Players have individual hands-on control of their personal mix, plus access to reverb and Roland COSM effects for guitar, bass, and vocals. Bands can also capture stereo recordings directly to a USB thumb drive (WAV - 44.1 kHz ,16 bits), or connect the HS-5 to a computer via a USB cable and record each channel to individual tracks in a DAW. Additionally, each musician’s personalized settings can be saved for instant recall, providing quick setup for future rehearsals and recording sessions.
Roland understands musicians and appeals to musicians and the concept of the HS-5 is one of those “why didn’t anyone think of that before” things. To be fair the concept and design of the HS-5 is familiar to a similar solution from Jamhub available on the market for some time. If there is a brand that could actually turn this concept into something popular, that brand is undoubtedly Roland. The fact that they already added a USB interface and internal effects to the concept is a good sign of that.
We don’t doubt that Roland understands the technical issues in question on the HS-5 and its range of professional digital V-Mixers are a good statement to that, so we can expect a performer-friendly digital mixer and high-quality sound. The new Roland HS-5 session mixer uses internal digital processing at 44.1-kHz sampling frequency, with 24-bit AD/DA conversion and there’s proper headphone distribution preamps, enabling correct impedance.
The HS-5 allows every musician in a group to set up his or her own independent monitor mix using the Mix A thru Mix D switches located in the center of the unit. Once an overall mix has been decided, musicians can use the My Mix knob to adjust the volume of his or her own mic or instrument. The musician can also independently add ambience with the channel’s Reverb knob. Current settings are clearly displayed with LEDs encircling the knobs, making it easy to check the status while playing. For larger groups, another HS-5 can be connected in tandem to accommodate up to eight musicians.
The HS-5 provides access to guitar and bass amp modeling on four independent channels. This means that players can connect their electric guitar or bass directly into the HS-5 and jam with the same sound and feel as playing through an amp. Vocalists can also experience enhanced, studio-quality sound via the built-in compressor for each mic input. With the intuitive panel controls, HS-5 users can quickly adjust EQ and pan settings and dial in just the right amount of amount of guitar distortion or vocal compression.
Since timing is essential for rehearsal and recording, one of the key features on the Roland HS-5 is a built-in metronome with tap-tempo function. Also, the HS-5’s snapshot function enables users to save all the unit’s current settings to a USB thumb drive so another rehearsing session can resume with the exact same sound and configuration.