As reported by engadget,

If you need a broader sound palette the Verselab also has sampling abilities. You can use the built-in mic, an external microphone or the line in around back to capture audio from anything you happen to have lying around. Want to build a drum kit out of you banging on plastic buckets, capture sounds from your favorite softsynths on your computer or chop up a soul sample — you can do all that on the Verselab. The one problem is, the tiny two-line display makes cropping samples pretty painful. And I haven’t quite figured out how the sample slicing feature works. 

That itty-bitty screen makes a lot of tasks more difficult than they need to. Considering the amount of sounds and effects, plus the sequencing and arranging tools, a larger display really feels called for. One can only hope that promised future integration with Zenbeats will help simplify things somewhat.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The screen though is my only complaint on the hardware front. While the Verselab is all plastic, it feels solid. The buttons all have a nice clickiness to them and, while the encoders don’t have a ton of resistance, they don’t feel cheap. The sequencer keys and the pads also feel great. In fact, the pads are probably the best I’ve encountered this side of an Akai device. 

One final way the Verselab tries to shift the focus from beatmaking to songwriting is by simplifying the actual process of coming up with musical ideas. You can quantize the pads so that you’re always in key, there’s a one-pad chord mode for laying down harmonies and “style” mode spits out a bunch of rhythmic patterns and arpeggios.

The Verselab will start shipping this month for $700, putting it smack in the middle of Roland’s line up, along with the TR-8S. But it comes in well under the company’s flagship groovebox, the $1,000 MC-707.

Source link: engadget


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