For years, the formula for creating a workstation was simple. Begin with a good-sized keyboard and attach it to a multi-timbral sound engine. Next, add a multi-track sequencer, sprinkle in some drums, and top it off with a handful of effects. But times have changed. Today, American Musical Supply is home to the latest in music production workstations. We introduce to you the Roland FA-06.
With the FA-06, Roland has essentially redefined the workstation with a clever suite of features engineered to satisfy the needs of the modern musician and producer. Killer sounds, awesome effects, hands-on control, sampling trigger pads, real-time loop sequencing, instant DAW integration - it’s all here! And yes, there’s even more. The streamlined control panel invites experimentation and delivers instant results. You can create dramatic splits and layers, call up a 16-part Studio Set, and add expressive gestures with the exclusive D-Beam. Sequence, arrange, and produce your performance masterpiece and save the audio file instantly to a SDHC card. Still wanting more? Be sure to grab the latest sounds from the Roland Axial website.
Roland FA-06 Music Workstation Features
All Systems are Go!
- 61 Velocity-Sensing Synth-Action Keys
- 128 Voices (Max.) / 16 Parts
- Full Effects Suite: 16 Independent MFX, Overall TFX; plus new DJ FX
- Single-button DAW integration (Ableton Live, Cubase, Sonar, Logic)
- Over 2000 Tones from the Flagship INTEGRA-7 Roland sound engine
- All of the INTEGRA-7 SuperNATURAL Synth offerings
- SuperNATURAL Acoustic tones and Drum Kits
- All of the XV-5080 PCM data + PCM Drum Kits
- 2 expansion slots; downloads available at Axial website
- 16 Track MIDI Sequencer
- Loop, Real-time, Step Time
- Export tracks as MIDI or audio data
- Rhythm Pattern, Chord Memory, Arpeggiator functions
- Built-in Sampler (16-bit/44.1 kHz) based on the SP-404SX
- Powerful Control Surface
- 5" full-color LCD panel
- 4 x 4 sampler pad matrix
- 6 Preset/Assignable Sound Modify knobs
- D-Beam controller; 2-axis bender; 2 assignable switches
- Versatile Audio/USB connections
With the FA-06, Roland has brought together the latest music-making tools that today’s composers, performers, and producers have come to rely on – both in the studio and on the concert stage. The FA-06 is well-stocked with thousands of absolutely incredible sounds. Six assignable Sound Modify knobs provide the type of hands-on tone-tweaking that modern sound designers and artists crave. Onboard effects enhance each and every sound – as well as the entire performance. The built-in sampler quickly captures sounds; sixteen controller-style pads allow the performer to intuitively add phrases, hits, and grooves. The onboard sequencer offers both step-time and real-time modes, including continuous auto-loop recording, so the music never stops as you build up your tracks. In our computerized era, no workstation is an island. So with the touch of a button, the FA-06 provides seamless integration with the most popular DAW software titles running on your computer or laptop. The FA-06 places all of this power right at your fingertips with a streamlined interface highlighted by an easy-to-read, 5-inch color LCD screen. Equipped with 61 velocity-sensing synth-action keys, the FA-06 weighs in at under 13 pounds (5.7 kg), so getting your new workstation from home, to rehearsal, to the studio, and to the next gig is never a problem.
The FA-06 includes over 2000* professionally-programmed tones; all categorized for easy access. Many of the sounds are inherited from the flagship Roland INTEGRA-7 synthesizer module, including all of the SuperNATURAL synth sounds. In addition, the FA-06 also offers a wealth of SuperNATURAL acoustic sounds, including SuperNATURAL drums. These breathtaking SuperNATURAL sounds preserve the articulation and ornamentation that distinguishes these instruments, and in the case of synthesizer sounds, the unique flavor of their filters and other sound-modifying circuits. In the memory banks of the FA-06, you’ll also find all of the in-demand PCM tones from the Roland XV-5080. In a nutshell, the Roland FA-06 provides a tonal palette without equal. Tones can be played individually; played together as splits or layers; or called up in 16-part Studio Sets for sequencing or multi-zoned performances. Tone Remain technology ensures smooth transitions from sound to sound, with no dropouts or truncated effect tails. Two expansion slots are available for storing additional tones. Data can be downloaded for free from the Roland Axial online sound library, and written (via USB flash) to the empty locations.
* GM compatible sounds are included.
It can take more than synthesis to finely sculpt a sound. In days gone by, adding effects was more akin to sprinkling glitter on the sound — a little something to make it “sparkle”. Today, effects can play an integral part in the creation and construction of a sound. The Roland FA-06 features 16 individual MFX (Multi-Effect) processors; one can be assigned to each track of a sequence or each tone in a Studio Set. Six COMP+EQ (Compression + Equalization) processors are also available and can freely assigned. The TFX (Total-Effects) section, plus the global EQ, Chorus, and Reverb, allow a final level of sound-shaping to maximize your sonic impact. New DJ-style effects add an aggressive EDM element to your performance.
Sample Pad Matrix
Audio sampling is one of the most important production tools, both on stage and in the studio. Based on the impressive Roland SP-404SX standalone sampler, the Roland FA-06 feature a built-in sampler that provides eight voices of CD-quality 16-bit linear/44.1 kHz recording. Add hits, phrases, sound effects, vocal cues, and other audio goodies to your session. Record your own samples using the internal sounds, incorporate audio from an external source, or play existing files in .WAV, AIFF, and MP3 formats. The sixteen illuminated sample playback pads are presented in the 4 x 4 matrix familiar to most sampler users – plus four pad banks are available per song. The sample pads can be played in performance, used when recording a sequence, or can operate as triggers with DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software using the DAW Control button. Pad assignments are saved per song, and samples can be saved, stored, and played directly from an SDHC card, eliminating load times. A 4GB SDHC card is pre-installed in your new FA-06. Rear panel connections provide mic, guitar, and line inputs.
The heart of any workstation is the sequencer; the place where all those individual musical ideas come together to create a sketch for a song or your next magnum opus. In addition to traditional real-time and step-time sequencer entry, The Roland FA-06 has added a loop mode to the built-in sixteen-track sequencer that allows continuous, uninterrupted recording. This intuitive “extra” allows the sequencer to play in a continuous loop as you lay down multiple parts by switching tracks and instruments, all without losing your groove. Once recording is complete, the tracks can be mixed and edited into a final production. Recorded tracks can be saved, shared, and exported as MIDI or audio files. In addition to the internal sequencer, the Roland FA-06 can take command of your DAW software program, right from the front panel. Simply touch the DAW Control button and select your preferred software — Ableton Live, Logic, Cubase, Sonar, etc. — the tracks, pads, knobs, transport, and controller functions are instantly and ideally configured.
The Roland FA-06 Music Workstation invites you to create your most inspired performance. The sampler pads allow the introduction of grooves, vocal cues, sound FX, drum and bass hits, and other events to liven up your sound. Time-saving rhythm patterns, the arpeggiator, and chord memory features all provide a professional edge to your production. The multi-function Sound Modify knobs default to traditional sound editing functions such as filter cutoff, attack, panning, etc., but can also be assigned for real-time analog-knob style tone-tweaking. The sixteen-part Studio Sets now include additional MIDI data for using the FA-06 to command a custom rig of keyboards, synthesizers, and other audio modules. In performance, the FA-06 offers a two-axis bender, two assignable switches, and the exclusive D-Beam for adding pitch bend, modulation or manipulating other sound parameters on the fly for unmatched expression. The latest D-Beam includes a dedicated two-oscillator Solo Synth, for almost Theremin-esque solos that can be layered on top of any performance.
Just looking at the rear panel of the Roland FA-06 offers some clues about the instrument’s innate versatility. First and foremost, the FA-06 is equipped with balanced 1/4" TRS jacks for the main Left and Right outputs. The Sub output is provided by a stereo 1/4" jack, as is the Headphone monitor jack. As mentioned earlier, there are two audio inputs. First is a 1/4" jack with a Guitar/Mic level switch and a variable level knob. Second is an 1/8" stereo input. Three pedal jacks are provided; one is dedicated to the Hold function, the remaining two are assignable. Five-pin MIDI In and Out ports allow direct (non-computer) connection to other MIDI devices. There are two USB Ports; one provides a direct connection to a computer, the other allows the FA-06 to receive software updates. The SDHC slot is equipped with a security shield to prevent unauthorized removal of the card when your workstation is left unattended.