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#269434 - 08/17/09 07:02 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
miden Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 3354
Loc: The World
James, sorry I don't think I made it clear.

I do agree the PA will have ALL the B+B sounds, but what I was trying to say was that if you want styles to be played using MORE than just the bread and butter sounds on the PA2 (or 1), then sending the data to a Motif XS and using some of the great sounds on the XS makes a huge difference.

As for the new toys, I tend to look at it a bit differently. I think a user needs a good grounding in loops and loop/sample technology AND PC's/Macs to even get something half decent out of them. And then the ability to put it all together into something musical.

Mind you having said that, I am not too au faix with all the current crop of audio loop and sample gear, so I could be wrong in that view.

I have no doubt that YOU could do this with ease, and I daresay using just those tools, would have a song up and running in minutes, but that expertise has taken you a few years to acquire, yes?

The arranger, o.t.o.h. CAN (although shouldn't be, imho), be set off with just one finger, O.O.T.B.

I DO agree with you that it would be super if Yamaha do drop their top of the line arrangers and instead add these functions (intro/ending/fill etc) to , as you say, the sequencer section or similar.

That, as you say, COULD be where Yamaha have been aiming all along, and if so, perhaps the arranger per se may be in decline but will be carried on in another form.

It would surprise me in the least to also see Korg move down that path.

They, like Yamaha, already have the technology in existing boards (although Karma in the M3 is way ahead of the arp technology in the XS), so perhaps they too may incorporate the top end arranger into a top end workstation?? And retain a small range of budget arrangers.

Dennis

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#269435 - 08/17/09 07:44 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Quote:
I do agree the PA will have ALL the B+B sounds, but what I was trying to say was that if you want styles to be played using MORE than just the bread and butter sounds on the PA2 (or 1), then sending the data to a Motif XS and using some of the great sounds on the XS makes a huge difference.


I get ya now. Yeah that would make a huge difference for sure. Back in my Technics days I used to do that myself with a KORG M3-R sound module. Worked quite well too and gave me a sound back in those days that Arrangers just didn't do.

Quote:
As for the new toys, I tend to look at it a bit differently. I think a user needs a good grounding in loops and loop/sample technology AND PC's/Macs to even get something half decent out of them. And then the ability to put it all together into something musical.
Mind you having said that, I am not too au faix with all the current crop of audio loop and sample gear, so I could be wrong in that view.
I have no doubt that YOU could do this with ease, and I daresay using just those tools, would have a song up and running in minutes, but that expertise has taken you a few years to acquire, yes?


Yeah, working with samples is like a black art in many ways. Someone people master it, and some just never get their head around it at all no matter how much you try explain it to them. In my time I've even written small little applications that actually tell people where the loop points of samples are so they can loop their Beats without knowing exactly what they are at. It helps, but you would be surprised just how may people can make music from data that simple does not match up at all.

I feel sad in a way saying this, but modern dance music as evolved or devolved whichever suites the way you want to look at this to the point where all noise is music. It's now cool to take a sample that's not even looping right, throw an effect on it and call it music.

Just like there is a very good reason why all people who write hip hop music own an AKAI MPC. These kind of toys are for both musicians and those who have no musical ability at all. Both will still write music with it.

Quote:
I DO agree with you that it would be super if Yamaha do drop their top of the line arrangers and instead add these functions (intro/ending/fill etc) to , as you say, the sequencer section or similar.
That, as you say, COULD be where Yamaha have been aiming all along, and if so, perhaps the arranger per se may be in decline but will be carried on in another form.
It would surprise me in the least to also see Korg move down that path.
They, like Yamaha, already have the technology in existing boards (although Karma in the M3 is way ahead of the arp technology in the XS), so perhaps they too may incorporate the top end arranger into a top end workstation?? And retain a small range of budget arrangers.


In the last few years I've been wondering will keyboards like the OASYS be the future of all Keyboards. Something entirely software based, but as stable as dedicated hardware.

Something that is sold to the end user as basically a shell, and from there they can pay to activate certain modules of software as their needs expand.

That way users of all levels can grow with the keyboard and only activate what features they need which in turn gives them a keyboard prices exactly to their needs.

Basically they don't have to pay for features they would never use. The OASYS is a lot like that right now. The different synth engines are all there in Demo mode and you simply activate and pay for only what you need.

Regards
James

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#269436 - 08/17/09 07:59 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:
In the last few years I've been wondering will keyboards like the OASYS be the future of all Keyboards. Something entirely software based, but as stable as dedicated hardware.

Something that is sold to the end user as basically a shell, and from there they can pay to activate certain modules of software as their needs expand.

That way users of all levels can grow with the keyboard and only activate what features they need which in turn gives them a keyboard prices exactly to their needs.

Basically they don't have to pay for features they would never use. The OASYS is a lot like that right now. The different synth engines are all there in Demo mode and you simply activate and pay for only what you need.

Regards
James


I agree 100%. That would, to me, make the perfect marketing device. If a user wanted the arranger engine, they just pay for the module.

Just quietly, if I had the $'s I would buy an Oasys now. But in Oz even s/h 76 noters still go for $7k +

In fact after reading some of the stuff you have posted about the Oasys, I SHOULD have bought it, instead of the "other" one!

But back to the thread LOL....

Dennis

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#269437 - 08/17/09 09:41 PM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Lucky2Bhere Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/06
Posts: 533
I straddle the fence on this one. Yes, I think arrangers (and mostly arranger players) will soon be history, and probably in our lifetime. I’ve been pondering this issue for the last few years now. To the point of even considering buying an arranger or two simply because they will soon (VERY soon) dry up on the market, or the selection WILL be only of entry level machines. It would be kind of like hoarding gold for the future!

Now, on the other hand, there’s been some bright spots on the horizon for me. I went to two local opera presentations, and while they were sloppily done, still the audience was mesmerized by the opera music and the vocalists. I studied the spectators periodically and they were glued to what was in front of them. No one moved...no one talked...no one even coughed. This observation led me to believe that people will always be moved by legit music when they’re able to hear it (and the DJ’s and 3 chord wonders will always be sitting on the sidelines when push comes to shove).

Also, I’ve been watching PBS and NJN television...concerts by David Bennett (pop violin) in Berlin, this young pianist from Jordan (concert in Jordan), Yanni, etc all playing their own compositions and Classical music “covers.” The audience numbering in the thousands and sitting there spellbound by “proper” virtuoso’s playing their instruments in a professional presentation

And don‘t forget Abba, whose music will never die ‘cause it‘s too darn good.

I think this demise of music, and arranger’s, is geographical and is mostly happening here in the States. I think in Europe and other countries, there is still a market for great music evidenced by these huge sell-out concerts done by the above. I don’t think the Stones could even fill out a venue as well as these artists do. I also think that arranger’s are still selling well over there. But, I could be wrong too.

So the conclusion I’ve come to is what someone here has alluded to. Anyone who wants to stay in the field playing an arranger needs to re-invent themselves. I can see that Classical music, or modern music done in a Classical vein will always move people, if you can get it to them. Harder here in the States, but still going strong in Europe. Again, if any Europeans are reading this, please correct me if I’m wrong on this one.

One more point. I think that the fall of the arranger keyboard could be beneficial to some of us. When they stop being produced and, obviously, no one will be using it on the job (they’ll all have computers with MIDI files done on Band-In-A-Box or Karaoke discs)…then, it you’re a top notch player, you’ll have the field all to yourself. You’ll be a musical icon because “everything old will now be new.”

James...great topic...I'm glad you brought it up!

Lucky

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#269438 - 08/18/09 12:22 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14212
Loc: NW Florida
First of all, I am of the opinion that arrangers will never completely die away... Look, they are STILL making home organs, thirty years past their shelf life ... But the progress and innovation (and particularly the affordability) of arrangers will come to a grinding halt.

The trouble I see happening is that, while CERTAIN arranger aspects are being copied - the chord following, the primitive division triggering, etc., certain aspects of arranger ease are NOT. Specifically, the ease of triggering divisions (call them arps if you want) at any point in the music and having the machine figure out the best transitions. Currently, most loop WS's only allow you to trigger divisions on the beat or bar boundaries. An arranger is FAR more forgiving in allowing you to hit fills whenever YOU want, and it still keeps the beat going.

Most arrangers also use a very gig-orientated workflow... You can order things by songs, by beats, you can have alternate keyboard settings be called up just by the song...you can have your lyrics synced to the arps, you can have vocal harmony effects synced with the arps.

It is important to make WS users aware of some of the more gig usable features over at THEIR forums. Make them see how some of this stuff is REALLY handy on a gig, and you stand a chance of getting them behind the cry for the feature to be ported to the WS OS...
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#269439 - 08/18/09 01:40 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 5355
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Manufactures are well aware of the changing times and will adapt their boards to suit, however only when it becomes profitable to do so. (Making money for their shareholders is their main concern)
The big 3 could quite easily make a Wersi OAS or an MS instrument today, but little money would be made, as the big bucks are made by selling new boards. (Even though they may be only marginal upgrades, folks always want the latest)
As an example take the Tyros range, it has been in production almost as long as Wersi OAS, and most users have been happy to upgrade (And loose a fortune in the process) to T2 then T3, whereas a Wersi owner has just upgraded the software/hardware as required, and so has cost them a fraction of the cost of Tyros owners. (The big boys will always go for the biggest profit, and is why they have not yet gone the Wersi OAS route)
Interestingly Yamaha has now started along the option route (Buy the options you need (Premium Packs) just as Wersi have been doing for years, so it looks as if at least one of the big boys is now slowly changing. (I still think there will probably be a T4, but after that I think they will go the whole hog for the modular format, as people will be no longer prepared to loose a fortune of their cash, just to get a small upgrade)
So Basically
Arrangers will continue, just not in the current format.

Bill
_________________________
English Riviera:
Live entertainment, Real Ale, Great Scenery, Great Beaches, why would anyone want to live anywhere else (I�m definitely staying put).

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#269440 - 08/18/09 02:25 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
spalding1968 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1264
Loc: United Kingdom
i think what will happen is that the arranger/workstation will be the default keyboard that can be purchased. The divsion between workstations like the Korg M3 or Yamaha XS and say the PA2X and the Tyros 3 is created simply top hgenerate separate streams of income for the companies and the differences between the two types of machines deliberately maintained for profit reasons. If you never use the arranger section on an arranger keyboard then you are left with a very good if basic workstation keyboarc which in live use is indistinguishable from its "workstation "cousin. What i believe will happen is that the content of the arranger workstaion of the future will be completely customiserable (new word) and customers can purchase the content that they want for their instrument based upon their needs rather than buying a boat load of styles they may never use.

There are many arranger playing musicians that use their keyboards live sometimes with the arranger functions activated , sometimes without and we are already seeing traditional workstations beggining to morph in basic arranger keyboards. If i were to make a prediction i see only one keyboard type emerging and it will be an arranger workstation but perhaps not in the form we currently have it. It will have more highly advanced effects, sequencing, computer intergration, ease of OS updates and compatability with commercial production software but all these additional bits will be optional.

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#269441 - 08/18/09 02:56 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14212
Loc: NW Florida
I don't think you get the wholesale migration of T2 to T3 users part right there, Bill. To be honest, it seems more the T1 and S900 users that feel the need for the T3. Many T2 owners have already stated that there simply is not sufficient change to warrant the move.

So, if you look at the time gap from T1 to T3 ('02-'08), that's a fair bit of usage from something that, until the price hike from Yamaha, was costing you maybe about $370 a year (if you allow a used T1 worth $1500 and a new T3 at $3700). Not too shabby, given how upgrades in 'open' arrangers are often accompanied by a need for an upgrade in hardware (motherboards, CPU's, etc.) and additional cost for 'voice packs'

Theoretically the 'open' arranger has the edge, but advances in the VSTi's is always accompanied by an advance in the need for bleeding edge hardware to run them. Look at how long you can go with a closed arranger before anything truly significantly advanced comes along, and you lower the TCO of a closed arranger considerably. Me, I got over ten years out of my G1000 before the G70 made the move pretty much mandatory And still sold it for over a grand. Take the $3500 that the G70 cost me, subtract the grand, you got $2500. Split that over ten years and you got a TCO each year of about $250. Five bucks a week... WAY less than I spend on coffee

I can afford the closed arranger, and gain it's bombproof operation and operational simplicity compared to the 'open' one. And STILL have all my VSTi's running on my DAW computer for studio needs, which is where they truly belong.

I mean, what are our options? Either a Wersi, with it's dated soundset and 200-300% markup on a normal arranger (you could keep trading arrangers for DECADES before you have used up the price difference between the Wersi and a PA2Xpro, for instance) and its' weight (they make my G70 seem featherweight), or the MS, which seems to be a totally 'build it yourself' arranger few seem capable of getting to work well as a closed arranger (read Dennis's posts for the real skinny on gigging the MS).

Or a move every eight to ten years to a MUCH better arranger for less than one large frapuccino at Starbucks every week...

Eventually, one of the big 3 WILL go this route. But I imagine that firstly, they will wait for the technology to mature enough for the system to be stable, and secondly, they will be SURE that it at least ships as a fully functional arranger in the sense that we all know them, and THEN add the rest. Just like Wersi, to an extent, but they won't do it until it can be done at a price that is affordable.

Me, I can wait that long...
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#269442 - 08/18/09 03:12 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14212
Loc: NW Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by spalding1968:
If you never use the arranger section on an arranger keyboard then you are left with a very good if basic workstation keyboard which in live use is indistinguishable from its "workstation "cousin.


I'm sorry, but there I have to disagree with you. In live use, most arrangers, and especially the G70, completely blow any modern WS out of the water for ease of use, live. So far, I have been able to call up just about any type of sound any song that has been asked of me from the G70's presets, including some great pads, synth stuff, etc.. But what sets it apart from all the WS's is, I can do this live, on the gig, create and change setups for different songs on the fly.

I'm one of those kind of players that always has two or three different sounds split on the keyboard, LH piano, RH brass or organ, LH organ, RH Clavinet, that kind of thing. I defy anyone to be able to call these up on the fly, assign splits, balance effects and volumes, etc. on any WS out there with the ease the G70 (and truth be told, most arrangers)... I have K2500 and Triton, use Motif's and NONE of those are anything short of PIGS for this, onstage. If you have the time and know the songs, you can create setups for each one beforehand on a WS. But try doing it live, while the song plays, and you have to play with one hand while the other dials in the patches and splits.

It's a nightmare!

There's MUCH that modern WS's could take from arrangers that would make them FAR better keyboards for the gigging pro...
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#269443 - 08/18/09 05:01 AM Re: Survival or Death to the Arranger keyboard ?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by abacus:
...whereas a Wersi owner has just upgraded the software/hardware as required, and so has cost them a fraction of the cost of Tyros owners


But given them a keyboard that despite costing several times more than the Tyros still sounds more like a PSR-6300, circa 1985.

Bad choice of example there, I think.

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