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Roland announced that it would, for the first time, open up its V-Studio platform to outside plug-in developers via the VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board. This announcement marks a bold initiative at Roland, whereby the company will give V-Studio users access to both Roland plug-ins and optional 3rd party plug-ins. Developer response has been favorable with companies like Antares, IK Multimedia, Massenburg and Universal Audio making their most popular plug-ins available for the V-Studio platform.

To add plug-in processing to a V-Studio, users must purchase an optional VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board and update their V-Studio's software. This range of plug-ins will be immediately available for the top-of-the-line VS-2480-Series, VS-2400CD and the new VS-2000CD. Support for the VS-1680, VS-1880 and VS-1824 is planned for April 2004.

The VS8F-3 itself is an expansion board boasting 56-bit processing and sampling rates up to 96kHz, depending on the V-Studio hosting the board. Each VS8F-3 can run two plug-ins. Roland includes five plug-ins with each board: a Mastering Tool Kit, Stereo Reverb, Pre-Amp Modeler, Vocal Channel Strip and Tempo Mapping Effect. Of course, users are free to purchase optional plug-ins from 3rd party developers as well.

So far, there are eight plug-in developers with products available for the VS8F-3. Antares will offer their Auto-Tune plug-in while Cakewalk will offer SoundStage to allow users to design their own acoustic environments in addition to fx: reverb. IK Multimedia will be porting over their T-Racks mastering plug-in and Massenburg will release their Hi Resolution Parametric EQ. McDSP will also jump onboard with their own Chrome Tone Amp plug-in. Sound Toys will bring SoundBlender, their pitch shifting effects to the Roland VS platform and TC Electronics will offer their TCR3000 which delivers 16 of TC's best reverbs. Universal Audio will bring their LA2A Limiting Amplifier and 1176LN Compressor to the V-Studio platform. More 3rd party plug-ins will be announced in the coming months.

MSRP: $395

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