Roland’s goal has always been focused on creating a good playing experience. They are always up for innovation and detail in their instruments and are mostly highlighted for their ‘design’ and ‘sound’.
Apart from this, they also have a huge range of instruments like the stage pianos, the upright pianos, portable ones and so on.
One of the digital piano from Roland that lives up to the expectation is Roland GP 609 Digital Piano.
It has a really beautiful piano sound but what's equally important is the keyboard feel as well that it provides being a digital piano.
However, the Roland GP 609 is known for the following features too:
Design & Structure
I would like to draw your attention to the styling of the GP 609. Roland have actually decided to go a little away from what other manufacturers have done.
However, this particular instrument is actually just under 5 foot which is about 150 centimeters from the front to the very back of the instrument and that's actually very similar to the smallest grand pianos that you'll find on the market nowadays.
Here, I'm talking about acoustic grands. So, if you're looking for an instrument that looks like a grand piano and has the presence in your room of a grand piano, this is the one for you.
The GP 609 uses Roland's pH 850, hybrid keyboard action and what that means is, the keys are actually made of a combination of both natural wood and synthetic materials as well.
So, you've got the durability of the synthetic materials and the plastic and that's in the core of the key, but on the outside of the key you actually have wood which gives you the feel of a traditional piano keyboard.
This is the way, you've got the best of both worlds and I must say that it does feel really very nice to play.
If I get to the piano sound in a bit more detail, the concert grand piano sound has a very different style to it and has a really powerful sound.
Meanwhile, the sound is a particularly good piano sound, and it's good for both delicate quiet passages and a more powerful piece too.
Graded Hammer Action
The Roland FP 603 has a total number of 88 Graded Hammer Action keys.
Although, when we talk about the Graded Hammer Action it means two different things. First, it's graded in terms of flow from bottom to the top, and second, it's more representational with the weight of the keys.
The meaning of it is that the weight of the keys at the bottom feels a bit heavier and the weight of the keys at the top feels slightly lighter.
However, it's not an actual hammer on the back of the keys as it is in an acoustic piano but, they are kind of using that thought with an actual hammer to create the digital sound, so it has more a lot more of a realistic sound, and it gives you more realistic bounce back on the keys.
In addition to the concert piano sounds, there's a selection of different piano sounds in here. When you move on to the Ballad piano sound then it is a slightly mellow a piano sound and what you can do here is creating a layer for a better impact.
So, for example, I layer symphonic strings so that I get the sound of the orchestra behind while playing a nice ballad.You've also got things like metronome and recording features and alternative sounds.
But from an instrument that looks like a grand piano, the GP 609 has been made especially for you.
Apart from this, I’ll talk about the other two most prominent piano sounds. First is the mellow piano sound which is particularly nice for classical music and in contrast to the mellow piano sound there's a really nice bright piano sound.
So, if you're into your rhythm and blues or your rock and roll or your boogie playing then the bright piano is the ideal piano for that style of music.
The Roland GP 609 offers you a total of 384 poly phonies and 319 tones in the piano.
Polyphony refers to the number of separate tones that the instrument can simultaneously produce.
If you have an instrument that has a polyphony of 1, that means it is a digital piano that can produce only one sound at once. As soon as you press two keys, it selects between the two and just plays one. This means it cannot play two sounds at the same time.
Polyphony is extremely important when you're purchasing a keyboard. It is a decision that is crucial and has to be taken into consideration.
For many years now Roland has been at the forefront of technology in their pianos and if you have an iPad you will see that it connects to the GP 609 via Bluetooth, so it's completely wireless, and it communicates with the GP 609, and it unlocks additional features.
With Roland GP 609, you get to access 3 different type of modes in your digital piano.
With the layer mode, you can play two different songs simultaneously and can layer one instrument over the other to create different effects.
However, you can try to experience and experiment with some unique sound by utilizing more than 300 inbuilt tones.
The split mode of the piano will divide your piano into two sections. The left side of the keys will have a bass sound, and the right side of the keys will be key-based sound.
So, if you are thinking to perform on a large scale, you should practice using the split mode.
The Duet mode twins your piano into two equal divisions. Each part of the piano has a similar Octave range.
By using the duet mode, two people can play the piano at the same time. For an instance, think if you want to learn piano by keeping your teacher aside. In such a case, duet mode will be useful to you.
All these amazing three features together offers you to feel the luxury of playing a professional piano with dynamic features.
Roland GP 609 offers the user with stereo miniature phone type input Jack and ¼ -inch phone type output jack.
Apart from this, you get USB type B for Computer port and USB type A for USB memory Port.
Roland GP 609 offers you a smart Bluetooth technology, and with the help of this Bluetooth technology you can connect your piano with your smartphone or Tablet wirelessly.
However, this smart Bluetooth technology includes Bluetooth Ver 3.0 that supports SCMS-T content protection, MIDI, and Bluetooth Ver 4.0.
Apart from this, you can control playing your favourite song, or playlist through SUBSET
It also allows you to connect with the educational apps of Roland by doing so, you can learn to play piano.
If you want to practice playing your piano without any disturbance and distractions from the outer source of the sound, then you can use headphones for a better experience.
The GP 609 offers you a good quality headphone that will offer a clear sound quality.
Apart from this, Roland uses Ambience to optimizing the audio to make it feel more dynamic.
However, you can use either ¼ inch or ⅛ inch mini-jack input to plug in your headphones inside the piano.
The GP 609 features a Trip-pedal with a Progressive Damper Action mechanism.
With the Progressive Damper Action mechanism, you can feel the luxury of playing an acoustic piano.
Apart from this, the pedals are the essential 3 pedals named Damper Pedal, Soft Pedal, and Sostenus Pedal used in playing the piano.
Meanwhile, the manufacturer has built the pedals in such a way that with the soft-light touch, you can even perform half-pedaling more accurately.
Recording & Storage
With the recording and storage feature of Roland GP 609 you don't have to worry about losing your compositions and music files.
It allows you to store approximately 70,000 notes in the inbuilt file with Standard MIDI Files and Audio files that requires a USB Flash Memory.
The GP 609 has a total of 4 speakers in the piano to offer to enrich sound texture to the ears.
A 25 cm Cabinet speaker with the Speaker box, 16 cm cabinet speaker with 2 speaker boxes, spatial speaker of 16 cm with two speaker boxes, and at last Near-field speakers of 5 cm with 2 speaker boxes.
App and User Interface
If you use Roland's piano partner 2 apps which I had downloaded previously, it gives you access to all the features that are in the piano anyway, and it acts as a touch screen for the piano.
So if I just place it on the music desk, I can use it as a remote controller for the piano which means that you will get access to all the functions that you would usually get to through the piano zone, menu system or the little screen here.
But through your user interface of the iPad it makes it a bit easier, and more intuitive.
It also provides the user interface on the front of the GP 609.
Although, you have a button for most functions, but we're all used to touchscreens nowadays and having a nice large touchscreen there does make getting to the things you use all the time very quick to do so as well.
As being a great user interface for the GP 609, the Roland piano partner 2 apps also gives you access to features which you won't find on the control panel of the piano.
So, for instance there are 21 drums, rhythms built into the piano partner to apps and each one has two variations.
Apart from this, it will also give you an automatic band backing, so you get like a bass player and guitarists and brass players and things which will come in and follow what you're doing on the keyboard, or you can just use it as a basic drum machine as well.
Other Tuition Features
Along with the drum rhythms, you've got tuition features built into the app as well.
For youngsters, the flashcards is great because it's a great way of helping with musical knowledge and musical theory, so it gives you a score, and it will ask you questions based on some cards which it shows you on the screen, and it's just good fun and makes the learning of the piano a bit more engaging for youngsters.
What's also very good is that you have a piano that has lots and lots of different tunes and songs and some of them are for you to play along with some exercises.
For instance, it gives you backing tracks to play your scales along with it.
So rather than just playing your scales normally with no backing, the GP 609 when used with the app will give you backing tracks to play along with.
One of my favorite features of the piano partner to app is the fact that you can bring up the musical score for a lot of the tunes which are built into the piano, so the operating system on the iPad gives you access to control lots of different tunes which have built into the piano.
You can turn off the right hand, you can turn off the left hand and play along with them but what I really like is that it brings the score up on a screen.
Roland calls it the Digi score, and it first featured in some of their pianos a long time ago but just on the screen of the piano they've now brought this into the app as well.
And you can also follow the music on the screen that's built into the piano, and you can add more songs to via a USB stick. So, if you download songs from the internet you can play along with those as well.
My Experience with The Roland GP 609
Reasons To Buy
Reasons To Avoid
All in one, the Roland piano part 2 app actually unlocks lots of new features and I think it's well worth investing in a tablet, computer if you haven't got one to go with your new piano because
Roland have made it so worthwhile having access to this app.
And of course, there are lots and lots of other apps available by third parties and something that I like to do is actually to just go onto a video site such as YouTube and you can find lots of things to play along with.
That’s why I feel it's well worth investing in a tablet to go with your new role in digital piano.
So, these are my highlights and takeaways from the GP 609.
This piano does have a lot to offer, but I just wanted to focus on the most important part which is of course the sound of the piano, the feel of the keys and also the additional features that you can get to when you use the Roland piano partner to app.
Like I've said already it's well worth purchasing an instrument like this because of the variety in choices and useful features provided.
There is also a rich, complex tone to the GP 609 which is one of my favorite part.
Overall, it’s a great choice for mastering your performance and having a great experience while exploring each and every aspect.
Digital Pianos / Keyboards
So that’s all from our end hope this Roland GP 609 review helped you guys to make an informed decision.
Keep Playing and Spread Love.