Chicken Systems Fantom Creator Software Review

Hi everyone,

I’m a big fan of the Roland Fantom X series keyboards. I currently own the YASE software and while it has worked well, I’ve grown tired of the activation process when moving to different computers. I also find it to be a bit clumsy in performance as it’s quite an old piece of software now. While I have had lots of issues with Chicken Systems software before with working as advertised, I often am able to get it to do what I need for most of my sampler needs. Recently the Creator series of software products was announced and being a user of the successful Motif Creator, I was excited to see the Beta version of Fantom Creator released. However, I’m sorry to say that it probably should not have been released as I don’t consider it to be ready at all for Beta stage.

It simply does not work at all.

Recently, I made the blunder ( although I knew it could happen from experience ), of buying into the Fantom Creator for MAC waaaay before it was finished. It’s now November 16, 2015 and while the sale is still going on, the Beta version is absolutely not ready at all for prime time. (More like still in Alpha ). Note I wrote the date because it will be interesting to see how long it actually takes for this software to get corrected. The original announcement of the Beta was back in August 2015. It’s now three months later and nothing new.

I found after purchasing that there is absolutely no difference between the paid and free versions other than the price. You cannot save samples, documents or anything in the paid version so don’t do what I did and buy the darn thing until it’s ready. In fact, I’ll update my post here when you can finally start saving patches. Right now, the only good thing is I got the software for half price, but I can do absolutely zero with it. It’s a brick sitting on my computer right now.

Yes, I perfectly knew it was in Beta and I expected it to work VERY little quite frankly with regards to format importing, editing, and a few other things. However, I didn’t expect that the software wouldn’t at least save a basic patch. I simply wanted to import a Wav file, create a multisample, then make a patch for saving to the Fantom. Nope! No can do I’m afraid, not even in Beta.

I have MVkit, Motif Creator, and Translator. They all work pretty well and I can recommend them so there is some hope here in the distant future.

Thus I cannot recommend Motif Creator for the Fantom yet. Save your money, and I mean even if it’s 50% off. You won’t get anything different than the free version ( I’m on Mac btw and it could work on Windows but I haven’t tested that yet. ).

I feel bad for anyone who bought this three months ago when this was originally posted. Hopefully not many did. Note that when this software is ready, it will definitely be worth the original price even. It’s a good idea and I know with my experience with the Motif Creator it will eventually work. It’s just not ready to even be in Beta much less sold to the public.

Again, I’ll update this post once my copy of Fantom Creator can actually do something. If anyone else has purchased this software and has it working, please let me know. I desperately am hoping I’m wrong about something setup wise. So far, no go though.

Jim

Note I know this is a tiny bit of a rant, but when we buy software we at least expect even in Beta to have the product start and finish with problems in between. That seems reasonable to me. To have a product start but not finish with making a simple patch is crazy. I’ve never had that happen before.

UPDATE #1:  I tried installing and registering with my Windows 7 computer.  Unfortunately I can only install and run one instance of the program.  So I’m back to square one.  The program simply doesn’t work on a Mac yet and probably Windows as well.  We’ll wait and see.

UPDATE #2:  Chicken Systems Fantom Creator Version 0.9 Build 25 now allows for saving documents but literally breaks everything else.  You cannot edit, import, audition (via midi), or key map anything in the program.  Yay, I can save now, but it seems easier to just import directly to the Fantom X or G.

UPDATE #3:  I have all but given up on this software.  It simply does not work at all and I’m tired of submitting bug reports that should have been found and fixed from the very beginning.  At this point, Fantom Creator is a waste of money.  We’ll see what 2016 brings.  Stay tuned!

UPDATE #4:  Version 1.2 Build 27 has been released on 12/18/2015!  What’s new is posted in the comments.  I’ll run through the fixes and let you guys know if things are working better.  Hopefully this update will at least allow me to use the software in basic form.

UPDATE #5:  After some additional lengthy testing with Build 27 over the Christmas holidays, I can now say with 100% the following:
It simply does not work at all.  Sorry folks!  Fantom Creator is still a waste of money.

Update #6:  Here  we are in January! 1/18/2016.  It’s been exactly one month and Fantom Creator Build 28 was released.  It’s now broken!!  Hopefully you saved the Build 27 update, because the multisamples are no longer attached at all to the patches.  It’s just one more thing you have to do manually.  Plus nothing stated above has been fixed either.   Whatever you do, don’t update to Build 28.  It will break the multisample section.

Update #7:  I received my Fantom Creator CD Rom in the mail on 2/8/2016.  The CD Rom contains Build 28 so I’m glad I kept the Build 27 to revert to.  I’m still using Build 27 as Build 28 breaks things.  No new updates yet.  I’m anxiously awaiting Build 29 that hopefully will fix Build 28 issues and more.

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