Still a good buy?

Forum for Roland FA-06/08

Still a good buy?

Postby The Man Machine » 13:12, 13 May 2017


My name is Mike and this is my first post here.

Though I have a basic knowledge of workstations and synths I am not that knowledgeable at whats for sale anno 2017.

Long time ago used to own a.o. a Roland D20, JX-3P and Korg M1.

Things have moved on and after doing some research on youtube came across the FA-06.

The simple question to those who own(ed) one is to point out what you like(d) and dislik(ed) about it.

To me it seems still a good deal at €855 (Netherlands).

The biggest minus is that the sampler can't timestretch but otoh it at least has a sampler.

The far most important thing for me is the ease of use of the sequencer and in particular edit in an already done track. Is it possible to go in and on a single note level make changes?

No DAW yet but that might be happening in the near future, just want an easy to work with workstation.

The sounds are convincing and the amount of sounds is just amazing.

My taste ranges from Kate Bush, via Kraftwerk to Zappa and everything inbetween.

What I try to do is make electronic music, so no grand pianos as for now.

Cheers Mike
The Man Machine
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby Myrk- » 14:58, 13 May 2017

Seems like a crappy answer, but do a search on the forum - there's been this exact question posed many times before, and there's nothing new on the market workstation wise in the last couple of years really.

The only downside for me was that the external midi control is a bit weak and slightly misleading based on the wording they use to advertise the device... but you can correct that nowadays with a Sipario midi unit combined with the FA!
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby The Man Machine » 17:41, 13 May 2017

Thanks for the reply.

Well midi probs and workarounds is a bad start.
Might ditch the sampler and go for the Krome61.
Though that isn't a better sounding synth just different.
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby stevel » 20:36, 13 May 2017

"Good buy" to me means "amount of features per unit of cost", but maybe the more important way to say it would be "amount of USEFUL features per unit of cost".

And what is useful comes in 2 flavors - things you know you need, and things you don't yet know you need but eventually will find you can't live without!

Honestly, the "hot" Roland keyboard on other forums (for the non-keyboardists or beginning-keyboardists) seems to be the Juno DS61 becuase the feature-per-dollar set is really strong - it's a VERY affordable entry-level keyboard packed with tons of amazing features.

The FA 06 is essentially, a "step up" in most departments.

Basically everything the the Juno DS61 has, the FA has twice as many of, or the FA adds more things (for example 16 pads versus 8, 16 track sequencer versus 8 (or 4)) and the FA adds Supernatural sounds, which for some would be a huge step up.

I like my FA. It is very feature-laden for the cost.

The sounds are great but honestly, in any modern synth I expect great sounds - they're all just "different" and it's hard to qualify what "WarbleGarble" patch is better than another synth's similar patch as there's no real basis for comparison.

For me, as an intermediate level keyboardist who does a little DAW work and a little live performance work and so on, there are a few things I would change about the FA 06:.

1. My absolute biggest complaint is that you can't turn off (or on) the MFX on a single part in real time. The only way to do it is to be on the editing screen to turn it on or off. Otherwise, you have to save TWO presets - one with the effect on and one with it off if you want to toggle between two effect states (say, delay on versus a delay off).

For live performance, this would have been a deal breaker for me had I known about it. But like everyone, Roland is marketing to the home beatmaker (and I don't know why, because they're just going to use a VST...). So live performance seems to be an afterthought.

There are workarounds - you can use a single sound in a studio set and use the TFX to turn the effects on and off for that sound, and there are some sounds where effects can be turned on and off with other controls (for example, tremolo on Electric Pianos) but this is not true of all sounds.

Part of this is me - I'm a little "frugal" when it comes to using user memory slots to do things I see as "utilitarian" so it kind of irks me that you'd have to save an effected version of a sound and a non-effected version of the exact same sound and then change between two presets to turn the effect on and off. It just seems silly. But it also may be because I'm older and want to do things on a SOUND, where Roland is seeing the STUDIO SET as the main way to make music and just assumes you'll use it instead.

But if you want Bass in the lower part of the keyboard with no effect on it, and then Electric Piano in the upper half of the keyboard with the ability to turn Chorus on and off on the EP, but not on the Bass, there's no real easy way to do it without an external controller or setting up different patches in the studio sets to switch between.

It just seems totally illogical to me.

2. Roland's new keys are a dealbreaker for many, and I too hate them. The black keys are not "right". Unless you've really tried them out or gotten used to them (or know you can). For a "real player", this could be a major issue. I "live with" mine becuase the other features outweighed this minor nag, and I'm not such a great player that it's an every day concern for me. Plus I thought I'd get used to it if I played more. Still, I'd rather play my old D-5 than either my FA or A-800 Pro (which has the same style keys as the FA) as the keys are more "normal" IMHO (though I would say if you never played on anything before the FA, it might not make a difference).

3. The FA does not have aftertouch. This was a dealbreaker for many. I could live without it, and like the MFX issue in #1 above, and many of the other irritating things, these can be controlled with an external controller. So it doesn't bother me, but I would gladly trade the D-Beam for Aftertouch.

4. I found the DAW mode to be pretty useless. I'm sure some people like it but I wanted more - or at least different controls that what it could do. I use a dedicated controller to control my DAW rather than the FA. From what I gather, it's "rudimentary" at best. But I really bought it as a performance keyboard and just saw it as a fringe benefit that it had DAW control built in. So it wasn't a big deal for me. But if you want lots of DAW control and don't have a dedicated controller for your DAW, I'd investigate the FA's DAW features more thoroughly if I were you.

5. There are many features I wish were included, or excluded, or implemented better, or worked differently, or were arranged differently, etc. etc. Most of these though are the same kinds of complaints I would have about features on other keyboards too - everything's going to have useless functions for some people, or things implemented in such a way that they're not what you want. So I can't really complain about those things. But the one feature I'm kind of on the fence about are the Pads - they can be extremely useful if you need to use them in the ways (and there are many) they were designed to be used. But there are also some drawbacks - like them being tied to a song, and that only 4 can play at once - I realize these are design limitations necessitated by the price, but at the same time, it's almost a little like "teasing" - it's like, "ooh look, you can launch samples, oh, but only 4 at a time". Or things like that. But then you go, "oh, hey, but you can play the samples from Part 16 on the keyboard, so actually you COULD treat them like a "sampler" if you import all the sounds and assign them to the pads in the order you need". So it's like a "hidden feature" that you won't know about until you research it. There seem to be a lot of those "hidden features" - becuase it is actually a very powerful keyboard...

So what I'm going to say for the 'general" vibe of the instrument is, I think in some ways the FA suffers from trying to be too many things for too many people, and not excelling at anything. Like a jack of all trades but master of none. But in a way that is a little deceptive - it appears like it would be a great live keyboard, but there are issues - and it appears that it would be great as a DAW interface - but there are a few issues.

So it's the PERFECT keyboard for someone who dabbles in a lot of stuff (like I do) where it being "multi-purpose" is more important than it excelling at any one thing.

It's less perfect if you need it to be "more" of any one thing than the other - Like I actually (at the time I bought it) needed it to be a stronger live keyboard and master controller - but it wasn't.

But you know, that's not what I bought. I bought an "all arounder", and that's what it does well. Rather than being like my controller, which was designated to specific purposes, the FA has become the keyboard that "does it all" in my set up. And if I need to take it out to gig, I can. If I need it as a sound source, it is. If I need to experiment with sequences without turning on my computer, I can.

And to be honest, if I really sat down and explored all the features I could get even more out of it - I just haven't played in band where it demanded those features or haven't really had the need to use them in a DAW. But they're there if I need them.

A Juno DS 61 would be a better choice if you know you don't need all the features the FA offers and you need to save some coin.

I think the FA 06 is a better buy than the Juno DS 88 unless you absolutely need the weighted keys and know for sure you don't need the additional features and sounds of the FA.

I think the FA-08 would be an outstanding buy if I could afford one. It was just too expensive and really impractical for me (to haul around for gigs, get a stand to support, etc.).

And on that last note I will add - the Piano supposedly sounds amazing with a weighted 88 key controller (or the FA-08). But, the velocity curves in the FA-06 need a LOT of tweaking to get the most out of the Piano sounds. They're the exact same sounds - but the "weighting" of the keys in the FA-06 (synth action) means the Piano sound that's designed to be responsive to better weighting just doesn't respond the same to "synth action" keys (which is true of anything like that). Again, the action is perfect as an "all arounder" - since the FA contains MANY more sounds than simply Piano sounds.

But if you just need "atmospheric" or "ambient" Piano-like sounds soaked in reverb and delay (which again is all the rage now) then the FA is perfect.

One final "drawback" for people my age - many of the classic rock bands I play in require "vintage" keyboard sounds and I think while Roland has done a generally good job of including many such sounds, the emphasis is still on, for lack of a better term, "modern keep in competetion with the VST crowd" sounds. Everything with delay on it reminds me of the Garageband sounds - so it's clear they're trying to impress that group. If you like those sounds, great. That's common of all synths - to have the "hot" and "trendy" sounds included (which is what makes some of them dated-sounding after a few years).

But for "vintage" sounds, my old Sound Canvas actually saw more service. I'd have to edit the FA sounds to "vintage-ize" them - the good news is the editing on the FA is super powerful - incredibly intuitive and easy to use, and the large screen is GREAT!.

I will add that many of the sounds are simply variations with different effects added, but that's true of most synths. But it does irk me a bit that every single sound has some effect on it rather that it just being the sound the synth engine makes - making one feel like in order for the synth to sound good, it has to have some effect on the sound (modern music production, sheesh). Even the basic piano sound has an EQ on it. Really? If it has to have EQ on it to sound good, maybe your original samples aren't that good. But I digress.

So, with that, I'll list the pros:

1. Price (features for the price).
2. Sequencer is actually quite well implemented for basic use.
3. Pads (and the extra features that make them more useful once you realize they're there).
4. Screen (including navigation and editing controls).
5. Control over sounds (even if the physical controls themselves are somewhat meh, the amount of control over the sounds is very powerful).
6. Sounds are top-notch, professional. Exceptional. Other synths are just "different".
7. 2 expansion slots for which there are 10 banks available - you can only load 2 at a time, but you can have them all stored and swap them out for various purposes pretty easily. The 2 I installed really made the FA "worth it" for me.
8. Sounds you can download from Integra - you can put as many as as you have user slots for, so you can really load in a huge number of additional sounds from the Axial site. Depending on your tastes, some of those could be incredibly useful.

When I was looking there was no other synth/workstation that had all these features at such a good price.

If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have saved a few bucks and gone with the DS61 for my immediate needs at that time, but buying the FA gave me "room to grow" (it sees more home studio use now) and I don't think the Juno could have handled that in the way I want.
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby The Man Machine » 23:33, 13 May 2017

Thanks for in depth and objective review.

Being not so good with midi and needing another €300 device to sort it, not so well layed out DAW usage, iffy keyboard (read that a lot).

Was thinking of looking into the Krome more in depth but actually dropping the sequencer and getting a used Jupiter 50 is now on my mind. For about the same I could fetch a used one and a King Korg for less.

Leave sampling to a dedicated device or program (with timestretching) and embrace the computer a bit more than innitially intended.

Need to think this through, allround is exactly as you put it, master of none but a bit of everything, though with the sounds and amount I would be happy :)

The problem lies in the fact I need a 100 mile drive to check one of the mentioned synths out.

Thanks for your information and time, highly appreciated.
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby Skijumptoes » 02:46, 15 May 2017

Well, for me it's simple, Out of them all, i'd still get the FA, love it. And i'm someone who gets buyer remorse very easily. It never happened with the FA, although it did with the MOXF that i had for a brief period before.

Sometimes it's easy to get weighed down with functionality, technicalities and assess the bad points of what you're going to buy. Unfortunately, when looking at new gear, much of the time you're making a decision based on which option has the least bad points and you end up buying the middle ground/safe option that maybe doesn't excite you as much.

I say go with what really makes you happy/smile/shiver/whatever when you hear it. After a long period with the FA, stacking up a few Supernatural synth sounds and playing them still sends shivers through me, i kid you not, it sounds fantastic.

The screen is large and clear, and it's by far one of the best interfaces Roland have put out for a long time, it doesn't lag, and it's quick to get around. Most importantly if you've playing a part which you like, you can go straight into record at anytime, and it's the basis of a new sequence/studio set.

That ease of use, sound quality (Subjective of course), and immediacy of being able to get an idea down are the killer aspects i want.

So, with the list you've formed in your head, try comparing each only on positives and how they make you feel, and see which one appeals. You know, even how a synth looks affects my relationship with it, as silly as that sounds make sure that it's also a genuine factor in your purchase, the importance of having something that you stare lovingly (Have i gone too far there?! lol) at when it's turned off will ultimately last you longer and bring more happiness in the soul. :)
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby The Man Machine » 07:53, 15 May 2017

Thanks for your reply.

Just trying to collect some pros and cons and figure if they would apply to me.

The main pros for now are:

Sounds and amount of.

Menu system with logical clustered parameters.

Sequencer and mixer lay out.

Cons seem:



Glossy surface

The Krome and MOFX look a bit more substantial but the Krome is pretty touchscreen based and looking at some vids they haven't done such a great thing with it. The MOFX looks the most substantial but has this archaic display...I don't think I will enjoy, though button wise the Yammy is top dog.

If I were to play only and not sequence, the Yammy was on top of my list.
The Man Machine
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby R.U.Doin » 11:47, 15 May 2017

A big pro for me on de FA is the 16 insert effects (MFX). I had de MoFX also for two years and the appergiator is very inspiring, but it also stopped me from making my own songs, so sold it. The MoFX has 8 insert effects and was sometimes a bit short for my compositions.
I am never a fan for Korg, but the Krome seems a good buy. But it has only 5 insert effects, and that is way to short for me. From the three boards I like teh toland keybbed the most.
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby Skijumptoes » 13:06, 15 May 2017

That's what i thought when i got the yammy originally, i was sure i'd made the right choice as a fully fleshed sequencer onboard wasn't prime concern. Plus, Every music store recommended it as the standout buy, and i felt like most people i spoke to were really down on the FA (Whether that's Rolands poor PR with sales staff i don't know?).

The FA is what my heart wanted (Enjoyed more when playing in store), but the MOXF was what my head purchased.

However, i heard the integra within weeks of getting the MOXF, which of course is what the FA is based on, and the SN-S engine (Supernatural synth) sounded incredible. Don't get me wrong, the Yamaha sounds lush on some of the more natural/acoustic sounds, and for real-time play it's very good - but i'm a guitarist so a lot of the acoustic/guitar sims are pretty much wasted on me.

I would however, happily take the multi-arp arrangement of the Yamaha and 'some' of the orchestral/string sounds and put it on the FA if i had the option! :)

As for Krome, I'm a big fan of the Korg M1, M3/M50 lineage, and even though the Krome is a Kronos 'lite', i still consider it to be the logical step from M50', however, it really doesn't enthuse me like the M50 does, there's something about the Krome that i just don't like, and i can't put my finger on it, which is odd as i love the M50 greatly even now.

Saying that, i've seen many people say they love the Roland Fantom's and can't take to the FA, so similar opinions.

I find Korg vs Roland to be such characteristically different sounding that it would purely come down to the sound i wanted if looking at Krome vs FA, particularly the filters. I don't think any amount of features and pros and cons would distract me from that hugely.

As for the -06's keybed, sure it's not the best. However, it is reliable, solid, and incredibly quick to play on. It just feels a bit cheap compared to the -08, or a heavier key instrument, but that's more a cosmetic thing for me, rather than playability - playability wise i have no issues with it., although i have seen several people on here struggling to get the velocity spread to match how they play.
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby The Man Machine » 18:08, 15 May 2017

Thank you both of you guys.

Again some good points you both made that make the FA for me the go to workstation again or at least the one to put on top of my list. It is also the cheapest at €855 compared to the others (€1099).

The amount of FX that can be used leaves the Korg and Yamaha behind.

Like in my OP using it as a standalone workstation that is an important thing to realize.

Another point is that I will try to make electronic music, so the SN stuff of each synth I do not care that much for though it is nice to have.

And as for advice in stores goes, most of the time vendors want to sell you either what they got most of in stock or what gives them the highest margin on the resale. In other words quite useless most of the time.

Thanks for your interest in the topic and some very strong points on the synths debated.
The Man Machine
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby JPWC » 01:05, 16 May 2017

I believe the following:

I own the FA06, it a great playing keyboard, sounds great and operation is straight forward, but not my pick for sequencing. I use it primarily for electric piano (my favorite EP) and all kinds of layering/splits for live performance. I can configure studio sets on the fly as needed. The sample pads have been useful for a handful of performances with bands.

I own the Krome, it is as great as the FA06, has a better sequencer (At least I think so, but I don't sequence that much anymore), I use it primarily for Organs and strings (Pads), I believe the synth sounds are better than most.

I own a Motif XF, I find the sequencer confusing (I need to reference manual often). Has the best guitar sounds, both acoustic and electric. It weighs in almost twice as heavy as the others, it gets left home more often than the others (above). There again, I only drag it out of my home studio if I need guitar sounds.

I find the FA to be the best looking, even when powered off.

If they were all to disappear tomorrow, I'd replace the FA-06 first, because it is the most useful in my situations.

I also have a Kronos and plan to get the Montage (not sure this is really a workstation any more) soon. I would not repurchase the Motif XF or Krome, at least not right away.

As said above, the choice really depends on you, what you like, what you need to accomplish. Only you can decide what is best for your application. I'd recommend you think your priorities. (I.e., Programmability (ease of use), Sequencing, Sampling, Live Performance (Band or Solo), Features, family of sounds, i.e. guitar/pad/piano/etc.) and go for it. (Spend as much as possible, as fast as possible on as many synthesizers you can.) (rereading your initial post....the FA06 would be a great keyboard for you, but you should check out the Korg Krome video on youtube: Korg In The Studio - Krome Music Workstation -- TouchView Navigation Tips & Tricks. As a matter of fact, you should check out all the tutorials from Korg and Roland.

DISCLAIMER: I want them all! Regardless of capabilities/features/etc. After time with any of them, I find that they all find a place in my musical endeavors.

So, just to be repetitive, (with a few added opinions and other keyboards that I own)

FA06, Live Performance, primarily Electic Piano, would repurchase
Krome, Live Performance, Primarily Organs, would not repurchase
Kronos, Home use, love to jam with Karma and WaveSequencing, would repurchase
Motif XF, Home use, Primarily guitar sounds, would not repurchase, get the montage instead.
KingKorg, Live Performance, synth sounds, (going to sell, replaced by JD-XA & DeepMind 12)
System-8, Home and Live, synth sounds, would repurchase
JD-XA, Home, nice lights, would not repurchase
JD-Xi, waste of my money, (sounds great, just isn't what I need), would not repurchase
Prophet-12, Home, A little different synth sounding, would not repurchase
DeepMind 12, don't know yet but expect home and live use, sounds wonderful, would repurchase
Fantom (X and G) sold them, wish I hadn't, still thinking about buying the G7 used
Nord Lead 2X, Not used any more (going to sell, replace with Nord Lead 4), would not repurchase ( I going to buy 4)
PC3, sold it, wish I hadn't, had great samples of past keyboards, solid feeling, might repurchase
JP-80, dont used it much (as a controller) really do want to love it, just to big, heavy and most sound are boring to me, except trumpet, and how often do you need trumpet sound? would not repurchase

Next up:

Montage-6, Nord Lead 4 (have the A1r), and I am assembling a modular system.

I play in three bands, 2 cover (rock/country and heavy metal pop), 1 original (pop rock).
At home I play electronic/dance/pop/rock and anything the Kronos leads me to.

Is it a Good Buy? Yes

Good luck!
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby The Man Machine » 10:06, 16 May 2017

Thanks for your in depth reply :)

That is quiet a stack of synths you got.

Interesting you point out the sequencer to be easier to work with on the Krome than the FA06.

Have been watching some videos on this but in near every video I keep asking myself why they are making it so difficult on the Krome (the MOFX is even worse imho).

Either next tuesday or wednesday I go for a ride and check out the synths, if I find the right one it is cash & carry :)
The Man Machine
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby Skijumptoes » 12:12, 16 May 2017

Well, one mans gold is another mans trash of course - so it's very subjective when you look at operations like the sequencer.

I imagine if the Krome sequencer is anything like the M50, then it's very good, and personally for me, the touchscreen is far better in person, than is conveyed on video.

However, it really depend on what you're doing, i only want to come up with a few bars to get an idea on verse, chorus, bridge chord progressions and synth/piano riffs etc. So the ability to just hit record on the FA if an idea comes into my head works well, i can loop that section and build it up.

Likewise, if i want to use Arpeggios i can do it on a per-track (one-by-one) basis, so all that works well for me as the sequencer records the actual arpeggiated midi notes.

And that's pretty much all i use the sequencer for, in fact, i think that's how Roland intended it to be... This kind of bridge to the DAW, i.e. an ideas machine.

I would never try and compose a full song on it, and edit, correct notes on bar 87+ etc. That just seems a step too far to me.

One other thing, if you go instore and you're comparing keyboards, sometimes they only have a few on speakers, and the rest on headphones - insist that you hear them all through speakers, i've had to be really insistent in the past. But it makes a huge difference when A-B'ing them.

Oh, JPWC - When do we get an invite to come round and play with all your gear?! :)

Like you, selling my Fantom was a big regret, the FA is similar in many ways, and the supernatural sounds really are an improvement, but the Fantom was like a tank in comparison, makes the FA a bit cheap (*Ahem, i mean 'portable' lol) and i would love to have that sampling option available to me again.

Curious what you think to the keys on the -06 after playing something like the Kronos too?
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby stevel » 22:09, 19 May 2017

The Man Machine wrote:

Cons seem:



Glossy surface

1. MIDI. It sends and receives all MIDI messages. It is every bit as MIDI-capable as any instrument out there, and maybe even more so because Roland tends to actually follow (and set) the standards.

Where it may lack is as a "controller" in the sense that many people expect anything that's called a "controller" to act like a dedictated controller where everything can be assigned. It is a "basic" DAW controller. It works fine for that, but honestly, I find "learning" control parameters in the DAW itself to be more effective and the FA would work fine for that. It's just not a "really great controller" - and it wasn't meant to be.

2. Keybed. The ACTION is GREAT IMHO.

It's better than my old D-5, which is "springy" and "pushes back" on you.

It's better than my A-800, which is essentially the same basic keybed. The A-800 is "rattly" - there's a bit of sideways play and the keys "snap" up and when they do, it's like they top out and rattle. It makes it seem "cheap" (and it was).

The only con about the FA's keyboard is not the action, but the key size and shape (this is true of the A-800 as well). Its white keys are maybe a but shorter than "standard" which means your hand tends to ride up further on the keys. This means you're pressing black keys more towards the top and middle of the key, rather than at the tip - this can result in less leverage on the black keys. Compared to my old D-5, I'm much more likely to not press a black key as firmly as white keys at the same time (like playing a chord with both black and white keys in it) and I'm more likely to accidentally hit an adjacent black key (wrong note). My old D-5s keys are "squared off" more like a traditional piano. The FA (and A-800) keys are "rounded" which in some ways makes them feel a little less well-defined, softer, maybe "easier to fall off of". But if you've only played that style key your whole life, or this was your first keyboard, or you had nothing else to compare it to, I bet learning on it wouldn't be an issue. I'm older, and just used to "older" style keys because that's what I've played all my life.

So I would say, if the keys were like my D-5 shape, but on the same action, it would the PERFECT keybed for me.

So any decision on that should really be one of personal preference. Definitely something you just have to try - it's a "feel" thing.

3. Glossy surface. Bothers me not. Is it glossy? Yes. Does it show fingerprints? Yes. Solution - don't touch the glossy surface. There's really no need to. But if you must, then just wipe it off. I have an old school real life piano in the house. Still got to hit that with some Lemon Fresh Pledge and a feather duster every now and again!

It's not even a consideration for me.
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Re: Still a good buy?

Postby stevel » 22:21, 19 May 2017

The Man Machine wrote:Thanks for your in depth reply :)

That is quiet a stack of synths you got.

Interesting you point out the sequencer to be easier to work with on the Krome than the FA06.

Have been watching some videos on this but in near every video I keep asking myself why they are making it so difficult on the Krome (the MOFX is even worse imho).

Either next tuesday or wednesday I go for a ride and check out the synths, if I find the right one it is cash & carry :)

I've not tried sequencers on other keyboards.

For "basic" sequencing - just basically using the on-board sequencer like a "tape recorder" - pick a sound on part 1, record it. Go back, pick a sound on part 2, record it on track 2, and so on, I think it's pretty darn good.

In fact, like skijumptoes, as an "idea capturer" it's great. I found it really intuitive to use. Now, changing meters, CC messages and all that - I'd rather do that in a DAW anyway regardless of how good an on-board sequencer is - it's just so much more convenient on a computer screen.

For playing back sequences you've created in a DAW and loaded into the FA, it works great too. That's not really taxing for any Sequencer, but again I found it really intuitive and easy to use. And that's primarily how I used it.

Sequencer Player

Quick Ideas Recorder

"Basic" multi-track Recorder (Sequencer).

I remember the salesperson telling me how good it was and at the time I was like, "whatever dude, I just need it to play back sequences" but I found the recording aspect so good that for "pick a sound and record it on a track" I actually choose the FA more often than the DAW.

I only use the DAW when I know I'm going to need to do a bunch of Quantizing, or a bunch of CC work, and more on-screen editing, etc.

I would totally repurchase this keyboard out of everything out there in the same price range - I don't have the money to buy multiple keyboards so this was a "lifetime" purchase for me (which is why I still have my old D-5 I bought probably when I was 19 or 20). The only thing I'd change is I'd buy the 88 key version if I could afford it and had room for it.

An FA-06 with a decent 88 Key Controller would be the best combination on the planet - you could use the controller for all your controller needs, to control DAWs and the FA, the weighted keys for Piano sounds, and then the FA keys for everything else. That is, assuming you could only buy one synth that covers as many bases as it can.
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