Roland Announces New Fantom Synthesizer Line

Roland today introduced a new line of Fantom synthesizers – three new flagship synths that they say offer fluid workflow, modeless operation, deep computer integration, and more. Available in three models.

The company says that the new Roland Fantom synths have been developed from the ground up, with intuitive touchscreens, deep computer integration, superb playability and rugged construction.

A key feature of the Fantom design is its modeless interface. Players never have to worry about what features work in which mode – the Fantom design offers a consistent working experience in every musical scenario. With workspaces, called Scenes, the instrument can be fully customized and reconfigured for different composition and performance setups.

The new Fantom’s flexible and expandable sound engine lets you combine different synthesis technologies, along with an onboard analog filter. There’s also an wide selection of effects available to enhance individual sounds and process entire mixes.

The Fantom’s engine is powerful enough to let you run 16 parts, with all available effects at once, complete with full patch remain for seamless transitions. As a result, you never have to guess about how many effects are available, or if sounds can be changed smoothly without limiting complex patches.

In addition to the color touchscreen interface, there are a wide range of knobs and sliders for immediate control, plus a dedicated synthesizer section with oscillator, filter, and envelope controls. Other tools include RGB pads, a classic TR-REC style pattern sequencer, real-time recording with piano roll editing, and a grid for recording and launching clips.

Fantom also is designed to integrate with your other gear and software. DAWs and performance software, like Apple’s Logic Pro and MainStage, can be operated from the touchscreen and panel controls, and virtual instruments from Roland Cloud and others can be controlled and combined with Fantom’s internal sounds.

The Fantom synths also can control modular and analog synthesizers with dual CV/Gate outputs.

Pricing and Availability

The Roland Fantom synths are expected to be available in September, with the following pricing:

  • 88-key FANTOM 8 – $3,999.99
  • 76-key semi-weighted action FANTOM 7 – $3,599.99
  • 61-key semi-weighted action FANTOM 6 – $3,299.99

48 thoughts on “Roland Announces New Fantom Synthesizer Line

  1. More plastic synths from Japan. Same looks as Yamaha nowadays. And lol…look at the prices…good luck with selling that.
    Sorry for being that cynical but I imagine lots of customers don’t agree with paying that much for plastics…

    1. Sorry to disappoint you but it said:

      “BUILT TO LAST.
      FANTOM is made of tough metal with high-grade components throughout. Everything about it is sturdy and built to withstand the perils of live gigs and life on the road.”

  2. Roland’s “The Need to Create” is an amazingly vapid video. The purpose of introducing a product is to actually introduce the product. In this case of a musical instrument, I hear a bunch of bland pads in the background, and that’s it. The video even starts, “I’ve always felt very disconnected from the world.” Blech! (Yes, then after that, there is a separate video about the synth.)

    I wonder how Vivaldi or Beethoven or Debussy would pitch a new instrument. Maybe they wouldn’t talk, but would create a composition demonstrating the instrument’s abilities.

  3. Wow, what a stupid video. Maybe drop the stupid marketing crap and pass the savings on to the customer. There are so many better instruments for half the price. Hydrasynth is gonna eat this thing for lunch.

      1. From the manual:

        “This provides two independent units of analog filter + overdrive .

        They can be applied to the desired zone output, or to the mixed master output .Highly flexible routing is provided, so that the output of the analog filter can be returned to main out, or output from the Analog Out jack . This effect is common to all zones .”

  4. I really feel like most of what people do on the internet is complain about things. It’s quite sad actually.

    There are some incredible capabilities to these instruments, and a bunch of thought went into their design. Creative possibilities abound.

    Some people will make great music on them.

    Just because they don’t fit the dream you had in your head of the instrument you wanted, or they cost more than you would like them to cost, this gives you license to complain for the whole world to read?

    We are living in a warped moment in history.

    1. I agree. Whine whine whine. Bringing sports or politics mentality to music creation (“brand x vs brand y”) is incredibly depressing. Y’all should log off and think about why you’re making music in the first place.

  5. Yeah, that emo video oozing along over a big pad tells me jack about the actual instrument. (Rolls eyes)

    Um… don’t people buy Prophets because they sound like Dave? Why diss Roland for capitalizing on its own sound? I’ve owned four Rolands because they were Rolands, duh. Its very early yet, but IMO, the two new synth lines show that the company is listening. They’re following the trend of near-workstations that come up to the sequencer line and then mesh with DAWs readily for the heavy lifting. Tariffs are notably hurting prices right now, but you’re either touring and need the tax write-off or you’re going to drop the money because you’re serious. Mega-instruments now run three large or more. That’s still better than five large for a Prophet-5 in 1981 dollars!

  6. It looks like an amazing instrument. I’ve owned a Fantom X7 since it was current. The build quality is so good that i wondered if Roland would ever try to top it. Its synth engine is still deep by today’s standards, the sequencer powerful too. I did some sequencing timing measurements on my X7, it was rock solid. I once did some basic spectrograms in Audacity of its audio i/o and it had a flatter curve than more recent devices i had.

    The new Fantom looks like it has a quicker interface compared to my X7 which requires many button presses. The price is high but it looks like Roland really tried to make a high quality instrument.

    Very happy to see all this new gear from Roland. It’s good to see Roland fighting hard!

    1. I’ve had the exact opposite experience in terms of build quality. I played with a guy who had a fantom x7 and the buttons were nearly unusable. You had to push so hard to get them to work I thought he was gonna bust through. He took good care of it too. Sound was good though.

  7. Thank goodness workstations are still here. I need this (along with the money to buy it…priorities). This thing is gorgeous and I too am happy to see Roland realizes what people what and are investing in the workstation platform. Man, the past few years have turned me into a Roland believer…never thought I’d say that. MAJOR want for me.

    All these ‘influencers’ are yapping about dawless music production…ok, what the hell are workstations to begin with. Maybe the ever-improving central display puts them in the DAW catagory or something. Oooooh kay

    Yamaha, get your sheet together and (somehow) implement a normal sequencer in your Montage/MODX…seriously, what is wrong with you people?

  8. DOH. Nothing new. The same looking, pricing and feature full Montage, but with Roland type sound.
    Remove FM, add V-piano.
    LFOMG – OMG! Even this was steal.

    Roland: we design the future. Me: no, you design the past.

  9. Dave Smith, Korg and Behringer look up from their analog synth design work at this announcement and all “High Five!” each other saying “Yay they still dont get it!”

    1. I love analog, but really, it’’s getting to be too common now to keep placing it above digital synths. After all: Synclavier, Fairlight, Wave X.x are digital. But I do love the trio of designers you mentioned + oberheim – my fav!

      The last Roland I’ve enjoyed was the V-synth and the XV-3080, and the boutiques – especially the D-05!.
      The JD-xn, and the FA-nn didn’t impress me. But, I’d love an Integra-7 or a Jupiter 80.

      After blabbing away, I took your comment a different way in that I’m glad not everyone is focused on the same product space.

      Anyway, Roland will come around to my likes again, and again. Just have to wait.

  10. By the way, why is Synthopia not a secured website? (See URL). Anyhow, I quite like this and I think it bears similarity to RD-2000 and will be competing in the same arena as Korg’s Kronos.

  11. I downloaded the reference manual to understand if this synth is also a VA synth. I guess it isn’t. Zero mention to sound programming, oscillators, etc. I think all the stuff inside the memory is a bunch of samples of Integra 7 and a new operating system to play clips (Ableton/Bitwig style). Ins and outs are good but I thought, after several years from the last Fantom, Roland was capable to design a product similar to the Kronos with different sound engines. Probably I’m wrong and this new synth has a lot of hidden features not revealed because the launch of the Jupiter XM. If both instruments shares the same ZEN-Core technology then they have to play the same sounds.

      1. Roland has multiple manuals for this synth. There is one of them detailing all parameters. I think the sound engine has VA and sample based synthesis.

    1. It is a very capable VA synth. From the Parameter Guide Manual:

      OSC Type:

      PCM
      VA
      PCM-Sync
      SuperSAW

      + SuperSAW Detune

      VA – A numerically calculated analog-modeled wave is generated.
      The wave of the number specified by Waveform is used.

    2. > Probably I’m wrong and this new synth has a lot of hidden features not revealed because the launch of the Jupiter XM.

      I’m sure it does. Roland isn’t alone here, but most manuals reveal some great features on the proverbial second page in the menu. Several of them tend to require contortions to apply. You must also allow yourself a legitimate moment to feel BatSh*tCrazy™ because four things you really wanted or even need are either nowhere to be found or you have to program them in hexidecimal for no apparent reason. Welcome to Synthing.

      1. This is what bugged me about the subphatty – keyboard mapped ALT-FN type controls to keep the faceplate clean/reduce cost/increase reliability whatever. I like my buttons to be readable – which was a major issue with the JD-Xn panel with red text on black panel. Also the FA-nn’s liberal use of red on the LED screen. Nobody cares about color blindness in the UI design space 🙁

    3. I think you’ll want to look at the “Parameter Guide” to get a better sense of the architecture. I did a quick scan through and this looks like an unbelievably powerful synth. In my humble, people complaining about how the sound is produced with this keyboard are just being lazy. There are so many levels of control and refinement in this thing it would take weeks, months maybe to come to grips with really being able to program it. And again, in my humble, if you can not get great “analog-sounding” sounds from this architecture then you are just not a very good synthesist. This ZEN-Core thing is off the hook, and very cool to my mind, and I am not even in the market for a new flagship synth, having too much to play with already.

      As an aside, and not directed at you, gabrielefx, it especially rankles that folks are so willing to poo-poo on an instrument they have not yet had a chance to hear, touch, feel, play with an explore. Complain first, slink off to a corner later, seems to be the new standard.

      What is the world coming to?

  12. A lot of people want a new miracle every week. If you’re willing and able to drop three-thousand-plus, it seems likely that you’re also someone who will plug the CV output into some analog gear, an iPad/DAW into the USB port for more detailed sequencing, etc. Its not an iPad app; its either the centerpiece of a small studio or a major piece for live/solo work. It has the proper 9 sliders for Hammond playing, as one example. You have to take it on that level of capabilities. I love analog gear, but you shouldn’t act like it took an inch off your d*** to discover that something new is all-digital. Bitch less, synthesize more. Say, that applies to me, too. 😛

  13. There’s a spec on the Roland website that says “Sampler: Maximum Polyphony = 8 voices”
    That’s pretty astounding (not in a good way). Anyone care to speculate what that means?

    I didn’t see a published spec about how much sample memory it has. (I.e., is it RAM or flash ROM, and how much).

  14. To achieve its stunningly authentic acoustic and electronic sounds, FANTOM runs digital modeling, sampling, and analog synthesis technologies simultaneously. You can sample your own sounds and trigger up to two gigabytes of loops and one-shots from the onboard performance pad matrix.

  15. Roland literally dropped out of the keyboard game when Kronos released.
    If you look at the specs for the Fantom series there is no meat. No actual info. So you put in so V-Synth that has been dying since after Cosm released. How much memory does the thing have available for recording? What features carried over from the Fantom X8? The videos literally sound worse than stuff that has been released in the last 10 years. There is no info on upgrading its abilities. No info on the Workstation aspect and recording. Does the thing use an SSD drive for storage or does it just have ram. Don’t sell me a Workstation that has less ram available than a cheap laptop PC. You can buy a keybed and some plugins if you need a workstation. What are we actually getting out of the 4K that you priced this thing at? With Korg and Yamaha you can see a clear progression but Roland decided they would hide and actually left NAMM and then came at us with this crap like its got some special features that haven’t existed since the Motif. So you can max out the layers. If it sounds like crap its not going to help anybody. Especially if you have already limited your sample size.

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