This has been an interesting thread and you are all correct in your assumptions. I have a slightly different slant on Arrangers because they are perfect devices for songwriters... and not many songwriters in the States even understand that they exist. Those of you who make a living (or attempt to do so) playing at different venues, clubs, weddings, nursing homes, social events or parties... understand their versatility.

Those of you who enjoy all the variables of VSTs or OMB... or prefer to play an instrument (piano/organ/etc.) for the pure artistry of it... are all correct. It's whatever works best for you to create artistry or to generate new songs... or to simply be able to entertain a crowd with the versatility of a high-end arranger or DAW (no matter the brand)... it is all good.

The real problem is that music is becoming an undervalued commodity. There are too many artists, songwriters, performers, musicians and people associated with the music industry... and too few opportunities to garner even a small segment of that market... no matter the genre... unless you possess a talent of immense proportions... and the drive to make the sacrifices needed to clamber to the top of the pyramid. Don't forget the money involved... and the thousands of doors that are closed to all of us... because the market for music is over-saturated on a broad front.

iTunes will sell you just about anybody's song for .99 cents. In a few years, it will be .50 cents... and Apple will take half, leaving us to accept a future of diminishing returns. Streamig is an even darker scheme and it certainly does not favor the music maker or creator.

I wish all of you well... no matter which method you use to create your music... whether it be "covers" or original songs or compositions. The arranger is not part of the problem and neither are the other instruments or electronic devices and programs available for creating music.

We are all in this together to one degree or another... and until drastic changes occur in which our products are made available to the general public still buying music... we are in trouble. You had better love what you do... because less than 10% of us will ever make a real living in music.

All my best to all of you,

Dave Rice