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XP-10 At a Glance
User rating: 3.9/5 | Read reviews (68)
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|Patrik Holmsten (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:|
Even though it had been out for slightly less than a year, it was virtually impossible to obtain any kind of specifications on the XP-10, so I had to buy one to find out what it was. This is what I found.
The bad part: You can tell that the XP-10 is an entry-level synthesizer. Roland has saved money wherever they could. Externally, the case feels a bit plastic, the controller sliders are small and the display isn't backlit. Internally, the computer part appears to contain a few bugs (a friend of mine actually managed to hang it just like a computer locks up sometimes). The synthesizer part is not programmable on oscillator-level, you have the preset wave tables which you can manipulate through attack, release, filter cutoff/resonance, reverb and chorus.
The good part: What they didn't sacrifice was sound quality. Most sounds are clear and powerful, especially the unplugged, string-based instruments. The basic drums are great, and there are several sets of drums for modern dance music as well. It is GS/GM compatible and has several XP-10-unique sounds. The good thing with the limited programming abilities is that it is very easy to adjust the properties there are. Next to the volume control, there are two extra sliders called "combination palette". These can be assigned different real-time functions, of which the most fun is filter cutoff/resonance. This affects any sound, so you can find out how that tenor saxophone sounds with a filter sweep. The bend/modulator stick has about 2 cm travel in the modulator direction, which is an improvement over the older non-moving version from, say, a D-20.
The hype part: There is a built-in arpeggiator. It is quite fun to play with for an hour, but I don't se any major use for it when using a sequencer. The arpeggiator has several preset modes and variations, but you can't make your own patterns. In the ads, Roland mentions something called "X-Dual". This is just the ability to play two sounds with one keystroke, and then have a controller where you can pan between the two sounds. It adjusts their respective volumes, just like a left/right balance controller does.
Apart from the limited possibility to create original sounds I think the XP-10 fulfilled my expectations, and in sound quality, it exceeded them.
Comments About the Sounds:
Most "real" instruments sound very good, but synthetic sounds lack that special little edge. The percussions are excellent and include TR-808 and TR-909 sets.
Links for the Roland XP-10
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