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Messages - LeonH

Gear Corner / Re: As Jem is a Kronos man now....
March 24, 2013, 06:28:16 AM
I was on ages ago (few years) asking about the G, and I ended up buying one to replace my Mainstage rig, the G was my "return to hardware". I've found it to be a pretty good experience, barring a few niggles. I never had an X, though I do have a JV-1080 with cards and I agree not having the SRX library was a big mistake, even though quite a few of the waveforms are in there. As for the ARX cards... well they just don't do enough though the Brass one is very useful, first time ever I've used brass in a keyboard as they are so good. The drums card is good too, but the Electric Piano one is poor. I nearly bought an X, but the "modern amenities" factor of the G got it over the line. The seamless patch change is worth it's weight in gold, the PFX per part system (if a little inflexible, but patches always sound the same) the USB memory, bigger internal memory, the sliders, audio over USB, the pads are multifunction and incredibly useful, the RPS system... it has a lot going for it. Shame Roland never updated the OS or made more cards... we'll never know why. I bought mine before the Kronos came out (or Jupiter) so I'll probably never switch.. who knows. But the G it works OK for me. It does enough in the band and at home to be useful in a lot of ways. YMMV. One thing is for sure, with the way current keyboards are, I doubt I'll ever use a computer live again.

OT: I bought satches last album Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards... great album good balance of geetars and keys too. One of his best albums.
Gear Corner / Re: Trinity or Fantom?
July 04, 2012, 09:28:48 AM
Great Stuff! Yeah I find the fantom G to be very satisfying to play live. It's a good machine!
Gear Corner / Re: Trinity or Fantom?
June 19, 2012, 09:26:29 AM
Yep no probs. Ask away!
Gear Corner / Re: Trinity or Fantom?
June 19, 2012, 08:27:13 AM
Hey Sawtooth, congrats on the purchase of the Fantom G6! I'm sure you'll get a lot out of it. feel free to ask any questions about it if you have any. Rolandclan is worth joining too as is the facebook users group which is pretty active.
Gear Corner / Re: Trinity or Fantom?
June 12, 2012, 12:19:25 AM
Yeah the ability to stream the audio was a big plus for me over the X. I got jack of the whole setup for quick gigs using the MIDI controller/Laptop/Audio interface approach. Too stressful, even if it's well planned out beforehand. The latency is good. I run at 128k and have had no problems in Logic. Also the audio output of the Fantom is excellent. The computer sounds very good through it.
 Haven't used it much with Mainstage, because to be honest in a live band situation the G is great. It's sounds actually are a lot better than I expected for a ROMpler so I've been using it on it's own. It's very fast to set things up in Live Mode and if you get under hood you can get some pretty cool things going on. I wish it could take SRX boards though, but I have a JV-1080 so all my old Roland sounds live in that.
Gear Corner / Re: Trinity or Fantom?
June 11, 2012, 04:59:05 AM
Hey Sawtooth,

I went through a similar set of choices a couple of years back (I was on here asking about the G after I saw Jems Geek Report on the G for Black Light Machine). I was using a mainstage based rig and was looking at getting back to hardware because MIDI controllers suck, which I did in the end. I ended up getting the Fantom G6 and have been very happy with it. It's my main gigging board now, and is my main board for the Logic based studio setup as well, as it has USB audio and MIDI it integrates very well. It's also outstanding as live board, and the seamless patch change with FX makes using a the 61 key board useable for gigs as it's so easy to do layers and splits and change live sets to get around the lack of keys. I can cover a lot of ground using it.I also considered the X but went with the G as it just has more modern amenities and they really come in handy for me. Also if I want to keep using mainstage live it's just a one USB cable connection and then use the external parts on the Fantom G and you're done. The G is a very versatile machine. The pads a great and the sequencer and RPS stuff is good too. Also the build quality is excellent, and the keybed is great. There are a few gotchas, but mostly can be worked around. The G's presets can be a bit weak, but there some gold in there, and if you programme it yourself you can get some great sounds out it. The ARX boards are limited but the brass is outstanding and the drums are good. The EP is a bit hit and miss. I would have listen to both the X and G though, before you decide. I'm sure the X is a great board, and everyone who gets one seems to love it and it's backward compatible with all the previous generations, whereas the G isn't. For me the extra features of the G got it over the line, but I'm very happy with it.

Good luck with your choice! If you have any other questions about it ask away!
Frost* / Re: How did you discover Frost*?
December 22, 2010, 09:00:43 PM
Frost* were one of those happy internet discoveries. I bought MIDI controllers earlier in the year and hated them, so I started researching proper synths for my band stuff, which led to Juno Stage and then to Fantom G and then to Fantom G videos by Jem which led to Frost* reports, which led to weeing myself laughing which led to buying EIMA and Milliontown which led to the best song I have discovered this year: Hyperventilate! The Frost reports are very entertaining, great to see someone sharing the creative process, but I get a little scared I may wee my pants laughing each time.  :P
Gear Corner / Re: X7 Files
September 12, 2010, 03:40:56 AM
Question for dtscape, hows your X7? I'm looking at one right now vs the G6 for my controller and standalone gigs (I'm in Australia, G's cost some bucks here). I see you put yours up for sale on Rolandclan. Are you keeping it now selling?
Gear Corner / Re: I've become Fantomed!
September 12, 2010, 03:38:33 AM
How are finding the G7? I've done three gigs now with my Mainstage rig, which I'll report about in detail, but it went well. Still looking at a G6 for live work and for with MS2 for some gigs.
Frost* / Re: Today
August 28, 2010, 02:59:14 AM
Hey Jem, interested to see you're back on the G6, which I'm becoming convinced is the way to fly for live work. 8-)  I'll post an update on my Mainstage 2 experiences for everyone soon in the gear thread. I've done two gigs with it recently, another one coming up and then I'm probably off to G6 land with MS2 as an expander if I can be bothered to set it up at gigs!

BTW picked up Milliontown and EIMA lately and lets just say Black Light Machine, Welcome to Nowhere, Falling Down and Hyperventilate have gone into high rotation. Good luck with the new music and gigs!  :D
Gear Corner / Re: Mainstage 2
June 26, 2010, 03:35:59 AM
Jem: Because I've been using Logic or Mainstage live for years now I had no idea the workstations had got so good. I thought they were a waste of time. Your frost reports on setting up the G6 live really opened my eyes. I've read the manuals etc and the G series looks very well thought out bar a few things (vanilla sounds? no SRX cards, not enough ARX cards). But MS2 does open you up to the world of instruments and plug-ins you would use in a DAW and that's what makes it a killer. It's pretty reliable too. Haven't had any problems really. Once you configure it it's great. Like you say though it's a hassle to setup for gigs. I have mine down to 1 controller, 1 Computer,  1 audio interface (emagic 2/6 but I'm going to replace it soon with a new small Firewire box, and for low key rehearsals I just use the lappys built in audio), 2 stands, Amp (with line out for the FOH) and 1 powerboard plus extension cord, which is pretty good I think. One pain in the rear is softsynths needing USB keys for copy protection which can introduce the need for a USB hub. My setup just evolved out of what I had lying around, but I'm streamling it now. I'm so far down the road with MS2 so I'm doing my gig in a month with it. Maybe down the track I reckon the G plus the lappy for better sounds might be an option.  It's funny Roland don't make a pro level MIDI controller anymore, but pack all that power into the G.

As for the actions, the SL MK2 felt good, but also felt like it would fall apart, the Axiom Pro is ruined by the sticky keys, which sucks cos otherwise I really liked it. The Akai is a bit rigid but I'm getting used to it. I thought about the X-station as it has an audio interface and the keybed is good, but it had really poor scratchy knobs and sliders, and after my experience with the SL MK2 I went for the Akai, but I might reconsider it. After I went though all this (it has taken months) I ducked into a few music stores and played the Fantom G, SV1 Motifs etc and I thought the action on those was way, way better, in another class altogether. I agree actions are very personal preference though. My rub with the controllers is they are just very inconsistent in their build quality. You might get one that has none of the faults I mentioned, but then you might not. Reading the forums round the net this is a common thing. I guess going the laptop or hardware route means a LOT of reseach these days!!
Gear Corner / Re: Mainstage 2
June 25, 2010, 03:48:54 PM
Pedro: Thanks!

MarkOneMusic: Seems like the MIDI controller thing is frustrating people! Fully agree they're being made for the bedroom studio. These things are so powerful yet so poorly built! Seems crazy to consider buying something as full on (and expensive) as the Fantom G, just because I need a decent MIDI controller, but as far as I can tell, it and the Motif series are the only boards around that are well built, have a flexible enough MIDI spec and enough physical controllers and have the ability to act as an audio interface.
I tried the Novation SL MK2 as well and while it was the most flexible generic MIDI controller of the lot, the build quality really let it down. Very bendy plastic and coming apart at the seams. I really liked the M-Audio Axiom Pro, the hypercontrol intergration with Logic was brilliant, and was a good MIDI controller but again, the build quality is a letdown, its a solid unit but the keys were sticky and also had other faults. The Akai is better built than the other two. It has metal base with a hard plastic top face. The keyboard is a bit heavy and stiff, I'm still not 100% comfortable with it yet, but it's not bad and may suit some heavier players well.  When I first got it though it needed a warranty repair as one key had a rubber contact was faulty. So I have had a shocker of a run. I have a friend who has a CME and says its MIDI over USB is unrealiable. Another friend has an 88 key Studiologic for studio work, and he loves it but it's 35 kilos. All this is a pain beacuse MS2 is really good and very flexible. My current live set has splits and layers between Arturia JP8v synths, NI Pianos, Logics clonewheels and EP modelling, Fx that are convulution reverbs, tape delays etc. But getting the physical interface right is a real challenge.

dtscape, here's my take on your concerns about using MS2.

I've haven't had any issues with the computer going down after a few gigs and heaps of rehearsals over the last year or so.

1. Always an issue. I have avoided it so far after a few gigs!
2. A COMPLETE issue. You end up watching your laptop bag like a hawk, or getting someone to mind it before you setup and get it away somewhere safe when you finish.
3. Glue it to your hands :-P
4. Generally OK. I have a 15" MacBook Pro from 2007 and can run at a 128-256 sample buffer. Managing each instruments polyphony and sharing FX help.
5. The minimum is a MacBook Pro, but they are cheaper than ever. These days I'd go for the 13".

I've been wondering about using the G as a big sampler and sampling my softsynth patches for when I don't want to take the computer. Apparently Chicken Systems Translator can translate into Roland Fantom format, so maybe could get my EXS samples into it. If Roland relased some new ARX boards, one that was based their new V-Piano and the other VA, I'd really be up for it. It baffles me that a computer can do great sounding VA's and clonehweels etc, yet these big workstation keyboards can't. I'll probably stick with my setup for now and see how it pans out.
Gear Corner / Re: Mainstage 2
June 25, 2010, 03:39:20 AM
Hi Jem

I stumbled across your music due to your Fantom G tutorials funnily enough. Been digging Falling Down. I laughed when I saw you're leaving the Fantom G and coming across to MS2, as I have wondering about using the Fantom G with MS2. I use MS2 live every week for rehearsals and have played gigs with it and it works fine. Been using it pretty much as my sole sound source live for a couple of years now. My hardware sort of got phased out over time. Haven't had too many problems. I have a gig coming up soon and have been setting up patches with splits and layers this week. The downside is I've had a hell of a time getting a decent 61 key MIDI controller for it though (my old synths I was using as controllers have died recently). I've bought and returned various models of these new MIDI controllers due to manufacturing defects (sticky keys, broken keys, keys not transmitting velocity properly, chassis splitting open etc). A real pain. I have an Akai MPK 61 at the moment so I'm going to see how that goes for a bit. I've thought about getting a new or recent synth as they're much better built, have proper actions and could be used as controllers. I came across the Fantom G, which is how I discovered your good self. It looks very good. The fact it can work as an advanced MIDI controller and Audio Interface and also that it has a sampler make it quite attractive. I guess I could use it standalone and with MS2/Logic, depending on the gig. I notice you said you think the presets are a bit average. I guess MS2 will always kill a workstation sounds wise due to it's openness (soft synths, multilayered multigigabyte pianos anyone?) I get a bit put off buying one as I can't see myself using the sequencer or any of that which is why I swore against buying a workstation a few years ago, but on the other hand I'm starting to see it being ideal as a live controller, and also for standalone use. It seems though the Fantom G has a OS that makes workflow easy and you have to recreate all that in MS2. Given that though, you can pretty much do anything with MS2. The downside to MS2 compared to your setup with just the Fantom G6 is that with MS2 you need more stuff ie laptop, audio interface, controllers etc. and you have to get all the bits from different manufactures (software and hardware) to play nice together, but once you have it settled it's very flexible. To be honest it's been pretty stable without much effort. Also the user needs to know the limits of the computer as to how much it can process at acceptable latency, but thats the same as using any non DSP accelerated DAW. But the MIDI controller issue is a problem, and reading around the net it seems to be an issue something people who actually play have. I see you've already sold your Fantom Gs. What are you thinking of using as a controller?