Videomixer Advice: WJ AVE-5 or Roland Edirol?

I am going through the process of expanding my system with modules and a new case and power supply. You can see the modules I own here. I still have to move part of the budget for the module and power supply cases.

So far, I have used the system mostly on a live performance scenario, using a mix of synthesized elements and camera input processing. Studio-wise I like to explore video feedback and I want to have more versatility.

Regarding camera input, I only have the Visual Cortex, therefore, only one input. I bought a Panasonic WJ-AVE5 to properly add more inputs with wipe and mixing capabilities, managing that outside of the modules. Unfortunately, I was sold a malfunctioning unit and I am now looking for an alternative.

In the future I would like to introduce some glitch/circuit bent aesthetics for some of the projects, the TBC in these is something I look for. I also enjoy the ability to do internal feedback, no-input style.


Right now there are a few units selling for a lower than average price close by and I’m wondering if someone with more experience with these units can advice me on this.

The listings:


Some personal considerations.

Panasonic WJ-AVE5
There is no menu on this unit, as everything is on the faceplate, I enjoy this, performance-wise. The unit comes with the titler and has a moveable picture in picture, which can lead to some fun explorations. It also is the cheapest of the options.
It is limited to two inputs, plus one other called external camera. These would easilly be maxed out by filming a band and doing either external or internal feedback. It also has no effects. These units supposedly handle well glitch modifications and inputs, which is a plus.

In the eventuality of me being able to repair the other unit I would have two of these, moderatelly solving the input limitation.

Roland Edirol
Regarding the V-4 and V-8, these offer a few more capabilities out of the box, with effects and all. I have had less success finding videos exploring these effects, especially on the V-8. I’m particularly interested in the capabilities of creating a mirrored effect, which would be nice for a psychedelic kaleidoscopic style exploration. The V-8 has RGB input, which is great for computer input, saving me the usage of the Intensity Shuttle for recording. 8 Inputs also enables great diversity, allowing me to do the internal and external feedback along with a multiple camera input.
The V-8 is the most expensive scenario, and the unit above appears to be cosmetically worn out. The TBC on these appears to be worse than average as pointed out here, which can be something that is troublesome as I’m going to probably get the new eurorack version of the AVEMOD.


What do you think?

Are the built-in effects of the Roland units worth it?
Is the feedback effect of the V-8 a good one? What about the no-input feedback style?

Would I be better by getting the cheaper option, trying to fix the malfunctioning panasonic, and eventually adding more modules to deal with extra inputs?

I have also pondered on having a Raspberry Pi as a feedback processor and that would substitute the effect on the Roland units, and be cheaper and eventually more versatile. No obvious solution for the mirroring effects though.


Thank you all for your time, and I’m sorry for the long post. I deeply appreciate any feedback and sharing of experiences.

i have a WJ-AVE5. and BPMC modded V-8.

i don’t use the WJ since it’s not really working.
it’s a unique device but it is rather limited.

the V-8 is crazy amazing and i have sequenced the inputs on it as well as MIDI controlled the effects.
(i relied on it heavily when i made my 100th broadcast on YouTube)

however…
my daily go to is the Roland VR-3EX.
it’s a swiss army knife of a video mixer with MIDI control.

but if you really think you are going to use 8 inputs frequently then i would look into the V-8.

I love the V8 a lot, superb FX, lots of inputs, and it even has a built in scan converter for VGA, which by consequences make it very easy to get HDMI into it (just need a $20 HDMI to VGA adapter). I really liked the feedback on the V8, it was a bit less chaotic and colorful in its flowy waves of recursions compared to the V4, but the V8 has feedback and trail FX which can really take that up a notch.

If you plan on doing a lot of no-input feedback then the AVE5 might be a better choice in that regard only, but it doesn’t have nearly the plethora of features as the V8. It does have FX, by the way, just a limited set (of useful ones). The AVE5 is known for having a good TBC as you said which will be useful if you’re doing any glitch video.

Ultimately they’re totally different flavors, and one has a lot more features. If I really had to choose, I’d go with the V8 because it does so much more. Another consideration is that to really take advantage of the V8 you need a spare monitor for the menus.

In the long run, great to have both a Roland and a Panasonic mixer in one’s set up. Each have their own strengths.

As Genlok said, feedback effect on the V8 is surprisingly good — though not nearly as crazy as normal video feedback techniques (the only example I have recorded using just that is here, with some nice, dreamy pastel blooms, but there are at least a couple different settings/flavors of feedback you can choose from). Having input loop-thru is super handy for easy monitoring during live performances.

Don’t have an AVE5, but I do have an MX-12 as well as a 10, which both have similar features. The one thing I’d miss from those that the AVE5 doesn’t seem to have is both an upper and lower limit on the superimpose (luma key) effect, FWIW. Oh, and the 12 adds a nice color shift function as well. But, yeah, those are all feedback monsters, with the positioner joystick and fade control section.

Certainly not a budget-conscious choice, but BPMC does a really nice modded AVE5. One day, when I’m feeling extremely flush with cash, hope to pick up one of those.

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One other thing to note: assuming it works the same as the MX10/12, the External Camera input on the AVE5 doesn’t go thru a TBC. So it will need to be a synced source.

This great feedback all of you, thank you very much. I will try and talk to the V-8 seller to see if he can supply working footage and then make the decision.

In the meantime I talked to the WJ-AVE5 seller asking if he could lower the price to 100€ as I had concluded that spending less money right now was the proper decision to make. He agreed and I went to get it. I’m getting very similar issues to the other unit I have and I am now wondering if I am the one making a mistake.

Debugged as follows:
• pass-through of the bnc signal yields a perfect input-output signal (not using the mixer functionalities);
• inputting s-video, composite bnc, or composite rca (with adapter) all have similar distortions;
• preview out and record out look the same.

Is there any special cable that should be used? Or something that should have some sort of connection even if it has no input?

I regret a lot not having waited on this decision, with the added worry that I’ll be away from the gear the entire week, not knowing if the seller will take it back.

What are your video sources? Are you using any converters?

Was bored last night, so made a video exploring some more possibilities with the V8 feedback (and “afterimage” frame buffer) effects. It’s just one long roll, and thus a bit of a slog. But some nice moments in there, I think:

Wish I had an idea of why your AVE5s are glitching out so much, but sadly I do not.

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I use both but if I had to choose one for live I’d go with the V4/V8 as it has more inputs, input preview, keying, effects (with a rotary encoder), powerful midi… It works well as the end of chain switcher.
The Panasonics are great feedback machines and I treat them more as standalone instruments/video processors video switcher.
Regarding TBC, I’ve never had issues with the V4, whereas the Panasonics have a very hard time with signals from cheap hdmi to analog converters (including the Kanex Pro), I’ve had to use seperate TBC from a DVD-R Recorder to get color.

@sean thank you very much for going all the way as providing a video of the effects working. I think it will be useful for other people as well. I think it looks preety nice!

@Genlok, sources were: Sony MiniDV camera (composite), CCTV Camera (composite), DVD player (composite and S-Video). Tried BNC, BNC adapted to RCA, and S-Video. All had issues. Fortunately the seller is cooperating and will retrieve the unit to test with his gear once more. But as it isn’t working with my gear anyway I foresee no use for it.

@Vdot I had, while experimenting with the Panasonic, arrived to the conclusion that it would probably be more on the effect/instrument side than the mixer/switcher functionalities. Thanks for your feedback on the converter situation!


Meanwhile I am waiting for a reply from the V8 seller to see if the unit is working properly. I’m thinking about getting it, if I can test it and if I’m able to give back the Panasonic.

In the meantime I also pondered on what the LZX modules/instruments compromise would be to achieve more inputs and some processing but that would ultimately lead to a much larger investment. Different approaches I guess. The new instruments seem to be closer to the Roland’s versatility.

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No problem. Easy enough to play around for a few minutes and edit together a couple captures.

Did a little more last night, since I still had my camera pointed at thee olde V8. The effects have a slightly different feel when used on the repeating, softer patterns of these LZX patches than with film footage:

Probably should’ve tried a hard-edged, Castle-y patch as well,… But maybe that’s part 3? (EDIT: Yeah, I did that too. Watch it here.)

EDIT 2: Aaaaand going even more overboard also made a part 4, wherein I add more effects to show a broader range of possibilities:

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Very helpful information from all and good timing as I just purchased an Edirol V4 from eBay last night. I’ll definitely be studying those videos from @sean of the V-8. Is there any major functional difference between V4 and V8? I’m about to start reading through the manuals, but just wondering.

I’m using a few LZX modules and a Structure. I’ve got a Sony handycam. I’ve been sending LZX into Structure or Structure into LZX. I am hoping to be able to be able to mix the outputs into the V4 instead of using composite cables back and forth between the Cortex and Stucture.

The V4 has fewer inputs and effects than the V8, but they are pretty similar otherwise. Aside from that, the V8 has slightly better quality all around, including the video detail, but the V4 has a more chaotic kind of internal feedback.

Of the Ave series Ive always thought the Ave7 had the best feature set w/o Jumping all the way up to the MX50. Were partial to the V4ex bc of its usb out, compression and scaling abilities.

I use a Panasonic WJ-AVE5 and (since a few weeks) a Roland Edirol V8.

  • faders/buttons responsivity while performing: V8 much better than WJ-AVE5
  • time-based correction: WJ-AVE5 almost perfect, V8 often can’t keep up with glitched signal
  • effects: WJ-AVE5 mediocre, V8 has some good ones
  • inputs/outputs: WJ-AVE5 has 2 monitor outputs and a couple of assignable aux outputs, which is relatively good for a 2-inputs mixer. V8 is much, much more versatile, even compared to the Edirol V4
  • I’ve seen WJ-AVE5 selling at ~150€, V8 at ~350€

Hi,
I’m wondering if edirol v4 or v8 have decent input and ouput to input a chromagnon and other system ?
Would like to know if the edirols would accept nicely the 1080p 60hz without loosing quality

Check here the official specs.

From the official specs I deduce that the video will be either PAL or NTSC resolutions and interlaced framerates (60Hz and 50Hz) when using the BNC and S-Video connectors. While the PC-RGB inputs can handle up to 1600 x 1200/60 Hz.

Maybe you should look for a model that is a bit more recent. The final outputs of the V-8 are also PAL or NTSC.

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No. Edirol V4 and V8 reach at most 576p. They have BNC or S-video outputs. The V8 has VGA inputs that “accept” higher resolutions but the signal then gets downsampled. Roland proudly says of the V8 “The internal processing of the V-8 is 4:2:2 full-frame digital. More than 500 lines of video resolution” :slight_smile:

Also see https://rolandus.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206897373-V-8-Can-the-V-8-output-a-video-signal-ratio-16-9-SD-

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