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Behind The Mountain - Roland VS Tips

Just a few Roland VS tips I've discovered myself, or stolen from other people who's names I dare not mention. Some of the tips are general, but most are Roland VS (Virtual Studios) 2480/2400/2000/1880 & 1680 related.

All contributions are welcome and the guilty party will be named where necessary.


Effects

First of all, let's clarify some things about setting up effects routing in general, regardless of which system or machine you're using. Basically, there are two ways you can add effects to a single track. The simplest is to just shove the effect directly into the signal path, something referred to as 'inserting' the effect. This is the best approach for any of the algorithms which invlove compression, and anything which is designed to change the character of the whole signal, such as track-specific EQ treatments and modelling or modulation processors.

The disadvantage of using your onboard effects as inserts is that you need a separate effects processor for each track you want to add effects to. It is to get around this problem that you're given compression and equalisation as standard on every channel — if you had to add these using the effects board, one board wouldn't get you very far!

The second routing approach allows you to use your choice of effect algorithm on all the tracks at once. This is done by feeding the effect's FX Return channel from one of your aux sends, such that any and all tracks can send to the effect using the channel aux send controls. You then return the output of the effect to the mixer for mixing alongside your tracks. This is the best approach for any effect which makes use of any kind of delay or reverb.

I'm guessing that you've already worked out how to insert effects, as that's much easier, so here's how to set up a send effect. Let's assume you're wanting to add reverb to every track. First push the Aux1-8/FX1-8 button to bring up the FX Return channels to the faders, and then press the Ch Edit button to bring up the settings for the FX1 Return. There will be a little box at the top left of the screen labelled Assign. Set this to a spare auxiliary send — for the purposes of this example, let's use Aux 1. While you're in that screen, check that the fader is up, the Mute switch is off, the Mix switch is on, and the Aux 1 switch is off (the last of these avoids the possibility of creating a feedback loop).

Now cursor to the large Effect 1 box and press the Enter button (below the main data wheel). This will take you to the screens where you can select the effect and change the parameters if you wish. You can also reach these effects-editing screens at any time by holding Shift and pressing F4. Now choose a channel to which you want to add effects, and press its Ch Edit button so that you can see its channel parameters. Along the bottom of the screen you'll see all the aux send controls. Cursor to Aux 1 and switch the switch to Pst. This setting means that the signal is sent to the effect from after the channel's level fader (post-fader, hence 'Pst'), which is the best choice in this case as it means that the effects level you set shouldn't need adjusting if you change the fader level. The other setting, Pre, is best when you're using the Aux send for other purposes, such as for providing monitor mixes during recording.

Now cursor to the Aux 1 control and use the data wheel to fade it up. You should now (fingers crossed) hear the reverb effect being added. If you don't, then you should try to troubleshoot the situation by using the available metering. Go to the Home screen, where a row of meters are given at the top of the screen. The 'F' keys at the bottom let you show a variety of different signals with these meters. In this case, you could have a look at the aux buss meters to check that signal is reaching Aux 1 from the channel, and have a look at the FX Return meters to check whether signal is reaching the effect channel. The ToPre/ToPost option on the F6 key is particularly useful. If you have the metering set to Pre (the current setting is shown above the meters) you can see whether a signal is reaching the input of a given channel, whereas if you have the metering set to Pst you can tell whether it's leaving a given channel. For example, if the metering shows a signal for FX1 Return in the Pre metering mode, but not in the Pst metering mode, then you know that there's some channel setting that's not letting the signal through the FX1 Return channel — perhaps the Mute button is on, or the Mix switch is off. Learning how to troubleshoot routing problems using the metering is incredibly useful on the VS multitrackers, so do take the time to learn about how the metering works, if nothing else. It may seem a bit boring, but it really pays off when things don't go how you expect them to!

Now let's turn to printing effects. Depending on whether you're using insert or send effects, the procedure for printing effects is different. However, for both, you'll need to use the internal routing matrix. First choose the track you want to print to, and then hold down its Status button for a second or so until the patchbay screen comes up. You can also access this screen from the EZ Routing button. Hold down the Status button again and press Clear to remove any existing assignments to that track, and then press the Ch Edit button on the source track. A little line should now show up on the screen connecting the source channel on the Track Mixer block with the destination channel on the Recording Track block.

Now go back to the Home screen, arm the destination track for recording, and print the track to its new destination with its effects. If you need to, you can print a mix of several tracks, along with the output of an effects return, in the same way — just make sure that all the channels' and returns' Ch Edit buttons are lit at the relevant point. You can even bounce to a stereo track if you've got one set up.


Saving and Loading EZ Routing Templates

As you use your VS-2400CD, you’ll spend lots of time creating routing setups for the various situations in which you’ll be recording and mixing. You can save a routing setup—along with a host of other parameters—as an EZ Routing template that you can use in any project. When you recall a template, all of the routings and parameter values it contains are instantly restored, saving you lots of setup time. You can save up to 20 EZ Routing templates.

While some of the parameters saved in an EZ Routing template are also stored in scenes, a scene belongs to a particular project, while an EZ Routing template is always available.
The VS-2400CD ships with seven always-available EZ Routing templates for recording, bouncing, mixdown and Surround mixing. You can find a list of the connections and parameters each of these templates installs in the VS Manual.


The Type of Settings a Template Contains

An EZ Routing template remembers everything that pertains to routing and configuration-related parameters—including input channel, track channel and Aux bus linking, V-Track selection and the current settings of the hard disk recorder’s TRACK STATUS buttons.

Saving an EZ Routing Template

1. Set up your VS-2400CD as desired.
2. Press EZ ROUTING.
3. If “SAVE” isn’t visible above F6, press PAGE until it is.
4. Press F6 (SAVE)—the EZ ROUTING TEMPLATE SAVE screen appears.
5. Turn the Time/Value dial to select the desired user template memory location.
6. Press F1 (NAME) to name the template you’re saving.
7. When you’re ready to finish saving the template, press F5 (OK), or press F6 (EXIT) to cancel the operation.
8. Press ENTER/YES to save the template, or EXIT/NO to cancel the operation.


Loading an EZ Routing Template

Before loading an EZ Routing template, it’s a good idea to turn your listening level down all the way in case the template’s new connections and settings cause feedback,result in unwanted noises or cause other problems.

1. Press EZ ROUTING.
2. If “LOAD” isn’t visible above F5, press PAGE until it is.
3. Press F5 (LOAD)—the EZ ROUTING TEMPLATE LOAD screen appears.
4. Turn the Time/Value dial to select the template you want to load.
5. Press F5 (OK). The VS-2400CD asks if you’re sure you want to proceed.
6. Press ENTER/YES to load the template, or EXIT/NO to cancel the operation. If you press ENTER/YES, the template—and all of the routings and configuration settings it contains—loads.


How to Record with External Effects Devices Connected

There are two possible ways to carry out recording when you have external effects devices connected; you can use the track direct outs, or you can use the DIR path.

Using the track direct outs allows up to twelve tracks to be output simultaneously in parallel, while with the DIR path you can simultaneously output up to eight tracks in parallel (including the R-BUS output).


Using Track Direct Outs

Sounds recorded to Tracks 9–16 are output from ANALOG MULTI OUTPUT 1–8, external effects are added, and the sounds are returned to inputs in the VS-2400CD and recorded to Tracks 1–8.

Externally Outputting Tracks 9–16

1. Press [TR1-12].
2. Press [CH EDIT] on Track Mixer Channel 9. The display switches to the Channel View screen.
3. Move the cursor to “MIX.”
4. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to switch the setting to “OFF.” The sounds on Track 9 are now not sent to the MIX bus.
5. Press [MASTER EDIT]. The display switches to the Master Edit screen.
6. Press [F3 (OUTPUT)]. The display switches to the Output Assign screen.
7. Move the cursor to “TRACK DIRECT OUT.”
8. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to switch the setting to “ON.” The VS-2400CD switches to Track Direct Out mode.
9. Move the cursor to “A.MULTI 1/2.”
10. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to connect “A.MULTI 1/2” and “TR 9/10.” The sounds on Tracks 9 and 10 are output from ANALOG OUTPUT 1 and 2.
11. Use the same process to assign “TR 11/12” to A.MULTI 3/4, “TR 13/14” to A.MULTI 5/6, and “TR 15/16” to A.MULTI 7/8. The sounds on Tracks 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 are output from ANALOG MULTI OUTPUT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, respectively.

NOTE! You can also make the Output Assign settings in the EZ ROUTING Output Assign screen ([EZ ROUTING]->[F3 (OUTPUT)].

12. Connect each output to the external effects.


Using the DIR path

The sounds recorded to Tracks 9–12 are output using AUX A/B OUTPUT, external effects are added, and then the sounds are returned to inputs in the VS-2400CD and recorded to Tracks 1–4.


Externally Outputting Tracks 9–12

1. Press [TR1-16].
2. Press [CH EDIT] on Track Mixer Channel 9. The display switches to the Channel View screen.
3. Move the cursor to “DIR 1.”
4. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to switch “DIR 1” to “ON” (highlighted).
5. Move the cursor to “MIX.”
6. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to switch the setting to “OFF.” The sounds on Track 9 are now not sent to the MIX bus.
7. In the same way, turn on DIR 2 for Track 10, and DIR 3 for Track 11.

NOTE! You can press [ENTER] with “DIR” at this point to show the DIR usage status.

8. Press [MASTER EDIT]. The display switches to the Master Edit screen.
9. Set DIR 1–4. You can set the level and the point from which the signals are sent from the channel (Pre/Pst).
10. Press [F3 (OUTPUT)]. The display switches to the Output Assign screen.
11. Move the cursor to “AUX A L/R.”
12. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to connect “AUX A L/R” and “DIR 1/2.” The sounds on Tracks 9 and 10 are output from AUX A.
13. Use the same process to assign “DIR 3/4” to “AUX B L/R.” The sounds on Tracks 11 and 12 are output from AUX B.

NOTE! You can also make the Output Assign settings in the EZ ROUTING Output Assign screen ([EZ ROUTING]->[F3 (OUTPUT)].

14. Connect each output to the external effects.


Recording the Sounds Output from the External Effects to the Tracks

1. Connect the outputs of the external effects to ANALOG INPUT 1–8 (if using track direct outs as mentioned above).
2. Hold down [SHIFT] and press [EZ ROUTING (PATCH BAY)]. The display switches to the Patch Bay screen.
3. Move the cursor to “INPUT MIXER 1 2.”
4. Rotate the TIME/VALUE dial to connect ANALOG INPUT 1 2. ANALOG INPUT 1 and 2 are input to the Input Mixer Channels 1 and 2.
5. In the same way, connect “ANALOG INPUT 3 4” to “INPUT MIXER 3 4,” “ANALOG INPUT 5 6” to “INPUT MIXER 5 6,” and “ANALOG INPUT 7 8” to INPUT
MIXER 7 8.” ANALOG INPUT 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are input to the Input Mixer Channels 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, respectively.
6. Press [IN 1–12].
7. Hold down [CLEAR] and press [CH EDIT] for Input Mixer Channel 1. The level for Input Mixer Channel 1 is set to 0 dB.
8. In the same way, set the levels for Inputs 2–8 to 0 dB.
9. Press [PLAY] to play back the project, and confirm that sound from Inputs 1–8 is being output.
10. Press [MASTER EDIT].
11. Hold down [REC] and press [STATUS] for Input Mixer Channel 1. Track 1 enters recording standby mode (light flashing in red).
12. In the same way, put Tracks 2–8 into recording standby mode (light flashing in red).
13. Hold down [STATUS] for Input Mixer Channel 1. The display switches to the Quick Routing screen.
14. Press [F4 (AllClr)]. All track assignments are cleared.
15. Press [IN 1–16 (SOLO)].
16. Press [SELECT] for Input Mixer Channel 1. Input 1 is assigned to Track 1.
17. Press [STATUS] for Channel 2.
18. Press [SELECT] for Channel 2. Input 2 is assigned to Track 2.
19. In the same way, assign Inputs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 to Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, respectively.
20. Press [HOME]. The VS-2400CD switches to Home condition.
21. Press [REC]. The VS-2400CD enters recording standby mode.
22. Press [PLAY]. Recording begins.
23. Press [STOP]. Recording stops.


To Reset a Channel’s Fader and Pan

1. Press the FADER button that activates channel strip control of the group of channels containing the one you want to reset.

2. While holding down CLEAR, press the desired channel’s CH EDIT button.


Shortcut Key Operations

Here is a list of the functions that can be performed by pressing multiple buttons, or using the TIME/VALUE dial in conjunction with a button.

=================

CH EDIT/SELECT/AUTOMIX STATUS buttons

[AUTOMIX] + [AUTOMIX STATUS] Switch the Automix status of each channel (when Automix is “on”)
INPUT1-12, INPUT13-16, AUX1-8 MST, TRACK1-12, TRACK13-24, FX1-4 RTN

[SHIFT] + [CH EDIT] Adjust each channel faders set to “0 dB,” and the PAN knobs set to “Center.”

[CH EDIT] + [CH EDIT] Channel Link mode on/off.
Hold down the [CH EDIT] button of an odd-numbered channel, and press the [CH EDIT] button of the next highest-numbered (even-numbered) channel.

======================

TRACK STATUS buttons

Hold [STATUS] To select the source to be recorded to the destination track (Quick Routing).

(When using the Quick Routing screen)
[TRACK STATUS] + [CLEAR] All track assignments are canceled.

=====================

Transport Control buttons

[SHIFT] + [ZERO (STORE)] Store current song data to the disk drive
[SHIFT] + [STOP (SHUTDOWN)] Shutdown

(after shutdown)
[SHIFT] + [PLAY (RESTART)] Restart

[SHIFT] + [REW (PROJECT TOP)] Moves to the first recorded audio of the project.

[SHIFT] + [FF (PROJECT END)] Moves to the last recorded audio of the project.

[REC] + [TRACK STATUS] (1–24) Switch the status to REC (REC indicator blinks red)

[STOP] + [TRACK STATUS] (1–24) Switch the status to PLAY (PLAY indicator lights green)

=====================

Locator/Scene buttons

[LOCATOR] . [CLEAR] + [0]—[9] Clear the setting of locators

[SHIFT] + [LOCATOR (BANK)] . [0]—[9] Switch the locator bank

[SCENE] . [CLEAR] + [0]—[9] Clear the setting of scenes

[SHIFT] + [SCENE (BANK)] . [0]—[9] Switch the scene bank

[CLEAR] + [TAP] Erase a marker

[SHIFT] + [CLEAR] + [TAP] [ENTER/YES] Erase all markers

[AUTOMIX] + [TAP (SNAPSHOT)] Stores a snapshot (When Automix is “on”)

[AUTOMIX] + [REC] Automix real time recording (when Automix is “on.”)

[SHIFT] + [4 (IN)] (*3) Register the in point

[SHIFT] + [5 (OUT)] (*3) Register the out point

[SHIFT] + [9 (FROM)] (*3) Register the from point

[SHIFT] + [0 (TO)] (*3) Register the to point

[SHIFT] + [CLEAR] + [4 (IN)] Clear the track edit in point

[SHIFT] + [CLEAR] + [5 (OUT)] Clear the track edit out point

[SHIFT] + [CLEAR] + [9 (FROM)] Clear the track edit from point

[SHIFT] + [CLEAR] + [0 (TO)] Clear the track edit to point

[A.PUNCH] + [4 (IN)] Register the auto punch-in point

[A.PUNCH] + [5 (OUT)] Register the auto punch-out point

[A.PUNCH] + [TAP] Register the auto punch-in point and clear the auto punch-out point.

[LOOP] + [9 (FROM)] Register the loop-from point

[LOOP] + [0 (TO)] Register the loop-to point

[LOOP] + [TAP] Register the loop-from point and clear the loop-to point.

[A.PUNCH] + [CLEAR] + [4 (IN)] Clear the auto punch-in point

[A.PUNCH] + [CLEAR] + [5 (OUT)] Clear the auto punch-out point

[LOOP] + [CLEAR] + [9 (FROM)] Clear the loop-from point

[LOOP] + [CLEAR] + [0 (TO)] Clear the loop-to point


(*3) If a time location has already been registered to a point, and the Global parameter EDIT POINT Sw TYPE is set to “Same as Locator,” you will jump to the time location that is registered for that point.

=================

Phrase/Marker buttons

[PREVIOUS] If there is a phrase at the current location, move to the beginning of that phrase. (*4)
If not, move to the end of the previous phrase. (*4)
Move to the previous marker. (*5)

[NEXT] If there is a phrase at the current location, move to the end of that phrase. (*4)
If not, move to the beginning of the next phrase. (*4)
Move to the next marker. (*5)

[CD-RW MASTERING] + [TAP] Register a marker for audio CD track number

(*4) when PREVIOUS/NEXT Sw is “PHRASE.”
(*5) when PREVIOUS/NEXT Sw is “MARKER.”


==================

Other

[SHIFT] + [CD-RW (MASTERING)] To Mastering Room setting screen

[SHIFT] + [HOME (DISPLAY)] Switch the Graphic display (Home Condition)

[SHIFT] + [UNDO (REDO)] Redo function (when the UNDO indicator is lit)

[SHIFT] + [TAP] To the Tempo map setting screen

[SHIFT] + [NUMERICS (EXT SYNC)] To the Sync parameter settings screen

[SHIFT] + [LOOP] To the loop start/end point setting screen

[SHIFT] + [AUTO PUNCH] To the punch in/out point setting screen

[SHIFT] + [MASTER EDIT (VGA.LCD)] Switch the operation display

[SHIFT] + [UP ] [DOWN ] Zoom to change the number of tracks appearing in the playlist display.

[SHIFT] + [UP ] [ DOWN] Change of the time axis display width of the playlist.

[SHIFT] + TIME/VALUE dial Modify the value at 10 times the usual speed. When adjusting the channel level and AUX Send level, value is changed per 0.1 dB. In Play condition when the cursor is displayed at the sub frame of the time code display, move the current time in units of approximately 1/100 frame.

[SHIFT] + [SOLO] All solo mode is turned off

[SHIFT] + [MUTE] All mute mode is turned off

[SHIFT] + [EZ ROUTING] To the PATCH BAY (and phantom power sw) screen

[SHIFT] + [AUTOMIX] To the Automix screen

[SHIFT] + [CH EDIT] Adjust each channel fader to set the channel level to “0 dB,” and the PAN
knobs to “Center.”

[HOME] + The VS-2400CD turn on Select the LCD as the main display.

[CLEAR] + Fader Temporarily unlink the fader from its group so you can adjust its level independently.

[SHIFT] + (CH PARAMETER) [PAN] To the RSS PAN setting screen

=======================

Mouse Operation

[SHIFT] + Dropping - Copy the data.

===================

ASCII Keyboard

<SPACE> PLAY/STOP the project performance.

<UP> <DOWN> <LEFT> <RIGHT> Same as the cursor on the panel

<Shift> + <UP> <DOWN> <LEFT> <RIGHT> (*6) Playlist zoom

<Ctrl> + <Alt> + <Delete> Shutdown

<Enter .> Same as [ENTER/YES]

<Esc> Same as [EXIT/NO]

<Tab> Same as [PAGE]

<F1>–<F6> Same as [F1]–[F6]

<Shift> + <F1> (*6) To the project condition screen

<Shift> + <F2> (*6) To the track condition screen

<Shift> + <F3> (*6) To the effect condition screen

<Shift> + <F4> (*6) To the utility condition screen

<Shift> + <F5> (*6) To the wave display on/off

<Shift> + <F6> (*6) To the marker setting screen

<F7> To the EZ routing condition screen

<Shift> + <F7> (*6) To the PATCH BAY (and phantom power sw) screen

<F8> To the CD-RW Mastering condition screen

<Shift> + <F8> (*6) To the Mastering room screen

<F12> Same as [NUMERICS]

<Ctrl> + <S> Store current song data to the disk drive

<Home> Same as [HOME]

<Shift> + <HOME> (*6) Change the playlist mode (same as [SHIFT] + [HOME])


<UP> <DOWN> <LEFT> <RIGHT> indicates a key on the ASCII keyboard.
(*6) Combinations using <Shift> on the ASCII keyboard and another key are valid only on the ASCII keyboard. This means that you cannot combine the ASCII keyboard's <Shift> key with a button on the VS-2400CD's panel, nor can you use the [SHIFT] on the VS-2400CD's panel in combination with a key on the ASCII keyboard.