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#460731 - 11/03/18 07:03 AM Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood?
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41446
Arranger keyboards are characterized by their automatic accompaniment styles, which are essentially multi-part MIDI riffs that follow your chord changes, adding not just a drum beat but several virtual musicians worth of backing band as well. Their feature sets and price points range from basic accompaniment and easy-play features found on some $149 Costco impulse purchase to the $6,000-plus Yamaha Genos, a songwriting and performance monster machine that can basically sound like anything and do anything. Arrangers are also some of the most maligned and least understood keyboards among many pros.

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/synth-expert/news-blog/2017/10/6/why-arranger-keyboards-matter

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#460735 - 11/03/18 07:58 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
Riceroni9 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Glen Rose, TX, USA
I think we've had this conversation before, Donny... but you are so right. Arrangers are a mystery to 99.5% of the American Public... and I'm guessing 95% of that sample do not even realize they exist or what they do. You might think the manufacturers would take time to review marketing 101 and do a little TV advertising. On the other hand, maybe we should whisper when discussing arrangers. Our gain... their loss! LOL!

Visit most any big box Music Gear Store and ask a salesperson in the Keyboard Section about an arranger... any arranger. Most look perplexed and make an exit as quickly as they can distract you.

My only concern: Perhaps arrangers will become Dinosaurs and go extinct if the Korg and Yammie people can't make money off their marvelous products. Oh well, at least I have three.
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#460737 - 11/03/18 08:31 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Riceroni9]
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41446
Originally Posted By Riceroni9
I think we've had this conversation before, Donny... but you are so right. Arrangers are a mystery to 99.5% of the American Public... and I'm guessing 95% of that sample do not even realize they exist or what they do. You might think the manufacturers would take time to review marketing 101 and do a little TV advertising. On the other hand, maybe we should whisper when discussing arrangers. Our gain... their loss! LOL!

Visit most any big box Music Gear Store and ask a salesperson in the Keyboard Section about an arranger... any arranger. Most look perplexed and make an exit as quickly as they can distract you.

My only concern: Perhaps arrangers will become Dinosaurs and go extinct if the Korg and Yammie people can't make money off their marvelous products. Oh well, at least I have three.


You are so right Dave in many ways..big music store too are disappearing to the internet way of shopping....but let's face it aside from nursing homes and older adult music, etc,......
arrangers aren't sought out to create today's younger generations music at all, sad truth,...here lies the problem why the demise of arranger kbs is eminent but instead will linger on gracefully until home organ baby boomers are totally gone. We are a small fraction of the musical population that still enjoys them & I am fine with that and proud that I had lots of years and still do enjoying playing an arranger kb every day. An arranger KB is a great flexible tool for amature & pro musicians alike only IF they take the time to learn its features and know how to apply them to whatever situation is needed to create music.
Thoughts?


Edited by Dnj (11/03/18 09:50 AM)

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#460742 - 11/03/18 09:00 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5939
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Thoughts? Here are mine. I don't think they're misunderstood at all. I think most serious musicians understand perfectly what an arranger keyboard is, if not specifically, at least in concept. That contcept is, of course, auto-accompaniment and I think that is precisely what turns them off. Solid concepts accompanied by quality products will almost always succeed in the marketplace. There is little dispute about the high quality and technical excellence of today's most popular arranger keyboards. We must then conclude that it must be the CONCEPT that is responsible for it's dismal showing in the keyboard market. It's a cop-out to say that people/musicians "don't know about them"; they've been around at least 30 or more years which should be more than enough time to get 'discovered'. Musical instruments are meant to show off your musical skills, not disguise them....and therein lies the problem. In the minds of most (YES, MOST) professional musicians, an arranger keyboard is NOT a legitimate musical instrument (you can interpret 'legitimate' however you like). This attitude has not changed in 30-40 years and is unlikely to change in the future.

Well you asked for 'thoughts' smile.

chas
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#460746 - 11/03/18 09:32 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 9269
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
It has been said a million times, the arranger keyboard is a tool,, yes it is an instrument, if you choose it to be one..

I do not agree with Chas , that most musicians understand the arranger to a degree, where they would find it could meet their needs too.

Auto stuff is just one feature.. If it makes you more sellable in the marketplace, why not use it? Maybe you can get better paying gigs ( $40 coffee shops), at least the $100 senior gigs smile

Seriously, Most musicians do not know the benefits of arranger keyboards.. Splits, layers, zones , control of sounds, routing effects, mic inputs and on board mixing... all things that they keep buying synths and workstations for..... Ease of use and saving set ups are a breeze, and you have more time to play smile

You don't have to use all the gimmicks just because you can.. BTW: what sounds worst than the old synths with arpeggios... makes me want to throw up shocked

They have improved in modern times.. how ? By modeling the arpeggios more like arranger styles.. Think about that "musicians" smile

I have a refrigerator that makes ice cubes automatically... I don't need this and I don't want it.. I didn't even connect a water line to it... now that is a firm statement wink

As it has been said many times here, There are not many folks that know much about arrangers and they are the people selling the arrangers (trying) in the music stores... so who is going to educate musicians on their benefits? frown
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#460748 - 11/03/18 10:51 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
vangelis Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 395
Loc: FLORIDA
This is my out-take on this subject, Arrangers are like automatic self pay registers in Walmart, they take jobs away from creative musicians who need to make a living and are forced to do something else in life, although they are also tools to help you make music the nightclubs that had a full band, are now downsizing to a minimum. I am very aware of this situation because I am a part of it, do I like it? NO! but I have to make some kind of living part time besides my regular job.
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#460754 - 11/03/18 11:29 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: vangelis]
DonM Online   elvis
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16081
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Originally Posted By vangelis
This is my out-take on this subject, Arrangers are like automatic self pay registers in Walmart, they take jobs away from creative musicians who need to make a living and are forced to do something else in life, although they are also tools to help you make music the nightclubs that had a full band, are now downsizing to a minimum. I am very aware of this situation because I am a part of it, do I like it? NO! but I have to make some kind of living part time besides my regular job.

In my area, and I suspect a lot of others, there are FAR more single guitar players using midi or karaoke background than there ever were arranger players. There are a couple a week trying to get my job, but they will have to way until I expire! smile
At the peak of arranger use here, there were never more than 3 or 4 actually using them to make money, and that was usually at nursing homes. These days, there are only two of us in an area of a couple hundred thousand people, and the other one has cut back to twice a month.
Oh, and there is a chain of Mexican Restaurants that sometimes brings up arranger players from Mexico. There are LOTS of arranger users in Mexico. I have sold five of my old arrangers to people in Mexico, three to the same guy!
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#460756 - 11/03/18 11:54 AM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 4900
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Another factor, I find, is apathy or ignorance about how the finished product is arrived at. Granted, I play for the older crowd and find they enjoy my music, being singing and playing styles,or harmonica and playing over midi or MP3's. Not everyone is going to leer at you with a jaundiced eye. They even give me undeserved credit for an arrangement of a song they loved so many years ago. Yes, they are older people, but not wheelchair bound. They are dancing and having a good time. I guess I am fortunate to live and play in the senior capital of the country. I am not disputing some of the above findings, but it is not going to stop me. So there.
Bernie
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#460759 - 11/03/18 12:48 PM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
Dnj Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 41446
Wheelchairs or not the all have ears to enjoy music.

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#460761 - 11/03/18 12:58 PM Re: Are Arranger Keyboards Misunderstood? [Re: Dnj]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 4900
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
I only said wheelchair bound meaning they might be a captive audience and not indicative of people coming out to hear you, yet, many of my old friends are in the NH's I play at. Maybe they like me because I fit right into their age group lol.
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pa4X 76 ,SX900, Audya 76,Yamaha S970 , vArranger, Hammond SK1, Ketron SD40, Centerpoint Space Station, Bose compact

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