A few years back Roland rocked the VJ world by giving us the first ever VJ specific video mixer, the V4. Over time, other areas such as small AV companies and churches have adopted the wonderfully small and low cost (but full featured) unit as a workhorse in many environments. But taking one look at the unit you can see it was designed for VJs. Now with the release of the V8, Roland is back to up the ante again with a feature set that builds on the success of the V4, without bogging the unit down with hidden features or a large price tag. I was lucky enough to get some hands on time with the first one to touch down in Australia recently, much to my delight.
The most striking things that first hit you about the new V8 have to
be the inclusion of 8 inputs (a god send on large multi source rigs)
and the change to faders, instead of pots/knobs from the old V4.
Clearly on this front Roland have been listening to their users, with
the inputs now being BNC plugs on the rear of the unit with individual
monitor outs and the faders being excellent quality. You can see that
this is an evolution of the V4 design, which often caused problems with
the top mounted RCA inputs and the Pots on the FX and White/Black fade
needing to be replaced. A very well placed tweak to the White/Black
output fade system means that - instead of having to keep the knob
centered - we now get 100% signal on the fader all the way up and 100%
white or black, selectable on a separate switch, with the fader all the
way down. read more...