A Genny follow up....

Posted by: msutliff

A Genny follow up.... - 02/10/03 01:05 PM

Well, since I started picking on the Genesys regarding its midi mapping capabilities, I figured I better follow up with an update.

Spent a little over 2 hours with the Genesys this past cold, Saturday afternoon. No salesman, just me inside a practice room with the Genesys. Listened to a lot of the sounds and styles this time around. Man does this thing have a huge selection of sounds or instrument patches. Without a doubt, the number of pre-programmed, professional sounding patches this board comes with is amazing. Styles too although I missed the FUNK styles that my WK8 has. Didn't say they weren't there, just didn't find them. That's one thing I did not get a chance to do was to go through the hard drive and examine the contents. Extra sounds, styles, etc.

Then I started playing with the Music Finder and probably spent most of my time goofing around with that and forgot to look at and hear other things. The Music Finder is a list of songs and when a particular song is pressed, it sets up the styles and sounds accordingly. For instance, JailHouse Rock sets up the instrument with a boogie (or 50's R&R) style and associated sounds (electric guitar, etc.). Now I'm not sure if I would actually use that setup for JailHouse Rock but the fun comes in with what would ya play. So there I am clicking on a song to see what setup is chosen, then thinking about (and trying to play) all the songs I know that would fit. You could easily spend days and days playing with this and not get bored. I liked the feature and I'm glad they went with it.

Something was pissing me off though and I want to share this with you so you don't make the same mistake I did (yep, I admit it, it was my mistake). Everytime I would load a new style and start to play, the right hand or lead instruments were way, WAY louder than the accompaniment (drums, bass, etc.). So there I am grabbing a hand full of sliders and trying to get the volumes to balance. Drums, bass, accomp all the way up. Better but still not right. I figure there must be a fix but where, not in the mixer, not in the edit, where? And then I notice it, sittin' right next to the Main Volume slider is the STYLE/SEQ Volume slider, at less than half volume. Slide it up and whah-lah, the drums are in your face. Another great control...I wish I had that on my WK8.

Lots of new styles, new drum kits, they sound great of course. It's a great keyboard.

Now what would a good review be without a little bit of criticism? I'm hoping this is something that can be fixed in an OS upgrade. I brought along a CD that is for the most part, a copy of my E: drive on my home computer. It has just about all the midi and kar files that I have collected over the years. Lots of files and folders. So I insert the CD into the drive and press the Select button. Up comes the Disk Drives screen, I select CD-Rom and I hear the CD-Rom spinning up to speed. In the left pane is all the folders in the root of the CD, using the arrow keys, I scroll down to the Midi folder and I hit the right arrow key to open the folder (I think you can also hit the enter key to get the same affect, opening of the folder). Nothing happens, yet I hear the CD spinning up again then after 3 or 4 seconds the subfolders appear in the right pane. Okay, so I now scroll down to the T1000 folder and do the same thing again (I've still got more subfolders to go before I get to the files). Same thing, long pause, CD spins and then it shows the subfolders. I finally get to the actual midi files. I guess I just didn't expect the operation to take that long. We're not talking a 2X CD-Rom drive here and I don't think we're talking a 386 processor but that's what it reminded me of. Is it possible to keep the CD spinning at a faster rate to get better I/O times? I just tried the same operation with my computer here at work, no comparison. Not quite instantaneous file access but close. Yeah, I know, we're talking apples and oranges here.

Anyway, that's not even my real point. So I play a midi file directly off the CD. I check the mapping and yes, Real Grand Piano was substituted for Piano1. Great! I think it also substitutes Real Acoustic Guitar too. I didn't get a chance to try out which electric guitars might be substituted and I didn't see any substituting of drum kits. Still picks DK_STD1 which is fine. Well, I should be leaving so I press the eject button on the CD-Rom drive...Nothing. Oh, I figure that the drive might be locked since I was playing directly off of disk. Okay, song is stopped, how about now...Nothing. Okay, I get out of Song play and go to Style play, that should free up the CD. Nope, still no eject. In fact, I didn't get my CD back until I power cycled the board. I thought it was a fluke so I tried it again. Loaded up a song off the CD and chose direct play. Same thing, it's as if the Eject button is disabled. And maybe it is. In fact, there could have been a function on the screen that I had to use but didn't see it. Wouldn't surprise me. Maybe this was fixed in the OS upgrade that this board hasn't had yet.(?)

Bottom line was I enjoyed my time with the Genesys keyboard very much. A couple of quirks that I'm sure have more to do with my learning curve than anything else. Definitely get out there and give this board a try.

Posted by: PaulD

Re: A Genny follow up.... - 02/10/03 04:48 PM

Mike, The seek drive thing is something that I mentioned to the developers and hopefully a fix is on the way. I found a trick that if you use the page up and down or scroll without stopping too long it doesn't try to load the songs (or what ever it is doing that seems to hold it up) while selecting a song.

The next thing you mentioned is the CD eject disable. There is a button in the (select) screen that allows you to eject (which also dismounts the CD) and the CD will pop right out. If you don't have the CD drive selected in the select screen, the CD eject on the drive will work.

I am really glad you gave the instrument another chance. I honestly love the genesys. There are some things they are working on to update some operational things on the instrument (which I understand there is a New OS coming out soon) but all in all it is a pretty soild board. I am a gear head, so a lot of arranger instruments seem so limiting, this one is not. And unlike the WK's and SK's they really did take notice of what really didn't work well on the WK series and focused on ease of use. I love how customizable the instrument is, and can load Professional samples from Kurzweil and Akai.
Posted by: sk880user

Re: A Genny follow up.... - 02/11/03 07:43 AM

Really appreciate your report.