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#502336 - 02/27/21 08:45 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14208
Loc: NW Florida
Yeah... it’s amazing how car manufacturers keep selling boxes with wheels at each corner and an engine to get you around!

Where’s those damn flying cars we were promised back in the 50’s? 😂

If the progress that Yamaha made doubling the polyphony and upping the insert effects to 28 amongst other very significant changes isn’t enough for you, you might be setting your expectations a bit high! There’s an awful lot more to an arranger than the raw style engine.

What exactly were you hoping for?
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502337 - 02/27/21 09:12 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15566
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Those flying cars have been around for many years, but the cost is still out of sight. A cheap flying car is about $250,000 but there are alternatives, such as flying motor cycles that go for about $20,000 and up. smile

Now, I seriously doubt that Yamaha will double it's polyphony any time in the near future - Why? Mainly because most folks couldn't hear the difference, including myself. I kind of look at it this way - If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Most of the pro players I know, and that's a lot of players, DO NOT edit anything. Instead, they fire up their keyboard, play the job and hope the check don't bounce. It's that simple. Of course, I'm old and a bit old fashioned. wink

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

K+E=W (Knowledge Plus Experience = Wisdom.)

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#502338 - 02/27/21 09:41 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: travlin'easy]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4912
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
aaaaaaaah! I feel much better after reading your post Gary. I was beginning to think my years were affecting my thinking.

1-Unpack the new keyboard
2-Study the options
3-Make a playlist
4-Then, enjoy playing song after song.
Small chages are made along the way.

This is my opinion, John C.

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#502346 - 02/27/21 07:41 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Diki]
Tapas Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Originally Posted By Diki
Yeah... it’s amazing how car manufacturers keep selling boxes with wheels at each corner and an engine to get you around!

Where’s those damn flying cars we were promised back in the 50’s? 😂

If the progress that Yamaha made doubling the polyphony and upping the insert effects to 28 amongst other very significant changes isn’t enough for you, you might be setting your expectations a bit high! There’s an awful lot more to an arranger than the raw style engine.

What exactly were you hoping for?




Hi Diki,

I agree with you that Yamaha took the Arranger World by surprise when they released the GENOS in 2017. No other Arranger Keyboard can match the 28 insert effects of the GENOS even today.

These effects help bring out the polished studio quality backing tracks and lead voices. The Yamaha GENOS sounds stellar.

What really makes owning a GENOS so attractive is the eco-system that Yamaha has built around it.

Yamaha went the extra mile supporting their user base by releasing all OS updates for free and offering 59 Voice & Style Expansion Packs for free:

https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/contents/keyboards/vse/index.html

Within this staggering collection of voices, styles and registrations there is something for everybody. They used to cost around $100 per pack.

Yamaha has their MusicSoft website where you can download the Premium Quality XF Midi Files optimized for your GENOS.

https://shop.usa.yamaha.com/downloadables

Then we have all these Forums and Websites set up by Yamaha Arranger Fans that offer a wealth of Styles, Midi Files, Lessons, Technical Help and Tips & Tricks that puts a new owner at ease.

Let me list a few:


1.
The SynthZone Forum run by Nigel

http://www.synthzone.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/37/1/General_Arranger_Keyboard_Foru

This is the premiere forum for professional Keyboard Players. Every question gets answered by the experts from around the world.

We are already here!!


2.
The PSR Tutorial Forum

https://www.psrtutorial.com/forum/

This forum is dedicated to Yamaha Arrangers. It was set up by Joe Waters 20 years ago and now Roger Brenizer helps with the administration.

I was completely stunned when I realized the size of their resource library comprising of Midi Files, Song Styles and MP3 files of actual performances.

Although one can download everything piece meal, it is much more convenient to have Gary copy the products you want on a thumb drive and mail it to you for a small price.

https://www.psrtutorial.com/cdrom/productsum.html

I was delighted with my purchase. It showcases the talents of the Yamaha user base.

No other keyboard manufacturer has anything that parallels what Joe has done to popularize the Yamaha Arranger Keyboards.


3.
Create Song Styles

https://createsongstyles.com/

You can find Lead Sheets, PDFs, Yamaha Song Styles, MIDI Files, MP3 Files for almost every Song you can think of.

The membership is $20/year which is very reasonable.


4.
Yamaha Keyboard Players Forum

https://www.yamahakeyboardplayers.com/

This forum was set up by Eileen Lowry. She is an accomplished player and an expert on the Yamaha GENOS. She answers every single question. This is her life, her passion.


5.

Yamaha Musicians Forum

https://www.yamahamusicians.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=160

This is another great resource to have your technical questions answered on the GENOS.


6.
Strawberry Music Ltd

https://www.strawberrymusicltd.com/

This company is run by Neil Blake.

He has painstakingly developed several products for the Yamaha GENOS. They come with the printed Music Book and 10 GENOS Registrations for each of the 100 songs for a total of 1000 registrations.

Neil has his YouTube Channel where he demonstrates his products by playing a few of the songs using his registrations.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0Fvpt5m4-EMuxkXQEKKH7w/videos

You could take his thumb drive and begin to play on your GENOS without having to think about what Style to use and what Voices to layer for a specific song.


7.
Easy Sounds

https://easysoundsshop.de/yamaha-electronic-keyboards/yamaha-genos/

One of the third party sources that design excellent sounds for the GENOS.


8.
eBay

You will find as astonishing collection of GENOS Styles and MIDI Files from various sellers.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-GENOS-Professional-Styles-and-MIDIS-DOWNLOAD/254684075024

This is a must have collection of 10,000 Styles, 5000 Midi Files and hundreds for Song Styles for your GENOS.


9.
YouTube

Want to see what the Yamaha GENOS is capable of?

Search for Peter Baartmans, Martin Harris or Michel Voncken.

There are too many jaw-dropping performances by these keyboard wizards to list.

Add to that all the inspiring performances uploaded by various GENOS fans.


10.
The Unofficial YAMAHA Keyboard Resource Site

http://www.jososoft.dk/yamaha/fora.htm

This website run by Jørgen Sørensen has a treasure trove of free MIDI Utilities to maximize the potential of your GENOS.

You can spend days and months deep diving into these fascinating programs.


11.
Frank Ventresca

https://www.AudioProCT.com

Frank is the owner of AudioProCT , in Milford, Connecticut.

All it takes is one email to Frank@AudioProCT.com and he would deliver your GENOS at your doorstep at a fair price well below all major music retailers.

Frank alone is responsible for over half of all Arranger sales in the US. He is a musician who loves arrangers.


Why am I listing all these sources?


It is to remind a prospective buyer that an exhaustive feature set with tons of bells and whistles does not automatically make an Arranger Keyboard become the market leader.


It also must come with a supporting eco-system.


Users must be able to communicate, share ideas, songs, styles and have a platform to showcase their work.

They must be able to buy their gear from reliable sources at a fair price from a person they trust.

By some sheer luck, the Yamaha GENOS community has grown to becoming a nurturing environment for new and seasoned owners.

If you buy a GENOS, you will be in good hands!

Yes, there are many improvements that can be introduced down the line. This does not take away from the fact that Yamaha has put a lot of thought and effort into designing their flagship GENOS Arranger Keyboard.

We can look back in time and see how much Yamaha has pushed the Arranger Technology.

I remember purchasing a Yamaha PC1000 keyboard that used PlayCards. This predates MIDI.

Looking back what we had then, you cannot dismiss the Yamaha GENOS or the Yamaha Clavinova CVP 809GP as a rehash of old technology.

Every generation has helped expand the envelope of possibilities.

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#502347 - 02/28/21 01:03 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Diki]
groovyband.live Offline
Member

Registered: 09/02/19
Posts: 64
Originally Posted By Diki

If the progress that Yamaha made doubling the polyphony and upping the insert effects to 28 amongst other very significant changes isn’t enough for you, you might be setting your expectations a bit high! There’s an awful lot more to an arranger than the raw style engine.

What exactly were you hoping for?


Well, to start with, as I already pointed out to you in a previous thread (months ago):

1) The Genos can theoretically only use 12 inserts in style playing. And most factory styles use at most 5 or 6 (sometimes even less). As it was the case in previous Tyroses. I bet most Genos owners do not even know how to set an insert, let alone know how many of them you have available. And anyway it always holds the law of diminishing returns: a few inserts are useful, ten inserts are seldom detectable in practical use, 100 inserts are useless. What would be useful is to stack 2 inserts per channel, a thing the Genos firmware will not let you do.

2) The advertised 256 note polyphony is an half backed feature that is of limited use. All the factory voices can only use 128 notes polyphony (as any humble PSR), the remaining 128 notes can only be used by the expansion pack voices (Yamaha, understandably, does not advertise this!). So, NONE of the factory styles can exploit polyphony in excess of 128 notes. And even if you install expansion packs, the chances to use extended polyphony is pretty slim, and as Gary said nobody will ever notice in practical use.

Once we have cleared these points, I must say than an arranger is primarily bought for its realtime arranging capabilities (features and content). These are the features that put it in another class than many other competing products, which are often more capable and cheaper in the "sound synthesis" capabilities. Nobody would ever buy a Genos if it was not capable of playing styles, although its other general features are substandard in a 2020s product (example: lack of audio over USB, present even in toys, from Yamaha too!).

If I have to judge the Genos for its arranging capabilities (unique selling point), I have to say that they are practically unchanged since 20+ years ago.
This is a fact, you like it or not.

Does the Genos sound good? Yes, absolutely, as it does the previous model(s).

And I still believe that the average player buying a Genos is still the limiting factor. An accomplished player playing any previous model (way back to 20 years ago) will produce a MUCH better result any listener can readily see, despite the lack of the "doubled polyphony" or the "upped 28 insert dsps".

* * *

To answer your last question: we are not hoping anything from Yamaha. It is pretty clear that they are "milking" their arranger platform, and that, as you pointed out, R&D is tiny at best, but probably not existent.

We have developed our own arranging engine that feature wise is vastly superior to Yamaha's. And offers a really enjoyable experience for the player and power user that wants better control and customization, the easy way with a modern touch enabled UI.

I want also to make a spoiler here: this spring we are launching our software also for the Montage/MODX synths. This is a marriage between a state of the art modern realtime arranger engine and the best Yamaha has to offer in sound synthesis. At a fraction of the price of the Genos.

We think that bridging the gap between the arranger and synth worlds we will give an opportunity to many younger musicians that till now may have not considered what a realtime arranger can offer.
_________________________
Groovyband Live! - Realtime Arranger Software

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#502348 - 02/28/21 09:27 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: groovyband.live]
Tapas Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Originally Posted By groovyband.live



We have developed our own arranging engine that feature wise is vastly superior to Yamaha's. And offers a really enjoyable experience for the player and power user that wants better control and customization, the easy way with a modern touch enabled UI.

I want also to make a spoiler here: this spring we are launching our software also for the Montage/MODX synths. This is a marriage between a state of the art modern realtime arranger engine and the best Yamaha has to offer in sound synthesis. At a fraction of the price of the Genos.

We think that bridging the gap between the arranger and synth worlds we will give an opportunity to many younger musicians that till now may have not considered what a realtime arranger can offer.




Hi GroovyBank.Live,


Thank you for you very informative post on the limitations on the GENOS and making me aware about your GroovyBand.Live Realtime Arranger Software.

https://www.groovyband.live/


I listened through all your 44 demos. They sound excellent.

I had a few questions.


1.
Were these demos recorded using the GENOS as a sound source?


2.
Can I use a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet that comes with a 12” 2160 x 1440 Touch Screen?


3.
It would be a few weeks before I could test your software on a GENOS.
In the meantime can I use a Yamaha CVP-609 Clavinova as a sound source?

The voice palette is identical to a Tyros 4.

The CVP-609 plays T4, XT4, T3, XT3, XT2, XT, XA, XG and GM midi files.


4.
Can I use any of these Sound Modules as a sound source?

Yamaha MOTIF-RACK XS
Roland INTEGRA- 7
Korg TRITON-Rack


5.
I am intrigued by the fact that your 906 bundled Styles use 8 Mains and 8 Fills. No other hardware arranger does that.

Your Styles can use up to 16 simultaneous effects if the sound generator supports it.

I see that you can easily add a second keyboard to act as a dual manual plus add a pedal board and on top of that add a MIDI Control Surface.

Can the Mackie Control Universal Pro be used with the Realtime Arranger Software?



I think you have designed a fascinating product.

This is the value of being a SynthZone member. You get to learn something new each day.

Best regards,

David Das

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#502352 - 02/28/21 01:32 PM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 14208
Loc: NW Florida
While we always appreciate input from vendors, care must be taken to not go overboard!

28 inserts? Think of it this way... each Keyboard voice uses an insert effect (or at least many do, I’m not that familiar with Yamaha architecture but ever last Roland tone does) but if you want to use a sound you are familiar playing in a style, it needs its insert effect to sound the same. I don’t much care whether the factory programmers have gotten around to using the feature much yet, it’s something I do to everything I use on my Roland. The right phaser on a Rhodes part, the perfect amount of compression on a bass, the use of an amp simulator on a clean guitar rather than those awful sampled distortion abominations makes all the difference. To not have enough to do all the style parts if needed makes for more work scrambling to find alternative sounds that don’t need inserts to sound ‘close’ but never perfect.

This is where Yamaha, Korg and Roland used to be (or still are, especially in Korg’s case). Yeah, 28 is a bit overkill, but I’d rather have too many than too few!

As to polyphony, yes, I know about the restriction for the extra polyphony being for the expansion packs. But with most, those expansions are going to have the main sounds the player is playing, especially polyphony hogs like grand and electric pianos and layer sounds. No offense, but if you can’t hear polyphony issues when you play with a 128 voice arranger with a busy style and a piano/string layer, you aren’t playing enough! Separating the polyphony seems like a decent compromise if the synth architecture can’t handle 256 across the board. Sure beats 128 for everything!

Yamaha are in no way unique in not expanding the style engine’s capabilities much over the years. Truth is, all the hardware arranger makers have pretty much settled down to a tried and tested formula. There’s a degree of compromise between capability and content. Sure, I’d love it if styles had an infinite number of variations, fills and breaks etc., but I’m not sure we’d be getting the degree of new content if making styles turned into a nightmare with at least four times the work needed for one style!

In the end, for the vast majority of arranger players, the provided content is the alpha and omega. The cost of providing it is factored into the arranger’s cost. Now triple or quadruple the cost of the content (the style creators DO get paid, right?!) and watch sales plummet. It’s all well and good to concentrate on only the software end and take potshots at those that create the hardware too, but the economics don’t add up unless you think that the ever dwindling arranger market is capable of absorbing these extra costs. Personally, I don’t...

Groovyband’s solution of a marriage between custom software and established hardware works well, but currently it’s a one manufacturer solution. Are you prepared to be as soundly criticized for not getting around to adapting it for Korg or Roland arrangers or even their workstations, as you criticize those manufacturers you rely on for not expanding their style engines? Cost/benefit problems cut both ways!

To be honest, the most exciting thing I read was the future marriage of Groovyband and a PROPER audio/loop/synth workstation and proper style engine. I have long given up on expecting the manufacturers to do it themselves, and honestly, I don’t think there’s a hope in hell of the hardware of arrangers ever being able to catch up with where workstations have gone!

But where is the Roland Jupiter version, or the Nautilus version? Or is it that commercial pressures impact you as much as Yamaha? 😂


Edited by Diki (02/28/21 01:34 PM)
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#502357 - 03/01/21 01:25 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Tapas]
groovyband.live Offline
Member

Registered: 09/02/19
Posts: 64
Originally Posted By Tapas

I listened through all your 44 demos. They sound excellent.

1.
Were these demos recorded using the GENOS as a sound source?


No, we have used a PSR S770 (as stated in the pane above the media player). The audio is recorded directly in the S770 with the built-in wav recorder. Sometimes an additional compression is added in post (but you could also use a more aggressive built-in compressor setting).

This, with a PSR S950 (almost equivalent to a S770), is the lowest specced keyboard we advice. If you like what you hear with a PSR S770, then everything else better can only improve things.

The free demo is limited to 4 insert DSPs (as every PSR S) and ships with all the 906 styles we provide. So if you like what you listen with the demo, then things can only improve with more capable commercial versions (and hardware supporting more DSPs, such as Tyros, PSR SX, Genos).

The key thing is: unlike most marketers (which show you the full optional car with underneath the misleading price tag of the base model), we demo the worst result possible. So things can only improve! grin


Originally Posted By Tapas

2.
Can I use a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet that comes with a 12” 2160 x 1440 Touch Screen?


Absolutely yes. If the PC can run Windows 10 64bit, then it can run our software too. The resolution is excellent and also the screen real estate (the most important spec) is perfectly usable.

Our software is highly optimized (entirely written in C++ from scratch) and uses tiny amounts of RAM and processing power. It can run everywhere and consume so little power that the battery will last for hours!

Originally Posted By Tapas

3.
It would be a few weeks before I could test your software on a GENOS.
In the meantime can I use a Yamaha CVP-609 Clavinova as a sound source?

The voice palette is identical to a Tyros 4.

The CVP-609 plays T4, XT4, T3, XT3, XT2, XT, XA, XG and GM midi files.


4.
Can I use any of these Sound Modules as a sound source?

Yamaha MOTIF-RACK XS
Roland INTEGRA- 7
Korg TRITON-Rack



We downloaded the data list of CVP 609. Unfortunately, unlike other Yamaha products, it does NOT include the midi implementation chart and the list of supported sysexes.

We heavily use the Yamaha XG standard with many of its sysexes (as listed on the data list of Yamaha arrangers). If, as I suppose, the CVP uses the same engine (and hence responds to the same sysexes) then it should work as well seamlessly. The Tyros 4 sound palette is perfect.

If you try let us know.


For the same reason, for sure it will NOT work with the other products you mentioned: they are NOT Yamaha XG compliant.


The upcoming Montage/MODX version can work with those synths because we have updated the product to speak their language (different set of sysexes and hardware features). Additionally we have reprogrammed and complemented the whole sound set (1800+ sounds!!) to make it well suited for arranger use and perfectly balanced and homogeneous. It has been a titanic work.

When we declare that we support a sound generator, we mean that we guarantee the same plug & play experience you have with an HW arranger. Switch it on, press play, and you are ready to go.

Of course we will also provide a demo so that everybody will know exactly what they get before committing their money. Not all products provide this user experience and/or let you try before you buy.


Originally Posted By Tapas


Can the Mackie Control Universal Pro be used with the Realtime Arranger Software?



If it can send midi CC (control change) messages and/or note on messages then you can use it.

Within our software you can associate every CC/noteOn to whatever parameter you wish to control. You can have up to 4 different maps you can also switch with a registration (the map # is part of the registration saved parameters).


Originally Posted By Tapas


I think you have designed a fascinating product.



Thanks.

We also listen and respond to all our (prospective) customers. And if they have good ideas we readily implement them in the software.

The software is continuously developed (you can check the changelog) and since we have many more ideas in the funnel (including strategic long term plans we are already working on), it will steadily further improve.
_________________________
Groovyband Live! - Realtime Arranger Software

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#502358 - 03/01/21 02:30 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: Diki]
groovyband.live Offline
Member

Registered: 09/02/19
Posts: 64
Originally Posted By Diki

Yamaha are in no way unique in not expanding the style engine’s capabilities much over the years. Truth is, all the hardware arranger makers have pretty much settled down to a tried and tested formula. There’s a degree of compromise between capability and content. Sure, I’d love it if styles had an infinite number of variations, fills and breaks etc., but I’m not sure we’d be getting the degree of new content if making styles turned into a nightmare with at least four times the work needed for one style!


Capability and content are largely (but not completely, I agree) orthogonal and independent features.

You can greatly expand the capabilities without touching the content.

You could for example allow to stack 2 inserts per part (still shipping the old styles with only one insert on *some* parts). But the power user could edit them and add the missing inserts.

You *could*. But as a matter of fact Yamaha did not. They developed a silicon chip with the processing power for 28 DSPs, but "forgot" to update the firmware to use this processing power. So, as in the early 90s, you are stuck with one DSP per part. Well, for 12 parts, not 16 as it would be logical. For some reason (maybe a 30 years old half backed spaghetti code buried in their firmware, nobody dares to touch anymore) they decided that 4 midi parts (the multi pads) should not have an insert. Maybe because 30 years ago 1 insert was the most you could ask from the top of the line HW, and nobody would waste it for a multi pad part.

After all a PC with 640 kb of RAM (the limit of an Intel 8086 running MS DOS), should be more than enough for everyone. Right? [Bill Gates, in the 80s].

I could go on with dozens of examples. But you got the idea.


Originally Posted By Diki

Groovyband’s solution of a marriage between custom software and established hardware works well, but currently it’s a one manufacturer solution. Are you prepared to be as soundly criticized for not getting around to adapting it for Korg or Roland arrangers or even their workstations, as you criticize those manufacturers you rely on for not expanding their style engines? Cost/benefit problems cut both ways!


We do not criticize Yamaha for their policy. We just highlight what their policy is. Everybody can rightly decide to milk their old product till the very end to squeeze out as much money as you can without spending a dime.

Just do not expect everybody to praise you for your product innovation, or being "state of the art"!!
And after all it is thanks to those less feature-full arranger engines that we can hope to sell our one!


Originally Posted By Diki

To be honest, the most exciting thing I read was the future marriage of Groovyband and a PROPER audio/loop/synth workstation and proper style engine. I have long given up on expecting the manufacturers to do it themselves, and honestly, I don’t think there’s a hope in hell of the hardware of arrangers ever being able to catch up with where workstations have gone!


We agree. Especially if the general trend of established HW arranger manufacturers is to milk their product lines (targeting wealthy "old" men), without trying to board in young musicians that can fuel the business in the (distant) future.
_________________________
Groovyband Live! - Realtime Arranger Software

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#502359 - 03/01/21 02:39 AM Re: Yamaha Genos 2 anticipated release date [Re: groovyband.live]
Tapas Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Hi GroovyBand.Live,

Wow!!

Thanks a million for such a thorough response and addressing every issue.

Your demos sounded so crisp and clean I was fooled into believing you recorded them using the GENOS.

Your programmers certainly know how to make these instruments come alive.

I understand your requirement for the instrument to be XG compliant. This is the common denominator that allows your software to work with the Tyros 3, 4, 5 and the GENOS

This explains all the extra work you had to do to make your product work with the Yamaha MONTAGE/MODX.

Your upcoming product will be a game changer if you can make a professional synth like the MONTAGE behave like an arranger.

I can only imagine how much better the accompaniment will sound with the MONTAGE as the source.

Best of all the price of the MONTAGE 76-key version is about half the price of a GENOS. This translates to huge savings for the end user.

Please keep us informed on your progress.

You have a winning concept that can change the Arranger landscape.

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