Roland FA-06 Workstation First Look (2014 NAMM Show)

2014 NAMM Show: This video is a first look at the new Roland FA-06 workstation.

via Nick Batt at sonicstate:

Roland popped down a couple of days ago to give us the skinny on a new product which was released today. Taking the legacy of the Fantom workstations and combining the pallette of the sonically stuffed Integra-7 sound module, and performance chops from the recent Junos and Jupiters,plus a large colour display, the FA06 and FA08 (88 weighted keys) are Roland’s new take on the keyboard workstation.

With 128 voice polyphony, 16 part sequencer (each with dedicated FX plus a total FX), it’s got enough voices to handle some complex productions.
The all new (ground up design) sequencer integrates with the on-board sampler to create a flexible workflow as far as we can see.

Features:

  • Light, mobile body with 61-note velocity-sensitive keyboard
  • Over 2000 sounds from the flagship INTEGRA-7 sound module, including SuperNATURAL synth and acoustic tones and drums; add even more tones via internal wave sound expansion slots
  • SuperNATURAL synth engine is fully compatible with the expansive collection of free INTEGRA-7 synth tones available from Roland’s Axial sound library site
  • 16-track sequencer with non-stop loop recording makes it easy to build songs quickly; export your sequencer tracks to an SDHC card as a complete stereo mix, or as multitrack audio or MIDI data for use in your DAW
  • Onboard sampler based on the SP-404SX features 16 pads x 4 banks and direct recording/playback via SDHC cards
  • 16 independent MFX engines, six COMP+EQ processors for drums, unique TFX (total effects), and global EQ, chorus, and reverb
  • Six user-assignable Sound Modify knobs
  • Streamlined interface with large color LCD
  • Use with your DAW via USB
  • D-Beam, Rhythm Pattern, Arpeggiator, and Chord Memory functions to expand your creative palette
  • Guitar/Mic and Line input jacks for performing, sampling, and DAW audio recording; dedicated input reverb provides ambience for performing/recording
  • USB ports for sound expansion data, updates, and audio/MIDI interfacing with a computer; MIDI communication with the iPad is possible when using Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit

See the Roland site for details.

25 thoughts on “Roland FA-06 Workstation First Look (2014 NAMM Show)

  1. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of “Just another workstation” comments, but all in all, its a pretty good refinement of the Fantom. I can see why they would not offer a separate editor; its really not needed the way the GUI is set up. I can imagine a solid stripe of users who are either semi-DJs who want to play the actual keyboard a bit more or keyboardists who want branch out into performance capabilities more common to the DJ world. I hope it will accept really large SD capacities. One mark against both V-Synths is their stingy user memory. This thing deserves the space to stretch out.

  2. WOW. Look how much effort it takes to bore me.

    So much technology. Such a boring package. Doesn’t look inspiring at all.

    Hoping this new Neo-808 drum machine is cool though…

    1. Doesn’t LOOK inspiring? Would having it pinstriped help you to make better music with it? How esthetically pleasing is a synth, really, outside of our fanboy devotion? Aside from the impressive color touchscreens, a synth is a slab with knobs. You could ring it with LEDs and all that’ll really do is force you to replace the bulbs later on. I’m inspired by how a thing sounds & feels to play and less by its appearance. If I want it to look chic, I’ll ring it with FUTURAMA stickers.

      1. It’s one thing to say this stinks and it’s another to admit that you’re not in their target market. Roland has been making stuff like this for years and they’ve stayed afloat just fine. Their market is definitely not Synth nerds, but perhaps semi-professional stage musicians who back for rock bands (or something). I won’t buy this but from a business perspective I’m sure Roland will sell enough to make it worth their while. They run a business!

  3. They are clearly walking a fine line between features, sound-quality, price, and non-complexity. That kind of keyboard used to attract me. Seems like a decent keyboard for quite a few applications.

    I have to say though, I just timed the boot time on my Kurzweil K2500 and it is about 8 seconds as well. It also can boast many of the “slick” features mentioned in this video, though its learning curve is famously a bit steep. I think the sequencer on the K2xxx series is quite hard to beat in terms of power & versatility.

  4. It seems that user samples cant be used in the synth engine. You cant even make a preset/prog using user samples. Huge step backwards.

  5. This Keyboard looks great and I am seeking a Workstation purchase. I saw the video but I have
    Questions
    1) If I used stored samples on my SD card on a song session, will the samples I used disappeared if I remove it from the key board or are the samples recorded and saved on the track without need for the sd card data?
    2) Whats the max amount of samples that I can load on this unit? How much data can it hold?
    3) Can I create synths on this unit by using my own sample library? Can I save my created synths and pull them up when I want?
    4) Could I pitch an wav file from my SD card across the kets individually? For instance: If I had a one shot harp, could it pitch across the keys? And If so, Could I save that Sample as well as my settings then rename it and pull it up later without the need of the original sample on my sd card?

    Any help Would be great before I make my Pre Order purchase. If you know of another keyboard that can do what Ive asked above, what keyboard would that be?

  6. Look people, WHAT do you want to inspire you? Don’t you finally see a synth that has eliminated problem of lacking effects in multimode? This does not sound enough good to you? Or to have entire library of Roland at your fingertips, and to able to download samples from website, that does not sound good? It’s sound as good as is gets, beating the similar products of the other brands.

  7. i can do all this with my emu esynth 76 note/keys.(fatar keybed) .aftertouch……….since 1997/ 128 note poly/ 64 layers/ split on every key if you want/ output any midi channel from each preset………..999 preset locations…….999 sample locations
    Zoning crossfades/layers crossfades/ import samples from anywhere………… assign any source to a destination………….PLUS famous emu filters……… PLAY while loading………..Play while changin preset/
    link presets for layers really quickly……………..wave sequencing ………. Object orientated software means each preset is a multi as well by linking any other preset 64 layers…………..BRILLIANT
    OK so its a dedicated sampler workstation……………!

    8 outputs…. send recieve for outboard effects………..and remote control too thru cubase……….
    LOVE it!! But its heavy!!!

    I just bought the MOXF8………….for pianos…….and its lightweight…….. Wish id seen this first tho!!!

  8. Hi there,
    Regards Sample Trigger pads:
    (a) Can an audio sample be trigged via the Roland’s midi sequencer, like dropping the chosen sample exactly where I want it on a composition?

    (b) I appreciate that the sample trigger pads are not velocity sensitive. But could the samples be triggered from my Akai MPX8 pads via Midi (which are velocity sensitive). In which case, would the samples of the Roland respond to velocity?
    thanks.

  9. Its a light weigh workstation for the masses with a sp404 attached for instant sample access for triggering.
    I will be good for the live performer
    it don’t have the flexibility of production as the fantom G but that why its lightweight.
    for the price you get what you need.
    I cant see it replacing my fantom G but it could work along side it for the price.
    the fact that it automates the mixdown of midi to multitrack is a nice idea but being
    a realtime process it will be interesting to see how long it takes to do this for a fully produced
    song.

  10. Man, just happen to run across this forum browsing information on the FA-06/08. This group is hilarious! A lot of jabs at Roland. Their recent stuff is actually very good (talking post 2010). For a while, they took shortcuts after their massively popular synths of the 80’s, but as of late, they’ve become a very powerful and innovative software and expression company; a new direction, but not a bad one at all. People are funny…keyboards are not always about SYNTHISIS. Sure, it’s a HUGE part, but it’s also about natural sounds; something Roland has recently become very good at. Layering sounds (when using synthi-oriented patches) can produce some very nice, rich tones. I recently received one of these keyboards (FA-06) and I’m actually impressed with the workflow. The Integra-7 has some wonderful sounds and so foes this! The effects are rich and it definitely is a step up from the Fantoms I’ve had in the past. You fanboys are hilarious! The keyboard isn’t the best looking thing in the world, but it doesn’t impact my workflow. The OS, layout and sound capabilities of the synth determines what I can create. This is a great keyboard…get your head out of the sand and stop living in the past. Roland has moved on, and so should you.

  11. Oh and this keyboard is all studio or quick track creation based btw…live would work I guess, but the jupiter-80 is way more suited for that. I have one of those as well.
    I have Moogs, and Access Virus TI2, an older Fantom (which I do think is crap; just used it for sampling), and a lot of other various synths pure an along and some digital VA, but I can see this FA-06 board becoming my main home studio workhorse…it really is a good keyboard.

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