Roland FA-06 & 08 Workstations

Discussion in 'Roland Keyboards' started by philobeddoe, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe

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    Never been a Roland fan,with regard to their workstations...that is,up until recently.Reasons being,are that in the arena of workstation keyboards in their past,Roland always cut too many corners with feature trade offs,insufficient memory to support some of their grandiose ideas and my main issue,was them equipping their workstation synths with mediocre sounds and extorting the consumer with insanely expensive expansion cards,if one wanted inspiring sounds.
    Loved the Jupiter-80,as it has fantastic sounds,but hated that there was no midi sequencer! Roland has always put their best sounds into their performance synths and short-changed their workstation synths with very poor quality sounds.

    Now however,Roland has come up with a game changer,as the new FA-series has everything I ever wanted in a workstation synth....great sounds,flexibility,expansion capabilities,large LCD display,incredibly fast boot up time,multiple WAV export options and all at a budget price...for once,finally!

    I'm really surprised that no one here,has made any mention of this new keyboard,as it's gone viral all over the internet,in recent weeks.
    It has over 2,000 presets from the Integra-7 sound module,a sampler with 16 pads,a full midi sequencer with 16 tracks,128 note polyphony,67 effects,DAW integration,audio interface,audio inputs and it all runs of off 2.0 SD flash memory.

    The most amazing aspect of this keyboard,is that Roland is so generous with their bloated feature set and the 61 key version is only $1,119!

    I had considered a Korg Krome or a Yamaha MOXF,but the Roland FA puts the other two to shame..offering so much more for the price.

    I'm sure there must be some folks here,who could appreciate such a keyboard...I mean...someone here must have heard of this new product by now??




    -Philo
     

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    philobeddoe, Feb 18, 2014
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  2. philobeddoe

    happyrat1

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    I'm wondering if you work for Roland? ;)

    Gary
     
    happyrat1, Feb 18, 2014
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  3. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe

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    I suppose I give off that impression,due to my enthusiasm for this board and all of the online research I've done on it...but no,I do not work for Roland.Quite honestly(& no offense intended)...but I don't think Roland would be interested in promoting their products on this forum,because of the low amount of traffic on this forum.I mean...this forum seems pretty lifeless,in contrast to the other forums I've been on.

    This forum caught my eye though,because it's the only forum that I've ever come across,that addresses keyboards exclusively.
     
    philobeddoe, Feb 19, 2014
    #3
  4. philobeddoe

    Ted Nicoson

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    Philo

    Back in the late 80's, I started with Yamaha gear for several years, then to a couple of Ensoniq samplers, and finally to Roland exclusively for a very long time. About 8 years ago, I switched back to Yamaha for some of the reasons you mention above and now am even dabbling in the "new" Casio arena, but I did go with the Jupiter-50 (luggable) and the Juno-Gi (portable) and still have my old XP-80 synth, G1000 arranger, and JV-2080 module. So, I guess I still have Roland in my blood. Most of the Roland traffic here on this forum deals with the older gear - the JV's and the XP's. Most of the traffic for the newer stuff - the Fantoms, the Jupiter-50/80, the Juno's (D, G, Stage, Di, Gi), the Integra, the V-Synth - is over on the Roland Clan Forums site. They just added a section for the FA-06/08, and it is seeing quite a bit of traffic already. I wish Roland luck with this one. It looks like a really nice unit. For all their plusses, the JP-50/80 and Juno-Di/Gi kind of missed the mark in several different areas. I think Roland kind of miss-read their "pro" market when it came to designing those units.

    http://forums.rolandclan.com/

    Best of luck !
     
    Ted Nicoson, Feb 19, 2014
    #4
  5. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe

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    Hi Ted,

    Some years back,I was a member of the Roland Clan Forum when I was researching the J-80 when it first came out and the immense state of denial over their with regard to "our gear smokes the competition & how dare you criticize any aspect of Roland gear" attitude,was too much for me to tolerate.
    That seems to be the general atmosphere over there,as they have no compunction about making unsubstantiated slurs towards Korg & the like,but if you make any legitimate & polite remarks about Roland gear(even if you praise the good,while pointing out what you don't like),then you're persecuted.
    I remember someone who had recently bought a Fantom G(at that time),who gave it high marks across the board,while refusing to acknowledge it's shortcomings(which in of itself,wasn't an issue),but he went on to say that the Korg Kronos didn't hold a candle to the Fantom G & at that point,it was utter lunacy.
    People like what they like & that's fine...but those who do not come to terms with a piece of gear's faults,is bulls**t.Even one of the Roland reps..I think his name was Artemy,had an attitude problem & well...all hell broke loose on that forum and soon after I left the forum,they put a ban on giving admission to any new members for a while.
    I'm am not a die hard fan of any company,so I won't tolerate any fan-boy rhetoric.I always keep an open mind and I almost never dismiss any company altogether,because of a bad experience or a sketchy history that a company has(for the most part,as there are exceptions).
    Maybe things have changed over at the Roland Clan forum...but I wonder.It's really interesting to me,how scores of people are trashing the new FA-series on YouTube and ignoring it's feature set.A certain amount of skepticism is to be expected...given Roland's history on workstations,but some people just can't see beyond their gear-bigotry.

    I'll consider the RC forum...but any sign of trouble over there & I'm gone...
     
    philobeddoe, Feb 19, 2014
    #5
  6. philobeddoe

    Ted Nicoson

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    Philo

    I think there may still be a fair measure of the attitude you mention over at the RC Forums, but it has changed considerably. The Jupiter 50 and 80, and to some extent the Juno-Gi, have taken some severe bashings over there - and surprisingly, more for their departure from "standard" Roland sound architecture and lack of after market editor/librarian software than for their lack of onboard sequencers (and for the JP-50, its lack of aftertouch in a unit of that price), but you are still correct, some of the discussions did get a bit high-handed, so I certainly understand where you are coming from. Maybe my skin got a little thick from the several years I spent on the motifator.com forum while I had my Motif XS - over there, anything that is not a Motif is a piece of junk, and they had a moderator that was a Yamaha employee that would give you a public "tongue" lashing if you so much as dared criticize Yamaha gear. Maybe I am strange, but I can usually find something "neat" or "magical" about almost every new unit that comes on the market, but I just tend to keep that to myself and stay out of the fray.

    But we digress ! You are interested in discussions of the new Roland FA units, and I am just afraid that you are not going to see much of that here, as you have already noticed and so stated, but you are certainly more than welcome to stick around and join in on whatever else strikes your fancy. We have a lot of discussion here that is not necessarily manufacturer or model specific.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    Ted Nicoson, Feb 19, 2014
    #6
  7. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe

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    Ted,

    Oh yeah....the Motifator forum,is without a doubt,much more obnoxious than the RC forum! My first Yamaha was the MOX6,& my biggest gripe about the MOX6,was having to go to the Motifator forum for help with it.I politely criticized on how tedious and frustrating the integration was between the MOX and Cubase & I caught a lot of grief from Bad Mister because of it.
    To make matters worse,I relayed an opinion from one of the software developers for Yamaha to him,which was that I was advised(via a PM),to avoid Cubase at all costs,as it was a overly complex mess to deal with.This really set Bad Mister off and when I mentioned that I worked with Presonus S1,he decided to ridicule me,by saying that Studio One was created by some of the same developers that made Cubase(as if to imply that these DAW's are anything alike,which they absolutely are not) and just his mannerisms in general,are condescending & elitist.
    I also got some attitude from Yamaha's tech support,in very much the same way and although Steinberg's tech support was good,it still didn't compensate for what a cluster-f**k the MOX and Cubase are,together.I was repeatedly told by them,that I should view MOX & Cubase as something that is designed in the very same way that pro-gear is used,in a professional studio environment and I'm thinking...really?? I bought a keyboard that is one step above entry-level...something of which is advertised as being seamless,effortless and something that anyone can get their head around...but yet,I essentially need to go through studio engineering school,to learn how to effectively use the f**king thing?
    The on-board navigation & operation of the MOX wasn't hard to figure out...but the menu layout still made everything tedious and due to the size of the screen,one is basically forced to use rely on Cubase.I did my research on the MOX beforehand,but nothing prepared me for the utter hell I went through and by the time that I realized that I should have saved my money for the Motif-series,it was too late for me to return my MOX6 and upon selling it to a pawn shop,I lost big time.

    With regard to Cubase and to be fair,I was brand new to Cubase & I understand that Cubase is a very versatile & powerful tool in the right hands...but it's not for beginners & in my opinion,the MOX should not be packaged with Cubase,as the MOX is a instrument targeted to the novice/mid level musician.
     
    philobeddoe, Feb 19, 2014
    #7
  8. philobeddoe

    Eddie

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    Hi guys,

    The new Roland FA-06 has certainly got my attention. Been watching the YouTube vids - reading manuals. The manuals seem to be written in a whole new style: concise and guaranteed not to make you feel stupid (like some other manuals surely do). :)

    Okay, the FA won't replace my Casio XW-G1 as I doubt the FA is a Phrase sequencer/ Looper, Nor would it spread my own samples across the keyboard, either, I guess. But for the price and considering all the goodies on offer, I'm on the way to being hooked.

    Another NAMM bright star, for me, was the Arturia BeatStep midi controller pads and sequencer. Amazing value for money and wouldn't mind this one at the quoted price.

    cheers
     
    Eddie, Feb 19, 2014
    #8
  9. philobeddoe

    Ted Nicoson

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    Eddie

    You need to watch (or rewatch) the video Philo posted at the start of this thread, as that is exactly what that video is about - the FA's phrase sequencing/looping abilities, but that is MIDI phrases and loops - NOT audio sample loops. As far as the FA's sampling abilities, the description on the Roland website states: "onboard sampling with zero load time for instant audio playback from the 16 backlit pads" - indicating that, as you suspected, the samples are assigned to the pads - not spread across the keyboard, so if you want to add an FA to your setup, fine, but don't sell your G1 in the meantime.
     
    Ted Nicoson, Feb 20, 2014
    #9
  10. philobeddoe

    Eddie

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    BigRed.JPG
    Sell my G1? Get rid of Big Red? Perish the thought, Ted :)
     
    Eddie, Feb 22, 2014
    #10
  11. philobeddoe

    Thomas Karlmann

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    If I'm playing a gig, how do I rapidly change from one sound or setup to another?
     
    Thomas Karlmann, Sep 5, 2014
    #11
  12. philobeddoe

    CowboyNQ

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    It certainly looks like a cool 'board.

    I'm wondering, has anyone auditioned one of these live? Would love to get an opinion on the sound, apart from what I can hear on the youtube vid.
     
    CowboyNQ, Sep 5, 2014
    #12
  13. philobeddoe

    Thomas Karlmann

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    This Roland forum seems a bit dead, eh?
     
    Thomas Karlmann, Sep 13, 2014
    #13
  14. philobeddoe

    delaware dave

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    Philo, it is good that you found the keyboard of your dreams. Good for you. However a good friend of mine bought an FA08. Although it has its impressive points I wouldn't call it a game changer. In fact after having spent a day fooling around with it I concluded that it isn't better than my PC3 which is 6 year old technology. I guess we would agree to disagree on your game changer view. Again, nothing wrong with the board I just don't agree it's a game changer. Also, I play alot of Hammond and the hammond/leslie doesn't cut it.
     
    delaware dave, Sep 21, 2014 at 3:47 AM
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