Roland VT-3 Voice Transformer
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- Create heavily processed vocal sounds in real time
- Smooth control with dedicated Pitch and Formant sliders
- Large dedicated Reverb and Mix Balance sliders
- Save three favorite settings for instant recall
- Connect an optional footswitch for additional control in live performances
- Pure green LEDs and brightly lit controls for great visibility
- Lightweight and durable construction for easy portability
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The VT-3 is not just for robot voices (although we totally approve of robot voices). It also has the power to transform your voice into synthesizers, synth basses, hard-tuned and lo-fi sounds, and more. The VT-3 can also be subtle and musical, with built-in reverb, smooth wet/dry fader control, and instant bypass. Built for creative speed and live performance, the VT-3 is meant to be played. It features high-quality specs and sturdy, brightly lit controls that are dead simple to use. The controls and functions are smooth and immediate, with no popping, clicking, or latency issues to worry about, even when switching presets or changing voice characters. Weighing less than two pounds and small enough to slip into a bag, you can take the VT-3 anywhere.
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Not bad, but not great. (although it could have been.)
Thing is, all the features Roland advertises are true, and that's why I *want* to rate this thing at a five.
But that said, for all it does offer, (and make no mistake, this little guy is PACKED with features) I'll only list the negatives for this one, for the buyer's sake:
1) What they don't tell you is that it's as total PIA to set up as a standalone interface. (This is not it's primary purpose, which is fine, but if the USB on the back is any indication, there's no reason this shouldn't have been easy to set up.) Personally, I've currently wired it up to the FX send/return on my mixer, but for all other things, software / driver dependence just makes me cringe. Which is....disappointing. I'd imagine this'd be a negative for most folks looking at this thing.
2) Secondly, and more importantly, the VT-3 *mixes wet and dry signals.* No matter how it's configured, your standard, untouched voice gets mixed in with the vocoded, pitch-shifted, radio'd voice in the end result. As I've mentioned, I have it configured in an analogue format as an FX module, (there's no reason it shouldn't work as expected in this config) so I have yet to determine if it can output ONLY the wet signal if configured properly as an interface or auxillary device, etc, but I figured I'd bring it up anyway.
I don't particularly mind this, but then again, I have a very unusual and VERY specific use-case, so you the viewer have to decide for yourself whether or not you want your original voice mixed in with the FX. No matter how high the FX slider is on the VT-3, the original vocals are always there.
3) Lastly, this thing just murders sound quality. Again, it's possible that this is fixed in interface mode, but in general, the dry signal from my mixer is clean AF without the VT-3 involved, but as soon as it gets processed through the VT-3, or *even passed through with the "bypass" enabled,* everything just sounds muddy and dirty. This is, again, with a completely analogue setup, without the USB involved, mind you. I don't even have that good an ear, and it sounds bad.
Headphones in the mixer with the VT-3 hooked up to the aux / FX return, muddy. Hooked up to the final input destination, still muddy. VT-3 tested "standalone" with headphones coming directly out the front.....very muddy, still.
Again, this is possibly due to the design, since this thing is marketed as a "vocoder," and the vocoded signal won't require a very high fidelity signal, which is totally fine, but I feel like this thing could have REALLY stood out for more than just live musicians (recording artists, streamers, youtubers, etc) if it weren't for this one drawback.
Just for the record: If you're intending to use it like I am, integrating it with your mixer, you can fix this problem just by turning down the FX or Aux knob when this thing isn't in use.
This IS a good piece of hardware, and my experience with Roland has usually been stellar, so it's really disappointing for me to see gear like this with ridiculous potential just fall flat in so many critical areas.
I *will* recommend it, but only if you completely understand what you're buying into.
Voice transformers are cool (And the VT-3 is a really good one), but it's a gimmicky piece of gear that you won't ever really "need".
It can be used as an audio interface with its functionality, which is a great feature. My biggest gripe with this thing is that the gain just sounds really dirty, regardless of if you're using the effects or not. I get that this is ultimately a stage piece, but I can't get around the fact that even the myriad of effects always sound so garbled. Way different from the demonstrations out there from the folks who built the thing.
It may just be a defective unit, but I can't jive with the Roland VT-3.