Roland Intros FA-06, FA-08 Workstation Keyboards


2014 NAMM Show: Roland today introduced its new FA music workstation series, which features a sound collection inherited from their flagship INTEGRA-7, studio-quality effects, expressive real-time controls and onboard sampling for instant audio playback from the 16 backlit pads.

The sequencer features simple operation and non-stop loop recording, letting you capture songs and ideas as they come and export them as multitrack data to use with your DAW. The FA-06 also switches instantly from a standalone keyboard to become a powerful DAW tool, with USB audio/MIDI interfacing, powerful real-time controllers, DAW transport controls and more.


  • 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

Here’s the official Roland FA intro video:

Pricing and availability are to come.

52 thoughts on “Roland Intros FA-06, FA-08 Workstation Keyboards

  1. i guess Roland misread the year of the show. they thought it was 1994 and not 2014.
    BUT on the bright side, guys who work on cruse ships will be happy.

  2. I love how the release pictures show how damn hard the small black controls-on-black background will be to see on a dark stage. Marketing people are obviously not keyboard players.

  3. What does Roland have against aftertouch? While hardly groundbreaking this unit has some nice features, but seriously, no aftertouch?

    And where is Jordan Rudess?

    1. There has never been AT in affordable workstations. Integra costs 1500€, this has integra inside of it PLUS a good keyboard(Rolands affordable keys are usually acually playable compared to Yamahas and Korgs offerings) @ lower price than Integra, and this also has a sampler and a screen, so I’m actually thinking that its buit magically in fairy factories.

      AT is nice, but mono AT is hardly THAT necessary thing in a synth. It would drive up costs that little bit higher, that it would drop down sales and it wouldn’t be profitable to make an ‘affordable’ synth, that only few can afford to buy. Mono AT in flagships, on other hand, is not so significant expense in relation to their prices.

        1. Vortex is a 3 octave midi controller.

          And like I said, flag ship workstations have AT, affordable workstations do not.

          Easy as ABC.

      1. Why would you want aftertouch? You can just use the D-beam! It only takes one whole hand to use, and you can assign it as after-no-touch! If you’re so unprofessional that you need both hands to play, you can just swing a leg up there or wobble your face in front of it. Now that’s using your head 😉

        1. You need it on the board if your a piano player! it has to do with combined finger action and feel! it makes a big deal in synth sound expressions… Sounds can be expressive with AT. With out it, it can be plain and bland!

  4. akai+casio=roland , bah Spirit and Light had quit Electronic Giants …
    they dont listen …
    future is dyi and smaller companies …

  5. Although I understand that its fashionable to ridicule anything Roland is ever makung, and I would have loved to see variphrase technology continued, I like what I am seeing and hearing here!!! I want this and I also happen to need a light multitimbral multipurpose synth with sequencer and sampler.

    This is really the best in its category, as well as the best in its price range. I am SUPER happy and even relieved that I didn’t buy Korg Krome or stick my hands into any of that Yamaha BS they are asking for this ones price!!!

    1. Agreed but can you also map and play the samples across the keyboard? Does the arpeggiator also play the drum kits? Is there a PC or iPad librarian for the sounds?

  6. Mmmm, smell the elitism! I think the real point is being missed. Quite a few people DO love workstations or we would not see them persist. I use one a lot because it has a great grab-it-and-go aspect for many of the first-layer basics that build the foundation. I love my softsynths, but some things first come to life as an organ or piano, which have a certain intimacy unique to themselves. There’s so much computer-luv that people sometimes don’t tune into the pleasure of having it all right in front of you. Having both keys and pads at hand is a potent mix. That’s part of why Novation keeps offering them. The lack of aftertouch seems puzzling and black-on-black buttons suck mightily, but the rest, from display to iPad connection to pads, feels like a matured Fantom. I think it’ll come to have a good name. The list of positives is too long to dismiss.

  7. I also think there is a place for workstations. I love my M3 (upgraded with the Radias VA card). I also have a Micromoog, which almost works and should be back to normal soon. I cut my teeth on analog back in the 70s but I’m always up for something well designed that sounds good and has some horsepower.

  8. They might as well label the panel functions in Braille. It’s not the first keyboard to suffer from illegible functions, just the latest.

  9. How is it that roland always manages to look like they are 15 years behind anything modern in music…? Still pushing the old fantom sounds I see… and no doubt ridiculously overpriced “expansions” too

  10. Workstation?!! C’mon guys,take a cue from Korg,build some cool shit that people want,like a god damn 808 that doesn’t cost four thousand bucks…..workstation,puke.

  11. The moment I saw FA-08, I could only remember what Jo Brandt always says her husband is worth in the kitchen (and other places.)

  12. Awaiting a new analog poly from Roland, I had saved up thousands in my Paypal. Well, I tried to reward you Roland, but you refuse to make something more interesting than a Yamaha MX61.

    1. Every NAMM it’s the same thing. People get all worked up discussing it: will this be the year Roland reach back into their archives and resurrect one of the classics? Or maybe they’ll come up with a VA re-imagining of one? Perhaps something new with Variphrase technology?

      Then, after dropping hints of something new and revolutionary to come, Roland theatrically pull back the curtain and reveal their latest workstation keyboard. The internet collectively groans as wedding musicians fistpump in excitement and Roland laugh all the way to the bank with the dollars of gigging musicians and the tears of synth enthusiasts in tow.

      All that said, the inclusion of what sounds like an updated SP-808 in a keyboard is kind of neat and I hope they take that further. If they put a JV-1080 in a case with an SP-555 I’d definitely be interested.

  13. Yet another DJ oriented NON musical instrument…. I’ve waited too long for a G7 worthy successor.

    Please Roland oh please create an instrument and NOT a DJ tool!!!!!!

    1. I

      I don’t even


      What? How is this a DJ tool? How does it appear to be aimed at DJs at all? It seems pretty squarely aimed a gigging keyboardists with a side of DAW integration for bedroom producers. I don’t even want this thing but come on, guy.

      PS you, with your Fantom-buying ways, are the one ruining Roland for all of us. Stop buying workstations and stop having bad opinions.

  14. I for one welcome something like this…i sold my fantom x6 earlier this year, and used that cash to put towards a virus, which is a pretty amazing va synth especially for creating original sounds, and have no regrets about “upgrading”…but recently im missing some of the basic generalization/multitasking of my old fantom. Clean piano sounds, general string sounds, user control pad sampling, etc…is not what a virus was intended to do (which i knew before hand) So i have resorted to vst for some things that i know my old roland could do well, but im not a huge vst fan…i prefer hardware. And lets face it…the mac/pc implementation/editor software and (lack of) flash memory was umm…crap lol. If this new piece can do what my fantom did +some, is lighter for gigs, and more user friendly screen/mac/pc wise, and has sd flash memory, all at a better price than my old fantom was…im sold. It will fill the gap nicely for what va and full analog can’t do..

  15. Why on earth Roland is persisting in making so called workstations instead of pure synths…?!
    Everyone these days runs computer based DAWs and doesn’t need built in half baked sequencers in synthesisers…
    Roland should know that, as they own Cakewalk… 😉
    What a mega disappointment 🙁

    1. I can make a 2 min song in 2 minutes and 7 seconds with FA.

      When my PC finally boots, a commercial break is over, and tomorrow I have lost my inspiration.

      I will not take my PC with me to gigs, or even rehearsals. Even FA-08 is light enough to carry with bike and there’s no reason to pack a PC with it.

      My every PC has been too unstable, and their unstability also grows as fast as their performance seems to drop(even when I do nothing on the Pc, it will get slower over time, and also become mpre and more unstable. I have had every Windows, and 8 is the last I will ever buy).

      And most of all; when I make music, I vastly prefer having a musical interface, a piano keyboard, always in my hands.

      Its hardware (plus ipad soon) for me. The market for Workstations has not died, nor has digital hw synths in general, the hegemony in the bubble is just blowing hot internet steam at dangerous rates. And not only in this industry, the stupidity has gone overdrive, when lobbyists can come into every mans homes.

    2. work flow is most important! and this board looks like its got work flow written in its name. alas, no after touch! This will stop most older players from buying it: They might!

      Latency is a main reason for using a workstation vs computer!

  16. I am very pleased with the Roland FA-06/08 Workstation ! I plan on using it in my studio with its many functions combined with my Reason 7 DAW & Balance . It’s a perfect union !!
    Thank you Synthtopia for quick news on the lastest and greatest electronic musical gear that is out today !!!!!

  17. Well, this new keyboard isn’t exactly exciting but at aprox. $1200 it is a great deal. I’d buy it but I already have 16 synths and 8 keyboards, no room! Maybe later this year though I’ll get it anyways… looks really slick and it has a lot of sonic power. It’s also good for taking to your singers house to work on songs cause she’s to lazy to drive over on Sunday… 🙂

  18. The thing does have after touch by a foot controller which I think is a quality idea.

    I think this is a great affordable workstation, don’t get why people are hating on it. Easy to see what your doing with the fat screen, yeah the black on black with tiny labels isn’t great but name a perfect workstation.

    I’d never rely on a laptop live solely and this lets me do everything I need affordably. I want one keyboard that will do everything!

  19. Wow!! There is a lot of hate on this site and opposing the FA-08… I am a true musician with formal training and I can use this keyboard for all the unique sounds. I hate all these computer musicians. It’s about feel and creativity that a keyboard can’t give you. The FA-08 feel is great.. I plan to use the Roland sound as an addition on my rack (motif xf, korg Kronos .) I am a professional and remain a fan of Roland . The after touch can be achieved with a expression pedal………………. Thanks for the addition……. Real keyboardist/ musicians!!! It’s not about the buttons or look the feel, sound, and creativity…………….. All good Roland……………

    Big E

  20. Is there any information about FA06/08 audio interface?

    ????? kHz
    ????? – bit
    ????? in’s
    ????? out”s

    Have You Guys found it?

  21. I want to buy Roland fa-06
    Or I want to know in a song
    1 how many sampal
    2 how many arpigio
    3 how many pattern
    4 how many pattern group
    east east east
    This all in 1 song
    mobil no 09426577385

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