Roland FP-10 digital piano review: what is it?
Roland’s FP range of laptops digital pianos offers a range of models for all budgets. To this end, the entry-level Roland FP-10 aims to provide beginners and enthusiasts alike with high-end acoustic piano sound, as well as a high-quality weighted keyboard, all at an affordable price.
The main indicators of Roland’s uncompromising approach to the FP-10 are its wonderfully playable PHA4 keyboard and SuperNatural sound engine. Identical to those found in much more expensive Roland models such as the HP702, finding these features in a beginner digital piano is a real bonus. The 88 keys are individually and progressively weighted, heavier in the bass and becoming progressively lighter towards the top. In addition, only at this price, there is an escape mechanism to allow rapid playing of repeated notes, and the keys also have a very realistic ivory feel on top of the keys, so in terms of piano feel. acoustics, the FP-10 scores high.
Among the narrowest in its class, the FP-10 has a very slim profile from front to back but is also exceptionally tall for a numeric keypad, the deep casing housing the exhaust mechanism and the two speakers. 6W down emission. At 14cm, the height may be a problem if you plan to use it as a master MIDI keyboard sit in a drawer under a table. It’s a substantial unit at 12.3kg, but not too overweight to rule it out as a portable instrument.
In terms of connection, the only audio output is a single 3.5mm headphone jack, with the lack of separate line outputs being the clearest indication to date that the FP-10 is aimed at the home user rather. than a professional stage and studio musician. There are two USB ports – one for future firmware updates, the other for connecting the FP-10 to your computer for use as a MIDI controller – and a port for a damper pedal. While the FP-10 supports half-pedaling, the basic footswitch does not – you’ll need to invest in a compatible pedal like the Roland DP-10 to take advantage of this functionality.
Roland FP-10 digital piano review: performance and verdict
The top panel of the FP-10 is a master class in minimalism, the only controls being four illuminated buttons on the left side – one for power on, two for volume control, and a fourth switch for “piano function. “. When held down, this turns the instrument’s keys into function selectors, performing tasks such as switching preset tones, controlling metronome settings, adjustment of brightness and ambience levels, main adjustment and playback of demo songs. We’re not big fans of having to use the piano keys as function switches, but this arrangement presumably helps reduce the overall cost of the unit. It works well enough, but it’s a two-handed affair, and since there is no display of any kind, changing sounds can be difficult in low light conditions.
Fifteen built-in sounds are provided, the most important of which are the four acoustic pianos, which are of excellent quality but with seemingly subtle differences in character. Full, rich and extremely detailed, the acoustic piano sounds are derived from the same set of SuperNatural sounds as Roland’s more expensive models, meaning advanced features such as simulated sympathetic string resonance, damper resonance and key resonance are all present and correct.
Then there are two electric piano sounds, one of which is a Fender Rhodes sample and the other is a DX7 style FM EPiano. There are two harpsichords, a vibraphone, a Hammond B3 jazz organ, a pipe organ, two string patches, a beautiful soft analog pad and the odd ‘jazz scat’ preset, a never-before-seen collection of vocal samples sensitive to velocity that is hard to see being of any use to anyone after the first ten minutes of hilarity. Sadly, there’s no Wurlitzer EP200 preset on board – we would have gladly ditched the downright bonkers scat jazz in favor of decent Wurli sound accessible from the front panel.
Sounds can be layered by pressing two of the keys to select two presets simultaneously – a feature known as ‘Dual Play’ – and there are useful combinations to explore in this way, such as acoustic piano and strings, or the harpsichord and the pad. You can also split the keyboard into two “twin” pianos, one on the left and one on the right so that two people can play the same pitch ranges, which is ideal for student / teacher interaction.
When paired with Roland’s Piano Partner 2 app, the FP-10 begins to spread its wings a bit. After a simple Bluetooth pairing procedure, the application transforms your Bluetooth-enabled iOS or Android device into a large touchscreen that the FP-10 lacks, the included desk doubles as a tablet holder. Not only do you now have tactile control over all major parameters and keyboard modes, but suddenly you have access to 21 other as yet unknown sounds, such as Ragtime Piano, a more Wurli-esque third electric piano sound, plus a whole bunch. from others including Harp, Celeste, Steel and Nylon Guitars, Choirs and more.
Although there is no built-in song recorder on the FP-10, you can use the Piano Partner app, or any other JACKDAW, to record MIDI performances via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, there is no Bluetooth audio function to let you stream audio through the built-in speakers for playing, as found on the Roland GO: PIANO.
The success of the FP-10 was evidenced by the difficulty in obtaining supplies in some territories, with demand exceeding supply during the pandemic. And for good reason – the quality of the piano sounds and the excellent keyboard make it obvious at this price. This weighted PHA4 keyboard means the FP-10 isn’t a toy – it’s a serious instrument, the action maybe a bit heavy for small hands, but no more than that of a real acoustic piano. So, if you are learning the piano, and if you can get hold of one, the exceptional FP-10 must be at the top of your shopping list.
Roland FP-10 digital piano review: hands-on demonstrations
Roland FP-10 Digital Piano Review: Specifications
- Keys: 88 keys with ivory and escapement feel
- Touch sensitivity: Adjustable
- Speaker system: 2 x 4.7 “, 2 x 6 W amplifier
- Pedal: Sustain pedal input
- Preconfigurations: 4 piano sounds, 2 electric piano sounds and more
- Polyphony: 96 Comments
- Functions: Bluetooth connectivity, app control, metronome, Twin Piano mode
- Audio output: 1 3.5mm headphone jack
- Power: AC adapter
- Support: Optional
- Color: White and Black
- Dimensions: 1284 (W) x 258 (D) x 140 (H) mm
- Weight: 12.3 kilograms
- Contact: Roland