5 Reasons for Using the FR-7x V-Accordion at Your Next Gig
What Alicia Baker Loves About Her FR-7x
The FR-7x V-Accordion is a true band-in-a-box. Its ability to produce both accordion and orchestra sounds allows players to create endless instrumental combinations all by themselves. In addition to its many sounds, the FR-7x has features that allow you to program your sets, record music, jam with others, transport sounds, and more. Professional accordionist Alicia Baker explains her top five reasons for gigging with the FR-7x V-Accordion.
FR-7x Promotion: Summertime Savings
Reason Five: Realistic Touch
- With Roland’s touch and velocity-sensitivity, you can play different instruments accurately and musically.
- Wind instruments respond to the bellows. Just like an acoustic accordion, pulling harder on the bellows will create a crescendo and result in a louder dynamic. This applies to all of the other wind instruments, including the orchestral sounds like saxophone and clarinet.
- Percussion instruments respond to the touch of the keys. Hitting the keys with a stronger force (or a “faster velocity”) will result in a louder sound. Examples: Acoustic piano, drums, acoustic bass and vibes.
Reason Four: Electronic Benefit
Unlike an acoustic accordion, the V-Accordions have no acoustic reeds that can become destroyed or damaged by extreme temperature conditions. No need to worry about your reeds melting and getting warped in the heat, nor your bellows freezing up in the cold.
Related: Enter the 2013 Roland V-Accordion Festival
Reason Three: FR-7x Handy USB Port
The USB port is conveniently located behind the chest pad, which provides major benefits. Here are my favorite:
- Sound programming — After assigning your sounds to a register, save them with the “write” button function. Once you’ve saved your sets, export them onto a USB stick. You can then import the sets into any FR-7x accordion. This comes in handy in case you can’t take your FR-7x with you.
- Recording — Plug a USB stick into the port, press record from the USB menu, and create a high-quality recording of your own playing instantly.
- Practice to your songs — Jam along to your favorite music by plugging in your USB stick with MP3 files. This is a simple way of storing and playing backing tracks for gigs or to practice.
Reason Two: Drums
The FR-7x comes equipped with a fully programmed drum set as well as the option to customize drum sounds and attach them to the left hand. This function is not a backing track nor is it a drum machine. YOU, the player, control the drums by hitting either a bass button or a bass chord button.
- The FR-7x contains 128 drum sounds!
- Set 36 out-of-the-box comes pre-programmed with various styles of music and a matching drum sound to accompany.
- Within the bass edit menu, you can easily assign individual drum sounds to both the bass buttons and the bass chord buttons. This allows for complete customization.
Reason One: The FR-7x Sounds
I saved the best and most obvious reason for gigging with the FR-7x for last – the sounds! There are 80 accordion sets, all offering different types of acoustic accordion sounds, and there are 49 orchestral sounds that allow you to sound like numerous other instruments. Together, they add up to hundreds of sounds. You can blend accordion with orchestral sounds easily, creating fun combinations. This instrument truly is a band-in-a-box, or should I say squeeze box.
There you have it – my top five reasons for gigging with the FR-7x V-Accordion. Enjoy creating your own band-in-a-box combination!
Did I miss anything? Please share your thoughts with me below. I leave you with this short video explaining how to combine two instruments on the FR-7x.
May 7, 2014 @ 2:53 pm
I’m very impressed with your playing.
I have an FR 7-x and can’t get a good bellow shake out of it, though I have no trouble on my acoustic.
Have you been able to find a setting that works for you?
Product Support [Roland]
May 8, 2014 @ 2:45 pm
Thank you very much! The FR-7X has always been challenging for me when it comes to the bellow shake technique. A lot of the reason for this is because for all other accordion playing techniques, I prefer the bellows to be on the tightest setting possible, as I feel I get the most control and expression of sound. Unfortunately, on the tightest setting, combined with my mediocre muscles, I am unable to create a good bellow shake.
So, if I’m really set on doing a bellow shake while playing the FR-7X, I set the bellows close to their lightest setting and use a lot of force. This technique varies a lot depending on the player, so it might not work the same for you. I know some great players who are much stronger than I am, and they manage a bellow shake just fine on the 7X. My advice would be to use the bellows adjuster knob on the side of the accordion to select a very light bellows pressure setting, and try the bellow shake. If you can get one on the lightest setting, then move up the pressure slowly, and use the tightest setting you can successfully produce a bellow shake on, as that will give you the best sound.
It may also help if you go into the menu and adjust the bellows curve parameter to be X-light. I’ve done that before too.
Please let me know if you have any more questions about the FR-7X. Good luck with the bellow shake! I’d love to know if you find a setting that works for you.