am a long term reader here - but no poster. But i feel like i wanna share my first impressions of this new NAMM-Release with you:
http://www.rolandus.com/products/produc ... rentId=114 (http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.aspx?ObjectId=865&ParentId=114)
I have used the PCR 30 and PCR M30 before. Now Edirol released the new PCR series, i have the PCR 800 here.
Lets go straight into it: apart from these pads the hardware is very good.
Keys: nice semi weighted with a good touch .. dont see a big difference btw. m30 and pcr 800 (or pcr300 which should be identical). quality comparable to novations keys i.m.o. and by no means so crappy like m-audio axiom keys
Pitch/Modwheel: rubber coated, like in most pcr-m series. feels sturdy. but crappy for modulation - as all roland/edirol combinations of pitch/modwheel - its just the wrong technique for modwheel-usage putting a spring onto it, which u can not disable. but u know that if u buy ANY roland/edirol keys/synth.
Rotary encoders: very good improvement compared to pcr-m series - better quality now, feel more solid, turn not so easily as pcr-m but have a nice "resistance" when moving them from left to right - perfect i.m.o. they are not endless rotary encoders and dont have small "steps" when turning - perfect for smooth filter fades etc. compare these to the axiom's endless rotary encoders which DO have small "steps" when u move them - no way for nice smooth sweeps, u never know where u are (since those are endless). if u try they rotaries on the pcr 300/500/800 u want this machine. 9 rotaries instead of 8 like in the pcr-m series.
Additional endlessly encoded "value" rotary encoder: changes values, e.g. program changes. very useful.
normal buttons: easy go, as in all of the pcr-m series. now its 4 transport buttons instead of 3 on the pcr-m series.
Faders: quality about the same as pcr-m series but now they are longer by means of the way u have to move them to change values from 0 to 127 - for ppl who felt the older ones were too short, here ya go. quality of all faders seems to be almost similar - not like in a pcr-m i have used where a few were moving very easily while others had more "resistance" to it. but thats a question of quality control - which seems to have been good in my pcr800 here. plus its 9 faders now, it was 8 on the pcr-m.
crossfader: moves really easily, lika in a real mixer-crossfader, and of course much easier than the faders on the pcr 800. but for me i cant find a real use for that yet - all u dj's might love it.
pads: hmm, velocity sensitive, yes. but in my opinion way too "unsensitive" - as unsensitive as these damn pads on the novation remote sl-series. (dont get me wrong - apart from the pads and the price the novation sl's are wonderful). have to hit em pretty hard in order to get sounds out of them - am not sure if they are round or square sensors - meaning i still have to try how well they react when u dont hit'em in the center but on the corners. best pads around in my opinion: korg - e.g. on the oasys system - these pads are just perfecty sensitive i think. havent tried the Korg PadControl - but that should be the best pads around.
"dynamic mapping": well, thats a feature which isnt discribed even in the manual of the keyboard. the only software i know supporting this is sonar (le) which is bundled with the keyboard but i havent tried it yet. as i understand it "dynamic mapping" should be like novation's automap - which would be wonderfull - but hey this is still beta i guess, even in the manual the day cubase and some plugins support "dynamic mapping" it should be a nice feature - like in edirols's advertisments.
aftertouch: yes, one channel aftertouch. edirol says its improved. i dont now what is improved, but i am not a big aftertouch user
all ports on the left side of the keyboard: crap. not necessary in my opinion, but it depends on where u place your keyboard(s).
Summary: good quality hardware, would buy it again. or maybe buy some korg hardware (oasys) for the worlds best drumpads
Lemme know if i forgot anything or you wanna know more.
P.S: And dont forget to update your driver and editor for the complete pcr-series to 2.0 - which is out on the new cd's coming with the pcr300/500/800 or as a download for e.g. pcr-30 at roland.com. and if you know what is new in those drivers lemme know