Roland Fantom - step into the future
Today is a happy day for all dedicated Roland fans, as a new series of mold-busting synthesizers is launched: the Fantom-6, Fantom-7 and Fantom-8. And my, how big and beautiful they are! These are gigantic, synth wrangling beasts, gleaming with promise for all connoisseur producers and sound designers.
Roland Fantom: way out of the box
As per true Roland style, it will surprise no one that the sounds offered by this range are not only countless but are so current that the laws of physics dictate that they shouldn't even exist until tomorrow. What's also interesting is that the Fantom series conveys an acute awareness of the struggle that producers have been forced put up with when faced with the restrictions of synthesizers, even when there was no longer any valid technical reason for it. By behaving more like software, Roland's fresh collection of synths makes many of these physical restrictions melt away, leaving the Fantom with a level of potential that can only be restricted by its processor. New synthesis models can be loaded in as they become available, meaning that the entire internal architecture can be continually improved and updated for years to come. With their new Fantom series, Roland are really, very literally, inviting you to step into the future.
The promo photos say it all: welcome to the face of your new studio. Lined with numerous coloured LEDs, faders, pads and synth controls, all in tight formation around a crisp colour touch display. The keyboard supports a much larger velocity range than we're used to and this is made especially apparent when playing with the built-in piano sounds (V-Piano). At the bottom right, sixteen white pads double as an x0x-style step sequencer and in addition to the well-known Roland stick (for steering pitch and modulation), you also get two wheels, as found on the face of most other synths. Round the back lies a forest of connections: XLR / jack combi inputs (yes, you can sample with this synth!) and MIDI, CV and USB outputs; leading us to wonder if there has actually ever been a similar product to which you can connect quite so much!
We could of course go on and on and on ... but it might waste less of your time to just check out and read the product pages. As these giant synths come with a similarly sized price-tag, it might also be a good idea to start saving some cash. But (and it's a big BUT) what you get for that hard-earned cash is genuinely unprecedented.