Roland is launching a follow-up to its successful VR-5 sound and vision mixer, showing the smaller VR-3 at the broadcast engineering tradeshow Inter Bee 2011. The VR-3 is geared towards live streaming, with Roland calling it the first mixer of its kind to include the USB Audio/Video standard. This allows it to send its output direct to services such as Ustream, Livestream, and Stickam, meaning that your next broadcast should be far simpler to set up. To prove its portability and flexibility, Japanese firm Kiban International mounted the unit into the back of a modified Honda Gyro, pairing it with a MacBook Air and GoPro HD Hero camera to create "the world's smallest outside broadcast vehicle".
The VR-3 offers touchscreen controls for your video sources, so you won't need an external display. You've also got a range of effects to choose from — we were pleased to see that 'Wipe' still hasn't died — along with hardware buttons to select the source if you'd rather not use the touchscreen. On the audio side, Roland has made the mixer far more intuitive than the VR-5, with a volume fader and physical dials for Gain, EQ and Pan. The VR-3 gives you a range of connectivity options alongside the USB output, with 4 composite video inputs paired with one VGA to allow you to show a computer output, and four XLR/TRS phantom-powered sockets and a pair of stereo inputs (one stereo mini and one RCA) for audio connection. The mixer's set to retail for ¥160,000 (about $2000), and will be released in Japan in December.