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June 2017 Giveaway

Roland BK-9 76-key Professional Arranger Reviews

4.0 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • Daniel
    from Tulsa, OK October 3, 2013Music Background:
    Musician

    Great Keyboard

    I have been very pleased with my purchase of the BK-9. Very well built, love the layout, keybed and the sounds are wonderful. I own a Yamaha PSRS910 and I must say the BK-9 is so much better in a lot of ways. Don't get me wrong the PSRS910 is a good keyboard but I love having the 76 keys instead of 61 and the BK-9 is so much more playable than the PSR. Sound wise the Piano on the BK-9 blows the PSR out of the water. So do many of the other sounds. The backing acc. are so much more relalistic than the PSR. Much more usable. All in All I've made a great purchase. Always appreciate Sweetwaters service. Best online company out there.

  • Diana
    from KY, USA September 12, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Awesome

    love this board, learning how to use it, lol. so many features to use.

  • Eric Vaughan
    from Sarasota, Florida July 1, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician at one time... guitar/vocals/banjo/ honing skills as keyboard

    Roland BK9... better than I expected...

    Have been a huge Roland fan since the G70... came out... I am a hobbyist performer playing out about 10 times a month by myself...
    This BK9 blows away the G70... as well as the Yamaha Tyros that I have seen... GREAT Price... and it only weighs less that 17 lbs... very easy to learn... and I cannot forget the service from Sweetwater that I have received from help to receiving phone calls from the GM to make sure I was happy... I feel very comfortable with my purchase..

  • David Fournier
    from Easthampton Mass November 29, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great all around keyboard

    I have been a keyboard player for about 40 tears, and have owned quite a variety of instruments. I started out as an organist, and carried a Hammond X-5 around for a number of years, because I "kicked" the bass in the bands that I was in. Currently I play keyboards in an 8 pc horn band, and have been using a Kurzweil PC3. I also play organ for a fraternal organization, and when I need to supply my own I use a Hammond SK-2 with a Hammond 20 note pedal board.

    I have picked up a few solo gigs, and was looking at the Roland BK-7M that I was planning to use with my Hammond, primarily so that I would have a great sounding "drummer" and also I could have some electric bass sounds instead of the organ bass. The more I watched the demos on Youtube, and read thru the available articles, the more I was influenced to try the BK-9. At first the Youtube videos were pretty "cheesy", but then I found some videos with professional musicians using the keyboard, and I decided to go ahead with the purchase.

    I have been working with it now for about six weeks, and I have to say that at first I was "underwhelmed". I had trouble with notes hanging up, the volume pedal (Yamaha FC7) wasn't working well, and the backing rhythms were just way too cluttered to sound the way I wanted to sound. But I pressed on, finding solutions one at a time for each issue. The volume pedal problem was solved by using the Roland EV5 (as stated in the manual) and the hanging notes were fixed also by changing to a Roland sustain pedal.

    I downloaded the free App for my Ipad, and that is really the thing that brought everything together. It is now a very strait forward process to edit the backing rhythms, remove all of the clutter, and get just the sound I was hoping for. I have created a performance list for the sounds I need for my 8 pc band gig, and I have connected my Hammond pedals so that on solo gigs I can play bass, the performances I edited allow me to use just as much of the backing band that I want, and it is an easy process to edit out what I don't need. The end result is that I really do sound like a quartet on a solo gig, and the result is very tasteful and professional.

    The sounds are really very impressive, I can't describe just how playable this keyboard is! It also weighs less that half of what the Kurzweil weighs, so it will be easier to bring to a gig. 76 keys is just enough for working with piano settings, the keybed is responsive, with typical synth action. The flashing blue buttons are a bit of a distraction, and my own opinion is that the distract from the otherwise professional appearance of the keyboard. Also, color displays would be nice, but in all fairness, using the iPad along with the keyboard gives me a nice big color touchscreen, and I don't think I would like the keyboard as much if I wasn't able to use the iPad along with it.

    The organ is almost as good as the Hammond clone, certainly good enough in a real world setting to use for almost anything that would call for it. I still will use my Hammond for real "organ" gigs, because of the advantage of having dual manuals, but for solo gigs and band gigs the Roland BK9 should be a great all around keyboard.

    Oh yeah...great service from Sweetwater too!

  • DonM
    from Benton, Louisiana October 13, 2014Music Background:
    Full time pro musician/entertainer

    A great arranger.

    I've been a Sweetwater customer for many years and have bought numerous pieces of equipment. I'm a full time professional musician doing a one-man show.
    The BK9 is the first item I ever returned! And may I add that the return was seamless and more than satisfactory. The reason I returned it had nothing to do with the quality or sound of the instrument.
    I found the styles and sounds more than up to the Roland standards, plus there were quite a number of features not included on previous models, including the chord sequencer. The organs are the best I've found on any keyboard other than a real B3!
    The only drawbacks I found were that it did not have a vocal harmonizer on board and that is important to me, so I had to use an external one. It also does not display or store text files (for song lyrics) so I had to use an external laptop. Also, I had acquired a Korg PA900 rather unexpectedly and had to make a quick decision between which to keep. It was a tough call, but I opted for the Korg. Wish I could have kept both.
    Pluses are light weight, key feel, compatible with Roland foot controller EC5, ease of use.
    Minuses include the items mentioned above plus the fact that Roland still requires an extra button push to determine which intro or ending to use, unless controlled by an external midi controller. These things probably will not concern most users.

  • Scott
    from Charleston SC January 1, 2015Music Background:
    semi-pro

    GREAT SOUNDS BUT NOT A BAND KEYBOARD

    Just bought one of these from Sweetwater, sounds are excellent the organs are killers. pianos are better than average However, I should have researched the keyboard more.. I play in a band, and have to cover at least 4 instrument parts in a lot of songs. So I need 2 zones with 2 different sounds and apply octave changes to each sound. You can only do 3 on this BK 9. (The lower MBASS tone is set up only for the sequencer.) This keyboard is superb for songwriters and solo show acts..The drum kits back rounds and rhythms are excellent. But the keyboard is not suitable for my needs. I am returning it for the Yamaha S70-SX. But I have to talk to Yamaha first to make sure I dont make the same mistake twice.

  • Viggo
    from October 1, 2015Music Background:
    Songwriter

    16 tracks sequencer is useless and other bugs

    16 tracks sequencer is useless and other bugs

    After I bought this keyboard, I thought it would be good. But it was not.
    The sounds are good, and that's all that is good.
    I thought the 16 tracks Sequencer would be perfect, but no. You can not record in the same key transpose that you have selected in the setup. One can only record tracks in the "Key transpose 0".
    This means that the 16 tracks Sequencer is useless.
    After four days, the keyboard has also crashed. Suddenly there comes a sound from an instrument and it does not go away and I have to turn on and off the keyboard with the on and off button. 3 times this has happened now. And there are several bugs in the last OS 1.06. It can not save volume on the tracks when to wish to change a track. I had a major problem to change the volume after it is saved. It retains the old settings and you are can not change different settings as volume on a track ex. I do not know if it is always so, but often it happens to me.
    I bought BK-9 because I wanted to use the 16 tracks sequencer in the right Key transpose during recording, but it is impossible. I have already received answers from Roland. Key transpose works only in playback.
    Who want it to be so? I think none.
    I want to say that the BK-9 is not for songwriters at all or on live performing. Songwriters must be able to record the tracks in the right Key transpose, and there are many bugs in OS 1.06.
    This means that you can not concentrate about music. Instead you concentrating on irritation.
    Will there be any good music this way? Hmmmm. Not for me, as I want to do it professionally. This is just a useless toy.
    A keyboard you can throw in the trash.

    I regret buying this keyboard.

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