Roland have announced a new addition to their FP series of portable digital pianos, the FP-E50. Promising to provide users with a premium piano experience, the instrument utilises technologies derived from other Roland instruments including the ZEN-Core sound engine, built-in vocal effects, and interactive accompaniment features, and also boasts Bluetooth audio and MIDI and on-board recording capabilities.
Keybed & Sounds
The instrument features an 88-key hammer action keybed with escapement, and the full-size keys are constructed from the Roland’s Ivory Feel material, which they say allows the piano to provide the same feel as a world-class acoustic instrument. Piano sounds are delivered by the company’s SuperNATURAL sound engine, which is said to offer an authentic feel and the interactive response of an acoustic grand piano. A huge range of synths, guitars, basses, drums, orchestral sounds, and many others are provided by the ZEN-Core sound engine, with users able to freely layer them with the piano sounds, or assign different sounds to their left and right hands.
Roland say that despite the instrument’s advanced features, the interface has been designed to offer immediate control over a wide range of parameters without the need to dive into menus. The display on the FP-E50’s top panel offers important information such as the currently loaded sound and tempo, whilst the layout of the controls provides direct access to sound selection, keyboard transposition, favourite tones, and more. Many of the buttons have long-press functions to allow for quick access to a wider range of operations, and a Scenes function allows users to quickly store and recall complete keyboard setups.
A built-in microphone input allows players to sing along with their performances, and a range of on-board vocal effects and processors are also available, including a compressor, an ambience effect, a vocoder, and an automatic harmony function that creates vocal harmonies in real time based on the chords being played. An Auto-Accompaniment feature allows users to select a style, and have the instrument automatically play along with them based on the chords they play, and it is also possible to record song ideas directly on the piano itself.
Built-in stereo speakers provide an instant and convenient solution for playing at home, whilst an output is provided on the rear panel in order to connect to larger speakers or PA systems where necessary. A headphone output is also available, allowing for silent practice, and wireless audio and MIDI streaming functionality is available courtesy of Bluetooth connectivity.
The majority of the FP-E50’s I/O is located rear panel, with a stereo audio output provided on a pair of quarter-inch jacks, and a stereo input available via a 3.5mm mini-jack connector. A USB-A port allows users to import audio files from a memory stick, or to export songs recorded on the instrument, whilst a USB-B port provides MIDI I/O and allows the instrument to record music playing on a computer.
An input for a dynamic microphone is also available, and uses a quarter-inch jack socket. Two pedal connectors are also provided, with one using an a quarter-inch jack designed to connect Roland’s DP-10 and EV-5 pedals, and the other using a six-pin DIN (PS/2) connector for the company’s KPD-70 pedal unit.
A range of optional stands and pedals are available for the instrument, including an option that houses three integrated pedals to create a unified upright piano look.
- Dimensions without music rest: 1300 x 322 x 174 mm (width x depth x height)
- Dimensions with KSFE50 stand and music rest : 1300 x 357 x 953 mm (width x depth x height)
- Weight including music rest: 17.1kg
- Weight including KSFE50 stand and music rest: 27.3kg
Pricing & Availability
The FP-E50 will be available in January 2023, priced at $999.99.