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#170297 - 04/15/07 07:44 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4683
Loc: West Virginia
I agree with AJ. If there was one thing both the Motif Classic and ES did well was traditional styles that were acoustic orientated. The release of the Motif series is an excellent example of Yamaha's trend towards a "softer" workstation. It's plain as day too. If you want to get a good example of this change, have a look at Yamaha's top synth "before" the Motif line. That synth was the EX-5. The EX-5 was an absolute beast in terms of synth power. Acoustic voices were pretty good in it too, but man it kicked ass as a synth.

Roland and Korg are IMO doing much better in at least keeping a better balance between the two worlds of acoustic and synth with their workstations. Yamaha has gone more towards the acoustic end.

I've been told the Motif XS is supposed to rival the Classic and ES in the synth department though, and there are tons of performances to check out in that area too. I'll be playing the Motif XS by weeks end, and will post my thoughts if others are interested. I'll also be testing out several of the top end arrangers and synths too. Also keep in mind the Motif XS is now utilizing (some) arranger features as well.

Squeak
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170298 - 04/15/07 07:55 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 42541
All these new workstations are all fine and good...But how far are the manufacturers going to go to TEACH the player who buy these instruments HOW TO OPERATE THEM beyond the manual which in most cases is useless & confusing? They could come out with new units until the cows come home but if they dont educate people on using them intensely with Workstation DVD Video lessons at all levels that people can see & hear taught by people who know what they are talking about in a easy fashion Workstation sales and progressing designs will crawl along as usual.....this is why people buy these KB's on hype alone and then fall flat & end up selling them because they have no clue on how to operate them. Its amazing at the lack of educational material on such complicated full featured instruments...That is also the problem on why we are becoming a lost art form playing live vs the DJ, Electronica playing world out there ....its lack of education and these kids have no where to see real Live players and absorb and learn from them so that they can also enjoy playing an instrument, the alternatives are overpowering & makes people lazy to take lessons & practice...its a sad state of affairs & the music world will suffer in years to come for sure..........
"If you TEACH them ...They will PLAY "



[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 04-15-2007).]

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#170299 - 04/15/07 08:25 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4683
Loc: West Virginia
See that's the problem Dnj. There's nothing difficult about these modern workstations in terms of use to the a person who understands them. The manual for these units aren't written for the novice, nor should they be. It's not the manufacturers duty to "teach". The manual is there for reference and basic instruction. As with any keyboard "hands on" will always be the best way to go. It's the buyers responsibility to educate themselves in the terminology, and concepts of what a synth/workstation is before buying it.

The problem is yes people buy into the hype, but too often people are buying synths with the "out of the box" arranger stereotype. They don't understand that these are pro level instruments and are not designed for the novice. So the makers shouldn't have the duty of teaching the buyer here. That's why they also make budget synths too. These are for buyers to use so they can get their feet wet so to say. My Roland RS-70 is an excellent example. It's a synth, but the basics can be easily learned from this unit so that the buyer can then later move up to a more pro level synth down the road.

Sure they're making DVD help videos and so on, but they can only go so far with these. The person buying the unit needs to educate themselves. Too often I see novice players buying a pro synth because "it's what they see everyone using". Then they return or sell the thing saying it's crap because they can't use it.

I think this is what separates the arranger and synth player IMO. Synth players are more often the "tweeker" than the typical arranger player. Again it's not a bad thing either, just difference in how we use our instruments.

I can't tell you the number of times I've talked a person who has minimal experience with synths buying something like a Korg Triton or Motif as their first "real keyboard". I've had friends do this and I got so frustrated with all the emails asking for help regarding functions they should have already known and somewhat mastered before even buying the synth.

So the manufacturers can only do so much in terms of help outside the manaul. The buyer has to understand that when buying a pro synth the manual is going to be written for the seasoned player. It's not going to be written for the novice. There will be terminology used that will confuse the hell out of the novice.

Squeak



[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 04-15-2007).]
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170300 - 04/15/07 09:07 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 42541
Squeak....A manufacturer should care a lot about educating the customer to operate their products ...after all its what makes them coming back for future purchases & overall make the users experience a happy one at any level not just the seasoned ones.
You cant become a seasoned player if you dont start somewhere to learn how to play it. I feel most are just in the game for the money and who cares about the after effect...its sad but many times true....fending for yourself after the purchase doesnt sit well with me ....they really need to care about what people think, need, & want. I think we're getting somewhere thru these discussions......great thread!

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#170301 - 04/15/07 09:24 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4683
Loc: West Virginia
Too add to what I just posted. Here's a few good examples of what I mean when I say you should have at least a good understanding of synth basics before buying a pro synth/workstation.

I've had people contact me on the Zone on many occasions because they've wanted to do something to a particular voice. For example: If a person says "Squeak this piano sound is too dark. I want a more brighter sound, and EQ'ing isn't working." I respond by saying "No problem, you can do this by opening up the filters". When I then get a reply back saying "how do I open the filters?".., folks that's a red flag right there. When someone says "open the filters" that's a simple yet basic synth technique.

I had another person contact me because they purchased a synth and wanted to create a bass patch that was similiar to the Yamaha Fusion Bass. Again I say.., "What you need to do is create a patch that consists of two elements. You then need set and adjust a velocity curve between these two voices. You'll then need to fine tune each elements parameters to balance out the overall sound between the two so that once you reach the velocity curve, and trigger the actual velocity switch the sound will compliment the other.

Again that's basic voice program work there. Getting a response back saying "I have no idea what the hell you're talking about..., please help!" is yet another red flag.

So these are just two small examples of what a person needs to understand prior to taking the plunge into a pro synth/workstation. The manuals will go into some basic detail about the parameters and what they do. Whether you the owner can comprehend that is another story.

Keep in mind that the transistion from arranger to synth/workstation can be VERY steep for some. They're almost two different animals IMO. Recording platforms are different, Voice editing is way more in depth, and so on.

HOWEVER, and I strongly suggest this to any arranger player wanting try the synth/workstation. Your arrangers have BASIC voice editing tools... USE THEM.... LEARN THEM. GRASP THEIR CONCEPTS. Doing this will greatly reduce the "headache" once you make the transition.

Plus I and others here are always willing to help and answer those questions you have. Just keep in mind you need to be an "educated buyer". Understand there is a definitive line between the arranger and synth in terms of operation, and terminology.

Squeak
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170302 - 04/15/07 09:36 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Donny, has any manufacturer ever taught you how to play or program? It's no more their responsibility than it is for Ford to teach you to drive. It's YOUR responsibility....

Either by 'hands-on' or by seeking out a tutor, this is how everyone learned in the past. Why, all of a sudden, is it the maker's responsibility...? Moog never had a DVD, Rhodes never came with a tutorial. We taught ourselves how to play these. When modular synths came out, there WERE no teachers. We all made out own path.

Why, in the lazy 21st century, is it anybody ELSE's responsibility to teach us?

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#170303 - 04/15/07 09:36 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4683
Loc: West Virginia
Dnj,
The makers aren't leaving the buyers in the dark man. Yamaha's a good example. They know that navigating a new synth can be a pain in the ass. They provide post purchase instruction. Have a look at this link. http://www.motifator.com/mart/mainframe.htm

If you click on Videos and DVD's you'll find instructional videos. These aren't going to be say "Synth Basics 101", but they're designed to help in the learning process.



[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 04-15-2007).]
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170304 - 04/15/07 10:11 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Graham UK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 1879
Loc: Lincolnshire UK
All instruction manuals in most cases tells you what a button is for but does not explain how to use it.
When we the customer are paying thousands plus for a keyboard whatever type, we should expect to receive with it a Tutorial DVD.

Example below. This is a sensible move from Korg.
http://www.korgpa.com/pa_root/en/support/tutorials.html?en

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#170305 - 04/15/07 10:29 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4683
Loc: West Virginia
When you buy a car does it come with someone to tell you how to drive it? When you buy a loaf of bread does it come with a little gray haired lady telling you how to make a sandwich? What the hell folks?

What happened to "buyer responsibility?" I have NEVER in my life bought a keyboard and expected the maker to "TEACH" me how to use the unit outside of the manual. Diki's right! This 21'st century "show me how" is getting out of hand IMO. People are expecting way too much.

Seriously what's the next step..., a surgical implant of a USB port on the side of your head so that you can just download the info you need straight into your dome? People just don't seem to have the desire to "learn" these days. Everyone's looking for the quick fix, or some way to skip the "real work".

Squeak

[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 04-15-2007).]
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#170306 - 04/15/07 12:20 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 42541
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
Donny, has any manufacturer ever taught you how to play or program? It's no more their responsibility than it is for Ford to teach you to drive. It's YOUR responsibility....


Diki...of course not to a point BUT....it would aid in the overall scheme of things to educate users who buy your products for these reasons...

1- You would make money on instructional media in all forms, DVD, Video, Books , etc etc

2- Potential Buyers can purchase BEFORE HAND and after looking at them see if its what they need vs wasting their money on a Unit that's just not for their needs or too difficult to operate.

3- In a world of so many musical choices for people to make a decision to learn to play an instrument vs going an alternate route and go Electronica, or PC based & beyond, having readily available learning methods could change someones mind.
and there are many others.......

It just makes sense to just not design & produce instruments but to help people enjoy them best you can.

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