Synth Site: Roland: XP-30: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Jake a professional user from USA writes:
I purchased my XP-30 as a B-Stocked Item from American Musical Supply or Musician's Friend. B-Stock basically means it has a full warranty and is guaranteed to work perfectly, but has minor cosmetic blemishes. Well, mine (as with all b-stock items I have purchased so far) had no scratches, so I guess I "lucked out," as they say!

I have used it in songs that have been on the radio (top-40) and I am super happy with it! I think that if you are somewhat experienced with modern keyboards, this is a great board in a studio situation. Haven't used it a lot live, but I imagine it would be great.

The machine basically allows you to do virtually anything to a sound. The arpegiator is real cool, and I always love cutoff and reso sliders on synths. This has some really phat synth sounds. Anything from a techno-type saw synth to pulsating sounds to warm and mysterious pads.

The nice thing is that, in addition to its plethora of all sorts of synth sounds, it also features very nice and quite realistic orchestral sounds, as well as THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND REALISTIC PIANO SOUNDS I have EVER HEARD ON ANY SYNTH IN ANY PRICE RANGE!!! Seriously, the XP-30 would be worth getting if only for the piano sounds! The only thing that could be better than these piano sounds is the Gigastudio by Tascam (which is a software sample player). We have used the Bosendorfer Piano Sample on that program and it is the best piano you will ever want, but the XP-30 is the next best thing if you don't want to get into the whole computer sampler thing...

Another great thing about the XP-30 is that it comes with software for editing the sound patches. You can also download patches online for free, so your XP-30 sound library is virtually unlimited if you have a computer with midi in and out! But, hey--there are already 1600+ sounds in the XP-30, so even if you don't have the computer, it has enough sounds in all categories to record an album.

My only complaints, which are small, about the XP-30 would be that it is a little difficult to understand at first, Roland does not have a video manual for it (they had one for the VP-9000 which helped me greatly when I started using it!), and it does not contain a sequencer or sampler. But hey, for less than $1000 (US), you can't complain! If you're looking for a keyboard workstation with all the sequencing and sampling bells and whistles, the XP-30 may not fulfill that particular need. But, if you are willing to use an external sequencer (like the Roland MC series or any other sequencer)and sampler (I use the Ensoniq ASR-X), then the XP-30 is the best choice for sounds!

I give the Roland XP-30 a "10" for sounds and expressiveness, a "10" for customer service (Roland has always been good to me!), an "8" for features, and a "7" for ease of use. Overall, it is a very extensive and quite well-made synthesizer--again if you're not looking for a workstation with sampling & sequencing, it could be the only synth you'll need for a long long time. Of course, if you're me, you always want other synths! For example I've been looking at the Korg Z1--played it in the music store the other day--whoo wee! But the Z1 runs over $2500 (US).

One more thing: If you are looking to get a Roland XP keyboard and can't decide between the XP-30, XP-50, or XP-80, here is how to decide. The one with the most extensive and wonderful sound library is the XP-30; if you just need some great sounds, XP-30 is the way to go. If you're looking more for a workstation with sequencing, etc., the XP-80 could be more of what you are looking for (although PLEASE NOTE that the XP-80 has less sounds than the XP-30). I know this much: I will never regret purchasing the XP-30 for my studio--It's one of the most used pieces of gear in my studio and I highly praise and reccomend it for the experienced keyboard user looking for great sounds. It's a fun and very useful board!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-22-2001 at 05:24
Wade Hamel a professional user from USA writes:
I have had great luck with my XP-30 and the wonderful selection of sounds it has. I use it on most of my more recent tracks in one form or another (either as a lead or otherwise) and have had pretty good luck. I can really see how this could be a very frustrating synth for someone just starting out - there's a huge selection of sounds and very little documentation on them. (Sure there's a list, but the manual isn't very intuitive.) Of course, it's also a very forgiving synth and that makes it good, perhaps, for someone who is a patient beginner. The build quality is good - my only complaint is with the quality and sensitivity of the pitch bend. Other than that - it's quite nice. As for sound quality - it's not the best, but in the price range I'm quite happy. I tend to edit the patches heavily and I also twist the sound with various software tools before I put them in tracks - makes it very hard for me to think about doing anything 'live', but I can see it as being quite possible. If you want to catch some of the sound, I have several tracks that utilize it's features on my web site: http://www.mp3.com/whamel The Roland is hard to pick out since I tend to rent a lot of other equipment, but you can pick it out here and there if you listen closely.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Nov-16-2001 at 12:35
Mike D a professional user from USA writes:
XP-30 & RM1x....Nuff Said!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-09-2001 at 11:24
Patrick a professional user from Brooklyn, NY writes:
here come the laughs... I owned a Kurzweil K2000 for a couple of years and I must say, it doesn't hold a candle to the XP-30. It was a great synth for the techie-musician-sound designer guy. But to get a synth, under $1000, with close to 2000 patches, a great arpeggiator, filter cutoff and resononace sliders on board, room for 2 more expansion boards, and on and on...... Of all the studio owners and musicians I know who own a 1080 or 2080 module, I have never heard of the sound being overcompressed. I will agree, some patches shimmer so much it's annoying. But I'm seeing a great bread and butter studio synth and controller bundled into one, easy to use, packed with great features for an incredible price. As a result, there is now a Kurzweil K2000 for sale. For details, just email me.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-17-2001 at 01:34
Sandy Deac a professional user from Romania writes:
XP-30 is a pretty cool synth but I agree that the sounds are really "compressed".And this is what you expect to happen when the tool delivers such a big number of patches.I had to sell it because the guys in my band always complained about the sound of the XP in concerts.Even with the 60-70's board it sounds poor and very schematic.In studio,it works well,but that's another story. I replace it with Triton pro.Guess why?

posted Thursday-Jul-05-2001 at 00:00
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