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#310044 - 12/13/10 03:39 AM Greetings from an eager soft arranger newbie
arbrandes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 4
Loc: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hi folks!

First off, neat forum you guys have here! My name is Adolfo, and I've been an on-and-off Yamaha arranger enthusiast for a long time. I was raised on my dad's Electone FX-20, and after a hiatus of several years I'm looking to recreate the experience with software: first, because I believe I'll get better sounds and more flexibility. Second, cause it's MUCH cheaper! Been lurking for a few days picking the archive on how best to use my old PSR-6300 as a MIDI controller for live performance. So far so good! It really is amazing how far things have come in the last few years.

I'm on a Windows 7 setup for now (although I fully intend to go Linux once I get a handle on the basics; maybe Bachus can give me some advice later on . I started out by following the Frank route, with LiveStyler as the frontend connected to Forte via Miki Yoke, Bandstand or soundfonts for accompaniment, and miscellaneous VST's for right hand voices.

My first problem was, of course, latency. I was getting something like 40ms, which made it impossible to play. Figuring my lappy's onboard sound was sub-par, I ordered the successor to Edirol's UA-1EX, Cakewalk's UA-1G. Five minutes after hitting the Pay button, I discover the asio4all driver. Presto, 5ms latency with onboard sound! I'm hoping the USB card doesn't do WORSE when it gets here.

Onto styles. I ended up buying both One Man Band and LiveStyler, for although both are exceedingly cool, I found some weaknesses I hope my money'll go toward fixing. Basically, OMB Originals 10.3 has a much more usable user interface (even if the looks are dated), but I found it to be rather unstable: depending on what I configure, I have to restore the original omb.cfg file or it simply won't run. LS 12 is more stable (although I managed to crash it once), but the UI is kinda clunky: makes sense if you have a touch screen, though at least for now I don't intend to use it that way. The "Ja" / "Nein" dialog buttons are kinda funny, though, hehehe...

In either one, however, I found that using Yamaha's old S-YXG50 VSTi for drums and accompaniment gives the best sounding *unedited* Yamaha styles. No latency problems either, even with 128-voice polyphony, which I was led to believe would going to be a hitch. The SGM-2.01 soundfont (couldn't find SGM180, I figure 2.01 is its replacement) sounds pretty good on LiveStyler, but only for the default styles. Anyway, when I start making my own styles I'll probably use something like Bandstand or Reason with Garritan's GM refill, but for now the XG50 is good enough.

Forte Ensemble: didn't fall in love with it, although I haven't seem MIDI routing this complete anywhere else. For now I'm using Kore 2, which in addition to seeming more robust, comes with a very handy (especially for a newbie) and good-sounding library of miscellaneous voices and effects. It'll also probably work well with Kontakt, being from the same company n'all...

Which brings me to the current stage of my project: figuring out how to control everything (including style or preset selection in OMB or LS, and instrument selection in Kore or Forte) for at least an hour-long set using only the switches on my PSR. Any tips? I figure controlling OMB or LS will be relatively easy (easier on OMB, where I can actually understand how to do it without RTFM). Nevertheless, I still have no idea on how I will change instruments (or event instrument settings such as volume) with Kore or Forte, especially since they're on the other side of a virtual MIDI cable!

Thanks!
Adolfo

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#310045 - 12/13/10 11:20 AM Re: Greetings from an eager soft arranger newbie
Frank L. Rosenthal Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/18/00
Posts: 1007
Adolfo

Good to see you are moving towards a software based arranger system. It may require a bit of work to get all the pieces talking to each other.....it can be done. I control everything from my Roland A37 keyboard with the exception of syle changes which I change from the computer with my mouse and LS.

I am still on my Windows XP system but will some convert/change to Windows 7.

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#310046 - 12/16/10 02:21 PM Re: Greetings from an eager soft arranger newbie
arbrandes Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 4
Loc: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hey Frank!

Yeah, everything's working fine and dandy so far on Windows 7 x64, so I'm guessing you won't have many problems if you upgrade.

My newest milestone: I finally fell in love with a VST host. It's called Cantabile Performer, and as far as I'm concerned, blows Forte out of the water. For starters, it was the only host that actually saved my plugin's states properly! When I load a "scene" on Cantabile, not only does it load up two instances of Kore with the properly loaded "performance" on each (which I didn't think was possible), it was able to save and restore the polyphony setting on the S-YXG50 VSTi (which I didn't think was possible either)!

The user interface is also very good. Plus, they also have a free Lite version and a cheap hobbyist version. So far, I haven't needed any of the paid features, let's hope it continues this way.

Right now I'm struggling with the following: can LiveStyler be a slave to an external MIDI clock? I wan't to start/stop and select tempo from my keyboard. I can do this with One Man Band, but so far no luck with LS.

Haven't decided which to stick with yet, LS or OMB. No matter which one I use, sometimes I'm amazed, others disgusted.

Adolfo

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#311606 - 01/09/11 09:35 AM Re: Greetings from an eager soft arranger newbie [Re: arbrandes]
DAN.2000 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 1018
Loc: FRANCE
There is also another Arranger software.
Very easy and very flexible

You can select the MIDI OUT for each of the 16 channels, then SAVE everything with ONE click.

All features can be controlled very easily by Midi command or Pc keyboard... or even by joystick

http://www.varranger.com

Dan
_________________________
Regards,

Dan
http://www.varranger.com

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#349336 - 08/19/12 05:11 PM Re: Greetings from an eager soft arranger newbie [Re: DAN.2000]
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 5937
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Originally Posted By: DAN.2000
There is also another Arranger software.
Very easy and very flexible

You can select the MIDI OUT for each of the 16 channels, then SAVE everything with ONE click.

All features can be controlled very easily by Midi command or Pc keyboard... or even by joystick

http://www.varranger.com

Dan


Plus Dan is quick to personally respond on the forum to user questions, which is an extremely valuable plus that you won't get with any other software. And he is dedicated to continually looking to improve his software.

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#349680 - 08/25/12 08:14 AM Re: Greetings from an eager soft arranger newbie [Re: arbrandes]
Jez Offline
Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 186
Loc: India
Hi Adolfo,

Welcome to SZ(short for Synthzone) !! smile
Like you, I am a newbie in software arrangers as well.
I am using vArranger2 and this is MIDI Out(ed) to Yamaha S-YXG 50 and Sample Tank.... It works very well for me. I have only tried the Yamaha styles in the vArranger.

I think you would be better of controlling software arrangers using a dedicated MIDI controller rather than the PSR.
The MIDI controllers buttons/knobs can be mapped to the various settings you need for style play. vArranger software has a detailed configuration for this.
I`m sure the experts on this forum will help you on this.
_________________________
Warm Regards,
Jez

My sound cloud channel smile

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