[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: VG-88 and Roland GR-33 dissapearing rumors

On Dec 24, 2005, at 8:24 PM, mech wrote:

David, I actually checked out some of the demos of your patches posted over on www.vg-8.com.  Nice!  And I had assumed that any of the sounds produced by the VG-8 must *surely* be capable of being reproduced on the "more advanced" VG-88.  Obviously, I was mistaken there.

Yup; the 88 is NOT an added-features version of the 8; that was the 8ex; Roland did update the 8, and have also updated the 88, but they remain very different implementations of the basic idea, with NO way to exactly duplicate any of the synth (or other) sounds from one to the other, altho in some cases you might come close, esp. with the basic guitar sounds. There are a few nominally similar models in each, but by the time you’ve added FX (VERY different FX on each piece) or the pitch-shifting, they’re chalk and cheese.

Comparing the two beasts, you can almost hear the development team’s marching orders: “How can we make this idea more attractive and less confusing to more players? And always remember, 99 out of 100 guys will NEVER use the synth features, so let’s not spend too much time or $$ on this. Think cover band, but toss a few synth crumbs in for the weirdos, so they’ll want to get one of these, too, and we don't look like nothing but bean counters.”

Looks like I'm going to have to spend some time comparing the manuals between the VG-8 & VG-88.  I should probably take this over to private email (although that would deprive you of an opportunity to evangelize further :), but let me ask you a couple of simple questions while I've got your attention:

What Instrument Models (let's forget about the Amp and Effect Models for a second) are included on the newer VG-88 that you can't get on the original VG-8?  The General FAQ is somewhat incomplete in that respect.

Without digging out exact names, the significant new stuff that I most remember on the 88 included: a nice way to create percussive, non-sustaining envelopes, so you could get kinda convincing marimba/xylophone-type sounds, with lots of editing options (this was in the 88’s revamp of the 8’s Crystal model); a very cool filter bass model; and the nylon-string model. Sorry to be so inexact, but I’ve been woefully neglecting my guitar gear lately:(

The FAQ also claims the VG-88 has greater modulation capabilities. To what in particular is that referring (more waveforms? different modulation destinations?).

On the 8, there’s only one destination for the pedal, and the pedal plus some toggle switches are pretty much it for sources; the 88 has multiple destinations and you can add an out-board exp pedal, plus toggles. 

Can you do the pedal crossfades you mentioned using a MIDI Controller, or do you have to use an external expression pedal (I'm assuming probably an EV-5)?

Good question; I always use an EV, and haven’t explored the MIDI options. But they aren’t too deep as I recall.

Finally, can the original VG-8 do the polyphonic "slow gear" effect?

Nope; that’s an 88 trick.

I've got the VG-8 manual downloading now, so mebbe I can pore through and figure out some of the answers myself.  However, based on your comments, it now sounds like the VG-8 may better fit what i'm trying to accomplish...

Unfortunately, my extensive and detailed reviews of both these boxes have disappeared from HCentral, and vg-8.com is no more, altho it’s morphing into a wiki as we speak. But the yahoogroup is quite active; here’s a quote from a recent-ish thread on this topic:

“In a nutshell, I think it goes like this: If you primarily want your VG to allow you to explore new and unheard-before sounds, get an 8ex; it has better synth models AND it features global pitch-shifting so that ALL models can be shifted in the same ways, not just a few as offered on the 88, adding essential depths to the synth models and allowing even otherwise traditional tones to get very synthetic, too. If you mostly want to accurately model existing guitars/amps, the 88 is somewhat more versatile, more flexible and more contemporary...and can be driven by both hex and mag pickups. My personal preference is to use my magnetic pickups for the normal guitar tones, via non-hex modelers (currently favoring the Tonelab for cleanish sounds and the PODXT for the grinds...but all this is very subjective; my GT-5 and 6 both have great tones, too, and I still love my noisy DG-Stomp as well; can't part with any of 'em!), and use the VGs (I have both, but mostly use the 8) for the unique, hex-pickup-based sounds that only they offer (despite the nasty hums).

The “hum” problem is a nasty situation that can arise when linking an 8 and an 88 with Roland’s US-20 ABY switcher; this may have been fixed in currently shipping versions, but I can’t confirm.

There’s no question that the 88 has some very cool synth and FX features, but if that’s what you’re going for, instead of a variax in a box, get an 8ex. You won’t regret it:) Even if there’s an 888 at the next NAMM...

More questions always welcome, here or privately.