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Microphone Month 3

Roland A-800 PRO Keyboard Controller Reviews

4.0 stars based on 13 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland A-800 PRO Keyboard Controller?

Questions about the Roland A-800 PRO Keyboard Controller?

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  • Customer
    from November 14, 2016

    Super Controller

    Excellent control ease. Easy mapping capabilities with very understandable instructions.

  • Dean
    from Wisconsin December 9, 2013Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    Roland A-800 PRO

    The keyboard has a great feel and is easy to set up. The control sections are very user friendly and it connected to Sonar X3 instantly.

  • Ken Roberts
    from Burlington, NC December 7, 2013Music Background:
    Musician for 45 years.

    A Note On The Power Adapter Issue

    There have been several reviews that complained about a power adapter being difficult to find or expensive. Please note that if you have a cell phone or tablet that has a power adapter with a USB port on it you can use that adapter, along with the USB cable that comes with the A800, for power. There's really no need to purchase an additional adapter.

    That being said, you cannot find ANY Midi controller anywhere near this price range that has as many available control functions as the A800. The array of controllers is mind-boggling.

    I'm using the A800 connected via an IK iRig Pro interface to my iPad Mini Retina. On the iPad, I'm running Galileo (for B3 Organ sounds), iGrand (for Piano sounds) and SampleTank (for various pads and orchestral instruments). The A800 allows me to have full drawbar controls for the B3 sounds using the sliders. Also, using the pads, I can pull up organ presets. The additional buttons and rotary controls provide for calling up presets on iGrand and SampleTank, along with volume and timbre controls. All that provides for a great live-performance controller.

    The only negative I can express about the A800 is that it does require reasonable knowledge of Midi to set it up properly. Once you get it set up, though, you will find it a true joy to use in the studio or on stage.

  • Charles
    from Mississippi May 2, 2016Music Background:
    Church Musician

    Best Midi Keyboard HANDS DOWN!!!!

    I've played on many midi keyboards, but they've always felt fake or cheap. I couldn't believe through all the years of searching for a midi keyboard, this was available!!! I own two different types of Roland keyboards, but I never thought to search for a midi one. I'm glad I did!!! The only downfall for me is that I have to access different pages to get to the transpose function. Otherwise, it's a great keyboard. BUY IT!!!

  • Andrea
    from June 8, 2013Music Background:
    Non pro musician

    Roland A-800 note on the external power adapter

    Just a little correction to Robert's review regarding the external power adapter: you don't need to find a such rare 9V/2A unit but a common 9V/1A or even 9V/0,7A are fine. Consider that when powered through USB the voltage and current drain can't excede 5V and 0,3A. 9V/2A is the maximum measure not to be exceded. So fina whatever 12 USD power adapter from your local hardware store and run with it.

  • Olando McCall
    from Chicago July 12, 2012Music Background:
    songwriter, composer , producer..

    I take it Back its a great controller for reason

    so in my previous review i said REASON users stay away, well i jumped the gun on that because this is a great controller for reason. granted its not plug and play like the MPK series but it can do everything that board can you, you just have to do more programming, and one you have the controller assigned in Reason and on the A-800 Pro, its a fantastic keyboard, much more playable than the MPK which while it integrates well with Reason, the feel of the keyboard was too stiff and velocity not sensitive enough for expressive playing, so the A-800 Pro is solid in this area, I'm glad i purchased it...

  • Jim Hochstadt
    from Middle Tennessee July 11, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, audio engineer, recording engineer (Retired)

    Roland A-800 A very nice keyboard controler

    Its been over 20 years that my Yamaha KX76 has served me. I have always liked Roland products so I decided to try the A800. Glad I did. Talk about lots of features and easy set up. Wow! It took less than 10 minutes to connect it to my computer and sync to Sonar X1. Keys are a good feel considering their non weighted.
    I was also impressed with Sweetwater.

  • Customer
    from May 10, 2010Music Background:

    Excellent Board

    I really like a synth-action keyboard and this fits my playing style perfectly. I'm one of those guys that actually likes the Roland style joy-stick thing. It feels very similar to my old D-50 keyboard which I loved. Can't speak to other software but it interfaces with Reason\Record without any hassles. I would have preferred endless encoders instead of 270 degree knobs but that's a minor niggle for me. Excellent!

  • DAC
    from MT June 26, 2012Music Background:


    This little unit works right out of the box.. If I have one complaint it would be not programed for Pro Tools. It works with Pro Tools. But not quite as I had hoped for. Have to do my own programing of what does what and I do not have the masterd vary well.

  • Jim
    from Eustis, FL USA October 11, 2010Music Background:
    musician student/hobby production

    Really nice Keyoard, Love controllers

    Very light keyboard controller, Was exactly what I needed. The keys are nice, possible a little narrow for my larger hands, but not enough to really be a problem. (I'm not a piano player, I can play enough to enter parts into my recordings.) The controller connects with Sonar without any problems. You do have to make sure the controller is on before starting Sonar. And a weird little hickup, if you start Sonar with the keyboard off, the realize it, exit Sonar turn it on, then restart Sonar, you have to go into the Controller/Surface options and reselect the input/output port for the A-800. Thats about the only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5. And that is probably more a Sonar problem then the A800-Pro's problem.

  • Keith
    from United States November 24, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician / Weddings / Events

    Utilitarian and maybe a little pedestrian.

    Everything works on the A-800 Pro. The software that comes with it is fairly intuitive and well laid-out. It works well in my setup, but my setup doesn't really require a lot out of a MIDI controller; almost everything is taken care of by my software. I use the A-800 Pro for live performance with a rig that uses mostly VST instruments and a laptop with Cantabile as a VST host. But, I have to say that I don't really like it as much as I wanted. The keys are too small and light for me. At practice I usually use a Yamaha MM6 and the Roland A-800 Pro has keys about the same size as the MM6, but, for me, they just don't play as well. Also, I wish it had more pads, and larger pads. Bottom line: For me it's just not a lot of fun to play, and not very sexy, but it doesn't have any obvious failings. Plus, the features and price-point are about just right.

  • Robert
    from Stratford, CT December 23, 2012Music Background:
    Composer, Producer

    Gigging Musicians Beware

    Roland made some executive decisions about where to cut corners to make this unit affordable. It's important to be aware of where these corners were cut before purchasing:

    First - NO POWER ADAPTER - a non-issue for the computer studio as the unit is comfortably powered via USB. Much more of a pain for a gigging musician, as the PSB1U adapter is both "non-standard" at 9V/2 full amps (the 9V adapters you might have lying around are probably far less than 2amps) AND frustratingly difficult to find! At the time I purchased this keyboard, the adapter was either sold out or not available or possibly no longer being made, etc on a number of websites including sweetwater. I was finally able to find one on some offshoot music website, but MAN! NO love for powering this unit with anything except USB, so beware.

    Second - the controller is only partly editable via the keyboard itself. This means you are REQUIRED to use the included software editor to gain full control over MIDI on this unit. For example, you cannot program the buttons to send a bank + patch (MSB + LSB + Control #) message via the keyboard itself. Lots of other types of MIDI messages CANNOT be programmed via the keyboard, but require the software editor.

    So the overall assumption, and a strong one at that, is that this keyboard will be used with a computer. I purchased this unit to gig with as a MIDI controller for my Motif Rack and have paid a significant penalty for it. The good news is I've been able to compensate.

    More good news: the keyboard is VERY light and small, but the build quality appears to be top notch. With the exception of the pads, whose velocity sensitivity feels very erratic, the feel of the keys is excellent (despite being noticeably smaller than full size), the sliders and encoders have silky smooth operation.

  • Olando McCall
    from chicago February 27, 2012Music Background:

    Reason users stay away

    they keyboard is great to play on and with 12 velocity curves you can really have it fit your playing style. intergration with reason is non exsistant. while you can assign controlls to some basic functions, you can select devices or load patches remotely to the devices like you can with the MPK series. they have reason support or the older pcr-800 and if you use that profile you can get a glimspe of what can be done with support, you can select devices and load patches (it not formated properly but you can tell it can be done) i called Roland and they stated they have no plans for reason support which is a shame becuase this board can do it, only if you know how to program reason's lua codecs...

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