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The VS 880EX is an extremely powerful Digital Studio. The basics are fairly straightforward, recording multiple tracks, adding effects, mixing etc. Where it comes unstuck for me is the complexity of the other functions and the the jargon that's used throughout the manuals. My first recommendation is that unless you really understand studio recording techniques and jargon avoid the VS 880EX. If you are an amateur (like me) then something simpler would be a better place to start. If like me you can't resist the buttons then get a hold of the video, available from Roland. It was out of stock the last time I looked but it is much better than the manuals. On the product itself, the basics are dead straightforward, the inputs are comprehensive, and the instructions straightforward. There are digital inputs if you want to record something to play along with, which I find extremely useful. Applying effects is very straightforward and some of the guitar ones are excellent, I'm particularly fond of the 'Jet Lead' effect, although there are probably 200 to choose from, which can be applied pre- and post fader. At a very simple level you could always use the VS880-EX as an expensive effects processor! The small screen however is complicated and difficult to understand. The manuals are mostly helpful although the following quote stretches my understanding: "Signals assigned to the effect bus are sent to the effect to apply effects added to them" Huh? I playback the VS880 via a hi-fi amp and speakers, which works just fine for me. In summary, the VS 880-EX has an incredible range of capabilities but unless you really understand how studios work you may end up like me and only be using a tiny fraction of it's capabilities. If you're in the same situation as me then I suggest you buy something a little less powerful.