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#242014 - 09/08/08 06:45 PM Arranger's R.I.P
Modernism Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/08/08
Posts: 2
I have been a lurking on this site for about 6-7 years; I have followed the evolution of the various KORG’s, KETRON’s, YAMAHA’s and others for a long time. When I was in my early twenties I bought a PSR-SQ16 (I think that was what it was called) I guess this was one of Yamaha’s mid to high end arrangers back in the early Nineties.

Then as the arranger world grew and progressed I grew with it, upgrading and moving. I bought a 740 then a 2000 and now I still own PSR-2100 which I use on a regular basis. It should be noted that I only bought Yamaha because it was the only Manufacturer I could find in my part of the world. (Expat living in Asia).

I now have could also purchase Korg equipment, but that is the only other Manufacturer I can find in Asia.
Most of the Styles in my PSR2100, and from what I have seen in the Tyros 2 (3) and the Korg’s et al I would not even use. Ok, they are fun for a bit, the Jigs, Reels, Christmas stuff, Ballroom etc. but I would never use them.

Now, before I get abused (I notice lately that there has been some top draw abuse on this site) It is clear to me that many of you pro’s and serious semi pro’s need to have this kind of musical width, especially if you need to play a forty something disco party one night and then a retirement home of diamond wedding the next.

However, in my understanding as an engineer, the sound generation, effects and effectively the synth section of the arranger is separate from the arranger section, moreover, the data contained in the arranger section (the Styles) are just simply individual data sets used by the arranger sequencer.
Why not make 2 versions of an arranger the “Old School” version with its Waltzes and jigs and a “Modern” Version with more and wider ranging Dance, R&B even Indie. The central heart of the arranger remains the same; the system software remains the same, only a different set of style data would be required. The cost differential from a manufacturing point of view would be minimal.

How many times I have seen a geriatric sales guy in a music shop demo a Tyros to a twenty something kid and then watch him lose the sale by demoing music from the 40’s. Ok, this is the sales guy’s mistake and down to the shops management, but it does happen.

Now I can see the arguments coming.

1. Buy a motif XS or ES or some such other synth– Tried them, not polished enough sounding styles, no intro or ending (which can make a big difference), overly complex

2. Buy Styles – I have found some good ones, but why are these music companies not hiring music producers to make styles for them and then advertising that fact, can you imagine if in the future the Tyros 4 had 100 styles created by people like Mark Ronson, Timbaland or other such modern producers.

The arranger market is very niche, and will remain like that until a massive rethink of the direction, or it will eventually die along with the people who enjoy some of the older styles.
Yamaha seemed to be moving in the right direction 10 years ago, when out of the blue they introduced the DJX, which at the time was a fantastic machine, Imagine if that approach was taken with the current technology. In a world which shows like X-factor are so popular and everyone wants the chance to sound like a pro, I think it must be the right time for something genuinely new.


#242015 - 09/08/08 07:17 PM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
Songman55 Offline

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 892
Loc: Baltimore, MD USA
I'm not going to shoot you down. You are entitled to your opinion and, BTW, welcome to the forum. For me, a pro who does all of the gigs you described and then some, the arranger fulfills my needs. The styles onboard are awesome, and you can tweak them if you learn the OS. And for us Yamaha users, there are some 30,000 styles that are instantly available. Now I don't know about you, but I rarely use more that 40 styles for my gigs. And anytime I've ever needed a special style, there's always been one out there. Besides that, you can create your own styles. IMO, that makes it a pretty cool instrument to use. I'll be using one until the day I croak. Long live arrangers!



Joe Ayala
PSR S950, PSR S900, Roland RD 700, Yamaha C3 6'Grand, Sennheiser E 935 mic, several recording mics including a Neuman U 87, Bose L1 Compact, Roland VS 2480 24 Track Recorder
Joe Ayala

#242016 - 09/08/08 07:23 PM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16734
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
The makers need to be listening to this guy, because he makes a lot of sense. Unless arrangers keep up with the needs of the younger generation, as well as keep us old fogies happy, they will become less and less in demand and higher and higher in price.
It's simply a matter of software options and could be easily done.

#242017 - 09/08/08 07:35 PM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3353
Loc: The World
+1 to the OP and Don


#242018 - 09/08/08 09:07 PM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43636
Loc: USA
I dont agree at ARRANGER is just that instrument to make Music any way you want be it new or old.....they will be here long after were all gone & beyond only better.

#242019 - 09/08/08 11:20 PM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
Diki Offline

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13068
Loc: NW Florida
I seem to remember the same rot trotted out by the last few home organ players, too.

Face it, guys... we are a TINY fraction of the market, and due to the arranger manufacturers' refusal to step boldly into the 21st century, we are getting smaller every day.

In the meantime, WS's like the MotifXS start to claim what few youngsters ARE looking for something that follows chords, and nothing but the über-expensive software arrangers is capable of sounding remotely contemporary.

OTOH, of course, with copying styles so easy to do, and expensive to produce styles traded around like bubblegum cards, what incentive is there for more modern producers to even TRY to make styles?

Convergence is happening right before our eyes, and trust me... take a look at the loop and arpeggio list from a MotifXS... the is bugger all in there capable of doing anyone's diamond anniversary! Unless we embrace the more contemporary styles ourselves, and demand their inclusion in OUR arrangers, no kid is EVER going to buy one.

And that spells the end for arrangers, as surely as synths spelled the end for the organ...

I am glad that contemporary arrangers ARE so good, at least for OUR music. Because I don't see them lasting anywhere NEAR 'forever', and does anyone remember how quickly the choice and innovation dried up as organs passed away into history? All that is left are boutique organs at boutique prices, and little innovation except in the most expensive of organs.

That's where we are heading unless the arranger industry WAKES UP and makes arrangers for the younger player (of which I consider myself one! )
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

#242020 - 09/09/08 05:55 AM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
kalimero Offline

Registered: 07/23/07
Posts: 90
Loc: Dubrovnik, Croatia

If the onliest difference are styles, then there is no need for two different arranger models. One would be enough, the only difference would be in the user-configurable style section, where each user would be able to delete all factory styles he doesn't need, and replace them with the styles he use.

Even currently available arrangers allow You to add user styles, the only problem might be that it's not easy to find the style you need. But of course You always have opportunity to create Your own styles.

When You mentioned Motif XS, maybe that might be the way of arranger evolution. Motif XS is not arranger, but it has almost all features any TOTL arranger have (except already mentioned intro's and ending's but that might change easy) as well as some other features not available on any arranger.

But, when you think twice, modern music is already performed, but not with arrangers. D.J.'s who perform (or as they say 'play' in sense of keyboard player) modern music like dance, techno, trance etc. don't need keyboard, they already have 'instrument', their DJ-gear.

#242021 - 09/09/08 06:04 AM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43636
Loc: USA
Funny how everyone has a CRYSTAL BALL to the Future.... With that talent try playing the lottery

#242022 - 09/09/08 06:08 AM Re: Arranger's R.I.P

Nothing dates faster than "modern" styles.

Any keyboard that had nothing but would be obsolete (and unsellable) almost from the moment you took it out of the box.

#242023 - 09/09/08 07:30 AM Re: Arranger's R.I.P
adimatis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1159
Loc: Oradea, RO
i have said it many times, and i still believe the problem we are talking about does not exist: if only the arranger manufacturers would understand the future is the open architecture, and the mix between what we have now and it's called arrangers and synthetizer workstations.

when the player will be able to only load the styles, sounds and functions he/she needs for his/her performance, also to create styles and sounds in a friendly(er) environment using arpeggios and step sequencer maybe, there won't be any death to "arrangers". but if they will continue the closed systems, with only few modern styles, with no serious synth-like sound editing, good-bye new young users!

in a sense, i understand the facts: this way there is a seperate market for everyone and everything. but that can not hold for ever. these markets has to be merged at one point.

btw, i am curious (i said this before too) how come there isn't a "bomb" software arranger, with easy and friendly interface, with functions and sounds/styles better than harware arranger. just like there are hundreds of soft-synths, competing with hardware ones. i guess the answer is the small market for such things...

[This message has been edited by adimatis (edited 09-09-2008).]
Yamaha S770, Studio One 3, EMU 0404USB, ESI, ATH, Dell. And others.

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