Roland Arranger Keyboards Reviews (FA, BK, VR Series)

digital keyboards

Roland Arranger Keyboards reviewed here. Roland arranger keyboard are portable, self-contained backing keyboards that come with high quality sounds, drum kits & styles, and powerful built-in spakers. Get instant access to live expressions, professional sounds and authentic backing styles from all over the world. With these Roland arrangers, its easy to Wow the crowd, thanks to their top-level sounds and industry leading auto-accompaniments. Roland arrangers include keyboards that are suitable for the casual players as well as for the one-man-band gigging pros.

The popular arrangers from Roland include:

  • The BK series arrangers
  • The FA series arranger workstation keyboards
  • And popular models like the Roland VR-09 and the Roland GW-8 (These have been around for a very long time)

Best Uses – Accompaniment, Gigging, Electronic music, Concerts, Travel, MIDI, Home Studio/Recording.

Roland arranger keyboards are more suited to the experienced keyboard players – be it for performance or for studio use (some of the models below have DAW integration features).

Roland Arrangers: Various Models

Roland FA-06 61-key Workstation Keyboard

Roland FA-06 61-key Music Workstation Keyboard

The Roland FA-06 is an arranger that can also double as a workstation for your studio. Its easy to use and also very intuitive (although it feels a bit less robust than the previous Fantom G and X keyboards). However, the FA06 is more reasonably priced; its more of a toned down (yet flexible) version of the Fantom.

  • Over 2000 sounds from the flagship INTEGRA-7 sound module (compatible with free INTEGRA-7 synth tones)
  • 16-track sequencer with non-stop loop recording
  • Expressive real-time controls
  • Large color LCD
  • Guitar/Mic and Line input jacks for performing, sampling, and DAW audio recording
  • USB ports for sound expansion data, updates, and audio/MIDI interfacing with a computer

Watch: Roland FA-06 demo

Buy Roland FA-06 on zZounds

Roland FA-08 88-key Music Workstation Keyboard

Roland FA-08 88-key Music Workstation Keyboard

Similar to FA-06, but comes with 88-Note weighted Ivory Feel-G Keyboard that will appeal to the piano players. Its a bit heavy (though still portable), and its all you need to play and to create great music.

If portability is a big factor for you, choose the one with 61 keys. While the individual sounds are all very good, you can actually create some top-notch sounds by layering different sounds.

Buy Roland FA-08 on zZounds

Roland BK-5 Backing Keyboard

Roland BK-5 Backing Keyboard

A recent addition, the Roland BK-5 is a quality 61-key arranger that comes with several professional sounds and world rhythms. Its lightweight and suitable for solo entertainers, hobbyists, casual players and the one-man-band gigging pros.

  • One-man keyboard with auto-accompaniment engine and built-in sound system (comes in handy at times)
  • Wide selection of sounds and Rhythms that cover a wide landscape of musical genres
  • Wide range of onboard effects
  • Compatible with backing formats (SMF, MP3, WAV, and Rhythm) directly from USB memory; instant audio recording onto USB memory
  • Automatic chord detection for SMF files
  • Video output to share SMF/MP3 Lyrics with friends or the audience on an external screen

It has everything that you need to wow the crowd – high-quality, fresh sounds combined with an easy user interface.

Packed with a variety of styles and sounds for hobbyists, casual players and even the one-man-band gigging pros (looking for an inexpensive keyboard). Has an easy user interface and several advanced features.

Watch: Roland BK-5 Demo

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Roland VR-09 Backing Keyboard

Roland VR-09 V-Combo Live Performance Keyboard

Get easy access to the sounds along with easy access to real-time controls makes this 61-key keyboard well-suited for gigs. This one has been around for some time and is great for live playing. Features great sounds and real-time controls.

The most-used features are placed in the front and center of the keyboard for easy access while playing. Dedicated piano, organ, and synth sounds are organized on the front panel, expressive controls like sliders, knobs, and buttons are easy to access.

  • Lightweight (battery or AC power)
  • Pro-quality piano sounds with 88-note stereo multi-sampling
  • Wide range of synth tones, Virtual Tone Wheel organ with nine harmonic bars
  • Great effects, Looper and built-in rhythm patterns; WAV/MP3/SMF song playback via optional USB memory
  • Free VR-09 Editor app available for iPad

Buy Roland VR-09 on zZounds

Roland GW8 Interactive Music Workstation Keyboard

The Roland GW8 also has been around for a very long time, and is an entry-level workstation keyboard perfect for the one-man-band, with several Fantom derived sounds. Features a contemporary sound-set and expressive interactive musical styles from pop to rock, plus authentic ethnic styles, the GW8 will bring a world of music to your fingertips. Read more…

Roland Music Keyboard Reviews

At the entry level, Roland may not have a wide range of electronic keyboards compared to Yamaha or Casio, but then Roland keyboards have very high quality sounds/styles. Besides, it has superior models that can be used for both playing as well as composing.

It offers you a variety of music styles, including Western, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures. In addition, they have some amazing synth sounds. Roland arranger keyboard sounds are of extremely high quality, be it cutting edge or normal acoustic instruments like the Piano, Guitar and strings.

Roland Arranger Keyboards, Roland Arranger Keyboard

Amazing Sounds

Almost all the Roland keyboards have their trademark high quality sound irrespective of the price of the keyboard. Be it the cutting edge sounds or acoustic ones like the string section, drums, guitars or the piano, the samples that have been used are of top quality.

World Music/Styles

A Roland arranger keyboard scores over its competitors in this area as they offer a wide range of ethnic sounds and music styles, including Western, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures. With a global array of musical accompaniments under your fingertips, you are never going to fall short of ideas to create any kind of music on your Roland arranger keyboard.

Easy-to-Use Interface

Though, all the instruments are packed with a lot of features, it is very easy to access them. Knobs and sliders have been provided for easy access to things when needed. Controllers like the data wheel, D beam, and pitch/mod levers have been provided for modulating your sounds on the fly. Even the LCD screens are large enough to show a lot of relevant information.

16-Track Sequencer

Most of the models have a 16-Track Sequencer which can help you to start recording your own stuff. If you are a teacher, you can even record a difficult piece and then your student can use it as a reference guide. The student can play it back at a lower tempo to understand it. He can even repeat difficult sections by use the marker/repeat function.

Professional Mix

In the higher Roland arranger keyboards, you can find lot of studio effects, mastering tools and additional vocal tracks which you can use to record vocal parts like the guitar or pure vocals. It will provide you all the tools to make that professional sounding mix using just your keyboard.

Computer friendly

To make communication with a PC easier, USB ports have been provided in most of the models. You can use a software sequencer like Sonar or Cubase for your recording, though the Fantom-X and the JUNO series can be used by itself to create complete songs from start to finish. You can even send and receive AIFF/Wav files which can use in your recordings.

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