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Roland FA-08 88-key Music Workstation Reviews

4.5 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland FA-08 88-key Music Workstation?

Questions about the Roland FA-08 88-key Music Workstation?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from NE - Nebraska December 26, 2016Music Background:
    Clarinet High School, now teaching myself guitar

    New Roland FA 08

    Bought this for wife for Christmas, lots of nice sounds but be ware this does not have speakers, using bose computer speakers sounds great! But probably needs monitor speakers.

  • from Fairchild AFB, WA October 14, 2016

    FA-08 is a good purchase

    Great all around keyboard. Works well in the studio as well as the stage. Lots of options for splits, which is nice as you can work around an additional keyboard if you are not doing anything to crazy. The sequencer is easy to use and nice if you need to lay down some quick ideas, or need a backing track. The sampler is a really awesome feature as you can record whatever you want into a pad quickly and easily. The sounds are pretty spot on, and the keys feel great. Also I have used it quite a bit as an interface and had no issues with that. As a MIDI controller it takes some digging to really get it set up the way you want, but having a DAW control feature is nice. Get some DP pedals if you really want to maximize it's potential. If you are looking at stepping up your game you can't go wrong with this.

  • from Pittsburgh, PA May 21, 2016

    Great keyboard

    This is a really great addition to my studio. I needed a good quality-sounding keyboard for the studio that could also be used for gigs. I needed a sequencer and wanted an arp as well. The FA has it all. As others have mentioned, I wish it had a little less plastic and a little more ruggedness, but I am sure the price would be greater if Roland had gone that route.
    The sounds are great, the pianos and strings are full and extremely life-like. I would highly recommend the FA-08 to anyone looking in that price range. It's a great value.
    I have to say that I have shifted all my music equipment / gear buying to Sweetwater. These guys are the absolute best in the business. Brian Kerns is my rep at Sweetwater, he is both knowledgeable regarding the products and experienced. He always follows-up after the sale to make sure everything is ok.

  • from Texas April 7, 2016Music Background:
    College Music Instructor - performer

    High Quality Feel - Versatile Workstation

    I am very impressed with this workstation. It has a sturdy high quality feel, and the acoustic piano sounds are good - perhaps the Krome's is a notch better, BUT it has so many more high quality rich sounds than its competition in this price range. It boasts over 2000 sounds, compared to just over 600 for the Krome. The layering and recording capabilities are a must have and offer the user more at this price range than its closest competition. This one wins imho - love it!

  • from Indianapolis, IN March 28, 2016Music Background:
    Pianist, nine years, Bassist, three years.

    Roland FA-08: Best Workstation Ever

    I got the FA-08 from Roland a while back, and didn't know what to expect. I thought it looked really complex and absolutely hard to use. As soon as I powered it on, I was able to figure out everything. It makes the complex easy. I love the sounds, and enjoy using the sample pads for my songs, along with the easy to use sequencer. Great buy.

  • from Kissimmee, Florida March 8, 2016Music Background:
    Musician for over 15 years

    Awesome Workstation

    I'm really impressed with the FA-08. For $1,800 you are getting everything you need to play at home, studio or live. The Super Natural technology is awesome. The 88-note Ivory Feel-G with escapement makes you feel that you are playing a real Grand Piano. The Sequencer and Sampling features are a plus. The ability to import sounds from Axial Library is awesome. The 16 part Studio Set is very useful when playing live. The weight of the keyboard is comfortable. Overall, it is totally worth the price

  • from Virginia Beach, VA January 20, 2016

    Roland FA 08

    I bought this to replace my old Ensoniq SQ1 as an upgrade. From the time I connected it in my home studio I was blown away. The sounds are amazing and the functionality is more than I could have hoped for. It has more options than I will probably ever use but I will have a lot of fun exploring those options and learning how to use them in my projects.

  • from Ohio December 7, 2015

    Even better thatn I expected!

    This is the first keyboard that I've purchased in probably twenty years. I've played on many different makes through the years and have always been partial to Rolland and Yamaha. My choice was between the FA-08 and the MOXF8. I tried the Yamaha at my friends studio and was very impressed by it. I like to try something before I buy it and I was dead set on the Yamaha. However I've always been a huge fan of Rolland. I couldn't find a FA-08 locally to try but I went out on a limb and choose the Rolland at one of my friends recommendations.

    She is a avid keyboard player and plays professionally. She said if I liked the MOXF8, then I'd really end up liking the action of the keys on the Rolland better. She also said the sequencer on the FA was a bit more straight forward to work with. She was right! When I got my FA-08 I was making songs with it in no time. I won't lie though, I did have to open the manual a few times. Also note that the manual that comes with keyboard is only a general manual. If you want the full manual you can download it from the Rolland website free of charge.

    As for the sounds, what can I say! They are fantastic to say the least and you get a lot of them! You could be there for days trying new things! They all sound great and for once I can say there isn't one sound on this thing that's cheesy or bad. I can't say that for keyboards I've had and used in the past.

    Everything sounds like a million bucks! Back to comparing the MOXF8 to the FA-08, they both sound fantastic but I think the strings on the FA sound more realistic. The Grand Piano sounds on the FA are so deep sounding that they make your spine tingle! All the effects really add to what you can do with this thing too.


    You get compression, reverb, and all kinds of really neat effects, not to mention a fully featured 16 channel mixer built right in! The percussion section is really way better than I expected it to be. You don't get some cheesy fake drum sounds. You get (what sounds like) samples of real drums. You also get full electronic kits (that sound electronic) and the real natural sounds that you can completely modify.

    One of the other features that really stood out to me was the ability to fully integrate the FA with a DAW for both control and instrumentation playback (as slave unit) from the DAW. This is something I plan on taking advantage of in the future as I grow my studio. There is a bit of a learning curve with this unit and it will take you a few weeks to get acquainted with all it's functions and features. So plan on spending some quality time with it. However I'm sure if your more experienced with the newer keyboards you will be able to learn it in less time than It's taking me.


    All in all I've very happy with my purchase and I really have nothing negative to say about the FA-08. To sum this up, this keyboard is huge, it's built like a darn tank, and it sounds like something that costs three times what I paid for it. If your considering buying one, just do it! You won't be sorry!

  • from April 3, 2015

    FA-06 superb product

    Almost everything I did not like about the FA-06 I can work around.... this is a keyboard you will grow to love the more you get accustomed to it.

    The manual could have been written better.... but hey, once you figure out how everything works .... it's really fast to produce your own material.

    That screensaver that some are upset with.... I think it's pretty cool..... and you can simply copy it to all the flash cards you use (so you wont lose it when you swap cards).

  • from Wellsville, NY February 17, 2015Music Background:
    Professor, Composer/Performer

    Roland FA08

    I have been using Roland products for a long time, and the FA-08 is a product that has a high end equipment quality and is affordable.
    The FA-08 is easy to learn and very versatile. After using the Xp-50 workstation and others this unit is an exceptional workstation. When used with a DAW system the FA-08 has increased my writing product with little effort.
    The features that the FA-08 present are outstanding, but for me the number one feature that makes the FA-08 stand out above all others is the "Super Natural Technology" it uses.
    I have found this instrument to be a valuable tool for my studio, my writing and performing. A welcomed addition!

  • from United States October 6, 2014Music Background:
    engineer

    Owner Cozzucoli Music

    The sounds are studio quality!

  • from Columbus, Oh April 29, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Composer, Arranger, and Instructor

    Very Cool Workstation!!!

    The Roland FA-08 workstation is the epitome of brilliance, stability, sound, features, and feel. For all of you piano players out there, you will really appreciate the excellent action of the Ivory G keyboard on the FA-08. Roland seems to always come through on the feel of their keybeds and this workstation is no exception. There's a large, color display window that is very easy to read so this will make your programming, editing, or just browsing through various patches and parameters much more pleaseant!!!

    I own an old XP-80 workstation and the FA-08 has much better sounding piano and rhodes and additional patches thanks to the wonderful super natural technology build into the board. I love the fact that Roland loaded this baby up with so many great sounds from the INTEGRA sound module. So... one doesn't need the module if you've got this keyboard. Top it all off with a sleek, portable, very lightweight package, and you're in business!!

    The Roland FA-08 is a true musicians instrument. Psst...did I mention that you can also tweak sounds in real time? This is a cool keyboard. Go check it out...or better yet, buy one!!!

  • from Ri August 28, 2014Music Background:
    Classical piano background.....40 years on stage.....ears.

    Nice!

    Very easy to learn.....most importantly, made for people who still PLAY.
    Replaces multiple keyboards in the u-haul.....just plain NICE!

  • from Hampton Roads, Va July 16, 2014Music Background:
    Part time working musician

    Roland hit a home run with this one

    Finally a workstation that doesn't take an engineering degree to use.
    The sounds are top notch and the Ivory G keys are very useable.
    The ability to download sounds from the Axial site is a big plus!
    I'm really liking the sampler pads but would have liked them to be velocity sensitive and be able to play kits on them in addition to sample triggering. But I guess you can't have everything!

    But for me the thing that really shines is the user interface, I can create user sets very easily and record while the inspiration is still there. I previously used a MOX8 and using it was never quite so intuitive.

  • from Ruidoso, NM May 2, 2014Music Background:
    keyboard, vocalist, radio announcer

    Great Keyboard

    This keyboard fit my personal needs of getting something less hefty than my Fantom. For that alone, I have to give it lots of stars. I am challenged with the new interface, however it appears it will be much simpler and easier to use once I get used to the differences from the Fantom. My only comment is that yes, it is plastic and you need to use caution with it. Mine is already scratched on top, even though I used specific plastic cleaner on the screen. I guess that will happen, but it you are picky about looks I highly suggest you be very careful cleaning fingerprints and smudge marks.

  • from Bettendorf, IA June 2, 2015Music Background:
    Pro, semi retired

    Still learning, but happgy so far

    The Keyboard: Last keyboard I bought was in 1983 so the learning curve for me is shallow (takes a long time). Bought the Roland over the Yamaha and Korg for the organ sounds, the action, and the onboard synthesizer. I echo other thoughts - it would be nice to have a lighter touch for the organ sounds, but it's nothing that can't be dealt with, especially since the touch-sensitivity is adjustable. One sound the MOXF has over the Roland is Tambur. I will try to find or create one as I get more adept. Agree with others that the docs leave something to be desired, like a list of basic terms and definitions. Don't know how it compares with competition, but really like the studio set function to assemble sounds for quick access when performing. Will be using that very soon. Still trying to find clear instructions in the manual - thank goodness for YouTube. Getting ready for a big gig in a month so on the accelerated program. Having no problem finding sounds that will fill the bill on the upcoming gig - everything from Tull to Cajun. I will be a very long time learning all this fine machine can do, and we are developing an ever-closer relationship with each day. I would like to wait longer to talk about the FA-08 but wanted to get this up so the next paragraph gets posted, thus only 4.0. I hope to amend this higher as I get more adept at the tool.

    Sweetwater: Joining the chorus. If you're a regular at Sweetwater, you know how this goes. I called my man, Joe, 20 minutes before closing on a holiday weekend. I didn't need the order right away, but needed to make a decision in a hurry. Joe was outstanding, helping with multiple dimensions of my decision process. In short, I made the order then - multiple pieces. My order arrived the next day - all of it, just as ordered. Free shipping.

    My first purchase from Sweetwater was a case for a tele I was building. Everybody's prices were the same. I chose Sweetwater simply because they list all the dimensions right there in the description. I figured, if they're putting that much thought and care into it, they'll get my money. After discovering the level of service they provide to go along with attention to detail, I am a fan for life. Yay Sweetwater!

  • from Lady Lake, FL United States April 26, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician and studio

    Roland FA-08

    I still don't understand fully why this workstation is SO affordable while it's little brother (FA-06) is not ! For me it's a little confusing with all the cc00's and 32's and all. Still, it's a Roland and I have been a loyal user of their gear 40 some years and I'm sure I will get used to this one as well. I do all of my sequencing on a laptop with Sonar Home Studio 7, but this is the first time I'm doing it without "Instrument Definitions" to help. So,back to the keyboard. The sounds in this monster is the most realistic that I have ever heard but the keyboard itself is a little weighty for my touch (an organist). I think I can handle it though my speed will be hindered somewhat. Still, the Integra-7 in a keyboard is an awesome team. It's easier to edit than a module and less cords too. Some people tell me that the sounds that I get out of my faithful ol' XP-80 are amazing. Wait till they get a load of this bad boy, they will drop a load. For example: the drums are so real that if you close your eyes and tap the snare from light to hard, I swear that you can hear the sticking of the player. That's in the SuperNatural drums however. But all of the other drumsets, to me, are almost as real and a marked improvement over the XP. It is truely a joy just to scroll through all 2000+ sounds and take it all in. If you have one---enjoy, If you don't have one----why ?

  • from Dallas, TX, USA August 19, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Engineer/Mastering Engineer/Producer/Composer/Musician

    Not quite pristine sounds

    It was okay. Don't like that the screensaver is lost when the provided SD card is removed. The sounds didn't seem that pristine to me, kinda like when Korg first released their M3--the sounds just weren't as pristine as the Korg Trinity. I suppose I didn't delve into it as much as I could have, but the sounds were what changed my mind. And you have to do some adjusting if you want the samples to match the volume of the keyboard. The fact that the pads are not velocity sensitive was another down side, so no playing velocity sensitive drums. The "chord memory" was okay, but had only preset chords and you cannot "customize" a chord.

  • from Seattle, WA May 10, 2016

    Want to like it but don't

    I bought this based on online demos and reviews I saw of it on this site and elsewhere. Did tons on online research and maybe I should have simply tried it out for myself in a store to pick the right one. While this does have TONS of sounds, TONS of them are very slight variations of one synth sound or another. The main problem is that there are tons of basic sounds that are missing, such as a simple electric bass guitar sound and electric guitar sounds - either clean or distorted. I mean, this has tons of variations of an acoustic upright bass, tons of classical guitar sounds, but why not one simple electric guitar? I'm super disappointed because I spent 2 grand on it and haven't been able to compose one single song on it because I'm constantly getting stuck looking for the right sound and not finding it. Even some of the sounds in some of the online demos aren't on this actual machine...perhaps they can be sought, found, and loaded onto it...but for the price of this I think it should have a relatively complete library of sounds and one shouldn't have to be getting stuck not finding some of the simple, basic sounds that should be included.

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