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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: stoken6] #3007493 09/10/19 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by stoken6
Me then it feels like an EDM tool, rather than a covers band gigging tool. I'll give it points for the V-Piano capabilities, but that doesn't make it a winner (yet) in my book.

And yet the USB capabilities, the pads, the 9 faders, have so much potential...

Cheers, Mike.


I have said similar. If I was doing covers or a 70's/80's tribute thing, I couldn't cost justify this
$4000 keyboard - that has a lot of depth in other areas.

If we look at Rolands marketing spiel, as per the Roland studio performers,
they are not shouting out oldies and covers with Fantom.

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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007497 09/10/19 08:17 PM
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To me it feels like a live performance instrument. But I try to play current stuff.


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007499 09/10/19 08:39 PM
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Cover band stuff is the majority of my gigs, and my MODX and Krome suffice for most of those.

Heck, we live in amazing times; any Juno, Kross or MX will get you going for not a lot of $$$. Frankly, the Fantom seems like overkill.

That's not why I want it, though. I need an instrument that I love playing, that allows me to express myself. I'm still undecided on whether I really need a Fantom or can make do with a Jupiter X. But dammit, I want my aftertouch back.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: Synthoid] #3007508 09/10/19 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Synthoid
Prices so far:

Fantom 6 $3299

Fantom 7 $3599

Fantom 8 $3999

I can't see spending that kind of coin on a Roland synth. I don't know how many players are going to spend that much on one KB. There have been a ton of a lot less expensive KB's on the market. It looks to me that Roland has been doing some wishful thinking.

Its geared toward the electronic musician, I'm a fossil so I'm not their target customer anyway. bor


Mike T.

Last edited by MikeT156; 09/10/19 09:50 PM.

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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: MikeT156] #3007512 09/10/19 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeT156
Originally Posted by Synthoid
Prices so far:

Fantom 6 $3299

Fantom 7 $3599

Fantom 8 $3999

I can't see spending that kind of coin on a Roland synth. I don't know how many players are going to spend that much on one KB. There have been a ton of a lot less expensive KB's on the market. It looks to me that Roland has been doing some wishful thinking.

Its geared toward the electronic musician, I'm a fossil so I'm not their target customer anyway. bor

Mike T.


I suspect Roland knows what they are doing. I think Fantom is going to be an object of desire.

I try to look outside my own bubble.
Its not the working mans keyboard. I don't see them as the ' demographic '

A simple quick choice for the $$/value debate is MODX.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: GregC] #3007517 09/10/19 11:08 PM
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Greg

You're right. It's not the working man's KB. However, I did take the time to check out Daniel Fisher's Demo of the Fantom. Its the best sounding Roland anything I ever heard. Honestly. That KB covers every sound you can imagine. As usual, my first take on it without hearing it was flawed. Some thing's never change. blah

Mike T can't afford synth's in that price range is not Roland's problem. pop


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: MikeT156] #3007520 09/10/19 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeT156
Greg

You're right. It's not the working man's KB. However, I did take the time to check out Daniel Fisher's Demo of the Fantom. Its the best sounding Roland anything I ever heard. Honestly. That KB covers every sound you can imagine. As usual, my first take on it without hearing it was flawed. Some thing's never change. blah

Mike T can't afford synth's in that price range is not Roland's problem. pop




I enjoyed the Fisher video. He did a good job explaining Fantom in 5 minutes

I am totally impressed by Scott Tibbs no Talk 20 minute video. That convinced me.
And it was that sound that did it. Tibbs can make a kalimba finger piano sound awesome.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: MikeT156] #3007526 09/11/19 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeT156
Originally Posted by Synthoid
Prices so far:

Fantom 6 $3299

Fantom 7 $3599

Fantom 8 $3999

I can't see spending that kind of coin on a Roland synth. I don't know how many players are going to spend that much on one KB. There have been a ton of a lot less expensive KB's on the market. It looks to me that Roland has been doing some wishful thinking.

OTOH, it's price-competitive with Kronos, Montage, Nord Stage 3, Kurzweil Forte, Prophet X. There is a market for the high end gear. (Which, adjusted for inflation, is still cheaper than what we used to pay for many quality boards.)


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: Stephen Fortner] #3007527 09/11/19 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
The "does anyone really want a self-contained workstation anymore?" topic is well-trodden. I can say that sequencing on a workstation synth has, for at least the last ten years, felt like building a ship in a bottle compared to what I can do hooking up to a computer. If a keyboard maker could really get the interface right, they theoretically could counter-message that hooking up to a computer feels like, well, hooking up to a computer. There's already a precedent for this in the "DAWless analog and modular" culture, but for those folks, the black-and-white keyboard is not their interface of choice. Interested in the parallels for us old-school players.


Any hardware synth possessed of a DAW-comparable sequencing environment will cost a small ransom and probably hit The Defunct OS Wall all too easily. A workstation with my Logic-sized screen and a QWERTY keyboard mashed into a box with even just a 49-note keyboard would be like that infamous white elephant car designed by Homer Simpson. As an old-school player who spent many hours squinting into monochrome LCDs, I'll use my small octopus of a USB hub gratefully. "I sure miss floppy disks"... says no one. doh

I did some searching and could not locate that worthy Windows-based attempt a few years back... potent PC, keyboard and screen onboard, with enough CPU speed/memory to host several synths at once? Two keyboard lengths offered? Smart, boutique-ish design that just couldn't find its niche, rather like the Nord Modular? Someone here can probably recall it.


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007535 09/11/19 02:55 AM
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Open Labs Neko.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007566 09/11/19 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by zephonic
Open Labs Neko.


That's the one.

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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007576 09/11/19 01:06 PM
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I know the Neko well because I sort of put it on the map with my review of it in Keyboard in, IIRC, 2003. David Emm, IMHO it never found its niche because at a time when all-in-one workstations were still popular, it didn't offer keyboardists enough unbox-it-and-go functionality. It was pretty Frankenstein-like, in fact, amounting to a cool "PC case mod" that simply put a keyboard, some control surfaces, a touchscreen, and an audio interface into a single slick chassis. But initially, the user had to figure out all the programming to make all those controls work. So, keyboardists accustomed to Motifs and K2600s expected to boot up a sequencer program or DAW, hit the hardware PLAY button, and have the software's transport play. It didn't necessarily, and those musicians went, "This doesn't work." Computer-based musicians unafraid to take a PC into a live setting (a lot fewer then than now) focused on the obsolescence issues — upgrading something where all the guts are this embedded is much harder than swapping out a PC, especially when you get to one of those generational rollovers where motherboards and CPU sockets change.

These things improved over later iterations, some in response to my initial gripes in the review according to the founder. ("We're just gonna call the second edition of this thing 'Fortner's bitch list,'' he said to me, only half-jokingly.) Open Labs' savvy marketing strategy put it into the hands of players with techs who could really make it sing, such as Timbaland and Morris Hayes of Prince's band. But yeah, it never really caught on in the mainstream M.I. consciousness, perhaps because it was perceived as too expensive.

As regards things today, David, your point about squinting at small screens is well taken. Laptops (Mac and Windows) are now a lot more stable for live use, and in the studio nearly everyone is going to use a DAW. Yamaha recognized this and abandoned the onboard sequencer in first the MX series — the entry-level Motif family synth — then the Montage and MODX. They instead focused on the very tight integration with Cubase.

The Fantom's case for onboard sequencing needs to be that it is more immediate and inspiring than working with a computer. It looks like they're trying to make it hip and Ableton-like. Even so, I think that's a difficult case to make today.

Or is it? Again, there's a part of synth culture that gravitates to hardware sequencers and disses DAWs. LCD Soundsystem saw it coming: "I hear you're buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator / And are throwing your computer out the window / Because you want to make something real / You want to make a Yaz record." This is also the part of synth culture that's way into Eurorack and thinks parallel fifths means a bottle of booze in each hand (because of course the sequencer is doing the playing). With the CV and gate outs on the Fantom, Roland may be showing awareness of this and going after those folks.

Or I may be totally overthinking this. The prices are very close to Montage prices, length for length. Roland may just be going, "For the same price, we give you more stuff: V-Piano engine! Dedicated synthy knobs in addition to the expected controllers! Drum pads! Clip-based hipster sequencing if you want it! CV/gate out to interface with your modular world!"

I have to admit I'm intrigued by a company making a kitchen sink workstation in an era where most everything in synths and keyboards is moving towards specialization. Gonna have my work cut out for me when my Fantom shows up!

Last edited by Stephen Fortner; 09/11/19 01:14 PM.

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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: Stephen Fortner] #3007577 09/11/19 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
I have to admit I'm intrigued by a company making a kitchen sink workstation in an era where most everything in synths and keyboards is moving towards specialization. Gonna have my work cut out for me when my Fantom shows up!


Looking forward to that review.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: Stephen Fortner] #3007586 09/11/19 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
IOr I may be totally overthinking this. The prices are very close to Montage prices, length for length. Roland may just be going, "For the same price, we give you more stuff: V-Piano engine! Dedicated synthy knobs in addition to the expected controllers! Drum pads! Clip-based hipster sequencing if you want it! CV/gate out to interface with your modular world!"

...yes, and one of the biggest complaints I've seen people mention about Montage is that it doesn't have a real sequencer. I think recognizing that AND the move to computers, Roland covered all their bases by including the sequencer AND Logic/Mainstage integration.

I really like the dedicated synth knobs, which makes this a bit more functionally competitive with the Nord Stage 3 than the Montage is. The remaining question mark there is the organ. Scott Tibbs' video said the sliders can be used as drawbars, but that's all I've seen about that. At least all the assignable outs should make it easy to put a decent Leslie/Overdrive sim on, since I'm not optimistic that there will be one in the Fantom.

Another advantage over Montage is in its MIDI implementation. From what I can tell, as a controller, it supports 16 zones rather than 8; and as a device to be controlled, it doesn't have the unfortunate Montage limitation of not being able to freely assign parts to MIDI channels. Kind of related, its seamless switching/patch remain won't disappear as soon as you assign any sound to any channel from 9 to 16.

Remaining obvious Montage advantages include the FM synth and the ability to load keyboard-playable custom samples (your own or third parties).


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007594 09/11/19 02:49 PM
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So ...... Roland is already discussing system updates bringing some expanded functionality and file management improvements. I’m not big on beta testing synth purchases. How long until the Fantom 7 stabilizes? January or February? I won’t do anything until at least after WNAMM.


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: CEB] #3007598 09/11/19 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB
So ...... Roland is already discussing system updates bringing some expanded functionality and file management improvements. I’m not big on beta testing synth purchases. How long until the Fantom 7 stabilizes? January or February? I won’t do anything until at least after WNAMM.



Kronos had similar path. Seems to be a common practice with complex boards.

IOW, Roland/Korg needs user experience + other catch up.

I don't expect 'perfection ' out of the gate. Of course, wait until you are satisfied.

These co's have their rep on the line and are unlikely to drop the ball.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007601 09/11/19 03:17 PM
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I preordered the FA06 and Kronos2. Those worked out but the K2 doesn’t really count because the platform in general had been around a long time. The FA purchase though broke the buying rules against buying the newest thing that I usually profess.

Last edited by CEB; 09/11/19 03:18 PM.

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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007620 09/11/19 04:54 PM
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The concept of a sequencer in this day in age is an interesting one and I like where Roland is going with this. I have always felt the evolution of the sequencer needed to be powerful, sophisticated, and easy enough to make up an entire song. Karma on the Korg was cool at cadences and rhythmic passages, but could you make up a song with it and do it easily? No. The simple sequencers in the drum machines don't go far enough to allow sophisticated breaks, intros, endings, build ups, etc. So the concept Roland has taken is very much an organic evolution of a Song Makeup combined with the traditional approaches sequencers were used for. I could imagine Roland releasing a "Style Pack" with pre made song templates to load into the sequencer to get your creative juices flowing. Combine that with the ability to interface with external equipment and DAWS and you've got yourself a pretty dynamic composing tool.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007622 09/11/19 05:06 PM
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When it comes to composing and songwriting I'm pretty much 100% ITB, and yet I kind of look forward to sequencing in the new Fantom.

I fondly remember doing that on the Fantom X, or the MPC2000 even longer ago. The one thing that always stood out to me was the MIDI timing. Things just felt tighter than Cubase.

If, as I understand it, the Fantom will be able to dump 16 tracks of audio simultaneously into your DAW, I can see myself adopting a hybrid workflow, where I do most of the MIDI on the keyboard, and just mix audio in my DAW.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007623 09/11/19 05:16 PM
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Partial quote by Stephen Fortner:

"The "does anyone really want a self-contained workstation anymore?" topic is well-trodden. I can say that sequencing on a workstation synth has, for at least the last ten years, felt like building a ship in a bottle compared to what I can do hooking up to a computer."

I'm one of the Fossils that did not want to add a computer and all that goes with it for LIVE gigs. Why? Too much trouble, too much time to set up in night clubs, too much time learning yet another interface, and of course, TOO MUCH Money.

I played classic rock cover tunes for years, and the Yamaha Motif ES8 certainly met my requirements when it came out. I really didn't need more than 16 tracks for the majority of classic rock songs, The sounds were certainly good enough, the action on the KB was fine, and it worked. Learning how to use it was a headache, and the small screen was a limitation in some cases, but that synth paid for itself in 2 years or less.

If there's one thing I will say about Yamaha, their equipment is dependable. I put my songs into sets, and loaded them into the MOTIF via a USB stick. I also changed around the sounds I would use to play the songs in a set, and save them onto USB sticks too. In all the years the KB has been the center of my rig, it never failed. NEVER. It still works to this day, along with all my other Yamaha equipment, some of which is 40 years old.

The reasons I stayed with this system is that it was important for me to keep things simple. No messing around with extra cables, hooking up a computer, or learning yet another interface to play music. Worse yet, arriving at a gig and unable to get the system to work. People hired me to play and sing, not to be a technician while they are waiting to hear music. For me the KISS principal is best for playing LIVE music.


Mike T.

Last edited by MikeT156; 09/11/19 05:58 PM.

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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: kbrkr] #3007625 09/11/19 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kbrkr
The concept of a sequencer in this day in age is an interesting one and I like where Roland is going with this. I have always felt the evolution of the sequencer needed to be powerful, sophisticated, and easy enough to make up an entire song. Karma on the Korg was cool at cadences and rhythmic passages, but could you make up a song with it and do it easily? No. The simple sequencers in the drum machines don't go far enough to allow sophisticated breaks, intros, endings, build ups, etc. ol.


True, Karma will not be much help with a cover song. But I am using it to support my many originals.

I also enjoy Kronos drums. Karma adds some spice/variation on drums.

But, for the most part the drum fills, rolls , breaks, are scarce. I mostly go for simple as a result and due to time.

I am enjoying how Roland is structuring recording songs, visually. Show display of intro , verse, chorus, ending, etc etc.

As a song writer, I am warming up to Fantoms approach on performing/recording.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007631 09/11/19 06:40 PM
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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007634 09/11/19 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB
So ...... Roland is already discussing system updates bringing some expanded functionality and file management improvements. I’m not big on beta testing synth purchases. How long until the Fantom 7 stabilizes? January or February? I won’t do anything until at least after WNAMM.

It's that old thing about not buying version 1.0 of anything. There are people who like being early adopters of the latest things, and those who wait for the dust to settle. And luckily for companies like Roland, both groups buy. At a certain point, something is considered good enough to be useful and sufficiently stable/reliable that it is shippable and can start bringing in revenue. There's nothing wrong with buying it... and there's nothing wrong with choosing to wait. ;-)

Originally Posted by kbrkr
The simple sequencers in the drum machines don't go far enough to allow sophisticated breaks, intros, endings, build ups, etc. So the concept Roland has taken is very much an organic evolution of a Song Makeup combined with the traditional approaches sequencers were used for. I could imagine Roland releasing a "Style Pack" with pre made song templates to load into the sequencer

You're kind of describing arrangers, except I guess arrangers are for "real time" use (hit the button when you want the ending) and here you'd build a saved sequence of all the parts? Though I think arrangers can do that as well. One of these days, I have to spend some time on that stuff!

PIcking up on something in an earlier post, according to what I saw elsewhere, it has the entire AX-Edge soundset. Whether it actually has the Integra GM2 set as mentioned earlier is not clear... maybe there's some relationship between that and the AX-Edge, I don't know...


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: GregC] #3007642 09/11/19 08:13 PM
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Greg:

I never got into some of the synths that Roland made over the years, especially some of the synths that were geared towards "kids" making eleictronic music in their bedrooms. You know the drill, flashing color lights, but not much else.

Roland had some flagship synths in the higher price range, but I never knew of a Music dealer within driving distance that carried Roland and Serviced them, so I never bought one. I Always loved their drum machines, and I still have an R70. Great little machine, love the sounds.

I went to Sweetwater's page and watched a demo on how to program their Sequencer. Its a 16 tracks sequencer, the layout of the drum machine on the right side of the KB reminds me of Boss Drum Machines. Great sound, EASY to work with. The User Interface is a step up in terms of ability to try different sounds and switch them around and COMPARE them to the original sound. The color screen is just the right size and the layout looks good. 3500 sounds, 256 voices, V-Piano unlimited. Hmm. XLR connectors on the back! Lots of USB options. No stupid flashing lights for the kiddies on this machine. Its serious stuff!

As others have said, Roland threw everything including the Kitchen Sink in with this creation. The price appears to be justified, considering the capabilities. The fact that it is "computer ready" is an added bonus. A player could record a basic idea on the Fantom, then interface it with the software on a computer.

It is certainly a "Flagship". Cheers to Roland for making an all-in-one workstation again!


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: ElmerJFudd] #3007648 09/11/19 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
The video above


Holy cow!!! Just saw the part about DAW connectivity. They worked with Apple, and not only does it give you the now usual compatibility with Logic and Garage band, but with Mainstage as well.

The Mainstage Perform screen showed up on the Fantom screen and he was changing all the Mainstage things from the Fantom. That is huge!!

Dang it. It truly has become the keyboard I've wanted.


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Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: MikeT156] #3007651 09/11/19 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeT156
Greg:

I never got into some of the synths that Roland made over the years, especially some of the synths that were geared towards "kids" making eleictronic music in their bedrooms. You know the drill, flashing color lights, but not much else.

Roland had some flagship synths in the higher price range, but I never knew of a Music dealer within driving distance that carried Roland and Serviced them, so I never bought one. I Always loved their drum machines, and I still have an R70. Great little machine, love the sounds.

I went to Sweetwater's page and watched a demo on how to program their Sequencer. Its a 16 tracks sequencer, the layout of the drum machine on the right side of the KB reminds me of Boss Drum Machines. Great sound, EASY to work with. The User Interface is a step up in terms of ability to try different sounds and switch them around and COMPARE them to the original sound. The color screen is just the right size and the layout looks good. 3500 sounds, 256 voices, V-Piano unlimited. Hmm. XLR connectors on the back! Lots of USB options. No stupid flashing lights for the kiddies on this machine. Its serious stuff!

As others have said, Roland threw everything including the Kitchen Sink in with this creation. The price appears to be justified, considering the capabilities. The fact that it is "computer ready" is an added bonus. A player could record a basic idea on the Fantom, then interface it with the software on a computer.

It is certainly a "Flagship". Cheers to Roland for making an all-in-one workstation again!


Hey Mike, I have owned a variety of Roland gear. I took a 6 yr pause from all their stuff, and somewhat recently jumped
in with the FA, 1 year ago.

I am a song recording addict. So my mouth has dropped open when I see the work flow on Fantom.
I am spending time getting my old brain wrapped around the touch screen, controls, etc etc.

The Scott Tibbs videos are the best IMO.

Fantom has distracted me from a MODX purchase. I think Roland has jumped way ahead
of the pack this time, and I don't see any other keyboard co within miles.

Its great to have a new keyboard like this to check out. It gets boring when nothing happens
for 5 years wink

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: GregC] #3007668 09/11/19 09:47 PM
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MikeT156 Offline
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IIRC you've been a Roland fan for a long time. As I mentioned above, I never had a Roland Dealer close to where I live, but there were number of Yamaha dealers. I own more Yamaha equipment than any other Mfg. There User Interfaces have always been lacking for friendly, but their equipment lasts.

The MODX is a budget synth from Yamaha, not everyone wants to lug around a Montage, or pay the price.

From what l've seen and heard so far, Roland has stepped up. I hope its a big seller. Yamaha and Korg can use some competition.

Edit: I just checked out the demo that is Posted above. Incredible interface. Interesting link to APPLE. I bet their system is more reliable than Windows based computers. I like the sounds I heard that Sweetwater's demo produced, and the once over on the User interface posted above. A workstation class Synth for sure.


Cheers!


Mike T.

Last edited by MikeT156; 09/11/19 11:17 PM.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.
Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: MikeT156] #3007674 09/11/19 10:45 PM
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G
GregC Online Content
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Originally Posted by MikeT156
IIRC you've been a Roland fan for a long time.

From what l've seen and heard so far, Roland has stepped up. I hope its a big seller. Yamaha and Korg can use some competition.


Cheers!


Mike T.


your memory is better than mine ! I like nostalgia. Had the Jv880 with all the Voice Crystal cards, the 3080, Fantom XR, Rd700GX1.

I like competition, yess sir. More of that and prices ' should ' go down wink

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007678 09/11/19 11:17 PM
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zephonic Offline
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Says this guy on gearslutz:


Originally Posted by GearTank;14200818
Ok, so I went out to GuitarCenter last Sunday to audition the Fantom 8. I love this workstation overall, the key action is a dream, but the great thing about it, the touch display, is also the most concerning to me. I love the way the display was implemented from a software perspective, it improves the workflow so much, but the hardware feels VERY vulnerable. The most concerning is that when you slide your finger on it, the whole display shifts a few millimeters on the horizontal plane in every direction, seems like it's sitting loose inside the casing. This should never happen and Roland has got to fix that. I foresee a lot of recalls.

I want the Fantom 8 badly, I've been waiting a long time to replace my G8 with something worthy, but will wait for them to iron out the production flaws first.


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost.php?p=14200818&postcount=463


Hopefully it’s just a unit got damaged in transport.

Re: New Roland Fantom [Re: gino] #3007714 09/12/19 03:34 AM
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EscapeRocks Offline
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The 6 I’ve been messing with at GC does not exhibit this behavior.


David
Gig Rig: Casio PX-5S | Yamaha MODX6 |

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