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#437483 - 09/14/17 02:08 PM Arranger keyboard or.....
cgiles Online   content
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Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 4464
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
...Performance Workstation (with 'arranger' features). Donny often uses the term "make it your own" when referring to performances. A good premise, one that I wholeheartedly endorse. In fact, jazz is built on that principle. The truth is, if that were one's primary goal, they probably wouldn't start with an auto-accompaniment instrument....but that's for another thread.

Seems to me, reading all the trending 'wish lists' for new arrangers, that aside from new styles (and better sounds - if that's even possible), most of the desired features have little to do with basic arranger playing but more to do with ergonomics, navigation (easier ways to do already-automated functions), aesthetics (grey,black,white), build quality (plastic or paper...uhhh I mean plastic or metal), smartphone/tablet integration, and yes, even weight. Only a handful (Fran) ever mention things like keybed (keyfeel), etc. that actually effect your realtime playing.

Modern airliners can auto-takeoff, manage a flight, and autoland----do everything except serve drinks to the passengers. This makes the captain and first officer little more than system managers (well, until you need to land on the Hudson river smile ). This makes the aviation world question whether we're creating a generation of pilots without basic stick and rudder skills. Is this an appropriate analogy in the music world? Are we only concerned about the end product (what reaches the audience's ears) and little or nothing about the BASIC processes that got us there. If so, wouldn't an mp3 player and a stash of well-prepared, well selected, mp3s cover about 85-90% of most of your gigs?

I'm just thinking aloud here, but maybe we could remove some of the stigma by just calling it something other than an arranger keyboard; after all, it has evolved to much more than that and it's wider acceptance as a legitimite musical instrument should not be diminished by an archaic label. If you had to rename (relabel) it as a category of keyboard, what would you call it? Just curious.

chas
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#437484 - 09/14/17 02:18 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
Dnj Offline
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Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 33855
Loc: Jersey Shore, NJ USA
"FAUXRRANGER" ?


Edited by Dnj (09/14/17 02:21 PM)
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#437485 - 09/14/17 02:40 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
montunoman Online   content
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Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 1697
Loc: Dallas, Texas
I've met some pretty amazing arrange arranger keyboardist during my travels to Mexico. None of them referred to their keyboards as "arranger keyboards" in fact they were completely unaware of the term unless they happen to speak English and visit websites such as this. I believe most of the Mexican keyboard referred to their arrange a keyboard as " teclado con ritmos" which means " keyboard with rhythms " That seems to make sense to me. Maybe call it a " rhythm keyboard" or how about " chord recognition keyboard"
Either way ,the name doesn't really matter to me or does the acceptance/status of the instrument. I love playing with my "rhythmic keyboard " Wiorks great for my needs!
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#437486 - 09/14/17 02:59 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
abacus Offline
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Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4531
Loc: English Riviera, UK
Easy Play Keyboard, as after all their just a more advanced version of the easy play features that were fitted to home entertainment organs.

Bill
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#437489 - 09/14/17 03:22 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
Dnj Offline
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Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 33855
Loc: Jersey Shore, NJ USA
Exactly Bill....we are just automatically operating a keyboard device with buttons and keys....
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#437500 - 09/14/17 07:44 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
Uncle Dave Online   content
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Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 10149
Loc: Philadelphia Pa, USA
I still like the idea that "I'm" the arranger on the fly, not the keyboard. It's kinda funny that the instrument took the name, but when I'm at the helm, I'm in control - no matter what the tools or toys I'm using. For years (actually decades!) I used a Rhodes, a bass synth du jour and a drum machine ... I was the arranger. I like the title ... and I'm stickin' to it!
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#437503 - 09/14/17 07:57 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: Dnj]
tony mads usa Offline
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Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 11192
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Originally Posted By Dnj
....we are just automatically operating a keyboard ....


Automatically??? ...my KB doesn't do anything if I don't tell it to ... wink
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#437504 - 09/14/17 08:03 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 12381
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Most folks, both musicians and audience members, just refer to them as "Keyboards." And, I for one, love the automated features. Of course, from my perspective, all music is somewhat automated, or rhythmic to use a better term. It is repetitive, hence tempo and timing. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but that may be because I'm an old fart (and damned proud of it!).

All the best,

Gary cool
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#437508 - 09/14/17 09:24 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
J. Larry Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/99
Posts: 472
Loc: University, MS 38677 USA
I don’t ever recall anyone saying, “Hey, you’re faking it, or you’re not really playing.” It’s more like I heard yesterday, “Where’s all those sounds coming from? How’d you do that”? I generally take the time to show them and provide a short demonstration. Most folks I know love the technology that’s been brought to musicians. Some of my closest friends are Ph. D’s in music (not me) and they are wow’d by what one person can sound like.

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#437515 - 09/15/17 12:24 AM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: travlin'easy]
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 5924
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Originally Posted By travlin'easy
Most folks, both musicians and audience members, just refer to them as "Keyboards."


The difference between an arranger keyboard and a workstation is nothing more than some additional accompaniment software. Workstations already have plenty of buttons to use when in arranger mode. I would like all workstations to have arranger features. There is no reason that they shouldn't. It would add little to their cost. Maybe some overlay button templates to use in arranger mode. Stand alone arranger keyboards should be taken over by workstations with arranger abilities. Then some people with workstations would realize how useful those arranger features are.

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#437542 - 09/15/17 10:06 AM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: montunoman]
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6230
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Chas has a valid observation, I think, not just about keyboards. I make my living in commercial recording, live performance, publishing, video production, still photography and creation of various electronic media productions.

Literally everything I do involves the use of tools that have become increasingly more "automated", so to speak. The portastudio I use for roughs almost runs itself. If I want Steely Dan's mix from Cousin Dupree, it's available. Cameras not only can be set to auto focus, but to default to certain speeds, ASA settings, depth of field and more.

The parallel to arranger keyboards is eerie.

But, guess what? Someone has to input the information. Bad players don't sound as good as good players on arrangers or anything else. The photos from a home shooter won't be as good as those from a seasoned pro.

And on and on.

Things are so complex that, if I took the time to learn everything I need to know to get the most out of the equipment I use, I'd have no time to work.

Lots of people have been afraid of 'losing it" to technology and automation. Even in the late 80's a jungle package around here cost a minimum of $3500.00. Then, people with a $500.00 "all in one" began offering a similar product for $500.00. Lots of my friends were worried.

Same thing with desk top publishing. All of a sudden, IT people became designers.....NOT!

Again, what I always say is use technology (arrangers, auto focus cameras, harmonizers, etc.)as tool, not crutches.

The good news: I never lost a dollar of business to anyone due to a technology issue.

Good topic, Chas.


Edited by captain Russ (09/15/17 10:09 AM)

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#437544 - 09/15/17 10:56 AM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 12381
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Ditto!
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#437688 - 09/18/17 09:13 AM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
sparky589 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 564
Loc: NJ
The technology has had varying economic impact as well. Many a studio instrumentalist or orchestra has been replaced by a string sound or other from a synth keyboard with sampled or electronically created sounds. Even musicians unions couldn't stop this.
Performers with mediocre instrumental or vocal skills who can rock clothes or dance moves are vaulted to stardom made to sound good by sound engineers in the booth. Seems to be a new one every month. And they make millions in a short time, then get pushed aside by the next one.
Some performing bands play live but record with substituted studio musicians for their polished album tracks. These guys never get to go on the tours or get residuals or the big bucks.
Then there's Milli Vanilli...
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#437695 - 09/18/17 11:39 AM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 12381
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
smile
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Yamaha PSR-3000 (2), PSR-S950, Bose L1 Compact (2), TC Helicon Harmony-M, Digitech VR (3), Barbetta Sona 32C, Crown CM311A (3), Samson Q7 (2), Samson Wireless, Sennheiser E855, Custom Console, Morgan 33 Out Island Sailboat, and lots of other silly stuff!

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#437741 - 09/19/17 09:01 AM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: travlin'easy]
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6230
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Sparky is right. I have played at least 100 dates in the studio for national groups you all would know. Funny thing: some of the guys I play for kill live, but just can't cut it in the studio.

R.

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#438356 - 10/02/17 07:21 PM Re: Arranger keyboard or..... [Re: cgiles]
tassiespirit Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 223
Loc: Devonport, Tasmania, Australia
Anyway, my 2 cents worth ( and only my opinion), No one made any of us use these machines, we chose to. It is a life style thing to most if not all of us. It is convenience and usefulness of the keyboards we chose to buy. If we didn't we would all be lugging around Steinways or Hammonds in trucks and been in wheel chairs since( due to back backs) lol. Plus we would be at the mercy of drummers, guitar player, and other roadies egos ( and not just our own).

For one, I am glad to have these Rhythm maker keyboards, or Swiss Army Knives boards, that do OUR bidding and that WE are in charge of. Not the other way around. You can use as little or as much as you like, and that's the beauty of these things.

It is like having a F-35 but not flying it at it's top speed of around 1200 mph - but you know you can any time and any where. Same with some of these boards, they can blow the pants off other players ( with the right musician behind it); but you don't need to do that all the time. You become the whloe band and at any time a soloist of any instrument.
These things amaze me all the time, they bring a new one out, as they add a little bit more each time. Forget the, what if it had this or I want more attitude.
Maybe they should be called - keyboard with the lot! lol

Any instrument is worth it's salt, but only as much as the musician is that uses it.
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