SNAMM:Roland's Fantom Is Finally Spotted

All new groove workstation from Roland      20/07/01

Buying Choices

Well of course we knew all along –Roland were creeping around at the BMF show last week to show a few selected journo’s there company secrets- we saw but weren’t allowed to tell anyone on pain of death. The all-new Fantom is toted as the next generation workstation keyboard.This 76-note instrument incorporates expandable XV synthesis and effects with a completely re-designed sequencer, large user-friendly display and sleek titanium look. Keeping up with the Joneses (Korg/Yamaha) the Fantom includes an exciting new variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator to aid in the creative process, while 24-bit D/A converters and S/PDIF digital outputs give pro sound quality. As a synthesizer, the Fantom enjoys a 64-voice multitimbral synth engine is based on the XV-Series architecture with stereo waveforms per Tone, expressive Matrix Control and onboard effects like 24-bit reverb, chorus and 90 multi-effects including the rather good COSM Amp Models. The Fantom’s 64MB-equivalent waveform memory includes 1,024 patches (640 Preset, 128 User and 256 GM2 sounds) and 41 rhythm sets, and can be expanded using two SRX-Series and one SR-JV80-Series Wave Expansion Board(s). Fantom also has a newly designed variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator allow creation of tracks quickly and easily. Both of these tools can be assigned to a Patch or Performance.. Rather niftily, he Fantom’s sequencer is always active, so when inspiration strikes, recording starts immediately—including any realtime combination of grooves, arpeggiator, knobs and live playing. The new sequencer also includes RPS (Realtime Phrase Sequencing) for triggering phrases and controller messages. The front panel employs a large angled display and soft keys: a slimline 3.5-inch floppy drive stores user data. The Fantom’s also incporporates Rolands’ light-sensing D-Beam controller for modifying sound parameters in real time as well as Arpeggiator parameters. The Fantom is expected to ship Autumn/Winter this year and retails at £1499 (+/-$2100)

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