Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

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Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Saul »

I have been thinking about getting the Roland GO:KEYS 3 which I think at the UK price of £345 or thereabouts looks like a pretty good deal. But then I started thinking, I already have a controller keyboard. Would it not be better value for money to go with the Roland Cloud Core membership at just $30 per year?

Roland Cloud Core Includes:

• ZENOLOGY Software Synthesizer (upgraded from Lite version)
• All ZEN-Core Sound Packs for ZENOLOGY
• ZENOLOGY FX Software Effects
• Full functionality for the following apps: Zenbeats, Zentracker, Beat Sync Maker, 4XCAMERA, and 4XCamera Maker

So you get the full version of Zenology which includes:
  • ZEN-Core Synthesis System plug-in for Mac and Windows
  • Over 4000 tones and 200 drum kits, easily expandable to over 10,000 total selections
  • Compatible with Sound Packs and Wave Expansions available on Roland Cloud
  • Advanced tone browser to explore sounds, tag favorites, and create custom banks
  • Powerful synth architecture with up to four partials per tone, each with flexible oscillator, filter, amplifier, dual LFOs, and equalizer
  • Layer multiple synthesis types, including advanced virtual analog and modern PCM
  • Four oscillators with nine virtual analog waveforms, Supersaw, noise, PCM, and PCM SYNC
  • Includes 1840 PCM waveforms, easily expandable to over 7000
  • Ten filter types, including JUPITER and other iconic models
  • Eleven LFO shapes, including tempo-synced Step LFOs with 37 curves per step
  • Over 90 lush Roland effects, including pristine reverbs, JUNO-106 and CE-1 choruses, SDD-320 Dimension D, and DJ-FX Looper
  • Modern resizable user interface for smooth workflow in any production environment
  • Edit and share sounds between ZENOLOGY and ZEN-Core hardware like FANTOM, JUPITER-X, JUNO-X, RD-88, MC-101, MC-707, and others
Of course, you lose the portability of the GO:KEYS 3 hardware but, if you already have a keyboard or controller and were considering the GO:KEYS 3 or even the GO:KEYS 5 AND you didn't need to play anywhere but your home studio. Would it not make a lot more sense, and save you a lot of money to sign up for the Roland Cloud Core deal?
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by sonic2000gr »

I have a Roland cloud pro subscription, I got it with WC-1 dongle which I bought so I could add models to GAIA2. This stuff works exactly as advertised (and BTW it is usable with GO:KEYS 3 and 5 as well). Bear in mind a subscription can easily add up to exceed the price of a modest instrument, esp. since you might be tempted to upgrade to a higher tier.

Regarding Roland Cloud vs GO:KEYS I think the question is more general and difficult to answer:

- Hardware keyboard/synth or Controller and VST/Cloud solution?

I am tempted to say the answer is both. While my PC is on 24/365, there are times that I really want to break out of the screen. Any kind of autonomous keyboard or synth does a great job for that. There is something about hardware instruments in general that make the interaction a lot more realistic for me. But let's say all this doesn't bother you. So what is the additional stuff you're getting from a GO:KEYS?

- Integrated sound system - may or may not be important, I guess not.
- Arranger features, with mostly modern stuff (I would love to try these)
- Hardware controls, immediate access (though not really synthesizer features)
- Roland cloud integration via WC-1 (so in fact, best of both worlds)

From all the above for me only the arranger part would be important: If I had a need for a cheap but capable arranger I would immediately get GO:KEYS 5. It's a no brainer. Everything else I can do with either Roland cloud alone or with any of my other keyboards.
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Saul Ukraine
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Saul »

The WC-1 is an interesting idea but that adds another £85 to the price. So that makes the Go Keys 3 £420.00 but of course, it does give you 12 months Roland Cloud Pro subscription and that would normally cost around £80.00

However, the Roland Cloud Core subscription is $30/£23.99 per year and gives you all of the sounds plus more that are in the Go Keys 3 and 5.

The arranger function is not something I have ever had any interest in but I can see it would be an attractive proposition to many. Especially as this is a modern take on styles, not the cheesy lift music that Yamaha tends to put in their PSR-E range.

There is definitely something to be said for having a hardware instrument that can be played without a computer. I spent many happy hours sitting on the sofa with the Yamaha reface CP :) And I often used the Casio PX-S1000 not connected to anything.

I will probably make do with the Roland Cloud Core and my controller for now and see how that goes.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by davlippo7 »

I didn't like the Roland Fantom keys so I'm wondering how good are these keys for $350?

Is it multitimbral? I didn't see that in the spec list directly. CK can play 3 at once but it's a lot more expensive & probably more controls. One voice is pretty boring so I'd assume it can do more than one.

SeqTrak goes better with the YC73 top notch keys.

I had the Fantom but sold it and don't really miss it.

It appears this is an arranger with styles but I have the PA5x.

I don't want to purchase a subscription either.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Saul »

It is multitimbral.

I doubt the keys are going to be anything to get excited about, not at this price point. If you didn't like the Fantom I doubt very much you would want the Go Keys 3 or 5.

I think someone did a comparison between the CK and the Go Keys 3 or 5 but it was only pianos. I am sure there will be more vids coming from Andertons in the not too distant future.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Fleer »

Ordered the 5.
We’ll see.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by sonic2000gr »

Fleer wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 2:02 am Ordered the 5.
We’ll see.
Nice, we would be mostly interested to get a review.
From YT and since it's using Zencore, I expect the sound to be pretty good.
But I would be very interested in a review of the built in rhythms and arrangements and keybed.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Saul »

From what I have heard so far the GO:KEYS 3 & 5 sound great. Better than anything else at this price point by quite some margin. But then having Zencore at it's heart, that is not so surprising.

What I am a little puzzled by is the very low key announcement from Roland. I didn't even know these keyboards existed until two weeks after they were released! And even then, Andertons had only put out their video one day before I got the news. It seems odd because this is actually quite a game-changer in keyboards in this, I suppose we would call "entry level" but in reality it is a base version of the Fantom.

The integration of Roland Cloud is huge and dwarfs anything Yamaha can offer in their PSR-E range.

I would be tempted but many of the reasons for buying a hardware keyboard like this do not apply to me. I don't play anywhere except in front of my computer. I don't need battery power to go mobile. I don't need built in styles and I prefer my large 35 inch monitor to the small postage stamp size display that exists on most keyboards these days. Easy to talk myself out of buying something 😂

I will hang back and see what Fleer thinks of it. We may also see more videos out there in the next week or so.

Yamaha has yet to announce the PSR-E483. I do hope it is something more than an incremental updated on the E473.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by sonic2000gr »

Saul wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 10:06 am What I am a little puzzled by is the very low key announcement from Roland. I didn't even know these keyboards existed until two weeks after they were released! And even then, Andertons had only put out their video one day before I got the news. It seems odd because this is actually quite a game-changer in keyboards in this, I suppose we would call "entry level" but in reality it is a base version of the Fantom.

The integration of Roland Cloud is huge and dwarfs anything Yamaha can offer in their PSR-E range.
I am subscribed to the Roland YT channel so I got the news the very first day. I also immediately checked Thomann for pricing and availability. This all seemed to good to be true. But then again as you say Roland downplayed this widely. They based their advertising campaign on beginners / self learners, interested in modern stuff (a demographic certainly not covered by PSR-E!). These keyboards could easily address a much wider audience IMO. I believe they don't really expect too much, as people know Roland mostly for their synth stuff rather than arrangers, an area where they have mostly left Yamaha dominate. I would say this is a test on their part: if this is met with any success, they will come back with bigger/better options.
Yamaha has yet to announce the PSR-E483. I do hope it is something more than an incremental updated on the E473.
Not holding my breath...
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by davlippo7 »

If it's as good as advertised for almost free I pose the same question I did with the SeqTrak Yamaha released.

Why shoot yourself in the foot and undermine your high end gear and make available very affordable offerings that sound as good as a Fantom etc.?

At least the SeqTrak doesn't have real keys. There has to be a logical catch to risk sales to your main line gear. OR we're getting ripped off on the main line gear that is realistically only worth half of what they are charging us. Something doesn't add up so where's any profit to be made?

IF profit is in the $350 price and the dealer gets a cut this this was made for what $175 and then you have to box and ship it too. Plus it has keys & speakers?

Having your cake and eating it too always raises a red flag. I love the SeqTrak adds 3 voices for cheap to my YC73.

I might buy the Go Key if it didn't have keys to use it as a module. We don't need more poor keys which must be pretty poor. The speakers also have to be pretty sad considering the price.

The pro line gear must really be way overpriced because we're now getting high quality sound for almost free from these leading manufacturers.

One possibility is that it's disposable gear not expected to last very long.

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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Saul »

I would imagine it is a bit like the inkjet printer sales model. Sell the hardware relatively cheap and make profit on the addons, which in this case would be sound packs and/or subscriptions. Sound packs are a modest $4.99 each.

For Roland it is the gift that keeps on giving. GO:KEYS 3 and 5 owners can continually reinvent this keyboard to completely suit their own needs. That makes for a really good, forward thinking marketing strategy on Roland's part.

The manufacturing cost would be a lot less than $175.00. That would be the price a retailer would normally buy at from the manufacturer.

However that doesn't necessarily mean the product itself is cheap in quality terms. Manufacturing costs, parts etc are greatly reduced by volume buying and/or Roland producing the parts themselves.

It will be very interesting to see how this develops over the coming weeks and months. I do think Roland has a winner on their hands with this one.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by davlippo7 »

The part that is smarter than Yamaha is what one commenter posted that Yamaha only offers chord ID & progression on ultra high end models.

This has styles and chords and shows them to you and so you can actually learn on it for almost nothing.

You can learn to program drums on SeqTrak but it's not a 61 key arranger like this is or can teach you to play chord progressions, etc.

If I'm a kid and only have $400 I'm going to get this instead of a SeqTrak.

However I only want the module and voices so I actually prefer the SeqTrak. I don't want keys.

It seems not to have actual MIDI DIN and my USB MIDI failed (times out or something) after extended use on either my YC or the SeqTrak so I hope the USB MIDI doesn't fail on this one since there's no other option.

If it's reliable one could attach the SeqTrak to the GO KEYS and do about anything I guess and never need to buy a flagship synth having the best of both Roland and Yamaha for pennies. I'm not sure how smart that is....still
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by sonic2000gr »

davlippo7 wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 10:31 pm If it's as good as advertised for almost free I pose the same question I did with the SeqTrak Yamaha released.

Why shoot yourself in the foot and undermine your high end gear and make available very affordable offerings that sound as good as a Fantom etc.?
For starters, the keyboard has a synth engine in it, but it's not a synth per se.
You can't go on sculpting sounds on it, you either like the presets or not (or you pay for more - cloud stuff).
But of course with Zencore there is lot to like. And many people just buy expensive synths and hardly ever make a patch from scratch, mostly touch up presets. Making a patch from scratch on a massive synth (Montage, MODX, Fantom) is a big undertaking and takes time from actually playing the instrument (for 5 or more octaves are inviting to play rather than twiddle the knobs).
The pro line gear must really be way overpriced because we're now getting high quality sound for almost free from these leading manufacturers.
In the end of the day the actual synthesis comes from a few chips inside. After you've sold enough expensive units to cover R&D and make some considerable profit, these cost next to nothing to manufacture. You can easily disrupt the market (and get ahead of the competition) by offering something that sounds as good as your flagship, taking care to cut features where needed so you won't hurt your other sales.
Read: cheap keybed, plasticky construction, missing synth features and so on.
One possibility is that it's disposable gear not expected to last very long.
It will definitely be built down to a price, no doubt. I don't expect them to actually fail though. Yamaha's cheap PSR, PSR-E, PSS run for years and years without trouble. Sure, you might not want to bump it around but this is not what this keyboard is for. Carry it along in a suitable bag and play with your friends. An easy to move beginners keyboard to have a good time. The amateur's version of MODX if you will.
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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by sonic2000gr »

We have to admit, at the price it's really a steal:

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Re: Roland GO:KEYS 3 vs Controller with Roland Cloud?

Unread post by Fleer »

My Go Keys 5 still hasn’t arrived. Not did the SeqTrak.
Just went ahead and ordered a (blue) Go Keys 3 from another store. We’ll see what gets here first ;)
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