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Roland has announced its next-generation workstation keyboard, the Fantom. This 76-note instrument incorporates expandable XV synthesis and effects with a completely re-designed sequencer, large user-friendly display and sleek titanium look. Designed to be interactive, the Fantom includes an exciting new variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator to aid in the creative process, while 24-bit D/A converters and S/PDIF digital outputs make this workstation professional to the last detail.

As a synthesizer, the Fantom ranks among the best; its 64-voice multitimbral synth engine is based on the acclaimed XV-Series architecture with stereo waveforms per Tone, expressive Matrix Control and stunning onboard effects like 24-bit reverb, chorus and 90 multi-effects including awesome COSM Amp Models. The Fantom’s 64MB-equivalent waveform memory includes 1,024 patches (640 Preset, 128 User and 256 GM2 sounds) and 25 rhythm sets, and can be expanded using two SRX-Series and one SR-JV80-Series Wave Expansion Board(s).

However, the Fantom’s unique way of inspiring music is what really separates this workstation from the rest. It starts with a clean front panel employing a large angled display and soft keys to minimize menus and clutter. Then the Fantom’s newly designed variable Arpeggiator and Rhythm Generator allow creating tracks fast and easy. Both of these powerful tools can be assigned to a Patch or Performance, bridging the worlds of performance and composition. And Fantom’s sequencer is always active, so when inspiration strikes, recording starts immediately—including any realtime combination of grooves, arpeggiator, knobs and, of course, live playing. The new sequencer also includes RPS (Realtime Phrase Sequencing) for triggering phrases and controller messages; a slimline 3.5-inch floppy drive stores user data.

The Fantom’s light-sensing D-Beam can control a host of features, and is great for modifying sound parameters in real time. And with the Fantom’s 24-bit D/A converters and S/PDIF digital outputs, this impressive new workstation sounds nothing short of amazing.

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