BLOODY GREAT SOUNDS- Orchestral- I love the strings (although my Korg instruments have beaten this boards in this department now!). A very nice sounding classical guitar patch is also here as are some nice orchestral layers and hits. I mainly use the string sounds. The 4 classical piano patches are simply horrible and a valuable waste of ROM!!!! I don't mind the 2 vocal patches if they sit in a mix but I wouldn't solo them too often. This board is a must for those writing film and orchestral scores. Like I said, I will also be getting the orchestral 11 board to compliment this board. The samples are better and I LURVE the new choir sounds- very ENYA!! The Bass and Drums board is superb (although I thought it was crap the 1st time I tried it). These are the most realistic bass sounds (both acoustic and electric) that you can get for any synthe at the moment- nothing can touch them this side of a sampler!!!! The drums are also very well done although I would have loved to see some dryer snare sounds and the fact that the kits are only partial layouts on the keyboard is also a real pissoff until you get used to it. I love the harmonic and slide effects on the top octave of many of the bass patches- I HAVE FOOLED A FEW PEOPLE WITH THESE! The kick drums are a little weak (not that they sound bad). They simply need a little external EQ! The vintage board has patches that make me melt when I play them (check out the fat Jupiter and CS80 string sounds!) I must say however, that my overall impression of this board is that some of the sounds are ACTUALLY TOO FAT! This sounds strange but it is the truth. The Keyboards of the 60's and 70's is probably the board that dissappoints me the most. Granted there are some nice hammond and vintage EP sounds but compared to the programs in my Korg Triton piano board- these don't cut it. The hammond sounds are OK in patch mode using your real time controllers to control leslie speed etc. But they don't give me the impression of listening (I have never played) to a real B3. If you want organ and EP sounds specifically, it is OK- Just not outstanding like some of the other boards. The techno board is another one that has some great bass, lead and pad sounds but really dissapoints in other areas (namely fucking shithouse drum loops that are as useless as tits on a bull and useless vocoding sounds- A WASTE OF ROM ROLAND!). The Hip Hop board on the other hand is simply superb! GREAT/FANTASTIC/FUCKING UNREAL drum loops- THEY INSPIRE ME!!!! and gorgeous soudning grungy EP's, organs and brass hits. Lovely pad and bass sounds abound also. This is a super board. Likewise the Session board- I love the Acoustic piano, nylon guitars, strings and choirs. They are very well done. Some of the electric guitars are not bad either when put into a sequence. I just wish that there were less sythny/dance type sounds- I feel that the session board isn't about these latter sounds and instead they should have put in extra brass/guitar/drums etc. If I had just bought an XP or JV synthe, the session board would be the first one I would buy as it fixes up on some of the weaker internal waveforms- namely the acoustic pianos. The session boards should have included some extra important sounds such as clavs and realistic EP sounds- these are missing (oh well- go buy one of the other boards for these I suppose!).
If I got my JV1080's stolen, I would get the Orchestral, bass and drums, hip hop and session boards again. I wouldn't bother with the techno, keyboards of the 60s and 70s and vintage synthe boards. Can I just say that NONE OF THESE BOARDS ARE BAD! I am simply going by which board has inspired me musically or not. I like the vocal board although the scat sounds are all too gimmicky for me! The choirs are great! I will give a rating out of 10 for each board that I currently own-
BASS % DRUMS- 10.
VINTAGE SYNTHE- 7.
KEYBOARDS OF THE 60s % 70s- 5.
HIP HOP- 9.
Of course, this is all very subjective! It all depends on what your taste is and what inspires you. I must add that each board (except the orchestral and vintage synthe) come with extra drum kits and these are on the whole excellent- THEY ADD MUCH TO THE GENERALLY WEAK DRUM SOUNDS IN THE JV AND XP SYNTHES. A word of advise- when buying these boards, think about what kind of music you are going to make as they are very genre orientated (except perhaps the session, pop and super sound set boards). I tried the piano board also (I don't own it) but I found those sounds very average (3 out of 10). I also tried the new sound effects board (2 out of 10 as far as I am concerned- I would rather sample such sounds instead of spending at least $500.00 Australian on sound effects! This is just my opinion- Try it- it might be just what the doctor ordered for you!!!! The super sound set board didn't do much for me either- it didn't inspire me. Roland are about to release a 17th board- COUNTRY MUSIC. I will check this out when I can. HERE IS SOME ADVICE ROLAND- Lower the prices as many people are simply borrowing their friends boards and sampling the sounds they want- (MANY WHOME I KNOW DO THIS). It wouldn't happen if these boards were half the price- THEY ARE OVERPRICED AT RETAIL $695.00 AUSTRALIAN. Look at producing another session board to compliment the first one. What about a dedicated DRUMS board. How about a dedicated BRASS board. How about a dedicated GUITAR board and also a board which has only 2 or 3 VERY WELL SAMPLED ACOUSTIC PIANO SAMPLES. Anyway- enough of my rambling on. I give a rating based on what I do and don't like above.