Roland VT-4 (updated vocal processor)


#1

This is gonna be an instabuy for me, been waiting for a preamp/vocal box and they fixed everything I didn’t like about the VT-3: smaller box, better looks, better interface, din midi input, TRS out, better algos. Just waiting on price.

Very rapid non-promo demo - lots of fx variety crammed into this thing.


#2

Let‘s see how that goes. I really wanted to like thr VT3, but it just didn‘t deliver. Thanks for sharing!


#3

Seems great!
Is it possible to fine edit the engines maybe with a computer editor, or is it only a preset box with very few editable parameters?
I have Izotope Vocal Synth 2 and i found myself frequently tweaking the Advanced parameters to match my song.


#4

Watched the video. First half I was like “meh, big deal” then the midi keyboard came in and everything changed!

I looked at the VT3 some time ago and it was just missing some key stuff for me. If they keep this at a not too dissimilar to VT3 price point then will be keeping an eye on this one!


#5

Want!


#6

Oh hells yes.
I’m imagining picking one of these up and flexing on the other dudes in my band, one of whom insisted on running his vocals through terrible pedals into his guitar amp…


#7

I am impressed by the new Roland. They really seem to be interested in designing interfaces with a high level of direct manipulation that are deeply useful for live performance. Good stuff.


#8

Yeah, I mean I think that was the original stated aim of the whole Aira line. But the more recent products seem to have refined that concept a bit. I think they realised they left a bit too much out of some of the first products, feature-wise.


#9

There’s a really fuckin dumb discussion on reddit right now full of people who can’t hear that the snare in this tune falls on beats 2 and 4. The artist herself even showed up and told them so, and one guy is still arguing. Oof


#10

That’s hilarious.


#11

It must be really hard for the poor dude to accept that she can both sing and play the drums way better than he ever will… :wink:


#12

Haha I love it when folk make complete tits of themselves like that. Pure cringe.


#13

I had the Roland VT-4 for about a week and decided to send it back. Playing the robot voice with an external keyboard was fun, but I found the vocoder voices to be pretty unusable. Worst of all, you can’t control the amount of distortion, robot or vocoder separately. Their volumes are all on the same fader, the delay/reverb has its own fader. However, none of the robot, distortion, vocoder and effect are editable. The delays sync to midi clock, but you can’t set up at what intervals. Autotune works fine. All in all I’m disappointed.


#14

Actually the VT-4 has an extensive MIDI implementation (via System Exclusive MIDI messages, though) and all its functions can be edited via MIDI.

Using MIDI you can create very different patches, ranging from natural (little autotune/EQ/Reverb) to classic-electronic (different tastes of vocoder/robot/talkbox harmonies) to extreme and out of control (feedback, synthetic sounds, glitches). It is much more flexible than you would think of from a first sight. Much wider range of effects than the VT-3 (which was only preset-based, MIDI only via USB and limited to a few MIDI CC’s only).

My guess is that Roland decided to get the price down and limit the interface to only a few knobs, so many features have gone in the background (only partially available through preset “variations” and of course MIDI). The alternative would have been a much more expensive box I suppose. The negative aspect is that unless you dig the MIDI side of things (and know how to handle MIDI System Exclusive requests and data transfer) you cannot get these sounds out of the box, which is a pity.

Gr J74/Fab


#15

Here a list of parameters which are available under the hood via System Exclusive MIDI (there is no shortcut or access to these via the unit unfortunately).

  • Global Amp level
  • Robot Octave
  • Robot Feedback Switch
  • Robot Feedback Resistance
  • Robot Feedback Level
  • Harmony Voice1 Level
  • Harmony Voice2 Level
  • Harmony Voice3 Level
  • Harmony Voice1 Pitch
  • Harmony Voice2 Pitch
  • Harmony Voice3 Pitch
  • Harmony Voice1 Gender
  • Harmony Voice2 Gender
  • Harmony Voice3 Gender
  • Megaphone Filter Type
  • Megaphone Filter Gain
  • Megaphone Filter Rate
  • Megaphone Filter Noise
  • Reverb Type
  • Reverb Feedback and Time
  • Reverb Low Cut (High Pass)
  • Reverb High Cut (Low Pass)
  • Vocoder Type
  • Vocoder Release
  • Vocoder Tone
  • Vocoder Colour
  • Vocoder Level
  • Equalizer Low Shelf Frequency
  • Equalizer Low Shelf Gain
  • Equalizer Mid/Low Frequency
  • Equalizer Mid/Low Q
  • Equalizer Mid/Low Gain
  • Equalizer Mid/High Frequency
  • Equalizer Mid/High Q
  • Equalizer Mid/High Gain
  • Equalizer High Shelf Frequency
  • Equalizer High Shelf Gain

See here for the MIDI specs:


#16

Thanks for posting the additional information on the midi implementation of the vt-4. If these parameters could all be controlled via midi cc I would have never returned this machine. Especially in combination with the digitakt, this could have been a very powerful box. I don’t have a lot of experience with sysex though and it seems like it would be very complicated to change things up.
I have to admit that I quite miss the feature to transpose my vocals with the robot voice and a midi keyboard. Does anybody know if there is a vst or another fx box that can do that?


#17

Looking at the implementation it seems like it’s controlled exclusively via sysex. Could someone try firing some CCs at it anyway just to see what happens?


#18

I did quite some testing on it based on the MIDI documentation.
Roland has published the MIDI implementation here:
https://www.roland.com/us/support/by_product/vt-4/owners_manuals/

CC’s are available for these:

  • Volume (46)
  • Microphone Sensitivity (47)
  • Key selector (48)
  • Robot activation (49)
  • Megaphone activation (50)
  • Bypass (51)
  • Vocoder activation (52)
  • Harmony activation (53)
  • Formant slider (54)
  • Auto Pitch knob (55)
  • Balance slider (56)
  • Reverb slider (57)
  • Line Out selector (58)
  • Robot variation preset (79)
  • Megaphone variation preset (80)
  • Vocoder variation preset (81)
  • Harmony variation preset (82)
  • Reverb variation preset (83)

The rest is only via MIDI SysEx.


#19

MIDI SysEx gives you access to these parameters:

  • Robot Octave
  • Robot Feedback Switch
  • Robot Feedback Resistance
  • Robot Feedback Level
  • Harmony Voice1 Level
  • Harmony Voice2 Level
  • Harmony Voice3 Level
  • Harmony Voice1 Pitch
  • Harmony Voice2 Pitch
  • Harmony Voice3 Pitch
  • Harmony Voice1 Gender
  • Harmony Voice2 Gender
  • Harmony Voice3 Gender
  • Megaphone Filter Type
  • Megaphone Filter Gain
  • Megaphone Filter Rate
  • Megaphone Filter Noise
  • Reverb Type
  • Reverb Feedback and Time
  • Reverb Low Cut (High Pass)
  • Reverb High Cut (Low Pass)
  • Vocoder Type
  • Vocoder Release
  • Vocoder Tone
  • Vocoder Colour
  • Vocoder Level
  • Equalizer Low Shelf Frequency
  • Equalizer Low Shelf Gain
  • Equalizer Mid/Low Frequency
  • Equalizer Mid/Low Q
  • Equalizer Mid/Low Gain
  • Equalizer Mid/High Frequency
  • Equalizer Mid/High Q
  • Equalizer Mid/High Gain
  • Equalizer High Shelf Frequency
  • Equalizer High Shelf Gain
  • Global Amp level
  • Midi channel
  • Formant Depth
  • Monitor Mode
  • External Carrier
  • Midi mode
  • Pitch and Formant Routing
  • Mute mode (bypass)
  • USB Mixing level

PS: I have a prototype working for the Vocoder part in Max for Live / Ableton Live and it works well. I can change the type of Vocoder and I am able to modify (0…255) the Release, Tone, Colour and Level (of the internal synth carrier).


#20

Thanks! Enough to do some damage, I guess. Shame the pitch slider isn’t on there though.