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In-depth Feature:  Roland Fantom XR
How do they get all that into a single 1U rack?
Albert Potts writes: .

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A hue and cry rose up from the land: "The hardware sampler is dead! Long live the hardware sampler!" Has Roland created a king of samplers in the Fantom XR, available for less than a princely sum? Or is it a pretender to the throne that is currently occupied by soft samplers? We will examine all this and more in the following pages.

The Fantom XR is Roland's next generation sound module, following on the heels of their successful XV synths. The Fantom XR packs an amazing amount of features and sound generation capabilities into a single space unit, being both a full-featured synth and sampler.

The 128 voice polyphonic and 16 part multi-timbral Fantom XR can be loaded with up to 512 megs of sample RAM using a standard 168 pin 3.3v DIMM. The Fantom XR also has a PC card slot for storing those samples, which is rated to handle cards up to 1 gig. According to the manual, Compact Flash cards can also be used with the proper adapter. A fully maxed Fantom XR can load almost an entire album's worth of stereo tracks, or a serious amount of sampled instruments and vocal phrases.

But the Fantom XR is also a powerful synth with double the factory waveforms of Roland's XV series. The XV synth engine has been enhanced, and the Fantom XR sports six SRX expansion board slots. Totally maxed out with expansion boards and sample RAM, this box can hold a serious amount of sounds! The unit also ships with editor/librarian software for Mac OS9/OSX and PC.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Roland US Fantom pages
  • Fantom XR Price @ Zzounds

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