Roland Fantom 6, 7, 8

The Roland Fantom is a powerful and versatile music workstation that is packed with features. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Over 3,500 tones, including a wide variety of acoustic and electronic sounds.

  • ZEN-Core sound engine, which is Roland’s latest and most powerful sound engine.

  • SuperNATURAL technology, which provides realistic and expressive sounds.

  • V-Piano technology, which delivers a high-quality piano sound.

  • 16-channel MIDI sequencer with TR-Rec step editing.

  • Pad sampler with 16 pads x 4 banks.

  • Rhythm pattern, arpeggiator, and chord memory.

  • 7" wide VGA color touch screen graphic display.

  • Comprehensive multi-effects and stereo analog filter.

  • 16x3 stereo audio interface.

  • Dual CV/gate and soft synth integration.

ZEN-Core sound engine: The ZEN-Core sound engine is Roland’s latest and most powerful sound engine. It is capable of creating a wide variety of sounds, from traditional acoustic instruments to cutting-edge electronic sounds. The ZEN-Core engine also includes a number of features that make it easy to create your own sounds, such as a wavetable synthesizer, a sampler, and a effects processor.

SuperNATURAL technology: SuperNATURAL technology is a modeling technology that Roland developed to create realistic and expressive sounds. SuperNATURAL models the physical behavior of acoustic instruments, such as the way a piano’s strings vibrate or the way a saxophone’s reed vibrates. This allows SuperNATURAL to create sounds that are not only realistic but also highly expressive.

V-Piano technology: V-Piano technology is Roland’s proprietary piano sound engine. It is designed to deliver the highest quality piano sound possible, with a wide range of dynamics, expressiveness, and authenticity. V-Piano also includes a number of features that make it easy to customize the piano sound to your liking, such as a variety of piano models and effects.

This can run the ACB models now like what the Roland System-8 does. So pretty decent value including all the standard workstation functionality and the superior analog virtual modelling you get with ACB as opposed to ABM.

How does a Roland Fantom 8 compare to a Roland Fantom 08? There is one for sale locally and I am pretty tempted. I believe it doesn’t have V-Piano but I am not so fussed about that because I didn’t like the piano sounds on a Roland RD-2000 that I ended up selling. Can you import the ACB models like the Jupiter 8 and SH101 onto the Fantom 08?

Roland Fantom 8:

The Roland Fantom 8 represents the pinnacle of the Fantom series, offering an extensive range of features tailored to meet the demands of professional musicians, producers, and performers. As the flagship model, the Fantom 8 combines a premium 88-note weighted keyboard with an expansive sound engine, comprehensive controls, and seamless integration with modern production workflows.

Key Features of the Roland Fantom 8:

  • Premium 88-note weighted keyboard: The Fantom 8 features a high-quality keyboard with fully weighted keys, providing an authentic piano-playing experience ideal for pianists and keyboardists seeking expressive control and nuanced dynamics.

  • ZEN-Core sound engine: At the heart of the Fantom 8 lies Roland’s powerful ZEN-Core sound engine, which delivers a vast selection of sounds ranging from classic analog synths to contemporary digital instruments. With advanced synthesis technologies and extensive sound-shaping capabilities, the ZEN-Core engine empowers musicians to create and customize sounds with unparalleled flexibility.

  • Extensive sound library: The Fantom 8 comes loaded with a diverse library of high-quality sounds, including pianos, electric pianos, synthesizers, drums, and more. These meticulously crafted sounds cover a wide range of musical genres and styles, ensuring versatility and inspiration for performers and producers across various contexts.

  • Seamless integration with DAWs and external gear: Equipped with advanced connectivity options, including USB audio/MIDI, CV/Gate outputs, and multiple pedal inputs, the Fantom 8 seamlessly integrates with digital audio workstations (DAWs), modular synthesizers, and other external gear. This facilitates streamlined music production, live performance setups, and studio workflows, allowing musicians to unleash their creativity without limitations.

  • Intuitive interface and workflow enhancements: The Fantom 8 features an intuitive user interface with dedicated controls for sound manipulation, performance parameters, and real-time editing. Additionally, workflow enhancements such as scene memories, chord pads, and pattern sequencer facilitate rapid idea generation and live improvisation, making the Fantom 8 a versatile tool for both stage and studio environments.

  • Built-in sequencer and performance features: With its onboard sequencer, arpeggiator, and rhythm pattern generator, the Fantom 8 offers extensive sequencing and performance capabilities. Musicians can create intricate arrangements, dynamic sequences, and rhythmic patterns directly within the instrument, eliminating the need for external hardware or software.

Roland Fantom 08:

The Roland Fantom 08 represents a compact and streamlined iteration of the Fantom series, designed for musicians seeking a portable yet powerful synthesizer with a focus on performance and versatility. Despite its compact form factor, the Fantom 08 packs a punch with its rich sound palette, expressive controls, and intuitive interface, making it an ideal choice for stage performers, electronic musicians, and producers on the go.

Key Features of the Roland Fantom 08:

  • Compact 61-note keyboard: The Fantom 08 features a compact 61-note keyboard with velocity-sensitive keys, offering a balance between portability and playability. While it may not offer the same level of expressiveness as the Fantom 8’s weighted keyboard, the Fantom 08’s keyboard remains responsive and versatile for a wide range of musical applications.

  • ZEN-Core sound engine with SuperNATURAL technology: Like its larger counterpart, the Fantom 08 is equipped with Roland’s ZEN-Core sound engine, augmented by SuperNATURAL technology for realistic instrument emulations and expressive performance capabilities. Despite its compact size, the Fantom 08 delivers a diverse range of high-quality sounds that cover everything from vintage synths to modern electronic instruments.

  • Compact form factor and lightweight design: The Fantom 08 features a compact and lightweight design, making it highly portable and suitable for musicians who frequently travel or perform live. Whether on stage, in the studio, or on the road, the Fantom 08’s compact form factor ensures ease of transport and setup without compromising on sound quality or performance capabilities.

  • Integrated performance controls and real-time manipulation: Despite its smaller size, the Fantom 08 offers a comprehensive array of performance controls and real-time manipulation features, including assignable knobs, sliders, and buttons. These controls allow musicians to shape and modulate sounds on the fly, enabling dynamic performances and expressive improvisations in any musical setting.

  • Seamless integration with external devices: With its versatile connectivity options, including USB audio/MIDI, MIDI I/O, and audio inputs/outputs, the Fantom 08 seamlessly integrates with external devices such as computers, MIDI controllers, and audio interfaces. This enables flexible music production workflows, live performance setups, and collaborative jam sessions, empowering musicians to expand their creative horizons and interact with a diverse range of gear.

  • Onboard sequencer and performance features: Despite its compact size, the Fantom 08 boasts an onboard sequencer, arpeggiator, and rhythm pattern generator, allowing musicians to create intricate sequences, rhythmic patterns, and dynamic arrangements directly within the instrument. Whether composing music, performing live, or improvising in the studio, the Fantom 08 provides a versatile platform for musical exploration and creativity.

Key differences between the Roland Fantom 8 and Roland Fantom 08:

Both the Roland Fantom 8 and Fantom 08 utilize the same powerful ZEN-Core Synthesis System , offering a consistent sonic foundation between the two models. However, there are some key differences in their processing capabilities:


  • Fantom 8: Boasts a whopping 384-note polyphony , allowing you to layer complex patches and arrangements without fear of note stealing.

  • Fantom 08: Offers a still-impressive 128-note polyphony , suitable for most musical applications but potentially reaching its limits with exceptionally dense orchestrations or heavily layered sounds.


  • Fantom 8: Features dedicated DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chips for its effects engine, ensuring smooth and consistent performance even with numerous simultaneous effects in use.

  • Fantom 08: Shares the ZEN-Core engine with the Fantom 8 but may experience potential limitations in effect processing when layering complex patches or using many effects simultaneously.

Sample Loading:

  • Fantom 8: Features 1GB of internal RAM for loading samples, allowing you to incorporate more user-defined sounds or larger instruments.

  • Fantom 08: Comes with 512MB of internal RAM , limiting the size and number of custom samples you can load compared to the Fantom 8.

ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) models support:

  • FANTOM EX Upgrade released in November 2023, this enables ACB models (specifically Jupiter-8 ACB, SH-101 ACB, JD-800 ACB) on the Fantom 6, 7, and 8 but not on the Fantom 06, 07, or 08.

So in summary the Fantom 08 cannot support ACB models, has an inferior keyboard, reduced memory and processing power.