We’ve come to associate the Roland brand with quality thanks to its impressive track record so far. The Roland FP-30 is an example of the many high quality electric keyboards offered by Roland and today we will take a look at it.
Now, if we’re talking completely honestly, we will just have to admit that the FP-30 is among the best digital pianos for stage performance in the piano market right noew. The sounds on the keyboard, from the acoustic piano to the electric pianos are really awesome.
And there’s lots more to see and admire about the Roland FP-30.
Of course, we will also be totally honest about the drawbacks of this keyboard as well. So, in all, we will be giving you all the sides of this keyboard – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, stay with us.
An Overview Of The Roland FP-30
The Roland FP-30, like we mentioned in the introduction, is one of the best stage pianos we have seen around. And on this model, Roland chose to combine the feel of a traditional acoustic with the sound of a modern digital piano along with all the attending connectivity and processing functions.
Furthermore, the FP-30 comes with 88 keys all full weighted. And these keys also come with 5 tiers of sensitivity to choose from depending on your preferred playing style.
And to make things even more interesting, Roland equips this keyboard with 35 voices, powered by its patented SuperNatural Piano Engine. Thanks to this engine, the sound of this keyboard comes with enough flexibility. But even at that, it remains really high quality, nonetheless.
However, beyond these impressive features, the part of this keyboard that really stands it out from the competition is the plethora of connectivity options it comes with as well as other real practical features that players will find beneficial.
On this keyboard, you’ll find features like a built-in recorder, enough input/output ports, a rhythm section, as well as a Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Now although the Roland FP-30 doesn’t exactly “kill it” in the looks department, that is to expected in stage keyboards. Stage pianos makers tend to concentrate more on making such pianos more portable, and playable over making them visually appealing.
Nevertheless, consider getting the optional stand if you intend for this to be a permanent feature in your studio. It isn’t absolutely amazing but it will suffice.
Finally, it is worthy of note to mention that the Roland FP-30 is a tutor/student friendly keyboard. With its Dual/Twin/Split modes as well as its metronome function, tutors and students will definitely enjoy their time teaching and learning together on this keyboard.
Roland FP-30 Specs
- 88 fully weighted keys with hammer action.
- Keys come with 5 levels of touch sensitivity.
- 2 Speakers: 4.75 inches: 11W + 11W.
- Pedals: Damper pedal. 3-pedal accessory is optional.
- Number of presets: 30 preset songs, and 35 built-in tones.
- Sound Effects: Brilliance, Ambience, and Resonance.
- Max Polyphony: 128 notes.
- Metronome function.
- Transpose function.
- Recording and playback function.
- 8 rhythm types.
- Modes: Dual/Split/Twin.
- Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection function.
- Connectivity: pedal input, MIDI I/O (Bluetooth, USB).
- Dimensions: 51.18 x 11.87 x 5.87 inches.
- Weight: 31 pounds.
Features Of The Roland FP-30
Play And Feel
The Roalnd FP-30 is a very playable instrument. The lightness and bounce the keys give when played make you just want to keep playing and playing this keyboard.
In fact, some schools of thought are of the opinion that Roland’s key weighting is incomparable among all the piano brands in the market. And yes, in their opinion, that includes the Yamaha Graded Hammer action technology.
There’s just this level of realism and dynamism you get from the FP-30’s weighted keys that you can’t get elsewhere. It makes you feel like you’re playing on an actual grand piano.
So, when it comes to playability and feel, Roland arguably takes the cake in the industry.
But as you should have expected, this has its own not-so-great impact in that it makes the
FP-30 tend more towards the heavier side.
For instance, let’s run a comparison with the FP-30’s contemporary. The Kawai ES110 is a good place to start. The Kawai ES110 is also another impressive on-stage keyboard, although, not as impressive as the FP-30.
However, the gigging musician might tend more towards the ES110 than the FP-30. Why? In comparison, the Roland FP-30 weighs a whooping 5 pounds heavier than the ES110. This, therefore, makes the Roland FP-30 a bulky unit and the Kawai ES110 a much more convenient choice.
And everyone likes convenience.
What do you expect from the sound of Roland keyboards? If excellence, then you’re spot on! The Roland FP-30 sounds really genuine and dynamic. And that’s because the SuperNatural sound engine on which the sounds run is truly fantastic.
This sound engine uses multiple dynamic sampling for each note of the keyboard. And this is why the keyboard retains that genuine sound on every note from end to end.
Now, here’s another reason that Roland stands out from the competition.
In Roland keyboards, the piano makers painstakingly link each level of touch sensitivity directly to the triggered sample.
As a point of comparison, Yamaha, for instance, just uses the triggered sample at the same pitch. It just increases or decreases the volume depending on the touch sensitivity level.
Do you see the difference now? But how does that impact on sound?
Well, when it comes to the sound of an acoustic, it isn’t just about increased or decreased volume when you play a note hard or soft. There are subtle nuances in the harmonics and overtones, and Roland achieves that better than Yamaha and other piano brands.
So when you play a note soft or hard, it doesn’t just increase or increase the volume of the pitch respectively. The keyboard actually selects different sound samples for each touch velocity level. And there are 5 of them.
This is nothing short of excellence.
There are 35 built-in voices on the Roland FP-30. Well, a more correct way to put that would be: there are 35 ish built-in voices on the Roland FP-30. Why do we say that?
Look at it… This comes with 6 piano sounds which are great. It also comes with 7 electric piano sounds which are great too.
Now, the other 22 sounds are just quirky at best. We don’t really understand why Roland included them on the keyboard because we would have been content with the 13 useful sounds.
But then again, it’s always good to loosen up and have some fun once in a while. Maybe that’s why the 22 other sounds were added. Because we don’t see you using any of them for anything serious.
Speakers go a long way to drive sound on any keyboard. And, in fact, they have the power to make or break the sound quality you get from a keyboard.
Furthermore, if a traveling musician’s keyboard comes with great onboard speakers, then they can travel lighter since they won’t need a PA system.
As for the speakers on the Roland FP-30, they are pretty good. They actually deliver in a capacity of about 102 decibels. And that means that they will work satisfactorily if you’re going for a background kind of gig.
Thankfully, Roland includes the synthetic ivory keytops usually reserved for higher end models on the Roland FP-30. So, yes, they feel blissful to the touch.
Now, to the body… it is made of plastic, durable plastic, but plastic anyway. This is supposed to make the FP-30 a lot more convenient to carry around. And this is super important since the keys are already adding a bit of bulk and this is supposed to be for a gigging musician.
The FP-30 is sturdy though, a testimony to the quality construction Roland put into this keyboard. So, all things being equal, this should be able to stand up to a level of abuse as expected from a traveling musician.
If you decide to get the optional pedal board and stand, it would make the instrument a really decent setup for your home studio. Now, truth be told, the stand looks and is flimsy. So, don’t expect much.
The foot pedal board, on the other hand, gives you 3 pedals – the soft, sostenuto and damper (sustain) pedals. And that’s pretty great.
The Roland FP-30 comes with a relatively simple interface. There are 8 buttons on the top panel which are located right above the keys. And now because the buttons come backlit, you’ll be able to clearly see them even in the dark which makes the keyboard even easier to use.
As for the volume key, it comes with a 5 light gauge. Yep, so, as the light changes, you can tell how loud the piano is. And this can come in handy in many ways.
With the 3 buttons that control the tones, you’ll be able to easily select your sound, whether electric piano or piano. Plus, the additional Split button allows you to divide the keyboard into two halves where you can play different instrument sounds on each half of the keyboard.
And let’s not forget the LED display that just makes everything easier and better.
Pros Of Roland FP-30
- Somewhat gig friendly.
- Comes with hammer action and ivory feel.
- Piano sound is rich and incredible thanks to the SuperNatural modeling technology.
- 35 built-in tones.
- Onboard speakers are quite good.
- Also comes with a wireless Bluetooth MIDI connectivity.
- Can play MIDI/WAV files from your flash drive.
Cons Of Roland FP-30
- It’s a bit heavier than its competitors.
- Doesn’t feature so many sound customization options.
- Does not come with lesson function. And you can’t practice the right and left parts of internal songs separately.
- Does not come with Line Out jacks.
The Roland FP-30 is one of the best keyboards under $1000 for the money. With superior quality, fully weighted keys, and an authentic feel (the closest to an authentic we’ve ever seen), the Roland P-30 is a keyboard not to miss out on.