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What You Need to Know About Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT: A Comprehensive Review


Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT: A Review




If you are looking for a versatile, powerful, and user-friendly workstation keyboard that can handle any musical challenge, you might want to check out Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT. This product combines the flagship of the Roland workstation family, the Fantom-X series, with the industry-standard sample player, KONTAKT. In this article, we will review what makes this product a great choice for music producers and composers, covering its main features, benefits, and specifications.




Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT


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Introduction




What is Roland Fantom X and what is KONTAKT?


Roland Fantom X is a music workstation/synthesizer that was introduced in 2004 as an upgrade from the Fantom S series. It comes in three models: the Fantom-X6 with a 61-note keyboard, the Fantom-X7 with a 76-note keyboard, and the Fantom-X8 with an 88-note progressive hammer-action keyboard. All models have a color LCD screen, a Dynamic Pad Bank, four SRX expansion slots, a PC card slot, a USB port, four line outputs, stereo line input, S/PDIF I/O, MIDI I/O/Thru, and a headphone jack.KONTAKT is a software sampler that was developed by Native Instruments and released in 2002. It allows users to play and edit sampled instruments from various sources, such as hardware synthesizers, acoustic instruments, or sound libraries. KONTAKT has a powerful engine that supports multiple formats, such as WAV, AIFF, MP3, and REX. It also has a rich set of features, such as scripting, modulation, effects, filters, envelopes, and more.


Why is Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT a great product for music producers and composers?


Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT is a product that combines the best of both worlds: the hardware and the software. By using KONTAKT as a host for the Roland Fantom X sounds, users can access thousands of instruments from Native Instruments and other companies, as well as create their own custom sounds using the sampling and editing capabilities of KONTAKT. Users can also enjoy the benefits of having a physical keyboard and performance pads to play and control the sounds in real time. Moreover, users can integrate Roland Fantom X with their computer-based music production software, such as Cubase, Logic, or Pro Tools, using the USB port or the MIDI I/O.


What are the main features and benefits of Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT?


Some of the main features and benefits of Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT are:


  • A powerful sound generator chip that provides 128-voice polyphony and 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded.



  • A sampler and digital recorder that allows users to record and manipulate audio and MIDI data using sampling and realtime timestretching capabilities.



  • A color LCD screen and user interface that enhances the user experience and workflow by displaying icons, menus, waveforms, and more.



  • A keyboard and performance pads that offer expressive and dynamic playing options using velocity- and aftertouch-sensitive keys and pads.



  • An effects and mastering processor that adds depth and polish to the sounds using three MFX processors, a dedicated reverb, chorus, and mastering processor.



  • A compatibility and connectivity that enables users to exchange data with other devices using the USB port, four line outputs, stereo line input, S/PDIF I/O, or KONTAKT as a host.



In the following sections, we will explore each of these features in more detail.


The Sound Generator Chip




How does the sound generator chip of Roland Fantom X make it a powerful workstation keyboard?


The sound generator chip of Roland Fantom X is one of the key components that make it a powerful workstation keyboard. It is based on the same chip that powers the XV-5080 synthesizer module, which is known for its high-quality sounds and synthesis capabilities. The sound generator chip provides 128-voice polyphony, which means that users can play up to 128 notes simultaneously without any dropouts or glitches. It also provides 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded with four SRX expansion boards, which means that users can access a huge variety of sounds from different genres and styles.


What are the advantages of having 128-voice polyphony and 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded?


Having 128-voice polyphony and 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded gives users several advantages when creating music. For example:


  • Users can create complex arrangements and orchestrations without worrying about running out of voices or memory.



  • Users can layer multiple sounds together to create rich and full textures.



  • Users can use long samples or loops without cutting them off prematurely.



  • Users can switch between different sounds quickly and smoothly without any interruptions or gaps.



What are some of the quality-focused sounds included in the internal wave ROM of Roland Fantom X?


The internal wave ROM of Roland Fantom X contains over 1,500 high-quality sounds that cover a wide range of musical genres and styles. Some of the quality-focused sounds included are:


  • Pianos: Roland Fantom X features an acclaimed 88-key multisampled piano sound that is based on a Steinway concert grand piano. It also features other types of pianos, such as electric pianos, upright pianos, honky-tonk pianos, etc.



  • Guitars: Roland Fantom X features realistic guitar sounds that are based on various models of acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitars, etc. It also features guitar effects, such as distortion, chorus, flanger, etc.



  • Drums: Roland Fantom X features realistic drum sounds that are based on various types of drum kits, such as acoustic drums, electronic drums, ethnic drums, etc. It also features drum patterns, grooves, and fills that can be triggered using the Dynamic Pad Bank.



  • Strings: Roland Fantom X features realistic string sounds that are based on various types of string instruments, such as violins, violas, cellos, double basses, harps, etc. It also features string ensembles, sections, and soloists that can be played with different articulations and expressions.



  • Brass: Roland Fantom X features realistic brass sounds that are based on various types of brass instruments, such as trumpets, trombones, tubas, horns, etc. It also features brass ensembles, sections, and soloists that can be played with different articulations and expressions.



  • Woodwinds: Roland Fantom X features realistic woodwind sounds that are based on various types of woodwind instruments, such as flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, saxophones, etc. It also features woodwind ensembles, sections, and soloists that can be played with different articulations and expressions.



  • Synths: Roland Fantom X features a wide range of synth sounds that are based on various types of synthesis methods, such as analog synthesis, digital synthesis, FM synthesis, wavetable synthesis, etc. It also features synth pads, leads, basses, arpeggios, sequences, etc.



  • Others: Roland Fantom X features many other types of sounds that are suitable for different musical genres and styles, such as organs, keyboards, bells, mallets, vocals, choirs, ethnic instruments, sound effects, etc.



The Sampler and Digital Recorder




How does Roland Fantom X integrate audio and MIDI using sampling and realtime timestretching capabilities?


Roland Fantom X is not only a synthesizer but also a sampler and a digital recorder. It allows users to integrate audio and MIDI data using its sampling and realtime timestretching capabilities. Users can record audio from external sources or internal sounds using the stereo line input or the S/PDIF I/O. Users can also sample audio from CDs or WAV/AIFF files using the PC card slot or the USB port. Users can then assign the samples to the keyboard or the pads and play them back with the internal sounds. Users can also edit and manipulate the samples using tools like Wave Edit and Chop. Users can also use the realtime timestretching feature to change the tempo of the samples without affecting the pitch or vice versa.


What are the benefits of having eight stereo audio tracks and up to 544MB of sample RAM?


Having eight stereo audio tracks and up to 544MB of sample RAM gives users several benefits when creating music. For example:


  • Users can record up to eight stereo audio tracks simultaneously or separately using the internal sounds or external sources.



  • Users can mix and arrange their audio tracks using the mixer and sequencer functions of Roland Fantom X.



  • Users can store up to 544MB of samples in the internal memory or up to 1GB of samples in the PC card slot.



  • Users can load and save their samples in various formats, such as WAV/AIFF/MP3/REX.



How can users edit and manipulate samples using tools like Wave Edit and Chop?


Roland Fantom X provides users with various tools to edit and manipulate their samples using the color LCD screen and user interface. Some of these tools are:


  • Wave Edit: This tool allows users to view and edit the waveform of their samples using functions like trim, normalize, fade, reverse, etc.



  • Chop: This tool allows users to split their samples into smaller segments and assign them to the pads or the keyboard. Users can also adjust the start and end points, the level, and the pitch of each segment.



  • Loop: This tool allows users to create seamless loops from their samples using functions like auto loop, crossfade loop, loop tune, etc.



  • Resample: This tool allows users to record the output of Roland Fantom X, including the internal sounds, the effects, and the audio tracks, as a new sample.



The Color LCD Screen and User Interface




How does the color LCD screen of Roland Fantom X enhance the user experience and workflow?


The color LCD screen of Roland Fantom X is one of the features that sets it apart from other workstation keyboards. It enhances the user experience and workflow by displaying various types of information and graphics, such as icons, menus, waveforms, parameters, values, etc. The color LCD screen also supports touch sensitivity, which means that users can interact with the screen using their fingers or a stylus. Users can also adjust the contrast and brightness of the screen according to their preferences.


What are some of the features and functions that can be accessed through the icon-driven user interface?


Roland Fantom X has an icon-driven user interface that allows users to access various features and functions through the color LCD screen. Some of these features and functions are:


  • Mode: This feature allows users to switch between different modes of operation, such as Patch Mode, Performance Mode, Rhythm Mode, Sample Mode, Audio Track Mode, Master Mode, etc.



  • Menu: This feature allows users to access various menus and submenus that contain different options and settings for each mode.



  • Cursor: This feature allows users to move the cursor on the screen using the four directional buttons or the data dial.



  • Enter: This feature allows users to confirm or execute a selection or command on the screen using the enter button.



  • Exit: This feature allows users to cancel or return to a previous screen using the exit button.



  • F1-F4: These features allow users to access different functions or parameters on the screen using the four function buttons.



How can users customize their soundsets using four SRX expansion boards and a PC card slot?


Roland Fantom X has four SRX expansion slots and a PC card slot that allow users to customize their soundsets by adding more sounds and samples. Users can install up to four SRX expansion boards in the SRX slots, each containing 64MB of wave memory. Users can choose from various types of SRX boards, such as orchestral, piano, world, drums, etc. Users can also use a PC card in the PC card slot to load or save sounds and samples in various formats, such as WAV/AIFF/MP3/REX. Users can use up to 1GB of PC card memory for storing data.


The Keyboard and Performance Pads




What are the differences between the three models of Roland Fantom X in terms of keyboard size and action?


Roland Fantom X comes in three models that differ in terms of keyboard size and action. The three models are:


  • Fantom-X6: This model has a 61-note keyboard with semi-weighted keys that are suitable for playing synth sounds and fast passages.



  • Fantom-X7: This model has a 76-note keyboard with semi-weighted keys that are suitable for playing synth sounds and fast passages.



  • Fantom-X8: This model has an 88-note keyboard with progressive hammer-action keys that are suitable for playing piano sounds and expressive performances.



How can users play expressive and dynamic sounds using the velocity- and aftertouch-sensitive keyboard?


Roland Fantom X has a velocity- and aftertouch-sensitive keyboard that allows users to play expressive and dynamic sounds. The keyboard responds to how hard or soft users press the keys (velocity) and how much pressure they apply after pressing them (aftertouch). Users can use these features to control various aspects of the sound, such as volume, filter cutoff, vibrato depth, etc. Users can also assign different sounds or effects to different velocity or aftertouch ranges using the Velocity Switch or Aftertouch Switch functions.


How can users trigger samples, loops, and patterns using the Dynamic Pad Bank and V-LINK?


Roland Fantom X has a Dynamic Pad Bank that consists of 16 rubber pads that are backlit with red LEDs. Users can use these pads to trigger samples, loops and patterns using the Dynamic Pad Bank mode. Users can also use the pads to play drum sounds or chords using the Rhythm mode or the Chord mode. Users can also adjust the sensitivity, velocity curve, and color of the pads using the Pad Settings function. Users can also use the V-LINK feature to control video and visual effects using the pads. Users can connect Roland Fantom X to a compatible video device, such as a V-4 or a DV-7PR, using a MIDI cable. Users can then assign video clips or effects to the pads and trigger them in sync with the music.


The Effects and Mastering Processor




What are the types and options of effects available on Roland Fantom X?


Roland Fantom X has a comprehensive effects section that allows users to add depth and polish to their sounds. The effects section consists of three types of effects: MFX, Reverb, and Chorus. The MFX are multi-effects processors that can apply various types of effects, such as EQ, compressor, limiter, overdrive, distortion, phaser, flanger, chorus, delay, reverb, etc. The Reverb is a dedicated reverb processor that can apply various types of reverb, such as hall, room, plate, spring, etc. The Chorus is a dedicated chorus processor that can apply various types of chorus, such as stereo, flanger, rotary, etc.


How can users apply effects to individual sounds, parts, or outputs using three MFX processors?


Roland Fantom X has three MFX processors that allow users to apply effects to individual sounds, parts, or outputs. Users can assign one of the 78 MFX types to each MFX processor and adjust its parameters using the color LCD screen and user interface. Users can then route the MFX processors to different destinations using the Patch Edit mode, the Performance Edit mode, or the Audio Track Edit mode. For example:


  • In Patch Edit mode, users can apply MFX1 or MFX2 to individual tones within a patch.



  • In Performance Edit mode, users can apply MFX1 or MFX2 to individual parts within a performance.



  • In Audio Track Edit mode, users can apply MFX1 or MFX2 to individual audio tracks within a song.



  • In any mode, users can apply MFX3 to one of the four line outputs or to the S/PDIF output.



How can users enhance their final mix using the dedicated reverb, chorus, and mastering processor?


Roland Fantom X has a dedicated reverb, chorus, and mastering processor that allow users to enhance their final mix. Users can assign one of the 10 reverb types and one of the 14 chorus types to the reverb and chorus processors and adjust their parameters using the color LCD screen and user interface. Users can then send any sound source to the reverb and chorus processors using the send level knobs on the front panel. Users can also use the mastering processor to apply a final touch to their mix using functions like EQ, compressor, limiter, enhancer, etc. Users can adjust the parameters of the mastering processor using the color LCD screen and user interface.


The Compatibility and Connectivity




How can users exchange MIDI and audio files with other devices using the USB port of Roland Fantom X?


Roland Fantom X has a USB port that allows users to exchange MIDI and audio files with other devices. Users can connect Roland Fantom X to a computer or another USB device using a USB cable. Users can then use Roland Fantom X as a MIDI controller or a MIDI interface for their computer-based music production software. Users can also use Roland Fantom X as an audio interface for their computer-based audio recording software. Users can also transfer MIDI and audio files between Roland Fantom X and their computer or another USB device using functions like Import/Export or Backup/Restore.


How can users connect Roland Fantom X to external audio sources, monitors or mixers using four line outputs, stereo line input, and S/PDIF I/O?


Roland Fantom X has four line outputs, stereo line input, and S/PDIF I/O that allow users to connect Roland Fantom X to external audio sources, monitors, or mixers. Users can use the four line outputs to send individual or mixed signals to external devices, such as monitors, headphones, amplifiers, speakers, etc. Users can also assign MFX3 to one of the line outputs for more flexibility. Users can use the stereo line input to connect external audio sources, such as microphones, guitars, keyboards, etc. Users can also use the S/PDIF I/O to connect digital audio devices, such as CD players, DAT recorders, etc. Users can also use the S/PDIF I/O to sync Roland Fantom X with other devices using word clock.


How can users access thousands of instruments from Native Instruments and other companies using KONTAKT as a host for Roland Fantom X sounds?


Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT is a product that includes the KONTAKT software sampler and the Roland Fantom X sounds in one package. Users can access thousands of instruments from Native Instruments and other companies using KONTAKT as a host for Roland Fantom X sounds. Users can install KONTAKT on their computer and load the Roland Fantom X sounds as KONTAKT instruments. Users can then play and edit the Roland Fantom X sounds using the KONTAKT interface and features. Users can also combine the Roland Fantom X sounds with other KONTAKT instruments or libraries to create new and unique sounds.


Conclusion




Roland Fantom X Complete KONTAKT is a product that offers a versatile, powerful, and user-friendly workstation keyboard that can handle any musical challenge. It combines the flagship of the Roland workstation family, the Fantom-X series, with the industry-standard sample player, KONTAKT. It has a powerful sound generator chip that provides 128-voice polyphony and 1GB of wave memory when fully expanded. It has a sampler and digital recorder that allows users to integrate audio and MIDI data using sampling and realtime timestretching cap


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