Roland’s MV-1 Verselab is the latest in their line of grooveboxes and one with a real point of difference in the market place, especially at this price point.
The Verselab is quite squarely marketed to vocalists and, although I’m definitely not a singer, I spotted a detail that excited me – a built in microphone. In this video I demonstrates how the inbuilt mic can be utilized to record anything on hand to add texture and depth to your beats — and have fun with it!
This is a return to the MV series for Roland, the last MV, the monstrous MV-8800, hit the market in 2007 but struggled to find its feet in a time where a lot of musicians were enamored by evolutions in computer based DAWs. That said, for many beatmakers, DAWs weren’t all that appealing, the tactile experience of using drum pads was essential, and gave the Roland MVs a following as an alternative to the big Akai MPCs. In 2021, there does seem to be a strong movement to escape the computer again, have Roland made a good call in reintroducing their MV line?
Overall, the Verselab seems like a solid buy, the inbuilt sounds are excellent and there’s a good variety. Sound tweaking is limited to a few key parameters, but this isnt’t a synthesiser, and doesn’t pretend to be. Verselab uses Roland’s ZEN Core Synthesis engine — the same engine that’s found in their flagship products — meaning you can also expand the sounds with the Roland Cloud platform.
Then there is the Zen Beats app integration, this isn’t something I had time to explore personally, but it allows you to plug a phone, tablet or computer into the Verselab and get a visual of your work-in-progress if you find yourself craving some screen time again.
The Roland MV-1 Verselab is available now.
EXPECT TO PAY: AUD$1099 | USD$699
- Finish complete songs with inspiring hands-on workflow
- Record vocals with modern effects like Auto-Pitch, Harmonizer, and Doubler
- Curated collection of over 3000 sounds for modern styles from the makers of the TR-808
- 4×4 pads and TR-REC step sequencer for drums, basslines, and melodic parts
- Songwriting tools and generators get you started and keep you flowing
- Interface with your smartphone, tablet, or computer for easy file transfer
- Plug-and-play integration with Roland Zenbeats app expands your production capabilities
- High-quality mixing and mastering effects for pro results
- Make music on the move with power via a mobile battery or USB
- Built-in mic and XLR mic input with phantom power
- Stereo ¼-inch I/O, dual headphones jacks, and MIDI I/O