbar that controls only the organ volume, and has no effect on the volume of the other patches. Very handy feature. The organ sounds like a B3 if you have a good keyboard amp, and the Leslie is very realistic. An extra feature on the organ side also is the ability to setup the Leslie spin-up speeds on the horn and the rotor speaker. Haven't seen this on any other board, and it is surprising that the VR-09 has this considering the price.
    Another extra I really like is the 2nd Leslie effect on the Jazz Organ patch. You control this with the effects knob, and it kicks in a powerful Leslie effect for when you need a really cheesy organ sound. Wonderful.
    More on the organ side is the several different choices to control the Leslie speeds - fast/slow/stop. You've got a D-Beam controller you just wave your left hand over, and is quite showy. I use the joystick-like controller as it fits my style, and you can easily and quickly hit the Leslie speeds, even when using both hands playing the keyboard. Very cool.
    I also use piano, horns, strings, and synths a lot as we play a large variety of music. There are a variety of useful patches for piano, electric piano, horns, strings, and synths. Just enough patches to get you through the gig - again as a 2nd board.
    Why as a 2nd board? The overall patches, which are quite faithful to the real thing, are a bit thin on tone comparatively, but they do cut through the mix quite well. You are just not going to get the same depth of tone as you will on a big board like the Motif and other multi-thousand dollar axes. With that, there is a neat tone control knob that can get your patches much richer and beafier, that I use to vary between comping and lead playing. I like the tone control a lot.
    Other very useful and easy features include keyboard split and layering. You can set the split point and octave levels across the keyboard and have two instruments either split or layered. Very cool, especially when you need strings and horns on a song, etc. Even a lot of the big boards don't offer this, and is quite easy to setup or store as custom registrations.
    Selecting patches is also quick and easy. I really like the feature where you select patch group like horns. You can scroll to the patch you are going to use, then go back to another patch. When you need that horn patch in the middle of the song, you just hit the horns button, and the patch you previously selected will automatically pop up.
    The VR-09 has other features, like a rhythm section and looper. I don't use this, but it may be quite useful for some players, especially for rehearsals when you need a drum loop or a click (like when your drummer doesn't show up), or if you have a small act and need your own rhythm tracks.
    So overall I rated this great, while not stunning in the patch area. If you play pro and need a second board, this is a very good choice. The next step up would be a big Nord. I didn't buy one, as again this is a 2nd board not my primary, and I don't need 2 thousand patches on the upper deck.
    Great deal for the money. And of course you get all the extras that Sweetwater brings to the table, which are un-matched in the industry. Again, thanks a million to Clint Branstetter, my sales engineer. He helped me with my selection, and got the board to me in just a few days regular shipping. Tough to beat or match the level of service, knowledge, and support that you get from Sweetwater. Far as I'm concerned, they own the game, and I have bought a ton of gear from them, including my Pro-Tools setup. Can't go wrong with these guys. Never had a bad experience with Sweetwater.

  • from Bogota, Colombia September 18, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    A good product for its price

    It doesnīt have a very large bank of sounds, but it's enough for a live performance (pianos, Organs and synths). The organ section is incredible.
    Easy to understand and use.

  • from United States October 19, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Good Performance Keyboard For The Money.

    I'm a hobbyist player but hope to start performing soon. What I like about this keyboard: light weight, organ sounds, piano sounds (are good but not great), split board function, layering function, drums are adequate, Synth sounds are very good but "Choir", "SFX" and "Others" are only marginally useful. How many times do you use SFX or CHOIR in a stage performance? I would have liked to have more musical performance sounds. Overall - a great keyboard with some minor shortcomings.

  • from Chambersburg, PA September 6, 2016Music Background:
    Church pianist/organist, staff musician for Radio 4VEH, Cap Haitien Haiti for 45 years; playing piano and organ in churches, camps and my retirement village since I retired in 2002.

    Roland VR-09 Keyboard

    I purchased the VR-09 keyboard to replace my Technics SX-KN 3000 which had served me well for 20 years. I appreciated the virtual tone wheel organ of the VR-09 but was disappointed not to have more classical pipe and theater organ sounds that I had been able to create on the older board. I didn't even unpack the Roland keyboard amplifier but returned it because it was just too heavy a piece of equipment for me to handle. Over the past couple of weeks I have been exploring the sound capabilities of the VR-09 and have appreciated what I have been able to put together.

  • from Detroit June 3, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Keyboardist

    VR-09

    Here is my take-

    I have had this keyboard for a year. What I like about it is the weight. However, because it is so light, i can't really connect with it physically when I dig in. It tends to wobble around and it feels like a toy. The action is very 80's synth like...I am not sure how I feel about the external power unit. It is certainly a money saver and weight saver but it also looks and feels very "consumer". The sounds are quite good! Tone Wheel Organs are the strong point with this instrument. However,any saved tweaks must be stored in the registration area which isn't that easy to get to if you have to call up a sound quickly at a gig. All in all I do like it for the price- If you can deal with the all plastic construction-

  • from New Jersey February 9, 2015Music Background:
    professional

    Great sounds and lightweight

    I've purchased the VR-09 about a year ago. I have been giging around for many years with Hammond and Kurzwiel keyboards setups. I needed one keyboard that can do it all especially for those venues that don't accommodate enough space for a band. I really wanted a nord electro but could not afford it. I tried out the VR-09 and was taking back buy its sound. At first I thought the price of the keyboard was wrong but it wasn't.
    I have been giging around with the VR-09 for about 11 months. The main reason that I gave the VR-09 3 stars is not for the sounds but for the feel of the keyboard and dainty drawbar sliders. I guess Roland had to cut it back somehow to make this keyboard way affordable. The problem for me is that the drawbars aren't really drawbars at all but fader sliders with plastic caps that resembles drawbars .These plastic caps tend to pop off from time to time so be careful when removing it from your case. Also It's hard to get used to playing Hammond licks and piano octaves on synthesizer type keys. They should of opt on a semi weighted waterfall type keyboard that would satisfy both Hammond and piano players alike.
    I would have payed alittle more for those options.

  • from Florida December 6, 2013Music Background:
    Jazz

    Almost a dream come true

    Came close to pulling the trigger on this one because I love Roland keyboards and this one is perfect for onstage. In fact the one I tested out had the great Roland sound and superb key feel. What stopped me in my tracks (and inspired me to purchase the Korg Kross instead) is the iPad/IOS only access to advanced features. I do not do Apple for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with music. Suffice to say, I would have loved to add this to my other keyboards, but not at the expense of losing functionality because I do not own (or refuse to purchase) a specific device running a proprietary operating system. Had Roland made an Android (and even a Windows) interface this deal would have been a no brainer, If you use an iPad this is a perfect board, If not, check out the Kross,

  • from Maryland July 21, 2013Music Background:
    performing musician

    VR-09 Combo Organ

    This is an interesting concept in keyboards which I purchased from Sweetwater. I would not feel comfortable taking this keyboard out on gigs as my only keyboard, for which it is apparently designed. The keys do not have a good feel for playing piano. Plus, the bottom half of the keyboard on the piano settings is more dominant in volume than the upper half, so you will be competing with your bass player. The piano settings do sound better when I hook this keyboard up to another keyboard that has weighted keys. The electric pianos have a bell type quality and are not as firm as a regular digital piano. They are more synth in nature. You can make the sound firmer using the cutoff control The organ is decent, and it has good control. The synth sounds are good, and the looper effect mode is nice, as are some of the drum rhythm patterns. I will probably use this keyboard as a second keyboard at gigs, or for home recording, not as a solo keyboard at gigs. People have different tastes, so some may like the piano sounds as is, but I would definitely listen to the keyboard live before I buy it. The guy at the Roland site who demonstrates the keyboard seems to have the pianos set an octive down. This will produce a fatter sound for demo purposes, but most people won't play it like that for live performance. Roland is on the right track here, but needs to have more control to balance the tone quality of the keyboard for live performance.

Questions about the Roland V-Combo VR-09 61-key Stage Performance Keyboard?

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