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Sound Quality


General Comments

When I first got my fantom S, I thought the sounds were great, it was easy to use and it was a dream keyboard. I ranked it a 10 across the board. Over the past few months, I've had a chance to really get to know it much better. While I still think its incredibly easy to use, I now understand why some people have issues with it.


Sounds are each persons preference. To argue whether it sounds good or not is really a mute point. My own opinion initally was the sounds were great. As I've used them live and in recordings now, I feel some of the sounds like the pianos, electric pianos, organs and most windwoods are lacking compared to other keyboards I've heard.


Polyphony - As I recorded musical pieces I did have some sounds lose polphony which created problems for me. I was especially disappointed that my arppegios and runs kept cutting off. I understand why some owners have been critical of the way sounds are created.


Features - This is where I found some of my biggest problems. The first had to do with using midi and samples. I recorded songs and have them in standard midi format and wanted to add a samples into it but couldn't. This seems to be a standard feature in most cheap keyboards. I was shocked to learn I couldn't do this. The second isssue I had was with resampling sounds. The resamples always recorded with a substantial reduction in volume and sometimes inferior quality to the orginal sample. It made the sampler useless for me. Others have mentioned issues with the track mutes and I completely agree. It's a complete mess the way its set up. The frustrating thing for me was these are things I need and use regularly. These problems don't exist on other workstations in the same class.


While I still use my Fantom S, I do see why some people don't like it. Over the past few months I've looked at other workstations again and understand how you give something up to get something. I hate the screen on the Yamaha Motif and the ES and the higher learning curve in comparison to the Fantom S, but my above mentioned problems with the Fantom S wouldn't be problems with either of them. The Korg triton Studio wouldn't have polyphony issues but the accoustical sounds would stink. There's always a trade it seems. If I knew then what I knew now, I probably wouldn't have gotten the Fantom S and would have gone in a different direction. My new rating for this keyboard is a 5.

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