Fellow Arranger Keyboard Enthusiasts,
I"m a Technics KN5000 arranger keyboard guy. I own the EMC "Style Works Universal" program which includes "Song(smf) to Style" conversion. I also own the diskette program produced by Taiyo which allows you to make SMF to Style conversions directly in the arranger keyboard itself. The EMC programs are are available for all major arranger keyboards. EMC "Style Works Universal" will work and convert to/from ALL makes/models of arranger keyboards. I purchased this one because I might eventually purchase another arranger keyboard brand/model in the future.
Here is my opinion/comparison of the two products:
For quick automatic conversions, you can't beat the price and convenience of the "Song to Style" diskette program by Taiyo. Unfortunately with this program you aren't able to have much control over the conversions.
Initially I had hesitated purchasing the EMC program, thinking it was way overpriced. Finally my curiousity over took me and I bit the bullet and purchased the EMC program. I ordered my copy directly from the author of the software himself (Mr. Klaus Grosser) at Tastenshop, Germany.Wow, I'm glad I took the risk. This program (abeit expensive) has helped me so much not only to make great professional sounding SMF to style conversions, but also in converting existing styles to/from all makes/models of arranger keyboards as well as manage other organizational functions of my KN5000 keyboard (panel,composer,sound, and style memory naming and organization).
The EMC Song to Style conversion module feature is "excellent". Just load a SMF into the program and then audition (see/hear) style variation conversions in real time on your PC's screen. You can then edit/change, select different harmonies, arpeggios, and keys to suit your taste. You then select the intros, A,B, fills, endings from the various parts of the SMF and save your converted styles onto a floppy disk to load into your keyboard. The BIG difference between doing all this with the Taiyo floppy diskette program and the EMC Windows PC program is "CONTROL and SELECTION". With the EMC program you can loop a section, make changes and see it on the screen as well. With the Taiyo program it's more or less automatic and you get what the program decides to do, not neccessarily what you want. I think the Taiyo program does a good job for the money, but if you want great styles which allow 'YOU' to control the results, go for the EMC program. If saving money (but not time) is an issue, the Taiyo diskette program will work, but be prepared to do more post 'style editing' from within the keyboard later.
If you want to produce a lot of quality SMF converted styles then the EMC is worth the money for the time it will save you. The EMC "Song To Style" feature is a godsend for me in that I can quickly convert the latest requested tune (SMF format) into a Technics format composer style and perform it convincingly that evening. The other great advantage is that you can use the style on other songs which is cool because it's a great way to experiment with playing other tunes to the latest arrangement dance groove. Oh wait, I thought I was a jazz musician... oh well, gotta make a livin'.
JayJay, I"m sure that the EMC programs will work with your GEM arranger keyboard but check with Fran Carango to make sure of this (Fran is the US dealer of EMC software). Hope this review brings you lot's of business Fran, do I get a cut?
(just kidding). Seriously, I do think the program is quite expensive but is worth it.I think the reason for the expense is because it plays to a very limited arranger keyboard audience like us. Considering the amount of work and energy that went into writing the program, and then realizing the low distribution potential, it's understandable.
[This message has been edited by Scottyee (edited 09-28-2000).]