Fantom-X Tips and Tricks

Forum for Fantom-S/S88, Fantom-X6/7/8, Fantom-XR and Fantom-Xa

Fantom-X Tips and Tricks

Postby wudsiba » 16:38, 6 June 2008

This is a place to share any information regarding tips and tricks for the Fantom X series. Feel free to add any thing that you feel may teach someone something about these instruments that they may not have known. You can include anything. Sequencing tips, shortcuts, favorite patches, favorite effects, tweaks, tutorials... Anything! It may get a little cluttered, so to avoid this, please include a quick sentence or two at the start of your post as to what you are addressing.

[Moderator edit:] Please do not post questions in this thread. They will be removed.
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Quick tutorial on using pads to play chords.

Postby wudsiba » 16:41, 6 June 2008


This is something that I just rediscovered and found myself wondering why I don't use it more. The idea is simply to have a set of user defined chords assigned to each one of the pads. This can be a great tool for coming up with chord changes that you might not come up with otherwise... Anyways, it's real easy.

You can do this in Patch mode, but I suggest you do it in Performance mode. This way you can save a specific set of chords for each song.

The first thing that you are going to want to do is make 16 patterns with the sixteen chords you want to use. Go into the SONG EDIT screen. Then goto PATTERN (F2). Just for the sake of argument, we'll use patterns 001-016. Then hit RECORD, STEP RECORD (F6), NOTE (F8). At this point you need to decide how long you want the note to be. I usually do a half note, but you can also use a whole note. Don't worry about the note being too long, because you can always set the mute group... Now play the chord you want. Then hit STOP. Now comes the repeat process. Just CURSOR DOWN, hit RECORD, NOTE (the length should remain the same as you set it the last time), play the chord, hit STOP. Repeat for all 16 patterns.

Cool out, we're almost there...

Once you have all of the chords you want, CURSOR up to the top, hit PATTERN NAME (F4), and name all of the chords. DON"T SKIP THIS STEP. It is good to get into naming everything.

Now, turn on the RPS, so that the light is on. Then hit SHIFT and RPS, so that you are in the RPS setup screen. Whatever pad you hit is the one you'll be assigning stuff to, so hit PAD 1. CURSOR down to PATTERN and assign ptn 001 to PAD 1. Then CURSOR down to PLAYBACK and set it to ONCE. Then CURSOR down to MUTE, and set it to mute group 1.

Do this for all of the pads... Pattern 2 to pad 2, 3 to 3... I think you get the rest. Just make sure to set them all to the same mute group, and set them to play only once.

Now all you have to do is save this as a SONG. Once you load the song, just hit the RPS botton so that it lights up (the pads that have chords assigned to them will go dark also, another request I have seen from other users... ) Now you can record these chords into the sequencer, just mess around to come up with chord changes, or just shut off the lights... Whatever.

I really hope I didn't miss any steps, and I hope this helps people out there. This has long been one of my favorite forums, and I deffinately want to contribute in some way. Peace...

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Favorite Effects

Postby wudsiba » 16:56, 6 June 2008


I thought it might be a good idea to share effect tips specifically for the Fantoms. There are a lot of powerful effects in these units, and I'm sure we are all overlooking some from sticking to our favorites.

I'm a big fan of the REVERSE DELAY and TAPE DELAY. If you start with the Reverse Delay, and feed it through the Tape Delay, you get some really interesting effects. I especially like this with a bass arpeggio. Can be very hipnotic. On the Reverse Delay, try adjusting the feedback. On the Tape Delay, try messing with the Wow/Flutter Rate and Depth.
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Fantom-X 2.0 live sound switching tutorial

Postby howardS » 17:26, 6 June 2008

This is a link to the Fantom-X 2.0 live sound switching tutorialgig using RPS and other neat sysex stuff! If you are interested in that functionality then read lazeeboy's great tutorial and work through it.
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Re: Fantom-X Tips and Tricks

Postby piaknowguy » 21:45, 7 June 2008

Hi all!

Please feel free to visit my 'Roland Fantom X Tips' page for a few additional tips and tricks if you wish! Just follow this link.

Some areas covered include -

*The sustain pedal
*Tempo changes
*MFX Conservation
*Polyphony Conservation
*Effects - Performance mode - Clarification
*Sonar, the Fantom X, and SRX cards
*Moving data
*The 'perfect' piano sound
*Velocity editing
*The screen and screensavers

Listen to - Pirates Done entirely on the X8!

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Fantom X presets in Librarian format

Postby geppastro » 13:08, 8 June 2008

I have uploaded here:

all Fantom X presets (banks A-I + GM) in librarian format (.fxl).
Now, you can add all your own patches to this library, order by patch category, and you'll have immediately available all the sounds (patches + custom) of a given category at a glance.
GM patches are "dummy" patches just for reference, i.e. just GM patches' names attached to an initialized patch (you can't edit nor save GM patches) and sound all the same.

And here it is the complete file comprising XV patches:
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Postby geppastro » 13:12, 8 June 2008

1) Expression(/control) pedal
I have a Yamaha FC7 that I've always attached to an SY99. It's a great pedal, it has a very smooth and long action. It weights quite a lot so it doesn't slip everywhere too. I like it better than my Roland EV-5, but you know, you can't attach it to a Roland keyboard (there are wiring incompatibilities).

So I tried to use my soldering (semi-)ability to make an adapter like this:
- solder a male 1/4" stereo jack (tip, ring and sleeve) to a piece of microphone audio cable (i.e. a cable with two wires plus screen wire) as usual (screen on the sleeve, one wire to tip and the other wire to ring)
- then solder a female 1/4" stereo jack with the screen wire connected to sleeve as usual, and tip and ring wires inverted.
- connect the adapter's female jack to the FC7's jack and the adapter's male jack to your Roland Keyboard.
My adapter works very well, and this way you don't have to open the pedal to swap the cables inside it! Also, I can connect it back to the SY99 should I need it (I just disconnect the adapter)!

2) Hold pedal
my other problem was as follows: i wanted to use a Roland XP 80 as a second "manual" for my Fantom X6, as if it was a Midi keyboard controller (I didn't need to use the XP80's sounds). I connected the XP80's Midi out (transmitting on channel 14) to the Fantom's Midi in. Unfortunately, this way I couldn't use the hold pedal connected to the Fantom to hold sounds played from the XP80's keyboard: it seems that hold pedals are "hard-wired" to the board they are attached to.

So I made another adapter, i.e. a Y-cable like this:
- solder a female 1/4" mono jack (tip, ring) to a couple of "instrument" audio cables (2x one wire plus screen wire) with both the cables' screens soldered to the jack's sleeve, and both the cables' central wires soldered to the jack's tip.
- solder both the other cables' ends to a couple of male 1/4" mono jacks (jack tip to plugs' tips and jack sleeve to plugs' sleeves).
- connect your hold pedal to the adapter's female jack and the adapter's male jacks to both your keyboards' hold pedal inputs.
This also works great! I can use a single pedal to sustain sounds played on both the Fantom and the XP80 at will. I also can use cc's filtering to enable sustain only on certain sounds. In the end, a very flexible solution.

Please be aware that I'll take no responsability in case you damage in any way your gear using my tricks. Do it at your own risk!
If you don't have soldering abilities, please ask a skilled friend or a technician to do the job for you.
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Leslie FX control

Postby geppastro » 13:15, 8 June 2008

I use a control pedal for slow/fast leslie switching on my Fantom X: I like it better than using an on/off "latch" pedal, because I always "feel", by having my foot on the pedal, if the leslie is in slow or fast position, even when I'm playing another instrument than organ in split mode. Furthermore, I can lift my foot from the pedal, and the effect remains as it was when I had my foot on it. Problem is that Fantom X have only two pedal inputs, when I need three instead: hold pedal, volume pedal and leslie pedal. Fortunately I also use a Roland XP-80 (has loads of pedal inputs!) as a master keyboard ("second manual") for the Fantom, so for me that's not a problem.
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Using Fantom X filters as an EQ source

Postby rogerp1 » 18:44, 17 June 2008

This is a good tip originally posted by Solitary Man

I have been reading the thread by Sonicman regarding recording his own material and posting it on the internet.

One point made about his song, that he has posted on this site, was that the Fantom does not have a dedicated EQ setting for each individual track and as such his track sounded a little muddy in places when it got busy. In the case of recording a phrase or riff that is busy sometimes the drums get lost in the mix and as the Fantom only has three MFX processors then it is important that most of the time they are used for other important tracks that may require a Distortion, or a Flange effect etc to create the right mood, sound rather than giving up 1 MFX just for EQ.

Also in my opinion the drum kits on the Fantom X are quite dull and lifeless so what I do is to use the filters inside the Fantom X to give life and sparkle to the drums.

For example I will change the flter setting on the snare drum to peaking which makes it sound clearer and more defined. This also works with the high hats, tom, toms and cymbals, rides. I have tried this with several of the Fantoms bulk standard kits and have achived very good results. for the bass drum I use the gain parameter in the wave edit screen to beef up the bottom end and use a low pass filter. If the bass drum is now too loud I adjust the volume of it in the Wave Mix Table, which is tab 3 on the rhythm edit screen using the level control.

So basically the filters in the FX are a source of EQ if not a little basic they do a good job of creating space witihn a busy mix.

When I record a piece of music I try to have the drums up front with the bass, this is only a basic format for recording and can change depending on what I think a song needs. Maybe a little bit of reverb on the snare and high hats, toms but leave the bass drum dry.also good use of the panning effect on a drum kit makes your song sound wider and gives space to other things going on. Then I will add melodies on top of that and again use the filters rather than the EQ, unless I really have to, to creat space.

Anyway I thought I would drop this thread on everyone and I would be interested in how other users of the FX use their Fantoms to record their compositions without compromising the MFX processors and using a few tricks they have learned to create different illusions in their songs.

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A Click Track for the Drummer

Postby Perplextor » 19:32, 17 June 2008

1. Performance Mode
2. Select a Rhythm Set on Track 16
3. Record your click track to Track 16

If you set the Part Output Assign to B the drummer will get the click track on Stereo Out B.

Prepare a song with a click track and use it as a template.
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Tips and Tricks

Postby juergen_ » 13:04, 21 June 2008

Hi everyone,

I think this is a good point to share some resources.

As a user of Cubase Studio 4, there are essentially two things, that might be of use:

1. A Cubase template that I use together with my FXR. Copy it to your Cubase templates folder.

2. A Cubase patch file with the Fantom presets. It is sorted by category and not by bank (as the file supported by Roland).

Have fun.
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Re: Fantom-X Tips and Tricks

Postby dasinsasion » 13:25, 21 June 2008

Thanks juer that was really helpful. Now patch assigning from Cubase is less painful. Do you know of a workaround to the individual wav file exporting from Cubase that is limited in Cubase Studio? You can only export from the stereo out, so in order to export each wav individually you would have to mute each track and export it. There has to be a faster way? Also, do you record the MIDI tracks from the Fantom into Cubase or only audio? If I could record all MIDI tracks in one go, detailed editing of sequenced data would be less tedious and save tons of time.
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Re: Fantom-X Tips and Tricks

Postby juergen_ » 15:42, 21 June 2008

Hi dasinsasion,

nice to hear, that the contributions are useful.

To your questions (if I understand them right):
1. when exporting an audio-mixdown, you may only export from stereo-out. But there is a button (in the german version with the label "Kanäle aufteilen" something like "split channels") which creates two different files for the left and the right channel. If you want to export individual tracks, there is no other way than to mute the other tracks.

2. When I record (I did that not that often until now), I do the following:
a. create a new performance, setup instruments, effects
b. create a MIDI-based mix in performance mode
c. create audio-files by playing each MIDI-channel inidiviually and resampling the audio events in my FXR
d. transfer the audio files from the FXR into cubase
e. normalize, vst-effect adding and editing and mixing

This is a good frame, somehow limiting (only 15 parts, only three MFX-blocks,..), but sufficient for my personal home recording experiments ;-).

-- Jürgen
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Cheating the lack of Audio level outomation.

Postby wudsiba » 16:03, 4 July 2008

The main problem with the audio tracks is that you can't record mixer automation. There is a way to do it though (kind of). Once you have everything recorded and sequenced, you have to do an old school recording session. When you are at the point of bouncing everything down to two tracks for your final WAV mix, just record everything as you would, with MIDI automation already recorded, then just ride the faders in the Audio section as you would in the old days. Though these audio levels aren't recorded in the sequencer, the levels are picked up in the final recording.
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Using RPS to copy the MFX from Patch to Performance

Postby howardS » 03:31, 8 August 2008

On this thread we discussed whether there was a way to copy MFX settings from a patch to the MFX in a performance and then be able to use it for other patches in the performance. Of course you can just assign the MFX in the performance to use the MFX settings of a patch assigned to one of the 16 parts but if you change the patch assigned to that part you lose the setting.

I used Lazyboy's trick in in this thread under the post with the heading "MFX changes at a push of a pad" to find a way to copy the MFX settings from a patch to a performance. It didn’t work initially since the sysex information that is used to change the MFX of a patch is slightly different than the information that needs to be sent to change the MFX of a performance. I played around with RPS a bit and found the one sysex byte that has to be changed to get a pattern created change an MFX1 setting in a patch to work to change MFX1 setting in performance.

These are the steps I took to get this to work:

1. I started in patch mode and selected the patch that I wanted.

2. Then I initialized or cleared the internal song.

3. I then I created a pattern which selects the MFX from the patch. I followed that Lazyboy tutorial as set out above.

4. Then I went into the micro edit screen and changed the first occurrence of 1F to 10. This is at the 7th byte. The rest of the sysex codes in that pattern will change the MFX to the effect you want to use and also changes the route for parts played through that effect to match what was originally in the patch.

That is it. It appears to take 4 steps to move all the information from a patch to the performance. You could write it all down and just recreate the MFX but I don’t like writing down all these numbers and settings as I often end up losing something in the transcription process.

You can take this further if you like and use RPS to copy the MFX from a patch to a performance as I outlined above and assign it to MFX2 or MFX3 as well. If you want to assign it to other than MFX 1 then in addition to changing the seventh byte to 10 from 1F you will also need to change the 9th byte from 02 to 08 for MFX2 and for MFX3 you need to change the 9th byte to 0A.
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