Two giants of music have teamed up to create what could be one of the most innovative electric guitar creations: the G-5 V-Guitar. In one hand, Roland takes its legendary COSM guitar modeling technology and integrates it into a traditional Fender Stratocaster. Signaling the on-board VG engine through a separate pickup, the the G-5 can instantly go from a sounding like a 12-string electric guitar to an exotic sitar or even a Telecaster all with the flip or turn of a knob. Nonetheless, two good things combined don’t always yield an equally good or greater result and it is this logic that often leaves consumers wondering whether the mash-up is worth the trouble or the price. In an attempt to clarify some of the questions and skepticism surrounding the Roland G5 V-Guitar, we will review and evaluate its various features and characteristics.
What Makes it Different?
Conceptually, the idea is alluring: What could be better for a modern musician than stuffing an array of effects directly into a guitar all while making toggling through various options simple and even intuitive. While the idea for an effects laden guitar has surely been a fantasy of many musicians for years, it takes an advanced degree of technical sophistication to successfully materialize such a dream. Although the Fender/Roland mash up hasn’t been the first attempt at integrating a variety of effects into a single guitar, it is one of the best executed.
The Separate Roland Pickup and Controls
The greatest distinction between the G5 and other electric guitars with on-board effects, is the superior build quality of the instrument itself and the approach of the on-board processors. The G5 is a comfortable, full quality Fender Stratocaster and gives players everything they have come to expect from the manufacturer. Moreover, the technology behind the G-5 is impressively well developed and features Roland’s revered COSM technology. The divided pickup individually signals each string to the VG engine while allowing the 3 single-coil pickups to work their magic.
Unlike other guitars with on-board processors that attempt to give musicians an array of effects such as various distortions, reverbs, and phasing. Instead of focusing on effects, the G-5 gives users different instruments making this particular guitar far more musical. The G-5 won’t give you all of the flashy effects, but it will give you what essentially amounts to at least 6 different guitars including a Standard Stratocaster, a Modeled Stratocaster, a Telecaster, Humbucking Pickups, Steel String Acoustic, Twelve-String Guitar, Nylon String Guitar and a Sitar (an anachronism I’m still trying to make sense of).
The benefit of modeling different guitars and instruments is that the tones can then be run through individual effects pedals or boards than individuals can tailor to their own liking. This option allows musicians to explore different tones rather than being stuck with a single guitar that may not sound great but has a ton of preset effects. Essentially, the G-5 is like buying a house with multiple rooms, each of which can be used and decorated differently, over buying a single bedroom apartment decorated with different wallpapers chosen by your landlord.
Are Two Heads Really Better than One?
The V-Guitar G-5is an instrument that will spark the desire of some and ignite repugnance in others. Those predisposed to feel the latter sentiment are likely to be guitar purists. Their argument will often claim that no amount of modeling will ever capture the true sound of a Telecaster or a 12-string. To their credit, it is true that modeling can only hope to approximate the sound of a dedicated Telecaster or 12-string but to compare an
approximation to the real thing is an unfair comparison at the onset. Viewed on its own terms and compared to other on-board modeling devices, the Roland COSM engine does (for the most part) convincingly well. Overall I could imagine the Roland G-5 V-Guitar as the ideal studio guitarist on a budget. With its broad range of tones and instant tuning options, this will prove to be a versatile, useful, and entertaining instrument.
That’s right! Right now, Roland is offering $100 cash back on the Lucina AX-09 and the Lucina AX-09B! But not for much longer…
We at Sonic Electronix consistently strive to give the best prices to our customers, and with the addition of this special manufacturer promotion, there’s never been a better time to pick up one of these fantastic Roland synthesizers.
Available in both white and black, the Lucina sets keyboard players free of the restrictions of keyboard stands and AC adapters. The Lucina is essentially a “keytar.” It’s designed for one hand to play the keys and the other to work the modulation bar, pitch bend touch strip, D-Beam controller or anything else they so desire.
With its 37 velocity-sensitive keys, 150 high-quality sounds, built-in USB audio player and its battery-powered functionality, it’s no wonder that professional keyboard players who perform with stars like Usher, Ke$ha, Kanye West and Lady Gaga use and love the Lucina AX-09.
Roland also has a series of lesson videos & mp3 backing tracks to help get you performing at your full potential.
If you’re thinking of integrating video into your performances, you’re in luck! Both Lucina AX-09 models come with V-Link MIDI outputs; simply hook up a standard 5-pin MIDI cable from your Lucina into a compatible video mixer or presenter unit, and you’re ready to go! The more elaborate details of that process are well outside the scope of this blog, but the possibility is there. What you do with it, dear readers, is up to you. Whatever you do though, you should do it sooner rather than later, because the aforementioned manufacturer promotion ends after March 31st, 2012!
Don’t forget to pick up the LUCINA BAG,
the only carrying bag specifically designed for your new Lucina synthesizer!
I’m currently wearing a shirt with the following words printed on it: “The future of music and art must not belong to the mediocre.” With any of Roland’s CAPTURE Series audio interfaces, and with your artistic input, you can give form to your creative vision(s); you can create something unique for future generations to enjoy for generations to come.
4 out of 5 octopi recommend the OCTA-CAPTURE:
Put plainly, these audio interfaces are phenomenal. The OCTA-CAPTURE in particular is a real beast. With exquisite recording resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz, Roland’s proprietary VS Streaming low latency driver technology, and the inclusion of Cakewalk’s powerful SONAR X1 LE (not to mention a current promotion that enables users to download SONAR X1 Studio for free), it’s difficult to overstate the awesomeness of this baby.
Discover duality with Roland’s DUO-CAPTURE:
For those of you out there who might not need that much awesomeness; those of you who can do a lot with a little, Roland also makes the beautifully affordable DUO-CAPTURE audio interface. The DUO-CAPTURE USB audio interface comes equipped with two audio inputs and outputs along with dual headphone outputs (which are great for musician/engineer production sessions). It also comes with high-stability, low-latency drivers for both Mac and PC operating systems (although SONAR X1 LE is solely for Windows). With its unique, slim-line design and stable performance, the DUO-CAPTURE is the perfect audio interface for recording musicians on the go.
TRI-CAPTURE demonstrates the power of three!
For anyone who needs a little more bang for their buck, such as an XLR input and/or a S/PDIF out, the Roland TRI-CAPTURE is right up your alley. The TRI-CAPTURE has a feature called “loop back,” which enables users to record along with music that’s being played back from the computer. It also has more detailed knobs, buttons and LEDs for greater control over your recordings. It supports phantom power for condenser mics and has a Hi-Z switch for guitarists. Additionally, like all other interfaces in this series, it too comes with a copy of Cakewalk’s SONAR X1 LE.
QUAD-CAPTURE = pro performance for portable productions
The enthusiasm of our aforementioned cephalopod friends for the OCTA-CAPTURE aside, the QUAD-CAPTURE performs spectacularly well next to its brother. It has 24-bit/192kHz recording resolution, VS Streaming technology, AUTO-SENS automatic level adjustment, and VS Preamps just like the OCTA-CAPTURE. This interface is one of the best you’ll find in its price range, in this blogger’s opinion. This one is geared towards musicians and engineers who certainly take their craft seriously, but who might not need (or be able to afford) the flagship of the CAPTURE series, the OCTA-CAPTURE.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let octopi have all the fun! Pick up your Roland CAPTURE Series audio interface today, and be sure to grab the complimentary, comprehensive 178-page PDF guide to the SONAR DAW behind the links at the bottom of the product pages.
The V-Drums® name has been carrying a LOT of weight in the electronic instrument industry for many years now, and now we at Sonic Electronix can help you see why. The Roland TD-4K2 electronic drum kit pictured above is great for beginners and experts alike; especially if you’re on a tighter budget and/or if you live in an apartment where an acoustic drum set is rather impractical due to potential noise violations (I certainly know about those, trust me!). This kit has a module that boasts a wonderful, built-in Rhythm Coach feature that’s packed with a broad variety of functions that will help you warm up, tighten up your timing and improve your technique.
“Sounds Great! Tell Me More!”
The TD-4K2 kit comes packed with 5 V-Drum pads, 3 V-Cymbals, 1 Hi-Hat Control Pedal, the MDS-4 Drum Stand and the TD-4 Drum Sound Module – pretty much everything you need to get rockin’ right away!
Let’s talk for a bit about the brains of this operation: The TD-4 Module. With this, you get 125 instruments and 25 unique kits, you get the ability to tune and muffle the kick, snare and toms individually from the front panel and a convenient Quick Record function that (you guessed it!) quickly records your performance. If you’re not particularly into solo drum music, you can always plug in an external media player to the Mix In jack and record yourself playing along with your favorite songs. You know, see how well you can match up with Neil Peart, Joey Jordison, or whomever your favorite drummer(s) may be!
And Speaking Of Matching Up…
Roland has this awesome, new (and FREE!) social networking software for V-Drums owners called Friend Jam. V-Drums Friend Jam was made for drummers, by drummers, and it lets users connect with each other while beefing up their drumming skills with play-along MP3s and performance evaluation features. The software is available here for free and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Once you have installed the software, Friend Jam automatically downloads a diverse collection of practice songs onto your computer including rock, pop, jazz, metal and more. They also have full-band arrangements without the drums, so you can throw in your unique style to the song. For more information, see this PDF. Need some lessons first? Check out the boatload of videos on V-Drums Lessons.
The Roland R-05 field recorder has arrived at Sonic Electronix! This little darling packs a lot of great features in a small (read as “affordable”) package. It certainly defies those nasty old connotations behind the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” How would you like the ability to record audio at professional studio quality resolutions without the hassle of carting around a bunch of gear? The R-05 can record uncompressed WAV files at 24-bit/96kHz for just under an hour on the included 2 GB SD memory card.
Or, if you’d be satisfied with CD quality audio at 16-bit/44.1kHz, you can record up to 88 min. per GB: the length of several albums worth of material. You can even record both WAV and MP3 files, for quality and sharing purposes respectively, without the tedium of dumping the files onto your computer and converting them manually. Pretty convenient, eh?
What About The Musicians, Man?
This unit is packed with some real handy features for musicians. The R-05 comes with Looping and Speed Change features that can help vocalists and guitarists to practice by looping or slowing down pieces of audio without altering the pitch. You could conversely speed up the audio 150% to quickly skim through a song in order to start jamming as soon as possible.For the more eager (read as “impatient”) of us out there who want to start playing immediately, the R-05 has a feature called Rehearsal Mode that will automatically set an optimum recording level – no need to spend lots of time messing with input levels. With this convenient feature, there’s no need to worry about overloading the input(s) and ending up with a remarkably high-resolution recording that’s sadly distorted beyond recognition.
Did You Fall Asleep In Class AGAIN?
While certainly no substitute for a good night’s sleep or for the highly respectable behaviors of actually staying awake and paying attention in class, the R-05 can serve as a real handy backup study aid for students. Simply set the recording quality to 128 kbps MP3 (lectures don’t necessarily need to be recorded at astounding, crystal-clear quality, you know), and hit record. Backups like that can definitely be life savers, especially if you’re not too good at taking notes.After you’re done studying, feel free to give your left brain a rest, load up some tunes onto the memory card and rock out for the next 30+ hours or so. The R-05 has quite the extensive battery life – perfect for you insomniacs out there! Hey, if KISS could rock and roll all night, why shouldn’t you? Make sure to check out our handy list of optional accessories when you pick up your R-05!