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Rating and Reviews: Roland Fantom-G6

The Roland Fantom-G6 is a workstation keyboard that can truly do it all -- it's equally impressive on tour, or as part of your production studio.

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"Fantastic Machine, nothing to fear with this one." submitted May 31, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Piano since 1970, home studio enthusiast since 1990, extensive keyboard and recording experience.
Music Style: Rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The sound is very good. It may be a little on the predictable / Roland-esque side of the scale, but in all, it is recording-worthy, in my humble opinion. Since the ROM is all samples anyway it can sound like anything you need it to sound like. The factory presets are very good and easily and infinitely tweakable. The DSP is sweet - both the global 'verb and chorus, and the individual processes are great too. It is very deep. Feature: I am truly in awe when I play with this board - still. The exapandability is a great feature, the sound engine itself is great, the ease of recording audio with midi is great; the LCD is very impressive looking and even better in terms of it's practical use. I don't know how I ever got along without such a big beautiful display! Tons of sounds and ease of recording make this a great composing machine. I do sound for film and this baby works great for my workflow. From sampling for foley to voice overs and simple pads, this thing is really great. The display is just awesome to look at. They did a great job with the layout and colors and use of pictures. THere is a lot to it so it takes some getting used to but like any good machine once you have yer mind around it the basics will quickly become second nature. If you've spent any time with some if the recent (last ten years) music workstations you will quickly grasp the concepts and features of this machine, but will likely spend a long time learning and exploring the nuances. To me, thats a good thing! Ease of Use: The factory sounds are fine - suitable for at least some basic uses for sure. THe infinite tweakability is nice though, and if you like to mess with the factory patches to make them "your own" this board will satisfy. There are tons of user-defined storage locations. The display makes it easy to see a lot of info at once. The navigation via softkeys is easy to learn although this board is deep with tons of features. It will take a while to memorize the whole thing. For as powerful as it is, I'd have to say it is very easy to use. There are three basic modes, "Studio", "Live", and "Single". All of them are easy to use but Single is the easiest, most straight-forward or basic way of working with the machine. In Single mode you simply select from one of the 1664 preloaded patches and rock on! In Studio mode you can work with the 24 track mixer in "DAW style". Very cool. In Live mode you get eight patches that can be layered and / or split. Basically any patch can be assigned to any keyboard range. The Dynaic Pad area is cool too - it's another way to access patches parameter (i.e. "Part Mute"), or to invoke rhythm patterns, amoung many other things. ONe final note: as I'm writing this I have yet to open the owners manual! I was able to figure out all this other stuff without reading anything about it. I'd say that makes this thing about as easy as it could be, particularly for the depth and breadth of features and functionality it has. Dang, I ought to be a sales guys for them! Quality: Roland stuff is generally very good. I still have the first Roland product (SH09 synth / keyboard) I bought, circa 1978 and it works fine. I have other Roland products - never had a problem with any of them. This unit seems to be well made and has a very solid feel about it. The brushed alum face is sweet - its technical and modern yet not austentatious. Who uses that word anyway. But seriously, the way the display is integrated into the face is nice and seems like it will be durable. Time will tell, but I'm not a bit concerned about the durability of this unit. Value: It is right in the ballpark with the competing workstations, i.e. triton, motif, etc. I love this thing. I don't see how anyone wouldn't like this thing. It's a great machine. It reflects the years and years of experience that Roland has - thats probably the best thing about this machine - it's the best of everything! Geez, now I really sound like Roland sales guy. I promise I'm not. I just love this machine that much, and if my input can help someone thinking about buying this machine, maybe allay their fears 'cause lets face it, this board aint exactly cheeap, then it's all good. I don't mind telling everyone how much I like this thing! Manufacturer Support: Nope The Wow Factor: I wanted it enough to buy it! I don't lay down 2500 for just any product - it has to be good. But then I don't think twice about the price...it is what it is and, IMHO, they deserve to get whatever they can for this machine. Go Roland! Overall: I think I will be happy with this board for at least a few years...probably 10!
55 of 59 people (93.22%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great Hardware and Interface - Sounds Need Work" submitted June 8, 2009

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Jazz/Pop
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Sound: Individual sounds aren't up to par with say, the Kurzweil (Young Chang) PC3X. Piano and organ are sub par. Strings are average and drums/effects/vox is above par. Quite honestly, I have an 18 year old Ensoniq SD1 that has better sampled piano and string sounds. You'll end up picking out about 20 favorites and abandoning the rest. Fortunately the sampler on this unit is first rate and if you want to put in the time - lots of it - you can put together some pretty first rate home brew patches. Feature: It comparatively easy to put together a song on this sequencer due in no small part to the 8" color screen and well thought out interface. I've worked with it for a few weeks now and got into most of it's corners. Definitely read the workshops and the manual to save time over the long haul. Sampling is extremely straight foward but putting those samples into a coherent performance set or patch takes a lot more work. Inputs and outputs are all there except breath controller. Ease of Use: This is a deep interface and I'm not a prior Roland user. Quality: Well built. Looks great. Best music workstation GUI in the industry. Value: Well, you know, in the end it's all about the killer sounds. Roland, in their infinite business wisdom, has decided to save those for their ARX expansion modules. At $400 a pop, this gives you a $3400 machine with 2 (the maximum) installed. Manufacturer Support: I like their workshops which can be downloaded from their Roland USA site. The manual is well written and 95% complete. It's too new for service issues. $200 cash back rebate was a nice touch - ends June 09. The Wow Factor: One look and your wallet is out of the pocket. Also, it will suck up all of your waking (and some sleeping) moments. Say goodbye to your family for at least 2 months. Overall: Once I bite the bullet for a few sound modules (or spend 6 months making my own sounds) this will be a first class machine.
8 of 9 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Fantom or V-synth hard choice" submitted April 10, 2009

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: producer
Music Style: rap r&b
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Sound: the multi fx for each channel are great, but the isnt the same for the reverb so don't expect that in multi mode. the sounds are good theres more wave rom but i think the user memory for patches still lacks space. i keep hopping that there going to let me edit audio like you can in v-producer software wich isnt possible but you do get kinda close. Feature: well its got some expansion cards that dont seem to include anything like the v-synth expansions but there alright i guess. the thing that got me was with my x6 i go into a catagory and i have such a big selection of sounds , but when i go into the same catagory on my fantom g i dont have nearly as much to choose from, this is so weird, thats why i think if they included more rom for user patches i might be able to remedy this. they still have there wannabe thermin on here wich has ocilators so why couldnt they just put a synth on it. Ease of Use: roland products are so easy to use, the only thing on this that isnt is its step editor and the mircoscope editor from what i can tell havent been changed from the x6, i would like more of a grid editor like the tr-909 but they dont seem to want to add that :( Quality: roland makes sold os's and keyboards. and the thing looks sexy as hell. Value: i mean this is expensive but its a roland state of the art workstation, but for the same about you can get a mpc5000 and that has a vs synth on it. Manufacturer Support: i used to get in fights with the techs at roland lol last time i called them they helped me and so it kinda depends on who you talk to. The Wow Factor: i own it Overall: I like the fantom but i think it still needs work when it comes to about of sounds, im a synth guy but im also a workstation guy, so i guess i dont see why they don't put an actual synth on this instead of making retarded supernatural cards lol.
24 of 28 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Just buy it already........" submitted June 2, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Producer
Music Style: Hip-Hop/PoP/Rock
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The sounds are AMAZING! This workstation would fit anyones musical style. The sound live vs recording would be the same & would put on a hell of show. The effects & settings are perfect. I would & do recommend this workstation to anyone Feature: Features are beautiful & amazing. There's just about every effect you can think of on here. The sequencer this beast is simular to logic &/or protools. Very nyce & well thought out. Ease of Use: Ease of use is perfect. It's pretty straight foward to know how to use. Quality: The quality is very sexxxy. It would hold up very well for on the road use. Very duarable & well built. I love the way Roland builds all their products. Value: The value is ok. It's worth it, but people want deals. If you have no music epuipment. Such as, If you dont have a sequencer, sound library, or a computer. This would well be worth just purchasing this workstation. Manufacturer Support: As for support. I never use them too much. But when I do they are very clear & helpful with any & every question you have The Wow Factor: I would want this if i didn't already have my iMAC or all my midi & software sounds. Overall: I was very satisfied when i messed with this. Excellent build, amazing sounds, ease of use is perfect, the sequencer is just plain beautiful. I recommend it & i dont even own one. Thats pretty good because it's hard for me to recommend anything because i am so hard on products that come out.
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"Nothing Else." submitted May 28, 2008

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: R&B, Hip hop, soul.
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Sound: Unbelieveable. Just my opinion. Its my first workstation and I haven't heard any of its competitors nor do I care to. Feature: I just learned how to record. from what I can see the possibilities are pretty much endless with this beast of a workstation. Ease of Use: I am not all that familiar with any workstation. So far I am coming along pretty well without the manual. Quality: They built it like it was going to Iraq. I can't stop looking at this board. Value: Pretty darn expensive my friends. Manufacturer Support: So far I have no use for support. I gave them a 10 anyways. The Wow Factor: Man. Where do I begin? Overall: I would say its the best.
13 of 16 people (81.25%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Most Entertaining Keyboard Till Date!!" submitted December 12, 2010

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Gospel Artist/Engineer
Music Style: Pop and Rock type
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Sound: Hi, I would Love to Put in my Heart-felt and sincere opinion, I own few Roland workstations i.e, E15,V76, X6 also korg m3 and motif xs. I am mainly a gospel artist and I play in my Church.. I rented the G6 for a month..I believe that as an overall package this is excellent, smart and very rewarding.. The sounds are USABLE, quiet expressive, but m not satisfied, my motif presets are way superior..BUT, there are some sounds where the Roland is better,like, Lead guitars, E.Pianos.. I must say that if you know how to tweak, then you can almost get a motif sound and even better out of this.. (Motifs acoustic sounds are very good) and to add the User ROM space is VERY POOR same as with motif.. The output in a live situation is very good.. The multi or rhythm presets are so less and not so useful.. motifs and Korg offers so much more.. I think if they refine the OS and keep things more accessible and easier to use( like get what you want at a shot) it would have been a serious killer.. Feature: The best part I Loved of this Keyboard is that you can chop up parts and assign them to the pads on your right.. 2) I feel its got the best sampler 3) Mouse control and LCD view is simply the best, One thing i hated is that, you need to click and answer too many questions to get to what you wanted.. Ease of Use: Yes, its easy and smooth to get to the patches. This is one keyboard that will take good learning curve, but once you are there, its really good. Sometimes it can be irritating if you use a motif along with it in a Live scenario.. Yet i think This is the keyboard i would love to develop my track or create a song..I can sit on it forever without being bored.. Quality: Yes this is well made.. looks are sexy and a real joy to take it out ..I believe you can use this for a decade.. Definitly yamaha and roland are of same league, the worst is my korg, it hanged and got stuck many times while i played at church, i was so embaressed.. m really angry with korg for that. Value: I feel its quite over priced, and it has a very poor second sales coz most people prefer a korg or motif.. Manufacturer Support: Well according to my past experiences, support is horrible,.. Every Roland owner according to my knowledge is unhappy.. The Wow Factor: Wow, this is the best looking keyboard so far out there... Overall: Honestly speaking, i must say that, i would like to wait and see what Roland is going to come out with next, i hope it must atleast 1) Sound better 2) Have an easier interface 3) must have features of current JUNO Gi 4) Have lots of UserRom 5) More Waverom
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"Sounds good, but not great." submitted May 24, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: New Age
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Sound: The sound quality isn't much better than previous keyboards. 256MB for all sounds is still miniscule compared to computer-based VSL samples. I can't believe ROM chips are that expensive that Roland or any other keyboard manufacturer can't put several gigs worth of ultra high quality samples in their keyboards. The flashy, colorful, sexy screen doesn't mean squat if the sounds are sub-par. I played with this keyboard for an hour in Tokyo and I was left wanting more. The pianos aren't usable in my opinion. The strings are slightly better and so is the brass, but still pale in comparison to computer based samples. Acoustic guitar is okay but similar to other keyboards. Electric guitar is actually very good, but not a sound I would use much. Drums sound excellent as well, but most keyboards sound pretty good with those samples. There are definitely some fun sounds though and I enjoyed playing with it, but don't expect to fool many into thinking these sounds aren't coming from a keyboard. Feature: Features are kind of meaningless if the sound quality isn't spectacular. Nevertheless, this is a cool looking keyboard. The screen isn't touch sensitive though, although it looks fantastic. Ease of Use: This is a feature packed keyboard so it does take some time to figure it all out and I certainly didn't master it in an hour, but I don't have any serious problems with Roland's interface. Quality: Roland does a great job with quality control so I'm sure this keyboard will stand the test of time (from a reliability standpoint) just like their other boards. Value: I don't think this keyboard is worth the selling price. In a year when Roland introduces a new replacement model (I'm guessing, they usually do), you'll feel silly owning this one. I just don't see anything compelling enough to justify this purchase. Manufacturer Support: I've never needed support from Roland with any product I've ever owned from them. The Wow Factor: Okay, I still kind of want this keyboard, despite some pathetic sounds, but I'll try to resist purchasing. Overall: I don't think this keyboard would satisfy me for long, even though it is a fun keyboard to play. Keyboard manufacturers need to change their focus to producing awesome sounds, instead of flashy screens and sexy looking boards. 256MB simply isn't enough to produce incredible sounds for an entire keyboard. I would love to squander cash on a new keyboard, but this just doesn't make sense (not that that would stop me from buying).
14 of 25 people (56%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"G8 horror" submitted March 22, 2012

By Balazs Somogyi in Budapest, NA
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Musical Background: Studio and home misican
Music Style: Dance, pop, folk, electronic, chill
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Overall: I have owned g8 for 3 days. The first thing i noticed the hammer mechanic very very noisy whats more its bothered me and my neigbours too... Its a shame for that luxorious top workstation. The second shock where the sounds!!!! It's unbelivible that I didnt find a good sound out of the box... I have owned yamaha motix xf before and I have to say it is billion miles ahead G8 according the sounds. The other features and sequencer not bad at all, but I was too dissapointed to try them. I couldnt wait to G8 was stolen! Buitl like a tank, and it have a nice look but thats all!
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