Roland VR09 Review

Roland VR09 Review
Overall Customer Rating4.334.334.334.334.33
Roland VR09 has an average rating of 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 user reviews.
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I am going to talk about the Roland E09 keyboard. The VR09 is a keyboard that is built on the very popular and successful series of Roland keyboards.

The look and feel of this keyboard including the sound patches really hints at the fact that this keyboard looks like a professional keyboard arranger. But its low price might be a tad on the low end which would make you think that it is cheap in construction. Nothing could be further from the truth when I tested this keyboard out.

Built From the Bottom Up

The E09 has been rebuilt from the bottom up and no longer resembles the baseline E. series keyboards. Essentially the E09 sound bank comes complete with wholly different sounds and musical styles featuring styles from Western, Middle East, and Asian countries. The new sounds are completely compliant with GM2 standards.

For an arranger keyboard and a little bit surprised at this keyboards features only 64 notes of polyphony. Because this keyboard is meant to be used to compose and arrange music and particularly to create complete orchestrations, polyphony.

I liked what I saw with respect to the effects section which features 47 different effects including eight different types of reverb and a types of chorus.

Some of the standard controls on the VR09 include the ability to transpose 12 semitones up-and-down.

16 Track Midi Sequencer for All Your Creative Composing Needs

A 16 track MIDI sequencer with start/stop, Phil, variation, ending, and tap tempo round out the controls for the sequencer.

One of the features that I liked on the Roland VR09 is the 130 preset interactive styles which come with Asian, Middle East and Western instruments. So you can use the presets to add rich and full arrangements to your performance.

Storage capacity on the VR09 consists of 32 MB to store your WAV files.

The Good

The keyboard is feature rich for the price.

The Bad

For an arranger keyboard, the VR09 should come with 128 notes of polyphony instead of the 64 notes that it comes with.

Click here to see reviews and prices for the Roland VR09 on


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  1. Ken Enos  - December 4, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    I bought the E09 last December, and am very happy with it. The piano sounds are great, and the organ sounds are not bad at all. I have been taking lessons weekly,and progressing a lot. I will have to move up to a 88 keyboard down the road. Not sure which one yet, it is like startign all over. I think you will enjoy the E09.

  2. Harry Ebbeson III  - May 18, 2012 - 8:39 pm

    I have owned the E-09 for about 6 years now and the model had been out for two years when I bought mine. I use mine every single day in my business and it has not failed me at all. I have had to replace the fill button many times, but that took a call to Roland to order a bag of them and I put them in myself. I have also ordered about 4 different power supplies for it so I always have one on hand. I play at nursing homes for a living and it has paid for itself many times over. It is lightweight, sounds good and has a life to it that others do not have, even the more expensive ones. I also own a Korg PA500 and will probably never use it for the nursing home stuff because there is too much to select from on it to make it useful on the fly like the Roland. I also bought another E-09 and it has permanent residence in my setup at church where I lead the congregation in song.
    The sequencer part is very disappointing because you can only store one song at a time, but I do not use it for that. It has memory locations for 99 presets and I use quite a few of them for the different types of songs I play at the homes. In most cases, the on-board speakers work just fine and there is plenty of output for all to hear. On the bigger jobs, I have an external amp and use the on-board speakers for my own monitoring. It has been an invaluable tool for me musically. While I like the sounds of the Tyros 4 and my Korg, the Roland gets the nod when I play at the homes or when I practice or do small gigs with the different bands I am in. It simply works and does what it is supposed to do and does it very well.
    I know that the soundset may be dated (I think that it is the same soundset used in the RS series of synths…but if a sound is good it is good.
    As far as the pianos go, I exclusively use the main Stereo Piano patch (St. Piano 1) and layer it with strings (St. Strings). I also use the other board sounds depending on the songs I am playing. I stay away from the distorted guitar patch because it is not good at all. It is a keyboard, not a guitar… I do use the jazz guitar and the steel guitar quite a lot though and they work very well. I also use the main sax patch and layer it with a flute for certain songs.
    In my experience, it shines for big band, waltz and other jazz stuff. This is mainly what I use it for at the homes and there is a life to it that I cannot get on the others and I have tried many of them. When playing at church, the contemporary styles also work very well. I do not use the ethnic stuff at all so these are a waste for me.
    From a price/features standpoint, it really shines. It is an arranger that works well.
    Any cons? For me, the electric guitar stuff is not realistic at all. It also has a weird way to set up MIDI and I have had to change my entire MIDI channel setup when I used it with my band. It also does not allow for split/layer at the same time..would be fun to have a piano/string layer split with a bass and just use a drum kit for the rhythm at times. I also think that the buttons could have been a little more heavy duty, as I have referenced that I have had to replace the fill button many times. While I am more technical than most, this could mean many trips to the shop for those less likely to take apart their own keyboard.
    In summation, this keyboard has certainly paid its dues with me and has been a lifesaver and the mainstay of my work. It has performed flawlessly in the 6 years that I have owned it and I am grateful for such a sturdy instrument. With taking it out of my trunk at least 4 times a day and being transported to jobs and hooking/unhooking everything all the time, it holds its own. It is lightweight (around 15 pounds or so) and has a solid feel to it. I know that some have commented on the keys being too short, but I do not care. I am classically trained but I think that it has made me versatile enough to compensate. I do not care about having the right feel because it works for what I do. I have two very nice weighted digital pianos that I use for that stuff.
    This is a bread an butter instrument that does exactly what it is supposed to do. In this day and age where we try to make one thing do absolutely everything (and pay for it with the price/weight/complexity….), having a dedicated arranger is a nice change, especially when it works so well. I would say that I am VERY experienced with this board and have utilized every part of it and I still am impressed (even though I have many more boards in my collection that sound better or do more but again….hence the need for a dedicated arranger…)

    Harry Ebbeson III

  3. Rjy  - June 20, 2015 - 10:36 am

    I bought a Roland E-09 at the end of 2009 and have played on it almost every day since when I bought it I was looking for a keyboard with speakers built in but at the same time that had quality sounds and features which I found in this keyboard the built in speakers have never failed me from the highest highs that pierce your ears to the lowest lows that shake the frame of the keyboard itself at the time when I was looking I knew that I was in love with Roland keyboards but most of them had a price tag of close to if not over a thousand dollars and none of them had speakers which meant to buy them would have meant to buy a keyboard amp as well but as I was looking at Roland’s site I saw the E-09 which was more or less the cheapest keyboard they had and it had speakers I was a little unsure of the quality since most keyboards with speakers were more suited for playing at home or for fun so I ordered one and when it got to my house I was at first skeptical but as I played it and learned to use it I knew I had made the right choice in a keyboard my favorite feature by far is the simplicity of arranging the user effects and their parameters I have over 40 quality pre sets that range from strings that sound like an actual orchestra to electronica sounds that add ambience to almost any style of music my only regret when buying this keyboard was not buying it from one of the guitar centers who were selling them brand new for half the price meaning I could have bought two for the price of one. Overall if you are looking for a keyboard equally suited for recording, practicing, or playing live for a cheap price look no further I write all of my songs on this keyboard and I also own a Korg M50 keyboard however I play on my Roland E-09 more frequently because of the simplicity and great sound. I will say that I wish it had the ability to use layer and split at the same time however I have found that for most things I play layering fills so well that split at the same time isn’t necessary, also the keys are un-weighted and are shorter than actual piano keys however I find that I can play faster and play more complicated parts easier because of the keys being the way they are. Roland in my opinion does quality even in their lowest priced keyboards so don’t pass this keyboard up simply because of the price or the fact it has speakers since like I said before these speakers can handle anything I play through them which also makes them a great monitor for live playing. Roland E-09 = quality for low price.

  4. lawrence gaiwkad  - October 26, 2015 - 11:12 pm

    can we attach pen drive to keyboard.

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