NAMM: New Fantom-Xa

An affordable Sampling Workstation      23/01/05
NAMM: New Fantom-Xa
Cut down in price but not features

Roland’s Fantom-X series, sample-based workstations, have been popular during recent times - with those that can afford them. Roland say:- For musicians who want the famous sound and power of a new-generation Fantom, but desire a more cost-effective way to Fantomize their rigs, Roland introduces the Fantom-Xa — a multifaceted sampling workstation with an affordable price! I'm not sure if this means the Xa is fantastically priced or if the previous models were unaffordable - you make your judgement on the price when they hit the streets. Full details follow from the Roland press release...... Many of the most popular features from the flagship Fantom-X line have been ported to the Fantom-Xa, including 128-voice polyphony, major memory expansion, high-resolution built-in sequencing, realtime audio time-stretching, COSM® modeling effects, mastering processor, Skip Back Sampling, USB port, WAV/AIF compatibility, and an SRX expansion slot. The onboard PC Card slot allows up to a gigabyte of patch and sample data storage. Under the Fantom-Xa’s hood is one of the most powerful synth engines on the market. It’s loaded with great raw waveforms, semi-modular structures, multiple filter types, and up to eight syncable LFOs per patch, including the ultra-expressive programmable Step LFO. The Fantom-Xa shines with bank after bank of great patches, covering the classic keyboard and orchestral instruments plus modern electronic textures and much more. The 1,000-plus internal patches are categorized by family (Electric Guitars, Soft Pads, Organs, etc.) so it’s easy to find your sound quickly. Whether you’re sequencing MIDI tracks, triggering samples, or even recording audio directly to RAM, the Fantom-Xa makes combining these elements a simple process. Lay down a drum track by layering the internal drum sounds with audio loops, which can automatically sync to tempo via realtime time-stretching. Then record some keyboard parts via MIDI, and finish your song by tracking a guitar or vocal as audio. The high-resolution sequencer holds up to 400,000 events, and supports Standard MIDI Files. The Fantom-Xa is loaded with studio-quality COSM effects. There are three MFX processors onboard, plus dedicated reverb, chorus, and even a mastering processor with multiband compression. Export your polished, finalized mixes to a PC or Mac via USB for CD burning. More details at:
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