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Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

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Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:31 pm

I'm currently working with someone who is using a Roland VS-2480 as his main recording system.

I need to get the raw 24-bit data for each song out of this machine, but the user has so far sent me three CDs and all of them seem to be completely blank from my computers' perspective. It seems pretty certain that the Roland is using some sort of proprietary format that remains obscure to a PC.

I don't know how the data save to CD is being done, but maybe there is a simple way to get the data I need - and I can pass on to him to achieve the desired result.

Can anyone please advise?
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby desmond » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:24 pm

I don't have a VS, but I do have an old Akai DPS12 hd recorder from a similar period which worked in a similar way - you could backup projects to CDR but in a proprietry disk format, or you could backup digitally to DAT (where at least the audio data was easily accessible without the DPS, as a worst case.)

In the case of the DPS12, there was a program that could read the proprietry format and spit out audio files, but you had to image the CD to a disk image first using one of the disk ripping/imaging tools around.

It may be there are some kind of similar utilities for the Roland VS format disks, if you absolutely *have* to get into the project backups.

This is probably tedious though - is there no way you can ask him to export the raw tracks as audio files (which should be possible from the machine itself) to a data or audio CD (obviously that would be limited to 16-bit). Sending a proprietry hardware backup format to a recording engineer and expecting them to sort it out is not really that helpful... :headbang:

So, I'd suggest to have a google around whether you can read VS backups on a PC, and see what that turns up...

Edit: There you go:
https://www.roland.com/us/support/knowl ... 217876943/
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:38 pm

How very short sighted of them "Roland did not create software to convert CD backups" :headbang:

But, TBF, Roland are very good at archiving old software, firmware and docs :thumbup:
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:39 pm

P356 of the manual https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/VS-2480CD_OM.pdf
has a section on exporting tracks as WAV files...

I suspect your client is simply giving you 'export' files which are proprietary and are designed for transferring songs/project to other Roland machines.

So looks like it can be done...
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Dave B » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:11 pm

The Elf wrote:I need to get the raw 24-bit data for each song

One thing to remember is that Roland don't use linear PCM as standard as their file format. They have a compressed (data reduction, not lossy encoding) file format which, iirc, is proprietary. Presumably this is why they can export as straight WAVs... But it does mean that if the unit borks, you can't just dive into the hard drive...
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:38 am

Mike Stranks wrote:P356 of the manual https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/VS-2480CD_OM.pdf
has a section on exporting tracks as WAV files...

I suspect your client is simply giving you 'export' files which are proprietary and are designed for transferring songs/project to other Roland machines.

So looks like it can be done...

I used a VS2480 for some years and before I sold it I exported a number of tracks as WAV files using the process described in the manual (on pages 356-358) that Mike referenced.

I had no problem reading those WAV files straight into Logic Pro.

Maybe they used the "Export project" feature (page 109 of the manual) which is intended for transferring projects between VS models as opposed to exporting tracks individually?
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby desmond » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:58 am

Well, it looks to me that they are most likely project backup CDs - the entire project, backed up to CD, as noted in the Roland article I linked to above, in exactly the same way as the Akai ones do. If they were audio, or WAVs to regular data CD's, the CD's would be readable by Elf's computer.

That utility will let you rip the CDs, then extract the audio from those backup projects to straight audio files.
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby The Elf » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:25 am

Thanks to all of you! :clap:

I'll try that utility, but I will also go back to the owner and highlight that part of the manual.

Looks like we have a way forward! :thumbup:
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Mike Senior » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:43 am

The Elf wrote:Thanks to all of you! :clap:

I'll try that utility, but I will also go back to the owner and highlight that part of the manual.

Looks like we have a way forward! :thumbup:

If you're still having trouble with this, Elf, I can extract WAVs from VS CD backups. I've used a VS for years, and have third-party utilities for extracting WAVs from VS-format backups. (I also have the PCI for exporting and backing up VS projects over SCSI if that's of any use.)
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby The Elf » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:41 am

I tried Roland's conversion utility and, with a bit of fiddling, I managed to get it working.

I needed to go back to my 'safety' Windows XP laptop in order for the software to install (I'm so glad I kept this thing around - it's saved my bacon a few times!), but once I got it running it was pretty much plain sailing. Win 10 was having none of it.

To get it installed and working it required the manual addition of a system file and a command to register the file in the Windows Registry. I created a '.cmd' file to make this easier in future, should the need arise. It's all mentioned in Roland's notes.

It ain't pretty, but it definitely works.

Thanks everyone! :thumbup:
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:39 am

Glad you got the result in the end - thanks for the update :) Also, at least you can point someone in the right direction if you need to import from a VS in future! :thumbup:
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Re: Extracting data from a Roland VS-2480

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:33 am

The Elf wrote:I needed to go back to my 'safety' Windows XP laptop in order for the software to install (I'm so glad I kept this thing around - it's saved my bacon a few times!)

Snap! :)

Glad you got it sorted out!
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