I've had the VA-7 for just over a day now and although most of today was spent reading the manual, the last 6 hours have been spent playing. It's now 3:05am here.
I'll get straight to the point. This keyboard is even better than I thought it was going to be. It's simply amazing! (Eyal, you were totally right about this machine!)
The internal styles are fantastic, the musical arrangements are the best I have ever heard. The guitar strums actually sound like guitar strums. Top it all off with jaw-dropping drum parts and it can't get much better! The v drums sound amazing even on there own.
The arranger has only one intro button however there are technically 3 intros depending on whether you start with a major, minor, or 7th chord, each one very different but still the same quality. The involvement of the intro also depends on band size setting.
One thing that did annoy slightly was the one fill button only.
This means for a fill from ORIGINAL to VARIATION or vice versa, you press it once. For a fill to previous again you need to press it twice! This isn't that easy to do, as you can probably imagine. However, a good way round this is to assign the 'fill to previous' to the aftertouch controller in the left hand so you can activate the fill by playing a chord with more key pressure. Your hand doesn't need to leave the keys!
The new tones are excellent. Within seconds I had selected a fat organ sound and was applying swirling rotary effects with the M-FX knob. I could actually feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
At first glance I thought there were only 8 organs to choose from, but by highlighting one and pressing 'Variation' you get up to 30 variations for each sound, and yes they are all different!
The 3649 sounds are split into 4 sections called tone maps.
Tone Map 4 contains 1616 new tones developed for VA-7/VA-5.
Tone Map 3 contains tones found on G1000, EM2000 and SC-88 PRO sound canvas.
Tone Map 2 contains tones found on G800, RA800 and SC-88 sound canvas.
Tone Map 1 contains tones found on E86 and SC-55 sound canvas.
Now for VariPhrase. Even though the styles are fantastic, when you play a few variphrase chords on top of that......WOW!!
Every time I even think about it, I can't stop laughing. I even recorded my own within minutes, and it actually sounded like me at those different pitches! Astonishing!
Just when I thought the smile on my face couldn't get any wider I was delighted to find another 62 VariPhrases on zip to add to the 48 factory ones. Brilliant.
To finish up, the VA-7 is very user-friendly, the touch screen allows access to most things within a couple of presses. Well
laid out and the graphics are very easy on the eyes.
I need to go get some sleep now, and I'm already excited about waking up to the VA-7. I just hope you don't have wait much longer to experience this.
Any questions I'll try to answer in the meantime.