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#303030 - 01/29/02 07:32 AM New to Arrangers
NEWBE Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3
Loc: MALTA
I am a newcomer to synths and keyboards and would like to know what is the difference between a synthesiser and an Arranger keyboard ? I am looking into buying my first keyboard, lots of guys mention the Roland E300 synth as being a good start, or the roland VA 3 arranger, but what will I be gaining / loosing if I choose one or the other ? Any pointers to these product reviews please help ?

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#303031 - 01/29/02 11:49 PM Re: New to Arrangers
BlueSuede Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 67
Hi Newbe,

An arranger contains autoaccompaniment in various styles. Normally you can choose a style (i.e. bossa, rock, twist, bigband, etc) and you trigger a chord (c, f maj7, g+, etc) with your left hand and the arranger plays your chosen style with a full virtual band (drums, bass, guitar, brass, strings or whatever). You can then choose a sound (virtual instrument) for your right hand and play a melodyline accompanied by the arranger. You have to trigger a new chord with your left hand whenever the song you play requiers that.

An arranger contains often build in speakers - synth do not.

A synth doesnīt contain this arranger (autoaccomp) feature. A synth typically just contains various sounds (virtual instruments). The sounds in a synth (samplesynth!) are very much the same as the sounds in an arranger, but normally you are able to edit the synthsounds more in detail. Then you have the analog synths. They are not good at sounding like pianos, saxophones, guitars etc, but they are excellent at sounding like - synths!

The VA3 is an arranger (a samplesynth with autoaccomp.) The E-300 is the same thing! But older and not up-to-date.

If you play in a band and just want to have excellent sounds, you will do fine with a synth. If you want to be able to accompany your self with drums, bass etc youīll go for an arranger.

Regards Michael

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#303032 - 01/30/02 03:02 AM Re: New to Arrangers
NEWBE Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3
Loc: MALTA
Thank you very much for the information. So
what I need is probably the VA3.

One other question, Roland have just released their new VA76 arranger keyboard and
obviously it boasts better features than the
VA3. Do you now on any site which gives unbiased reviews of Roland gear ?

Newbe.

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#303033 - 02/04/02 05:14 AM Re: New to Arrangers
BlueSuede Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 67
Iīve read tons of reviews on Roland and other gear, but not much unbiased. I can give you a very brief (and somewhat biased!)idea of interesting keyboard brands.

Roland; Good to very good sounds. Especially acoustic (piano, sax etc)and electroacoustic (el.guitar, organs, etc) Rolandfreaks like myself find Roland to have the best overall sound. (But the "synthsounds" are better on Korg.)

Good to very good styles. This of course depends on where your taste is. Roland really excells in "popmusic" styles.

Userfriendliness is good if you can deal with various menues. I myself havenīt had any real problems with my Roland keyboards. But if this is an important issue for you, try it! The controller possibilities are on top! You can controll nearly everything in a lot of ways!


Technics; Sounds are good to very good. According to my taste they arenīt on par with Roland.

Styles are good to very good, BUT they sometimes are too intriguing wich make them very useful for one song but not for other. I especially like the jazz and bigband styles.

Generally very good userfriendliness.


Ketron (Solton); Sounds are good to very good. Especially the solosounds. (But they arenīt part of the accompaniment.)

Styles are good to very good. Especially ballroom.

Userfriendliness seems to be good. (I havenīt worked very much with Ketron arrangers.)


Korg; Sounds are good to very good. Especially synthsounds. The acoustics are in general a small step down from the best.

Styles are very good, especially rock and modern music. I have had some problems to trigger the chords with right timing om Korg. This is (I think) individually. Try it!

Userfriendliness is OK.


Yamaha; Sounds are good to very good. Especially solosounds. (Se Ketron)

Styles are good to very good, BUT they are a bit bland sometimes. They donīt engage in the same way some of the others do. This makes them extremely useful on the other hand. You donīt get tired of them in the same way as of the Technics styles for instance.

Userfriendliness is on top.


General music; Sounds of yesterday. (But they are coming up with a new line wich can be very good and very expencive.)

Styles are good.

Userfriendliness; A long learningcurve. But according to GEM-fans "worth waiting for".

Casio; Sound better and better

Styles, better and better.

Userfriendliness very good.

A lot of bells and whistles for the bucks anyway!

Summary; Roland (my favourite because of the overall sound), Ketron, Yamaha or Technics is just a matter of taste. They are all very good. Korg is especially interesting if you are in to modern dance and rock music. GEM is so far yesterdays news, and Casio is a toy getting more and more serious.

Regards, Michael

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#303034 - 02/04/02 05:24 AM Re: New to Arrangers
NEWBE Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3
Loc: MALTA
Thanks a lot for your sincere comments.

I really appreceate it.

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#303035 - 02/04/02 10:08 PM Re: New to Arrangers
TomTomSF Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/99
Posts: 736
Loc: Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
Hi Michael!
A nice summary of the various arrangers available. You managed to comment on all of them without dragging any through the mud, or glorifying one as supreme. Bottom line, they're all pretty good in some ways. You gotta try 'em to like 'em.

Tom
_________________________
Tyros 4

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#303036 - 02/14/02 05:47 AM Re: New to Arrangers
arnothijssen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 255
Loc: Marietta, GA USA
Hmmm, isn't the E300 an arranger board as well???

Thought it was.
_________________________
Arno Thijssen
mailto:arnothijssen2002@yahoo.com

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#303037 - 02/14/02 11:31 PM Re: New to Arrangers
BlueSuede Offline
Member

Registered: 09/06/01
Posts: 67
"Hmmm, isn't the E300 an arranger board as well???
Thought it was."

Yes, itīs correct. But it is not as up to date as the VA-series.

Regards, Michael

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#303038 - 02/21/02 08:22 AM Re: New to Arrangers
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3295
Loc: Reseda, California USA
I might be a little late here to add anything but if the E300 was like the E500 (which I used to sell), the VA3,5 and 7 would be much better keyboards. The E500 and probably the E300 (lower model) were surely arranger keyboards. Everything with an "E" in it's name has been an arranger keyboard. The V series have tons more sounds, similar styles although more features can be used in the style process including style morphing, a much clearer user interface and especially a better sequencer.
Current prices at my store for the VA3 has gone down to $895.00 for a brand new VA3 and offers a lot of value for the dollar.
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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