This Fantom-06 review checks out one of the best bang-for-your-buck synthesizers available from Roland, in a roomy 61-key layout.
The Fantom-0 Series Offers Versatile Synth Workstations for Musicians On the Go
The Fantom-0 line takes much of the power of the full flagship Fantom synthesizers, streamlines it, and makes it more affordable. Each of the three models in the lineup (including the 07 and 08 versions) contain thousands of Roland’s top-notch sounds, a full color touchscreen, tons of physical control through knobs, faders, and pads, and seamless integration with a computer.
While the Fantom-06 is an impressive 61 keys in length with a synth action keybed, Roland made it light and portable enough for gigging musicians or studio hoppers. And the chassis and components reflect that motto of streamlined portability — the construction feels solid and completely durable.
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Roland Fantom-06 Review
Let’s make one thing clear: nothing about this synthesizer screams “streamlined” except its size and weight. That’s deliberate. Roland wanted to create an all-in-one creation station that could go wherever the inspiration is. At approximately 40″ long and 13 pounds, it’s significantly more portable than any almost any other keyboard with this much packed into it.
There are a ton of connectors on the backside of the Roland Fantom-06. These include standard headphone and main outputs; foot pedal jacks; MIDI connections; USB memory and USB computer ports; and even a 1/4″ TRS mic input for you to connect a microphone and make use of the extensive onboard vocoder.
The Fantom-06 serves as 4×32 USB interface with native Logic, Ableton, and MainStage integration. Just plug it straight into your computer and you can record hi-res, low-latency audio without routing through a traditional interface. That’s what makes it suitable for musicians on the move; it eliminates a significant part of the standard digital audio rig.
Synth Capabilities & Sounds
Roland packed the Fantom-0 series with the best-of-the-best of their thousands of sounds. It’s all powered by ZEN-Core, SuperNATURAL, and Virtual Tonewheel Organ technology. This includes emulations of classic Roland synths, access to ultra-realistic acoustic instrument sounds, drums, and so much more. It’s truly extensive. But taking the time to get to know this instrument would blow you away with the number and quality of sounds.
Roland’s arpeggiator makes most others look weak in comparison. Built into the synthesizer are a slew of presets to get you up and running, plus you can spice them up with velocity and accent customization to make basic sequences sound anything but.
Is the Roland Fantom-06 the Right Synthesizer Workstation for Me?
It’s a lot! At an accessible price point, the idea behind the Fantom-0 series was to bring its power to more users. At the very least, gigging or studio musicians could carry a portable alternate to their performances or sessions without busting out an arsenal of keyboards.
For beginners, the Fantom-06 would likely cause some hesitation due to its overwhelming amount of features and sounds. It would be necessary to take some time to study this machine and some diligence to get past the steep learning curve to unlock its full potential.
In our determination from this Roland Fantom-06 review, if you want something that could serve as a creative studio centerpiece, it’s absolutely a worthy choice.