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#92797 - 12/25/99 06:06 PM Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Shmuel Goldstein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 3
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
Since I'm new to all you out there, you'll probably notice that I'm a bit of a novice. I have been using a Yamaha PSR-500 for the past 6 or so years now and am ready to upgrade to a much better machine. The reason why is, that I have yet to be able to do a bulk-dump of all my recorded songs to my Mac, and the people at Yamaha are apparently no more knowledgeable than I am because they have yet to be able to help me out. If any one who could help me with this stuff that would be great!
Now for what I'm really looking for...
Ability to internally record and play at least 20 songs with out a gap between songs (like the PSR-500 does) The folks at Yamaha say that their newer keyboards don't.
The ability to loop (play a song continuosly like the PSR-500 can do)
Ability to expand to more "styles" in the accompaniment via Internet or other.
Able to back up on to computer the songs including accompaniment (Built in disk drive a plus)
Right now I'm looking into the Roland
EM-2000 and have even gotten a chance to play it a little. I have tried to sit down at the store with the manual to figure it out. It seems as if the learning curve for this synth is pretty high. If anyone out there knows about this machine or OTHERS that might be able to accomplish the above I would truly be grateful!
By the way the people at Yamaha have told me that their keyboards (even the PSR-9000?) don't do what my PSR-500 does!??? How odd!!
Any comments from those PSR-9000 fans out there? Also I have checked into the X1 and it looks great, but how heavy is it?

Thanks to all you out there.


[This message has been edited by Shmuel Goldstein (edited 12-25-1999).]

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#92798 - 01/18/00 07:48 PM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
George Garrett Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/99
Posts: 12
Loc: Victoria.B.C. Canada
Hi Shmuel,

I see that none have yet responded, so, as a late Christmas gift, I'll try to help.

Had I your problems, I would :-

Hang onto your 500 for the things that it can still do for you.

Contact other past and present 500 users, to exchange ideas. I imagine that a 500 User Group exists, which I'd find by typing "PSR
500 users group"into the search-box of my favourite search engine (in my case www.ask.com or Northern Light)

Do the rounds of keyboard manufacturers, by the same means...they're not all as clueless as Yamaha, in fact one of them (Technics?)invites visitors to its website to describe their ideal keyboard...state your wish-list to them.

It may be that the folks at Yamaha don't read their own manuals, and that their later models do, indeed, have the features of the 500 - you can check these out, again, by typing "Yamaha Manuals Online" into a search-engine.

Above all have you looked through these, and other forums? There's lots of info out there, it's just a matter of scrolling thro and watching out for keywords in the post topics "PSR", "Roland" "Mac", etc

Finally, if you believe the X1 to be great, I wouldn't let its mere weight (not much more than half-a-ton, according to my sauced ones in Nirvana) be a burden to you - If you can afford such a machine, you have the means to hire a coupla men and a boy to haul it into place!

Hope this helps - happy hunting!

------------------

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#92799 - 01/19/00 05:42 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Marek Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 76
Loc: Germany
Hi Shmuel,

X1 should be too heavy? And what about the PSR 9000? :-) I am allways swearing, when I have to bear it (I own a PSR 9000). It is extremnly heavy: 23 kg!!

As for learning curve I think the PSR 9000 is the best keyboard I have ever played. It is very easy to use and I find the layout of the controll button very efficient. According to the user-friendliness I would sort the keyboards I have played as follows:
1) Yamaha PSR 9000
2) Technics KN 6000
3) Korg i30
4) Solton X1
--------
137) Roland EM 2000 and G 1000

I did not understand, what did you mean by playing "with out a gap". With registration memory, you can play either without gap (if you recall during playback of one song the next registration) or with a short gap if you finish the first song, push registration memory and start the next one (max. 5 second gap).
If you meant MIDI playback, that is true, you can on the PSR 9000 to play back only song and then choose a next one. It is small drawback, but multiple MIDI files playback can be added in the next OS version. Maybe...
I think (I am not sure), that on the X1 you can mark many MIDI songs in one directory and let them play back. Anyway, you can choose the next song while playing the previous one.

All the mentioned keyboards have the ability to expand the amount of the styles (by purchasing or downloading them). Now I have much more styles than I will be able to use.

All the mentioned keyboards have either hard disk expansion possibility (Yamaha, Solton, Technics, Korg) or Zip drive (Roland). The PSR 9000 has the easiest harddisk expansion, as you can buy appropriate 2.5" harddisk in a computer shop (cheaper than in a Music Store) and install it (you do not need a technician, the installation is very easy). The PSR 9000 supports FAT32 filesystem, so you can copy data directly from a PC.

Hoppe this helps, happy hunting.

Marek

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#92800 - 01/19/00 05:46 PM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Sam Noels Offline
Member

Registered: 03/17/99
Posts: 31
Loc: New York
Hi Shmuel,

I too has played a long time on the PSR-500, which was an excellent keyboard when it's came out, but it's not comparable to any of today's keyboards, of course. I too love this feature that you are able to "Conduct" a few songs together, but I think that the reason this feature is on the PSR-500, because the memory for each melody/chord track is very small, you cannot play more than about 700 notes in each melody track, and 150 in the chord track, so the PSR-500 let you combine all tracks together. But in the newer keyboards you can play in 1 recorded song over 100,000 notes, so there is no need for this feature. That's what I think, but not sure. However this is a problem, and it's an old one, and that's why I hate Yamaha, that in every new model they produce, some old features are missing. I can give you a big list. Even in my currently PSR-8000 is missing many features from previous models, as well in the PSR-9000 are missing some PSR-8000 features. What can we do? That's Yamaha!!! (By the way, why do you need 20 songs together? In PSR-500 you can combine only 5 songs together. It's 5 per page.)

But one other thing I like very much in the PSR-500 recordable songs, that you can playback your song while you're playing and auto accompaniment is ON. For example, you record just "Melody" track with a saxophone, and when you're playing a song with any other voice, just press the melody button so the indicator lights, and the recorded song will playback, like an automatic saxophone is playing in your background! No other model from Yamaha can do that!

That's YAMAHA...

[This message has been edited by Sam Noels (edited 01-19-2000).]

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#92801 - 01/21/00 02:03 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Heinrich Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/99
Posts: 60
Hi, Uncle Dave,PSR and X1 users,

does your opinion apply to the PSR 9000 too?
And about the X1?: one dealer here in Germany said he is fed up with soltons hardware quality. He had many returns. The one where I wanted to get the PSR 9000 from and the X1 to check them out at home this weekend tells me the disk drive of the demo-X1 is already damaged and doesnt work any more. So what about the X1 hardware quality??

Cheers

Heinrich

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#92802 - 01/21/00 06:33 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Paul Ip Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 241
Loc: Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
Heinrich,

I have had my X1 since October/November last year and I have zero trouble so far. You may want to check the serial numbers of the X1s with problems - they may be early production models. Even Honda produced some problematic Oddesey minivans (1999) during their first year production in US. If usually takes a while for a manufacturer to achieve their quality control goals on new products.

Paul Ip
from Texas

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#92803 - 01/21/00 08:45 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
DonM Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 16735
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
I've also had the X1 since October. No problems after upgrading to version 3.0. It's a fairly early serial number, so I think that if you get a good one, it's a good one, but there do seem to be some lemons. It's a small company; maybe one guy having a bad hair day can make a difference.
By the way, mine's for sale. X1HD, expanded pattern memory, harmonizer installed, 6-switch footpedal.
Don
_________________________
DonM

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#92804 - 01/21/00 12:58 PM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Tom Cavanaugh Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/06/99
Posts: 2133
Loc: Muskegon, MI
Based upon past experiences with Italian products I can see why a person would be a little concerned. I used to sell Viscount and Farfisa organs 20 + years ago. They weren't what you would call well built. I talked to a keyboard player that worked in a store that sold Gem and he used a Technics on gigs because of all the problems he saw at the store with Gem's. Remember Italians built the Fiat car.

I worked as a keyboard/organ repairman for 10 years and Yamaha's reliability is second to none. I have also used a Yamaha PS6100 in the band that I play in for 15 years. Zilch problems with Yamaha. I would hope, and I think from the comments that I have seen, that the Solton works well. Anything can have a few bugs at first. Don, why do you want to sell your X1?

I agree with Uncle Dave that playability on the job is of utmost importance. Yamaha could have done a better job with the PSR740. My biggest complaint with the 740 is the registration presets. If you use the transposer on a song "which I do a lot because I'm a bass" and change to a different registration preset that doesn't have transposition in it's memory your song goes to concert pitch. Basically you can't change registration presets if you are using the transposer. I find that very annoying. I must remember nothing is perfect.

Tom
_________________________
Thanks,

Tom

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#92805 - 01/22/00 02:15 PM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
DannyUK Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 1105
Hi all,

Ive read every comment here and its really interesting on how the tide seems to be turning away from the X1 and towards the PSR9000 (there seems to be a lot of support for the PSR9000) and quite rightly so as its a great keyboard. However, out of the 2, the X1 would always be my first choice.

But I cannot believe that somebody here placed the Korg I30 as easier to use than the X1, thats incredible! Ive recently sold my I30 and if there was a serious problem with that keyboard and it was the non existent user friendliness about it, it stank when it came to its operating system and method of accessing its 'hidden' features. I only used it for one thing, and thats its styles and nothing else.

From my experience of Yamaha, they have been always very user friendly and I would expect this to continue. However, I have found the X1 to be just as easy to use, I have had no problems doing nearly everything on it that I have required, from a simple song play back to editing songs and recording with its sequencer. Its quite perfect.

However, there is a better keyboard than all of these put together for ease of use, and thats the GEM WK8, I dont care what anybody says but this keyboard is just a dream to use. Its a pitty its got very average styles and sounds though but I know my father is making great use of it!!.

Also, I dont know if anybody remembers the PSR-510, but this was another keyboard that sticks to my mind for being excellent, I love the re-voice feature, its just a shame that it had far to many coloured buttons to make it look like a toy.

Generally, Yamaha for some reason have so many toy like keyboards in their range where in fact the 'real' stuff in their range starts from the PSR540 onwards, and I feel that Yamaha do not do themselves justice because they should ease off with all those buttons (especially in multi colours) and perhaps place some of the features within its operating system as a page.

One thing I dont like about the X1 is the fact that you have to press too many buttons to select each style, a simple '+ -' to go up or down would of been perfect, instead you have to always type in the exact number, I really hate that. I also think the X1 could of done away with a lot of the buttons too, half of them I think are totally unessasary.

I have yet to come across a keyboard thats not heavy at this level, especially if its includes a decent amplification system.

Danny(UK)

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#92806 - 01/24/00 12:03 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Heinrich Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/99
Posts: 60
Last weekend I checked out both, the PSR 9000 and the X1 at home through my own active speaker system at home (Remember its just songcomposing I want to use them for, not live performance): I have reported before in this forum, but here some more:

The X1 has more drumkit variation than the PSR 9000 (not only numberwise but also concerning the different sound, eg "progressive, techno" etc.), but the stereo sampled kits (Standard and Funk) of the PSR 9000 rock! They have much more punch than the kits in the X1. I guess thats why thhe Yamaha uses them in many of its styles. The rest of the PSR-kits are okay and do not sound as interesting as the ones in the X1. Sadly enough I believe the X1 has no stereo drum samples and you can hear that. I was a little disappointed with the tom sounds of the X1 too: Very thin, no punch at all!

The styles of the X1 are definitely more interesting than what the PSR has to offer. And when you go through different sections like 8-beat, 16-beat you will again hear more variety and surprise within this section. And even if the PSR 9000 has very good guitars: The X1 makes better use of its guitar riffs and strums. This is before you listen to the fills. And there was my biggest concern after I heard all the rave in this forum: Many fills of the X1 are completely overdone with tomstrikes and some of them loose this certain live-character the main A, B, C, D are known for. I would send a drummer home if he did fills like that! Sometimes you can hear the quantizing (can you say so?), sometimes you believe, the rhytm is not quite on time (software version 3.0) But this part is exactly where the PSR 9000 impressed me: Even if there are no sampled grooves used, it has very, very good drum fills and breaks. And it has a lot more of them than in the X1. That means: You use fill 2 between e.g. two main Bs. When you use in the same style fill 2 again between - lets say - two main Ds, you will have a DIFFERENT fill! And that adds much to the quality of a song.

The sounds: I only compared the new voices (live, sweet, cool) of the Yamaha, not the XG-sounds. Both of them have their certain strengths, the PSR 9000 shines with a lot more variety, the X1 is in some parts more natural sounding. The piano in my opinion is definitely better in the X1. I was expecting a much better keyboard in the PSR 9000. I cant understand why they dare to offer this sound in that pricerange!

Oh well: Now Im really stuck: The X1 with its more interesting styles against the Yamaha with compact sound and much better and more fills. One thing that speaks for the X1 is the chance to load new drums, grooves and styles via Ram Card ( Will they ever offer stereo sampled drums?).
Question: Anybody if the following is possible with the X1: The PSR 9000 can be changed from intro or ending immediately (in the middle of the part) to the main parts. The X1 plays the intros and endings to their end before it changes to the main A,B, C, Ds You can force them by using a fill inbetween but that sounds mostly weird. I wanted to use the intos and endings as drum fills. Any way to get around that?

(Danny, before I took the 9000 and the X1 home, I had another go for the Korg I30, because some people are raving about it. They have done a good job with the styles, but to me they are to much song than style and thats not good for composing I think. Besides: I was more than disappointed with the sounds, the brass section was completely inacceptable to me, but I guess its just another keyboard generation of 97.)

Okay, these are just my opinions, but this is what this forum is about.
Comments and help very welcome

Best regards to all

Heinrich

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#92807 - 01/24/00 03:26 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
Marek Offline
Member

Registered: 11/26/99
Posts: 76
Loc: Germany
Hi all,

as I see the theme "the X1 against the PSR 9000" or "Solton vs. Yamaha" is the main topic of many discussions in this forum. And it is clear: these two firms made excellent high-end keyboards which are leading with big distance before all other competitors in the same price class.
Concerning the quality: I had owned a small PSS Yamaha keyboard for 6 years and I had not problems with it. As I am only a user and not a dealer I can not generalize and say something about the overall quality of Yamaha or Solton products, only that I was satisfied with the quality of the one Yamaha keyboard I owned.

Heinrich, very nice comparision, indeed.

I did not comprehend your remark:
> Even if there are no sampled grooves used, it has very, very good drum fills and
> breaks. And it has a lot more of them than in the X1. That means: You use fill 2 between
> e.g. two main Bs. When you use in the same style fill 2 again between - lets say - two
> main Ds, you will have a DIFFERENT fill!
>
Could you explain it more in detail.
The PSR 9000 has 4 Fill-Ins and one Break: that means only one Fill-In more than the X1. As you have only 4 buttons, 3 Fill-Ins and one Break are accessible for a variation in time.

I agree with your review, except for the piano sound: how strange, I found the piano on the X1 poor and like the PSR 9000's one much better (I played the X1 two months ago. To be quite sure, I will go the a musicstore and play it again).

Question for you: and what keyboard will you choose? :-)

Regards

Marek

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#92808 - 01/24/00 07:17 AM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
George Kaye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/24/99
Posts: 3303
Loc: Reseda, California USA
Danny,
I just thought I would let you know that you can push just one button to change styles. If you are using 3.0, which I know you are, just go to the arab mode in the utility page and turn it on instead of off. Now you can use the count in button ( I think this is the right one) and while holding it, press any number in the style section and this will be your bank, and now you can hit any number from 0 to 9 to select the style. I don't know why they call this arab! This gives you the ability to press one button to move within the bank. It's still not one up and down to find all styles, but it is very handy.
George Kaye
_________________________
George Kaye
Kaye's Music Scene
Reseda, California
818-881-5566
www.kayesmusicscene.com

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#92809 - 01/26/00 12:46 PM Re: Auto-Accompaniment Keyboards
DannyUK Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 1105
George,

Very interesting find! Thanks alot. Its much better, but its not perfect, an up or down would of been best.

Anybody who wants to use this method will benefit. Oh, you forgot to mention that to change the first digit of the style, you have to hold the 'count/pause restart button' and press the relevant numbe, and then its like you say, you only have to press the 1 button at a time.

Thanks George,
Danny(UK)

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