bonnaiga 04/15/2012

Roland BK-7m : bonnaiga's user review

« An orchestra the size of a book! »

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Arranger "rack", released in 2011, with 400 internal styles (500 from the arrangers of the previous mark, founis USB key), more than 1,000 sounds, more than 50 drum kits, four blocks effects of insertion + reverb + chorus + equalizer (per game) + compressor (per game)
The features are readily available on the website of Roland.
It can also serve as an expander (16 parts, 128-note polyphony, MIDI or USB connection), or Karaoke Midifile player (with audio input and display of lyrics on TV), DVD player / recorder MP3 (it has an entry for USB) ...
It is not possible to create new styles, but the available styles can easily be customized (functions "style cover" and "style makeup tools".
Sounds, effects, performance, and the buttons "one touch" (since version 1.6 of the OS) are also editable.
There're styles for all tastes, styles with a majority of "current" (8 beat, 16 beat, rock, dance, hip hop, funck, etc..) Contrary to suggest the demos seen on Youtube , or is meant primarily styles "retro" or "musette".
The BK7m comes with the audio / MIDI sequencer Cakewalk SONAR LE.


Usage is very simple: the functions are accessible either via a button (for real-time functions and common functions: split, octave, transpose, mute, ...), or via a menu that is scroll with the wheel and is validated by pressing. Some buttons can be used as shortcuts (via a long press) to the corresponding detailed menu, which saves time.
The use of styles in real time could not be simpler, as on most arrangers. The buttons are a good size and very readable, making it even easier to use.
The manual is very clear and complete. I have not tested the sound editing and effects, but it seems pretty simple (although the parameters are many!).
Also important, since it is a module "rack", the MIDI setup is very simple, thanks to the "connection wizard". It detects the MIDI or USB device to another, asked to select the type of device then it is (accordion, guitar, master keyboard, digital piano, DAW / sequencer, ...) and the configuration is done alone ! You can always change the settings if necessary.
In short, this device can easily be used by a beginner (read notcie anyway!), Although its many features the destined rather to an experienced user.
Damage, however, that Roland does not provide a PC editor, it might be more convenient to change the sounds and the display performance of BK7m ...


The sounds are many and varied. They may be suitable for all styles of music. In terms of quality, I situate at about the same level as the mid-range competition (PA500 Korg, Yamaha PSR S Series, ...).
Side realism, do not worry: we recognize the problem and their instruments without rendering is quite natural. The sounds are deep (including drum sounds, we recognize the experience of Roland in this area). However, the guitars seem a little behind compared to Megavoices Yamaha. But it's still perfectly fine.
Overall, I find the sound full and warm enough, more than the Yamaha arrangers. The effects are probably something: they seem more "round", "softer", less "flashy" as the PSR series S. It does not prevent the sounds and styles to be very dynamic!
Regarding the quality of styles, I'm not disappointed! Do not rely on Youtube videos or other extracts often poorly recorded and supercharged: quality and musicality are the appointment and the choice is vast in all styles of music.


I use it only for 1 week. This notice is a first draft, I will need it if after a few months of use.
I tried other arrangers (and I have had several before BK7m), one that I liked most in this price range, it was the Korg PA500. However, I already have a keyboard and I do not have enough room to take a second. Choosing an arranger rack was an obvious choice, and here we must recognize that the choice is very limited, especially in this price range (Ketron racks are much more expensive)!

The features I like most:
- Compact, light weight
- Many styles, high quality
- Many sounds, many effects, high polyphony
- Versatility: playback / recording MP3, midifile / karaoke
- Full connectivity
- Ergonomic design and very successful
- Included with SONAR LE

The features that I like least:
- New price a bit high (but interesting opportunity)
- No PC editor supplied

After a week of heavy use, I am very satisfied with my purchase and I will ever be the same choice again (anyway, there is no other arranger rack at this price on the market, so c is quickly seen).