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FP4 vs RD300GX


Nicky

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I know this topic has been discussed before but.....

I'm considering one of these keyboards. Does the FP4 allow any external zone setups? If I wanted to use this keybd in conjunction with a laptop, could I create a setup (registration) that triggered an external sound via midi, without playing any external sound. For example, I hit setup 1 and I'm playing the Fp piano, then switch to setup 2, and I'm triggering Scarbee rhodes in Mainstage.

I like the not as wide (no mod/pitchwheel) profile of the FP4, but I'm not sure I want to be married to those sounds on a gig without easily triggering external sounds, which is what the RD300gx seems more capable of.

Any thoughts/opinions on this would be appreciated.

 

 

 

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As an ex-FP4 owner, I'd say that if you want to control external sounds, the RD300GX would be a better bet.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I, too, would like the compactness of the FP-4 and also the audio input, speakers, soft/sustenuto etc. For my purposes, I would use only a few sounds and minimal MIDI control of my Electro.

 

I am going north to try out these two boards in not so long, but until then I'd be interested in hearing some opinions on sounds: is the GX AP sound really that much better than the FP? And how about EP's?

When in doubt, superimpose pentatonics.
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I believe that's the only time anyone carried that besides me. But I wasn't worried... Tom's a professional. ;) (Next Mid-Atlantic Hang, a pic of me carrying Tom's keyboard.)

 

I'd be interested in hearing some opinions on sounds: is the GX AP sound really that much better than the FP? And how about EP's?

The GX has a slightly more detailed piano sound, although it's the identical piano sample in the FP4, resampled. It's a little richer, but also more mid frequencies that are harder to reproduce as cleanly. All the more reason for a good sound system.

 

The FP4's advantage, besides weight and sequencer, are its built-in speakers. If you want to feel more like you're playing acoustic piano, on-board speakers are more convincing than a slightly improved sample only coming from external speakers.

 

I actually prefer one electric piano/Rhodes sound in the FP4. The GX of course, is a more impressive looking board, with a better layout. Both are good.

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I've owned both units and typically use a laptop as well. It's been a while since I had the FP4 but I think what you would need to do is to turn the balance knob all one direction to turn off the internal sounds. Then, as long you have the MIDI set to the correct channel, Scarbee should sound. I'm pretty sure the balance setting is saved with the registration.

 

If you think you might use the computer for more and more things, then the RD300GX's display plus the three external zones is very nice. Also the RD has the ability to play audio files from USB for backing tracks. The FP has session player which uses MIDI. Personally I find the audio file feature more useful.

 

I do think either one will work I fine for your needs. It's been a while since I had the FP4 so it's a bit fuzzy.

 

BTW, on the FP4 Roland calls them REGISTRATIONS and on the RD300GX they are SETUPS, but they're the same thing.

 

Busch.

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thanks busch-do you remember if midi channels are saved/registration? Also, if I was able to save a registration with the balance knob in one direction (so the internal sounds are not heard), if I controlled an external synth with a volume pedal (cc#7), would I then be "turning on" (via volume) the FP sounds.....or could I disable the cc pedal for internal sounds for that registration?
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Yes, the MIDI channel(s) as well as program change is saved with the registration, I'm quite sure. You can use the program change to change between different patches in MainStage. I'm not sure on the volume pedal. Could you use #11 (expression) instead if it is an issue?

 

Busch.

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I believe that's the only time anyone carried that besides me. But I wasn't worried... Tom's a professional. ;) (Next Mid-Atlantic Hang, a pic of me carrying Tom's keyboard.)

 

Of course you do realise, Steve, that by that time, Tom will have swapped his current board for an XS8?

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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And - well, another question from me (sorry for threadstealing): How are the speakers on the FP-4? My fear is that they are not very loud and also mediocre sounding, but how should I know, as I've never heard them. How are the speakers?
When in doubt, superimpose pentatonics.
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The FP4 speakers are not high quality or quite as refined as the FP7 speakers, but they are a little louder than the FP7, and can be tweaked in the master gain to be surprisingly loud.

 

You'll still use external speakers for tone quality. The whole point of the internal speakers is to hear yourself back from the instrument, and it more than succeeds in doing that.

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so you couldn't just save a registration with local off for the FP just for that registration>.....is that just a global thing?

 

It would be nice if it were that easy. I'm pretty sure local is global. I remember doing tricks on the FP-7 like setting the patch to organ mode and then setting the drawbars to 000000000. Or inserting an overdrive FX so that I could set the volume to zero. With the FPs you have the balance knob which doesn't allow you to set both sides of a split to zero. With the RDs you have independent volume sliders for internal and external zones.

 

Busch.

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can the sliders (on the RD) be assigned other controller functions besides volume? Can I assign, let's say, CC 1 to bring in tremolo on an EP patch without having to use the pitch/mod stick?

I believe you can. I don't own the GX, but it's a bit more adjustable than the FP. You can also control tremolo/leslie/effects, etc., from a foot pedal with the FP4.

 

Manuals for both keyboards:

 

http://www.roland.com/products/en/_support/om.cfm?PRODUCT=FP%2D4

 

http://www.roland.com/products/en/_support/om.cfm?ln=en&dsp=0&iCncd=3426

 

Good luck

 

 

 

 

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can the sliders (on the RD) be assigned other controller functions besides volume? Can I assign, let's say, CC 1 to bring in tremolo on an EP patch without having to use the pitch/mod stick?

 

No. Fixed to volume (cc7).

Pedal can be assigned to: soft, sostenutto, CC11, CC1, bend up, bend down, aftertouch, start/stop, tap tempo, audio key SW and FX Control.

 

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You want my face on the ends of your FP4? I'm gratified. However, I think you may be confusing me with Eric (I think it was) who made (or had made) wooden end cheeks for his RD700GX (which I think I'm right in saying he subsequently sold to someone else on the KC).

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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