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#214392 - 06/06/06 06:45 AM My journey to a Tyros 2
RobertG Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 464
Loc: Southeastern PA, USA
I thought this might be instructional for those looking to buy a new arranger keyboard such as the Tyros 2. For others, you may be able to relate to my plight, or be amused by it.

First some background. I am pianist, trained in classical and jazz music. In college I was a Jazz Performance major. Actually, I started as a Music Education major, decided I didn’t want to teach, switched to Jazz Performance, and then decided that a degree in music would qualify me to wait on tables just about anywhere, and then switched to Marketing in the School of Business. I have professionally played solo piano and in various jazz bands on-and-off again for the past 25 years. For a real living I run a software company. My first keyboard was a Casio Arranger (if you could call it that 25 years ago), followed by a Rhodes 73, a Yamaha DX7-II D-FD with eboard, and a Roland FP-5. I also have a 6’ Young Chang G-185 Grand Piano. In the mid-80s I worked in a music store selling band instruments, keyboards, sound reinforcement, guitars, etc.. I have a wife and two kids (more about them shortly)

After 2 years with my FP-5, which I like a lot, I felt it was time to move on to a cool and groovy arranger keyboard. So I started the traumatic experience of making the right decision. I quickly honed in on the choices of Tyros 2, G-70, or PA1x. How do I make the right decision? Can I really live with 60 keys? Do I have to get another heavy keyboard (FP-5 is 88 keys and weighs 49 lbs)? Which one has the best sound and styles for how I play? Is now the time to buy or are new models about to come out that will do twice as much for half the price? These are the questions you see time and time again on this forum. I had them all. So, I researched and researched, and researched some more. I read every review and opinion I could find, downloaded manuals, stalked every forum I could find (synthzone, svpworld, yamahapkowner, …), visited every manufactuer’s web site about 3 million times. Listened to every sample and watched every video (I think I can now speak german thanks to the videos on piens.com). I live near Philadelphia, PA. Finding a retailer that actually had these keyboards on the floor was very difficult. I spent a lot of time in the UK a few years ago. I was thinking of returning to Hounslow or Poole just to be in a country where the keyboards were on display.

Synthzone was a very helpful resource. Just like that Mac vs. PC war I chuckled at the Tyros vs. G70 crowd and enjoyed the pontifications of those claiming the E80 the best or worst keyboard of all time, months before being available. Scott Yee, DNJ, Craig_UK and Fran Carango are all now celebrities to me.

My obsession well engaged, I came to a conclusion. The superarticulation sounds on the Tyros 2 were just too cool to pass up. Now for the next problem. What kind of speakers? TRS-MS02 with or without Bose 161, Logitech Z5500, or Mackie 450s. Again opinions abound on Synthzone ranging from the TRS-MS02 suck to “you really have to listen to them all to make up your mind” so buy all of them so you can A/B them.

All very traumatic indeed. Now for the hard part.

How do I convince my wife it’s a good ideal to buy a new keyboard that costs over $3,000 with all the related accoutrements? My reasoning included:

- It will help the kids become musicians
- It will help one of our children sing on pitch
- It’s educational
- It will allow me to explore new music
- I’ll sell everything else I own on eBay (kidney, if need be) except for the Young Chang
- I’ll never buy anything expensive again
- You can play it too, dear

Eventually, after a few weeks, I was able to wear her down.

So last week the boxes began to arrive
- Tyros 2
- Tyros 2 Bag
- TRS-MS02
- Logitech z5500
- New microphone
- New cables for microphone
- Adaptors for mic to PA system when hooking into another PA system
- New mic stands for mic and Logitech speakers
- Harddrive

After the first two or three shipments arrived I was told “This is why I hate when you buy these things, you get so much other stuff with it. If I see one more ^%$#%^% box show up at our door you can’t buy anything else for the next three years”. Yes dear, I understand. Response: “Don’t give me that, you got what you wanted”. Yes dear, I understand.

So now I have my Tyros 2. It’s really, really cool. Still wish it had 76 keys. I am thinking about adding the cheap ($199) m-audio 88 key controller. Haven’t figured out how to do that and stay married. The Logitech z5500 won out. The TRS-MS02 sounded better a lower volumes but I found the 500w Logitech more versatile. I even played a job with the Tyros on Sunday. “See dear, it will pay for itself in no time”.

It’s got more buttons then the space shuttle, but it sounds cools. The one kid still can’t sing on pitch. I guess I just haven’t got to that part of the manual.

I have started to sell stuff on eBay, my telescope was first to go. Hope I can keep my kidney, I kind of like it.

[This message has been edited by RobertG (edited 06-06-2006).]

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#214393 - 06/06/06 06:58 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
DonM Online   elvis
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 15389
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Great story, probably typical of a lot of us.
I've been truly lucky as I was a full-time entertainer when I met my wife and she understands that I am an equipment junkie.
She just shakes her head and smiles when another box arrives!
Well sometimes she smiles.
Sometimes she shakes MY head.
DonM
_________________________
DonM

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#214394 - 06/06/06 07:33 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5509
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
My secret. Never tell them what it REALLY costs. My wife thinks every piece of equipment I own cost $200.00 or less. The larger, more elaborate stuff (like say, the Tyros 2), $300.00. You'd be suprised how naive most wives are unless you married one of the smart, sneaky ones. If you did that or if you insist on telling the truth (a risky thing to do in the most marriages), then it's your own fault. Your mileage may vary using my technique.

Peace,

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

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#214395 - 06/06/06 07:43 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
RobertG Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 464
Loc: Southeastern PA, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by cgiles:
My secret. Never tell them what it REALLY costs. My wife thinks every piece of equipment I own cost $200.00 or less. The larger, more elaborate stuff (like say, the Tyros 2), $300.00. You'd be suprised how naive most wives are unless you married one of the smart, sneaky ones. If you did that or if you insist on telling the truth (a risky thing to do in the most marriages), then it's your own fault. Your mileage may vary using my technique.

Peace,

chas


Chas: Sadly, I married one of the smart sneaky ones. My memory is not good enough to remember which lie I may have used so I have to resort to always telling the truth.

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#214396 - 06/06/06 08:20 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Hi Robert,

Welcome both to Synthzone & to the exciting world of Tyros2. Thanks for sharing with us your interesting musical journey (so far). In spite of your apparent music talent, you were perhaps wise to have switched your major to Business, as supporting a family can prove particularly challenging for a musician. Coming from a similar music background as yourself (classically trained: 4-13, then a jazz music major in college), I'm curious how you're gonna approach arranger playing, of which obviously requires an entirely playing approach than traditional keyboards. I assume you've read my postings about the Bill Evans style jazz (rootless) piano chord voicings (aka: A/B voicings) recognized by Tyros2, right? Interestingly enough, these are absently missing and not included in the Chord Table Recognition section of the Tyros2 user manual.

I'm first to admit that whatever classical & jazz pianistic skills I acquired years ago, have now gone up in smoke, especially since I now utilize the Tyros2 arranger for most all gigs now. I hope you'll heed my advice and remember that no matter how much fun you have playing (and keeping your audiences entertained = $ bucks) with your Tyros2, don't forget to keep your piano chops in shape as well. I suppose this serves as a reminder to me to 'wipe the dust off' the keys of my Steinway and brush up on the scales & chord progression exercises.

Ok Robert, really looking forward to your continued input on this forum & gaining your perspective on music & arrangers, especially with your extensive classical & jazz piano experience & education.

Scott
_________________________

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#214397 - 06/06/06 08:24 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4424
Loc: USA
Robert:

Congratulations on the T2. I share your plight in trying to convince my wife on buying the next toy. I also have an obsession for the lastest in computers and anything techie

Since I now work with both computers in my day job and part time with music I always sell her that this new toy will make me more money. In reality not always the case, but sounds good on paper!!

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#214398 - 06/06/06 08:31 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Starkeeper Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 1704
Loc: Toronto
I go home on the weekend to my wife and Roland EM20 and softsynth. During the week I play on a Yamaha PSR550, which my wife does NOT know about. She will eventually find out. I was thinking I would tell her I bought it many years ago (that's true). "Oh, didn't I tell you?"
But saying I paid $200.00, used, is a great lie. Thanks.
A while back she visited my room, so I hid the keyboard under the bed. She wanted to bring home the keyboard stand. Oh, no, I need that to hang up my clothes. Haha.
Oh what a tangled web we weave.
Starkeeper
_________________________
I play Roland EM20 and Yamaha PSR550

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#214399 - 06/06/06 08:49 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkeeper:
I go home on the weekend to my wife and Roland EM20 and softsynth. During the week I play on a Yamaha PSR550, which my wife does NOT know about. She will eventually find out. I was thinking I would tell her I bought it many years ago (that's true). "Oh, didn't I tell you?"
But saying I paid $200.00, used, is a great lie


OMG! The plight of married life. - Scott
_________________________

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#214400 - 06/06/06 09:09 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Mainer Offline
Member

Registered: 10/16/02
Posts: 414
Loc: Saco, Me
Wonderful story! I justify the cost figuring it's good therapy for whatever ails you. Cheaper then pills, doctors or the hospital. I can never lie to my Gal she remembers everything, especially all my goof up's. Good luck with your new toys.

Jerry

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#214401 - 06/06/06 09:32 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
spalding Offline
Member

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 582
Loc: Birmingham
"I can never lie to my Gal she remembers everything, especially all my goof up's."


yeah that can be really quite annoying !!

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#214402 - 06/06/06 09:43 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
BEBOP Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 3770
Loc: San Jose, California
YOu guys are so funny. I love your humor,
Bebop
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BEBOP

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#214403 - 06/06/06 10:05 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
kbrkr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 2816
Loc: Tampa, FL
All it cost me was a new house, in-ground pool, and a new car, and I can buy whatever equipment I want. ;-)
_________________________
Al


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#214404 - 06/06/06 10:24 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
RobertG Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 464
Loc: Southeastern PA, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Scottyee:
...I'm curious how you're gonna approach arranger playing, of which obviously requires an entirely playing approach than traditional keyboards. ...I assume you've read my postings about the Bill Evans style jazz (rootless) piano chord voicings ...whatever classical & jazz pianistic skills I acquired years ago, have now gone up in smoke, ... and keeping your audiences entertained = $ bucks) with your Tyros2, don't forget to keep your piano chops in shape as well.
Scott


Scott: I have discovered how the Tyros 2 does not always recognize chords the same as I am thinking of them. As example, to me (F,A,B,E) is what you play when you see G7, technically a G13 with no G. Usually, the bass on the Tyros is not too far off, so it sounds OK. BTW, I am not thrilled with the Acoustic Bass sound of the Tyros 2 and will be looking for alternative samples.

I couldn't find your posting about chord voicing with Tyros 2. Can you point me to it? I saw one from you about Ketron.

My approach to the arranger is to not think of it as a piano, but as a band. Melding sounds and rhythms that you couldn’t do solo. The Super articulation voices adds a whole new dynamic if you use the proper phrasing and play it with the limitations of the real instrument (a guitar can’t go belong an E and a Tenor Sax would rarely go to the range of the top of the keyboard). For me, I am looking into building a variety of styles, as example build a collection of multiple bossa nova styles to choose from. Perhaps I would use multiple styles in the same song. The biggest challenge for me is how to make an arrangement interesting in real time. I think that sequencers and other pre-recording tracks have an occasional role but can damper spontaneity in my playing. Any resources you can point me to about acquiring a variety of styles would be appreciated. George Kaye wrote recently that Yamaha is working on bringing the PRS-A1000 sounds and styles to the Tyros 2. That would be pretty cool.

As for audiences, when entertaining at a function, I believe I am not there to perform, but to entertain. I need to put my musical ego aside and play what will make them happy. That’s what they are paying me for. I’m fine with that as I am grateful that they believe in having a live performer instead of a DJ. Even in these kinds of jobs I will still sometimes play something for my own amusement.

As for chops, I still study classical regularly. I find that the classical playing gives me inspiration for jazz and the same is true in the reverse. Currently, I am working on Gershwin, Beethoven, and Chopin pieces. The Tyros 2 is definitely cutting into my classical practice time.

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#214405 - 06/06/06 10:26 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
RobertG Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 464
Loc: Southeastern PA, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by kbrkr:
All it cost me was a new house, in-ground pool, and a new car, and I can buy whatever equipment I want. ;-)


So the way to a man's wallet is through his keyboards?

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#214406 - 06/06/06 11:32 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 38690
Loc: NJ
Robert...good luck with your new T2 Kb .....you made a very wise choice my friend......make some great music and post them here for us all to enjoy !!

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#214407 - 06/06/06 12:30 PM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Dreamer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/23/01
Posts: 3849
Loc: Rome - Italy
Robert,
great story and welcome to the Forum.
_________________________
Korg Kronos 61 and PA3X-Pro76, Roland G-70, BK7-m and Integra 7, Casio PX-5S, Fender Stratocaster with Fralin pickups, Fender Stratocaster with Kinman pickups, vintage Gibson SG standard.

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#214408 - 06/06/06 12:33 PM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
kbrkr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 2816
Loc: Tampa, FL
Quote:
Originally posted by RobertG:
So the way to a man's wallet is through his keyboards?


Yes, but I really lost out on that exchange.
_________________________
Al


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#214409 - 06/06/06 12:39 PM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Route 66 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/30/00
Posts: 803
Loc: Braganca, Portugal
Robert: your story made me remember how much freedom I enjoy, not having to give any explanations about buying equipment... Selling your telescope seems to me your biggest sin. What kind of telescope did you have? Welcome to the forum.

-- José.

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#214410 - 06/06/06 01:45 PM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
RobertG Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 464
Loc: Southeastern PA, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Route 66:
Robert: your story made me remember how much freedom I enjoy, not having to give any explanations about buying equipment... Selling your telescope seems to me your biggest sin. What kind of telescope did you have? Welcome to the forum.

-- José.


Meade ETX-125EC 8" Schmittt-Casegrain

Give me a year or two and I'll have a new story about replacing it.

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#214411 - 06/07/06 02:40 PM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Scottyee Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10427
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, CA, US...
Quote:
Originally posted by RobertG:
Scott: I have discovered how the Tyros 2 does not always recognize chords the same as I am thinking of them. As example, to me (F,A,B,E) is what you play when you see G7, technically a G13 with no G.


Exactly! And of which is popularly known as the Bill Evans, left hand 'rootless' voicing for G13. The G is not played by the keyboard player, as it's already covered by the Bass player, or by the bass part auto accomp on the arranger.


Quote:
Originally posted by RobertG:

I couldn't find your posting about chord voicing with Tyros 2. Can you point me to it?


Interestingly enough, I discovered (by accident) that Tyros2 actually supports recognition of an altered variation of the well known and played by jazz players, Bill Evans style left handed : 'rootless chord' recognition (A/B voicings) as of which G13 (F,A,B,E) qualifies.

Bill Evans left hand II-V7-I progression:

'rootless' chord voicing played on piano:
1) F-A-C-E: Dm9
2) F-A-B-E: G13
3) E-A-B-D: C69

'rootless' chord voicings recognized by arranger keyboards (Yamaha, Korg, Technics & Ketron)
1) F-C-E : Dm7(9)
2) F-B-E : G7(13)
3) E-A-D : C69
4) E-Bb-D: C7(9)

Another left hand rootless voicings:

'rootless chord voicing played on the piano:
1) Eb-G-A-D: F13

'rootless chord recognized by arranger keyboards (Yamaha, Korg, Technics & Ketron)
1) Eb-A-D: F13

As you can see (above), the arranger chord recognition version of Bill Evans style 'rootless' chords includes only 3 notes instead of 4. The reason for this limited variation is because the 4 note version (ei: F-A-C-E) is already universally recognized as the root position FMaj7 chord. Removing the 5th (C) is acceptable, because it's considered the least important chord tone, and usally the first tone of a chord to eliminate when chord extensions (9,11,13th) are included. Because these arranger kb variant rootless chords also support smooth II-V7-I voice leading, I spent some time initially to play and memorize the above arranger specific chord progressions in all 12 keys, so they can be easily called up whenever I come upon a II-V7-I chord progression in my music. I forgot to mention that I play all this in "fingered" mode, with both LEFT & RIGHT parts assigned to acoustic GRAND piano. Now I can play two handed piano on the arranger, and include 2-hand full comping chords as well, with the right hand stacking 4th and 3rd above the left hand. Pretty nifty and surprising convincing jazzy sound in auto accomp mode with jazz swing styles.

Quote:
Originally posted by RobertG:

I am not thrilled with the Acoustic Bass sound of the Tyros 2


I wished Yamaha had included a Super Articulation 'acoustic bass' especially for times I want to manually play walking bass patterns with my left hand. On the other hand, I'm quite satisfied with the auto accomp bass 'sounds': mega voice acoustic bass etc. I find that by increasing the volume level of the auto accomp bass part and/or fattening the sound with efx, greatly enhances the auto accomp bass sound.

Robert, I'd really love to telephone chat with you via Skype or by private email, to perhaps share my thoughts & ideas about this in better detail . My Skype id is: Scottyee. Email me privately (address given in my profile) if interested.

Scott
_________________________

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#214412 - 06/08/06 03:23 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
RobertG Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 464
Loc: Southeastern PA, USA
Scott: I will try out the three note voicing examples you listed. Great sluthing on your part. Then, I will set up a Skype account and be back in touch.

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#214413 - 06/10/06 06:12 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4181
[QUOTE]Originally posted by RobertG:

Then, I will set up a Skype account and be back in touch.

Are you sure SHE'LL let you?

zuki
_________________________
Live: PA 3X / 8.2s / Zed 6FX / Blue Encore 300
Studio: PA 3X / HS7s / Zed 8FX / Baby Blue / Tascam DP 03CD

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#214414 - 06/10/06 07:41 AM Re: My journey to a Tyros 2
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8748
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Zuki, How come you are not Skyped yet?
My Skype name now is Francis.Carango


I have not received a return invite from Craig, Dennis, and others...You guys mad at me?

[This message has been edited by Fran Carango (edited 06-10-2006).]
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www.francarango.com



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