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.