The first thing you should know about this Roland unit is that it’s a powerful and compact keyboard suitable for a wide range of applications, from home use to stage performances. The device comes with plenty of upgrades compared to previous models, the most interesting one being its enhanced connectivity.
There are plenty of features and capabilities that make this keyboard a good choice, but when it comes to connectivity, the manufacturer really put a lot of effort into enhancing this aspect and, thus, the overall user experience. On the front part you will find not one but two headphone jacks, a standard and a mini one.
This means that you can use your headphones without needing any special adapters, no matter where you are or what type of headphones you are using. Plus, the fact that these jacks are located on the front makes them easier to access. They can also be used for any external speakers or amplifiers you might want to add.
A convenient USB (type B) to Host port is included as well, so you can transfer a lot of data to your computer, which allows you to use apps and other programs to learn or produce music. You will need a USB cable that is not delivered with the keyboard, but you can get one for a couple of bucks at any local store. Plus, you can also use Bluetooth to connect to other devices.Buy from Amazon.com for ($799.99)
The kit for stand delivered with this Roland unit could be a bit sturdier, compared to that of previous models. While you can definitely use it, for some it might seem a bit flimsy, which is why you may replace it with another option, especially if you have one around the house.
Of course, this also depends on where you are going to play, given that if you are buying this unit for home use, the stand that comes with it might work just fine. However, if you intend to play in various locations and this entails moving and installing it repeatedly, things might not be as easy.
Main features explained
Just like other models designed by Roland for the FP series, this keyboard is specially made to fit into smaller places and be highly portable. With a lighter and more compact construction, it’s an ideal choice for musicians who are on the go. For this reason, it can work great for anyone, from a student going to auditions and school events to more professional musicians.
If you don’t want to use the stand that comes with the keyboard, you can easily place it on a table or another similar piece of furniture around the house. In fact, this can be a very good idea if you also have kids or pets in your home and you want to make sure it stays securely out of their reach.
In terms of measurements, these are the standard ones for portable keyboards in this category, with a width of 51.2”, depth of 11.2”, and height of 5.9”. What you may note if you have been using portable keyboards for a while is that this model is slightly heavier than other options, with an overall weight of 31 lbs. However, this should not be an issue, as the difference is not that significant.
Given that we’re talking about a portable model that needs to be as easy to use as possible, the manufacturer has upgraded its appearance and added small elements that give it a contemporary look and make it more user-friendly.
For instance, a row of illuminated buttons is working in this direction, as well as the simple control panel that comes with 13 buttons and easy access to the instrument’s main functions and sounds. This way, you won’t need to worry about the keyboard being difficult to use, which works great for musicians on the go.
Another element that makes the FP- 30 a very nice choice is the keyboard that comes with various special features. First of all, the 88 progressive hammer action keys are definitely going to help you enhance the songs that you play. This progressive capability means that the keys are lighter in the high-end and lower in the low-end, which resembles the construction of an acoustic piano.
Therefore, if you want to bring your music alive in the most realistic way, progressive construction is definitely going to help. Next, you should also know that thy keys come with the brand’s Ivory Feel technology, and the action is called the PHA-4 Standard, an upgraded 4th generation one offered by the manufacturer.
This upgrade means that less noise is produced while playing and that the mechanism is improved as well. These capabilities are even more interesting for musicians, as they are available in this unit that comes with a very affordable price compared to other ones that offer the same benefits.
In fact, the FP-30 is one of the two devices that come with the Ivory Feel technology and that are available in this price range. Another aspect you should be aware of is that this unit comes with a 3-sensor detection system, which means that each key provides authentic and precise sounds, for a truly enhanced playing experience.
For those musicians who are pouring their hearts into their music, the FP-30 also comes with a touch-sensitive capability, which means that the keys sound increasingly louder, the harder the player strikes them. However, for the best user experience and a tailored sound, you can also adjust their sensitivity to your preferences.
The FP-30 offers 5 different sensitivity settings, whereas other models include only 3. This means you can tailor the sound in a more precise way.
This model comes with built-in speakers and amplifiers that deliver a rich sound. The bass response and resonance are great, so you shouldn’t expect anything less than an excellent overall experience using the FP-30. Moreover, the speakers are also powerful enough to ensure a good volume for home use and even small performances.
As we’ve mentioned, this Roland model is built for performance and portability, so you will be able to play your music on the go as well, especially given its speakers. For its price range, the sound it produces is excellent, especially compared to other models.
In terms of dynamic range, this is not something that’s going to let you down, so you can get as expressive as you want when you play. The speakers are well designed and calculated, especially since we’re talking about a compact unit, so you won’t need to worry that they might not be up to the task in case you want to have a little performance in a room that’s medium-sized.
On the other hand, if you want to practice your music without disturbing anyone else, then you can definitely use a pair of good headphones. This can also help you perceive the sounds in a more accurate and detailed way, so it’s really up to you to see which alternative works better.
The Split-Mode capability allows you to play two instrument sounds by either layering or splitting them. This means that the keyboard is divided into two sections, each one delivering sounds from a different instrument, so these can be played at the same time. Of course, you can also choose where the split is being made on the keyboard for enhanced usability.
This is a pretty great feature for users who want to get creative with their music, given that it ensures versatility without spending additional money on other programs or devices.
Many musicians can learn a lot if they record their performances, so it’s very important for any keyboard to come with such functionality. Of course, the same goes if you are into producing music and you need to use this device for such a purpose. Roland thought the same and added a 1-track MIDI recorder that does a good job.
You can record your music either to the unit’s internal memory or directly to a USB flash drive, this being a very good solution if you want to play it later and on another device. Since we’ve mentioned the flash drive, it’s a good moment to say that you can also play WAV and MIDI files directly from these handy units, which is what makes the FP-30 a great choice.
In fact, this is a particular feature that most of the other brands and competitors don’t offer, so if you know you are going to use it quite often, then the FP-30 is certainly a keyboard that you can add to your gear.
On the other hand, it’s good to keep in mind that the FP-30 has 1-track recording capabilities, which means that if you want to record each instrument separately, this is not going to be possible.
However, there are solutions to this aspect as well, given that you can use the keyboard to create multiple tracks and then look for music-making apps that can help you put everything together on your laptop or tablet.
The FP-30 comes with other functionalities that are going to help you if you are planning to write songs and some examples are the transpose or octave shift capabilities. If you want to hear a song in another key that’s more difficult to learn, then you can simply use the keyboard to get the job done.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($799.99)