Over the weekend here in Nagano-city, I picked up the new Roland VT-3 Voice Transformer on display at Shimamura music. They had just received two in stock and was lucky enough to buy one to enjoy over the weekend. They had one setup in the store which I tried out and was instantly impressed. I know the VT-3 doesn’t have midi and I also understand so far there is no way to sync much with it, but that is ok. What this does to your voice is really cool and it will sit nicely with my TC-Helicon Voice Live Touch setup. In a couple of weeks the new Roland TR-8 and TB-3 should be available also but I’m not sure yet if I’ll pick those up or not. I actually was mainly interested in the VT-3 because I felt it would be great for creating vocal phrases and effects over analog synth jams and songs.
I used to own the BOSS VT-1 Voice Transformer but sold it after a short while. It didn’t really sit well with me in the mix and I felt it was rather limited in just creating robot and changing the pitch of my voice. The formant didn’t do much for me either, however there is reverb which is nice. However, the VT-3 is a whole new machine and instantly I felt it was very musical when playing around with it.
I also thought it was extremely easy to use and the size could sit on one of my analog synths quite easily. You also had additional effects such as Synth, Lead, Bass, Megaphone, Radio, Scatter, Auto Pitch, and Vocoder.
What impressed me the most about the VT-3 was the sound and how easily I felt it could be added to a song or groove. Switching the rotary dial allowed you to easily create different characters or vocal phrases on the fly. Limitations might be the lack of more presets to store patches. As I mentioned earlier there is no midi to sync the Scatter effect although that “might” work over USB. It might have been cool to have an on board looper like on the Boss RC-505, but I understand all that stuff likely would have increased the price. For live performance though, having this thing on my Korg Polysix or Juno-60 is going to be real fun.