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Opinions on the new Fantom?

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Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Sequencer » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:36 pm

Was late noticing this new Roland Fantom - very cool machine - latest contender for 'replace whole studio with 1 keyboard'

First impressions (just from online stuff):

1) Excellent sequencer with loads of modes
2) No audio recording (fine by me)
3) Sampling - but the samples can't be used as tones for the full synth engine (why would you do that - that's such a big deal, doesn't make sense at this price point).
4) The various sections on the right (ADSR, purple pads and 808 buttons) don't physically align properly - looks a right mess
5) Overall, pretty cool, especially for people like me who want to get rid of the lot and just have a single thing to play with

Any opinions?
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Dave B » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:49 pm

Sadly, I'm just not interested in the Fantom range.

I did pick up an X6 a few years ago and was quite frustrated by it. It made little sense until I re-initialised it and re-read the manual as I was selling it. Then I got that it was like an attempt to build something like the latest Akai MPCs but in keyboard form with a synth engine. (At least the v2 revision - which finished it off - made it that) So it was designed to be a way to build up a complete track. It made sense for hip hop / modern producers in the noughties.

But ... in doing so, they had dropped functionality (external control), made it harder to do what it _could_ do, made it confusing .. if you had a traditional keyboard rig, like wot I do, it could make you ears bleed it was so confusing. Which is so galling as the whole point was that I liked certain things on older Roland keyboards and wanted that in my rig. I couldn't get it.

And the sounds drove me crackers. Loads of whizz, fnaarp, zaaang, beeeeoooow crap - sometimes on perfectly good sounds. In certain respects, I think Kurzweil got this right on the Forte - throw a load of the 'millions-o-patches' away for a new model and provide a way to load in the old ones from the previous generation. Start with a good, small, basic set and build up rather than spend an hour looking for a choir sound.

Did I mention backwards compatibility ..? Ah .... the 'G' series achilles heel ... Roland fix a couple of dumb issues with the X, but make navigation even worse and refuse to let it load your old patches. That's a clever move ..... hang on ....

So when you say that the new '{no prefix}' range has great bits and daft bits, it makes sense to me - it's a Roland product. If something doesn't look right to you, then you aren't going to use it as the designers intended. So it will drive you crackers. I'm sure that there are people out there who will adore it - it fits their workflow - but if it doesn't do that in any way, steer clear.

My sanity is worth more to me than another synth.

(wow ... didn't think I'd ever say that! :) )
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby The Elf » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:25 pm

With poly aftertouch/MPE I would have been beating down the door to get at this. Without it... I'm interested, but waiting to see what Behringer are bringing in the next 6 months.
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Sequencer » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:23 pm

Dave B

I think you are right: just watching another video where The Fantom combines it's own sounds with an input feed of sounds from Logic/Mainstage and the Fantom recreates the plugin window - what!?! - all over the shop - probably won't work after any minor increment by Apple - and then all the work to do the same for Cubase etc.

Interesting you mention the Forte - just noticed the PC4 which actually does look very elegant - and at a very 'un-Kurzweil' price point (because plastic, so not meant for working pros, but totally fine for bedroom tinkerers)

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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby The Elf » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:40 pm

Sequencer wrote:I think you are right: just watching another video where The Fantom combines it's own sounds with an input feed of sounds from Logic/Mainstage and the Fantom recreates the plugin window - what!?! - all over the shop - probably won't work after any minor increment by Apple - and then all the work to do the same for Cubase etc.
I've learned to be very cynical about these kinds of features. They invariably half-work when new, undergo a few software updates to fix basic problems, then are left to fester and die when the next workstation is released. And you have to go to the mouse and computer to undertake all but the most basic functions anyway. It's not a feature of the Fantom I see as at all attractive...
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby desmond » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:39 pm

Sequencer wrote:I think you are right: just watching another video where The Fantom combines it's own sounds with an input feed of sounds from Logic/Mainstage and the Fantom recreates the plugin window - what!?! - all over the shop - probably won't work after any minor increment by Apple - and then all the work to do the same for Cubase etc.

I haven't seen this video, but the mention of Logic integration in the press releases suggests to me that it incorporates some degree of Mackie Control functionality, so it should be pretty bulletproof in Logic at least...
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Sequencer » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:24 pm

Maybe

Personally I've had a terrible time with all DAW controller stuff - spending thousands in the process ..... Latest nightmare being NI Komplete Kontrol (just getting ready for eBay)
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:08 am

There will never be a one keyboard studio, that's why I tend to have various things, my advice is please don't even try and go down this route, you'll waste loads of time and money doing so, even more than having lots of gear..
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby C.LYDE » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:09 pm

Judging only from what I've seen online...simply love it :thumbup:

I have a Fantom X and was rather disappointed by the follow ups of the past few years... this looks to right those wrongs...

Without doubt the sequencer is a strong feature, and even the V3 OS update from Yamaha for the Montage doesn't bring about the same useability.

I've never thought of these workstations as replacements for studio work, but rather excellent for complex live work :idea: ... which is really what DSP hardware is good at - immediacy. :geek:
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:27 am

I've played one briefly (a friend has one) and I think the sounds are way better than previous Fantoms, as is the physical build. I don't like the keybed that much, I found it surprisingly basic in feel. I also don't like the sequencer much... though I can see why it would appeal to a certain market (it's very phrase/loop based).

The Interface is interestingly different, but I didn't find it friendly to navigate - it reminded me of Windows 8 for some reason ;-)

Undoubtedly a very capable machine, and I'm looking forward to playing it some more in jamming sessions but I don't think it's for me as a customer.
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Re: Opinions on the new Fantom?

Postby Tranztek » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:00 pm

Tried it a few times, but not as impressed as I thought I should be for £3000. This is what should have superseded the G range instead of the budget FA06. Tried a Kronos SE for the same money and that still seemed more impressive.
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