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#231586 - 04/08/08 02:33 AM roland sonic cell
Anonymous
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Anyone used one of these units, i've read the spec, it looks good, can it sync audio and midi for live work eg audio samples and midi triggering, are they reliable enough for live use...??

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#231587 - 04/08/08 05:48 AM Re: roland sonic cell
John DiLeo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/08
Posts: 245
Here is a thread I did a search on with Sonic cell information.


http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum37/HTML/017195.html

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#231588 - 04/08/08 09:52 AM Re: roland sonic cell
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2416
Loc: CA
I have a Sonic Cell and I think it's a great sound module. You can trigger the Sonic Cell patches using the master controller keyboard keys although it doesn't have a Sampler so you can't trigger audio that is loaded externally. I have my Tyros hooked up to my Sonic Cell. You can also play along with audio songs loaded by way of the USB port using a thumb drive, etc. The Sonic Cell has MIDI over USB capability to use with a computer and a sequencer software such as Sonar Le, which is included with the Sonic Cell. There is two SRX expansion slots for further expandability. I have the SRX-06 (Complete Orchestra) and the SRX-07 (Ultimate Keys) cards which gives me a total 256 MB of WAV ROM and over 2,000 patches in the Sonic Cell. The nice thing I found after hooking it up to my Tyros is the ability to combine sounds of both my Tyros and Sonic Cell together (using MIDI) in Performance Mode, and as a result gives the sound an overall sonic improvement, including the Drums, which are lacking in the Tyros/2. I am able to use Accompaniment Styles together with the Sonic Cell including OTS and transitioning between variations is as smooth as butter on the Sonic Cell. The Sonic Cell can load and play .wav, .aiff, .mp3 and .mid and the DAC (Digital to Analog Converters) are 24 bit/96kHz which helps give the Sonic Cell great quality of sound, not only when playing audio files, but also for the patches within the Sonic Cell itself. The Sonic Cell was especially made for Live use and Roland even makes a special stand for the Sonic Cell for you to use alongside and in conjunction with your keyboard.

Personally, I think the Sonic Cell is an extremely cost effective sound module solution with many advanced features and capabilities including its use for Live performance purposes.

Best,
Mike
_________________________
Yamaha Genos, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal mic.

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#231589 - 04/08/08 11:13 AM Re: roland sonic cell
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8721
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
I also agree the Sonic Cell is a great quality unit..with a couple exceptions, I would have kept it longer..
The audio/midi interface is great..as is the mic preamp and effects..

My problems were the limited storage file storage to the USB device[no matter what size thumb-drive..99 files...and the loss of effects on the mic..every time a song starts..

Just a couple improvements on these items and I would revisit the Sonic Cell again..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



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#231590 - 04/08/08 12:56 PM Re: roland sonic cell
TommyF Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 648
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Quote:
Originally posted by Fran Carango:
My problems were the limited storage file storage to the USB device[no matter what size thumb-drive..99 files...and the loss of effects on the mic..every time a song starts..


The file limit has recently been increased to 399 instead of 99. It requires a firmware upgrade and a new playlist editor both of which can be downloaded here .

I can only agree with Mike that the SonicCell+SRX-06+SRX-07 is a fantastic combination - you will never run out of interesting sounds. It works extremely well with the Pa800 too.

No need to worry about reliability for live use: It's a Roland after all

Kind regards,
Tommy
_________________________
Yamaha PSR-S770, Korg Krome 61

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#231591 - 04/08/08 01:18 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Fran, while you had the Sonic Cell, did you have an opportunity to compare it with the G70 as far as audio quality?

You know, punch up basically the same patch, and see if there were any sonic differences (harsher, more 'brittle', smoother, warmer)...

This one sure does SEEM like a no-brainer, at the price...

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#231592 - 04/08/08 01:21 PM Re: roland sonic cell
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
Fran,
I recall reading somewhere that Roland have released operating system updates to address the storage issue??
Might bear checking out.
Dennis

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#231593 - 04/08/08 01:35 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8721
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
Fran, while you had the Sonic Cell, did you have an opportunity to compare it with the G70 as far as audio quality?

You know, punch up basically the same patch, and see if there were any sonic differences (harsher, more 'brittle', smoother, warmer)...

This one sure does SEEM like a no-brainer, at the price...



Diki, I thought the sounds were very close..I didn't do an exact "A" "B"..but selected what I thought was the best SC piano and compared to the G70 best piano..as I did with other sounds...Overall I thought the G70 had a slight edge sound wise...and the G70 had many of the GS instrument sounds that I like[Scat}..

Roland selects [programs] certain patches designed for the Sonic Cell [appropriately names SC]..BTW: same scenario with the Juno G..

I wish I knew Roland was going to upgrade the file limitation before I sold it..but the better solution is limitation on the storage media..not the software..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



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#231594 - 04/08/08 01:46 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Still, a 400 file number seems pretty reasonable, especially as it is probably a snap to swap out a USB pen drive (Should you need more).

That 400 would cover my primary gig, no problem (if I were using tracks, that is!).

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#231595 - 04/08/08 02:10 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8721
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
You are right Diki..for most applications 399 audio files are enough..In fact that is what I was hoping for when I first purchased the Sonic Cell..I wanted it to use with the band...we do around 300 songs recorded as MP3's..

The real surprise for me was the audio interface..Super clean recording..

Now if the mic effects can remain while starting another song...I may just buy another...And leave the laptop at home..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



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#231596 - 04/08/08 03:16 PM Re: roland sonic cell
John DiLeo Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/08
Posts: 245
Fran,

How was the visibility on the Sonic Cell display....my eyes aren't the greatest anymore.

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#231597 - 04/08/08 04:33 PM Re: roland sonic cell
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3293
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Diki,
Even though your playlist is limited to 399 files, you don't have to swap out thumb drives. You can have many playlists on a single thumb drive.
John, if you are looking to purchase a sonic cell, please let me know. I have them for sale at my store and can give very competive prices.


------------------
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#231598 - 04/08/08 05:25 PM Re: roland sonic cell
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
I'm taking a first look at the sonic cell, Fran can you explain more about the mic glitch and can anyone else tell me if it has been addressed,
One more thing if I may, can you plug in a guitar and a mic or is it either or?
thanks.

[This message has been edited by mikeathome1 (edited 04-08-2008).]
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#231599 - 04/08/08 06:12 PM Re: roland sonic cell
to the genesys Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 1155
Also taking a look at the sonic cell.

qCan it function as a drum machine?
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TTG

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#231600 - 04/08/08 06:14 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Eric, B Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/15/99
Posts: 1872
Loc: Ventura, Ca, USA
Just got of the phone with George Kay, looks like I'll be heading down south next week to take a look at the sonic cell.
(and PA-800, and G-70, and.... )

I'm pretty sure I'll get one...
George took some time to answer all my questions and I'm confident that it'll make a great addition to my set up.

If you're thinking of getting one, check with George Kay first. You won't regret it.
Best service in the music biz that I know.

I'm sure I will have some questions regarding set up with my T2 once I get it.

Eric
_________________________
Genos, PSR-S970, TC Helicon VoiceLive3, Mackie 802-VLZ3 Mixer, 2 Bose L1 Compact, Electro-Voice ZXA1 Subwoofer

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#231601 - 04/08/08 09:16 PM Re: roland sonic cell
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
Quote:
Originally posted by George Kaye:
Even though your playlist is limited to 399 files, you don't have to swap out thumb drives. You can have many playlists on a single thumb drive.

George, with all due respect (sincerely! as I do respect your experience and knowledge), that is incorrect.

The TOTAL including folders is 399, used to be 99, which is why Fran had so many problems with it, as did I.

Therefore if you want a seperate folder with a different playlist, those folders and files are deducted from the 399.

So, you could have 4 folders each with 99 files, 2 folders each with 198 files etc etc .. I think you get the idea

I know the Roland documentation makes it SEEM like there is but this is how the file system works on the Sonic Cell.

I had one, and I was dealing directly with the Roland chief tech in Melbourne at the time.
In fact I was the first customer to get the first 2 updates because I got them directly from him.

After the 2nd update didn't work I gave up and sold it. From the soudn of it Roland have finally got it right!!

It wasn't the only reason I sold it another issue was the insert effects are NOWHERE near as flexible and easy to setup/use as on the Motif ES rack which I have gone back to.
Dennis

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#231602 - 04/09/08 04:45 AM Re: roland sonic cell
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5444
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
I have one but never use it. Nothing wrong with the unit but was not a good fit for my intended use (extra voices for my C1 rig). The problem had more to do with the inadequacies of the C1 as a controller. I keep it around hooked up to a A70 controller, as a source for Roland voices in the studio, but usually defer to the Motif ES or Triton when recording. Probably does a good job with SMF's, as most Roland's do. Usual Roland build quality, display is adequate......if you're 18. Ok as a source of drum sounds but there are better and cheaper choices for a "drum machine". Glad I read the thread, though. Made me aware of the update (since I had no problems with it, I never thought to look).

chas

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#231603 - 04/09/08 01:07 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
I'd hang on to it, chas. If it has the same grand as the G70, that combined with the A70 (which is virtually the same action) gives you pretty much the same sound.

Probably one of the best hardware grands for jazz and softer pop at any price...

The same samples exist in a couple of other Roland arrangers (E80/E50/60) but they, for some reason, darkened up the filter. All you have to do is add a little extra to the cutoff values, though, and you are back to the sound I get and enjoy so much.

We have an older (1928) Steinway in the studio, but after listening to some tracks I cut with the G70, and comparing them to Herbie's piano sound on River (just the sound, not my playing!), he's starting to come round to using it in preference to the Steinway. For anything other than super bright rock piano, it sits in the mix pretty much as well as the Steinway, and of course, allows the flexibility of editing the parts in MIDI before they are printed. This allows me to get more adventurous as I play, with the knowledge that we can still go back and rescue a few bum notes, etc..

Quite the testimonial from a guy who is VERY picky about his sounds...

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#231604 - 04/09/08 03:44 PM Re: roland sonic cell
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3293
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Dennis,
You are correct and although I have not made more than one playlist, I was under the impression that I could save many on one thumb drive. I just verified this with the Roland US techs and they confirmed what you have stated.
I am sorry for giving the wrong information.

------------------
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#231605 - 04/09/08 03:54 PM Re: roland sonic cell
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Mind you, 400 songs at a 256kbps rate gets you close to 3-4GB of data (256 is about the lowest that is very difficult to tell from CD).

How big do these flash drives get?

Could you partition them so they show up as several separate drives at the same time?

Still, let's face it, although many of us have TOTAL repertoires far in excess, how many of us use significantly more than 400 songs IN TRACKS FORM on a regular basis?

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#231606 - 04/09/08 04:33 PM Re: roland sonic cell
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
Quote:
Originally posted by George Kaye:
I am sorry for giving the wrong information.


Hey George, no apology necessary (appreciated, but not necessary), well at least for me anyway!! You are a good guy and well, this is what forums are about, yes? Exchanging info and helping each other out?
All the best m8!
Dennis

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#231607 - 04/09/08 09:03 PM Re: roland sonic cell
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2416
Loc: CA
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
Mind you, 400 songs at a 256kbps rate gets you close to 3-4GB of data (256 is about the lowest that is very difficult to tell from CD).

How big do these flash drives get?

Could you partition them so they show up as several separate drives at the same time?

Still, let's face it, although many of us have TOTAL repertoires far in excess, how many of us use significantly more than 400 songs IN TRACKS FORM on a regular basis?



Flash Drives can go up to 16 GB in size without paying a whole lot and there are some SSD(solid state drives) with high speed NAND Flash memory that go up to 64 GB in size but can cost an arm and a leg. I have a 4 GB Lexar Lightning Drive that has excellent read/write speed and works flawlessly with my Sonic Cell PRO. If you get a Sonic Cell you will need to have a smaller thumb drive e.g. 128, 256, or 512 MB etc. on hand when attemtping to update the OS on the Sonic Cell. The larger flash drives such as my 4 GB Lexar Drive can only be formatted in FAT32 but with the smaller thumb drives you can format them in FAT, which you will need to do to be able to load and install the OS update .bin file from Roland onto the Sonic Cell.

As far a partitioning a flash drive into several separate partitions I don't think that would be possible since the Sonic Cell would only be able to see the root directory of one partition only. In other words, there would be no way to boot into separate partitions since the flash drive has no OS or software on it to do be able to do so.

But you hit the nail on the head when you said to just use an additional flash drive if you require more than 400 songs in your repertoire. Smaller flash i.e.(thumb) drives are relatively inexpensive and are coming down in price all the time. For instance, you can get a 4 GB drive for under $40 bucks in many cases. Because my Lexar Ligthning Drive is considered "high" speed you pay an additional premium but nothing outrageous, maybe $20-$30 bucks more over a same sized slower read/write speed drive. Besides, they're good investments anyway. Treat them right and they should last a long time plus they pay for themselves in no time at all if you're a gigging musician like so many of us here are at the Zone.

Best,
Mike
_________________________
Yamaha Genos, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal mic.

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