Roland’s Verselab MV-1 is a standalone music production studio for creating complete songs. It’s an easy to use, lightweight plastic gadget that offers eight tracks, trigger pads, audio sample playback, vocal recording, mix and mastering effects, Roland Cloud intergration, USB audio interface capabilities and sequencing.
Roland’s marketing team make much of the fact that the Verselab is really easy to use. In the Verselab’s workflow area you first create all of your Sequences and then group them into Sections, and then you arrange these Sections into a complete Song.
In their wisdom Roland have made it so that your vocals are only accessible in the Song mode and you can work with up to 16 different vocal takes.
How many tracks does Roland Verselab have?
The Verselab features eight individual tracks:
- Drum tracks x4
- Bass track x1
- Instrument tracks x2
- Vocal track x1
Note that there is some flexibility here: Instrument tracks can also be used for drum kits and your samples, and the drum tracks can be used to play melodic instruments.
- Easy and fast hands-on workflow
- Can record your vocals
- Tasty vocal effects including Auto-Pitch, Harmonizer, and Doubler
- Ships with 3000+ Roland sounds
- 4×4 pad matrix (RGB-lit) and Roland TR-REC style step sequencer
- Songwriting tools and generators help get you started quickly
- Can connect to a smartphone, tablet, or computer for file transfes
- Integration with the Roland Zenbeats app
- Decent mixing and mastering effects
- Fully portable and self contained – can be powered 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
- Eight tracks only
- Some compromises have been made to ensure the Verslab is very easy to use
- The Akai MPCs offer more bang for your buck in terms of features
- No built in speakers
- The built-in Mic is not the best (but you can use your own)
- Not a fully featured sampler
- Not a fully featured synth
- Small screen
- Plenty of menu diving if not connected to a computer
- Jack of all trades, master of none perhaps
Is the Roland Verselab portable?
The Roland Verselab is a compact and portable groovebox. Made from sturdy plastic, it’s light enough (1.17Kg) to sling in a backpack. It can be powered by a mobile battery powerbank, so you can make tracks anywhere.
Do you need a computer to use a Roland Verselab?
Roland pitch the Verselab as an all-in-one song production studio. You can create complete tracks without touching a computer however the Zenbeats app interface is a lot easier to use when connected to a computer.
Does the Roland Verselab have built-in sounds?
The Roland Verselab ships with 3,000+ Zen Core sounds covering drums, basses, leads, pads and more onboard and you can easily add more via Roland Cloud.
Does Verselab have individual outs?
You can route individual Verselab tracks into any modern DAW of your chosing over 10 stereo inputs. When connected to your computer via USB the Verselab acts as an audio interface so there’s no need for any additional interface.
Can the Verselab sample?
Unlike drum machines that can sample one shots, the Roland Verselab is geared towards recording vocals rather than sampling but you can load your own samples via an SD card and carry out basic sample manipulation duties including looping, & time stretching.
Does the Roland Verselab have built-in speakers?
The Verselab does not have speakers. You’ll need to have a pair of headphones or suitable monitor speakers handy.
Learn more about the Roland Verselab – three videos to watch:
For more information on the Roland Verselab please see the official Roland website.
Read the MusicTech Roland Verslab review.
Overall this is an impressive piece of technology, though does suffer a little from some obscure Roland UI choices, which may be more of a hindrance to someone with more experience. For the beginner it does a lot and if thats all you know, then you will learn it and no doubt be able to produce some amazing results.SonicState
If you’re into manipulating vocals check out my guide to the best vocal plugins.