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#114526 - 11/30/99 11:34 AM Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10422
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi arranger keyboard friends,

I am looking for an "ultra" small & lightweight portable alternative to a standard size "arranger-style" keyboard for use on airplanes, in cars, etc. I am looking for an auto-accompaniment unit that can recognize chords played during "live play mode" in either split mode (fingered chords in the left hand and melody in the right hand) or pianist mode (chords read over the entire range of the keyboard). Originally I had the impression that the Yamaha QY70 could do this, but after looking over the Yamaha QY70 owner's manual, I think that this may NOT be the case. The Yamaha QY70 can indeed read/interprete chords played via an external keyboard controller, but it seems (at least from my intereptation of the manual) specifically intended for "recording" chord progressions ONLY, not triggering auto-accompaniment harmonies while playing melody (during plackback) as in a true Arranger Keyboard. Is there anyone out there who has actually been able to get the Yamaha QY70 to work as a "liveplaying" arranger keyboard (either fingered or pianist mode) using an external keyboard controller?

I realize that the QY70 does not have other arranger keyboard functions like "syncro start" and that triggering "fills" etc would be awkward but if you can at least get the QY70 to recognize chords and trigger proper auto-accompaniment harmonies while playing a song live it would be a real cool (auto-accompaniment ) device for practice and rehearsal (on the road & in the air).

I really like the QY70 for its' size but I need to know for sure if the QY70 will actually work as an arranger keyboard substitute.

Feedback from QY70 owners or others who have experience with the QY70 would be greatly appreciated.

- Scott

[This message has been edited by Scottyee (edited 11-30-1999).]
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#114527 - 11/30/99 01:39 PM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3281
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Scott,
I want to try to get something clear here. If what you want to do is set a split point on your keyboard and play three note chords on the left hand which will trigger a Drummer, Bass player, and up to 6 more rhythm tracks including guitars, keyboards, horns, etc., then the QY 70 will do all that.
If you want to play a chord on the left hand and play a single melody line on the right hand and have duet, trio, block, jazz, country harmony on the right hand, than the QY70 is not for you.
I can't tell if this is what you want. You mention "keyboard harmony's" in your post, and what that means to me is playing one note but hearing several as harmony voices.
Is this what you are looking for. If it is, there are no small battery operated units that will do this. The Korg i40m which is larger and has a disk drive, will give you harmony on the right hand while triggering chords on the left hand, or full pianist mode that will play chords accross the entire keyboard.
Please clarify this for me.
George kaye
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#114528 - 11/30/99 03:57 PM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10422
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi George,

I apologize for the confusion in my previous posting. I guess I should have used the word "auto-accompaniment patterns" not "auto-accompaniment harmonies" in the last sentence of the first paragraph as I do not require melody harmonies to be produced from the melody notes I play.

From your posting, it sounds like you are saying that the QY70 can indeed be set up to be played in "split-mode" with my left-hand playing chords (triggering the QY70 to produce correct auto-accompaniment patterns) while my right-hand plays the melody. Can I also assume that this can be done when the QY70 is NOT in REC mode? For some reason I did not see this "Arranger Playing" feature covered in the QY70's manual (which is available online for FREE download).

see: http://www.yamaha.co.uk/eurohome/library.htm

Also, how about "pianist mode" (chords read over entire keyboard)? Does the QY70 support this arranger keyboard playing style?

In my studio & for gigging, I use my Technics KN5000 arranger keyboard which I really love. I am primarily interested in the QY70 as a miniature battery powered "arranger keyboard substitute" (along with an external keyboard controller) to take when traveling (playing in the car, airplane, etc).

I hope this clarifies my QY70 arranger feature requirements. Funny how the QY70's manual does not cover "arranger keyboard playing" features. Perhaps I did not look closely enough?

Thanks,

- Scott
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#114529 - 11/30/99 05:05 PM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
TomTomSF Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/99
Posts: 736
Loc: Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
Hi Scott
As you know, I'm no expert. But I did have a Roland PMA-5 for a while. And it does exactly what you imply. That is, it reads your left hand chords from a midi keyboard and can "record" them to a backing sequence, which you can then play back and play a real time right melody to. Not like an arranger keyboard at all.
I think the QY70 might be the same. I'm not sure, but I don't think it will work the way you want it. You should consider buying one from a dealer with a good return policy. Then audtion it - if it's not what you need, back it goes.
One last thing, though not battery powered, the Korg iS40M module is very, very nice. Basically, it's the module (keyless) version of my iS40 keyboard - which I love. But I think it includes a vocal harmonizer as well. I know it's not what you're searching for, but I want to say it's a beautiful thing.
Take care...
Tom
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#114530 - 11/30/99 06:33 PM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10422
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi Tom & George,

Tom, I think you may be right that the QY70 cannot be played as an arranger-style keyboard as George had suggested. I looked at the QY70 manual again and still could find no mention of a "split-mode" feature which would enable you to play "fingered" chords in left-hand while playing the melody in right hand.

I believe that the QY70's "fingered chord" feature is only intended for RECORDING "chord progressions ONLY " into a song, not for "live aranger style" playing.

George, please "prove me wrong" as I really would like to play the QY70 live via an external keyboard controller in "split-mode" (fingered chords in left-hand while playing melody in the right-hand). Could Yamaha have left out this important arranger keyboard feature in their manual? In my last post I had mentioned "pianist mode" as well, but at this point, even "split-mode" would make me happy enough to purchase the QY70.

- Scott
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#114531 - 11/30/99 10:21 PM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10422
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi George,

I think I finally found the place in the QY70 Manual which covers how the QY70 might be used to play as an "arranger style" keyboard via an external keyboard controller.

On page 227 of the QY70 user manual, it talks about setting the "fingered zone" for chord recognition. Question: Do the notes actually sound when playing chords in the "fingered chord" zone or does it trigger just the backup accomaniments to play? How about the notes played to the right of the "fingered chord zone" - can you select the sound patch you want those notes to play?

I'm also wondering if you set the "fingered zone" over the entire keyboard if that would be the equivilent of "pianist mode"? Have you tried this George?

1)split keyboard: "fingered zone" left-side of keyboard only with melody on
right side and
2) pianist mode: "fingered zone" over the entire keyboard.

Strange that the QY70 manual does not address this "live playing" arranger keyboard feature in their manual. Certainly Yamaha has missed a golden marketing opportunity here.

Thanks George for bringing up the QY70 as an ultra-light weight arranger keyboard alternative. Even though the QY70 lacks many features of a full sized arranger keyboard, it certainly should work great for rehearsal/practice. Maybe you should get Yamaha to pay you an extra commision for promoting the QY70's secret "arranger keyboard" aspect (ha, ha).

- Scott
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#114532 - 11/30/99 11:19 PM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Clif Anderson Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/00
Posts: 532
When you play notes in the autoaccompaniment zone they do not sound.
Clif

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#114533 - 12/01/99 01:10 AM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10422
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi Clif,

Thanks for your most valuable feedback regarding notes not sounding when playing chords in the QY70's "fingered (auto-accompaniment) zone".That shouldn't be too much of a problem. I assume that if you set the QY70 in a split mode (fingered zone only on the left side of keyboard), that melody notes played in the "non-fingered zone" should sound and play fine, right? Are you able to select and change the sound you want to hear when you play melody notes in the "non-fingered zone" area?

Clif, do you own the QY70? If so, do you recommend it? Do you find the QY70 (played via an external keyboard controller) to be very practical as an ultra small and lightweight portable arranger keyboard alternative to take on trips and play while traveling?

Thanks,

- Scott
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#114534 - 12/01/99 01:38 AM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3281
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Scott,
I'm not sure how much more I can say on the QY70 subject. However, before going on I have to set everyone straight on the PMA-5 matter. "You cannot play chords on the PMA-5 from a midi controller keyboard." Anyone who thinks so is wrong. I'm sorry to be so strong on this but I have been selling these for years now, and I've had to proove this to potential customers several times by actually calling Roland Corp. US and having the customers speak with a tech support person. The only thing you can play via midi keyboard is the tone generator. No chords can be played via midi. You can only record chord changes by step or realtime recording by using the supplied pencil. I hope this finally clarifies what the PMA-5 is and is not capable of doing. Also, I think I have already given my opinion on the i40m module. I love it but realize it doesn't run on batteries and so wouldn't help you on you quest. It does add the vocal harmonizer and a guitar input with guitar effects including wah, distortion, reverb, echo, etc. etc.
Now, yes, you did find the one paragraph in the QY70 that explains turning on the fingered mode enabling midi control of the chords. And yes you are correct that if you move the split point all the way up to the last key you can have a pianist mode, however, no right hand sound will be played with the fingered chords. And yes, if you split the keyboard (actually you are spliting the QY70) you will have a sound on the right hand and the chords on the left hand.
Now, I think this covers everything, and again please let me explain to all of the others who have posted replys to help you, I am a music store owner and I sell all of these products you are all using and talking about. I have a very good working knowledge of almost every product we discuss here. I am certainly no genius but I do consider myself an expert compared to many music store salespeople. I enjoy giving my support to you all and enjoy the discussions we all share on this forum.
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California.
818-881-5566
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#114535 - 12/01/99 03:15 AM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10422
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi George, Clif, or whoever might be able to answer this:

Believe it or not, I have just "one more " question regarding the QY70's recognition of "fingered chords" played in the
"fingered (auto-accompaniment) zone":

Can the QY70 recognize chords played in all "inversions" in addition to "root position"?

C root position: C-E-G
C 1st inversion: E-G-C
C 2nd inversion: G-C-E

C7 root position: C-E-G-Bb
C7 1st inversion: E-G-Bb-C
C7 2nd inversion: G-Bb-C-E
C7 3rd inversion: Bb-C-E-G

Thanks,

- Scott
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#114536 - 12/01/99 07:10 AM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
Clif Anderson Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/00
Posts: 532
Hi Scott and George

First of all, let me say that I agree that George Kaye is the leading expert on all the arrangers that we discuss in this forum. It is fine with me if he has the last word. But George, others like to help too. I hope you are not suggesting that the rest of us should not bother to share what we think or know. But I do want to hear more from you. I would like to hear more about the Korg I40m. Also, if you know what this Kurzweil Arranger is about.

Scott, to try to answer your last question, I do own the QY70. I waited through the QY10, QY20, QY22 until Yamaha got it right with the QY70. I have a Roland A50 keyboard, 76 keys, polyphonic aftertouch, that I like and did not want to give it up. The QY70 does turn the A50 into an Arranger. To answer your last question, I tried inversions yesterday and got patterns only in root position. Hopefully, George Kaye can confirm/disconfirm this.

To answer your previous question to me, I consider the QY70 to be a marvel. It seems to have no competition in its size range. Still, I hesitate to recommend it too strongly to you. I found the QY70 tedious to use and purchase a PSR-8000, which I find much more fun to use. When you want to change from pattern 20 to pattern 80, do you really want to step through 60 patterns? Do you want to have to hook up to a computer to enter or save data to a disk.

I recommend thinking carefully about the need for a battery powered device. Consider the Korg 140m, the QY700, and there is a general music arranger module. It sounds like George Kaye would recommend the i40m. All of these devices have disk drives so that you can easily play midi files, load and save styles, etc. If you cannot live with the extra weight and requirement for AC power, the QY70 is your best bet. You might love it--or you might be irritated by its compromises.
I hope this helps.
Clif

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#114537 - 12/02/99 02:54 AM Re: Yamaha QY70: Arranger Keyboard Substitute?
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3281
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Cliff,
I'm sorry. After reading my reply I wrote yesterday I can only apologize for making you and others feel like I had to have the last word. That was not my intention although I can see after reading my words that that is what it sounded like. I didn't mean to sound like I was the only authority on this subject. You are absolutely right that this forum is for everyone to be able to discuss and give opinions on all topics. You won't see comments like that again from me in the future. I do enjoy this forum very much and I have made many friends (if only in my computer and over the phone) along the way. Thank you for your understanding.
George Kaye
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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