The Roland Fantom Workstation
Roland’s most powerful and expandable synthesizer for studio and stage.
The Roland Fantom packs a huge amount of power into one synthesizer, and as Roland continue to add more excellent features, this has easily come to be one of our favourite keyboards for live and studio musicians.
The Roland Fantom is a truly powerful synth for the modern era, whether you are a studio or live musician you’ll find plenty to keep you busy, and as you’d expect from Roland, the build quality is rugged and robust and built to last.
With so much to cover, where do we begin? Well, let’s start with the basics.
Switch on the Roland Fantom and it boots in under 40 seconds.
A lifesaver in gig environments where the need for rapid changeovers means every second count.
While they all share the same controls, inputs/outputs and internals, the Roland Fantom comes in 3 key configurations depending on your needs.
The Fantom 6 has 61-semi weighted synth-action keys with aftertouch, while the Fantom 7 has 76 of the same style. For synth players not in need of a weighted piano action, the Fantom 6 and Fantom 7 have one of the most luxurious key actions we’ve played; solid and accurate, whilst being lightweight and responsive. The Fantom 8 gives you 88-fully weighted wooden piano hammer action keys, courtesy of Roland’s PHA-50 keyboard action. This is the same piano action found in the Roland flagship digital piano, the GP-607. The PHA-50 can also be found on their flagship stage piano, the RD-2000. It features stabilising pins for no lateral movement, individually weighted wooden keys, ebony and ivory feel, as well as key escapement for the most authentic acoustic piano feel.
Each Roland Fantom comes with a 3 year warranty when registering your product with Roland Backstage.
For piano players, the Roland Fantom features a dedicated V-Piano engine that is built upon the Zen-Core technology. The V-Piano completely models all the characteristics of an acoustic grand piano in detail impossible to capture in samples. It allows you to customise every element of the piano sound to your heart’s desire with unlimited polyphony, giving players the best piano experience in a synthesizer. For the best piano playing experience, partner with the Roland DP 10 Piano Style Sustain Pedal (sold separately).
At the heart of the Roland Fantom is its incredible Zen-Core sound engine. After decades of experience in the synthesizer market, Roland developed the Zen-Core ecosystem; a hugely powerful shared digital synthesizer engine that allows the creation and transfer of instrument data between hardware and software. What does this mean for you the player? Well, it means you get the very highest quality instrument sound on a platform which you can load in expansions, more sounds and content created on other Zen-Core devices or from Roland Cloud.
Using Zen-Core as a platform allows Roland to incorporate other technologies. The Roland Fantom features Roland’s acclaimed SuperNatural engine too, presented in 24bit/48Khz resolution for the first time. SuperNatural uses a combination of samples and acoustic behaviour modelling to recreate acoustic instruments in stunning detail.
For the synth programmers amongst you, the Zen-Core synth engine offers a huge amount of design power. Each tone can be made up of 4 partials or oscillators, each with 2 LFO’s available. If you were to layer 16 tones together, you could then stack up to 64 oscillators and 128 LFO’s at once! Editing is quickly accessed from the front panel and not buried in menu’s, with all of the synth controls offering 1024 steps of resolution for ultra-precise editing. Choose from 3 types of classic filter, or even run your whole tone through the onboard analog filter for more warmth. On top of this, there are over 90 high-class DSP effects to really bring your sounds to life.
Roland recognises that any synthesizer that offers so many sound design options could become confusing, so they’ve gone to great lengths to make the Roland Fantom as easy to use as possible. There are no confusing modes to get lost in, everything is contained within a Scene. The Roland Fantom allows you to combine up to 16 sounds and a sequence at once within a Scene. These sounds (or tones) can either be from internal sounds or samples, or they could be from an external sound source connected via midi or USB like Apple’s popular Mainstage programme. Select another scene via the gorgeous touch screen and instantly recall another set of sounds and a sequence. What’s more, is that the Roland Fantom features a full 16-part patch-remain for seamless transitions between scenes without any sound dropping out.
For the composers out there, the Roland Fantom can send 16 stereo tracks of audio over USB at up to 192Khz to your DAW of choice, and it also features DAW control integration with Apple’s Logic Pro X, so the software will show up on the touch screen. For when inspiration strikes, the Roland Fantom features an intuitive 16 track pattern sequencer that allows you to create multiple loops of up to 32 bars for each instrument, then group these together to create a song. Record your parts in real-time, via a piano roll with touch screen automation, or programme via the onboard TR-REC sequencer.
For many modern players, a key part of their sound may be the use of samples. The Roland Fantom has 2GB of internal memory for samples and expansions. It’s incredibly easy to sample individual notes from external sources and spread them polyphonically across the keyboard or uses several samples at once to create detailed multi-samples over 4 partial layers.
We could talk about features for hours, but we’ll finish with one last one; expandability. Roland says the Roland Fantom is a platform they are developing for, and true to their word, they now offer a large number of free wave expansion and sound packs, available through their Roland Cloud service.
Here’s What Roland Say:
"The Roland Fantom is a Workstation that has been reimagined and refined to be the ultimate tool for Musical Directors, Pro Level Studio Session/Live Musicians and Producers. We have made a real effort to make the Fantom quick and easy to navigate, with the highest grade parameters to avoid menu diving, separating it from other Workstations which are traditionally very complicated keyboard to use. With all of Roland’s best sounds and the pinnicale of editing capatiblies, the Fantom can cope with running the highest level live shows, whilst also integrating seamlessly with almost any studio setup. The LCD Touchscreen is fully compatible with Logic and Mainstage, meaning that the software actually appears on screen.
Whether you are using the fully weighted, hybrid wood action on the 8, or our best feeling synth action on the 7 and 6, the Fantom allows you to perform with an incomparable level of expression. The TR sequencer is perfect for catching quick flashes of inspiration, whilst being powerful enough to programme almost any type of sequence. The Clips & Scenes Sequencer means you can arrange the perfect song, as well as run fully customisable backing tracks. To finish it off, the sound is simply amazing thanks to the pristine and crystal clear inbuilt ADDA converters and Zen-Core sound engine, which allows the Fantom to be fully expandable and the perfect host to the entire Roland eco-system.
We’re continuiously updating and improving Roland Fantom, and we’ve already released numerous updates adding new features. These include; fantastic mutli-sampling capabilities, SuperNATURAL Sound Banks, a 32-Band Vocoder and an abundance of sound expansion packs, enabling you to fill the 16 virtual expansion slots. Check out the added features from the V2.10 Update, making the Fantom even powerful than before."
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Roland Fantom Series
Roland Fantom 6 Workstation
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Roland Fantom 7 Workstation
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Roland Fantom 8 Workstation
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