Roland’s V-Synth GT


Well, today was a productive day! I finally put my stuff in order here in my room!
So, we have a conclusion: for the next post, I’ll already have recordings of Quantum Leap Ra patches and some others with my own sounds on Roland’s JUNO-D and SH-201!
Now let’s go to the V-Synth GT review!

Well, before I start, I would like to say some things. For one, I want this to be the best review I ever made. One of the reasons for it is I really love the V-Synth since it’s first version. Therefore, this probably will be the largest review on the blog, and probably the most hard to write. Just for letting you know, I started writing at 20:08 – down here in Brazil – and finished at 23:11.
I really hope you find this article informative and interesting!


Gathering all it’s specialties and best features ever, Roland has developed one of the most technologicaly advanced synthesizers on the market. Intending to create a machine that could synthesize inedit and exclusive sounds, Roland’s engineers ended up with the V-Synth GT. In addition to creating a whole new sound world, it has a built-on sampler that allows you not only to use already existent sounds, such as a Violin or a French Horn, but also create more and more timbres based on those samples.
For the keyboardists who want to create a musical identity by their sounds, V-Synth GT is the best solution.

The V-Synth GT is the first synthesizer in the world ever equipped with Roland’s AP (Articulative Phrase) Synthesis. This kind of modeling allows you to completely recreate the nuances, behavior and timber of an instrument as the sound goes on. But don’t think V-Synth GT has only one kind of sound generator. It also has a Vocal Designer the Elastic Audio Synthesis (VariPhrase) and Analog modeling as well. With it’s dual-core system, it allows you to use the various types of synthesis all at the same time!

Roland’s V-Synth GT

As you lay your eyes on the V-Synth GT you’ll notice it’s panel is really simple and intuitive. Two details will grasp your attention: it’s large full-color touchscreen LCD display and a large square pad on it’s left, named the Time Trip Pad. Of course you won’t let it’s several knobs, sliders and switches pass unnoticed. It’s also equipped with a 61 channel aftertouch and velocity sensitive synth-action keyboard, pitch bend and modulation lever, two switches and two possible connections with control pedals, as well as, of course, Roland’s famous D-Beam.
All these controllers allow you to do whatever you need to, be it in studio or live.

For those who are not familiar with V-Synth’s Time Trip Pad, it’s an assignable control surface that operates in two dimensions (X, Y) or in circle movements one way or another on the Time Trip Mode. This one allows you to really control in real time the playback of a sample as you were using a DJ’s pick-up. With some training time and developing some skills it’s possible to create a very large range of sound manipulation using this unit.
The D-Beam is a controller that responds to your hand movement, up or down. It can generate two independent continuous controllers for many parameters of the whole sound, such as pitch, ADSR, balance, pan and many others. In addition to all these features, it can also do pitch bending and Time Trip functions.

Most presets on the V-Synth GT make use of the various controllers, so if you want to create totally new soundscapes from those patches, be sure to use them!

Some of the V-Synth GT’s controllers

So, let’s move on to some of V-Synth’s features.

The Elastic Audio Synthesis allows the tempo, pitch and formant to be controlled independently, so, as you higher one sample’s pitch, the tempo won’t be affected and vice-versa. This system allows you to create a really convincingly patch with only one sample across a range of keys, as large as this range would be.

Vocal Designer:
This advanced vocoder was introduced first at Roland’s VP-550. After that, it was implemented on the V-Synth XT as a separated Mode. On the V-Synth GT this vocal modeling system can be used at the same time as other sound generation methods.
It creates not only classic vocoder sounds but it’s focused on creating realistic voice sounds. It’s very efficient on the execution of many choirs (from a classical choir to a jazzy one and beyond), backing vocals for a live gig and other applications as well.

Analog Modeling:
This sound generator presents the default two oscillators with an expanded range of waveforms to choose from (Saw, Square, Triangle, Sine, Ramp, Juno, HQ-Saw, Noise, LA-Saw, LA-Square, Super-Saw, Feedback-Osc and XMod-Osc), as well as a sub oscillator, TVA and dedicated LFOs.

TVA Edition Screen

The Articulative Phrase Synthesis is a technology that simulates the behavior of some acoustic instruments in response of the musicians playing techniques. In spite of modeling in real time the physical attributes of an instrument, as the Physical Modeling synthesis does, AP synthesis works with the timbre’s mechanics.
There are five AP-Synthesis preset Models available on the V-Synth GT: Violin, Erhu, Sax, Flute and Multifade. Every single one include a series of dedicated parameters and samples that are trigged as the musician plays the V-Synth. Multifade Model has some of the four others settings as well.
Some settings of these models are, for instance, the Breath Noise Level (Flute Model), Scrape Noise Level – the noise by the friction between the bow and the strings – and the Attack Level (Violin Model).

This system works with modeling as well (COSM stands for “Composite Object Sound Modeling”) and offers a range of devices for digitally process signals deriving from V-Synth GT’s various sound generators. As well as the many synth sections (Osc1, Osc2, TVA, Ap-Synthesis, etc), the COSM modules are placed on the sound structure according to the selected COSM Structure, which, on the V-Synth GT are 16 types: Overdrive/Distortion, W-Shape, Amp, Speaker, Resonator, SBF1, SBF2, Comb, Dual, TVF, Dyn-TVF, Compressor, Limiter, F-Shift, Lo-Fi and TB Filter.

COSM Edition Screen

V-Synth is equipped with an independent Tone FX for each one of the two tones and Chorus and Reverb processors for the whole patch. The Tone FX can be assigned to 41 different effects, such as many EQ, Filters, Distortion/Overdrive, many different Delays, Flanger, Phaser and others. The Chorus processor is capable of simulating 8 different types and the Reverb, 13.

External References

As usual, I’ll share with you some external links containing videos, audio and more information about the V-Synth GT.

Jordan Rudess V-Synth GT Video Demos
V-Synth GT webpage: features product interactive tour, artists interviews, downloads and more!
V-Synth GT at features video demonstrations, specifications, Roland Insider and more!
Roland’s definitions about the concepts: VariPhrase, COSM, V-Link and D-Beam.

Jordan Rudess performing “Screaming Head” on the V-Synth GT


~ by Breno Ronchini on August 20, 2008.

3 Responses to “Roland’s V-Synth GT”

  1. Cool. We just found your site via Wordless Wednesday (though this post isn’t particularly wordless). I was surprised to see another synthesizer-related site.

  2. Great posts on this blog. Better every day!
    Congrats for building such a great knowledge base =D

  3. Hello Breno.Such a awesome revew for the roland’s V-Synth GT.I beleve it’s the result of your dedication and passion for the music and the releases and inventions that are created to make music more personal, mouldable and creative. Nice work my friend,and congratulations.

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