A friend of mine whom I am trying to convince joining the forum plays a Tyros 2 (wonderfully I might add) and has submitted several questions/suggestions to Yamaha. Please read below and see if you have any answers for him, or can suggest the right person to talk to there:
Louis, thank you for returning my phone call, and please pass this along to Mr. Deming-I believe that is his name- who works at Yamaha in another department.
I have had experiences with Arranger keyboards from Wersi Pegasus to the Ketron Line and finally to the Yamaha 9000 Pro and the Tyros 2 that I use today. So I am not sure how my comments might apply to the Tyros 4, or what you might have planned for the near future. But here are a few observations and suggestions:
My Tyros 2 is an amazing instrument and I think the Tyros line continues to improve. The arranger is good, but certainly not great, (but neither is anyone else’s). I think that the user interface needs some improvement, not just the sounds and styles, as Yamaha has successfully done. There are a few things that I presently find so difficult to use, that the inclusion of new voices and improved styles cannot justify a new purchase, and are essentially irrelevant. For me, the experience of arrangers is disappointing in part because of the way the player is forced to interact with most arrangers-not just the Tyros. Is the TOTL Arranger for the professional, or for home hobbyists who would like to indulge themselves? Those cheesy speakers say it all…
Add User -Selectable “RH” or “LH” not just “full keyboard” for Auto-Accompaniment chord keying.
This “RH” approach is great for musicians who play bass left hand and play a full right hand chord style. The way the Yamaha’s Arrangers work now, they are geared to solo note right hand playing. Old school, 1990’s mentality, the way arrangers worked back in the day when they first came out…It is very telling when the demonstrators show block chord playing that the auto-accompaniment is usually shut off.
The ‘argument’ that this RH chord approach doesn’t suit all songs or techniques is beside the point. No single approach fits all styles, but the addition of RH accompaniment works, is flexible, and broadens the usefulness of the Tyros.
Auto-Accompaniment triggering style could be saved to a Registration. Why must it be Globally selected in the current software? Different choices for different presets is very flexible. There could be a choice to select global or registration mode per preset. No additional hardware expense by Yamaha needed. Just a software modification, another choice.
Korg does it, so there is an identified need.
Yamaha has not added to or changed how the auto-accompaniment may be ‘triggered’ ever.
‘User selectable’ Intros/endings chord progression: Presently, if the player plays along and keys in a chord inadvertently in an intro/ending pre-programmed sequence, the entire chord sequence changes. This feature has all the benefits of a pre-programmed sequence, namely intricacy, but in allowing the chord sequence to be inadvertently overridden, numerous disadvantages as well. If one touches the keys, the chord progression is overridden to very poor results. It is very obvious when the “demonstrators” keep their hands away from the keys that they are not playing and may cause a ‘wrong’ chord sequence if they touch the keys. That’s is the opposite of an engaging musical experience. One should not sit back in fear of messing up the intro. Yamaha might retain things that function as they do now, but add programmable user selectable features as well:
Add an option to override the preset chord progression in an intro or ending entirely as per real time chord triggering from keys, AND
Add an option that once the intro/exit sequence starts, no chord triggering from the keys will affect the progression.
Therefore, there could be a choice i) do things they way it is now, ii) to alter chords instantly according to what is played, or ii) not alter the overall key signature, i.e., no chord entries allowed once intro/ending sequence starts.
Display of intro / ending length and chord progression in display so the player can mimic/learn/play along, and just plain see what’s going on. This is very engaging to a musician, and one can ‘learn’ the parts that the keyboard plays as well!
Reduced complexity of some intros/endings by allowing parts to be switched off, just like in the ‘regular’ Auto-Accompaniment.
Allow each registration to store limited chord or full chord changes that are ‘allowed’.
Keyboard should ‘learn’ the chords that are ‘allowed’ in a registration that a user plays into the auto-accompaniment. Once the style has been played through, the ‘allowed’ chords could be retained in memory if the ‘learn’ feature has been enabled. The purpose is to help the Tyros avoid inadvertent erroneous chords that the user does not intend to key. I make these annoying mistakes all the time, trying to chord and play complex right hand voicing and using full keyboard chord recognition..
This Learn feature could be key specific-or not. I-IV-V chords in all keys work depending on initial chord played, or not.
Add chord stop feature in Auto-Accompaniment: for those ‘rests at the beginning of a bar’, some parts of the accompaniment could be user-selectable shut off, then ‘kick back on’ when physical keying resumes.
ADD RITARDNANDO/ACCELERANDO: Tap tempo style triggered by playing, say a bass line, for example.
“CLICK TRACK OUT” so the style parts can be used with a band with a drummer, integrating some Auto-Accompaniment parts with a live band.
MIDI PROGRAM CHANGE MAPPING-so sound programs in external modules can be easily accessed. Some players use this, Yamaha had it years ago, and what could it possibly cost to have an assignment table savable globally or per preset?
ALLOW MIDI INPUT/OUTPUT ASSIGNMENTS TO BE SAVED PER REGISTRATION and/or Globally as is now the case. Why not give the user choice?
INCLUDE FULL PROGRAMMING OF VOICES ON BOARD. The Yamaha 9000Pro, and every other arranger and synthesizer I have owned had on board detailed sound programming. Tyros 2/3/4 requires a PC (I have a MAC!),and a voice editor using Windows XP. The situation is kind of absurd. The Voice editor is a simple program with a simple software driver, and the screen is big enough on the tyros so that everything can be visualized readily. And what happens down the road when your old pc is tossed, the new software doesn’t support the old driver? No more voice programming anyway! I would suggest putting it back on board, where it is useful for the life of the instrument.
Plug in lights for reading music in dark places, like what the old 9000Pro had.
The speaker kit is a kind of a joke. What professional would use this? Some decent, separately mounted speakers– either active or internally powered by the Tyros - and that can that can receive an input signal from a professional mixing console are called for.
Smaller footprint keyboard-the right cheek block is a waste of space, or more keys as some have suggested,
touch screen or iPod interface or iphone, iPod app.
multitrack recording a whole band live,
add additional Continuous foot pedal to control separate parts of the keyboard, etc. I don’t know anyone who would bother with the MC-10 accessory. I think it has a wall wart and needs separate power. Who can be bothered with that? Add more connectivity right on the back of the keyboard.
MORE NUANCED AND REALISTIC STYLES, more subtle timing and accent effects, user triggered, perhaps, longer style segments, 2/4 bar breaks, etc.
I understand - but am not certain - that the Tyros 4 volume sliders may not always physically correspond to programmed values. This occurs when
one changes the slider position, and then
changes registration and then touches the slider.
A volume ‘jump’ occurs.
If this occurs it is disruptive to a player, is a dismal example of lack of thinking on the part of the development team. This is a common problem on control devices and programming the manufacturers always seem to get wrong. How difficult would it be to allow certain slider positions to be ‘frozen’ upon changing registrations? It’s not hard to fix. This facilitates constant accompaniment level or constant bass level for the left hand bass player, just two examples.
And by setting up a separate “Freeze -2” function apart from the ‘freeze’ table that now exists, the physical position of the sliders should be read and retained upon changing registrations, with a highlighting of the difference in levels between slider position and programmed level in the display.
If a Yamaha representative were interested and in the New Jersey Area, I could certainly demonstrate these issues and how they relate to my real world of performing.