Roland VS-2480DVD

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi there, for several months now I've been considering purchasing a
Roland VS-2480DVD to do some recording on. I've got a couple of reasons
for leaning towards this (or a similar) unit, the main one being it's
portability. I work with a number of different bands & musicians in a
number of different locations, so the advantages of having an
"all-in-one" mixer / recorder / CD-Mastering device do tend to favor the
VS series as opposed to say, a PC setup where even with a laptop I'd
need at the minimum a USB [device] to connect to the inputs. Then
depending on how many inputs one had, I still may not be escaping the
need for a [real] mixer as well, adding to the gear. One of the other
features of the VS-2480 is it's 8 channel output, perfect for running
custom monitor mixes to each musician. The ability to store and recall
'scenes' also works nicely in my case, given the variety of setups,
locations, and even types of music recorded. Anyway, I could expound
reason after reason for why I should buy one, but that's not the point
of my post. What I'd like to know, first of all - is there anyone who's
used a Roland V-Studio, (Preferably a 2480 but even a 2400 or 2000) -
what was your experience with it like? What did you like about it? What
did you not like about it? Could it do all the things you wanted it to
do? Was there anything it couldn't do? Was it easy to learn and use? How
durable was it? Were there any quirks? Glitches? Lockups, errors, hums,
buzzes, hisses, crackles that developed over time? Did you ever use
Roland's technical support? What was that experience like? And finally,
would you recommend a V-Studio? (And if not, what *would* you recommend?)

John
19 answers Last reply
More about roland 2480dvd
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Roland = very proprietary. "Interesting" manuals -- for example "The
    (system) that is able to arrange the sound in plane space, by arranging
    many spakers back and forth to this, calls with a surround system.
    There are several method by the number and powsition of the speaker in
    the surround. Three most general piece of method are being supported in
    the VS2480."

    Akai DPS24 = wide open (sound and connectivity).

    Check out DPS World here
    http://dpsworld.vibestudio.net/viewforum.php?f=1

    Lots of former VS users there. I don't know of any DPS owners who
    moved to Roland.

    Steve
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    John Finlay wote:
    > What I'd like to know, first of all - is there anyone who's
    > used a Roland V-Studio, (Preferably a 2480 but even a 2400 or 2000) -
    > what was your experience with it like?

    I got a VS-880 when they came out in 1996. I don't know if you can
    transfer tracks between the VS-2480 and a computer, but with the VS-880,
    you couldn't. And that would be very important to me now.

    Also, keep in mind that these recorders use data reduction. The 2:1 mode
    of the VS-880 sounded pretty acceptable, the lower modes did not (at
    least not in the second generation).

    The user interface of the VS-880 certainly wasn't that bad. The waveform
    display could have been more detailed. Don't know what they changed in
    the VS-2480.

    Johann
    --
    Von abuse@news.chello.at bekommst du maximal die Antwort *kümmer dich um
    deinen eigenen Scheiß*
    Manchmal frag ich mich wie du es schaffst überhaupt einen Rechner zu
    Starten (Walter Padewski in <3EF18BF1.3000704@gmx.net>)
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    John Finlay wrote:
    > huwgareth@my-deja.com wrote:
    >
    > That's true, but at least one of the locations I plan on using the 2480
    > will be in a situation where it (the 2480) will essentially replace a
    > standard 16 channel mixing board, so the main / monitor amps and all
    > accessories are already there.

    Once you've packed up all the mic stands, mics, headphones, snakes,
    cables, misc equipment that you need, the recorder's the least of your
    problems.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    John Finlay wrote:
    >> I looked at the DPS24 and even spoke with several local distributors of
    > professional recording equipment, but neither of them presently carry
    > Akai products because of problems with the company. Being that I'm from
    > Canada, apparantly there are some difficulties exporting products across
    > the border and so any purchase from Akai has to be done straight from
    > the manufacturer in the States, and then it's open to all sorts of
    > problems when you try to ship it across the border, etc. Because of
    > this, it's much more difficult to get support for the units, your
    > warranty is void, and one vendor claimed that he had been waiting over
    > three months for his last shipment from Akai.

    Hmmm. Well it's true they were backordered when Numark bought Akai
    Professional, but they were available again as of late. Don't know
    about the Canadian export situation, that's too bad if you can't even
    get one. Lots of British and European users I know.

    > Feature-wise, the DPS24 looks pretty nice, but it doesn't have the
    > external VGA monitor (though I did see you can plug a keyboard into it
    > for track naming, short-cuts, etc.) They made mention on their site
    > about "free software" to use for doing multi-track editing of data
    > recorded with the DPS24 on a PC, but why not just go entirely with a PC
    > recording setup if this is the case?

    heheh. This is a favorite "concern" when folks compare VS and DPS24.
    The fact is the onboard LCD on the Akai is excellent. And the editing
    is directly descended from Akai's professional post editors, it is
    truly amazing. The AkSys PC software is free, and used to display
    extended waveforms and metering, as well as a variety of import/export
    functions, if you want. I don't use it personally, because... here's
    the real deal -- when you run a mix through this machine the headroom
    and open sound is so good you can actually MIX WITH YOUR EARS INSTEAD
    OF YOUR EYES!

    > I like the fact that is has the
    > 100mm motorized Touch faders, whereas the 2480 simply has 60mm motorized
    > faders, but one thing that struck me as odd about the DPS24 was the fact
    > that only the first four XLR inputs have Phantom Power!
    > (http://www.akaipro.com/productsDPS24.html - look under Analog Audio
    > Inputs) The 2480 provides phantom power for all 8 of it's XLR inputs,
    > and since a lot of what I'm recording is microphones, this almost rules
    > out the DPS right there.

    Well if you need more P48 inputs I can see where that would be a
    concern. I can tell you the sound of the DPS mic preamps are
    exceptional for this class of product. I mostly use Gordon and A
    Designs outboard preamps, and run direct into the DPS ADC inserts. But
    I often still use the DPS onboards for many things, they have a very
    easy, natural sound.

    > I realize Roland is highly proprietary, but so far I've pretty good
    > success with their products, and excellent support from the company.
    >
    > I'll continue to read up on the DPS24, but given the difficulties I
    > might experience even just *getting* one, I don't know that it is a
    > viable option to me at this time. But I appreciate your input and
    > criticism.

    I wouldn't criticize the Rolands, but I've owned several of their
    products over the years and mostly had not too thrilling results. I
    just never quite got into their company philosophies of charging for
    every single enhancement, proprietary I/O, data compression, convoluted
    menus and manuals, arrogant website with no downloadable documentation,
    etc... Whereas some of the DPS24 designers and techs have long hung
    out at the user forum, so we've been spoiled there by excellent support
    and free OS enhancements.

    > John
    >
    > PS: I'm really curious to know which manual that quote is from.

    SOS article http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar05/articles/roland.htm :
    "Over the years, Roland have acquired something of a reputation for the
    incomprehensibility of their manuals. In truth, few manufacturers can
    claim an unblemished reputation as far as product documentation is
    concerned, particularly when it comes to manuals hurriedly translated
    from languages such as Japanese - but for some reason Roland
    handbooks have long been the cause of particular amusement amongst
    musicians (there was even a Sounding Off devoted to the subject in SOS
    April 1999). On the other hand, perhaps it's due to the fact that you
    can open any Roland manual at random and find passages like the
    following (which, incidentally, is exactly how the following passage
    was found): 'The [system] that is able to arrange the sound in plane
    space, by arranging many spakers back and forth to this, calls with a
    surround system. There are several method by the number and powsition
    of the speaker in the surround. Three most general piece of method are
    being supported in the VS2480.' "

    Best luck with the choice. I continue to believe the DPS24 is a
    fantastic machine and a great secret in professional audio. It does
    not have drum machines, amp simulators,
    double-reverse-upside-down-whammy-phaser effects. And it certainly has
    never received the marketing $$ that Roland has invested in their
    machines. It _does_, however, have an outstanding mix bus and sound,
    with an easy session-oriented work flow. Visit the user forum and ask
    a little, of course they prefer the DPS :) but many have direct
    professional experience with both machines and can offer some honest
    contrasts for you. There are lots of similar searchable posts there
    too, BTW.

    Steve
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Johann Burkard wrote:

    > I got a VS-880 when they came out in 1996. I don't know if you can
    > transfer tracks between the VS-2480 and a computer, but with the VS-880,
    > you couldn't. And that would be very important to me now.

    I believe with the 2480CD and 2480DVD you can export tracks to CD as wav
    files. Of course, this may be more cumbersome than simply connecting a
    USB cable to the PC and transferring files that way, but it can be done.

    > The user interface of the VS-880 certainly wasn't that bad. The waveform
    > display could have been more detailed. Don't know what they changed in
    > the VS-2480.

    Well one thing they've included is VGA monitor output, as well as
    standard PS2 keyboard and mouse input for editing tracks and controlling
    the mixer functions 'on screen'. I saw the 2480 in action at a trade
    show back in January and it looked pretty good. The VGA output gives you
    an excellent 'look' at what's going on under the hood, and the mouse
    allows you to edit and tweak just as you would with a PC-based package.
    I think this was probably the aspect of the presentation that impressed
    me the most. I can't say how much of an improvement this might have been
    over an 880, but it did look pretty good.

    John
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Mike Rivers wrote:
    > Numark ended up with Akai Pro? I know that they were in limbo a year
    > or so ago and picked up a new distributor in the US but I don't
    > remember who. Numark did pick up Alesis. Are you thinking of that
    > "Company A?"

    Yep, Numark bought them both. And is doing the distribution, from
    Rhode Island now. This has been one of the problems with Akai's
    marketing for years. Great products, poor distribution, we'll see how
    this one goes.

    So far Numark seems to be doing a good job, they are responsive and
    positive, still working on a new version of the DPS24 as well as the
    next OS (2.0). This one will support 5.1 surround. And all the OS
    updates have always been free, with real enhancements, not just bug
    fixes!

    Although I haven't had personal dealing with him, I understand Robert
    Ray from Alesis is also heading up the Akai tech support. Word on Mr.
    Ray is that he is a great resource and has an excellent history at
    Alesis. Although someone will doubtless pitch in with a horror story
    now...

    BTW Mike, your general observations long ago on the validity of the
    DPS24 was partly responsible for me even checking it out in the first
    place, thanks. It has totally changed the way I was recording music,
    far for the better.

    And for reference, here's the latest DPS24 manual (zipped). Written
    mostly by Akai's US-based designer, this one has been user-group-edited
    to include index tabs. A real contrast to most of the junk that is
    passing for audio technical manuals: http://tinyurl.com/8aak4

    Steve
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Steve Scott wrote:
    > Roland = very proprietary. "Interesting" manuals -- for example "The
    > (system) that is able to arrange the sound in plane space, by arranging
    > many spakers back and forth to this, calls with a surround system.

    Is this an actual quote from a Roland manual? I read the manual for the
    2480 and found it quite easy to understand, well laid out and thorough.
    That sounds like it might have been translated from a (Japanese?) manual
    without the correct grammatical accomodations being made for the
    differences in the language structures. From what manual was that quote
    taken?

    > Akai DPS24 = wide open (sound and connectivity).

    I looked at the DPS24 and even spoke with several local distributors of
    professional recording equipment, but neither of them presently carry
    Akai products because of problems with the company. Being that I'm from
    Canada, apparantly there are some difficulties exporting products across
    the border and so any purchase from Akai has to be done straight from
    the manufacturer in the States, and then it's open to all sorts of
    problems when you try to ship it across the border, etc. Because of
    this, it's much more difficult to get support for the units, your
    warranty is void, and one vendor claimed that he had been waiting over
    three months for his last shipment from Akai.

    Feature-wise, the DPS24 looks pretty nice, but it doesn't have the
    external VGA monitor (though I did see you can plug a keyboard into it
    for track naming, short-cuts, etc.) They made mention on their site
    about "free software" to use for doing multi-track editing of data
    recorded with the DPS24 on a PC, but why not just go entirely with a PC
    recording setup if this is the case? I like the fact that is has the
    100mm motorized Touch faders, whereas the 2480 simply has 60mm motorized
    faders, but one thing that struck me as odd about the DPS24 was the fact
    that only the first four XLR inputs have Phantom Power!
    (http://www.akaipro.com/productsDPS24.html - look under Analog Audio
    Inputs) The 2480 provides phantom power for all 8 of it's XLR inputs,
    and since a lot of what I'm recording is microphones, this almost rules
    out the DPS right there.

    I realize Roland is highly proprietary, but so far I've pretty good
    success with their products, and excellent support from the company.

    I'll continue to read up on the DPS24, but given the difficulties I
    might experience even just *getting* one, I don't know that it is a
    viable option to me at this time. But I appreciate your input and
    criticism.

    John

    PS: I'm really curious to know which manual that quote is from.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    John Finlay <john23@cubeinc.net> wrote:
    >
    >Is this an actual quote from a Roland manual? I read the manual for the
    >2480 and found it quite easy to understand, well laid out and thorough.
    >That sounds like it might have been translated from a (Japanese?) manual
    >without the correct grammatical accomodations being made for the
    >differences in the language structures. From what manual was that quote
    >taken?

    Traditionally the Roland manuals were translated from Japanese to Dutch
    and then from Dutch to English. The end result for the most part was
    not good. In the past decade or so, things have improved a lot, but they
    still have a reputation for incomprehensible documentation.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On 30 Jun 2005 17:03:35 -0400, Scott Dorsey wrote:

    > Traditionally the Roland manuals were translated from Japanese to Dutch
    > and then from Dutch to English.

    Are you serious? I always wondered how they could be so bad. Where did the
    Dutch get into it?


    Bob
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <da1mn7$3ai$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

    > Traditionally the Roland manuals were translated from Japanese to Dutch
    > and then from Dutch to English. The end result for the most part was
    > not good. In the past decade or so, things have improved a lot, but they
    > still have a reputation for incomprehensible documentation.

    I once interviewed for a job with Roland in their manual publication
    department. There was a pre-interview test which was to rewrite a
    paragraph from the VS-880 manual. As I recall, it had to do with the
    "undo" function and was quite convoluted.

    The manuals (at least at the time, this was was about 7 years ago)
    come from Japan translated into English, and the plan was to have
    someine in the US write a clear English quick-start guide and
    untimately re-write the entire manual. They didn't hire me, but
    eventually hired someone else who had done some contract writing for
    them in the past. They really wanted someone with more experinece than
    I had in musical instruments, not just recording gear.

    Since that time, I had a visitor who asked me to help him with the
    Roland integrated recorder/mixer that he had with him. I couldn't
    figure out how to do what he wanted to do either. At the next NAMM
    show, I asked their demonstrator extrodinaire Laura Tyson about it and
    her reply was something along the lines of "yeah, that one was pretty
    strange."


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <1120165424.803393.92310@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> squeegybug@netspace1.com writes:

    > Hmmm. Well it's true they were backordered when Numark bought Akai
    > Professional, but they were available again as of late.

    Numark ended up with Akai Pro? I know that they were in limbo a year
    or so ago and picked up a new distributor in the US but I don't
    remember who. Numark did pick up Alesis. Are you thinking of that
    "Company A?"


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  12. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    John Finlay wrote:
    > huwgareth@my-deja.com wrote:
    I plan on using the 2480
    will be in a situation where it (the 2480) will essentially replace a
    standard 16 channel mixing board, so the main / monitor amps and all
    accessories are already there.

    >
    Hello John,

    I've owned all kind of VS from 880 to 1680 and then 2400.

    I think the VS2400 is a fine tool for live recording (really PCM 24/96 on 8
    analog tracks, not like 880 or 1680 compressed files) with a decent mixing
    console.

    Their VS8F-3 card has some really good plugins.

    Their preamps are better on 2400 vs 880 or 1680, but not good enough IMO. I
    use my Revox C279 6 individual outputs and FMR RNP to feed the VS inputs.

    Eqs and comp on each track or input are so-so, but useful anyway.

    Bad feeling with the A/D converters. Good A/D converters would be nice on
    such a tool.
    My ears prefer VS2400 D/A, but I don't use them cause I record my mixdown
    with Sound Forge via SPDIF.

    Track's edition is awful on VS series. That's the dark side of this fear.

    I don't have any USB, FW or SCSI (2480 has SCSI, 2000 has USB) for
    sending/receiving infos from a computer.

    I could compare my 2400 with an Akai DPS24, I found Akai had better preamps
    and converters and was more reliable.

    Here can you hear an MP3 sample of a Jazz 4tet recording (Richard Calleja's
    4tet) I made last week in a small club here in Toulouse:

    http://perso.wanadoo.fr/laurent.marc/MyM.mp3

    I'm not a sound engineer, only a musician who loves to record other ones...

    I'm sure the VS 2400 is'nt the best "all in the box", but I've learned to
    use it in my way for my little needs.

    The lack of DVD-R is really an issue for me, not for VS2480 DVD version's
    owners.

    Best luck for your choice.

    Laurent.
  13. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Don't know why my link does'nt work...

    Hope this one's better:

    http://perso.wanadoo.fr/laurent.marc/MyM.mp3
  14. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "lm" <laurent.marc3enlever@wanadoo.fr> a écrit dans le message de news:
    42c462c2$0$30604$8fcfb975@news.wanadoo.fr...
    >> I think the VS2400 is a fine tool for live recording (really PCM 24/96 on
    >> 8
    > analog tracks,...

    Sorry for this mistake, I meant 8 analog inputs, of course...

    >Track's edition is awful on VS series. That's the dark side of this fear.

    What a lapsus !!!..

    Dark side of this gear.
    Which can sometimes make fears...
    But if I really need edting tracks, I prefer transfer tracks to Cubase or PT
    LE.

    Sorry again for all of those mistakes..
  15. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    PS John --

    I forgot to mention, there is a VS2480 tech help website
    http://www.rolandvs2480.com/ This is written and maintained by Adrian,
    a VS power user for several years.

    And Adrian just sold his 2480 and bought a DPS24, he's on the DPSWorld
    forum now. Goes by biskopen, you might ask his opinions of the two
    machines...

    Steve
  16. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Steve Scott wrote:

    > Yep, Numark bought them both. And is doing the distribution, from
    > Rhode Island now. This has been one of the problems with Akai's
    > marketing for years. Great products, poor distribution, we'll see how
    > this one goes.

    This is likely the cause of the poor supply of products to Canada right
    now - Nobody can seem to get their stuff. Several stores have
    back-ordered items and others have just stopped carrying the products
    because they are too hard to get. I'm almost afraid to look into the
    DPS24 too deeply because from the sounds of things I couldn't buy one
    right now if I wanted to. Sound quality on the VS seems to come up now
    and again in the forums and help sites - I did some skimming this
    morning and there's even a hack posted out there to replace all the
    op-amps in an effort to improve the quality of sound. Of course, when
    you read the news you only see the worst of things, and when I listened
    to a 2480 it sounded pretty good (Although there wasn't anything to
    compare it to either...) It would seem the water is becomming more and
    more murky, the deeper I dig on this...

    John
  17. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Steve Scott wrote:

    > heheh. This is a favorite "concern" when folks compare VS and DPS24.
    > The fact is the onboard LCD on the Akai is excellent. And the editing
    > is directly descended from Akai's professional post editors, it is
    > truly amazing. (edit) When you run a mix through this machine the headroom
    > and open sound is so good you can actually MIX WITH YOUR EARS INSTEAD
    > OF YOUR EYES!

    This is true. And thinking back, several years ago I did some multitrack
    fiddling with a Tascam 4-Track recorder which used normal 'cassette
    tapes' as the medium. All the "editing" was done using just the ears and
    a tape counter! How far we've come, eh? hehe

    If you say that the onboard LCD screen is good enough, then I will take
    that into account. But not even having access to one of these units to
    see what it looks like, (aside from images on the web) listen to or play
    with does not help the decision making process.

    > Best luck with the choice. I continue to believe the DPS24 is a
    > fantastic machine and a great secret in professional audio.

    Well you've certainly given me another street to wander down, and I will
    look into those forums and ask some questions there as well. I just hope
    that when the time comes to make a purchase, should I be leaning towards
    the DPS24 that I'd be able to actually get one here. Right now, that
    seems to be a problem.

    John
  18. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    lm wrote:

    > Don't know why my link does'nt work...

    The first link you posted worked fine for me... That was a recording
    done with a VS-2400?

    John
  19. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "John Finlay" <john23@cubeinc.net> a écrit dans le message de news:
    42c9b1be$1@news.nucleus.com...
    > lm wrote:
    >
    >> Don't know why my link does'nt work...
    >
    > The first link you posted worked fine for me... That was a recording done
    > with a VS-2400?
    >
    > John

    Hello John,

    Sorry for my late reply.

    Yes it was with 2400.

    For the drums : 2X Schoeps CMC6-XT/MK4 as X/Y overheads, 1X EV RE20 on bass
    drum.
    Schoeps XT's version inforntunately chosen and bought before Scott
    Dorsey, Mike Rivers and some other one's gave their opinions here about
    these pres. I've a strange feeling too about XT : too much very high
    frequencies, in regard
    to medium ones.
    I should have bought CM5 or regular CMC6, but it's too late... and I love
    MK4.
    1X SP C1 + DI for the Double Bass
    2X AKG 414 on Piano
    1X SP C1 on Tenor Saxophone, not the best choice in live condition, but the
    last I owned this day, my Sennheiser 441 or 421 gave me too much stange
    results when the saxophone was played out of axis (which often happened
    during the show).
    Revox C279 mixing console was used as preamps (6 individual post fader
    outputs) for most of the microphones.
    No external A/D converters.
    No room's microphones, the sound was too bad infortunately in this club.

    Recording was 8 tracks 24/44.1, one 10 Go file for the whole concert and
    mixed with the VS, stereo signal sent via SPDIF to a PC recording with Sound
    Forge.

    I think mic's choice, their placement, preamps choice, have more to do with
    the sound's quality than the kind of recorder (if it's a decent PCM one of
    course).
    Sure the VS2400 is'nt an Iz-Radar, but I'm not sure the results would be
    really different using a Radar with same mics set, same placement, same pres
    and the same newbie sound engineer I am...
    But which may be really different between 2 recorders is the way you have to
    work with.
    About this point, I think the DPS24 is a better choice.
    Hope this helps.

    Laurent.
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