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#269414 - 08/17/09 05:51 AM Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Hi all.
Something I touched on earlier might be interesting enough to have it's own thread, and I'd I've love to hear your thoughts on all this too as I'm sure will others.

Basically ask yourself the question, do you honestly think the majority of the younger generation growing up have any interest in arranger keyboards any more ?

You have a flood of DJ type devices that allow kids to make music, Software controllers, MPC's, VSTi's and the major change in workstations to contend with here.

How has the arranger keyboard changed to move with the times and the generation growing up now ?. Do you think the future looks bleak for arrangers, or do you think they will adapt.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Kind Regards

#269415 - 08/17/09 06:06 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Once we're gone its all over for arranger KB's for the next generation....& how can you blame them an era has ended & a new one has begun already...for the lingering dinosaurs like us ....just adapt and continue top make music in other ways adapting to the new technology. We are the last generation to experience both pre & post computer age. I would say no matter what comes down the pike you can always play keyboard arranger or not and record backing tracks, Smf etc to play along with versus real time arranger styles....and in many ways be more creative with your music that way vs the repetitious style methods used in today's arranger keyboards.maybe it is time to branch out and try new things. let's face it Dj's, Karaoke J's, and audiences attitudes in live music has so much expanded & has become so apathetic to different types of music being performed that they will accept most anything that sounds good no matter what technology is used to create it. old school hardliners will fall to the wayside in years to come so jump on the new wave technology train its leaving the station folks or be left behind!

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

#269416 - 08/17/09 06:33 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
wrinkles303 Offline

Registered: 03/24/02
Posts: 422
Loc: worthington ,ohio
i've always considered arrangers a 1 finger,
1 keyboard organ that is a carry over from the '70s. organs/arrangers have always appealed to the older generation because of ease of play. now with the consumer being more tech savy a change has been comming in playing of and listening to music. with the exception of the entry levels,i look for arrangers to start to disappear do to the changes in demand.

#269417 - 08/17/09 06:51 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
squeak_D Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/08/00
Posts: 4715
Loc: West Virginia
I think Donny hit the nail on the head with his response. The generation these arrangers are designed for is "shrinking". The target market needs to change in order for arrangers to survive IMO.

At this rate I expect the lower end arrangers (typically "that first keyboard") to be the big seller for arranger makers. If they don't make some changes I think the semi-pro and pro arrangers are doomed.
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.

#269418 - 08/17/09 08:18 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
leeboy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 2580
Loc: Ocala, FL USA
I think it's more of an issue of exposure...these things are cool and if younger folks were really exposed to them I think sales would include them too.

Mfg's need to come up with a real marketing plan..which they currently do very poorly.

Any young person with musical interest I have showed my arranger too was really impressed and did not know they existed at that QUALITY LEVEL. They only see the $100-200 ones at Best buy ect.

The manufactures have gotten very lazy...they don't want to really market and don't want to pay for it as well.

So, IMHO if things don't change...yes, the only one's that will survive are the low end toy type ones. But it will be awhile.
:-) were not dead yet! :-)

Le S.
Lee S.

#269419 - 08/17/09 08:44 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
--Mac Offline

Registered: 05/16/08
Posts: 307
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

I recall hearing much the same question on a few forums when arranger keyboards started growing in popularity, only the argument was that those of us who actually play the whole piano or organ, being our own "arranger" were about to become extinct.

I still get my share of gigs.

Change is a part of life. It is a constant that we should count on instead of fearing.

"Keep listening. Never become so self-important that you can't listen to other players. Live cleanly....Do right....You can improve as a player by improving as a person. It's a duty we owe to ourselves." --John Coltrane

"You don't know what you like, you like what you know. In order to know what you like, you have to know everything." --Branford Marsalis

#269420 - 08/17/09 09:03 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15566
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I sincerely believe that when those of us that are currently performing turn up our toes and depart this world, it will be the end of a wonderful era. DNJ hit the nail on the head, particularly for those that wish to continue making a living in the entertainment industry. Sometime in the not too distant future the only keys that entertainers will utilize are those that I just used to type this message. Sad, but true!


PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

#269421 - 08/17/09 09:06 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2202
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
I can think of one older teenager/1st year college guy who plays keys in a band. That's the only one...

As far as using arrangers specifically? Well, hard to will advance us past what we call "arrangers" over the next few decades, for sure.

I was 40 years old before I had any clue things like this even existed.

As is the case now, I think there will be some relatively small group of users using whatever is available then.

An issue I'm already facing, is the younger audiences that are showing up in Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities. They want more and more of the 70's music, which doesn't always translate well to arrangers.

Honest to god, there's a ELP fan at one of my clients and I keep telling him, that's going to be rough trying to play like Emerson did on an arranger.

Bill in Dayton
Bill in Dayton

#269422 - 08/17/09 09:14 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 43703
Originally posted by leeboy:
I think it's more of an issue of exposure...these things are cool and if younger folks were really exposed to them I think sales would include them too.

Lee that is quite possible.......
but remember years ago many of the players had no alternative but to "REALLY learn and take lessons etc, if you wanted to play an instrument, all before all this easy computer based methods, programs etc, giving everyone many alternative ways to create music. Even with major advertising I doubt it will win them over by the droves.....right now arranger players are a small percentage segment of the whole music playing public. There are simply too many choices out there...some easier then others but none the less all these choices slim down the majority in all genres. As an example look at any Philharmonic orchestra today and you'll see a majority of Asian players that have gone to conservatories of music to learn Violin, Cello, Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, etc, where other kids today go the total opposite route and become looped based DJ's, Rappers & what have you etc,...there's a new world out there moving along very fast. There's a place for arranger players but it will have to share it with the rest of the worlds alternatives. Being very versatile, using all that is available, and do NOT be a one trick pony will serve you very well as a performer in today's musical market place if you want to be a full timer..

PS... as a side note being able to Sing very well will certainly improve your success rate no matter what method you use..instrumentalists will be at somewhat of a disadvantage when using other methods besides playing and arranger.

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

#269423 - 08/17/09 09:37 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
I must reluctantly agree with DNJ. Most people have no idea whether you are playing "live", using midi files, MP3s, DVDs or STDs. And they don't care as long as it sounds good.
They can see you singing though.
I have tried to find younger people, including my own kids, interested in learning to use arrangers. No luck.
The music stores here quit carrying them, except for the little bitty ones, a Casio or two, and piano/arranger combos such as Clavinovas.
I believe the future of arrangers is limited unless the manufacturers start promoting them to younger people. Not sure how they would accomplish that, short of getting a well-know performer to admit using them.
I recall Techics running ads showing stars, such as Johnny Cash, using them.
Of course they went out of business!

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