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Re: AW: Roland VG8

Sounds like you SHOULD try one, Mark! Just don't expect to understand its potential from a few hours spent noodling with factory presets. I wanted a VG-8 from the first second I heard about it, and nabbed the second or third unit Bananas in San Rafael ever sold. BUT, it took me over a year of messing with it to START getting what I wanted...which was strange, surprising and marvelous "guitar" sounds (as well as intricately-tweekable "traditional" guitar/amp/FX sounds), NOT keyboard sounds, i.e., sounds with the tactile realities of vibrating strings and meaty fingers inextricably bound up in them, and as far away as possible from the prophylactic disconnect of guitar-triggered MIDI synths. I also love keyboards, and have a serious soft-synth jones....but that's got nothing really to do with the guitar/VG realms I've been evangelizing about ever since I came under the spell. In my experience, the VG's (both the 8 and the 88, tho the 8 is by far more capable) are the only "real" guitar synths ever made, since they're the only ones I know of that respond to  string vibration in all its many shades and manifestations (muted, scraped, snapped, etc....). I also maintain that they are at the same time among the MOST extreme guitar FX devices ever made, blurring the lines delightfully between physical modeling, synthifying, and effecting.

But the MOST striking thing about the VGs IMO is how misunderstood, under-utilized, and neglected they are by serious guitar-wielding sonic explorers. 95 out of 100 VG-ers were then and are still now looking for nothing more than what Line-6 understands modeling to be about: every "classic" guitar, amp, and effect sounds you ever wanted!! ...all sort-of mimicked in one or two bits of gear. Cool, I guess, but, really, what a shame, considering what's possible.

I've got a CD demo of the kinds of sounds I've discovered in my years of exploring the VG; send me an email, and I'll forward a copy. Someday (soon?) I'll have it on-line; all the patches I created and am demoing on the CD are also downloadable at vg-8.com/wiki/whatever...


On Feb 1, 2006, at 3:38 PM, mark sottilaro wrote:

(BTW, I'm all for the
mutilation of a guitar sound to become something
different, I just don't like traditional Synth/MIDI
guitar setups.  Truth is I never tried a VG8 but it
looks cool)