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Fantom 8

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Fantom 8

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:08 am

There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to admit being unexpectedly blindsided.

Today was that day for me. I'm really sorry, I don't know how to put this, but...

The Fantom 8 is epic :(

Remember I waxed lyrical with assurance about how I didn't like the sound of the Fantom? Well, I didn't. My friend had a Fantom 7 but it developed a hardware fault and had to be returned from whence it came.

Due to fortuitous circumstances not relevant to my tale he was offered an 8 in return for a very modest outlay. He took them up on this and today I have spent a good hour playing it.

I think that when I played the 7 it was either the hardware fault or there was something amiss with the EQ or other setting on the desk, because playing the Fantom 8 today I was properly impressed.

Firstly, the keyboard action. It's hands down the best action on any weighted synth I've ever played. Not by a little, but by a lot. I went mental on it, tried all my most manic flourishes, arpeggios and go-to show-off pieces and it felt absolutely lovely.

The velocity response was perfect. As far as physical keyboards go I'm a little bit in love. As a pianist since I was in single figures it was the most comfortable, responsive and perfectly weighted board I have ever played.

Secondly the sounds were lovely. Owning a Kronos I wouldn't say they were 'better' than that overall, but they are very very good and that keyboard action made all the difference.

Am I buying one? No. But if I could get that weighted keyboard in a dumb MIDI controller form I'd buy it like a shot. It's awesome.

I prefer the synthesis capability of the Kronos with it's various engines and I still don't like the sequencer on the Fantom, but I think it's a lovely thing and felt it only fair to balance my previous comments on Roland with something nice to say about them.

I think I need to go and lie down!
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:12 am

LOL

Fantom apologist! :D
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Logarhythm » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:15 am

I've had one of these sat in my basket at Andertons for several weeks now, and go through a nightly ritual of hovering over the buy button. Your positive feedback has made my bank account somewhat nervous :protest: :madas: :mrgreen:
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:51 pm

Here's an extract of me putting the Fantom 8 keybed feel through its paces - mainly the heavy romping all over the place stuff. At the time I didn't know it was being recorded so there are a few smudges in there. We happened to have left the desk recording between jam sessions and it captured it.

https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/mess ... -8/s-dNhvr

I have to say I rather like the piano sound (no idea which preset it was) too.
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:43 pm

Sounds great, as does your playing!
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:48 pm

Ooh you flashy bugger! ;)

(no, I'm in awe actually :o )


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Re: Fantom 8

Postby The Elf » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:51 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Here's an extract of me putting the Fantom 8 keybed feel through its paces - mainly the heavy romping all over the place stuff. At the time I didn't know it was being recorded so there are a few smudges in there. We happened to have left the desk recording between jam sessions and it captured it.

https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/mess ... -8/s-dNhvr
Amazing! If I could play that well I'd never leave the house! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby IAA » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:58 pm

I have to say I rather like the piano sound

Nice Eddy!

I’ve always liked Roland keybeds, the v- piano was probably the best fully weighted ive tried, even better than the RH3.

Either way, when you feel that connection anything seems possible.
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Folderol » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:24 pm

Upset now :cry:
Those 'sloppy bits' {wherever they are} sound much better than my best effort :shocked:
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:33 pm

Cheers chaps - it was an extremely enjoyable session all round. I do love getting lost in the moment and just going off on a self-indulgent noodle-session now and again for a while.

My original piano teacher would have disapproved of probably most of it, and then made me work on it properly until it was good enough to his ears though!

It definitely helped that the keybed was so friendly to play as well. I have to hand it to Roland on that one :thumbup:
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Logarhythm » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:38 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Here's an extract of me putting the Fantom 8 keybed feel through its paces - mainly the heavy romping all over the place stuff. At the time I didn't know it was being recorded so there are a few smudges in there. We happened to have left the desk recording between jam sessions and it captured it.

https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/mess ... -8/s-dNhvr

I have to say I rather like the piano sound (no idea which preset it was) too.
That was sickening :clap:
To think that all you had to acquire that level of skill do was countless hours of practice :roll: :mrgreen:
It does indeed sound very good.
Have you tried an RD2000? IIRC it gives you the same keybed/piano engines minus some of the synthy stuff and the sequencer. Might make a nice 88 key controller? ;)
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:11 pm

Logarhythm wrote:To think that all you had to acquire that level of skill do was countless hours of practice

It's a strange thing to think about objectively for me, but truth be told I was significantly better 25+ years ago than I am now as I no longer practice with the intensity required to maintain the level that is required on stage in a formal setting.

I really wish I had some recordings of me back then but sadly as far as I know none exist.

That said, I would like to get better again. There are levels of proficiency in anything. To beginners, most players of an instrument sound good. To those players, professionals sound good. To professionals, people like me probably sound rusty and I know it.

I would therefore be delighted to entertain a bunch of folks at work by playing a piano in a hotel, but would be embarrassed to play the same thing to an accomplished current classical pianist although I will say that there are one or two things I think I can do that I would be happy to play them.

For all the nice things said about the illustrative noodle of the Fantom 8 above, I would be surprised if one or two people haven't rased their eyebrows and muttered something about "it's a shame he hasn't kept it up" under their breath, and rightly so, apart from the fact that it was a decision I made as I wanted to expand my horizons beyond that ultra-focussed perspective.

Much as I like a kind word from someone who liked it (and I thank you all for your kind words!), I always appraise my own playing from the perspective of someone better than me. I know I am 'good at the piano', but I also know how much better many are than I am.

As, with some work, I'd probably be able to buff up to crossing that "professional" line again, for me it's almost worse than not being able to play to whatever standard I do, if that makes sense.

I forget I can do it sometimes, because it's been part of me for so long that it's normal to play the piano well enough to turn a head or two but I never take it for granted.

Logarhythm wrote:Have you tried an RD2000? IIRC it gives you the same keybed/piano engines minus some of the synthy stuff and the sequencer. Might make a nice 88 key controller? ;)

I have not, but if it's got the same bed then it's going to feel wonderful. Just looked it up - sadly it's more than I'm willing to pay for something I'd only use as a controller, even though it has a lovely feel (plus space is at a premium in my studio until such time as the Great Roof of Potential atop my house has been sculpted by artisans into the Super Studio of Satisfaction, after which I will be mostly not buying much for a while!)
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby BJG145 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:49 pm

Nice noodling! :thumbup:
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:07 am

Thank you kindly :D

I've relented and made the track public now. My comments above notwithstanding, it's not quite as messy as I originally perceived it to be (although it could be tidier in a spot or three) and as I said before I didn't realise I was being recorded at the time so I could possibly have mitigated that with a bit of effort had I known.

I am resolved to do more practice going forward as although the intention was to give credit to Roland for a lovely keyboard feel rather than what I was playing on it I found the feedback on this very encouraging.

Even though I may be a little self-critical when it comes to pure piano work (the only pure piano track I have released that I am completey happy with is 'Martin', although 'Recollections' is pretty close), on relistening to this noodle it's not as far off as I was feeling it was earlier and I'd like to polish my formal act a bit anyway :thumbup:
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Re: Fantom 8

Postby BillB » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:31 am

Just Wow!
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