Sound Modules On Tour & In The Studio

Interview with Eugene “Man Man” Roberts


Eugene “Man Man” Robert’s rig for John Legend’s “Made to Love” tour.

We caught up with musical director Eugene Roberts (John Legend, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Lion) during a rare hiatus from the studio and the road. Eugene just added an INTEGRA-7 sound module to his rig, and we asked him why sound modules are still relevant to today’s musician.

Axial: Roland Sound Libraries

Dan: What Roland sound modules have you used in the past?

Eugene: The Roland JV-1010, the 2080, 3080, 5080, V-Synth XT, the Fantom-XR, and I’ve used the VP-7.

Dan: Are you currently using any Roland sound modules live or in the studio?

Eugene: I use the 3080 with the ’60s and ’70s SRX card, along with the Orchestral card. I also use the Fantom-XR with the SRX 12 and SRX 11 cards.

Dan: Why are sound modules still relevant?

Eugene: Having that polyphony to make the song bigger and the fact that you can assign different MIDI channels to different MIDI hardware. Plus, you’ll always have those sounds with you if you need to fly somewhere or fly to the studio. And modules usually are more stable than the actual soft synth.

integra-7 sound module

INTEGRA-7 Sound Module in a studio setup.

Dan: Is there any difference between how you use sound modules in the studio versus live?

Eugene: In the studio, they change based on whom you are recording with and the gear. Some people like to record old-school still, with an MPC where the MIDI can trigger another device.

But I mainly use modules the same live as in the studio, because I like to be able to recreate both sounds vice a versa.

Dan: What features should a modern sound module have today?

Eugene: A modern sound module should be able to interface with different keyboards; you should be able to connect without so much internal programming in the module. (Editor’s Note: See the A-88, RD-64 and A-49 MIDI Controllers.)

Dan: How does our newest module, the INTEGRA-7, help you?

Eugene: Right now I am downsizing my rig, but I still like to have big layered sounds by splitting the MIDI signals on one keyboard. I am also a big fan of multiple outs which the INTEGRA has. The INTEGRA-7 gives me more control of more layers and outputs, in addition to internal EQs and effects. Also, I’m doing more spot dates, so the rack lets me fly with it and lets me leave the others in the studio. I still use my Fantom-XR and my 3080. So, the INTEGRA-7 is the most current module to replace those older two modules on the road.

INTEGRA-7 Sound Module Overview