Roland's latest offering is a game-changer for music production, a powerful instrument encompassing a groove box, vocal processor, and sampler in one device. Best of all, it enables music producers to create an entire song in under ten minutes—no laptop required. The architects of the iconic TR-808 drum machine have another cutting edge product on their hands, a standalone music studio that conveniently aims to do it all.
The instrument arrives with 3,000 sounds preloaded, but an endless supply remains at producers' fingertips via Roland Cloud. Melody writing is made easy with key quantization and variety is oftentimes a button push away, allowing producers to easily add arpeggiation, pitch bend, and much more. The device's song mode keeps organization easy, allowing for the duplication, arrangement, and rearrangement of various sequences.
Verselab's work doesn't end with the instrumental. The device allows for the recording and processing of vocal tracks live and incorporates several processing features. It even includes go-to mixing and mastering tools like EQ and compression to polish things off.
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Many see the Verselab as Roland's response Native Instruments' Maschine and Akai's MPC products, mainly due to the layout and presentation of the instrument. With all the functionality needed to formulate a complete song in very little time, it will be interesting to see how the market responds given the popularity of the competing products.
The Verselab MV-1 is set to start shipping this month and has a current price tag of $700.