Greetings all]
I just purchased and received a Roland fa06 keyboard today, and am at a total loss as  to where to begin.
Firstly, when trying to control the keyboard via qws, I get FA06 ctrl, FA06 daw ctrl, and FA06. no matter what port I use, the sound I get sounds doubled strangely.
also, reaper won't use the in fa06 and out fa06 audio devices with wasapi.
Adding insult to the injury of not knowing how to use the thing, it seems to not be giving me access to all the patches in a given category, I only get about the first 6 patches in acoustic basses. Can someone please give me some pointers?


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I've not used that keyboard but would recommend that if you have the ability to send it back and get your money back if nothing happens in a sirtain amount of days that you do so.

If things aren't working as they're meant to, I always try to send stuff back to get a refund.

I hope someone can give you more knowledge than I can on this keyboard and or reper.

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First, the keyboard is, I'd say, mostly accessible.  While I don't have all of it down, there is a lot I can post on here concerning its physical aspects... I actually got this from roland discussion boards.
On the extreme left of the synth is a rectangular section measuring five inches wide and eleven inches deep. This section has a matt texture, as opposed to the high-gloss texture in other parts of the synth.

This extreme left section contains the pitch modulation lever and two click buttons. The pitch-bend lever is centred on that extreme left section, and is located about two inches from the front.

One inch above the pitch-bend lever, and offset to the left, are a pair of rectangular click buttons, side-by-side, each click button is about a half of an inch by one eight of an inch. These buttons control how the pitch-bend behaves, I think.

Roughly two inches above those two click buttons is a shallow, recessed, rectangular space measuring about three inches across by five inches. This indented space has a slight concave contour, and bears the name Roland FA-06 over a high gloss surface. Since this recess serves no purpose other than displaying the name of the synth we can easily move on from here.  The rest of the FA-06 controls are divided into three discreet, rectangular sections, as follows:
On the left is the Sound Modify section, measuring roughly nine inches across and five inches deep. In the centre is the Main Controls section, measuring roughly eleven inches by five inches deep. And the section on the right contains Arp and Rhythms, plus Sequencer, plus all the Sample Pads and their controller pads. This section measures roughly twelve inches by five deep.
All these sections are divided by a raised vertical border of approximately a quarter of an inch wide. These raised borders are of a matt finish, contrasted to the high-gloss finish of the three main sections.
The Sound Modify Section (on the left).
Top left of this section is the small, one-inch, convex D-Beam sensor. One inch and a half below that, nearest you, are a set of three click buttons that modify the D-Beam. These three buttons are, from the left: the Solo Synth, the Expression, and the Assignable.

At the top of this section, approximately one inch down, is a row of six, cylindrical sound modify knobs. These knobs are firm, about a half inch high, and have soft rubber grips. These numbered knobs are not clicky. These knobs all span from the extreme left to the extreme right with a dead stop. And no click at the half-way stage.

Below these knobs is written the various functions that all the six knobs can produce. That is, four rows of six functions.

Approximately two inches below the first of those knobs, (Knob number 1), is the small click SELECT button, which assigns different effects to the knobs.

Directly below that SELECT button, (toward you), about one inch below, is the DAW CONTROL click selector button.

Moving half an inch to the right of that DAW button switch, are a pair of click selector buttons, which are SPLIT and then DUAL. This pair of buttons have the dual purpose of switching to a Studio Set when pressed at the same time. The knob at the bottom left of this entire section is volume.
We now come to the centre section of three main partitions of the controls of the FA-06. This middle partition measures eleven and a quarter inches wide and five inches deep. This partition houses the display screen, the value selector Dial, and various other buttons which I list later.

The display screen of this centre section measures four and a half inches wide by two and a half inches deep. The display screen is not central of this partition, but is offset to the left. Sliding my finger across the screen, there is no tactile indication as to where the screen begins or ends, like all one piece of glass.

As one sits in the playing position, there is to be found, roughly three-quarters of an inch from the bottom of the centre section, a horizontal row of ten click button switches, side-by-side.

These ten button switches are of uniform size of approximately three quarters of an inch across by one eighth of an inch deep. The total measurement of these ten click switches combined is approximately eight inches across.

Directly below the row of ten click buttons are the button numbers, from zero through to nine. These are the numbers of selections or favourite banks, I think.

Directly above the ten click buttons are the names of the selections of each button, as follows:
Button Zero: Drums and Percussion. Button One: A.Piano and E.Piano Button Two: Keyboard and Organ Button Three: Bass and Synth Bass. Button Four: Guitar and Plucked. Button Five: Strings and/ Orchestra. Button Six: Brass and Wind. Button Seven: Vocal and Choir. Button Eight: Synth and Pad. Button Nine: FX and Other.

Directly above Button Zero (of the row of ten click buttons), are three other click buttons arranged vertically with roughly three quarters of an inch space between. The one directly above Button Zero (Drums and Percussion button), is the BANK button.

Directly above the BANK button, is the FAVOURITE button. And directly above that button, is the PREVIEW button.

Roughly two inches above Button number Nine (of the row of ten click buttons), is the circular selector dial. The dial is about one and a half inches in diameter and is a continuous dial, having no dead stops.

The surface of the dial is edged with thin plastic fins pointing outward from the centre, to facilitate grip. The dial has incremental clicks. Turning it swiftly sounds like sweeping a fingernail down a plastic comb.

At the right side of the central section is an arrangement of eleven click buttons, which I will now describe beginning from the bottom edge (nearest to yourself).

On a horizontal line from the row of the ten selection buttons that I described above, is a set of three click buttons. These three click buttons are arranged side-to-side again, and are as follows:

(a) The SHIFT button (b) The EXIT button (c) The ENTER button.

About an inch directly above those three click buttons is another set of three click buttons, again side-to-side, and these click buttons are as follows: (a) The LEFT arrow. The DOWN arrow, and the RIGHT arrow.

About an inch above those, is another set of three click buttons, side-by-side, and named as follows:

(a) DEC, (shortened version of DECREASE. (b) the UP arrow. (c) the INC, which is the short version of INCREASE, (hopefully).

And directly above those buttons are another two click buttons, with a small space between. Those two click buttons are the MENU and the WRITE buttons.

We now move to the right hand side section of the three 'partitions' I described earlier. This right-hand section houses the sixteen sample pads, plus five sample pad controller pads, the Sequencer, the ARP and Rhythms, and the Tempo knob and the Tap Tempo click button.

From the nearest (nearest to you), at the left-hand corner of this section is found the TAP TEMPO click button. It is a half an inch from the lower edge and half an inch from the left-hand edge.

About one inch above that TAP TEMPO button is the TEMP0 knob. This knob is of the same type of knob as the Sound Modify knobs and VOLUME knob. It is firm to turn, but no clicks. Turning it all the way to the left reaches a full stop, and a right turn goes to a full stop again. As with the other knobs, there is no half-way click.

About two inches above that TEMPO knob is a set of three click buttons, side-by-side. These are as follows:
Above these three click buttons is the words: ARP / RHYTHM.

Moving one inch to the right is another column of nine click buttons, these are the button of the sequencer. Starting at the top, one inch down from topmost edge, is the SEQUENCER click button.

Below that sequencer button are two other click buttons of (a) the SONG SELECT and (b) LOOP button. These two buttons are on a horizontal line but with about one inch space between them.

Below those buttons, is a set of three click buttons of the transport kind: as follows:
(a) a left arrow abutting a vertical line. (b) Two LEFT arrows. and (c) Two RIGHT arrows.

Below those buttons, is a set of three click buttons as follows:
(a) STOP click button, with the symbol of a solid rectangle above it.
(b) PLAY click button with the symbol of an RIGHT arrow above it.
(c) RECORD click button with a solid circle above it.

Please note that there is a tiny block of plastic which separates PLAY and RECORD click buttons as listed above. Feels like a head of a match. Presumably to stop fingers to slipping onto the wrong button when in creative frenzy. :-)

Now for the SAMPLE PADS situated at the right-hand side of this right-hand section.

The sixteen sample pads altogether form a square of pads, measuring three-and-a-half inches by three-and-a-half inches, separated by a narrow space between.

Starting from your playing position, the four bottom sample pads, (those nearest to you, horizontally), and PADS 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Above those, horizontally from left to right are pads 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Above those, horizontally from left to right are pads, 9, 10, 11. 12,
Above those, horizontally from left to right are pads 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Moving slightly left from SAMPLE PAD number one, there is gap of about a half an inch, and in-line with SAMPLE PAD number 1 is the HOLD controller pad. This HOLD pad is slightly smaller than the SAMPLE pads.

Directly above the HOLD pad, is the BANK pad. Which is smaller than the SAMPLE pads and is an oblong.

Directly above the BANK pad, is the CLIP BOARD pad, which is again an oblong pad.

Directly above the CLIP BOARD pad, is the SAMPLING pad, which is again an oblong pad.

Directly above the SAMPLING pad is the PAD UTILITY pad, which is again an oblong pad.
And some other stuff if this can help:

The keyboard keys of the Roland FA-06 can be used to draw a vertical line to the following items:

1. F 1: points to the DAW button switch.
2. G 1: points to the Keyboard Split button switch.
3. A 1: points to the Keyboard Dual button switch.
4. G sharp 1: points to the Studio Set buttons switch.
5. B 1: points to the Transpose button switch.
6. C 2: points to the Octave Down button switch.
7. D 2: points to the Octave Up button switch.
8. F sharp 2: points to the DRUMS / PERCUSSION button switch.
9. G sharp 2: points to the PIANO / E PIANO button switch.
10. A 2: points to the KEYBOARD / ORGAN button switch.
11. B 2: points to the BASS / SYNTH button switch.
12. C 3: points to the GUITAR / PLUCKED button switch.
13. D 3: points to the STRINGS / ORCHESTRA button switch.
14. D sharp 3: points to the BRASS / WIND button switch.
15. F sharp 3: points to the SYNTH / PAD button switch.
16. G sharp 3: points to the FX / OTHER button switch.
17. B flat 3: points to the SHIFT button switch.
18. C sharp 4: points to the ENTER button switch.
19. F 4: points to the TAP tempo button switch.
20. A 4: points to the STOP button switch of the Sequencer / Player.
21. B 4: points to the PLAY button switch of the Sequencer / Player.
22. C 5: points to the RECORD button switch of the Sequencer.
23. E 5: points to the HOLD of the Sample Pads.
24. F sharp 5: points to SAMPLE PAD ONE.
25. G sharp 5: points to SAMPLE PAD TWO.
26. A sharp 5: points to SAMPLE PAD THREE.
27. C 6: points to SAMPLE PAD FOUR.
28. D 1: (late edit): points to the Volume Knob.
I hope this helps you as much as it's helped me, and will be back with more information and possibly a couple of recordings that will guide you on how to use your FA... I know it sounds daunting right now, but I think with a bit of ease you'll be on your merry way, and I hope I will as well.

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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4 (edited by musicalman 2017-10-08 17:03:27)

@Brad and Speeder:

brad wrote:

I've not used that keyboard but would recommend that if you have the ability to send it back and get your money back if nothing happens in a sirtain amount of days that you do so. If things aren't working as they're meant to, I always try to send stuff back to get a refund.

While this is good advice, I highly doubt this is an issue of things not working as expected. I will, however, go off topic for a second and say that the FA is notorious for having issues with the joystick. I've heard this can be the case with other Roland products, as a friend of mine had an old Roland keyboard which had the same issue my FA does. With mine, and a few other people I've spoken to, the pitch bending doesn't go down all the way, and sometimes resets to a point slightly higher than normal, leaving everything sharp. Nothing seems physically wrong with the joystick when moving or feeling it, but the pitch bend messages it sends are broken (I've checked in a sequencer). My best guess is that something is screwed up internally and that it would need replacing. I've read about some DIY users trying to fix it and having little success, so if it happens you'd likely need to get it serviced. Mine started doing it after a few months, others have had more luck, and many others have never had the issue in the 5 years they've had their units. For the record I've had Yamaha keyboards, some lasting 20 years, and have not heard a single complaint from myself or others about parts failing with normal use. I do think their keys wear out a lot faster than Roland's. They still work but are not as pleasant to play. So you can't have your cake and eat it too I suppose. All you can do is keep an eye on your unit. Maybe this joystick issue is a thing of the past, but I just wanted to throw this out there because I don't really know how prevalent it still is.

Now to answer Speeder's questions.

speeder wrote:

Firstly, when trying to control the keyboard via qws, I get FA06 ctrl, FA06 daw ctrl, and FA06. no matter what port I use, the sound I get sounds doubled strangely.

In QWS, go into options menu, then ports. In there, you will see a midi devices list. Find the midi in devices option, which you should be focused on when you enter the dialog. Down arrow to the FA06 ctrl and FA06 daw ctrl ports. Tab to the "use this port" check box and uncheck it. You have to do this to both ports individually. Leave the plain FA06 port alone; that is the one you need open. Then go back to the midi devices list, and find the midi out devices section which should contain the same three FA06 ports as the midi in section did. The two above ports I mentioned have to be disabled in outputs too, the plane FA06 port should also be left alone. Now hit OK, and when you create a track, the FA06 port should be the only port in the list and it shouldn't produce any doubled sounds when you play midi files. You will, however, need to press the daw mode button on the FA06 to turn its local sound off, otherwise the keyboard will produce doubled sounds when you play it in a sequencer. One copy will be its own sound and the other will be triggered by the sequencer. It's been a long time since I've used the FA, but Nocturnus's description should help you find the Daw mode button. The button you are looking for is on the left side, and it is pretty separate from the others. When you press it, it will disable the keyboard's internal sound. If it's not hooked up to a sequencer you won't hear anything. If it is, it will play sounds as instructed by QWS, and you won't have doubling effects.

Also, reaper won't use the in fa06 and out fa06 audio devices with wasapi.

I've had bad experiences with Wsapi on my native sound card, probably because I don't know what I'm doing. Lol. I don't know how well the FA works with it. If it doesn't work, you can use Wave Out with a low buffer length, which is your next best option. I have my Wave OUt buffers on 48 and 32 respectively, and sometimes I can go a bit lower.
The FA also has an Asio driver which would've come with the midi driver you installed. I'm not sure if you've looked into it. It doesn't seem to offer any inputs, but you can play vsts and other things through its outputs. The performance is pretty good, I've gotten the latency down to a pretty low level. I've found this really useful for midi sequencing.

Adding insult to the injury of not knowing how to use the thing, it seems to not be giving me access to all the patches in a given category, I only get about the first 6 patches in acoustic basses. Can someone please give me some pointers?

When you first boot up the FA, you only get a subset of the sounds available to you from the front panel. There is something in the menus that lets you scroll through all sounds, but I can't remember how to get there. Not to mention, the FA's operating system was recently updated, and if this unit is new, you probably got the update right off. If your unit comes up with a piano when you boot it up, it most likely got the update. If it has a strange tinkly pad sound when you boot it up, then you haven't updated. You can update it if you want, but we won't go into that now, and I haven't updated mine yet since I rarely use it. The good news is that if you use a sequencer like QWS, you don't have to mess with the menus, as a sequencer can access all the patches on the unit. The menu thing is only for browsing patches on the unit itself, it does not indicate which patches you can use on a sequencer. There is an instrument list available for the FA on the QWS web site, however it's kind of a pain since if you want to use expansions, you have to merge the expansion list with the FA list to get access to all the sounds. I've made a consolidated FA instrument list that covers all the expansions besidesEXP11 (that only came out recently and I haven't updated my list). Because the list is so huge, it does take a while to load, but it's pretty convenient for browsing purposes, and I've also added hotkeys like less-than (<) to browse between stock FA categories, and greater-than (>) to browse expansions.
Let me know if any of this information is helpful!

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Thanks a lot. Got the thing working.
My next questions are, from where and by what process do I install expansion packs onto the unit. Also, can you send me your consolidated instrument list?


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