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Jacob Nanson on the Roland VR700

Posted by on 17 September 2013



Jacob Nansen

on the Roland VR700

Having had the privilege to music direct, play keys and share the stage with international and local artist such as P Money, The Black Eyed Peas, Stan Walker, Kimbra, Scribe, Dane Rumble, Ben Lummis, Aaradhna, Eraka, J William, Vince Harder, Ria Hall, the Levites Session Band, Soljah, Fiji, the Spawnberries and Nysian Mystik to name a few. It is no wonder he is one of the most sought after session musicians locally and internationally. Recently Jakes played the Roland VR700 at the Gospel Summit and we asked him a few questions about this Combo style keyboard.

What keyboards do you typically use at gigs?

Typically for shows I don’t have to use my personal gear. Most production companies that have the gear - I tick all Roland products on my Rider list if possible. From the gear I own I use the Roland RD Stage Piano and the Roland RS5 which is an older Roland model but still does the job. If product is available to loan for the gig my wish list of gear I like to use which includes the Roland VR700.

What do you like most about the Roland VR700?

The Organ Tone Wheel feature is one of my favorite features on the VR700. Having used it recently at the Gospel Summit, it was the ideal function. Many of the musicians at the Summit were surprised at how great the organ sound was on the VR700. Many of them are typically used to the great Hammond sounds, but the Roland VR can create some of the best organ sounds I have played. The control of the drawbars and rotary sound are all at my fingertips which makes it possible to get the best tone mix on stage and out front.

Do you like the Waterfall Action and why?

I do a lot of organ slides so having Waterfall keys is like a proper organ and helps when I’m in the zone and expressing. When the Waterfall Action is used to play electric piano sounds, this is when it seems to shine. Like when a speaker expresses his message through tonal change, you express your playing through whatever keyboard action you are playing. In this case with the VR700 it reacts amazingly with the electric piano tones. When switching from Organ to Rhodes for instance, it is easy to get and feel the expression you want.

If you could have keyboards of your choice for touring,
what would they be?

That’s easy, I would choose:
Roland Fantom G6: To load and save all my performance settings to it
Nord Electro 3: For it’s Crazy Wah Clav
Roland VR700: For it’s organs and Rhodes
Roland Gaia SH01: For it’s crazy lead/ Synths
Roland RD700NX: Pianos and other Supernatural Tones
Akai MPK MIDI Controller:  To trigger Artist Stems/ Sounds

What type of player would suit the Roland VR700?

Any type of player that wants tonal colour would love this product. It will work with Pop, Rock, Gospel and contemporary styles. Where Organ is needed it shines. It will cover any style and type of playing. It is a great
all-rounder keyboard and is more portable than most stage pianos.

stanwJNStan Walker & Jacob at TVNZ Breakfast Show soundcheck.

jn aradhnaJacob & Aaradhna.

Click here to view the Roland VR700