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Topic: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

I just got the Roland FP-90. As it has the same key bed and sound source as the just under $7000 Roland LX-17, I thought it would make, at the very least, a suitable MIDI controller for Pianoteq that would be every bit as authentic in feel as the Kawai VPC1.

I am very impressed with the smoothness and response of the keys. The keys are very quiet, a bit light, but with enough counterweight that you can really dig into it with gusto.

Furthermore, the modeled piano voices are, in my opinion, comparable to Pianoteq - every bit as enjoyable to play. One caveat, it feels like the four modeled pianos that come with the FP-90 are essentially the same piano but with different settings. With Pianoteq, when you choose different models, it really feels like you're playing a completely distinct instrument. For those who like to tinker, there are some, but not nearly as many parameter adjustments that are possible with Pianoteq. There are very few effects.

The FP-90 seems like it was made mostly for hobbyists and professionals who just want to play and not tinker a lot.

This beast weighs 51lbs. If I were to perform with it, I would leave the peripherals at home. 

For Pianoteq fans this is an attractive controller that can also make great sounds.

Last edited by beakybird (22-12-2016 01:49)
Pianoteq 5 Standard + Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Scarlett 2i2, KRK Rokit 6 3G + Rokit 10S, Sennheiser HD 650.

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Re: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

Is it easy to play the Pianoteq piano voices through the onboard Roland FP-90 speakers?  The weight of the FP-90 is off-putting.  Also I don't see the point of adding wood veneers to the sides of the keys. On the Roland website they show a diagram of an actual acoustic piano action, but no diagram of the FP-90 action.  The demos of the FP-90 sound good, but to me they still sound synthetic and lack the genuine acoustic illusion that Pianoteq achieves.  However I apologize for evaluating on a single 2" speaker.  I'll have to go listen to it at the music store.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wuERR7xYeY

In the demo he achieves great variety in the sound by working with just the EQ, which on Pianoteq has never done much for me.  The pad feature is terrific, and a sorely needed addition to the Pianoteq voices in my opinion, particularly really good illusionary strings. The "electric" piano sounds offer an amazingly good variety which really speak to me. The synth sounds don't do much for me, but I'm sure a "pop" artist could put them to good use.  All in all, I'm declaring this instrument a winner aside form being too heavy for easy transport.  Not the least, it exceeds Airline baggage limits. Again what's the story on audio input and can it be easily controlled?

Last edited by GRB (23-12-2016 18:42)
Pianoteq Pro 5.7.1 - Linux Mint 17.3 - Mate Desktop

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Re: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

GRB wrote:

Is it easy to play the Pianoteq piano voices through the onboard Roland FP-90 speakers?

I haven't tried this. The speakers are pretty good, but lack the deep bass necessary to reproduce a piano at full volume. They are fine for practice, and with a small subwoofer, they would be suitable for a venue where you wouldn't need to mic a real piano. 

The weight of the FP-90 is off-putting.

It weighs 12lbs. less than the VPC1 and 2lbs. more than the Kawai ES8. I don't think there's anything that really feels close to a piano that's much lighter.

Also I don't see the point of adding wood veneers to the sides of the keys.

Maybe it's a gimmick, but the keys feel excellent IMO. I've been playing a Casio PX160 for a year, and for me, this plays like a dream.

The demos of the FP-90 sound good, but to me they still sound synthetic and lack the genuine acoustic illusion that Pianoteq achieves.

Pianoteq is my favorite virtual piano, but I still hear something that's un-piano-like. The same with the Roland piano. I don't think the Roland pianos are behind Pianoteq in quality, but clearly Roland's latest keyboards model a much lesser variety of instruments (4 pianos), and there are much fewer parameters to tailor your sound.

Pianoteq 5 Standard + Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Scarlett 2i2, KRK Rokit 6 3G + Rokit 10S, Sennheiser HD 650.

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Re: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

"Pianoteq is my favorite virtual piano, but I still hear something that's un-piano-like."

I run two Pianoteq voices simultaneously. the Blüthner studio recording and the K2 studio recording voice.  I find the sound very satisfying and prefer it over my 5'8" Chickering grand.  My controller is a Casio P-150 which is acceptable, but I've always felt there must be a better action.  Can you check into running the Pianoteq through the Roland's speakers, and can the two be ganged together and sound simultaneously?

As an aside, I don't care for a digital piano that sounds too bassy. My speaker set has only a 4" sub-woofer which I found preferable to a larger on.  You need to hear the upper partials in the bass notes for the piano to sound and play realistically.

Last edited by GRB (23-12-2016 18:43)
Pianoteq Pro 5.7.1 - Linux Mint 17.3 - Mate Desktop

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Re: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

GRB wrote:

" Can you check into running the Pianoteq through the Roland's speakers, and can the two be ganged together and sound simultaneously?
.

I promise to get around to it. I have to find my dual 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. But it looks promising. The FP-90 has an audio input, and you can play the keyboard while the audio is playing, and there is a setting to adjust the volume of the audio input if you don't want to do it from your computer.

As an aside, is there a way to run two Pianoteq instruments simultaneously without going through a DAW?

Pianoteq 5 Standard + Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Scarlett 2i2, KRK Rokit 6 3G + Rokit 10S, Sennheiser HD 650.

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Re: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

Through my Sennheiser HD-650 headphones the Roland sounds very different but just as good as Pianoteq. The Roland sounds superb through the onboard speakers at low to medium volume.

Going through my monitors, two KRK Rokit 6 G3 + a bit of subwoofer from the Rokit 10S, Pianoteq sounds far superior. The Roland sounds muffled. it would require significant eq adjustments that I can't achieve with the 3 band eq sliders that come with the dp. I'm not going to bother. I'm just going to use Pianoteq when I use the monitors.

Playing the Pianoteq Grotian + the Roland Concert Grand through my monitors together has a pronounced chorus effect that does not sound anything like an acoustic piano. I hypothesize that this would be the same case going through the FP-90's speakers.

Anyway, I think that as a MIDI controller, the FP90 is a winner. I was able to play for about 20 minutes each, the Kawai CA97, the Casio Celviano GP500, and the Roland LX17, and I liked the actions on all of them. I thought the Kawai and the Roland were tied for first place. The FP90 has the same keybed and action as the LX17 which was selling for $6000 in the shop that I was at. I was able to get the FP90 for $1500 on Black Friday. I'm really happy with it.

Pianoteq 5 Standard + Bluthner, Model B, Grotian, Kremsegg #1, Electric Pianos. Roland FP-90, Windows 10 quad core, Scarlett 2i2, KRK Rokit 6 3G + Rokit 10S, Sennheiser HD 650.

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Re: Roland FP-90 - Feels great, sounds great

Here's a review of the FP-90:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRfgeZnOsUw