Roland Corporation has, in its 47 years of existence, tipped the tables when it comes to music replication. Only recently has the company invented a new modeling technology called SuperNATURAL. With this, you get more organic and natural piano tones.
The Roland FP-90 is just one of the many iterations of the Roland Piano. It uses SuperNATURAL piano modeling, over 30 registers, and four speakers. The sound replication of the speakers is spectacular. But exactly how spectacular can this product get?
We’re here to find that out. Scroll down to see a list of Roland’s top features and how they compare with one another. In our Roland FP-90 review, you’ll find some very interesting info regarding the chosen product.
The design and construction of the Roland are attractive and professional. The Roland Premium Piano has nothing fancy about it. And perhaps that its strongest quality. This portable piano features ivory white keys on a matte black body.
The design is simple yet captivating. It’s the perfect choice for professional players and on-stage performances.
Roland’s portable piano has been constructed to be dynamic. It doesn’t lay completely flat against the surface. Rather, it looks and feels more organic under the fingertips. The body is declined, but the keys lay flat. This gives your fingers the perfect surface to rest on.
With Roland FP-90, you can enjoy virtually infinite sounds. These may include:
- 15 piano tones
- 11 strings
- 15 organs
- 16 electric pianos
- 15 pads
- 228 additional tones.
As for the material, Roland FP-90 uses a PHA-50 keyboard. For those of you who don’t know, the PHA-50 is a new type of piano keyboard that is used by all the professional performers. It combines the finest wood with the purest blend of materials to give you the sleekest piano possible.
The PHA-50 is semi-organic. It’s made from wood along with a few artificial polymers, giving you both reliability and quality.
Perhaps what’s most captivating about the Roland piano is its portability. Now we know what you’re thinking; just how portable can a piano get? The Roland has a very low profile.
It lays flat against the tabletop, with a slight three-dimensional inclination. It has the dimensions 52.8 x 15.4 x 5.4 inches. The length of the Roland is slightly smaller than a standard-sized piano. And this leaves more space for other utensils on your tabletop.
The Roland also weighs just 68 pounds. This is an ideal weight which makes carrying it around a whole lot easier. While we were making our Roland FP-90 review, the product was very easy to carry around for tests. Unfortunately, a piano strap is not included.
You can buy one separately. The Roland is both for use at home and in studios. Its lightweight, low profile design, and narrow construction make it the perfect travel partner.
The Roland FP-90 keeps up with the competition by offering two different modes:
- Dual Mode
The dual-mode offers artists with greater room for experimentation. It helps you to layer two sounds together. Thus, when a key is pressed, these two sounds will be played at the same time. While it may sound like a simple feature, it enables the creation of robust and rich tones.
You can mix and match different sounds and see how they play out.
- Split Mode
The Split Mode allows you to play two different sounds on the different sides of the keyboard. This way, you can have keyboard sounds on the left side and drum sounds on the right. The impeccable versatility of the Roland shines through with this feature as you can easily partner up and play on both sides.
While these modes are not a game-changer, the Part Slider makes the Roland truly stand out. With this feature, you can adjust the balance of each instrument. You can even save the results on the keyboard’s memory as a Registration. In fact, the keyboard can store up to 30 registrations.
With the advent of portable pianos, rich sound has always been an issue. The speaker system in the organ just cannot replicate the original sound well enough. Many piano companies have worked around this issue by introducing a stereo sound system. However, Roland goes the extra mile by including four speakers.
Now the sound will reach the audience better than before. The stage will be booming with your music. The extent of the speakers is limited though. So you may be needing additional microphones if the auditorium is bigger. But for most recording studios, the speakers are powerful enough.
Two of the speakers have a power output of 25 watts, while the other two have an output of 5 watts. Having four speakers helps cancel out a lot of superimposition and bass-treble imbalances.
A stereo system is good too, but it is unable to accommodate for superimposition and the balances. Sound leaving Roland’s speakers is more natural and truer to the actual thing.
How do you decide on a digital piano?
One of the main deciding factors is polyphony. As a rule of thumb, the higher the polyphony, the lesser you will have any notes cut off during your performance. The Roland FP-90 takes the ‘more is more’ approach with polyphony.
Thanks to the 384-note polyphony, you can play as fast as you like without any concerns of notes getting cut off.
Experimenting with the settings on an organ always ends in two ways. Either you waste a good half hour of your day. Or you end up finding a sound setting that enhances the effect of your music. If the latter happens, you will definitely want to save it for later. While some organs allow for 10 or 20 registers, the Roland allows for up to 30 registers.
Now you can save your favorite sound setting and come back to it the next time you play. You can also store custom drum sounds and settings.
With the Roland, you can store layers and splits for your next live performance. The 30 register option means that you get more versatility and flexibility with your performances. This piano makes for the perfect studio recording partner as well.
Just like a traditional piano, the Roland FP-90 can also be fine-tuned for better performance. The frequency can be adjusted from 415.3 hertz to up to 466.2 hertz. You can manually adjust the frequency in increments of 0.1 hertz.
This tuning range is similar to that on most other pianos. In fact, it’s somewhat of a standard. However, the increment is what caught our eyes.
Normally, the adjusting increment on pianos is no less than 1 hertz. However, on the Roland FP-90, you can tune your instrument down to the first decimal. This makes for a more personalized experience. With Roland FP-90, the music will be just the way you want it.
SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling
So the Roland FP-90 has 4 speakers to keep the sound as close to the real thing as possible. But how does it replicate the sound of a piano in the first place?
For electrical instruments, replicating a sound isn’t enough. You need to learn how the sound is made and how it behaves. And for that, Roland FP-90 uses SuperNATURAL piano modeling.
The specifics of the technology are not only too long but also too complicated. But to narrow it down, SuperNATURAL replicates sounds based on natural playing styles.
These include staccatos, crescendos, and legatos. This technology is not only used in pianos but also on other Roland equipment, such as drum sets and bass guitars.
SuperNATURAL piano modeling works with hundreds of different parameters. Those include nuances, dynamic ranges, and piano registers. The most major feature is that it does not use sample looping. It’s a highly responsive technology that helps your music flow naturally and effortlessly.
When it comes to connectivity options, the Roland FP-90 refuses to disappoint. For starters, it has a dedicated input jack for microphones. This allows you to put on a vocal performance using the piano’s speakers.
Not only that, but the piano allows you to connect to two headphones through two jacks located on the left. One of these is a ¼” and the other a 1/8” input. With this not only can you play silently, but you can also share the music with a friend without using headphone splitters.
A USB B-type port at the back further enables connectivity to a computer to record songs. Another US A-type port allows you to connect flash drives externally to the piano. This option allows you to playback songs stored externally.
Other connectivity options include ¼” output jacks for external speakers or amplifiers, 1/8” input jack for wired phone connectivity and 3 pedal jacks.
Last but not least, Bluetooth wireless technology is a definite game-changer. The Bluetooth tech allows you to connect to your smart device and stream audio.
Not only is it compatible with audio data, but it also supports MIDI data. Roland’s app Piano Partner 2 is an artist’s dream, allowing you access to different rhythms. This way, you can directly stream audio while playing.
The piano uses Supernatural sound technology to deliver in terms of quantity as well as quality.
The major difference between this instrument and others is that it uses physical modeling to produce sounds. Modeling uses an extensive algorithm that realistically mimics an acoustic piano. This helps recreate sounds more accurately. Thus, you end up with rich and intricate overtones.
These modeled tones include Ballad, Concert, Mellow and Bright piano tones. You’ll find that the Concert tone is perhaps the best in terms of versatility.
Piano Designer Feature
Also included is a Piano Designer feature. With this element, you can edit various tones and factors to create a varied effect. This way, you can adjust key release, hammer noise, cabinet resonance and edit the lid position, etc.
You can access this feature through the main display on the keyboard. Not only that, but you can also use it as an app.
Another essential feature is the built-in equalizer. The user can easily edit and adjust the lows and highs of the piano. True musicians will agree with the fact that a good equalizer can make or break your performance.
- Allows you to play without worrying about your notes getting cut off.
- Customize piano tones using the Piano Designer feature.
- Minimalistic design.
- The keyboard uses modeled piano sounds providing richer overtones.
- Touch and feel of a real acoustic piano due to the graded hammer action.
- Multiple sound settings and two different modes.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Only offers 1-track for MIDI recording.
- There is no strap on the piano.
To wrap it all up, Roland FP-90 is one of the best organs for the year 2020. Spending your allowances on this piano will definitely not be wasted. In our Roland FP-90 review, we found that the SuperNATURAL technology is what saved the day. Without this, the FP-90 would barely be as fantastic as it is.
We highly urge you to get your hands on the FP-90 as soon as possible. It’s a great item for studio recordings and live performances.