Roland FANTOM Synthesizer: Overview

This is the brand new Roland FANTOM:
a wonderful musical instrument and a creative hub. Quality metal build with plenty of options in the back for connectivity to your computer and your other instruments. High-resolution knobs and buttons and sliders to be able to manipulate your sounds and an amazing new sequencer to be able to capture your songs. Along with our brand-new aftertouch enabled keyboard
—the best we’ve ever made. FANTOM has a brand new synth engine
incorporating modeling, modern PCM, analog and more. The sound of FANTOM utilizes a brand-new feature we call Scenes. Scene contains everything: in Scenes we have 16 layers, each one of those layers can be any one of the synth
engines built into FANTOM and each one of those also has its own effect plus multiple effects for the Scene itself. The Scene also incorporates or includes your sequence data so your song information is included in the Scene as well. There’s so much power in FANTOM that I can be playing one Scene, holding down the sustain pedal, switch to another Scene the new sound will play—without any glitching. So let me play you a Scene. What you’re going to hear is the multiple layers of different forms of synthesis built into FANTOM, all with their own effect, plus a couple of effects
over the whole lot and the sound will evolve into an amazing landscape of movement utilizing FANTOM’s many multistage LFOs. So that was an example of a Scene using
layers of synths and effects but the cool thing is it’s just one layer can be any one of these different technologies from FANTOM. So one of the synth technologies built
in to FANTOM is V-Piano. V-Piano is amazing because you
can change different parameters like String Resonance, Damper Resonance
and Cabinet Resonance and you can actually get in and individually tune and change the character for every single note, which is great because you can design
the piano that you want. I’m going to show you now,
thanks to FANTOM’S modeless design, how easy it is to create a song, on-the-fly. I’ve got a few layers already set up here creating
a really cool synth patch. So now, I just hit ‘Record’… and away we go! Now that is playing back, and as you can see on screen, it’s actually made four different loops for the four different layers that I’m actually playing. So now I can create another version of that
pattern that I just played. Go back into ‘Record’ mode… and I’ll play something a little bit different. So now that’s playing back,
really straight forward and very simple, I can go back and check my first pattern that I made… Great! So that pattern is playing, now
let’s add some bass… Okay, I can hear my sound I’ve selected, make it a bit brighter with the filter… go into ‘Record’… So now we have a bass, let’s add some drums… I’ll select the Drum channel and now
we’ll go into to ‘TR-REC Mode’. Lay down the kick, lay down the snare and lay down some hi-hats. It’s as easy as that. Okay so you’ve seen how easy it is to put down your ideas with FANTOM. Here’s a scene that’s prepared already I’ve got all the clips laid out and you can see them they’re in their rows and the columns, the columns being the different instruments and the rows being parts of the arrangement. If I select one row and
play it… It’s cycling through those Clips that we’ve created. Now if I like, I can actually experiment with different Clips. Let me change it here with the drums. So now it’s going to actually change to a different pattern… You can hear the changes in
the pattern. So I can experiment with different Clips and change the arrangement of the song. Of course, as it’s playing back I can change the mix as well too… …or… adjust the Filter of certain sounds. Or if I really want to, I can select
another sound and jam over the whole thing. So you’ve seen how easy it is to create
your own music just using FANTOM but if you hook it up to a computer it opens up all sorts of new possibilities with the deepest integration available. Now I’m going to record something in Logic but controlling everything from FANTOM and the audio will be coming back through USB into FANTOM. Hit ‘Stop’ and now I can rewind and play
back the audio through the USB cable… into FANTOM, I can hear the playback. Now I can actually scroll through the different tracks from here and bring up different controls. So let’s have a look, there’s the drummer, I can actually change the volume of the kick drum and the snare drum—all from within FANTOM. I can actually hit ”Shift’ and add more audio tracks, add more MIDI tracks. I can even open the Loop Browser, or the Notepad or the list of editors. Complete integration all from within FANTOM’s touch screen. So FANTOM also has deep integration with MainStage giving you the ability to perform your favourite VSTs on the laptop but controlling them all within FANTOM. So let me show you, I’m going to pick different patches, I’m going to control some of the parameters like Cutoff and Resonance and then I’m going to sequence using FANTOM sequencer and some FANTOM sounds but also integrating MainStage sound. So let me play some of the sounds here, I’ll go, I’ll scroll through the different patches and you can see the patches changing
on the laptop as I scroll through. So let me go back to that square bell sound,
I’ll select Cutoff, make it a bit filtered off sound, a bit of Resonance as well. So now I’ll record a sequence using some layers that I’ve already prepared in FANTOM along with the MainStage sound as well.
So I’ll play the layers, the FANTOM layers first… there we go, that’s looping around. So now… I’ll add… and there we have it, FANTOM, MainStage, all recorded and being played back
by the FANTOM sequencer. FANTOM also has a true analog stereo filter built-in, accessible by this larger knob here, and it sounds creamy, fat and warm, and sometimes gritty …and there’s a heap of different filter types you can choose from, and the cool thing is is that you can assign the filter to your inputs, or your master out, or just to individual synths.
It’s a great addition to a wonderful keyboard.