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#237007 - 06/28/08 08:03 AM Trying to decide
don adams Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Dryden ON Canada
Trying to decide on which arranger to buy. I tried out a pa800 and a s700 and they let me take the pa800 on trial until they get an s900.

Some great features in both but I'm leaning towards the s9oo right now.

I like the onboard styles better on the yamaha especially R&B and it seems easier to take parts out etc. It seems like it would be easier to find new styles and to connect to the internet also. Then there is the price difference ($1000) between pa800 and s900.

On the other hand I quickly got to like the touch screen on the korg and I think the organs and probably drums are better overall. Haven't tried the vocalizer yet

My questions to members. Is the s900 even better sound and style wise than the 700?

Which one is easiest to create styles on?

I'm a singer songwriter playing ballads, blues, soul, gospel, rock, jazz and some country. In most cases I would need different styles specific to my songs. I would also be using it to play oldies type stuff from the 60's and 70's

Thanks for any input Don Adams

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#237008 - 06/28/08 08:16 AM Re: Trying to decide
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4177
Hi Don,

I think your analysis is right on. Here's my spin:

900:

- great usable styles and sounds
- third party support unsurpassed
- good writing tool
- easy navigation on things you want to do
- 700 is close, no color screen and fewer styles

800:

- styles more authentic and mind-boggling
- fabulous enough sounds
- harmonizer is UNBELIEVABLE
- drums more authentic
- organ much better
- songbook is unsurpassed for live play
- limited 3rd party styles
- fills, endings, intros unsurpassed
- pads more realistic
- keybed is much better

I had the 900 live and thought I'd never part. I took a chance on the 800 and there is NO turning back. It is the best thing to ever happen to my performances. I use all the styles tailored to what I do - I make them work and that's make me different.

Good luck,
zuki


[This message has been edited by zuki (edited 06-28-2008).]
_________________________
Live: PA 3X / 8.2s / Zed 6FX / Blue Encore 300

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#237009 - 06/28/08 09:37 AM Re: Trying to decide
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4351
Loc: USA
I agree with Zuki on all points, I had the PA800 and liked enough to upgrade to the PA2xPro.

The thing I miss most and probably the only thing I miss from the PSR3000 and Tyros2 is the number of 3rd party styles and support available for Yamaha keyboards. The Songbook feature is fantastic, but from your description on how you'll use an arranger the S900 sounds like it may be better suited to your needs and $1000 extra bucks in your pocket could come in handy.

[This message has been edited by Stephenm52 (edited 06-28-2008).]

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#237010 - 06/28/08 12:42 PM Re: Trying to decide
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
You ask how easy it is to CREATE styles on them...

Do you create styles now, or have you in the past? If not, be warned it's a LOT harder than people make out (unless by 'create' you mean assemble styles from other existing styles). In fact, MOST people that say they create styles actually 'assemble' them then do minor surgery, not create out of the blue.

From what a lot of the Korg people say there is NOT much in the way of third-party styles for the Korg. What you get is probably what you'll have to use, at least for quite a while...

If this suits you, you're OK. If the ROM styles don't cover enough of your style base, you might need to consider something else...

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#237011 - 06/28/08 02:07 PM Re: Trying to decide
don adams Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Dryden ON Canada
Thanks for the replies.

I am concerned with being able to get more styles, whether I can do more than reconfigure existing ones is doubtful given my programming abilities.

I did find the songbook and it seems to be great for some songs. How hard is it to get or make more?

So far, I'm really impressed with organs, drums, bass, electic guitars, and I'm sure many more. A bit disappointed in the pianos perhaps, but I'm used to an 88 key.

It's great to have backing accompianments to play with. I'm kinda used to being a one man show now and some of my songs cannot be represented well with just acoustic guitar or a piano.

In my studio, I'm at the point where I'm downsizing and getting rid of my Hammond and Leslie, so organ for recording is pretty important to me.

The deciding factor in the keyboards may be style and song availability. I really liked the whole yamaha R&B section.

The other thing I was wondering, is there the choice of having a second lead set up in the yamaha and not the korg for a song or style i.e. organ then switch to electric guitar with a button ? Thanks again
Don

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#237012 - 06/28/08 08:38 PM Re: Trying to decide
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 38253
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by don adams:
I am concerned with being able to get more styles,
The deciding factor in the keyboards may be style and song availability. Don


This is why I sold my Pa800 Korg is really lacking in style availability versus Yamaha.

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#237013 - 06/29/08 12:03 AM Re: Trying to decide
rolandfan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 918
Loc: South Africa
I was offered the korg pa800 and yamaha s900 at the same price. I chose the yamaha because its sounds blow the korg away and its styles (including intros,fill ins,endings) make the korg feel ashamed to be called a keyboard. Only a handful of the korg styles sound decent. The korgs fill ins and intros STILL stick out like a sore thumb. Yamaha - you rule! (my 2 cents)

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#237014 - 06/29/08 12:50 AM Re: Trying to decide
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4748
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Korg has now integrated EMC styleworks quite well into its system, and so the conversions of other styles are way above what can be achieved with the standard version of styleworks, so all is not lost for additional styles.
As I have mentioned before, sounds and styles are very personal so there is not one board for everybody just yet.
Personally as I regularly listen to live music, (Real musicians and instruments) I would take the Korg over the Yamaha.
Enjoy whatever you finally decide on, and dont feel you have made a mistake just because others dont like it.
In case youre interested, here is my personal preference:

Styles:

Roland
Wersi
Korg
Ketron
Yamaha

Sounds:

Wersi
Korg
Ketron/Roland
Yamaha

Hope this helps

Bill



[This message has been edited by abacus (edited 06-29-2008).]
_________________________
English Riviera:
Live entertainment, Real Ale, Great Scenery, Great Beaches, why would anyone want to live anywhere else (I�m definitely staying put).

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#237015 - 06/29/08 03:36 PM Re: Trying to decide
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4177
Quote:
Originally posted by rolandfan:
I was offered the korg pa800 and yamaha s900 at the same price. I chose the yamaha because its sounds blow the korg away and its styles (including intros,fill ins,endings) make the korg feel ashamed to be called a keyboard. Only a handful of the korg styles sound decent. The korgs fill ins and intros STILL stick out like a sore thumb. Yamaha - you rule! (my 2 cents)


With respect, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. Don't even think these remarks about the 800 hold a gram of truth. You simply have to know how to get the best out of keyboard.

zuki
_________________________
Live: PA 3X / 8.2s / Zed 6FX / Blue Encore 300

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#237016 - 06/29/08 04:42 PM Re: Trying to decide
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by zuki:
With respect, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about. Don't even think these remarks about the 800 hold a gram of truth. You simply have to know how to get the best out of keyboard.

zuki



Horrible, isn't it, when someone that feels free to chime in with his opinion about how great the Korg is, above all others, and doesn't expect (or receive) this kind of abuse for his opinion, is SO willing to dish it out to others that have a contrary opinion...

WITH RESPECT (I doubt that this will make you feel any better, either, zuki), you have NO IDEA how to hold a polite discussion...

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#237017 - 06/29/08 05:25 PM Re: Trying to decide
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4177
Maybe so Diki, but you seem to be no better than me in that department, based on your public insult of me......this forum is really not worth it any longer.
_________________________
Live: PA 3X / 8.2s / Zed 6FX / Blue Encore 300

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#237018 - 06/30/08 02:55 AM Re: Trying to decide
rolandfan Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/02
Posts: 918
Loc: South Africa
Be polite zuki. U cut me real deep just now.

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#237019 - 06/30/08 06:56 AM Re: Trying to decide
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4177
Rolandfan,

Please accept my apologies. Sorry that you took it to heart.

For anyone seeking to check out the PA800:

- "The fills and intros stick out like a sore thumb" - not true, they are balanced, amazingly creative and sound fabulous in live play. There are many creative things one can do with the fills, intros, endings, etc that are not possible on other boards. I hear every instrument through my stereo setup - like no other board before has offered.

- "Only a handful of styles sound good" - not true, I've not used ONE 3rd party style to date and the onboard styles can cover any genre your seek. These styles are simply amazing.

- "Shame to be called a keyboard" - ??????????????????????

- Let's not forget the Songbook and harmonizer.

I have no idea why I get so upset when someone bashes the 800. I should be happy that I (and a few others) enjoy this blue marvel (it really is folks) and have a DIFFERENT act than anyone else on circuit. It has landed tons more jobs and the reception is overwhelming. It's not for everyone. It takes work and a creative mind to put forth the results it's capable of. I am different too that I play live arranger style only (I even canceled a recent DJ job - no fun) and am forced to tame this beast on a daily basis. When faced with that situation, you explore new horizons - something I didn't do the first time around.

So, mine is better than yours - I fell into the trap. But I will not sit back and let prospective owners read one sided reviews about such a unique product.

and Diki.......you do the same thing when someone bashes your beloved G70 (you've done it to me) - so chill out.

My 2 cents.
_________________________
Live: PA 3X / 8.2s / Zed 6FX / Blue Encore 300

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#237020 - 06/30/08 07:25 AM Re: Trying to decide
Bachus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 6413
Good dear Rolandfan...

Maybe you have a point, and we vallue your opinion, but could you explain why you dislike the Korg so much instead of just saying that you don't like it....
_________________________
Yamaha Genos and Modx 8, MFC10, Ipad pro.

http://keyszone.boards.net

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#237021 - 06/30/08 07:45 AM Re: Trying to decide
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10580
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Yes, Rolandfan, would you please elaborate on your dislikes of the PA-800?

The local dealer will not carry them, so I have yet to try one out.

Ian the Curious
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

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#237022 - 06/30/08 11:29 AM Re: Trying to decide
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Wouldn't it be funny if Rolandfan had listened to a PA800 that hadn't been updated to the latest OS (which apparently improved things quite a bit)?

Perhaps, zuki, mow you are beginning to understand the other side of the coin...

You felt perfectly justified in slamming the G70, with as little, if not less, time spent on it and as little attention payed to whether you were playing it in it's current state. For which, if you care to look, NO-ONE told you 'You have NO IDEA' what you are talking about'... This might, of course have been thought, but the posts did not say so specifically.

But feel free to insult the members here directly, if you cannot figure out a way to do it more politely

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#237023 - 06/30/08 04:05 PM Re: Trying to decide
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4442
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi Don,
I have a PA800 and a PSR1500 ( previous model to the PsrS700).
Quite frankly, since buying the PA800, both my PSR1500 & Ketron SD1+ all but sit in the corner unused.

There is no doubt the psr's have an infinately greater range of 3rd party user styles available. I downloaded 100's if not 1,000's of free styles. Spent most of my time auditioning stuff I'd never have a use for.

Managed to also find some Korg 3rd party styles ( mainly from a prior Korg model).

I convert or make up some of my own styles using the Korg's copy functions ie copying tracks from existing or converted styles to create new styles.. The style editing & creation functions are brilliant on the korg, ( especially guitar mode function) but it's quite a learning curve if you want to create styles from scratch.

If you just want to copy internal style tracks, that's a lot easier, but you have to basically like what's available in the first place.

Also make sure that the Korg you're trialling has the latest operating system 1.60 or at least has vers 1.51.
If it's an earlier operating system , you're not hearing it at it's best.


best wishes
Rikki

[QUOTE]Originally posted by don adams:
[B]

[This message has been edited by rikkisbears (edited 06-30-2008).]
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

Korg PA4x, Korg PA3X, PSR S950, Band in a Box 2018
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#237024 - 06/30/08 04:28 PM Re: Trying to decide
don adams Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Dryden ON Canada
Thanks again for the help. I guess it'll be a couple of weeks before i have the s900 to try out as well. I gotta give the music store credit for letting me try out new machines for that long. A couple of weeks ago they let me have a Motif XS to try. I quickly found out why it was called a "work station" Way too much programming for me to change it from a dance\rap\techno machine to classic rock and blues. I also tried a fantom G in the store and found the same thing. With the Motif, I also thought the organs sucked and it only let you use 4 instruments in performance mode(styles) So it looks like arrangers are the only option for musicians 50+ that want to play live.

I tried recording the pa organ today and I must say it sounded better to me in the mixthan my Hammond L100 with Leslie( the fact i dont have to mic it and pick up mechanical noise making the difference to my ears.

A couple of other questions for Suki or another pa800 owner.

Do the pa800 fills sound louder than the main drum parts to you and can the fills be changed.

Is there away of doing a break where the drums also stop for say a measure

Thanks for any advice Don

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#237025 - 06/30/08 05:37 PM Re: Trying to decide
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4442
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi,
some the fills can sound a bit louder than what one would like. You can actually overwrite an original style with edits, but not a good idea. Korg actually update the operating systems and resource files
( styles /sounds) once in a while. If you then upgrade the resources, you wipe out your edits. Safer to just save them as a favourites or user style.
Our last big upgrade ( free)
( 1.51os/1.50 resources) gave us Guitar Mode amongst other functions, & some new guitar sounds & they updated 40 styles to include guitar mode tracks.
We're waiting on the next big upgrade at the moment. No idea quite when or what we'll be getting..

Possibly 2 ways of doing it.
In record mode you could alter the velocity of the fill tracks ie lower it by
-10% or whatever. Or you could also try lowering expression ( again in edit mode) for each of the fill tracks. Sounds complicated , it's not.

The only time you can't use the expression option is, if the style part you're editing has fade ins or fade outs. There's a monitor that shows if a track has expression controllers in it.
After you've edited the style you save it to a user or favourites slot.

You could edit the break in whatever way you want.
You're also not stuck with 1 measure fills or breaks.

The styles are fully editible in the Korg itself using note event list editing.

Yamaha's onboard styles you can only edit the drums & percussion using the event list editor. Further note editing needs to be done using software.

You can also edit Korg styles in a pc sequencer if necessary by importing & exporting individual style parts ( ie intro's , variations etc) as type 0 midifiles.

Keep in mind the Korg also has an onboard sampler. The only thing I've done with it thus far is create s a few drum grooves.
ie some brush swish pads.
They're time sliced looping drum wav files that play in sync with styles & can also be used for pads.
I just use them to enhance some of the jazz styles.
I prefer not to load & unload these files, can get a bit messy if one isn't quite sure of what they're doing.
This function & sound editing is not mentioned in the main manual, it's a seperate manual on the disk that comes with the PA800.

best wishes
Rikki


Quote:
Originally posted by don adams:

Do the pa800 fills sound louder than the main drum parts to you and can the fills be changed.

Is there away of doing a break where the drums also stop for say a measure

Thanks for any advice Don[/B]




[This message has been edited by rikkisbears (edited 06-30-2008).]
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

Korg PA4x, Korg PA3X, PSR S950, Band in a Box 2018
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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#237026 - 06/30/08 05:49 PM Re: Trying to decide
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Careful, Rikki...

You may get more than you bargained for by acknowledging ANY fault in the Korg's at all Surely you know by now that you have NO IDEA if you think the Korg's fills are occasionally less than perfect...

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#237027 - 06/30/08 06:32 PM Re: Trying to decide
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4177
OK Diki, you win I find you amusing and good reading for a laugh or two....

Just finished gigging with the 800. That's justification on its own for me. Now I'm working on new material in my studio until 2am. Off for more gigs tomorrow and will repeat the pattern.

Enjoy what you may.
_________________________
Live: PA 3X / 8.2s / Zed 6FX / Blue Encore 300

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#237028 - 06/30/08 06:51 PM Re: Trying to decide
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4442
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi Diki,
I don't think there's a perfect keyboard out there.
Some are just closer to perfection than others. ( korg I luv U xxxx) haahaa.

best wishes
Rikki
Quote:
Originally posted by Diki:
Careful, Rikki...

You may get more than you bargained for by acknowledging ANY fault in the Korg's at all Surely you know by now that you have NO IDEA if you think the Korg's fills are occasionally less than perfect...
_________________________
best wishes
Rikki

Korg PA4x, Korg PA3X, PSR S950, Band in a Box 2018
V Arranger/Ketron SD2

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