SYNTH ZONE
Visit The Bar For Casual Discussion
Topic Options
#187973 - 05/15/05 12:16 PM Arranger vs Workstation?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi all. newbie here.

This may seem a bit naive, and if so, I apologize. I'm preparing to buy a second keyboard, strictly for home use, and am trying to figure out what the difference is between an "arranger" keyboard and a "workstation" board.

As near as I can tell, an arranger keyboard is used more for a "one-man band" type operation. Although I do not do this (one-man band) myself, nor do I plan to necessarily, I still find the features of an arranger keyboard attractive for my intended purposes.

I use a Kurzweil PC2X as my performance board and love it. 88 weighted keys, very good sounds, easy layering, not too heavy and bulky...ideal for a frequent gigging musician.

But now I want to purchase a professional quality board for the home computer room, to write, record, etc... And I keep running across the words "workstation" and "arranger". They seem interchangable to me. Am I missing something?

I need/want a board with high quality sounds, easy to use "drum machine" with pres-set patterns as well as (possibly) the ability to program patterns from scratch.

One of the boards that has caught my eye is the Yamaha PSR 3000. I saw it at a store, and it seemed relatively easy to use, with pretty good sounds. The main drawback is the 61 light-weight keys...but I can live with that.

Is this board, or others like it, compatible with computer based recording/sequencing programs? I currently have "Magix Music Studio".

Finally, someone on these message boards mentioned these incredible piano samples at "soundsonline.com" from Borsendorfer and Steinway.....and they blew me away. Will boards such as the PSR 3000 work to "trigger" these sounds into a computer home studio program?

That's a lot of questions. sorry. Any responses are very welcome.

thank you.



------------------
Dave Berriman

Top
#187974 - 05/15/05 12:59 PM Re: Arranger vs Workstation?
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Welcome to the forum!
The main thing that distinguishes arrangers is that they have a looping autochord function, that allows you to play the background for songs in real time.
In other words, with the autoaccompany feature turned on, you can split the keyboard and use one hand, usually the left, to play the chords to a song, while you can play the melody or solos with the other. You need not sequence the song ahead of time.
There are various styles, or patterns, some factory set, others loaded by the user, that are tailored for certain musical styles or genres.
For example you might pick a style titled 4/4 Rock to play a song such as "Honky Tonk Woman". As you play the chords with the left hand, the bass, rhythm instruments and drums sound in time and in character with the song you are doing. You can vary the tempo as desired and of course when you change chords, all the instruments change with you.
On newer arrangers, there are usually four variations for each of the styles. These allow your "virtual band" to build and change as you progress through the verse, chorus, bridge, etc. of the song. There are also drum and instrument fill-ins that can be triggered either automatically or manually that add variety and realism to the style.
In addition there is a selection of intros and endings for each style, some more elaborate than others.
Regarding your other questions, an arranger can do most anything a workstation can do, including triggering sounds from external sources. Some arrangers have samplers, most have sequencers of varying complexity. Generally speaking, the sequencers in arrangers are not quite as versatile or complete as those in workstations, but this is a generalization.
Other features that most high-end arrangers now have include microphone inputs, vocal harmonizers that allow you to sing harmony with yourself, and multiple digital effect processors.
Many songwriters find that arrangers are very useful in creating song ideas, and indeed complete songs. You need not sequence each individual instrument as you go, but if you come up with something you like you can go back and edit the parts after you save your song as a sequence.
This just scratches the surface. Arranger are widely misunderstood and under-appreciated by the general public and most musicians as well.
Hope this helps. We'll be happy to answer any questions.
DonM www.donmasonmusic.com
_________________________
DonM

Top
#187975 - 05/15/05 01:41 PM Re: Arranger vs Workstation?
chony Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/10/04
Posts: 1247
Loc: New York
Quote:
Originally posted by AngelsPlayground dot com:
Finally, someone on these message boards mentioned these incredible piano samples at "soundsonline.com" from Borsendorfer and Steinway.....and they blew me away. Will boards such as the PSR 3000 work to "trigger" these sounds into a computer home studio program?


Yes, but make sure you have a powerful computer.

Chony

Top
#187976 - 05/15/05 11:53 PM Re: Arranger vs Workstation?
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 6020
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi,
if you're possibly interested in a software based system,
check out some of Frank's earlier posts.
http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum37/HTML/010616.html


best wishes
Rikki
Quote:
Originally posted by AngelsPlayground dot com:


Finally, someone on these message boards mentioned these incredible piano samples at "soundsonline.com" from Borsendorfer and Steinway.....and they blew me away. Will boards such as the PSR 3000 work to "trigger" these sounds into a computer home studio program?

That's a lot of questions. sorry. Any responses are very welcome.

thank you.



[/B]
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki 🧸

Korg PA5X 88 note
SX900
Band in a Box 2022

Top
#187977 - 05/16/05 08:22 AM Re: Arranger vs Workstation?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the replies.

chony, by "powerful computer", please elaborate a bit on how powerful you mean. These samples blow me away, and I'm very interested in doing what it takes to have them at my fingertips.

Also, do you have any thoughts on how best to set up a basic home studio with easy to use/edit drum patterns and sequences?

Quote:
Originally posted by chony:
Yes, but make sure you have a powerful computer.

Chony

Top
#187978 - 05/16/05 12:42 PM Re: Arranger vs Workstation?
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9673
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
After a few days with a new Roland Fantom X...a great workstation, great sounds[the useable ones], and great features...I like it better than the Korg Triton Studio 76 that I owned and maybe more than a Motif..but, for the life of me , I don't understand why any intelligent person would prefer a workstation[it sure is a work station] over a quality arranger workstation..
An arranger[top models] can do just about anything a "workstation" can do[anything important anyway]....and a whole lot more that a workstation can't do..

By the time you complete a project on a workstation, I would have already spent the proceeds from the project via working with an arranger..

It takes way to long to put together a project with the Fantom[or any other make]...Any inspiration, is sure to suffer in this slow adventure..

Like DonM says, musicians just don't know enough to appreciate the value of arrangers[they are closed minded]..
I experienced both worlds, and are fond of many of my old workstations[JV1000,XP80}...

As for the Fantom, I like it, but I'll take a G70, Korg Pa1x, Ketron SD1 or a Yamaha Pro 9000, over this or any workstation..
_________________________
www.francarango.com



Top
#187979 - 05/16/05 10:38 PM Re: Arranger vs Workstation?
flatfoot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 118
Loc: sacramento CA
.
If you are moving to a studio situation built around a computer, I think you may find that the computer becomes the central focus of your workspace. With the computer you can move into large-sample voices, soft synths and editing capabilities far beyond what any workstation can offer. You will enjoy working with the computer screen and QWERTY keyboard far more than the dinky screen and tiny buttons on your current synth-keyboard.

In this case neither a workstation nor an aranger is needed. You can use any keyboard you have to serve as a controller for the computer-based sounds and programs. Save yourself the price of a new keyboard and spend it on the best conputer and software you can afford.

.

Top

Moderator:  Admin, Diki, Kerry 



Help keep Synth Zone Online