RD300 GX Stage Piano

Today we are going to talk about the ultimate 88-key stage piano.

What’s amazing about this keyboard is that it features two complete sets of piano sounds which have been taken from the popular RD700SX keyboard.

Great Key Response for the Aspiring Pianist

I took this keyboard out for a spin and when I began to play, I quickly realized how well constructed the key response was. My fingers just loved to race across the keyboard. Roland’s PHA ll alpha ll weighted keyboard technology gets kudos for letting my fingers fall in love with the touch response.

Roland RD300GX

One of the cool features I like gives the ability to play audio directly into the RD 300 GX via a USB memory key. This feature is compatible with standard MIDI files, WAV, AIFF and MP3s. Essentially the bottom 15 keys on the RD300GX control the playback and other features of the audio file.

The piano features 128 voices of polyphony with 128 MB of wave memory.

The effects section include 6 reverb types and a 2-band digital equalizer.

Over 200 Rhythm Patters to Quickly Get the Right Groove

A glance at the rhythm section reveals that there are 200 patterns to get you in the groove. Personally I found that some of the drums patterns leave a little bit to be desired. Some just didn’t quite cut it for me.

While exploring the various ports I noticed that the RD300GX is supplied with 1/4 inch left and mono output jacks, a damper pedal, headphone jacks and DC IN jack.

3 Zone Keyboard Split

The keyboard can be split into 3 separate zones with the level slider controller. In addition the RD 300 GX features equalizer knobs, pitch bend and modulation levers and assignable switches.

The RD300GX also features 1 MB of internal memory.

Filed Under: Roland Keyboards

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  1. Nick says:

    Hi Dan. I’ve had my 300GX for a while now and have yet to figure out how to improve the sound delivered from the Line outs. The sound through the headphones sounds great but as soon as the sound is lined out through the PA, it sounds (as someone aptly commented last night) as if it’s being played through a drain pipe. Not quite the comment that one wants to hear after shelling out so much cash for this keyboard. My out dated U20 had a far superior piano sound when played through the PA. Do you have any thoughts on this?
    Thanks
    Nick

    Dan Reply:

    Nick,

    That is the first time I hear of that type of issue. It could be many things that is causing it. First of all, it could be the jack wires. Are you sure they are good? If you suspect the keyboard, then it could require repair. If it is under warranty I would return it to have it checked out.

    Dan

    GD Reply:

    Hi guys,

    The problem is that with headphones you are hearing the full stereo image. Thru a PA you are hearing the samples summed to mono. This causes a phase cancellation interference in the highs and mids. There are plenty of posts on the Bose musicians website for musicians trying to find a workaround for using stereo keyboards live. The best solution is for manufacturers to provide a selection of mono samples for live use.

    dwain c Reply:

    I have an older RD 100. Which is a great keyboard. I to have noticed when playing through my Mackie PA system the keyboard does not sound all that great as compared to playing or listening through headphones. It maybe that a PA system isn’t geared for electric piano sound. I am thinking about a keyboard amp. In some ways I prefer analog piano to electric, but again not sure on that either.

    joe Reply:

    yahoo.com hi.This is a reply regarding playing your digital piano through your p.a. In order for you to get your piano to sound like you want is that it must be played in stero with right and left outputs panned hard left and right on the mixer. It will not sound good through a mono keyboard amp or anything else you are playing it through mono. it must be stereo .REMEMBER, be sure to pan hard L-R. I hope this helps, it sure makes all the difference in the way mine sounds. I’ve never heard a digital piano sound good yet played in mono and I’ve played a bunch of name brands. joe s.

    otherPaul Reply:

    old thread still kicking! so- 2 more cents…
    if the unit is not defective, I’d say, play with unit’s onboard eq. utilize the reverb. use a good DI box and quality cables into your mixer. if possible run thru a mixer channel that has sweepable mids. a mid adjustment at the mixer could go a long way when it comes to the drain pipe sound. if the highs and/or lows are the problem area(s) could be speakers that were great for 61 keys don’t have what if takes to get it done with 88.

    i don’t think it’s uncommon to run pretty much everything mono into a mixer and have it sound fine. hard to believe that a non-defective Roland keyboard would have crappy line out sound quality from the factory. exprimenting with your PA, eq and gain sructure would be the place to start anyway I would think. for every new input device it takes some time to dial in it’s particular sweet spot.

    if it sounds great at the music store thru a keyboard amp it should sound fine through a PA. if it sounds crappy at the store don’t buy it. and it’s pretty hard to judge how anything will sound live based upon how it sounds thru good headphones. try asking a guitar player to make a purchase that way.

    wonder if Nick got it to work well for him?

    Darren Reply:

    Nick,

    I had the same with my 300GX, sounds great with the headphones on but when played through monitor speakers it sounded dull, wooley, and just generally crap. I definately recommend setting the key touch to light as some of the other guys mentioned, it makes an improvement, still not as good as i’d hoped but it helps. Mmmmm i’m thinking Kurzweil now ppffff.

    Darren

  2. Antonio Bilelo says:

    Nick/Dan

    I’ve a 300GX since last November, and never got success improving midtone sounds.
    I tried PA’s, home stereos, and even headphones. I don’t think it migth be an issue that could be solve with any kind of repair…
    I’ll keep searching the web reviews/comparisons/tests that could tell me if I’m or not wrong.

  3. Jake says:

    I have the Roland Fantom X8.. there have been owners describing similar midtone issues on the X8 and I noticed it too.. after playing around with different settings it was smoothed out by adjusting the Output Gain to 0[dB] and Master Level to 100. These settings are under the Menu/System area on the X8. After making this adjustment you will have to turn the volume knob up higher to get the same level of volume you had before but it smoothes out the midrange problem.. it sounds quite good now. I’m not sure if you have the ability to change these settings on the 300GX.. if you have trouble finding it, try contacting Roland to find out how to adjust it on the 300GX. Changing these settings made a very noticable difference. Post back when you get a chance.. I’m interested to know if this helps.

    Dan Reply:

    Thanks for posting a workaround regarding the midtones.

  4. Antonio Bilelo says:

    Jake:

    I guess that’s not possible to adjust the Output gain on the 300GX… Only master volume.
    It seems the solution, to me, is to buy the 700GX, hoping to find anyone who wants a practically new 300GX.
    Thanks for the tip!

    Jake Reply:

    Here’s a link to the 300GX manual.

    http://lib.roland.co.jp/support/en/manuals/res/1810808/RD-300GX_e2.pdf

    Page 87 seems to be describing how to change the gain level for items 01 – 04. If you can adjust those items try playing with them to get the midtones smoothed out. I’m not sure what combination works best here but “0” worked for me.

    With reference to page 35 and 36 try turninig off any type of boost.. I believe that might be similar to adjusting the output gain. Im not sure how compression changes the sound.

    Also, page 36, refers to the equalizer adjustments that may also work like the output gain control.

    Let me know how this works since I was considering a 700GX myself and I’d like to know if these settings can help smooth out some of the midrange issues. I’ve heard people describe some sort of midrange issues on several Roland keyboards and from my experience with the X8 it may just take getting to know the different settings and figuring out which settings work best.

    dwain c Reply:

    I wonder if a graphic equalizer would help.

    Jazzman42 Reply:

    Have you tried using the midboost in sound control?

    Dixie Lee Dyck Reply:

    How much have you played with the 300, and how much do you want for it? AND where are you located.

  5. Antonio Bilelo says:

    Jake… It helped but not too much. By adjusting attack and release time I got better results improving midtones… but I would seriously consider the 700GX.

    jim Covington Reply:

    Have really noticed the difference between the headphones (which have a warm balanced clarity without harshness) and the audio outs (which, with even changing the pans on the mixer to extreme Left and Right, still has harshness and some brittle tone in the mid tone range….).

    RE: your improvement of mid tones…..what settings did you settle on for the attack and release times? I use a RD700 GX.

    thanks in advance,

    Jim covington
    Big Bear lake, ca. USA

  6. Antonio Bilelo says:

    Jim…

    I’d like to help you, but I sold my 300 and bought a 700GX… Pleased with it, I still have not changed any of the factory settings.

    Regards.

  7. maggie nelson says:

    Hello, I bought the 300 gx and found the rthym section on all jazz and swing shows the wrong numbers in the screen. I checked it with my metronome and they are all at least 30% out. I tried to contact Roland to tell them but with no success. The dealer would not take it back and said they are all like that maggie.

  8. mark says:

    Ihave been seaching for answers related to the 300gx piano tones aswell. It just does not sound that good. I had and FP1 and the one piano tone that I used was far superior than the 300gx sound. I really feel that as muscians roland could have come up with something much better than this keyboard. the demo on the piano sounds really good through the PA. BUT the minute you go back to playing the main piano tone it just sounds very weak. I almost feel as though we got ripped off.
    If you go into the factory stored set sounds ie. the place where you can save sounds, you can go to factory saved setting 29 or 30. use this setting as your main sound and edit it by putting compression on it and then setting keyboard touch to light -7
    I then stored the sound plus a dual warm pad sound to warm up the piano. it really sounds way better now.

    Paul Reply:

    Mark,

    Could you please tell me how you did add the compression and set the dual warm pad sound to the board? I would highly appreciate that!

  9. Michael says:

    Hi Dan,

    I often need to switch between organ (001 Zepix) and piano (001 Superior Grand). I set the master volume at a level that is appropriate for the piano, but when I switch over to the Organ is is VERY loud in comparison. Is there a way to adjust these so that I can switch back an forth easily?

    Michael

  10. Buzz Pickens says:

    I had the first series RD 700.. didn’t really love it but it was OK.. After it was stolen, I bought the 300SX.. What I do is use a mackie 12 channell as a line mixer for my 300sx and two other synths.. Then I run it.. mono.. thru a JBL PRX350 powered main speaker.. I get a pretty decent piano sound most of the time

  11. Dennis Chandler says:

    Newer isn’t necessarily better! Remember Roland is trying to sell more pianos. Sound is so subjective and hard to compare. What does matter is ease of use. Don’t be tempted by technology. My Yamaha P90 nails it without being complex. Save your money. Keep it simple. Enjoy your toys, DC

  12. matt says:

    Hi Dan,
    Great site. I had an (old) RD170. I love it, but I play in a band without a bass player. So sometimes I would like to program a “complex split” – for example: piano on all the keys, and bass on the lower 2 octaves.
    This would enable be to bolster up a walking boogie bass line (for example).
    Most stage pianos only have either split or layers.
    Is there a Roland piano that that dos this ? I notice the RD300 can have 3 splits, but can you assign a specific key range to each layer?
    Cheers,
    Matt

  13. matt says:

    Hi Dan,
    Great site. I had an (old) RD170. I love it, but I play in a band without a bass player. So sometimes I would like to program a “complex split” – for example: piano on all the keys, and bass on the lower 2 octaves.
    This would enable be to bolster up a walking boogie bass line (for example).
    Most stage pianos only have either split or layers.
    Is there a Roland piano that that dos this ? I notice the RD300 can have 3 splits, but can you assign a specific key range to each layer?
    Cheers,
    Matt

  14. Leon says:

    Great site indeed. I also have the same sound problem on my 300gx and will be working on the suggestions mensioned, thx.
    Another problem is that I cannot record the drums onto Cakewalk Home studio. It is recording fine with my old E16, but not with the 300gx. Any suggestions?
    Regards.

  15. Brian says:

    This is great stuff.
    I have been playing live over 30 years, lots of keyboards. My last piano was the rd-600 which I used predominantly for 10 years. I have sometimes read of people giving that board a bad rap, but it was very good to me and I never had a single problem with it. With regard to what follows, there was no problem hearing it through a PA either.b

    The thing that drew me to the rd300gx was its excellent feel, very good piano sound (what i use mostly) and the big one… coming off a back surgery I couldn’t carry the rd600 around anymore. The rd300 is around 35 lbs(?) In any case it is the lightest digital piano i could find that had a great feel. I came here looking for an answer to something I am experiencing, but rather than answers I am finding other people with the same concerns. These days I am playing most often through the Bose tower systems with a small group, 3 or 4 musicians. The music we play ranges from mellow to light rock. In the times where I am leading with voice and piano, everything is wonderful. But when the band comes in, the keyboard just seems to disappear. It is the strangest phenomena. The band can be playing and I am straining to hear myself – very oftne cannot make out what I am doing at all Many times now thinking myself wrong on this, I’ll hit a note after the song is over and find it present and clear. We run the systme in mono sometimes and stereo others. It is a bit better in stereo mode of course, but the output still disappears. I am not talking about some little change here… but what is honestly the strangeset thing I have ever heard musically. The irony is this has nothing to do with Bose noise cancelling headphones, but that is what I liken the phenomia too.. cancelling out. I know thats not what is going on of course, it has something to do with the sounds themselves and I believe maybe how they occupy the stectrum and lack of presecnce in the biting part of the midrange. It just has no bite, that I can find anyway. Frustrated and digging for answers, that is precisely what landed me here.

    Ok, enough said on that. Let me share some of the things I have noticed that can help a bit.

    1) Adjust the keyboard touch. I run mine on light. The epianos at least come to life now, with some bit and responsiveness. This is also true of triggering soft synths in general.

    2) There are two pianos at the very end of the piano choices. They are called MONO and even help a bit when running in mono :) Still not great, I feel like they thin out too much.. just not fun.

    The keyboard sounds great when played by itself. I am still looking for solutions. There just isnt another board that feels this good for 35lbs. Thanks to everyone here and I wish you all well.

    brian

  16. Scott says:

    Brian,

    I am in the same boat as you. I purchased my RD 300GX in early 2009 for the same reasons you did (i.e. lightweight, supposedly excellent piano and EP sounds, passable B3, great feel for piano or organ patches, outstanding controller capabilities, etc.). In the store the RD300GX piano and EP’s sounded great through mono amps and headphones when I spent several hours trying them all out. Unfortunately, just as you experienced, the piano patches all become hollow and thin or completely disappear into the mix when I have used my RD300GX live with bands I have played with. Several sound guys and musicians I have worked with have made the same observations so it’s not just my (or your) imagination. I have basically tried the things you mentioned with marginal improvement, including running in stereo, EQ’ing, changing the touch as you did, the gain, and the compression, as well as changing the other multitude of sound parameters using the Sound Design feature. The bottom line is that no matter what I do, the piano patches, both the stereo ones and the couple in mono you mentioned, don’t work well with a live band, even though many of them sound wonderful in solo. I pretty much gave up and now use my RD300GX as a controller for my 7 year-old old Kurzweil ME-1 module, whose piano sounds integrate with band mixes far better. In a pinch I have even been guilty on quite few occasions of resurrecting my decades’ old Kurz SP76 for band gigs for piano when I don’t feel like doing the Midi thing.

    This is very frustrating given that I spent serious $$ on what I though would be an excellent all-in-one lightweight stage piano with great state-of-the-art piano sounds. I am now seriously considering trading or selling the board for possibly a lightweight Privia PX-330 / PX-3 which should theoretically be a serious downgrade in sound quality but they seem to sound a lot better when I’ve played them a couple of times at jams in live band mixes. IMHO the Privias, however, don’t sound nearly as good in solo as the RD300GX. Also the Privas don’t have have the controller capabilities of the RD300GX and their non-piano sounds don’t compare.

    If possible, I would like to hang onto the RD300GX if there is a work-around to the poor piano sound quality in a live band mix, it is a near lightweight perfect gigging board.

    I apologize for this long-winded rant… To Brian, or anyone else out there in Cyberspace, if you hear of a magic bullet for the RD300GX sound piano sound problem please let me know.

    Best regards,
    Scott

  17. Nick says:

    Thanks to everyone suggestions about solving the mid tones on the RD300GX. Changing to a Light touch definitely helps so that those overtones are always in the sound not just when you play hard. I played through an HK system recently which gave me the sound that I’ve always wanted.

    I have another question that perhaps someone has solved. I’d like to adjust other parameters on the sounds used in a setup like aftertouch so that it can for example detune the note when pressing down into the key. When playing violin it would be nice to bend the note by pressure. Is this something that can be done using sysex midi messages?

    I would like to setup some of the GM midi sounds on the rest of the midi channels (not just on 1, 2 and 3 which are where the setup sounds are saved). I’d then be able to trigger those sounds via another keyboard by setting the TX channel on that keyboard.

    Regards to all
    Nick

  18. Jean says:

    I don’t have a comment but I do have a question. I need to know how to use the transpose key. Can anyone tell me how to use the transpose key?