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#269424 - 08/17/09 10:15 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Beakybird Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/01
Posts: 2227
I think Korg had a good idea of marketing their arrangers to songwriters.

Arrangers are fantastic songwriting tools. With an arranger you can get a quick idea of how your song idea would sound in a variety of styles, rhythms, and tempos. There is no substitute for an arranger in doing this as far as ease and portability.

We have seen many companies bite the dust over the last decade. Nevertheless, I would bet that there will be arrangers 20 years from now. I wonder what features the Tyros 10 will have.

Beakybird

[This message has been edited by Beakybird (edited 08-17-2009).]

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#269425 - 08/17/09 10:34 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
cassp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3748
Loc: Motown
Very interesting topic. I agree with Beaky that arrangers of some sort will be around for a while. They are great writing tools, but not with the cache of old styles they now support. If they are to continue there will have to be a lot of newer styles and/or rhythms available. Maybe even a new style creating system would help - I know I've never edited or created a style, but I am intimidated by the thought. A simple set of templates... oh, what the hell do I know.
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#269426 - 08/17/09 11:29 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14208
Loc: NW Florida
Personally, I think young players already ARE using arrangers. Thing is, they don't call them that. They are called 'workstations', loopstations, groove boxes, basically anything BUT arrangers. (Look how Roland REFUSE to call the GW-8 an arranger, even though it is one in all but name)

There is little that we need for something to be called an arranger that the MotifXS or M3 doesn't already do. All that remains is some small details in controlling and triggering the arps (we would call them style sections) and voilá! Now it's an arranger...

With chord following arps, what is the difference between these and an arranger? The main difference is CONTENT... The younger players love the loop style (although they aren't audio loops) content, but you still have to PLAY them.

And, we can doom and gloom ourselves all we want, and wax nostalgic for the 'good old days' all you want. The truth is, behind every DJ, there's a MUSICIAN that makes his loops, that makes the tracks he samples from, that makes the hits he spins. Always will be. You can jump on the DJ bandwagon all you want, IMO the only people that need to do that are those that can't currently play well enough to compete with the DJ's. Or are so musically fossilized that they wouldn't play any modern music even if the DID have the chops and gear for it...

Personally, I see NO drop off in live music opportunities. I haven't seen a single club round here go from a band to a DJ. They might drop from a full band to a duo, or solo, but where live music is played, live music continues to be played. And, when it is played by young people FOR young people (or older people for young people), the youngsters still pack in.

Don't forget, you 'old farts'... we survived the disco craze of the seventies, in which FAR more live music venues opted for DJ's than have now. And we didn't have to spin vinyl to do it You can either grab your laptops and try to compete on the DJ's level (and you will always lose out, because, let's face it, what kid wants to go out and party at a place where their GRANDFATHER mixes beats? ) or you can grab a WS and add it to your arranger arsenal, and be able to perform in any style they need...

Me, I'd rather make beats FOR the DJ than be one...!
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#269427 - 08/17/09 12:21 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Hi Diki.

Quote:
There is little that we need for something to be called an arranger that the MotifXS or M3 doesn't already do. All that remains is some small details in controlling and triggering the arps (we would call them style sections) and voilá! Now it's an arranger...


Workstations tent to have far more complex sequencers, intrack sampling, normal sampling, re-sampling (all very different functions), greatly more advanced Effects engines capable of running far more effects at the same time, even Vocoders. Detailed routing, real-time controls, MPC type functions, drum pads, external controls for controlling computers, much deeper synth engines, fully programmable, no factory presets, faster processors, better connectivity, X-Y Controllers, ADAT connections,.....the list goes on and on.

In the Yamaha world the Tyros 3 is even in a worse salutation compared to the Motif. Yamaha don't really seem to share technology from the workstations with the arrangers, where KORG are about the only ones keeping their arrangers close to their workstation. They do share a lot of the technology between them in house.

All in all, arrangers are very different and they even tent to be more suited to bread & butter sounds, where Synths and workstations are designed for modern music in mind at all times.

Regards
James

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#269428 - 08/17/09 12:29 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
leeboy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 2580
Loc: Ocala, FL USA
Diki,
Well said...
Lee S.
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#269429 - 08/17/09 12:49 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14208
Loc: NW Florida
I think, though, that the major difference between the arranger and the 'chord following loopstation/WS' is that the arranger is optimized for live play. All of that stuff you mentioned is pretty much impossible to get to on a gig. It means ultimate flexibility in the studio, but impossible complexity on the bandstand.

I am going to be VERY interested to see how the MoXS has been shaped for the live stage in it's S90XS and S70XS incarnations. It already appears to have several functions added to make splits and layers much easier to call up on the fly.

I had an XS7 here at my house for a while last week, and was completely stymied on how to call up the patches I wanted into a simple split/layer combination. Couldn't find the transposition button for bringing up the octave of the lower sound and down on the top sound to save my LIFE without a manual (which I deliberately chose not to use), let alone bring the correct effects in and assign them to the right parts.

All that flexibility makes it a PITA to use, live.

But the S70XS shows that Yamaha are at least TRYING to shoehorn the power into something that works well live. They don't have that far to go, IMO. Then it is merely the content. And Yamaha already have the personnel in place for that from their T3 team...

The 'arranger' is alive, although not yet mature. Only the name has been changed, to protect the innocent (from thinking they are playing their grandfather's arranger ).
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#269430 - 08/17/09 01:13 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6703
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing that if arrangers, 'loopstations', 'ACID', FL, samplers of all descriptions, etc., were to disappear tomorrow, the quality of (pop - including all the popular genre's) music would improve tremendously; along with the number and skill level of performing musicians. JMO.

chas
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#269431 - 08/17/09 04:41 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
to the genesys Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 1155
I think in order to have a meaningful discussion on this topic, one must be able to articulate what is an arranger.
And, yes there is a difference between an “arranger” and a “great arranger”.

If one really knows what is an arranger you will see that if manufacturers continue with their current ways these are exciting times for arrangers.

Look, arranger technology is being integrated in to modern work stations and software technology (just look at the Motif XS Korg M3 Audya Mediastation).

I think gone are the days of a keyboard just being able to function as a traditional WS or a traditional arranger. The lines are blur and the manufacturers know it. Question is do the users know it?

For example, the Korg PA2x can function as an arranger and a WS. If you don’t believe me, if you take away chord recognition and styles from the PA 2 x, what do you have?

I don’t believe the arranger is dead, but the traditional styles you are accustomed to hear from an arranger is dead. Also, a keyboard would not just have arranger features only any more.

Since the Motif XS includes an arranger, the Audya includes audia loops, the Korg PA 2x puts a WS and arranger together and he MS has everything, there is no turning back. Manufacturers have to include arranger features, loop features, audio manipulating features on any TOTL keyboard they make in the future.

Remember an arranger is judged on the type of music it is trying to reproduce.
If you are trying to reproduce music made in the last 20 years, you are going to have to use samples, loops and other forms of audio technology.

Long live the Arranger.
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TTG

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#269432 - 08/17/09 05:30 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3354
Loc: The World
Quote:
Originally posted by Irishacts:

All in all, arrangers are very different and they even tent to be more suited to bread & butter sounds, where Synths and workstations are designed for modern music in mind at all times.

Regards
James


I'm not so sure on that one James. Ever tried rigging up your PA2 to a Motif XS and porting the midi data over?

No way THOSE sounds could be called bread and butter.

In essence, I believe Diki is correct in that the Motif XS, apart from a few controls could be entered as an arranger. The rest of the stuff you quote is mostly connectivity, and a lot of which, with the right connections to a PC, can be accomplished with most "specified" arranger boards.

As for the "arranger" not being cool, my son (13) is learning bass and guitar, and he hangs with a few other guys at HS. They ALL think the arranger I have is super cool and heaps of fun to play with.

Maybe they are a minority, maybe not, all I see is the reactions they have when mucking around and playing with it.

Dennis

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#269433 - 08/17/09 06:29 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Hi miden.

Quote:
I'm not so sure on that one James. Ever tried rigging up your PA2 to a Motif XS and porting the midi data over?
No way THOSE sounds could be called bread and butter.


Sorry but I think I'm missing you point there. It's the Pa2X that will have the complete collection of bread and butter sounds, not the Motif.

Quote:
In essence, I believe Diki is correct in that the Motif XS, apart from a few controls could be entered as an arranger. The rest of the stuff you quote is mostly connectivity, and a lot of which, with the right connections to a PC, can be accomplished with most "specified" arranger boards.



If Yamaha did add arranger functions to the Motif though look how far more advanced it would be over the Tyros 3. That's pretty much the point of this thread.

The Tyros 3 has not moved with the times, where the motif has. There's no Sampler on the Tyros 3, no real sequencer and certainly no sound engine anywhere near as deep, lacks realtime and external controls, connectivity and so on.

Maybe the arranger will live on in workstations like the Motif and that's why Yamaha are not developing the T3 as the same speed the likes of KORG are doing with the Pa2X. That might me Yamha's plan all along.

When the time comes, they just pull the plug and keep going with the Workstation line with the addition of it's Arranger functions in SEQ mode.

Quote:
As for the "arranger" not being cool,


I don't think it's not that they can't be cool, its more like that they are just not as cool as the tiny Toys coming out now that do make modern music dance music unlike arrangers. The new toys require far less music knowledge too.

You also don't see anyone using arranger keyboards in pop music or any style of music that the majority of younger generations are listening to.

I think arranger can be cool, but being current and hip is more of a problem for them.

Regards
James

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