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In-depth Feature:  Roland Fantom XR
Albert Potts writes: .

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The Sounds
The Fantom XR adds a neat new MFX algorithm designed for use with the piano patches. It's called "Sympathetic Resonance" and is designed to imitate the sound of the strings of a piano vibrating in resonance with the other strings.

I must say that I love this effect, and used in moderation it is effective at giving a more realistic feel to the piano patches. The effect can easily be overdone, which is interesting in it's own right, and of course this effect can be used on any patch, not just piano.

There has been much talk about the new piano in this box, and I must say that it is a good one. I think you'd pretty much have to go to a monster Giga type piano to beat it. I own the SRX-02 piano board and installed it in the Fantom XR to get a direct comparison. In the first place, it does seem to me that these are two different sampled instruments, not the same source samples. To me, they sound different in character. The Fantom XR piano is a bit brighter than the SRX-02 piano, which addresses the complaint by many that the SRX piano was too dark sounding. For me personally, I like the lower half of the SRX board piano and the upper half of the new Fantom XR piano! How's that for hedging your bets? All in all, the Fantom XR piano is very useable and is greatly enhanced by the new "Sympathetic Resonance" effect.

Overall, the sound of the Fantom XR is polished and I might even say "glossy". My XV-5080 sounded slightly plain all of a sudden, which surprised me. The Fantom XR has tons of patches to choose from and incredible amounts of raw waveforms for programming, so it should keep the tweakers and programmers busy for a long time to come.

Worth noting is that there are 256 memory slots for user patches, not the usual 128. Thanks very much for that Roland, as I often find the 128 limitation to be just that, a limitation.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Roland US Fantom pages
  • Fantom XR Price @ Zzounds

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    Ray Phenicie    Said...

    I fully agree with the hardware vs. software evaluation. I've upgraded the Cakewalk sequencing program three different times before switching to the Cubase 4. My E-mu Proteus 2000 still runs fine and I have to wonder sometimes if maybe we've been enslaved by the tyrants at Intel and Microsoft.

    29-Jul-07 12:50 AM

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