FA06 drops in value

Forum for Roland FA-06/08

Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Myrk- » 11:01, 13 December 2016

Yer true Skujumptoes I did kinda glance over the effort, but I am basing my assumption off Rolands previous situations. Ultimately I would say if I were Roland I'd test the damn thing before I shipped it out, and by test I mean actually try every feature because as I mentioned theres no excusing some of the issues - if they couldn't correct them they should have corrected the manual to not include it! It's clearly obvious Roland aren't testing products correctly or cross referencing between the literature, the marketing team, and the actual product.

[Start of rant:]

I understand they have the efficiency down, but lets be honest- as a customer I don't give 2 sh**s about how little energy they save by using cheaper chips and lower frequencies. In fact the fact that these are limitations that prevent the product from being worked on to fix it properly is in itself inexcusable! I know how cheap half these components can be, sure there's some expensive chips in there (but they are gunna be pennies when you are making hundreds of thousands of them)... unless the R&D costs are crazy high, Roland make a good buck off us customers! Look at the JD-XA - that's a flagship synth that is being neglected, quite probably because they skimped on its hardware and are now at it's limit, still with issues, whilst they update it's little brother the JD-Xi to give it features way better than the XA! Punch in the balls!

But we have to look at Roland's previous driver and firmware update history - this is a company where they tried to get out of updating all the legacy drivers for Windows 10, which involved changing something like 3 numbers in the driver file - that is inexcusably lazy, and they only did it because there were thousands of bitching emails about the VG-99 (as an example, which is STILL Rolands flagship Guitar synth unit, but yet is discontinued - they discontinued it the day Windows 10 came out to avoid making drivers - talk about an evil manouvre eh?). I understand this example is drivers rather than firmware, but my comments still stand. Now lets also piece in that Roland is a market leader in this field, maybe the global leader? There aren't really any good excuses for this stuff not working or them arguing with customers about what is and isn't a bug when their literature says different to the product. Sure, big respect that they work, but that's an expectation for paying a large price!

Anyway... this being said I still prefer their products to the other manufacturers! I've just learnt in time to have a more shifty eye towards new products! :P

[Rant complete, haha]

But back to the original poster, I think you're always gunna find that if you search for a product to do something specific it will never be what you want it to be. I've scoured the world of synths and never found a controller that is exactly what I want - sometimes it's better to explore the piece of gear and work with how it wants to be, otherwise you'll just be forever disappointed! haha
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Skijumptoes » 13:52, 13 December 2016

Hah, the driver support is truly shocking and inexcusable. I think the problem with the FA is it doesn't fully excel as a performance keyboard (i.e. due to the external midi support as you've noted), and it doesn't excel at being a modern self contained (audio) workstation.

In the traditional workstation sense however, it's got all the right elements - Sound source, Sequencer and Keyboard. You just can't knock it on those elements (Taking audio out of the equation).

Also, integrating with a DAW, it really is spot on, and to me sounds fantastic. You can use it as an audio interface, audio inputs, 16 part sound module, DAW controls, Shortcuts with the pads, pages of rotary knob assignments - it truly is such a big step up to what i've used from Roland in the past.

The OP has a big problem because the Juno G was something else, batted way above it's weight, it was head-to-head with the Korg M50, for example, and then they added the Sampling (v2) update and it could do so much more than a traditional (Budget) workstation could. And on features really blew the M50 out of the water, and was hitting Fantom-like standards.

I also remember everyone complaining about the Fantom's at the time, strangely, and now everyone's looking back on those far fondly in hindsight.

When you compare that the FA06 has the same core engines of more expensive units like the JD-XA, Integra-7, and elements of the Jupiters (I believe?)- it too is really punching quite high as a sound source.

It's really unfortunate for users, like yourself (Myrk) and the OP, who have distinct requirements that it fails to deliver on, particularly when seemingly simple changes to the firmware are all it takes to correct those issues.

Why's it not sorted? I don't know, and i also don't feel that Korg, Yamaha, or Arturia would do anything about it either were they in the same situation. I've own equipment from all 3 that had proper bugs which were never addressed.

All you can presume it is comes down to money, and therefore, if it doesn't drive sales (Like the V2 update for Juno G did) then they're not interested in patching. So, i can see totally understand you feeling let down.

I've been caught out with the driver issue in the past with a V Synth i owned, and i walked away from ever owning a Roland product again after they dropped that like a lead weight. The screen went on my Juno G shortly after, and i felt really aggrieved. But how they dropped the V Synth was the most heartbreaking, because it's so unique in what it does.

At some point the Vendor usb mode will no longer be support on the FA, and it will leave us with class compliant midi mode, and no Audio Interface. It will be interesting how long Roland keeps us alive on that, will be a good barometer on whether they truly don't care for users or not if they repeat the same mistakes.

Saying all that, i'm so glad i came back - i missed my Juno G so much after i sold it - In fact, If i could put the FA in the case of a Juno G (Damn i love that Juno blue and red) - it would be perfect!! :)

One more thing, as a Juno G owner, it felt like the sampling (v2) update came out of the blue, and i kinda still think that's going to happen with the FA. But i'm an optimist. It just feels as though the FA-06 is the bloodline successor to the Juno G, and that we will get a surprise.

One thing that i would really love would be user EXP Expansions, i.e. develop a bit of software to build your own expansions with custom waveforms - Sure they'd only be the older PCM style patches, but there must be a way for the community to get into those files to find out how to build them - heck if i had enough time i'd love to embark on doing it.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby scramble » 15:01, 13 December 2016

It's true that Roland can be a bit misleading on what a keyboard can actually do. All the manufacturers are like that. You have to look carefully to see what features are really there, and which aren't. (That was made doubly hard by the fact that the FA manual was poor even by Roland's standards.)

>the word 'ROMpler' makes me cringe to be honest, is that the same as 'preset city'? Yuk.

To be fair to Roland, they never pretended that this was anything much more than a ROMpler as far as sound generation goes. I can't see that they're guilty of pretending that it wasn't. (And ROMplers have their place -- I couldn't do half of what I do without having at least one.)
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Skijumptoes » 15:14, 13 December 2016

Supernatural engine, while shrouded in some what secrecy- Do you not feel that is more than just ROMpler technology? I've always subscribed to the theory that it is far more advanced, and i must admit, it sounds incredibly more dynamic and less sterile than traditional ROMplers. I'm usually bored with piano sounds by now on a digital keyboard, but i love'em as much as when i first turned it on! But those electric pianos - wow are they good!!!

i.e.
Are the dynamics of the sound being processed in real time based on the parameters fed on the tone edit pages? Or it just nothing more than a more dynamic method of switching between samples/roms with some random elements thrown in? ;)

The lines are so blurred when you get to the SN-S (Supernatural Synth) sounds as you're picking a waveform as the oscillator source - but again, they sound so much better than traditional ROMpler + (Filter + Envelope) of past generations.

I get that if you pick PCM as source, you're back into ROMPler tech, but there's a number of core specific waveforms in the SN-S engine before you get to the PCM selections. I've just always presumed these were true simulated signals via the SN-S engine, and processed as such - it's very creamy, one things for sure that filter is one of the best on a 'workstation'.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Firebass » 17:45, 13 December 2016

I think the Post should read "FA Drops in price not Value"
As a old timer bass player/keyboard wannabe this is the first professional keyboard I have ever owned. I've had my FA-06 for a couple of years now. Before I purchased it I searched the Internet extensively to find the best bang for my buck. I had no experience at the time so my expectation was not clouded by past models and such. The FA to me was simply the best and only choice, period. Since I've owned I it I have been amazed at what all it can do and watching the Ed Diaz videos you get a real feel for the unit. And as he says you'll have fun with it. (Please do more videos Ed). I play it at least 2 hours a day and and once a week live in a Cover band. My honest opinion is This is the best keyboard for the money. I looked at all the competition and theres nothing that can touch it for the price and features you get. I like the fact the price is coming down even more because I think I want the FA-08 to go along with my 06.

My 2 cents
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Gatorjohn » 23:09, 13 December 2016

I really love my 08 too but when I get the bucks my next board will be a Jupiter 80.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Skijumptoes » 02:11, 14 December 2016

I had only played a Jupiter 50, and was a bit underwhelmed by it, particularly as i wanted something that was more workstation/16 part like the FA. In fact, at the time i didn't realise how similar they were in architecture - just presumed that the Jupiters would be based around analog synth tech.

But since owning an FA i've seen some Ed Diaz videos on the Jupiter 80 and some of those layered sounds are amazing, seeing that power being used into one live set, which effectively makes up one layered preset - wow! So, i went into a shop that had the JP-80's on display after, and it's so much better than the JP-50, and i kinda understand what the modern Jupiters are about now. But, i think many are left in confusion of them.

As an FA user, i wish their were more Studio Sets that featured by default that were on a similar level to those massive Jupiter live sets - it can be done with the FA of course (128 voice limit permitting), but Roland just didn't put many in by default.

I really did feel jealous hearing some of them though! :)
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Striple » 10:18, 15 December 2016

Firebass wrote:I think the Post should read "FA Drops in price not Value"


I'll accept your definition of the post subject. Yes it definitely has value, because now I can potentially expect to pick it up for $700-850 in the near future.

And that is what it is worth, because the market doesn't lie.

We need to be asking how Roland squeezed 1700 out of people. I was nearly one of them, and I'm disgusted.

I can't afford to be duped, I'm supposed to be a songwriter, I'm naturally fickle, and this kind of thing wouldn't do a lot for my state of mind/inspiration. The Juno G screen fiasco has already done damage.

I can never buy a Roland off the back of a NAMM, I can't trust them without seeing user feedback first. This flies in the face of Roland marketing strategy. They rely on consumer fever, but they continue to erode our belief. They can't have it both ways.

Maybe they should spend more on R&D, and fulfilling the needs of the Ski's and Myrk's of this world, and less on propaganda (propaganda is defined as 'lies by omission').
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby scramble » 22:12, 15 December 2016

You're awfully down on a keyboard you don't even own.

>They rely on consumer fever, but they continue to erode our belief

Roland doesn't generate 'consumer fever' anywhere near as much as Korg. If anything they don't get enough of that going.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Striple » 14:14, 16 December 2016

I've already said I feel down about it because it was something I wanted, but it failed to deliver on the promises, and my post outlines why Roland should be rethinking themselves.

It doesn't stop me feeling empathy for those that fell for the trap. Just because it didn't happen to me, are you saying I shouldn't care?

I want Roland to know that they have let me down, it's called feedback and most companies value it.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby scramble » 15:11, 16 December 2016

You were saying that's its a rubbish keyboard. Which it isn't.

Complaints about misleading advertising are fair enough.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Skijumptoes » 15:41, 16 December 2016

..or lack of advertising in Roland's case! ;)

That can be just as misleading of course.

It's tricky, the whole concept that the workstation was dead was being paraded everywhere a few years back, so how an earth do you promote something that's not really a full-on standalone workstation (Which many consider prehistoric now anyway), to something that is immediately devalued if you call it 'just' a DAW Companion, or sound module with wheels! - you're damned either way really - This hits, or at least touches, on so many different markets. i.e.:-

The DAW user wanting some external sounds, Midi control and Transport/Mackie shortcuts,
The Songwriter (Piano/Mic mix - straight through to your headphones),
The live performer (Studio Sets, Layered, Quick access to presets),
The DJ/Producer (Sequencer/Sampler, Looping, Sound Engine/FX),
Synth/Piano players (Supernatural Engine etc.).

If you're a serious DAW user then Many would argue why there isn't a software application/plugin which allows you to control the FA via a DAW for example, and like Striple, many could be upset with the inability to multitrack audio simply.

But to develop strengths for both applications just requires more costs and more bugs. Because if you take each development step to it's full conclusion (i.e. if you have true ext audio multitrack recording) you've then got people who want to be able to drop the audio tracks directly into their DAW, in sync etc. And in comes another set of complaints! :)
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby theshine » 08:55, 19 December 2016

Striple wrote:I was dead keen on buying the 06.

As a current JunoG owner with screen problems, I thought this was the logical upgrade to a (colour) screen that works, a loop recorder, arpeggio on all tracks, and sampling, and some new great sounds.

I spent months tracking prices, local new prices were around the $1700 AUD mark, and I was dead keen. I'd seen some go for $1500 so I was biding my time and hoping to bag a bargain.

When it came time to make the plunge, I saw the 06 going for $1250 second hand, so I investigated the 06 a bit more using these forums.

I discovered that there was no audio sequencer, but I thought that is why the sample pads exist. Then I find that you can only play back one sample as you record another, so effectively it was a 2 track audio sequencer at best.

Then I find samples cannot be assigned to the keyboard, and cannot be time stretched - which is downright ridiculous.

This was important to me, because the JunoG had taught me that I didn't need a DAW, I never wanted a DAW, I wanted a unit that did everything creative without the need for continual learning curves and upgrades. I just want to create music on a machine I can drive without the steering wheel changing location every 1,2,5 weeks dependant on op system and software licensing at the whim of some 3rd party.

This week an 06 came up on ebay at $600, it finally sold for $890. This was half the price I was willing to pay when I thought the 06 was the answer to my needs.

I didn't buy it, because I no longer want it. I then went to see what JunoG's were worth 2nd hand, thinking if I got one with a screen that worked that would be great. They are fetching $1200 2nd hand - a machine that is 10 years old !

The proof appears to be in the pudding, the 06 is a flop.

I continue patiently awaiting my Juno screen to come good, (it's ok 80% of the time) because it beats the 06 by a mile.

I await the next Roland attempt at emulating the JunoG and pray to God there's a 4 or 8 track audio sequencer, a sampler that can be loaded to keys, with timestretch, and a loop record.

My pennies are waiting in the bank Mr Roland.



I actually bid on that FA06 on ebay but stopped bidding just over $800, IMO they're hard to beat for under a grand at least for my situation, yes the keybed may be average but doesnt bother me I use its awesome sounds for a covers band (owned one in the past) and found it very flexible and nice thick rich sounds that fill the band out nicely. I dont need a sequencer so its perfect, I dont think you'll get one for 600-700 aud to be honest, but good luck. I found one on cash convertors website and made an offer on that, ended up getting it for less than that auction but still over $800.

They are great boards, nice and light and almost every sound you could ever want. I also use a Kurzweil Forte aswell which gives an even broader sound palette.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Fleer » 03:18, 20 December 2016

A wishful thinking thread if ever I saw one.
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Re: FA06 drops in value

Postby Striple » 10:18, 20 December 2016

theshine : that's interesting that you saw that auction too, I wonder if the buyer was a dealer trying to make 3-400 on it, because the true value seems to be 1250 right now. I would have grabbed it for that money, but decided to think a bit more, and it's evidence that the machine is devalued (unlike wishful thinking).

Think I'm just ruffling some people's feathers here, so much for being sympathetic to those that have dropped $1000, guess it's a bitter pill to swallow.

ski : I know what you mean but your audio WAV recordings are portable, you just need the machine to make them, then you have both worlds. Having no audio categorically cuts any machine off from being a workstation IMO.

I've never understood why they didn't just start every time with the JunoG and just keep adding to it as things became cheaper (sound engines/loop record/sample pads etc). You can't beat having a tone generator/groovebox/sequencer/audio recorder/sampler, and nothing has had all of those things at once ever since.

So to close off, I have solved my problem, I just bought a Korg Electribe ES1 for $164 delivered on ebay that gives me a beatbox with sampler and trigger pads that can be modified real time in loop record mode, so that's 50% of what I wanted from the FA obtained. I also have Korg sounds now, which are a different ilk to Roland, and I'm glad to be going on that journey.

I've dug my 303 groovebox out and been using that to jam with Juno Patch Mode and having fun - even without a screen!

And now just learned that Roland have a new screen manufacturer, fault identified and resolved, and my G can be fixed for good for another $100.

So there, I've spent $264 and got everything I wanted. For Roland, I have now defected to Korg, and not spent $1500 on their product. So they can read this and weep, and see what happens when you mess your customer about.

Thanks for all your comments, without this forum I would have ended up with a nice keyboard (never said it was rubbish) that didn't complete my needs and left me needing more. Now I've got a nice versatile setup where I can decide to DAW if I want, but don't need to.

I hope this thread helps others to avoid costly mistakes.

Happy beat making :)
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