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Re: Handsonic

I had (and sold) two Handsonics already. It's a great 
device. I mostly used congas, bongos and wood blocks. I 
never sctratched the surface of that animal: there are 
so many world-beat type of sounds that would make 
composition very interesting (if one had the time).

Someone else noted the annoying D-beam inadvertent 
triggers. Most disconcerting when the sound is a gong!

Since I didn't use it all the time, I found it hard to 
reconcile having a $1000 approx. device sitting around 
doing nothing. I since bought a bonafide pair of congas 
and a wood block. Bongos are next on my list (course one 
needs a good way to mike this stuff).

I DID find that (notwithstanding the broad sound 
pallette available on the HPD-15) real congas are more 
fun to play and are, needless to say, more dynamic.

Although I didn't use it all the time because of 
laziness, the HPD-15 stand is probably a must-have for 
stage use. That thing can really slide around on one's 

Regards, Butch
> Hmmm, sounds to me like they mainly expected it to be a performance 
> instrument, and the sequencer was a second thought.  I've seen people do 
> cool stuff where they seemed to be controlling effects via the d-beam, 
> no?
> I too have a love/hate relationship with Roland.  They seem to favor a 
> billion presets rather than tweakability.  In a way I'm OK with that, as 
> a lot are great.  I used to spend hours and hours making sounds on an 
> old analog Korg D8000, but I feel I no longer have the time to put into 
> sound design, as much as I love it.  There came a time when I just had 
> to put more energy into playing.  The short of it is I still wish I had 
> the time to do both!
> I recently picked up a VX-5050, because the sounds on the GR-30 SUCK.  I 
> was plain and simply tired of running them through tons of effects to 
> get anything halfway decent out of that  box.  Now it's mainly spitting 
> out midi.  Why the hell won't Roland make a guitar synth that's got 
> decent sounds?  I just got back from a gig, and my wife said, "You're 
> patches sounded great tonight.  I usually cringe a few times because I 
> hate the sounds."  I knew exactly which patches she was talking about!
> Anyway, I always wanted a  Handsonic.  I've put it in the "if I can get 
> a used one for a decent deal" category.  If anyone wants to get rid of 
> one cheap, let me know!  (what the hell am I saying?)
> Mark Sottilaro
> On Sunday, May 5, 2002, at 05:35  PM, Mark Hamburg wrote:
> > The Handsonic is very high on instant gratification. I've had a number 
> > of
> > non-percussionists sit down at mine and have a lot of fun. (I'm a
> > non-percussionist as well.)
> >
> > On the other hand, I have a couple of gripes that seem reflective of 
> > much of
> > my experience with Roland gear in that the operating system always 
> > seems to
> > keep it from living up to its promise. Here are the chief issues that 
> > come
> > to mind:
> >
> > * The effects are much like the effects from the SP-808 (and other 
> > Roland
> > units) but the provisions for realtime control of the effects are much 
> > more
> > limited. In particular, the unit has 3 knobs purportedly for realtime 
> > sound
> > tweaking but all they really seem to do most of the time is provide a
> > slightly faster way to edit kits. I really wish I could do things like
> > assign the knobs to the feedback level on the delay effects, for 
> > example.
> >
> > * The sequencer on board is very weak for loop building and actually 
> > isn't
> > even much of a sequencer. It doesn't let you erase notes. It doesn't 
> > let you
> > switch parts while recording. The Handsonic with some good MIDI looping
> > software in its OS would be really cool. Even just matching some of 
> > what can
> > be done on things like the MC-505 would be a start. As it is, I end up 
> > just
> > doing my looping in audio which seems somewhat of a waste since MIDI 
> > data
> > ought to be more flexible.
> >
> > As for the sounds, I don't know whether I prefer it or my Emu Planet 
> > Earth.
> > The latter probably has better sounds but they are harder to get to.
> >
> > Summary: Fun percussion controller with decent sound sets that falls 
> > short
> > of what it could be by not having an OS that allows much realtime 
> > effects
> > manipulation nor easy loop creation/manipulation.
> >
> > Mark
> >