Roland VS-840: Upgrade to EX

I received my VS-840 multitrack recorder a few weeks ago and it’s a nice little machine. I am getting started with recording and this will be the heart of my setup. Despite not having anything the plug into it yet I’ve already gotten used to some of its features. However, the total time I can record on a Zip 100 disk on medium-high quality is 49 minutes between all tracks. That means for a simple stereo 2 track recording I can only record about 25 minutes at a time. That doesn’t sound too good because I plan on using this to record long concerts sometimes.

To remedy this, I’m going to add a hard drive to the VS-840. But before I can do that, I had to upgrade the firmware to that of the VS-840’s replacement: the VS-840 EX. The difference between the two is a larger Zip 250 drive and newer firmware with more features. Although Roland offered an expensive upgrade kit for upgrading VS-840 to an EX, the secret is that the EX firmware can typicially be applied to most plain 840s. Luckily, my 840 took the firmware upgrade without an issue and I now have a VS-840 EX sans the bigger Zip drive. The smaller Zip drive is okay though, because now with the new firmware I can install a hard disk. If you’re interested in how I did it, check out my success story on the VS Planet forums.

Now I have to save up for some good microphones and I’ll be set for recording!