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Roland Fantom questions

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Roland Fantom questions

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:03 pm

A few things I can't find clear answers to...

Have Roland fixed the inability to assign samples to the keyboard (the SOS review says imported samples can only be assigned to pads)?
Can I assign any MIDI CC to the sliders and do the sliders transmit over MIDI and/or USB?
Does the DAW integration extend to Cubase?

Ta muchly.
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:07 pm

The Elf wrote:Can I assign any MIDI CC to the sliders and do the sliders transmit over MIDI and/or USB?

According to page 22 of the basic manual, the knobs and sliders do transmit over MIDI.

Not sure about custom CC assignment to the sliders, but the the parameter guide may have more info on that, if you haven't already checked it (though you may well have of course).

A mate of mine has a Fantom 8 so if you'd like I can ask him for some info, although it might be a day or two before he gets back to me.
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby Logarhythm » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:21 pm

The supplemental manuals for the OS updates through to V1.6 mention various additions including a vocoder, but nothing about sampling.
I contacted Roland in December to enquire about plans to widen the integration beyond Macs and Logic/Mainstage/Garage Band - they passed it to the local dealer who gave this response, along with offering to let me demo one in the store:
To answer the question, I must first point out that the Fantom is still in its early stages and is by no means a finished product. With this in mind, the Fantom is due to receive firmware and operations updates for (I predict) the next 5 years, and the basis for these updates will be strongly based upon customer feedback and requests.

Currently the Fantom series is only compatible with Mac operating systems, and is particularly useful if you are a Logic/Mainstage user. Now imagine the amount of users who also use Windows-based DAWs and software. This leads me to believe that the compatibility will more than likely be updated in the coming year to work with Windows systems.
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:55 pm

Just spoke to my mate who has a Fantom 8.

Samples are currently for the pads only, you can't assign them to keyranges on the keybed. However, Roland are getting flak for this (as they should, I mean, wtf?) and it seems likely this will be added as a feature in a subsequent update. That said, you can't right now.

Re: custom CCs from the sliders; according to him, you can change the default mappings (which I think are volume related) and define any CC values you want by using the ASSIGN button.

It's hearsay, I've not verified it myself, but for what it's worth that's the info I was given.
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby The Elf » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:21 pm

Great info, Eddy! I am indebted to you, my friend. :thumbup:

The documentation is decidedly hazy on some of these features. It often leaves it to the reader to join the dots between features. Looks like all is well with the sliders. When you're staring at nigh on 3 grand for a keyboard it HAS to be right!

Not being able to map a sample to the keyboard is silliness from the top drawer of Monty Python's cabinet of silliness! What were they thinking?! :headbang:
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:21 pm

The Elf wrote:Not being able to map a sample to the keyboard is silliness from the top drawer of Monty Python's cabinet of silliness! What were they thinking?! :headbang:

I know, it's nuts ... but then again, it is Roland!

I'm going to be doing a jam next Wednesday or Thursday (to be determined) as the friend I mentioned is in our family bubble and we've not done one since before lockdown.

If there are any more questions or info you need on the Fantom then let me know as I'll be able to power it up and lay hands on it to find answers should you need any :thumbup:
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby Glenn Bucci » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:25 pm

I had a chance to spend time with the Fantom 8 and it is clearly my favorite work station. I would love to add this keyboard in my studio. The sounds and quality of the keyboard are excellent. Granted sampled orchestra software is going to be better if your looking for more authentic sounds but the improved sounds over the older Roland makes the sounds more than acceptable for session work.
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby The Elf » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:29 pm

I have the Fantom 7 here, and I do like it very much. Really I was looking to it as a replacement for a few machines, including my Integra-7, JP-80 and other VA polysynths, but it seems to fall between all these houses.

It certainly sounds very good indeed, though, as I suspected, the preset designers seem to think that we all want fifths tunings and repeating rhythmic effects. I can forgive it that - I'm happy to get busy with the programming. Unfortunately it has a similar programming system to the JP-80 - which I find singularly onerous. I'll admit that I find this aspect very off-putting.

The control surface is important to me for my orchestral programming, so was a critical feature. Happily the controllers work just as I wanted. The keyboard feels lovely, but the aftertouch is channel only - a ridiculous decision on a machine of this calibre and price, especially since it responds to poly aftertouch. The aftertouch is also quite weighty - I'm OK with this, but others might struggle.

Unfortunately this Fantom has arrived badly damaged (it would make a good boomerang!), so it has to go back anyway. Whether I will follow it up with a second purchase is as yet undecided.
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Re: Roland Fantom questions

Postby Glenn Bucci » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:58 am

No keyboard is perfect but after studying the Yamaha and Korg, the Fantom came out on top. Hopefully you can get another Fantom 7 and you will get to learn the workflow better.
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