by Robin Vincent | 4,6 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes
Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50  ·  Source: Roland

Roland FP-E50

 ·  Source: Roland

Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50  ·  Source: Roland

Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50  ·  Source: Roland

Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50  ·  Source: Roland

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Roland brings the enormity of the ZEN-Core sound engine, vocal effects, auto accompaniment and recording to the FP series of portable digital pianos in the FP-E50.

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FP-E50

With the FP-E50 Roland is blurring some lines between digital piano and keyboard workstation. You have the home-style digital piano looks with the clean lines, music stand and minimalist controls, but you also have the astonishingly deep ZEN-Core sound engine, vocal effects and audio recording built in. Roland has also squeezed in an entire band with intelligent auto-accompaniment that you don’t normally see in the digital piano range.

I feel these additions are designed to augment the digital piano experience rather than turn it into a different product. That puts a lot of power into the hands of the home keyboard user without overcomplicating it or making it too snazzy.

Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50

Digital Piano

The main piano sound comes from Roland’s SuperNATURAL piano with up to 256 notes of polyphony. You get access to interesting things like string, damper, key-off and cabinet resonance, along with tuning and character editing.  The keyboard has 88 keys (PHA-4) that come with “Escapement and Ivory Feel”. Stereo 12cm speakers are built in with 11w of power on each side. There are inputs for two pedals, stereo audio and a microphone input that we’ll come to in a minute. Audio and MIDI are supported over both USB and Bluetooth.

Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50

The intelligent auto-accompaniment is new to the FP series and features nearly 200 musical styles. It’s familiar home-keyboard stuff with the left hand providing the chord structure for the band to play along to. This can be multiple or single-fingered with full-chord detection. The backing can also follow the volume and energy you inject into your playing, while a Chord Sequencer provides colourful progressions for improvisation and melody development.

Snazzy features

Including the ZEN-Core engine massively expands the potential of this digital piano. It takes it from a handful of tones to 38 pianos, 34 electric pianos, 36 strings, 184 organs and pads and 726 synth and “other” sounds. These are completely expandable with EXZ Wave Expansions and SDZ Sound Packs. The FP-E50 will also be able to access the new Z-Style packs that expand the accompaniment library. Piano and ZEN-Core tones can be freely layered and split across the keyboard.

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With the mic input, players can now sing along to their playing through a variety of onboard vocal effects. It looks like they’ve taken something like the Aria E-4 Voice Tweaker to give you auto-harmony, fun voice transformations, vocoder, ambience, compressor and noise suppressor effects.

Roland FP-E50

Roland FP-E50

The FP-E50 has many more controls than you’d find on the rest of the FP series. You’ve got a nice big display and large friendly buttons to access the things you need. But you won’t find deep access to the ZEN-Core engine; this is a piano for playing rather than for creating or sculpting sounds. It does have MIDI and audio support over USB or Bluetooth. You can use it as the front end to your computer studio or stream music back through the speakers.

This is quite a revolutionary change in the FP series of pianos and could be perfect for people looking for something that crosses into a wider variety of sounds and possibilities without losing the sense of being a high-quality piano.

The Roland FP-E50 is available now for €999.99

Image Sources:
  • Roland FP-E50: Roland
  • Roland FP-E50: Roland
  • Roland FP-E50: Roland
  • Roland FP-E50: Roland
Roland FP-E50

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5 responses to “Roland FP-E50: Digital piano with ZEN-Core, vocal effects and more”

    Mack Andrews says:
    0

    I need more information on the EP 550. A local price would be good in Alabama and is it available.

      Alan Clark says:
      0

      This site is owned by Thomann who are in Germany, so I doubt they’re very bothered about the US.

        Robin Vincent says:
        0

        We have a very large US readership who we value very much. We don’t have a lot of local Alabama knowledge though, so maybe google is your friend in this instance.

    Phil Phantom says:
    0

    For a thousand bucks I would expect real MIDI connectivity.

    Diki Ross says:
    0

    If the auto accompaniment feature is of any interest, I suggest you take a closer look and a tryout before you buy. If you come from Roland’s arrangers (or any other pro priced arrangers) you may find the number of accompaniment Parts and things like number of Intros, Variations and Endings far short in comparison.

    And you might consider the quite capable (but no ZEN-Core stuff) Yamaha DGX670 worth a look if the accompaniment is a focus…

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