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#170287 - 04/14/07 07:35 AM What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
Folks sorry if this is a bit off topic, but it also involves arrangers a bit too. My question is "What the hell is Yamaha doing?"

Its really no secret that a up until a few years ago arranger keyboards often had better acoustic or "bread and butter" sounds than the synths. It has been said for years that if you want good acoustic sounds and are into traditional styles of music, get yourself a good quality arranger keyboard, and if you're into electroncia get your paws on a synth/workstation.

Yamaha realized the pontential in carrying over those good PSR acoustic voices to the synth line. Which was clearly seen with the release of the Motif Classic. It was a smart move, and widely accepted with synth owners.

However, thoughout the developement of the Motif series Yamaha has really pushed away the electronica market. With the release of each Motif series it seems more and more "synth power" is being taken away. The Motif series has been an "acoustically orientated" series of synths from Yamaha. They've gone completely soft in this area. Look at the expansion options that have been dropped too.

The Motif XS is a clear example of Yamaha's new "softer" synth. Most of its marketing as been towards "acoustic emulation". Did you guys know that Yamaha dropped the "breath controller", and even "step recording" on the Motif XS????

I was planning on buying a new keyboard here in a few months (gotta re-model the bathroom first), but man I really feel let down by Yamaha here. The other makers have focused a great deal on the acoustic voices too, but Korg, and Roland at least are still holding on to the electronica market way better than Yamaha.

Anywho sorry to rant. Just feel like Yammie's shafting the synth line and has pushed away a whole market.

**Nigel if you feel this should be in the bar go ahead and move it...
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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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#170288 - 04/14/07 07:48 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
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Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Synths are Synths ....Arrangers are Arrangers.....I really dont feel the real closeness any time soon if at all especially as Pc based music progresses day by day......manufacturers are not stupid there is a reason for this. You might have a very long wait.

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#170289 - 04/14/07 08:10 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
That's the thing though Dnj, With these new synth/workstations it's hard to say a "synth is a synth" anymore. How would you guys feel if Yamaha went the other way with arrangers. People have been complaining for years that synth sounds in arrangers are extremely weak. What if the tides changed there, and Yamaha started focusing the attention on the synth sounds, and arrangers became more synth orientated? I imagine that wouldn't sit well with many.
_________________________
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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#170290 - 04/14/07 12:19 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
TommyF Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 648
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Squeak, I can understand your frustration. Personally I don't mind the trend towards more acoustic sounds in synths; actually I will be one of the first to write a check when Yamaha releases a Motif XS Rack. In case you haven't heard them yet here are some amazing Motif XS demos:

Motif XS Demos

Kind regards,
Tommy


[This message has been edited by TommyF (edited 04-14-2007).]
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Yamaha PSR-S770, Korg Krome 61

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#170291 - 04/14/07 01:34 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Squeak be it as it may....but always remember no matter what you may think of keyboard sounds it will NEVER replace the real instruments played by real musicians....here in is where the problem will always lie.....we may imitate but we will never replace.

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#170292 - 04/14/07 02:37 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
Dnj,
Trust me I know that no keyboard will ever replace any acoustic instrument. It's just depressing to see that the synth/workstation is heading in the other direction in terms of sounds used for electronica. I never thought I'd be saying "Gee this synth has great acoustic sounds, but the synth sounds just suck". I never dreamed I say that about a synth...

Squeak
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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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#170293 - 04/14/07 06:12 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Squeak,

I would agree that for me, of the big "3" the Motif series has the weakest synth sounds. I would even rate the PA80 better than the my ES in this area.

Remember though, we're talking samples in the first place. Donny said " synths are synths, but really, you can run with that and say "workstations are workstations, not synths". Although sample based synths allow us to create many new synth sounds that were not possible in analog machines, the digital filters used in most of the current workstations are quite limited, and don't seem to stack up well against the analog filtering schemes of yesteryear.

Then again, these workstations are not trying to emulate a pure synth. I think they are trying to offer an "all in one" solution instead, a sort of hardware sample based DAW / Instrument.

You can get very close with digital filters, as witnessed by some of today's vitual analogs, but often you don't get the exact sounds in part at least because digital filters don't drift like the older analogs did. There are however, newer software synths that have a variable drift function. Even one of the freeware minimoogs has it, and with just a hair of drift applied it really does remind me of the real thing.

The cure for the Motif series is an easy one though. I added an analog modeling AN150 plug in that makes it a vitual AN1X or AN200. These were hardware Yamaha Analog modeled synths that did a very faithful Prophet 5 emulation.

AJ
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AJ

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#170294 - 04/14/07 08:40 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Donny, what's a 'real' synthesizer? Acoustic emulation is only one small part of keyboard playing. They've been using strong synth sounds on records since the 60s (and before if you want to get academic!)

In fact, there's barely any need for acoustic emulation for most modern electronica and dance musics. Squeak's kind of pointing out the move BACK towards acoustic emulation as more specialized 'virtual' synths get popular.

When it comes to keyboard emulation, well, that's a little bit different that, say, sax emulation or strings.... First of all, there are very few players using the 'real thing' to replace. And if a Rhodes sound or clavinet sits in the mix indistinguishably from a real one, well, job well done! No need to get worked up about that...

And as to emulation of other, non-keyboard sounds, it all kind of depends on how much time and attention you can put into phrasing, bending, blowing, etc., while you are still trying to input chords with your left hand. If you don't have to deal with all that (by using SMFs, mp3's, or Chord Sequencers), it's pretty amazing how close you can get to fooling the discerning listener.

I guarantee there's a ton of TV scores and even film scores that you have no idea that's a keyboard player you are listening to. You're thinking, nice oboist, or flautist, but it's all these Giga sized orchestral libraries. The SA technology has been around for quite a while in some of the Giga 'triggers', and the only thing you have to do to make it really authentic is to make sure you get inside the head of the player you are trying to emulate, just make sure that your lines are idiomatic.

After that, don't be surprised that no-one can tell the difference....!

I think sax is the final frontier.... It's definitely the last instrument to get really close by emulation. It just has such an enormous timbral range, and some VERY non-linear things that happen as you go from one note to another. Yammie's SA sax is the first thing I've ever heard that gets the inter-note transitions well, but it still can't quite get the full range of timbre. But a huge step in the right direction, and given that it is VERY new technology, I expect we'll see it get better and better over the years.

Getting inside the head of a sax player, now THAT's the really hard part. These guys spend their entire lives thinking ONLY about the line, the melody, one note at a time. It's a real challenge as a keyboard player to get THAT focused on just one note at a time!

As to ROMplers getting back to more 'acoustic' sounds, squeak, I think that's hardly surprising, as 'virtual' analog synths do a FAR better job of synthesis emulation, now the bar is so high that good samples just don't cut it. The new MotifXS unfortunately doesn't have the slots for the 'virtual analog' board any more, do they? So it's ROM wave sample emulation, nowhere near as good as virtual analog....

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#170295 - 04/15/07 12:08 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Nick G Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 1042
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Quote:
Originally posted by squeak_D:

However, thoughout the developement of the Motif series Yamaha has really pushed away the electronica market. With the release of each Motif series it seems more and more "synth power" is being taken away. The Motif series has been an "acoustically orientated" series of synths from Yamaha. They've gone completely soft in this area.



The reason why Yamaha are moving to a more realistic / acoustic sound if because alot of those electronic poxy synth noises are stuck in the 80s and we have moved on...

The Motif ES or XS still has enough power and sound quality to create any style of dance/trance/electronica/RnB/HipHop/Rap music that you want and it definitely sounds like the real stuff u hear big popular artists using...

the demos alone are enough to blow u away and thats just demos from the internet!

Old features get dropped as new features come in and replace them, thats just natural. If a company doesn't follow these trends then they will fall behind...

Don't let pen and paper statistics throw you in doubt, let your ears be the judge. Synths / work stations are all about being creative - the motif has sampling anyways and syncs with Cakewalk / Cubase so anything u can make on a Roland or Korg you can definitely make on the Yamaha...
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Roland G70 / Roland BK9 / Yamaha Motif XS6 / Logic Pro X

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#170296 - 04/15/07 07:22 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Bluezplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2195
Loc: Catskill Mountains, NY
Nick,

I agree that one can emulate a lot of today's popular music with the Motif series boards, but for quite a few players and songwriters, a lot of the allure in certain areas of the electronica genres is in trying to come up with and blend new soundscapes. Workstations can do the "been there done that" stuff very well, but for me, for cutting edge sounds, it makes more sense to have a dedicated synth with sampling and analog or analog modeled filters.

This is not a strength of the Motif ES, or any other workstation for that matter.
You can add your own samples, a tedious task at best in the Motif ES, but quite doable. Still, the filtering scheme just isn't there. Add to that the fact that you have to scroll through menus to change a lot of the parameters that are there. There isn't enough real time control to satisfy me when I want to warp a sound or create a new one.

The ES is a great instrument for what it does, and it does a lot of things quite well. I'm still happy with mine. It just isn't my first ( or 2d or 3rd ..etc ) choice when I am looking for fat analog sounds or for more modern cutting edge sample based sounds. If I had bought it with the mindset that it was going to be the equivalent of a dedicated synth, I would have walked away quite disappointed.

AJ



[This message has been edited by Bluezplayer (edited 04-15-2007).]
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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: 4650
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
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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 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
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: 4650
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).]
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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 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
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: 4650
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
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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: 4650
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).]
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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: 1860
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: 4650
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).]
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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 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
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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#170307 - 04/15/07 12:20 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
What we often forget about as older adults is the time that we spent when we were younger, learning to play, learning how to use whatever keyboards we had at the time. Years.....

Now, we don't seem to be happy to put that kind of time in any more, despite actually NEEDING more time as we are older and learn less fast. And then we bitch because we don't understand the latest stuff! Hardly surprising, given that attitude....

I've seen adults give up on trying to learn to play piano after 6 months. Took me YEARS to get good - as a kid, when I learned faster than I do now. If you are not prepared to take the time (however long it is) or put in the effort (however much it is) to learn a new skill, don't bother trying.

But don't blame the manufacturer for not spoon-feeding you. You've got to feed yourself, first....

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#170308 - 04/15/07 12:24 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Quote:
Originally posted by squeak_D:
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


Exactly my point ....ignorance will trickle down to slow progression of what we all yearn for better and better products...why? because sales falter because many dont know enough about the products to buy let alone learn how to use them Its time for that to change eh?

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#170309 - 04/15/07 12:29 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
Posted by Diki:
--------------------------------------------
But don't blame the manufacturer for not spoon-feeding you. You've got to feed yourself, first....
--------------------------------------------

Amen to that Diki! Like I said there's "buyer responsibility" as well.

Dnj,
I also understand your point too, however it really takes a good deal of work to produce these videos too. I can't imagine someone spending $2199 on a Motif XS6, and then dropping an addition $20-$40 per instructional video on how to use the thing. Again you have to have an uderstanding of "synth basics" when you buy these things.

I will say this... All the people here who own A Korg PA-80/50, PA1X/Pro/Elite, and PA-800 have a pretty serious synth in their hands on top of a good arranger. Korg has some really freakin indepth voice editing on the PA range.

Korg in my opinion with the PA series has done an AWESOME job at blending the editing power of a synth with the capabilites of an arranger.
_________________________
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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#170310 - 04/15/07 12:37 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
Dnj,
You're proving my point man. There is a definitive line between the traditional arranger player and synth player. For example I know arranger players in their 50's and synth players in their 50's. The synth guys I know in their 50's can run a synth/workstation blindfolded, and know all about sampling, voice editing, midi, you name it. They continuely educated themselves with the release of new technology used in synths.

I used the example of players in their 50's because Diki pointed out as we get older we take a different approach to how we learn, and how much time we want to dedicate to learning something new.

It's not the new technology that's killing people IMO. It's the "crossover" that's the key element here. It's bringing the "arranger" player over into the synth side. It also goes both ways. You have to educate yourself if you choose to take this route. It shouldn't be up to the manufacturer to provide you with all the know-how for this transition.

It's the same thing for a synth player going into arrangers. They need to educate themselves to as to how an arranger functions and operates.

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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#170311 - 04/15/07 12:41 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5936
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Quote:
Originally posted by squeak_D:


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).]


Actually, that started when we made the transition from acoustic instruments to synths....then to workstations to arrangers to SMF's to mp3's to ...... DJ's to ?????listeners???.

Sorry, but this sounds like one of those "circular" debates that goes absolutely nowhere.

BTW, auto manufacturers don't teach you to drive because 99.9% of buyers have a license that says they are already a "seasoned pro". And for the record, most airplane manufacturers won't let you buy a (new) plane for personal use unless you or a designated pilot goes through a factory or factory-approved course of instruction (plus type-specific FAA certification if it's a high-performance, turboprop, or jet airplane).

In any case, your success (or lack, thereof) in the music business will likely not be decided by a resolution to the problem stated in this post (whatever that was). JMO.

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#170312 - 04/15/07 12:44 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
The thing is, Donny, have you ever taken a week and said to yourself, this week I am going to learn about voice programming? I am not going to learn any new tunes, I am not going to tweak any styles, I am just going to concentrate on this one thing for at least a week.

Be methodical, sort out WHAT you want to learn an go about it in a methodical way. Lessons, when you were a kid, forced you into not being a gadfly, and concentrating on one task. That level of focus, even at a more elderly age level, will get you anywhere you want to go.

Find someone with good programming skills to SHOW you how to program. No DVD is going to have the ability to respond to YOU, and your learning needs. Go back to the principles that got you your current level of ability, and repeat them. And just be patient.

No-one is an expert after watching a DVD either. It still takes time and practice.

Manufacturers have a hard time determining what level of skill to aim an instructional DVD at. Too easy, and only complete novices will buy it. Too technical, and novices are left out. The capabilities of most TOTL keyboards now are beyond a simple DVD. To fully understand all the capabilities of a MotifXS would take a college course...!

It is FAR better to figure out for yourself what area of programming YOU want to improve first, and then search out the information you need, either on the web, or through a tutor. And then be patient, methodical and focused...

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#170313 - 04/15/07 01:02 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
Posted by Cgiles:
--------------------------------------------
BTW, auto manufacturers don't teach you to drive because 99.9% of buyers have a license that says they are already a "seasoned pro".
--------------------------------------------

EXACTLY!!! So the synth makers don't teach you to use these (nor should it be their responsibility) because a LARGE percentage of the buyers "already know how to use them", and are "seasoned players" Same principle applies here.

If you're not part of the percentage that knows how, then simply "LEARN HOW".. That's why I said if you want to get into it get a budget synth to learn the basics. Hell the PSR's have basic voice editing. The Korg PA series is a freakin beast when it comes to voice editing on an arranger platform IMO. Roland is also good.

That's what shocks me. So many people here "already" have the tools infront of them. They just have to open the tool box and see what's in there. Your arrangers can be excellent learning tools to grasp the concepts of voice editing. Again, if you have a Korg PA series (I've read the manuals) you've got a good synth engine already in your hands.

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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#170314 - 04/15/07 01:16 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
The thing is, Donny, have you ever taken a week and said to yourself, this week I am going to learn about voice programming? I am not going to learn any new tunes, I am not going to tweak any styles, I am just going to concentrate on this one thing for at least a week.

Be methodical, sort out WHAT you want to learn an go about it in a methodical way. Lessons, when you were a kid, forced you into not being a gadfly, and concentrating on one task. That level of focus, even at a more elderly age level, will get you anywhere you want to go.

Find someone with good programming skills to SHOW you how to program. No DVD is going to have the ability to respond to YOU, and your learning needs. Go back to the principles that got you your current level of ability, and repeat them. And just be patient.

No-one is an expert after watching a DVD either. It still takes time and practice.

Manufacturers have a hard time determining what level of skill to aim an instructional DVD at. Too easy, and only complete novices will buy it. Too technical, and novices are left out. The capabilities of most TOTL keyboards now are beyond a simple DVD. To fully understand all the capabilities of a MotifXS would take a college course...!

It is FAR better to figure out for yourself what area of programming YOU want to improve first, and then search out the information you need, either on the web, or through a tutor. And then be patient, methodical and focused...


Diki.....I understand your point and appreciate your reply....all I am saying is that every tool we can access is a plus all around....everyone has a different learning ability......there is no down side to offering help, instruction, to anyone that is willing to achieve it...if you can do it on your own that fine too....that 50ish theory I dont buy into...I was playing & recording with Synths & keyboards way before I performed with an arranger or anyone ever heard of them .....but of course back then we self taught ourselves because there was no alternative ....in these times we have so many vehicles to learn why not take advantage of it?

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#170315 - 04/15/07 01:22 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
Dnj, I agree with ya man, but as a "user" you have to dig in and get your hands dirty yourself. DVD instructionals and so on can only teach you so much. You can't rely to heavily on the manufactuer to provide all the knowledge for you.

Not too long ago, an individual posted on the Zone not under "arrangers" but elsewhere about the Roland Juno-D. This was their first synth, and one hell of a good synth to "start with". I contacted the person via email, and later spent a good deal of time with the person on the phone explaining the basics. In all my explaining nothing will prove more valuable to this person than "hands on" and educating themself about the technology, functions, and what they do.

[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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#170316 - 04/15/07 01:29 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Donny, if you have extensive experience with synths in the past, what is so all-fired difficult about current ones? There really hasn't been THAT much innovation in the last decade or so. You just have to learn whatever 'language' your synth manufacturer chooses. I for one am fed up of each different manufacturer naming the same things different names! One maker's 'element' is another maker's multi-sample, etc.. You know what I mean....

Once you have the parlance, the all put their pants on the same way, basically. It's not until you get into modeling that things start to get seriously strange.

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#170317 - 04/15/07 02:25 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
freddynl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 1150
Loc: netherlands
MY KURZ K 2600 S STILL RULES
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Keyboards/Sound Units: Kurzweil 2600S, Roland VR-760, Acces Virus C, Roland G-800, Akai AX60, Minimoog, Machine Drum, Roland R8-M, mediastation x-76

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#170318 - 04/15/07 03:49 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Diki.....I hear ya and concur.....
Not myself...I am talking for the average general KB masses...there are more that
"Don't know" how vs "Do Know" out there .

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#170319 - 04/15/07 09:53 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
renig Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/00
Posts: 643
Loc: Canada
Wow, I can't believe I've read through this entire thread.

My first synth was a Minimoog back in the 70's - still have it. That thing is a breeze to operate simply because it has real knobs to twiddle. Getting into endless screens and buttons on these modern units just doesn't interest me much. I have a comfort level with the ol' Moog, and a lot of the sounds I hear people trying to achieve are all there in the mini (seems to me that 'phat'= moog bottom end).

If you want a good education in the basics, get hold of an old Moog, ARP, or Prophet. Then, if you are of a mind to, move on to the new synths, etc.

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#170320 - 04/16/07 12:50 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
If you have a passable computer, there are some wonderfully accurate emulations of Minimoogs and other classic synths. You can learn a LOT about programming from messing with these, at a fraction of the cost of a real Moog or ARP.....

There are even a bunch of pretty decent FREE soft synths out there, and you can learn your programming chops for free! And if you want to get the full knob twiddling your heart out experience, there are some very affordable MIDI knob controllers you can map to control the soft synths.

Don't hold off just because you think you couldn't possibly afford some of the original classic synths....

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#170321 - 04/16/07 02:32 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Graham UK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 1860
Loc: Lincolnshire UK
Fortunately even at my age I have never had a problem learning a new boards OS, but in fairness I know many, many people can't grasp learning a new OS. The older one gets the more difficulty it becomes, so you youngsters have all that to come.
A Tutorial DVD would immediately solve this problem.

You only have to read the daily forums to see all the questions the owners are confused about because they can't obtain the info required from the manual.

The main obstacle is people tend to stick with the OS they are accustomed and comfortable with, so stay with YXXX Brand or whatever they feel secure with. Unfortunately they may be missing out on a better quality keyboard.
Different brand OS's are just a different route to get you to the same place and time is well spent learning a new system,

Nobody is asking how to play these boards or even drive a car !!!!, if all the manuals were written by users and not the R & D departments things would be better and more informative.



[This message has been edited by Graham UK (edited 04-16-2007).]

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#170322 - 04/16/07 10:32 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Well, that's the difference between a manual, and a tutorial. Many confuse the role of the two....

But you often get a Quick Start guide (I know Roland do) and often this is quite informative, and more tutorial in nature.

To be honest, if most people would approach learning a new OS methodically, rather than shot-gunning themselves with everything immediately, to try and regain their familiarity with their old arranger as fast (or faster!) than possible, things would be a little easier.

Rather than go 'Today I want to play an entire tune', you go 'Today, I'll just learn how to call up styles', and learn all the different ways to do just that one thing, with all the differences memorized for each method (registration, free panel, tempo hold, etc.). Then the next day it's 'Today I'll learn how to call up the Voices'. Rinse and repeat...

Taken this way, a completely new OS is FAR easier to learn. But confusing yourself with too much information for the sake of instant gratification is a sure way to frustrate yourself.

And never forget just how long it took you to get truly familiar with your old OS. You REALLY ought to expect any new OS (unless related by manufacturer) to take at least as long, and probably longer. You've got to forget your old way AND learn totally new capabilities your old arranger never had. I think many people forget the months they spent mastering their old arranger, and expect to master a new one in weeks (or even days!) and end up going 'This new arranger sucks!', when in fact it is their patience that sucks!

Just be patient and methodical, and realistic about your learning abilities, and it will come together. Just not as fast or as easy as you would like!

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#170323 - 04/16/07 11:28 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Graham UK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 1860
Loc: Lincolnshire UK
Diki. I agree with your comments. As I have already stated I do not personally have a problem learning a new OS.
Manufactures are losing sales do to the fact that just as you stated. owners will not or do not want to spend time with a new OS, so they sell it very quickly and they stick with the Y brand, not because it's better, but because they get frustrated by a new way of doing things.

I say well done to Korg for providing the Video Tutorial on the PA800 \ PAX. Also well done Roland for the Raph Shink Tips & Tricks. These do very much give owners the benefit to learn the route around their valuable purchase.

PS. The New Roland Forum & Site is looking good.

[This message has been edited by Graham UK (edited 04-16-2007).]

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#170324 - 04/16/07 11:53 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Another take on this is without much educational material on products does agravate buyers to the point of selling in frustration....which in turn =
More Sales......so it could be a subliminal plan by manufacturers to make more money or just as it is to repackage old parts into new units just to unload inventory & just leach people along never giving TOO Much at once

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#170325 - 04/16/07 01:00 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Some of it is also the tendency to 'More, more, more' (thank you, Andrea True Connection!), and we end up buying a Lamborghini or Maserati, when we can truely only drive a Ford Focus well.

Truth is, unless you are willing to spend a LOT of time (even really experienced pros need quite a bit of time to master a TOTL arranger) to master a T2 or E80, you may be a lot happier knowing you are getting more from a mid-line arranger, rather than know very little about your TOTL arranger's capabilities.

Master what you have first, and THEN look around for better capabilities... There are SO many people that get a TOTL, and then don't have a clue about voice editing, but the truth is, it was on their old arranger too, they just never used it! Now it's a 'feature' on their latest acquisition, they feel they should somehow magically understand it, and it's the manufacturer's fault they don't (or at least provide a DVD so they can), but the truth often is, they really should already know this stuff by the time they graduate to a TOTL beast....

[This message has been edited by Diki (edited 04-16-2007).]

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#170326 - 04/16/07 01:35 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Dike....good post .....I would like to add aside from peoples mindset that they have to have the best....more then many only use a few features & are very happy without ever even knowing what their high priced purchase holds inside and dont care either....for example many buy the T2 & dont even sing ....so there goes a great feature never used ...get my point? Most want to play, with great sounds and styles that's it! maybe they should make a Pro sounding simple arranger with Top notch basics styles, sounds, mic/vocalizer, & that's it?

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#170327 - 04/16/07 08:18 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6212
Loc: Ventura CA USA
I have been using a Motif 6 as my main keyboard for gigs for quite a few years now. I do like the keyboard ... some sounds are very good .... some I wish were better ... but my main criticism is I wish the onboard MIDI sequencer was easier to use. I've been using computer sequencers for over 20 years now and I think all of them beat Yamaha's sequencer interfaces. I still do any MIDI sequencing I need on computer and just transfer the file to the Motif. I just don't like the user interface on the keyboard. But I wish I could just tweak sequences easily on the keyboard itself .... but that doesn't seem to be an option.

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#170328 - 04/16/07 08:23 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41406
Nigel Roland Kbs are the easiest I have used to do SMF edits on board amonst many other things. Especialy when playing live and you need to edit & save in real time.

[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 04-16-2007).]

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#170329 - 04/17/07 09:28 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Expecting ANY keyboard (short of Wersi or MS with a full computer sequencer on board) to have the ease of a dedicated sequencing program is unrealistic. First of all, there's the completely graphical way of manipulating data. This obviously depends on the display. I certainly wouldn't want to run Cubase on a 4 inch screen!

Then there is the enormously greater choices of editing tools. By the time an arranger has developed a sequencer that powerful, it would be unaffordable...!

I agree that Roland arrangers have the best SMF tweaking tools (called Makeup Tools) but these are primarily header and global edits. Often all you need, but if you need to edit the track data directly, as easy as Roland make it (their sequencer is pretty good) it is still a pale shadow of Cubase.

I am just glad that USB makes data transfer so much easier than it used to be. Bang the sequence to the computer, edit the SMF there, bang it back to the arranger. Simple, fast, powerful.

Why would anyone need more?

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#170330 - 04/17/07 10:13 AM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
I hear ya Diki. Man I would go nuts trying to work a Cubase related program on a 4" screen. The software programs (even the older ones) offer a lot.

A good example. Right now I'm working on John Legend's song "Ordinary People". What an absolute bitch of a song to try and do! That man NEVER plays it the same way. It's either slower, faster, jazzier, ect.

Well I got so sick of trying to play the 20,000 versions of the piano part for this song, that I just went and found the freakin midi file. I know the chords to this song, which aren't hard, but John Legend goes in two different directions at the same time with the arrangement. Well I opened the midi up under Cakewalk and have been having a blast with with it. I'm using my RS-70 as the sound source, but I can add all the tracks I want to this song, and do other things.

**Also singing this song is a pain too, again John has 20,000 ways to sing it as well**
_________________________
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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#170331 - 04/17/07 01:19 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
I'm afraid, squeak, the more versions an artist does of a song, the happier I am! I never want to do a note-for-note cover of ANYTHING, and if the artist themselves seems to have that approach, too... So much the better!

At least no-one will ever come up to you and say you suck because you do it differently!

I always try to get inside the 'soul' of a piece of music, NOT the notes. Unless you have the same line-up, and the same instruments, the notes, even if you play them, won't do the same thing, anyway... But once you capture the spirit of the tune, it's amazing how far away from the original you can go, and everybody still 'gets' it.

Give yourself permission to be as free with a song as the artist does... You'll be happier for it.

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#170332 - 04/17/07 01:54 PM Re: What's going on? (sign of the times..possibly)
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4650
Loc: West Virginia
I'm not trying to play it note for note. I hate doing that. It's just crazy when you're trying to "learn" the song and there are so many variations of it by the artist Trying to find a medium ground between them can be frustrating at times. I've got the chords, and I'm gonna do my spin off of it, but this is one of those songs that finding that spin can be difficult. The Midi I got was yet another spin off the song too Still I was having fun with it though.

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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