Roland FP30 Stage Piano ReviewPosted 1st Feb 2017 10:48am
High-End Roland Piano Performance in a Compact, Go-Everywhere Design
In today’s blog, we’re going to have a closer look at Roland’s FP30 portable digital piano. It’s not just affordable but offers Roland’s acclaimed sound, feel and modern features in a top quality 88 Fully Weighted note instrument that fits any space with ease.
The FP30 is light and portable and is a great fit ranging from music classrooms to performing players. The instrument also features built-in practise and recording functions as well as Bluetooth wireless support for working with popular music apps. It also has a range of other useful and practical sounds.
Key action, key sensor system, piano sound, and pedaling are the fundamentals in all digital pianos. Roland has changed and improved on this with the FP30 compared to the previous F20 model.
FP30 feature summary
- Rich and responsive tone from Roland’s renowned Super NATURAL Piano sound
- 88-note PHA-4 Standard keyboard provides authentic piano touch
- Powerful amplifier and stereo speakers
- Headphones output and quiet keyboard action
- Compact and lightweight body for easy mobility
- Built-in Bluetooth wireless connectivity and USB for using the piano with popular apps
Let’s take a closer look at the FP30 and its features…
88-note PHA-4 Standard keyboard for authentic piano touch
The Roland FP30 has an ivory key surface and the key action feels authentic and responsive. Added to this is the improved PHA4 graded weight & progressive hammer action, which means that the keys get lighter as you move to the top (or right) of the piano like on an acoustic piano. This is featured in the higher priced F140 model, giving the FP30 a very competitive key action realism in this price range.
When shopping for a digital piano, the important things to look out for is the quality of the sound and the keyboard action. It is important to consider the acoustic piano sound realism and expression.
Roland uses what they call “SuperNATURAL” piano sound. This means that they have sampled a real grand piano using their trade sound technology to capture a real piano sound. The more organic and natural the piano sound is, the better.
Have a listen here:
The Roland FP30 has 35 sounds in total: 6 piano sounds, 7 electric piano sounds and 22 other sounds. The function menu is illuminated accordingly to show the selected sounds.
Three different sound modes are also features on the FP30:
With this mode, you can play two different sounds together. For example you can play a ‘piano and string’ sound or ‘piano and organ’ sound simultaneously.
With the Roland FP30, you can play two different instrument sounds on each hand on the keyboard – one sound on the left side and a different sound on the right side. For example, your left hand can play strings and your right hand can play piano.
The FP-30 Digital Piano has a ‘twin piano’ / duet mode. With this mode, you can divide the keyboard into two separate pianos with the same scale. This is like playing two 44-key pianos, which is fit for duet performances and useful for lessons between a student and a teacher where they can sit side-by-side and use the same range of keys on the piano.
Powerful amplifier and stereo speakers
The FP30 is equipped with a powerful audio system. With this you get a rich, impressive sound that exceeds the limited capabilities of other compact digital pianos.
Headphones output and quiet keyboard action
The FP-30 Digital Piano includes a pair of built-in stereo speakers that delivers plenty of volume when required. There will off course be times when you want to practise without disturbing others in which case the front-facing headphone port can be used for silent practice.
It actually has dual headphones outputs which enables two people to listen at the same time. Because of the 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch jacks, it offers compatibility with all types of headphones and ear buds. The outputs can also be used to connect to an external speaker system.
Compact and lightweight body for easy mobility
If you always wanted a piano in your home but your space and budget doesn’t allow for a full-sized instrument, you may consider the FP30. The light build of the FP30 is exceptionally strong and can be moved with ease. Despite the light weight, you still get access to some great Roland features like the PHA-4 88-note keyboard that delivers authentic piano touch.
There’s a number of useful built-in features that the FP30 offers:
- The Metronome of which you can adjust the tempo.
- The Built-in recorder which enables you to evaluate a performance and download it to an USB. You simply press the record button (which will be red when in recording mode) and after you finished playing, you press stop and then you can play it back.
- The Transpose feature which you can use to play in a different key without doing the transposing yourself.
- What’s unique about the FP30 as a budget piano, is the Bluetooth 4.0 MIDI function. This means you can wirelessly connect to a mobile device (phone/tablet) in case you want to transmit and receive MIDI (that players can connect to a computer to produce a variety of different sounds). It works by sending MIDI over Bluetooth so you no longer need a USB cable or Camera Connection kit to control your favourite music apps. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity and also the USB port means the FP30 can work together with computer audio software, apps on your mobile device or to save data or audio with the internal sequencer onto a USB stick.
Roland provides several helpful apps for the FP30. It can connect to multiple devices (supports Android, Windows and IOS) for applications such as GarageBand and it has bluetooth recognition function, which means you can connect the piano to an iPad. The iPad can then automatically turn it into sheet music as you play.
The FP30 has outputs which you can use to plug into an external audio system / stereo system.
The FP-30’s rear panel hosts two USB ports (one for a thumb drive, another for computer connection) and two pedal inputs (1/4″ and a multipin jack). For analog audio output, you have your choice of 3.5mm and 1/4″ headphone jacks on the front, below the keyboard. Because there are no discrete 1/4″ audio jacks, you will need an insert cable to feed the output to a pair of studio monitors or mixer inputs; for example, a cable with a 1/4″ TRS plug on one end (for the piano’s headphone output) that splits to a pair of 1/4″ TS jacks. (A forthcoming update will allow you to use the headphone outs without muting the speakers).
As far as stands for the FP-30 are concerned, Roland suggests the KSC-70 or one of their latest x-or z-frame stands. And if you opt for the 3-pedal KPD-70, you can use it to turn pages in compatible sheet-music apps such as Sheet Music Direct and piaScore using a pedal command.
All-in-all, the FP30 is simple to operate and has a good number of usable features that makes it suitable to use in a live setting. It weighs only 14 kg which makes it easy to lift and use in a portable environment.
The FP30 is also suitable in a home setting and has the option of including a stand as well as a three pedal unit and music desk.
It is available in two colours (black or white).
The FP30 is recommended for anybody who is a live performer who needs take his/her piano to gigs, shows, choir practise or band practise. Yet, it also falls within the price bracket for someone who wants an affordable home piano with the option of a stand, pedal unit and music desk. Thus, you can get the best of both worlds with the FP30.
If you’re not someone to read instructions, have a look at these 7 short videos on the FP30.
These Quick Start Videos contain step-by-step instructions that will quickly introduce you to its major features.
Digital pianos at De Rosa Music Hub
Interested in learning to play piano? Check out Music Lessons at DeRosa Music Hub.
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