How to Use the Roland XP-30 MIDI Controller

Written by jessemcbee
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How to Use the Roland XP-30 MIDI Controller
The Roland XP-30 is a user-friendly synthesizer offering numerous features at a competitive price. (synthesizer image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

The Roland XP-30 is a 64-voice synthesizer that is MIDI capable. This instrument is Roland's offering for a synthesizer with a full range of capabilities for the performing musicians in an accessible price range. The XP-30 has touch-sensitive keys, along with 1,534 total programmed patches, 64 megabytes of memory to program custom sounds, built-in effects such as reverb and chorus, four sliders and two expansion board slots so the user can install more sounds and effects. Once familiar with the workings of the Roland XP-30, the user will have access to countless sounds.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Headphones
  • Speakers or an amplifier

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  1. 1

    Connect headphones, an amp or speakers to the Roland XP-30, connect the power cable to an outlet and make sure all pedals and MIDI cables are connected to the device.

  2. 2

    Turn on the power using the switch on the back of the XP-30 and the amp if one is being used. Then adjust the volume to the desired level.

  3. 3

    Play the default patches by pressing the "Patch" key and pressing the keyboard keys to hear the sounds. Change the patch by using the "Value" dial or pressing the "Inc" and "Dec" keys. Change the patch group by pressing "Shift" and numbers 1-6.

  4. 4

    Utilise the Wave Expansion Patches by pressing "Patch," then keys "Exp-A" through "Exp-C." Toggle the patches by using the "Value" dial or pressing keys "Inc" and "Dec."

  5. 5

    Familiarise yourself with the physical functions offered on the keyboard. These include Velocity, which is the response of the keyboard dictated by the pressure placed on the key; Pitch Bend/Modulation, which bends the pitch when moved left or right and creates vibrato when moved away from the user; and the Sliders, which are enabled by pressing the "Controller" key; solo allows you to play single notes and is enabled by pressing the "Solo" key.

  6. 6

    Play the percussion sounds on the XP-30 by pressing the "Rhythm" key, then pressing the keyboard keys to hear the sounds. Use different sets of percussion sounds by turning the "Value" dial or the "Inc" and "Dec" keys.

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