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#239451 - 08/05/08 05:15 PM Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4643
Loc: West Virginia
Is it bothering anyone else here how keyboard makers are suddenly deciding that common features on both arrangers and synth/workstations aren't important anymore, and how they're dropping some basic features to lure in more buyers for other products of theirs..???

One thing that really bites my backside is how suddenly basic midi jacks are no longer important on some arranger keyboards, and the USB jacks they've added are really a joke in terms of midi control. I've been considering an inexpensive arranger to add to my synths and I have a few in line. One of the "so called affordable" arrangers from Yamaha I've been looking at is the PSR-S500. I can't for the life of me swallow that Yamaha has dropped basic midi jacks on a $700 arranger keyboard, and given it a USB-Host (that's quite limited). Even Roland's E-09 has midi jacks. I would assume that Yamaha has grown tired of musicians buying their lower end arrangers for the secondary use as a midi keyboard. Dropping the midi jacks means buyers now have to buy the more expensive models just to get them....

Yammie also did something VERY dirty with the Yamaha Motif XS. Someone or some team must have brain-stormed on this one for a while. They somehow had a team decide that "step sequencing/recording" is no longer a needed feature on a full blown synth workstation! They got very dirty on this one. Yamaha has dropped this feature (which is a very commonly used feature on workstations especically for the styles of music synths thrive at which is electronica), and when this issue has been brought up a Yamaha rep has always so kindly said "use the included seq software" that ships with the Motif. They've taken a very used feature and are using that to drive the "upgrade sales" of their seq software program. Why in the hell should a Motif XS user have to hook up to a software seq just to get freakin step recording... It's not just Yamaha. Even the all mighty Kurzweil has seen this effect. I read about this on another forum too. I never thought I'd see the day that a Kurzweil-a maker who has for years been known as one of the leading synths for the program junky..., has dropped step seq/recording on the new PC3X.

I'm just tired of the makers dropping features people DO USE on keyboards in order to sell their more expensive line. Sorry, but this has been bothering me lately. I'm going nuts trying to find the right arranger to add to my setup, but it's not going to be used as a main keyboard, but I still want it to have freakin MIDI jacks and not some crippled USB midi.

[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 08-05-2008).]
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GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#239452 - 08/05/08 05:24 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
Uncle Dave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 11524
Loc: Philadelphia Pa, USA
Squeak,
Don't you see midi jacks on the same level as other dinasaur features like floppy drives? I'm sure the industry is all behind using a faster, more convienient jack that has "in & out" in the same jack.
Most kbs dropped the floppys, Yamaha tried the Smart Media card - now history too. As Mt Zimmermann said: "The times, they are a-changin'"

I don;t see it as stripping down as much as upgrading.
_________________________
Every instrument, every voice, every sound in nature ... these are are all my private tutors ... 24/7 for free, and all I have to do is listen.

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#239453 - 08/05/08 05:34 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4643
Loc: West Virginia
I see it as a step backwards because their has not been a drop in the number of people who use one keyboard to control another. Sure.., for computer use I see USB as a great thing, but to just say the hell with all those people who used these keyboards to control another really gets at me I guess. It was not at all uncommon for people to buy lower end units for dual purposes. One for an inexpensive "go to board for that quick fix', and the other was for midi control.

It's not just controlling other keyboards either. It's not uncommon for people to use things such as drum machines and other gear that has standard midi jacks. I just find it crazy that a $700 keyboard doesn't have basic midi jacks.

[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 08-05-2008).]
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#239454 - 08/05/08 06:14 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 40807
$700.00 in todays world aint nothing....just a few tanks of gas, It just cost me $50.00 to go see the X-files in the movies tonight for 2 .....features will always be added & takin away on each model....I agree with Uncle Dave for sure.

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#239455 - 08/05/08 06:29 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
Fran Carango Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9214
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Dave:
Squeak,
Don't you see midi jacks on the same level as other dinasaur features like floppy drives? I'm sure the industry is all behind using a faster, more convienient jack that has "in & out" in the same jack.
Most kbs dropped the floppys, Yamaha tried the Smart Media card - now history too. As Mt Zimmermann said: "The times, they are a-changin'"

I don;t see it as stripping down as much as upgrading.


Don't take my floppy from me..still the fastest way to swap a file..

Thankfully ..my G70 has it all..Floppy, card, USB for midi and data,,,and Midi in, out and thru...

These are not outdated if they are usable..and they are ..every day...
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#239456 - 08/05/08 06:33 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
Fran Carango Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9214
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Same with laptops..I made sure I got a floppy drive..firewire , USB (3), PCMCIA slot, and a Pentium 4...Obsolete? Not in my world..
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#239457 - 08/05/08 06:38 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4643
Loc: West Virginia
It's funny how some consider a feature "they don't use" to be obsolete. No way are standard midi jacks becoming obsolete. Tons of gear today still includes standard midi jacks.

People want to think some features are obsolete just because the maker of the item has deemed it obsolete, yet in reality they've just found another way to make you buy a higher end model.

Sure.., I can see floppies, and even smart media cards becoming obsolete, but standard midi..., no FREAKING way!

I'm with Fran on this.... Funny how floppies are obsolete, yet they're still on shelves, and I haven't read about any floppy disk shortages. Finding smart media cards in stores is another thing though-as most of those have to be purchased online.

[This message has been edited by squeak_D (edited 08-05-2008).]
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#239458 - 08/05/08 06:57 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
keybplayer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 2416
Loc: CA
The new Fantom G has step recording...

Best,
Mike
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Yamaha Genos, Mackie HR824 MKII Studio Monitors, Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro Mixer (made in USA), Cakewalk Sonar Platinum, Shure SM58 vocal mic.

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#239459 - 08/05/08 07:07 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4643
Loc: West Virginia
Ok..., where's the logic in this..? If standard midi jacks are so obsolete and outdated then why are all the mid and upper end keyboards still being made with them The answer is simple...., they're not obsolete, they're still very much alive. Like I said..., it's not uncommon for people to buy lower end models for the dual purpose of a practice board (scratch pad if you will), and for it to serve as a means of midi control.

Yeah, I know the Fantom G has step recording.., but my Fantom X is still very capable of bringing a smile to my face in the sequencing department. Personally I'm not too thrilled with the new sound-set of the G.
_________________________
GEAR: Yamaha MOXF-6, Casio MZX-500, Roland Juno-Di, M-Audio Venom, Roland RS-70, Yamaha PSR S700, M-Audio Axiom Pro-61 (Midi Controller). SOFTWARE: Mixcraft-7, PowerTracks Pro Audio 2013, Beat Thang Virtual, Dimension Le.

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#239460 - 08/05/08 08:55 PM Re: Basic features disappearing from keyboards-WHAT GIVES!
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
Squeak, for what its worth I agree with you. It is still de rigeur for midi transmission to use MIDI din jacks. And as far as I know it is still the ONLY way of direct keyboard to keyboard communication (without a PC in between controlling at least one of them).

Sadly, or rather expectedly, I reckon Yamaha are doing it a) because its a low end keyboard and as such the users are also likely to be "low end" and they can save a few dollars on construction costs and/or
b) deliberately leaving them off to force the purchase of the "next" model which does have them.

I cannot put MIDI jacks and floppies on the same page as they are two different things in my view. Floppies have been for all intents replaced as a technology many times over. They are ridiculously slow, unreliable and a very dated method of data transfer. Despite protests to the contrary!!

Whereas MIDI jacks are a vital ongoing harware connection, much the same as an audio jack. And until some company installs a host and device socket + the software for two keyboards to talk directly with each other, then MIDI sockets are going to be around for a long while yet. The omission on the keyboard you mention Squeak is, in my view, entirely commercial.

Dennis



[This message has been edited by miden (edited 08-05-2008).]

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