Posts Tagged ‘Roland’

Roland Integra-7 PC editor

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Audio
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Waiting for the Roland’s Integra-7 PC/mac editor, a free one is available here (Windows only – mac version planned).

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Roland presented the A-88 master keyboard, that features Ivory Feel G touch, pitch/modulation bender, and weights 16 kg only. The price isn’t announced yet (it is listed at 914 euros at DV247).

Roland presented Integra-7 sound module, 16 parts multitimbral (128 voices of polyphony), that features 6000 sounds :
– acoustic Supernatural sounds : piano, electric piano, acoustic and electric guitars (with automatic chord fingering and strumming, and amp simulator), strings (with automatic legato, portamento, pizzicato, staccato, et tremolo), brass (with over-blowing, staccato, fall, grow), and ethnic instruments (Shakuhachi, Erhu, Sitar, Kalimba).
– analog type synth sounds : filters and envelopes, PCM besides oscillators.
– drum sounds derived from V-Drum.
– a new surround effects module (also manages audio input) and SFX sounds (with realtime control).
– all sounds from XV5080 (however does not manage import).
– whole sounds from the 12 SRX expansion cards. However only 4 cards can be selected simultaneously.
– an improved GM2 module.

An iPad application is provided.
The strumming effect for guitars and effects on brass are interesting, however strings seem using the same samples as found on previous SRX 04 / Fantom X (these are great however not as realistic as those from recent samples libraries).
The price isn’t annouced yet (listed 1511 euros at DV247).

NAMM 2012 soon

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Audio
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Waiting for Winter NAMM that will start this January, 19, we can find some thoughts about expected announces : a new Roland synth that doesn’t rely on ARX cards (weren’t as successful as SRJV and SRX at their time), return of Akai, Alesis and Casio. We can also read an interview of Eric Persing, that provides a photo from NAMM 1986 !

Roland R-Mix

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Audio
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Roland presents R-Mix, an audio software for mac, PC and iPad. It allows to display a representation of harmonic components from a stereo mix, edit their level, pan, pitch, speed, and to apply effects/noise cancel. Among common uses are remix, karaoke, or study of a particular instrument. A video is available, however the price isn’t announced yet.

Many demo videos of Jupiter 80 from the MusikMesse are available at Youtube. Pads are really original and interesting, some sounds remind the D50 or V-Synth (also Omnishpere) – more than the Jupiter as many comments reported -, and acoustic SN sounds are very expressive.

Roland FP-7F review

Posted: April 7, 2011 in Audio
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The Roland FP-7F, very heavy however also very strong (nice white metal case for the WH model, and wood below), provides a very convincing touch that leads to play as on a real piano (thanks to the rebounce that allows fast playing, and the two steps key-down course that allows very low velocities/soft playing).

Sensitivity settings provide 100 sensitivity curves (5 base curves with -10 to 10 fine values settings each).  The default one (Medium) allows mainly 1 to 102 velocities range, and can very hardly reach 108 value. Using Light or Very Light curves allow higher velocities, however lacking precision (larger velocity level changes for same pressure change, leading mainly to less realistic soft playing).

Sympathetic resonance is great and release time is very long, without audible looping point.

Listening through headphones sounds as if it came from the board’s speakers (about these they are really noisy – whatever volume is -, however it isn’t a problem while not close or playing, and they can be disabled).

Audio inputs are also at max level (the gain has to be lowered on the source device – for example through a mixing console) and can add another hiss to the speakers in case of ground loop (for example when audio from a mac mini – Audiofire interface – is connected to a Mackie VLZ mixing console whose tape outputs are then connected to the FP-7F’s inputs – no problem with other devices connected to the console or with an iPhone).

Playing the Complete Piano (SRX10) sound from the XV5050 from the FP-7F keyboard was far more better than with an old A30 : the base brillant preset was then usable due to restricted velocity range (the fourth/highest samples layer sounded more convincing limited to 108 velocity value, and the first/lowest nice samples layer was easily playable, with more progressive layers switchs). The sound seemed at first better on the lower range than with the Super Natural one, however it ended being less wide (as if tighter stereo width) and less living in release/resonance area.

Most piano samples libraries also sounded great from the FP-7F : Kontakt 2’s August Forester (lite patch with aditionnal reverb – M3o or Independence’s Origami), Synthogy Italian Grand. Eastwest Pianos was even better when mixing player and close perspectives (with parts level setted a little higher) for Bechstein (playable on a 8 Gb mac mini using Firewire 400 only connection and 256 kbits buffer size – some slight audio cuts only).

The DP-10 damper pedal (offers a continuous mode, that allows progressive sustain/half pedaling) also helped a lot (less static release/resonance).
Beside piano sound we find some interesting ones : harpsichord (that some think being a Super Natural one), fingered bass, some organs, sax/flute.

The included 80 session partner presets are great (and include a variation and many alternate chords progressions) and allow quick ideas with a few notes only. The looper provides more basic accompaniments (and are not of arranger type), however it allows to add parts to these / define chords progressions.  Roland also provides at download an utility to create Audio Key sets (samples or full songs to be assigned to lower octaves keys), that includes some audio phrases  (for personal use exclusively).

Finally the Vocal Harmony (duet, trio or quarter mode) work as an harmonizer and chorus when playing chords (seems to fix pitch and adds unison back voices). The mic input gain little knob on the rear panel (pre-amp) allows far more greater gain than with on a Mackie VLZ mixing console, and with far more less noise (in fact not present except on the highest levels – that aren’t required).

Beside factory demos with find 74 famous classical midifiles in the sequencer (that use up to 4 parts), that sound far more impressive.

The FP-4F, only 200-300$ cheaper, is then less interesting (less realistic touch/response, no vocal designer, etc.).

UPDATE :  my unit sometimes produces strong vibrating noise (far more louder than the keys) on the left side of the keyboard, due to unperfect match of the plastic part (that holds the power button) and the lower metallic case (below the keys). The space between the two parts is in fact slightly thinner on that side than on the left side. Playing strong velocities (and chords on the lower octaves) seem more likely to trigger it. It can last for a few minutes to hours, and can disapear (or came back) without obvious reason (temperature may have some effect.

It is using the Roland KS-18Z stand with 80 cm space between legs (max 94 cm). It may not happen with the dedicated stand. Putting the FP-7F on the floor (on its 4 feets).