Well, I have worked my tail off to make the PA80 as user friendly as possible for me to use in the live act. It is now the only arranger in the arsenal since I returned my bug ridden PSR2000 and replaced it with a Motif. I use the Motif for some voices when playing live but mainly it is brought along as a backup that can utilize midfiles in case the PA80 goes down for the count. I can also use the simple drum patterns I made for it and just play bass manually and the rythym to a tune if necessary. I'd have liked to have another arranger for a backup, and was considering purchasing a later model 2000 with an updated OS but the more I thought about it, the idea just doesn't appeal to me all that much, at least for now.
At first, I really didn't think the PA80 was going to cut it for me for live work, but after countless hours of programming I'm pretty happy with the results. I set up my own custom performances ( registration in yamaha speak ). The sounds are very good overall. The PA80 has 48 built in user styles, plus you can overwrite any or all of the factory styles as well. I eliminated about 40 korg internal styles that I'll never use ( although they are saved yto disk and available at any time to be reloaded ) and most of the preloaded user styles and then I converted my favorite Yamaha styles ( along with a sprinkling of Solton and Roland styles ) for use on the PA80. It was painstaking but worthwhile. The converted styles are of the same quality as the internal styles. I can use another 48 at any one time directly from a floppy and play them live without a hitch or a hiccup.
Although I say the work was long and a little painstaking, I now understand and can use every facet of this board now, and it is rather easy for me to navigate, even in real time. I really appreciate some of the features I didn't see before too. I know some didn't like the vocalizer, but I like it much. I play mostly chords with the left hand and the vocalizer responds to what I play. If I use single or 2 finger cghords, I get a very simple harmony ( maybe 1 or 2 voices ). If I use 3 or 4 finger chords I get more harmony ( maybe 3 or more voices ). I LOVE that about the harmonizer. I had to set the board up to recognize both types of chords at once and had to modify my style of play a bit to work that way, but it's well worth it to me for that kind of real time control over the harmonies alone.
The board still retains some of the best and most detailed editing and style making features of any arranger I've ever tried, plus full synth editing features of a top arranger so I can make those custom voices shine.
I have only 2 major dislikes. The 2 fills per style thing is the biggest. Drives me nuts at times but I'm living with it. The other thing is no way to sustain the bass when I'm playing in manual bass mode. It does not respond to the damper pedal. I also tried using a split key voice and turning off the bass from the style, but that doesn't work either. Sometimes I need my left hand to l;eave the keys just for a second so I can quickly control a function with it, but instead now I have to setup and use a floor pedal to change certain functions ( which I don't like to do ). I don't play manual bass on too many songs, but on let's say Harry Chapin's - " Cat's in the Cradle ", I do because no style will do the bass part justice.
In spite of that I'm very happy using this board. Even if the 2000 had worked as it should have, and had I kept it, it would have been relegated to backup status. It seemed a bit flimsy anyway, and I doubt that over the long haul it would have held up to my sometimes hard playin'