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Roland Fantom Keyboard Synthesizer review


Roland Fantom-X6 61-Key Sampling Workstation

Looking for instrument that actually helps the creative process flow? The Roland Fantom keyboard synthesizer may be the perfect choice. This is a juicy synthesizer that has been designed to keep the music flowing. It sports a very easy to use interface and superb sequencer, with bonuses like its variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator. The Roland Fantom has been thoughtfully designed to keep the music flowing, and would be a perfect addition in the recording studio or in a live setting. It has an expandable sound engine, digital outputs, and a great price to boot.

Scroll down for Roland Fantom Features, Specs and Pics...

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Roland Fantom-X8 88-Key Sampling Workstation
Roland Fantom-X8 88-Key Sampling Workstation

Roland Fantom-X7 76-Key Sampling Workstation
Roland Fantom-X7 76-Key Sampling Workstation

Roland Fantom-Xa 61-Key Workstation
Roland Fantom-Xa 61-Key Workstation

Roland Fantom Features:

Need a Keyboard Gig Bag for the Roland Fantom-XA?
  • Synthesizer Workstation designed to integrate performance and composition
  • Professional XV-5080 sound engine with 64 voices and 16 multitimbral parts
  • 1,024 Patches (640 Preset, 128 User, 256 GM2 sounds), plus 29 Rhythm Sets
  • New variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator with realtime control via knobs, buttons and light-sensing D-Beam
  • 'Always-active' high-resolution sequencer with Realtime Phrase Sequencing
  • Large, angled LCD display with soft keys for faster, more intuitive operation
  • 24-bit reverb, plus chorus and 90 multi-effects like COSM Amp Modeling
  • Expandable via two SRX- and one SR-JV80-Series Wave Expansion Board(s)
  • Superb sound quality with improved 24-bit D/A converters and S/PDIF digital outputs
  • Sleek titanium chassis with low-profile floppy drive for storing User data

The creative process begins flowing with the Fantom's 64-voice, 16-part multitimbral sound source. This is the same engine used in the acclaimed XV-5080 (very sweet indeed!). A plethora of sounds with over 1,000 Patches (640 Preset Patches, 128 User Patches and 256 GM2 sounds), plus 29 (count 'em!) Rhythm Sets.

The Roland Fantom's sounds are full of life, thanks to the endless modulation routings afforded by Matrix Control--all of which can be easily tweaked with the Fantom's realtime controllers.

This is one of Roland's finest 76-note keyboards with superb synth action, and the velocity and channel aftertouch gives you room to play as expressively as you like.Improved 24-bit D/A converters and S/PDIF digital outputs (coaxial and optical) make the Fantom one of Roland's best-sounding workstation ever.

Expandable to Over 200MB of Sounds!

It's true that the Fantom's massive wave memory is chock full with just about every sound imaginable, but it's also completely expandable. The Fantom is equipped with two SRX-Series expansion slots and an SR-JV80-Series slot, giving you access to one of the largest sound libraries available.

Very Cool Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator

CleverJoe loves arpeggiators - who doesn't get a thrill by holding down a few notes on a keyboard and listening to the wonderful sounds you can create as the notes arpeggiate effortlessly between your twitching fingers? The Fantom delivers big time in the arpeggiator department.

Arpeggiators have come a long way since Joe was a pup, and the Fantom sports an awesome interactive music partner in the guise of a variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator. This absolutely spanking little unit is capable of sparking ideas even in the dullest of musicians among us. Let the fun begin! The party starts by selecting an Arpeggiator style such as guitar picking and strumming, piano backing, bass lines or keyboard hooks. All it takes is the press of a key to let the magic begin. It's easy to modify Arpeggiator patterns and Patches in real time using the Fantom's host of controllers including four knobs and the light-sensing D-Beam.

Fantom's unique Rhythm Generator: This interactive tool is loaded with patterns in styles including:

  • contemporary pop
  • rock
  • jazz
  • fusion
  • Latin
  • techno
  • house
  • drum n' bass.

It's obvious that both the Fantom's Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator patterns were recorded by top-notch live session musicians. There is lots of realtime control available, and Roland has set things up to be as easy as possible. You'll be cranking out tunes in no time.

Powerful Sequencer

Sequencing is very straight forward with the Roland Fantom. It's an easy process to record your compositions with the Fantom. The built-in 16 part sequencer includes the following:

  • 16 part sequencer
  • Large, angled LCD display for easy editing
  • Realtime Phrase Sequencing (RPS)
  • Trigger musical phrases
  • Trigger Controller Data
  • Sequencer is always active
  • Knob tweaks are recorded
  • Arpeggiator patterns are recorded
  • Microscope editing


The bottom line is that the Roland Fantom synthesizer keyboard is truly one of Roland's best efforts ever. It's a perfect choice for songwriters and musicians who need a versatile, interactive keyboard that's easy to work with and fun to use. The sound quality is stunning, and the many built-in tools make it a joy to use. The Fantom will allow the creative process to flow easily and naturally, and at the same time it will make things sound very, very good.

CleverJoe gives the Roland Fantom Keyboard three big thumbs up!

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