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Effects and controls. The MC-80EXs global effects offer eight each of chorus and reverb. Sixty-four fully editable insertion effects can be applied to the individual Parts (Part = sound + MIDI channel + routing). The effects types include rotary speaker, distortion, auto wah, tremolo, and an assortment of delays and pans.
As a GS sound engine, the MC-80EX offers NRPN control over filter and envelope, as well as control via standard CCs 71 through 74. Filter movements are recordable in real time on the sequencer, which makes this an extremely compact, self-contained purveyor of cool sounds and effects.
Bottom line. If not in the market for a hardware sequencer, buyers will unlikely be tempted to buy the MC-80EX purely for its GS sound expansion board. But its availability, especially given the first-class GM job that it does, should provide food for thought. Do artists play live, and would they like to trigger sequence data for control or performance? Do they sometimes curse the limitless landscape of modern software sequencers? Would they like to have sequencers at rehearsals without having to unplug their entire computer systems? If the answer is yes to any of these, the MC-80EX could be a wise investment.
The XV-3080 (see Fig. 6) comes from a venerable line of Roland sound modules dating back seven years to the JV-1080. The XV-3080 resembles its forebears in appearance, though a number of features have undergone improvements, including more sounds, more control, 128-note polyphony, and improved effects. GM2 has been added to this module with a simple panel button providing direct access to a mid-level GM capability. The GM sounds may not be the same caliber as the native sounds, but at least Roland has made the effort.
GM1 sequences play well, but GS data may lose a bit in the translation. Most GS controls, however, have been implemented in GM2, so GS data can be used with a simple remapping of controllers in a sequencer. Having a labeled, front-panel GM button is fantastic. Unlike the Triton-Rack, for example, this pro instrument invites use of its GM mode.
Reprinted with permission from Magazine, February, 2001
© 2000, Intertec Publishing, A Primedia Company All Rights Reserved
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