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#399297 - 02/09/15 08:31 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14575
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I guess I look at this a bit differently when it comes to arrangers. Keep in mind, though, that I'm NOT a musician - I'm an entertainer. I look at an arranger as among the most versatile music tools available today. And, I'm constantly amazed at the number of musicians that come up to me and tell me how great the keyboard sounds.

One of the things I often wonder to myself is how much more can the manufacturers create in an arranger keyboard? Granted, some folks will never be pleased unless the manufacturers make the keyboard exactly the way THEY want it, but generally speaking, the arranger keyboard, in it's present form, is absolutely incredible.

AS for the keys, I agree with DNJ. Give me those light touch keys every day. I tried using a fully weighted controller for a couple hours and thought my wrists would break off. Toward the end it felt as if I needed a ballpean hammer to press the keys. When you perform 6 to 7 days a week, often twice a day, those lightweight keys are a Godsent.

Now I know that I only have a few more years of being a performer left in me at best. I sincerely believe that I can do any musical entertainment job, restaurant, nite club, bar, Nursing Home, assisted living center, retirement community and private party using the S-950 and my current sound system. I don't need tilt, touch screens, weighted keys, cast iron case, larger keys, different color case, more than the 700 voices already in the keyboard, or a cocktail dispenser on the keyboard to be a better entertainer or put on a better show.

As for an arranger being a lazy man's tool, not by any means. In fact, I feel just the opposite. An arranger requires a lot more work than any guitar I've ever played. Not only do you have to tune the instrment, but in addition, you must program the music finder and registrations so you will be ready to perform any song requested. You have to remember which songs you put into the registrations and MFD. You have to set up every aspect of every song, and for many of us, establish an interface with a netbook or laptop PC. Some of us even go to the trouble of creating custom styles or modifying styles to fit a particular song. All of this takes months of preparation to get it right. So, anyone that considers an arranger as a lazy man's music tool obviously doesn't have a clue what he or she is talking about.

In many ways, MOTL and TOTL arrangers are a lot like work stations. They can perform many of the same tasks, plus provide you with a lot more latitude in creating a song. There was a guy down here in the keys two years ago with an MO8 that absolutely loved to play my PSR-3000. We performed together on Saturday nights for about three months, and the night before he left for the Bahamas his wife came up to me and said "I would like to buy your keyboard if you are willing to sell it. When you play, there are lots of people up dancing. My husband notices this as well. He was really having a ball when he played your keyboard and I would love to buy yours and give it to him for his birthday next month." I had to turn her down for a number of reasons and she offered me full retail for the board. Ken now owns an S950 and rarely plays his MO8. Ken is a pro musician and played with a symphony orchestra in Texas before retiring to the cruising life aboard his 50-foot sailing catamaran.

I suspect some folks here will consider my statements of a raving, old codger that is on his way out, and they may be right. But, that's my story and I'm stickin to it! smile

Gary cool
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#399300 - 02/09/15 08:53 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: travlin'easy]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 13262
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
I think an arranger is as much a "lazy man's tool" as a snow blower is to a shovel !!! ... If it makes a musician's life easier to deliver the final product, that's great IMHO ...

PS... when it comes to a snow blower or a shovel, I take it a step further and pay someone else to do it ! grin ... but the KB, I play myself keys ...
in fact I will be doing that today while the plow guy takes care of the drive way ... another 8" to 12" expected on top to the 16' we had last week ... and MORE TO COME ON THURSDAY !!! frown
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t. cool

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#399301 - 02/09/15 09:18 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14575
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Hop on a plane, Tony, 76 here today. smile And, I'm playing tonight at Cabana Breezes. I'm confident that Lydia would love the change in climate, fresh caught lobster and key lime pie. smile smile smile

Cheers,

Gary cool
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#399302 - 02/09/15 09:31 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: travlin'easy]
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 13262
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Enjoy, Gary ... but that warm water lobster is no match for Maine, or even RI, cold water "lobstah !!! grin
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t. cool

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#399303 - 02/09/15 10:10 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 40923
I know some of you will disagree on the "lazy mans" reference but the facts are the facts, ......otherwise many more pros would be using them vs workstations & synths in bands, in studio and on stage where you rarely see an arranger Kb in live national acts venues, etc , etc, ...it's just the way it is...
will it ever change? i doubt it too late for that ....you cant create original music using someone elses
pre programmed styles, or midi files, you have to Create your OWN music track by track, if your talented enough to do that vs an automatic operated arranger style unit. & if you play in a band who needs styles just play Your parts on whatever Kb's you desire.... Nothing lasts for ever.

PS DITTO on the lobstah reference! Yum!


Edited by Dnj (02/09/15 10:11 AM)

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#399304 - 02/09/15 10:37 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14575
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Tony and Donny, they have both down here, and you can select which one you prefer, clawless or Maine lobster. Hey, this is Paradise, you can get any kind of food you want in nearly every restaurant here. Additionally, you can get fresh caught grouper, snapper, king mackerel, blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and lots of other, neat, local goodies including fresh caught gulf shrimp right off the boat.

Gary cool
_________________________
PSR-S950, TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR, Samson Q7, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#399305 - 02/09/15 10:39 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
ianmcnll Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/27/05
Posts: 10596
Loc: Cape Breton Island, Canada
We use the Tyros4 in the studio, not because we are lazy (although, we are wink )...we use it because we get results very quickly, and in the studio, time is money.

I can lay down a truly great bass line and drum track in just the amount of time it takes to play it through....can't do that with a workstation.

As far as pre-programmed styles? We rarely use the factory styles unedited, although, we could get away with it in most cases, especially for the more commercial type tunes we are recording.

I like to edit styles mainly to add stop/fills/intros/endings that are more appropriate for the tune in question.

And speaking of those tunes, we are generally fleshing out ideas by local singer/songwriters, or, recording singers who want to make a CD for their friends or family, and most of the tunes are commercial.

I've used Workstations, and just find the arranger far more intuitive and, as I said earlier, far quicker.

Many of the post retirement clinics I do are to show PSR/Tyros users how to edit styles so their music could have their own stamp on it...also, many of them were then able to make their own midi files to play/perform/sing over, rather than use the same old commercially made files every one else used...sometimes the devil is in the details. I know our Donny has mentioned that he often makes his own midi files, and I'm sure that it adds a nice touch and gives him his own élan on usually same old-same old tunes.

I'd take an arranger keyboard over a workstation any day, and, like any other electronic instrument or keyboard, it really depends on the skill and creativity of the player to make the most of it.

But, most of all, I love my Arranger because it lets me sit down and just “play” a tune "live" with a deluxe sounding band behind me...a band that can vary from just a drummer and bass player, to the whole orchestra...and anything in between.

Ian

Regarding the lobster...I like it boiled, and then shelled and sautéed in butter...totally decadent!
_________________________
Yamaha Tyros4, Yamaha MS-60S Powered Monitors(2), Yamaha CS-01, Yamaha TQ-5, Yamaha PSR-S775.

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#399306 - 02/09/15 10:41 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
124 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 2075
LOL! on the lobster thing. I can't even look one of those in the eye. Spoken like a true prairie boy. smile

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#399307 - 02/09/15 10:44 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
124 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 2075
Well said, Ian.

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#399309 - 02/09/15 11:14 AM Re: So What did we learn from NAMM 2015? [Re: Dnj]
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4906
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Arrangers have always been designed for the home market and are basically all the easy play features of organs that have been expanded, and combined in a compact package. (They are designed so it’s easy to just sit down, press a button and play)

That you can do a lot with them is not disputed, just that with their limited programmable real-time controls (And if you want something unique you first have to take off all the effects that the manufacture has added before you can start programming) makes it slower to make something unique. (Which if you’re paying for a studio, time is money)

If you look at 99.9% of arranger owners, if they want to learn a new song, they go onto a forum or club and ask if anybody has got a style for it rather than modify one for themselves. In the UK however this seems to be changing as more and more arranger owners are adding pedals and an extra keyboard to effectively turn them back into an organ, so that they can learn to play the backing without having to rely on a style. (Playing along to someone else’s backing, rather than creating or playing your own is where the lazy sticker comes from)

Bill
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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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