Roland VK-8
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Roland VK-8

VK-8, Organ from Roland in the VK series.

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Audiofanzine FR 03/09/2009

Roland VK-8 : Audiofanzine FR's user review

5

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(Originally written by Adrimed/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
VK8 organ with 61 watterfall keys. Full polyphony.

Vintage-style look, nice finish, walnut cabinet.

Nine harmony drawbars, full percussion control. Chorus/vibrato effect, four amp simulations with overdrive/tone controls.

Leakage parameter.

Four reverb simulations, 64-presets memory.

Digital leslie with brake, slow and fast parameters.

Comprehensive connections: 11-pin connector for a Leslie cabinet, phones output, stereo line outputs, expression pedal input, controller input (footswitch or expression pedal to control several parameters).

Midi connector for an additional keyboard, footboard or another Midi controller.

I forgot the D-beam, which I never use.

UTILIZATION

It's a breeze, once you understand how to edit parameters!

Every function can be edited:

Leslie: woofer/tweeter acceleration/release speed...

Percussion: volume and artifacts...

Internal EQ, pitchbend, parameter control via expression pedal, etc.

The only con I've found is that when you save a sound only some parameters are saved (drawbars position, overdrive rate, amplifier model, reverb rate, etc.). But leslie and percussion settings as well as other internal paramters can't be saved separately.

SOUNDS

Tons of sounds! You can do lots of things and always get good sounds. The four amp simulations sound good, the overdrive effect is nice, etc. With adequate settings you can get an authentic vintage sound...

OVERALL OPINION

I use it live on stage and for studio applications. It's easy to transport, easy to use and effective.

But digital technology has sometimes limitations. For example, when I connect it to an amp the sound quality deceases, some frequencies don't cut through! The different is very clear if I compare it with my fully analog Galanti Clipper, which provides much more sound detail! It's simply not comparable! I noticed the same thing when recording, so I strongly recommend you to use a tube preamp to add warmth to the sound. I use my Universal Audio 6176 so the outcome is much better, even though I find the output level is a bit too low (except with all drawbars at 100%). But some high frequencies generate crackles (the four last drawbars)! Digital gear is like that. I miss an FX loop because organs sound very good with effects like phaser, flange or auto-wah (and I can't use the line mono output with an effects pedal for this purpose because its high output level produces distortion). Excellent keyboard (only a few small cons) but it's no Hammond.