Why Go Workstation?
It may be hard to see the need for a keyboard workstation these days, as the computer is rapidly taking over the music creation workflow. But the new FA-Series Workstations from Roland (FA-06 and FA-08) give a simple reason to their existence: they allow you to get musical ideas down quickly and easily. This is something that musicians relying on computers have struggled with for a long time.
To spark some musical inspiration, the FA-Series have over 2,000 sounds based on Roland’s award winning INTEGRA-7 sound module. That means there are expressive SuperNATURAL Acoustic, Synth, and Drum sounds as well as a collection of Roland’s most prized PCM sounds from past instruments -more than enough sounds to get ideas flowing!
Capturing the Musical Moment
To get those ideas on record, the FA-Series has a simple yet sophisticated 16-Track MIDI Sequencer. What makes this sequencer so simple is its ‘Non-Stop Recording’ feature – allowing you to enable and disable recording while the sequencer is running. Think about how this can enhance your workflow. You can easily audition new sounds, move to the next track, try new melodies, or even mix tracks, without having to stop the sequencer.
We do understand the need to move your music over to the computer, so we’ve engineered the FA-Series to do just that. Each track that is recorded in the FA-Series’ sequencer can be exported as an individual WAV file stem, directly to an SD card. What’s great is that almost all current laptops and desktops have an internal SD card reader. Simply insert the card and move your files into your favourite multi-track recording software. Done!
It’s All About Control
Now that you’ve moved your workflow over to the computer, the FA-Series don’t stop working for you. Both FA-Series workstations can be used as USB Audio/MIDI interfaces for your computer. What’s more, the FA-Series contain a DAW Control mode, with control templates for the most popular recording software. This allows the FA-Series workstations to have solid hardware control for the software.
Taking your finished music live is another feat that the FA-Series are up for. Their built-in sampler can easily accommodate any backing tracks that you would like to perform with.
- Export your song from your recording software as a WAV file.
- Save the file on an SD Card.
- Import the file into one of the FA-Series’ 16-sampler pads.
Once you’re done, playing the backing tracks is as simple as hitting the assigned pad.
Make it Your Own
If you feel the need for more sounds, there are two virtual expansion slots that can accept downloaded sounds from Roland’s Axial website. This allows you to customize the instruments with sounds that cater to the music you play and record.
The workflow of creating music with the FA-Series Workstations is so simple. The movement of ideas from concept to instrument, then to the computer, then back into the instrument for performance, has never been this seamless or transparent. Roland’s FA-06 and FA-08 Workstations are definitely worth a look and listen at your local musical instrument store.
Adrian Marsi is the Pro Keyboards & DJ Product Marketing Manager for Roland Canada. Follow Adrian on twitter – @rcmsynthguy.