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Phrases on Demand

November 13, 2003

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In addition to the included factory library, Roland offers anexcellent collection of jazz and pop sample disks called the VP-Zseries. It consists of eight volumes of solo phrases, already formattedfor VariPhrase processing. Solo phrases are, of course, just what youwant because they allow you to create your own harmonies as well as tomodify the phrase-melodies to fit the harmony of the song.

Six of the VP-Z volumes are genre-specific vocals including gospel,pop and rock, jazz and R&B, jazz scat, world, and even opera. Theremaining two volumes cover sax (tenor, alto, and soprano) and brass(trumpet, trombone, and flugelhorn) and lean toward jazz and popphrases. The instrumental volumes are particularly authentic andprovide a large variety of licks and riffs covering numerous chordprogressions. Among the vocals, the jazz scat, jazz and R&B, andopera volumes are the strongest, though usable phrases are in each ofthe volumes. The MP3 example LibEx uses clips from several of the volumes.

The VP-Z volumes sell for $125 each and are supplied on 100 MB Zipdisks. Each consists of several hundred phrases. The instrument andworld volumes are roughly 30 MB, and the remaining vocal volumes areroughly 50 MB. Each volume comes with printed documentation listingeach phrase's length, time signature, root key, tempo, and chordprogression. That makes it extremely easy to mix and match phrases fromdifferent categories.

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