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#362626 - 03/05/13 06:03 PM Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard?
analogcontrolfreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1531
Nigel had suggested that I should buy an arranger keyboard. Said it would be better for me, then say a synthesizer or a workstation? What are the benefits, and could someone point me to a topic on this, as I did a search and came up with nothing? I know I am not much of a musician, but I have messed a around with a few keyboards. Triton Le, Roland XP-80 Yamaha SY-99. I even had a salesman at Guitar Center try and sell me a Yamaha Motif. Although, most salesmen, stirred me towards Yamaha mostly. Such as the SY-22 and 35 and a Motif. Also, the Alesis QS-6.

I have had several Casio keyboards but never really played them.


Keyboards I have owned besides several 80's and one 90's home keyboard.

Yamaha DX7II-FD Bought off of my music teacher.
Ensoniq Mirage traded the DX7II-FD
ARP Omni - Frist Vintage synth , now just a show piece.
Three Korg Poly-61's
KAWAI K5000s bought in trade with a Poly-61 and Mirage, latter sold KAWAI to Music Go Round
Roland JX-305 groove synth - sold on Ebay
AKAI AX-60 Bought and sold on ebay
ARP AXXE second vintage synth bought and latter sold on ebay
Roland Juno-106 - sold on ebay
Roland Juno-D bought and resold back to same music store

Korg KS61 still in box hardly used

So I know it's not the keyboards, it is me.

Some keyboards and synths that I would have loved to own or are fascinated by

Moog Minimoog - Classic and Voyager

Korg MS-2000 just cool

Alesis Ion

Ensoniq EPS16 plus Sampler's are pretty cool

JP-8000 Roland

You can tell I like knobs

I like the Triton Le some cool sounds

The Casio XWP-1 Inexpensive

new Korg MS-20

KARMA

Korg interactive workstations like the IS-6

Sorry I got carried away.


Anyway I love synths, even though I am not much of a player.

Paul

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#362627 - 03/05/13 08:53 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Bottom line is, what do you want to do?

Do you want to play in a band?
Do you want to write songs and demo them?
Do you want to just noodle around for your home enjoyment?

Some idea of what you want to do would help...

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#362651 - 03/06/13 12:58 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
analogcontrolfreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1531
The last one!

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#362654 - 03/06/13 02:22 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
Bernie9 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5152
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Perhaps this is too simplified, but I have been playing arrangers for over thirty years. I use them in shows three times a week now, but, in the early days I found them necessary for home use, as it was so gratifying to have anything from drums and bass, to a full band behind me. I am speaking from the stand point of a solo player.

If you are playing with others that provide provide backing, or you are recording tracks e.g., then I might use a non-arranger.

Personally, I think you are missing out on a lot of enjoyment by not having an arranger.

Bernie
_________________________
pa4X 76 ,SX900, Audya 76,Yamaha S970 , vArranger, Hammond SK1, Ketron SD40, Centerpoint Space Station, Bose compact

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#362655 - 03/06/13 02:59 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
I use one for everything I do... from live band playing with no machines, to full on solo.

Now, I've got other things, too, but I've made arrangers the core of my musical expression for nearly 20 years. However... and this is an important point - choosing the right one for what you want to do is key. In my case, with full band work and playing full(-ish!) piano parts with two hands, I have found that I need a 76. If you have played piano or Rhodes, you know what I mean!

So that takes out Yamaha. They are determined to stay firmly in the 'home keyboard' market (mind you, 'home' players buy more pianos than pros do!) and won't make a 76.

But if your needs don't include playing nearly full piano stuff, a 61 will work.

Next, you might need to prioritize what kind of 'sound' you like. Are you going after a live band type sound, do you want that 'live', on stage sound, or do you prefer politer, more polished CD sounds? If the latter, definitely look long and hard at Yamaha. It's their 'thing'! If the former, Korg and Roland have that wrapped up.

Will you be wanting a very broad range of styles to play with, or do you have certain areas that you prefer? Each arranger seems to do some things best, and asking us here which kind will help, Korg have some really great styles, but of the 'Big 3', they have the poorest selection by the numbers. What they have are great, but both Roland and Yamaha have HUGE selections of styles available, which may help you avoid sounding the same each time...

Overall, unless you are seriously into modern loop and synth music, an arranger is the best keyboard to get for the home (or stage!) use. All the way from nothing but you and a piano sound, to you and a full band, the arranger covers it all. The loop and arp synth/workstations like the Motif's and M3/Kronos/Fantom's, they are great at modern stuff but a total PITA doing anything older, and their accompaniment functions are barebones compared to an arranger.

Keep telling us more... narrow it down and we can give more specific answers.

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#362659 - 03/06/13 05:13 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
analogcontrolfreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1531
Look here it is, in a nutshell. I love music, I just can not play it. My mind does not work that way. It's like a Jackson Pollack painting with a side of ADD. No amount of advice or encouragement is going to make any difference. Frustration and I go hand in hand. I love putting on a record and listening to someone else play. I love good music, I just can not play it. Some people have it, others do not. That's why if you put me in front of any instrument, nothing will happen. I know I sound bad, and that's fine. I am not looking to learn how too play. Already been down that road once. I am not venturing there again. I can not write music, and put tracks together. That's why I don't have a sequencer hardware or software.

I don't think the salesmen in music stores had any idea what I wanted, since I had know Idea myself. I wanted a Wavstation, and was pointed to an SY-22. I wanted an M1, wound up being pushed towards a QS-6. I wanted an ION, was steered towards a Motif. I even bought some that I thought were cool. ERR Wrong!

There have been a few keyboards, I have been drawn towards. The Moog Minimoog, , and the Triton Le. Both out of my price range. I love the Minimoog because of the knobs, and the Triton Le, because of the non western sounds I found. But I could not see spending the money on a keyboard, when I would only use half of the sounds.


I know I am never going to play, and really I don't want too. If I happen to find a keyboard that can hold my attention for more then an hour, and not get bored and loose interest, then yes, I will but it. Otherwise, I will save my money.

Everyone seems to think they know what I want, and reality they don't. Even the sales people and Manufactures. Korg, Roland and Yamaha make stuff, they think what people want. Sort of the way GM made cars they thought, that's what people would want. Doesn't work that way. Too me, synthesizers lost their appeal, once YAMAHA introduced the DX7. Oh sure great sounding synth, and very popular. But, it had stuff in it that someone else came up with sound wise, and why on earth were knobs dropped off?

I remember visiting Bill's Music house in Baltimore Md, and finding a Korg Polysix, and Roland juno - 6. Booth were very cool and I thought they sounded alright. Although my father and the salesman thought I should buy and old AKAI AX-60. Talk about losing interest quickly. Preset tones, and push buttons? The funny part is, I did buy one, but it was a mistake.

I have been fascinated by sounds, much to the dismay of my father. He did not like it when I would mess up the sounds in my DX7IIFD. He said: " Can't you play something?" Needless to say that got crushed quickly. Sold the Yamaha. Went through a whole phase of buying and selling keyboards hoping something would spark my interest.

At lest Moog had it right, although I thought the Voyager should not have had storage capabilities. When the old school came out that was cool, but it did not last.

Just once I would love to see a synth, without memory. As for a workstation or arranger keyboard. Instead of putting in sounds that people think they want? Instead make a keyboard that has no internal sounds until you load them in yourself. With a Card. Sort of like a sampler. Where people can choose just the sounds they need. Or even take a blank and tell the manufacture, the sounds they want.

They way I see it. I should choose what I want, and NOT what someone else thinks I want. Maybe an arranger works for you guys, but for me, not so much.

I know I am no John Lennon, and never plan on being. I am more like John Cage, despite what people say.

I need to stop worrying about the fact that I can not play, and just learn to love sounds. Maybe thats why I love the minimoog, and Juno- 6 and Polysix, and MS-20.

Look If I really want to play a keyboard I could just go to Walmart an pick up a Yamaha, or Casio home keyboard, but at the moment, I just enjoy my records, and I love synthesizers. Not theses all in one box things. Just simple. Like me!

Paul

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#362661 - 03/06/13 06:05 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
analogcontrolfreak Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1531
I just want to add one last thing.

Apart from the Minimoog, Juno-6, Polysix, Ms-20 and ION. All synths that I love. The only other keyboard I was ever drawn to was the Triton Le.

I am not sure why? Or what it was about this keyboard, but something about it spoke too me. Two things did manage to get my attention. Non Western instruments, and the sequencer, arppgeiator. Also, it was a 76 key one I was playing. What stopped me was the price.


The other synths, the Minimoog, and so forth. Were the knobs, but no presets. Well except for the ION.

So on the one hand I love knob laden synths and on the other the Triton Le. I was never really big on Home Keyboards, or arranger's. That's just an over priced and glorified home keyboard. No offense, but it's just not me.

I no am not a player, and never will be. I am not looking to want to learn to play, and that just fine.

I love listening to good music, that someone else wrote, and I love synths. Just never really had the desire to want to play. If that's wrong then I don't want to be a part of anything!

I know now who I am!

BTW: The next time you see a Jackson Pollack or Andy Worehall or Magrete or even 20th century art. Think of me!

Paul

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#362665 - 03/06/13 10:24 PM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
jamman Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/04
Posts: 640
Loc: City of Angels in the golden s...
Originally Posted By: analogcontrolfreak
Nigel had suggested that I should buy an arranger keyboard. Said it would be better for me, then say a synthesizer or a workstation? What are the benefits, and could someone point me to a topic on this, as I did a search and came up with nothing? I know I am not much of a musician, but I have messed a around with a few keyboards. Triton Le, Roland XP-80 Yamaha SY-99. I even had a salesman at Guitar Center try and sell me a Yamaha Motif. Although, most salesmen, stirred me towards Yamaha mostly. Such as the SY-22 and 35 and a Motif. Also, the Alesis QS-6.

I have had several Casio keyboards but never really played them.


Keyboards I have owned besides several 80's and one 90's home keyboard.

Yamaha DX7II-FD Bought off of my music teacher.
Ensoniq Mirage traded the DX7II-FD
ARP Omni - Frist Vintage synth , now just a show piece.
Three Korg Poly-61's
KAWAI K5000s bought in trade with a Poly-61 and Mirage, latter sold KAWAI to Music Go Round
Roland JX-305 groove synth - sold on Ebay
AKAI AX-60 Bought and sold on ebay
ARP AXXE second vintage synth bought and latter sold on ebay
Roland Juno-106 - sold on ebay
Roland Juno-D bought and resold back to same music store

Korg KS61 still in box hardly used

So I know it's not the keyboards, it is me.

Some keyboards and synths that I would have loved to own or are fascinated by

Moog Minimoog - Classic and Voyager

Korg MS-2000 just cool

Alesis Ion

Ensoniq EPS16 plus Sampler's are pretty cool

JP-8000 Roland

You can tell I like knobs

I like the Triton Le some cool sounds

The Casio XWP-1 Inexpensive

new Korg MS-20

KARMA

Korg interactive workstations like the IS-6

Sorry I got carried away.


Anyway I love synths, even though I am not much of a player.

Paul




You have to ask your self a question.


Do you want to be a musician or a button pusher/sound tweaker.

If you don't want to actually play but only play with sounds/not interested in play with both hands , this is what you do..

Get a laptop ( mac Book Pro with min 8Gb ram -if you can afford- if not -$ 299 windows machine is fine)

With MBP , get Logic,Mainstage 2 - get a 25 or 37 key USB controller with slider and knobs ( since you do not want to plaY),Save your own sounds,setups or if you want record unlimited tracks of audio and midi). No more expensive hardware synths, since you are not a musician or play live.

In windows route - Cubase/Sonar/PT can all do decent work.

Get Kontact 8 as your main softsynth ( all synths including FM is here,your dad can't complain about tweaking dx7 II fd,it'll be FM8).Korg legacy collections plus M1 with give you all classic sounds including wavestation and ms.A controller with kobs/sliders will do wonders and if your computer is good enough no noticable latency either).


If you want to play music/create songs/sing get an arranger.
(arrangers are not glorified home keybords anymore - that was a saying in 1980's not true anymore,it was said only by the people who are not familiar with TOTL current arrangers, they were talikng about low end psrs or casios),By the way there is no such thing as Korg interactive work station model ( Korg's term for their arrangers) IS6.ARe you refereing to I5s?

PA3x will eat Triton Le alive ( regarding sounds including non western , it also has non western turnings, sampler,ribbon controller and the list goes on, but you don't nee to spend that much, go with controller, softsynth route).all triton Le's programs ( except combis and ARP )can be loaded in microarranger.


Sy22 is 1991-2 era.Dx s are 80's.Sy 35 is 1993, Sy 99 is 1991 ( good syth by the way -FM plus PCM),QS 6 is mid 90's.ALL of them are outdated ( except for SY's which have FM that I love,yet still old).

Gutar center doesnt carry decent arrangers ( all cheapo casios and yammys or sub $1000 arrangers).

Listen to Tyros 4with gtr styles,PA3x's drums, Audya 's audio styles and we'll talk wheather they are home keyboards or not.


Or best, if keybord playing is not working out, start a acoustic instrument - Eg. learn to play guitar. You'll later need a arranger for sure..


This is how musicians start.One need to know to admire and inspire.


Good luck wth your purchase.



To the original questions- benefits of owning an arranger keyboard
Answer - To make more money than band mates,carry less,play more, be your won boss in your band,improve your playing skills with a bckup band that never sleep/get drunk/give excuses not to show up and will start to push one into singing and get better singer in the future, the list goes on..


Edited by jamman (03/06/13 10:54 PM)

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#362667 - 03/07/13 01:44 AM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 5081
Loc: English Riviera, UK
As Jamman says get a laptop, controller keyboard and some software.

I recommend Windows as they are usually cheaper and there are a boatload of free stuff out there (Mac users only have a limited amount) which will allow you to play around to your hearts content.

Another route is to forgo Windows or Mac and use the free Linux OS, as again there are boatloads of free software for it, and you are not tied to the way Apple or Microsoft do things.

Native instrument Komplete soft synth package is probably one of the best all in one set, however you will have to pay for it (But you wont regret it).

As to playing, if youre doodling on the keyboard you are playing it.

As to the benefits of owning arranger keyboards, well they are easy play, (Press a button and everything is done for you) so that even if you have no talent you can sound great, and in the right hands they can sound good live, (Just remember to turn the automatics off and actually play it) but they are produced primarily for the home hobby player, (They basically took over from the home organ) hence there editing and setup capabilities are severely limiting compared to a workstation. (Interestingly a lot of home arranger players are now adding workstations to their arrangers, (Korgs Kronos and Krome really have taken the market by storm) and if it really takes off I can see some great arranger/workstation hybrids being introduced in the future)

Hope this helps

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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#362684 - 03/07/13 08:21 AM Re: Benefits of owning an arranger keyboard? [Re: analogcontrolfreak]
Joesax Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Southern New Jersey
If all you want is the ability to make sounds, musically or otherwise, then a pure synth is fine. I look at Arrangers and modern Workstations as creative tools. The Styles, Voices, Performances, Combinations, Arps, etc are endlessly variable and can be combined in a myriad of ways. The permutations of sounds, rhythms, etc are also endless. Plus in most you can add your own samples. Too many look down on these tools as just Romplers that have sounds created by others. They miss the point entirely.
_________________________
joesax
--------------------------------------------------
https://music4stressedoutsouls.bandcamp.com/
Tyros 3, Motif XF6, Quad Amp/Pre-Amp/DAC, Quad Monitors, Tascam Digital Recorder

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