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Guitar Musician   e-zine     03/02//05

In This Issue:

  "... I don't want you to play me a riff that's going to impress Joe Satriani; give me a riff that makes a kid want to go out and buy a guitar and learn to play ..."

                                                                             - Ozzy Osbourne

Some Humor

Harry did like he always does, kissing his wife, crawling into bed
and falling to sleep. All of a sudden, he wakes up with an elderly man
dressed in a cowl standing in front of his bed. "What the hell are you
doing in my bedroom?......and who are you?" he asked.

"This is not your bedroom," the man replied, "I am St. Peter, and
you are in heaven."

"WHAT!?? Are you saying I'm dead? I don't want to die.....I'm too
young." said Harry. "If I'm dead, I want you to send me back immediately."

"It's not that easy", said St.Peter, "you can only return as a dog
or a hen. You can choose on your own..." Harry thought about it for a while, and figured out that
being a dog is too tiring, but a hen probably has a nice and relaxed life.

Running around with a rooster can't be that bad.
"I want to return as a hen." Harry replied. And in the next
second, he found himself in a chicken run, really
nicely feathered. But man, now "he" felt like the rear end was
gonna blow........then along came the rooster.

"Hey, you must be the new hen on the farm." he said. "How does it

"Well, it's OK I guess, but it feels like my rear end is blowing

"Oh that!" said the rooster. "That's only the ovulation going on.

Have you never laid an egg before??"

"No, how do I do that?" Harry asked. "Cluck twice, and then you
push all you can." Harry clucked twice, and pushed more than he was good for, and then
'Plop' and an egg was on the ground.

"Wow" Harry said "that felt really good!" So he clucked again and
squeezed. And you better believe that there was yet
another egg on the ground. The third time he clucked, he heard his
wife shout: "Harry, for Gods sake wake up, you're shitting all over the



Click here for all products by Roland.

Roland VS-2000CD

Ready-to-roll 18+2-track recording at an astonishingly low price.

By Holly Street

CD-quality recording with a roomy 40-gig hard drive, CDRW drive, 8 XLR/TRS inputs, and a 40-channel mixer make the Roland VS-2000CD one of the best values on the market for standalone recorders. Muscular features include unique vocal Harmony Sequence function, eight-track simultaneous recording, 12-track playback at 24 bit, and 18-track playback at 16 bits (CD quality). All this plus a dedicated stereo mastering track and a whopping 320 virtual tracks make it flexible enough for any recording situation from project studio sessions to fully professional live recording.

Roland VS-2000CD Digital Studio Workstation Supremely accessible
I specialize in recording live concerts for release on CDs and DVDs. This is a great gig but�as you can imagine�it can be tremendously complex. Since I'm not a large woman and I usually work alone, Roland's VS-series standalone recorders have been a godsend. They're small and light enough for one person to move around yet feature everything I need for pro recording and mixing on the spot.

My pal Doss at Musician's Friend knows I like the VS recorders so he invited me to review the latest in the series�the VS-2000CD. I am very favorably impressed. Its compact size (18-3/8"W x 4-11/16" H x 14-9/16"D ) and light weight (14 lbs. 13 oz.) were the first big draws. It also has a USB port for easy uploads to my computer. These features alone make it ideal for live recording in the field.

Seventeen 80mm faders flow smooth as silk to the touch while a jog wheel and cursors make surfing through the menus a piece of cake. The menu system is old hat if you're a Roland user and fairly easy to get the hang of if you're a newbie. The menus are designed to be intuitive to operate and most efficient after you've learned what you're doing, so you're not having to go the long way around the barn every time. The editing and routing screens are full-featured but not unnecessarily complex. There's no room for a tutorial here, but suffice it to say even a beginner will be able to master the unit long before patience wears out.

Eight balanced XLR/TRS inputs with phantom power and level controls are right on the top panel with dedicated guitar/bass input plus master, aux, monitor, and headphone outs. Ten knobs and 80 buttons, including standard tape-style transport buttons make this a very touchy-feely control surface that doesn't force you to the menus very often. For the constant adjustments I have to make doing live recordings, it's great. With the built-in 40-channel mixer, you could even use this thing to good effect for running the front-of-house mix for a live band.

Guts under the hood
Reading the specs on the VS-2000CD only enhanced my respect. The 40GB hard drive will hold up to 5,360 track minutes in 24-bit mode and a whopping 8,080 track minutes in 16-bit mode. That's 11 hours and 10 minutes of full eight-track splendor in 24-bit mode. For a home studio, you might never fill it up.

200 projects in each of four disk partitions with 1000 markers, 96 locators, and 96 scenes each combine with 999 levels of undo for virtually unlimited editing flexibility.

Special goodies
My favorite aspect of this recorder is the astounding Harmony Sequence function that provides gorgeous vocal harmonies and lets you program in the entire chord structure of the song. This unique feature gives you more control than any other vocal harmony product. I used it to dazzle my most recent client by adding background harmony vocals on a live recording.

A very hip onboard drum machine lets you compose rhythm tracks to build songs from. The drum sounds are great and there's enough flexibility to compose pretty complex rhythm tracks with virtually no learning curve.

A couple of killer add-ons can turn the VS-2000CD into a truly high-powered studio. The optional VGA card (the VS20-VGA) lets you plug in a monitor and mouse to access a large-screen editing environment. With this setup, it�s just like using software! Just click with the mouse, access drop down menus, highlight regions for editing, and drag and drop. If you've done any computer-based recording and editing you'll feel right at home. There are also two slots for expansion cards such as the VS8F-3, which lets you use third party effects plug-ins and comes with five Roland plug-ins.

I could write a book about this thing and still not cover all its prodigious capabilities. If you're looking for a standalone digital recorder you can afford on day-job earnings, the VS-2000CD is definitely the ticket. It's full-featured, intuitively designed, and has lots of room for very significant expansions.


VS-2000CD Features:

  • 8-track simultaneous recording
  • 18-track playback at CD quality
  • 12-track playback at 24 bit
  • 8 balanced XLR/TRS inputs with phantom power
  • Built-in CDRW burner
  • 40GB hard drive
  • 40-channel digital mixer
  • Harmony Sequence function
  • Drum machine
  • 2 independent stereo effects processors
  • Compressors and 4-band EQ on every track
  • Mastering Tool Kit and dedicated Stereo Mastering Room
  • .WAV import/export
  • USB 2.0 for high-speed data transfer to and from computer
  • Optional VS20-VGA to connect VGA monitor and mouse
  • Optional VS8F-3 plug-in effects expansion board to run plug-ins (3rd party plug-ins sold separately)

For more info on ordering this product email us

Guitar Q & A

  Nylon Tension

Q I�ve noticed that while steel strings are rated by gauge, nylon guitar strings are differentiated by tension. Should you use certain tension strings on certain guitars, and how do they affect playability?

Ivan J. Negron
Bayamon, Puerto Rico

The only differences between extrahard- and light-tension sets of nylon strings are their gauges, or string diameters. When choosing the best tension set for a particular guitar, a thoughtful player will try different sets until he finds the one that provides the best balance between the player�s and the guitar�s requirements. Different tension sets can elicit different tonal colors and different tactile responses from the same guitar. Also, the same tension set will sound and feel different on different guitars, depending on how the instruments are made. For example, light-tension strings on a short-scale guitar will likely produce a flabby sound and feel like rubber bands, but the same set may perform in an exemplary fashion on a long-scale guitar. On the other hand, extrahard-tension strings on a long-scale guitar will feel excessively taut but will do just fine on a shorter-scale guitar.

The consequences of choosing the wrong set of string gauges may be even more dramatic, though. Guitars can be built either very lightly or rather massively. Placing extrahard-tension strings on a lightly built instrument may cause it to slowly collapse; placing light-tension strings on a stiffly built instrument will result in a muted, disappointing tone, regardless of how expertly it was made.

Don�t despair if your classical guitar sounds wimpy or feels unresponsive. With a little time and patience, you can find a particular string set that makes your guitar behave precisely the way you prefer.

�William Cumpiano