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Fantom S � opinions?


Tonysounds

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Anything I should avoid or look for when checking out this keyboard? Any particularly strong points or weaknesses? I picked one up last nite with 4 expansion boards for $500 to use as a rehearsal board..or to spin.

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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That's a nice price. I believe the assignable knobs tend to go bad after a lot of use- in my case it was the one that by default controls filter cutoff.

 

A nice trick is to use the pads to trigger program changes, using "patterns" in the sequencer step-record the change, and triggering them in RPS mode. There's a tutorial on Roland Clan.

 

IMO the Fantom is great as a bizarre synth, like a Lite V-synth. There are some great patch banks at the Roland Clan forums. And if you can get used to the menu-diving it is quite a powerful synth.

 

It's main use for me is digital weirdness using samples that I've collected. It is very easy to time-stretch and tempo-sync samples, and to tap in the tempo using an assignable switch. In fact, this is what keeps me from replacing it with a Nord Wave (that and the computer-free sampling). Its easy to get them in pitch, and assign them to the keyboard, too. I've got great tempo-synced swells made from backwards sounds. I've got frogs, monkeys, and drumsets made from water splashes and drips.

 

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Knobs knobs knobs - wiggle those four knobs, and if they are still stable and don't self edit parameters then it's a steal!

 

Still a great board today if stuffed with expansion boards. It's basically an "X" with half the polyphony and minus it's acoustic piano, but you can add a better one than the "X" with SRX 11 (which might already be included).

 

I still have mine. Roland makes it easy to edit and create you own sounds on it if you give it just a little of your time. I don't use it's sequencer though, just as a synth.

 

Hope it came with Ultimate Keys which is a killer expansion board.

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Unless it was stored in a Nashville basement that is a great deal. I like the feel of the keys and the stick. They also make great controllers. Very easy to set up splits that include internal and external sounds.
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Knobs knobs knobs - wiggle those four knobs, and if they are still stable and don't self edit parameters then it's a steal!

 

Still a great board today if stuffed with expansion boards. It's basically an "X" with half the polyphony and minus it's acoustic piano, but you can add a better one than the "X" with SRX 11 (which might already be included).

 

I second that. Owned a Fantom S and liked it.

There was no S7, otherwise I wouldn't have jumped for the X7. Which suits me well, I must say. With the right SRX boards, it is a great all round machine.

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Yeah, knobs all work and are stable...came with the SRX-03/04/05/07 cards. (Ultimate Keys, is great, use it in my FantomXr module too; best CP70 I've heard yet, if only it were Louder.)

To keep your knobs in working order, make sure that there's no downward pressure put on them in transport. In other words, don't turn your case upside down unless the ends of the Fantom are blocked in a way that they take the weight of the keyboard - not the knobs. One knock I've got against Fantoms is that their knobs are not built to take just about anything like the ones on my Motif.

 

There are three gain stages in a Roland patch: Patch volume, wave gain (in Wave), and tone level (in TVA). They all are very easy to find in patch edit by just scrolling through the left menu on the screen.

 

If your patch still isn't loud enough and effects are active, check the routing levels in Effects. Once again they all will be onscreen as soon as you press the Effects button.

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