* Click here to visit our new Roland website.


Vocal & Ensemble Keyboard

Q.What are the advantages of the VP-550's string sounds in comparison to the string sounds found in a conventional synthesizer?

A.The STRINGS 1 sound was newly developed specifically for the VP-550. The most distinctive advantage of this new sound is that you can control the performance expression in a way that is typical of acoustic string instruments, where both the volume and tone changes as you bow the strings with increasing force (crescendo), decreasing force (decrescendo), or play legato phrases.

As described below, STRINGS 1 will naturally produce these unique performance characteristics without requiring you to perform any special operations while you play. This allows you to play strings with a sense of "reality" that is far greater than the string sounds of conventional synthesizers.

Dynamics Control

On a conventional synthesizer, the string sounds typically switch between "softly bowed sounds" and "strongly bowed sounds" according to your keyboard touch. You can control the volume using an expression pedal, but this merely changes the volume, while the tonal characteristics remain unchanged. This may sound unnatural for a string instrument, especially when the volume moves from soft to loud (or vice versa).

In contrast, the VP-550's STRINGS 1 sound allows you to use an expression pedal to change the tonal characteristics along with the volume (this is called "Active Expression"). The tone changes smoothly along with the change in volume, giving you a natural transition between softly played notes and strongly played notes. This allows you to create a natural-sounding crescendo or decrescendo, just as you'd hear in an acoustic stringed instrument performance.

Intelligent Legato

When you play the keyboard in a legato fashion (i.e., pressing the next key before releasing the preceding key), a special "legato sound" replaces the normal string sound to ensure a smooth transition between notes. The degree of expression will vary according to the speed of the legato passage. The VP-550 automatically adds the natural articulation of a legato performance as well. Furthermore, when playing in the violin (high) register, the VP-550 automatically applies a musically appropriate portamento effect to smooth the transition between pitches.

The VP-550's STRINGS 2 sound is a synthesized string sound reminiscent of the Roland JP-8000 synthesizer. Unlike STRINGS 1, it's not intended to replicate an acoustic string section.


To the top of page