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#200593 - 08/15/06 09:55 AM Re: Faking Performance
tyrosman Offline

Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 53
Loc: scotland
you lot for got to add me to your top 10 of players guys i mean a real players like scott we dont even play midi files we do it all live guys opps & also pose &craig uk

[This message has been edited by tyrosman (edited 08-15-2006).]
happy tyrosing tyrosman

#200594 - 08/15/06 12:54 PM Re: Faking Performance
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3354
Loc: The World
if someone is using an arranger, then, they are certainly using midi files..that is, as people would know, is how the arranger files are a whole lot of repeating small midi what's the difference playing arranger "midi files", playing them using left hand for chords/ bass and right hand for comping/soloing...OR a set midi file with drums and other fill instruments playing, whilst you play bass/chords with your left hand and comping/ soloing with right hand???? NONE NADA NIX NYET, apart from the fact arranger midi files repeat continuously, whereas the midi file has a fixed on that basis and according to some arguments put forward on this thread,both methods are cheating..... .....personally i do not believe its cheating..the only way there is no cheating is if you have a guitar player, bass player, drummer, get the picture

#200595 - 08/15/06 01:12 PM Re: Faking Performance
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6703
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally posted by miden:
..the only way there is no cheating is if you have a guitar player, bass player, drummer, get the picture

If you think about it, assuming you're going for a band-type arrangement, what's the difference? YOU'RE still not doing those parts. In fact, you're not even providing those left-hand chords that drive the accompaniment. This has all been said before, I'm sure. Cheating/not cheating; just depends on you point of view. We all know that 10 Synthzoners are good for at least 11 opinions.

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

#200596 - 08/15/06 01:46 PM Re: Faking Performance
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Originally posted by tyrosman:
you lot for got to add me to your top 10 of players guys i mean a real players like scott we dont even play midi files we do it all live guys opps & also pose &craig uk

[This message has been edited by tyrosman (edited 08-15-2006).]

Most certainly did include you. You must have overlooked your name on my list. Go look again.

#200597 - 08/15/06 02:13 PM Re: Faking Performance
MrEd Offline

Registered: 09/30/04
Posts: 519
Either my scrollin finger is over-fatigued or that list of Don's is getting longer each day.

#200598 - 08/15/06 02:19 PM Re: Faking Performance
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Miden & Cgiles.....

spot on replies

#200599 - 08/15/06 04:30 PM Re: Faking Performance
drdalet Offline

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 187
Loc: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Originally posted by miden:
.....personally i do not believe its cheating..the only way there is no cheating is if you have a guitar player, bass player, drummer, get the picture

I always liked playing with live musicians and my DX7 (and sometimes a real Fenderpiano), but I was the one who had to do the arrangements - I can do it, but I am not a professional and ik takes me a long time. And then the rehearsing..oh, yeah, we all had jobs so it was difficult to get together.
The fact is that when it became too hard I stopped arranging, stopped rehearsing and stopped playing altogether.
I needed a backingtrack - ok, why not do it on the computer. Well, I did for a while, but it takes a long time to make one.
My main reason to buy an arranger keyboard was ... to play again. It took me a year to get back to the skills I had when I left off about 10 years earlier.

Making a midifile and play with it could work, but I want a certain freedom too when I play; do an extra round of improvising when I feel like it and maybe even change chords. I like that freedom. Playing with breaks and vary the variations.
Point is, I am performing. If you have real live musicians behind you, they are performing too - that doesn't make MY performance any better.
I am even busier performing with an arranger, because when I played with a group I could rest while others, saxophone player or guitarist, took the stage with their improvisations. Now I have to be on my toes the whole song and pressing buttons (on time!) as well.

I could take a rest and fake playing, but that is cheap.
What about this: "And now for something I prepared earlier", start the midifile, leave the keyboard and watch it from the bar I am sure the audience will like that as a joke .... You can ask them while your keyboard "gently weeps"
And maybe ask a few nice girls to dance to your midifile.

[This message has been edited by drdalet (edited 08-15-2006).]

#200600 - 08/15/06 05:04 PM Re: Faking Performance
hellboy44 Offline

Registered: 11/04/03
Posts: 541
Loc: Australia
One thing that has not been mentioned when playing with the "dreaded" "awful" "fake" SMF (which sounds awesome if you have talent, and the right keyboard (i.e. sound source).

I play gigs where the "just like the record" sound is a big advantage for 2 types of audience.

1. Professional/semi-professional dancers (Ballroom, Rock n Roll, Latin etc) who are often used to rehearsing their routines to "Canned music" - CD's of course - and we go to great lengths to reproduce these arrangements live.

2. Young people who are in fact quite discerning (and at the same time - boring) in the fact they want the music/arrangement/production/quality of sounds to be JUST like the record (or re-mix on occasion which we also cater for).

My point?

There is an "art" or perhaps "discipline" to playing along to EXACT and STRICT sequences, instead of doing the arrangement how you feel at the time.
We have to remember (or at least use lyric/chord sheets) the EXACT song arrangement for, what, half a dozen different Genres (Jazz, Top 40, Latin Rock n Roll Country etc etc).

That ain't easy!

2 cents deposited.
God I hate signatures.


#200601 - 08/15/06 05:17 PM Re: Faking Performance
MrEd Offline

Registered: 09/30/04
Posts: 519
Originally posted by DonM:
Chas said "Name your ten favorite keyboard players."

Not in any order:
Uncle Dave
All the Tonys
Bob Gelman
Mr. Ed
Mr. Fred
Angelo (all of them)
28 more guys you don't know, and 37 who I DO know and can't think of off the top of my head.
Wait, you said 10. I know I've left a lot of them out, but ALL these guys play arrangers.


I'm really old, and the rest of the names will appear in my brain as soon as I hit submit.

[This message has been edited by DonM (edited 08-15-2006).]

Peter Paul & Mary? Keyboard players?
They faked me out!

and Don, you have to "learn to like yourself 1st".

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 08-15-2006).]

#200602 - 08/15/06 06:03 PM Re: Faking Performance
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Uncle Dave wrote:....--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've been performing as a solo artist since WAY before arrangers or midi were introduced. I played straight piano(Rhodes) first, then added Moog bass(left hand) then a drum machine and finally, when midi was introduced ... I layered a synth with a second sound for my right hand "color" sounds while keeping a dedicated keyboard for piano parts.
This lasted till the arrangers finally put good sounding drum machines in the keyboards. after that ... I slimmed down to just one keyboard, but still played all the bass and piano parts live to the rhythm machine looped patterns.
At first - the idea of using an "oom paa" (arranger) backing was unacceptable to me, but slowly, the patterns got better and better .... so I caved and used a few at a time. I spaced them out and used the arranger sparingly.

With the advent of midi ...many players started using sequences to add the hands that they could not provide, and give them a competitive edge with guys like me - that could get a party dancing with just MY hands. Well ................ the midi sounds got better and better, and pretty soon, the accepted "norm" in the trenches (clubs and parties) included at least at SOME level ... midi backing tracks. This was all taking place at the same time that the "K" word was being introduced from Japan. The K-Jays were getting about $300 or more per show to just emcee the night. Made me sad ... but I still worked the same schedule. 5 and 6 night a week and lots of afternoon parties and studio sessions. DJ's only hurt the bad musicians, or bad business people.

If you were a singer or guitarist in the 70's and 80's working clubs and eeking out a living ..... it became almost impossible as the 90's drew near. Bands were downsized to fit the diminishing budgets in the rooms and rising insurance rates due to DUI laws kept the clubs from paying a lot for live music. The returns just weren't there. At least at a "K" show .... people came in. Granted - they act like morons, but they DO fill the seats.

My point is this:

Many fine singers, drummers, guitarists etc. that used to work a lot were out of work all of a sudden due to downsizing. What do you do if you are the piano player in a 5 piece band? You play piano right? Do you play everyone else's parts too? NO.
I see nothing wrong with playing YOUR instrument to the capacity you are able, along with accompaniments by either live musicians, midi tracks or arranger patterns.

I see no difference in the validity of the performance.

My people come to see me make a show.
I make parties.
I set tempos.
I pick WHAT to do and WHEN.
I get paid to keep the action rolling.
I sometimes use arranger patterns, sometimes manual bass and drums, sometimes midi sequences, and sometimes I use custom made audio tracks from my studio with backing vocals and extra instruments. All these tools provide me with a means to an end. They allow me to express my creative talents to make a show.
Pushing fill-ins and selecting variations takes as much time, energy and expertise as it does to play creative, two fisted parts on a kb while a sequence plays the rest of the band's parts. Just like we ALL used to do when we had live playing members in the band. Remember bands?????

I miss playing funky clav parts to disco and R&B tunes. It's much more authentic and energetic if I sequence the backing tracks and play my ass off on the D6 or the Rhodes. Even when I play bass ... I can manage to get the groove happenin' with just those 2 hands, but it's harder to make a full sound because SOMETHING is always left out.

I like arrangers. I like sequences. I like simple piano chords. In short ......




I like playing it, and I like the people to like LISTENING and DANCING to it.
I find that mostly - senior audiences are the quickest to accept a "canned" arrangement of a song, while the younger crowds definitely respond to the sequences more. I am STILL working the keys and the crowd ... but in a different way.

My basic rule of thumb is this:

If it WORKS .... keep doing it.

So many times at weddings you'll hear 4 or 5 fast, modern tunes in a row and only a handful of barefoot, beer-drinking girls are dancing. Then a slow standard comes on and the floor FILLS up! Does the entertainer follow that with another slow one? Usually no. They change gears again and lose MOST of the dance floor.
Idiot behavior. Give 'em what they like.

Today's music is getting more and more "signature" specific with certain riffs and catch phrases that make it impossible for an arranger pattern to do justice to the song. If your crowd is over 40 (55 really) .... you have a shot at acceptance using arranger patterns, but the younger people see it as "hokey" and sophmorish.
I tend to agree. In low volume settings, especially. Sequences are lame when played softly. They need the energy from the movement of air, since there is NO one sending the energy into the performance at THAT specific moment.

In many cases - I'd rather play a left hand bass line and right hand chords to a drum beat than use a generic, overused pattern that sounds like every other player that owns a PA80. I like that intimate, small combo sound that only manual bass can provide. There is much more energy and "groove" when the piano and bass are in sync. For bigger sound - the sequence is the winner. The arranger fits somewher in between the two. (easy fellas ....... it's just MY views)

To summarize ....... there is NOTHING fake about using backing patterns, tracks, sequences, or whatever - as long as YOU are in control of the performance and you are playing YOUR part along with it. If you want to be a "front person" - that's OK too ... just don't fake it on dead keys. Get out in front and sing to the clients. They are VERY used to that concept.
Playing arrangers is a shortcut to a good sound, but it should not be a DESTINATION to aspire to. Use these tools to help you learn how to put it all together .... then go do it ! The important thing is energy. That comes from hard work Learn the parts !

[This message has been edited by Dnj (edited 08-15-2006).]

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