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Rating and Reviews: Roland FA-08

With its 88-note Ivory Feel-G keyboard with escapement, 2000 INTEGRA-7 sounds, and powerful effects, the FA-08 is a go-everywhere, do-everything workstation.

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Features
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The Wow Factor
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"Another big win for Roland" submitted June 19, 2016

By William Blanchard in Phoenix, NY
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Professional keyboard player for over 30 years. I also play guitar, bass, and drums.
Music Style: Preferred style: Movie Soundtrack ScoringAlso love the 80's pop stuff and classic rock.
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Overall: I've owned quite a few Roland keyboards since I got into synths around 1985. I play in 5 local bands playing many styles of music. This keyboard is great for ALL of them. I wanted a weighted key replacement for the Ensoniq KS-32 I was using as a midi controller for my VST pianos. When I plugged the FA-08 in I have barely touched the VST pianos because the pianos in this keyboard are outstanding. At first I was a bit disappointed with the action of the keys but quickly fell in love with it once I tweaked the velocity sensitivity. The action of this keyboard plays (and feels) like a high quality real grand piano. Learning to program this keyboard was a bit of a challenge but if you watch the YouTube videos that Ed Diaz has out it makes learning your way around the board A LOT easier (Thanks Ed you are a lifesaver). When I purchased this keyboard I was looking to take my Korg Triton Pro76 out of gig circulation and keep it in my studio permanently. So far the FA-08 can do everything the Triton did for me. I have not figured out how to assign samples to actual keys yet on the FA-08, not even sure that can be done but the sample pads work pretty nice and this keyboard will hold a lot of samples. The only thing I wish the FA-08 had that the Triton has is a touch screen. The two expansion boards are nice too. You can download many expansion packs from the Roland Axial website. The FA-08 is not a lightweight keyboard by any means. It is built to be durable and sturdy. I purchased the SKB R6020W 88-Key hard shell molded case for this keyboard. The case is a lot wider than the keyboard but also holds my D.I.'s cables and pedals quite nicely. Now let's talk about this thing's sounds... a BIG wow factor for me on the pianos and this board is loaded with some fantastic vintage sounds as well as some of the more modern dance sounds as well. The drum kits sound very nice. I've been using some of the drum kits for dubbed overlays when I record to bring out some snare hits and crashes. The organs are okay, I had to do a bit of tweaking to get them to sound the way I like them but there are many to choose from. Overall, I highly recommend this board if you want a weighted keyboard. If Roland released this board in a 73 or 76 key version with synth action keys I wouldn't hesitate to purchase one.
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"Roland FA-08 In Praise and Worship" submitted August 3, 2015

By Stephen S in Willis, TX
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Musical Background: Bass guitar - 35 years Keys - 5 years
Music Style: Rock, praise and worship, C-jazz.
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Overall: This review will be geared to the semi-pro church musician. I'm not on staff at my church but I am paid for my services, but this is not just a paid gig, I have been a member for almost 9 years. I have been a bass player most of my playing career with some lite keyboard background. I was pressed into service playing keys as we had no one else at the time. The church had the predecessor to the Yamaha MOXF8, a mid level workstation. I thought this would be temporary but I have been on keys now for over 4 years. I decided to get my own equipment and got a Kurzweil SP4-7. This abruptly malfunctioned back in May, I decided to replace rather than repair that board. After some time reviewing I went with the Yamaha MOXF6, I thought Yamaha had slightly better sounds. The Kurzweil was just a stage piano so I had little experience with a workstation. I maybe didn't give it fair chance but to me it was not user friendly and you could not switch sounds without completely cutting off the previous sound. Again, I may have just not dug deep enough into using it. After using the 61 key Yamaha I decided I wanted to go with full weighted keys, I was leaning towards the Korg Krome bu there were several there were several things I could not live without, the biggest was no dedicated transpose/octive buttons. This left the FA-08 in my price range. While I miss the size of the 61 key Yamaha and the 76 key Kurzweil as far as moving it from home to the church it's certainly been doable. I have been very please with the Roland as a live performance instrument. I can't comment on the workstation abilities as I have only used it to perform live with. The 88 key board action is a little heavier than I am used to for fast synth lines. While the individual sounds are good to very good where it shines is the ability to create my own sounds by layering. You can put 16 different sounds in a studio set and access them instantly by linking the sample pads the the sounds, no sound drop while switching either. I've just touched on a few points that are important to me, I would definitely recommend checking out the Roland FA-08 as a live performance option.
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"Roland FA08" submitted January 28, 2016

By John L in Anaheim, CA
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: 40+ years. Guitar, piano, trumpet, drums
Music Style: blues, funk, rock, jazz
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Overall: Great, solid product. Well rounded sound, great feel to the keys and easy to integrate into DAWs and Windows 10. I really enjoy the Sequencer with my young son, who like s some of the looped rhythms and will jam along to the loops! Great to help him learn piano/keyboards on a full, 88 key keyboard. Roland did a great job on this one/ If your looking for more of a gigging-type FA board, go with the 61 key as they are NOT weighted but easier to play live and won't tire your hands/arms out as much as the weighted 88's!
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