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#505286 - 03/29/22 02:59 AM Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers?
MusicalMemories Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 610
Loc: Arbroath,Angus,Scotland
How many of you like to go beyond just playing your arranger keyboards?

Learning how to change effects, and tweak edit sounds and styles etc?
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#505288 - 03/29/22 06:38 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Anthony Johnson Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/02
Posts: 347
Loc: Sheffield Yorkshire England
I have always done this because no one wants to sound the same as everyone else.
Can be a very enjoyable pastime on some keyboards but very much like hard work on others.
I loved changing things especially on my Technics KN7000 where it was easy to go really deep.
My present board is the Genos and I do make changes But don't have as much success when cutting & slicing styles and I often decide that it's more work than I want to do.
That's mainly because you can't work in a global kind of way on the Genos and have to keep repeating your actions over and over.
I never play anything on presets without at least altering volume balances and drum levels on all tracks.
It all becomes a bit harder with aging eyes and shaking fingers as we get older.

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#505292 - 03/29/22 09:48 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15334
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I love digging into the bowels of the keyboard, discovering things that I can relay to others on the various forums I frequent. I currently own a Yamaha S-950, which will likely be the last keyboard I will purchase. Unfortunately, I too know about the failing eyesight (macular degeneration) and shaky fingers (distal neuropathy of the hands and lower body parts) which makes doing things you took for granted a real challenge.

I have always said that 90 percent of the arrange keyboard players, at least the ones that I know, never take the user manual out of the Zip-Loc bag that it came in. Then, when they cannot solve a problem, their next step is Google. wink

All the best,

Gary cool
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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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#505295 - 03/29/22 09:59 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
montunoman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 3071
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Originally Posted By MusicalMemories
How many of you like to go beyond just playing your arranger keyboards?

Learning how to change effects, and tweak edit sounds and styles etc?


Like to? No, not really, but I do so to get the desired results. I wish the damn thing could just read my mind and adjust to my needs. But until that happens luckily I know a few talented guys like Gary Diamond who is always willing to help me out!


Edited by montunoman (03/29/22 10:03 AM)
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#505299 - 03/29/22 11:25 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: montunoman]
ekurburski Offline
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Registered: 03/22/17
Posts: 449
Loc: Mountain Home, AR
yes,no,maybe. I've been under the weather since covid started and haven't done as much as I want. Also seems to tkae me forever to learn most anything if I don't mess with it every day. Took forever to figure out registrations!
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#505300 - 03/29/22 11:27 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: travlin'easy]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally Posted By travlin'easy


I have always said that 90 percent of the arrange keyboard players, at least the ones that I know, never take the user manual out of the Zip-Loc bag that it came in. Then, when they cannot solve a problem, their next step is Google. wink

Gary cool


Gary, have you been spying on me? smile smile

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505303 - 03/29/22 12:54 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15334
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Earl, as you are aware, registrations are a bit complex, but they are a great tool that permits you to accomplish a lot things with a single push of a button.

All the best,

Gary cool
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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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#505307 - 03/29/22 01:46 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: travlin'easy]
organgrinder Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/16
Posts: 336
Loc: ft. lauderdale, florida
It seems like my fellow keyboard players down here in ft.Lauderdale fl. love to call me and ask lots of questions about their boards. Then they will give up and bring it to my home and let me set it up for them. I am happy to do so but they always ask me how I know these things and I always say " I READ THE BOOK". The next time they need something they just come back. It's a nice way to make friends.
MEL
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#505308 - 03/29/22 03:08 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15334
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I know what you are saying, Mel. At one time I had a dozen fellow keyboard players coming here once a week for me to show them how to make registrations and make their own, custom MFD. Unfortunately, several have passed away during the past few years, so the phone only rings about once or twice a week for me to solve their problems.

Good luck,

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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#505309 - 03/29/22 04:17 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
MusicalMemories Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 610
Loc: Arbroath,Angus,Scotland
Take the drum tracks of styles, up to now I have been leaving the drum tracks dry with no reverb. But I’ve noticed from reading that with Motown music that a delay would have been added.

Most of the modern arrangers have a wealth of different reverb effects and other effects that can be added to styles and sounds.
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#505320 - 03/30/22 10:32 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
I don’t honestly think that anyone that simply wants to switch on an arranger, select a style, select a sound (or use the One Touch selections) and start making music needs to crack the manual at all! I am pretty impressed by just how well set up they tend to be, these days. Select a swing style or a bossa, whatever, hit the OTS, you are pretty much good to go..!

The problem comes if you end up wanting to do more, or repeatability. And that’s not all that important for non-performers, which, let’s face it, is the vast majority of arranger buyers.

I have a feeling that Gary’s drop off in people seeking advice is a result of most buyers of arrangers these days coming from one of two places… they either have already owned an arranger before, and have already learned the things they need to, or they are younger buyers, coming from a generation of players far less traumatized by the idea of looking up operational details in a manual or Googling a video.

The younger generations have been dealing with tech for most of their lives. It’s mostly us fossils that grew up with simple gear, things like a Rhodes with a couple of knobs, or home organs where every function had its own dedicated and labeled switch, early synths without a menu system etc. that seem the most resistant to cracking the manual…
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#505327 - 03/31/22 01:24 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5386
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
I am sure what Diki says is correct, but I for example, run into technical problems for the above reason. Back in the glory days, we would jump right in and ask most any general question and have an answer in short order. Yes, times have changed, but that shouldn't mean we give up. I admit to the very same thing; I check in and see very little going on, and don't bother with my question. That is the wrong way of looking at the problem of inactivity. We still have some of the faithful members that post, thankfully.

I am going to ask a simple question about whether it is fairly easy, via Midi, to remotely command a slave keyboard to transpose a pitch from a transpose on the master, assuming midi capability on both.
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#505328 - 03/31/22 03:30 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Anthony Johnson Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/02
Posts: 347
Loc: Sheffield Yorkshire England
Hi Bernie,
If I understand your question correctly, your master keyboard, when you use transpose, will pass that transposed note or chord to your slave keyboard of module.
You can use this to change key in a tune by setting a registration to normal and setting registration 2 transposed up (or down) by as many half notes as you like.

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#505329 - 03/31/22 03:56 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: Bernie9]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4872
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Years ago, I had to Midi my guitar to the left hand of the keyboard. Later I used Mid to connect a Yamaha keyboard and a Kn5000.

If my memory still holds ---

Both units ( Master and the Slave) have 16 Midi channels. Each unit has an implementation chart in the manual. It shows you what is being used in each Midi channel. Your job is to connect the Master to the Slave using the same Midi channel.

I had to send messages to my Vocalizer, a Yamaha keyboard, and a Roland sound module, from my Kn5000.
That was a long time ago. The units today may be friendlier.

I hope this helps, John C.

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#505331 - 03/31/22 06:22 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Bernie, the answer is YES; and unless the 'master keyboard' has some specific command to tell it to ignore the transpose instruction and send the unaltered note data, it should be automatic. Note: the master isn't telling the slave to transpose, it's just sending the already transposed note.

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505332 - 03/31/22 07:21 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: Diki]
Graham UK Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 1924
Loc: Lincolnshire UK
Re-Diki Post. As a home player I have had different brand of arrangers for the past 50 years (yes I'm old).
No arrangers so far out of it's box has been set to give it's best sound quality wise.
I have always spent time learning a models OS so editing adjustments can be made to improve ones playing enjoyment.
Many times I have attended a Manufactures demonstration to hear other customers ask why does their same keyboard not sound as good as the demonstrators.



Edited by Graham UK (03/31/22 11:51 AM)

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#505334 - 03/31/22 01:55 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: cgiles]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5386
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Thanks all.
Chas, good info to avoid double transpose.
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#505343 - 04/01/22 03:18 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
You may be shocked, but I’m not the kind of player that cracks the manual first! But I am an inveterate button pusher and knob twiddler (probably from my old analog days) and long before I get to the ‘I want to do this’ phase I’m mostly in the ‘I wonder what happens if I do this?’ phase!

I often learn stuff that you don’t really get from a manual, which generally aren’t written as tutorials, more as reference operations manuals.

About the only thing I look up when I first get a keyboard is how to store any happy accidents, and how to avoid messing up the factory settings when I inevitably screw something up! The nitty gritty comes later, after I have noodled around for a while.

One thing I have done for a long time is never sell my current arranger to get a new one. I don’t like the pressure of knuckling down to getting it gig ready too fast. There’s always something cool you’ll find about the OS or workflow that you often miss trying to shoehorn old habits on a new keyboard in a rush to get it to the gig. Plus, I really like to rework my entire repertoire to use the new sounds and styles, or edit my sequences to use better kits and sounds, and that takes time, too. If you force yourself to gig too quickly, you tend to use the legacy data, and consequently sound damn near identical to the old arranger. In which case, why did you just blow a couple of grand?!

Give yourself time to just fiddle around, it’s amazing what you can find out! Most of which you’ll never get from the manual…. I love being surprised. And you often don’t get that if you crack the manual first thing!
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#505344 - 04/01/22 03:39 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
@Graham…

The thing about an arranger sounding its ’best’, that’s so many things to so many people. What you are playing through, where you are playing, what kind of music you’re playing to what kind of people… there’s honestly no one way to set up an arranger.

But I feel that, on the whole, most factory settings are designed for either the built-in speakers or pretty crappy home speakers in a dead bedroom or living room, which is what the majority of arranger buyers will have. These players are also the kind of people you expect to have a big ‘smile’ on their home stereo!

And, the truth is, I have many times seen people come up to me and ask why my arranger sounds so much better than theirs. I always hate to tell them it isn’t from some trick EQ and compression setting, or days spent editing the sounds (I rarely change my ROM sounds much if anything).

But playing a lousy sax sample exactly like a sax player will sound better than the best articulated multi-velocity sound available played badly and unidiomatically. Pros, especially demonstrators, sound so good because of what they play, not what they play on…. The harsh reality is, if the demonstrator sat down at a bog stock factory setting arranger, it will sound so much better than the home player. I always took pride during my music store demonstrator days of using the out of the box keyboard.

To be honest, nowadays, the thing I do to make my sound ‘better’ is to turn OFF the factory compression and EQ. I got decent speakers on the gig, and good studio nearfields at home, I don’t need any of that stuff to make crappy speakers sound better! But it’s still what I actually PLAY that gets my preparation time. Take care of that, the overall sound isn’t really all that critical… 🎹😎
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#505345 - 04/01/22 04:20 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: Diki]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally Posted By Diki

But playing a lousy sax sample exactly like a sax player will sound better than the best articulated multi-velocity sound available played badly and unidiomatically.


This doesn't contradict your point BUT....I'm convinced that the only way to play a convincing sax on a keyboard is with a breath controller. JMO.

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505347 - 04/01/22 05:22 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: cgiles]
ekurburski Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/17
Posts: 449
Loc: Mountain Home, AR
The thing is that most of you forget is that different people learn at different rates. I'm sorry but I've printed out the manual. I've also printer out whole sections of psr tutorial. I've read sections if instructions over and over and still don't know how to do stuff I have studied in depth. The arranger is not a easy to play and meke it sound good. You need to arrange each tune separately. This taked a lot more work than just playing a piano or organ.
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PSR 740,PSR 3000, Mirage, tx7, mp32, Pro Tools 10,11 SONAR, Reaper, BIAB 2020 and a pile of Computer Music mags w/disks
College student was working on Doctoral, Education Now just doing courses to do courses

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#505348 - 04/02/22 02:00 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: ekurburski]
Giovanni Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 489
Loc: Norwich Norfolk England
never a truer word well said
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#505349 - 04/02/22 04:51 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: Giovanni]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4872
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Ekurburski, I agree with your view.

Another view: Piano and Organ take a longer to master. I have taken lesson on both. They are all about you, except for some pedals.

IMO, John C.

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#505351 - 04/02/22 10:00 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: cgiles]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
Originally Posted By cgiles

This doesn't contradict your point BUT....I'm convinced that the only way to play a convincing sax on a keyboard is with a breath controller. JMO.

chas


https://youtu.be/72RrqWC3vWc
_________________________
An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#505353 - 04/02/22 11:09 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Diki, one of the reasons we have always gotten along is that we have always been able to amicably agree to disagree smile. Marco Parisi may be my favorite SYNTH player and their are times I have been absolutely mesmerized by his artistry and mastery of the instrument. HOWEVER.....in this case, I hold to my argument. The tone is 'okay' (not great) but the playing technique doesn't sound like a sax player to me. Besides, this is not a traditional keyboard instrument and even a great keyboardist would need to learn to play it properly to get all the expressiveness it's capable of (you may notice that it never really took off commercially).

The most authentic is probably those digital sax's but then you'd have to know or learn sax fingering, and at that point you might as well just go ahead and play the sax smile. Next best; probably a Yammy with a breath controller. JMO.

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505354 - 04/02/22 02:31 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Diki Offline


Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 13617
Loc: NW Florida
Well, as one of the first people in the States to get a DX7 and a breath controller (lucked into one while everybody else was on waiting lists and paying over retail!) I can’t disagree that it certainly HELPS to have a BC, and back before modeling and articulated sample sets, I’d have agreed 100%. But I don’t think it’s as necessary as it used to be. I’ve been working with the SWAM saxes on iPad, and by using the expression pedal, you can get about 80% of what the BC used to give you.

Yes, if you put a picky enough ear on it, just like the very best clone wheels, you can hear a difference. But to 99.9% of people, play an idiomatic enough line, you can get away with it..!

BTW, Roli got bought out and the new company is back making them. They also added a tactile line in the middle of the key to help your finger settle. I look forward to trying one soon…
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An arranger is just a tool. What matters is what you build with it..!

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#505357 - 04/03/22 06:10 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
This is just a snippet I did for TonyMads (remember him) when we were discussing this very topic (sax emulation). It started life as a little demo of the 'Freddy Green' (Count Basie Band) style of guitar comping. It became a signature sound of the band and anchored that rock solid rhythm section. The sax is the 'Breathy Sax' from my ancient PA1xPro which I still have. As you can see, I tend to like that 'smoky lounge' type of sax playing on slow tunes. In case you're NOT an ol' codger, the tune is Sweet Loraine (as I remember it done by Nat 'King' Cole). The changes may or may not be correct smile.

https://app.box.com/s/mvx7i1pp3rj48m9czdwuxayu9i5jpvm9

chas
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"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505358 - 04/03/22 11:50 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 5386
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
Chas
I think that is a great emulation of a slow lounge sax' I have a breathy sax on my Pa4x that doesn't sound that good. It could be my playing,duh.
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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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#505360 - 04/03/22 01:48 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: Bernie9]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
Originally Posted By Bernie9
Chas
I think that is a great emulation of a slow lounge sax' I have a breathy sax on my Pa4x that doesn't sound that good. It could be my playing,duh.


Bernie, this was a few years ago so to make sure I didn't mislead you about the sax voice, I went down and checked my PA1x. Turns out I don't even have a voice called 'breathy sax'. The voice I used was a user voice called 'chas sax' which was actually just the standard factory voice called 'tenor sax', to which I had just added some reverb and renamed. Diki is right, a little tweaking can make all the difference.

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505361 - 04/04/22 09:12 AM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15334
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Yamaha's Sweet Tenor Sax is incredibly realistic and Boo Hargis said that it sounds so realistic that he would have a great deal of difficulty listening and determining if it was real or not.

There are lots of other instruments on the newer model Yamaha arranger keyboards that are equally as realistic sounding, and in the hands of a good player, they can really make a huge difference in the production of a song.

I personally believe that fingering technique and in depth knowledge of the instrument you are trying to emulate is the key to success. Don Mason was a sheer genius with his guitar emulation, and my son, whom is an accomplished guitarist said it would be impossible to know those sounds were coming from an arranger keyboard.

Jimmy McKinney (JimSax) who was inducted in the Musicians Hall Of Fame in Maryland for his sax playing said he wishes he could get his tenor sax to sound as good as the one on his Tyros2 arranger keyboard.

Attached are a few examples: 4 different sax demos from my PSR-S950. Sax Demos

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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#505363 - 04/04/22 12:14 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
cgiles Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 6490
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
The problem is, there is no standard 'sax' sound. Who are you trying to emulate? What type of sax sound or sax playing do you find most pleasing? Clarence Clemons (E-Street Band)? Lester Young? Stan Getz? John Coltrane? Kenny G? Charlie Parker?.....you get the idea, their sounds are so different you'd wonder if they were playing the same instrument.

Gary, I agree with Jimmy McKinney about the sax in the sax DEMO on the Tyros2, however, I would love to know how they did it, as I've never been able to even come close to the sound of the sax in that demo (I have a Tyros2). Did they use a breath controller? Maybe a digital sax midi'd to a Tyros2? I'm not alone either, as I've never heard anyone else get the kind of result demonstrated in that classic demo either. Just sayin'.

chas
_________________________
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]

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#505364 - 04/04/22 01:20 PM Re: Digging Deeper On Your Arrangers? [Re: MusicalMemories]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15334
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
I have no idea how many of those midi sounds were created by Yamaha or any other manufacturer, though lately, some are samples of the actual instrument that have been digitized.

This is the best I have been able to come up with - not perfect by any means, but I got a lot of accolades from really good musicians on another forum I frequent. Baker Street

All the best,

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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