Roland RD-300GX, 700GX, Fantom G, Motif XS : short reviews

Posted: September 17, 2008 in Audio

The Salon de la musique 2008 (Paris) also allowed us to check new Roland, Yamaha and Kurzweil : the Roland RD-300GX provides – at only 1450$, a good keyboard and great piano sounds (the same samples set as with the older RD700-SX – that is the same two pianos). The converters seem great and the sound is much more powerful than the SRX11 Complete Piano put in XV5050.
The new RD700-GX provides a third piano (besides the previous two pianos) with a piano panel setting modelisation, and a far more better keyboard (PHA II Ivory Feel with escaping). At 2200$ it will be a good choice for those who don’t own an XV or Fantom, as it provides two SRX slots, besides including the new SuperNATURAL electric piano, a better touch, an arpeggiator, XLR outputs, and probably even greater converters.

The Fantom G provides stunning evolving/sequenced pads sounds (even better than the ones in the V-Synth GT), and the demoed ARX-01 Super Natural Drums expansion sounded great (much more realistic and powerful than virtual drum softwares).
The new Yamaha Motif XS bring some really interesting sounds (basse, drums, great saxophones and solo violins, very realistic and expressive) and also stunning arpeggiator programs : guitar riffs that cover all the styles. However the XS is still much more expensive than the new Korg M50.
Finally the new Kurzweil (PC3/PC3X and SP2X) were somewhat deceiving (a bit muddy sound, short samples, despite a good low end power).

Globally the electric guitar sounds found on these workstations aren’t so much greater than the ones found on the old XV with COSM effects (shipped in 2000). The orchestral sounds can’t catch up with dedicated samples libraries (the patchs found on the syhths are full and expressive, but they lack realism in the high end an provide very few articulations). Only Motif XS solo vilolins are really convincing. On the ethnic area the synths have made great progress : the sounds are very expressive and much more various (Ehru, etc.) – notably on the XS and M50.


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