Organ sounds

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I am looking to purchase a budget keyboard to learn to play different styles but on a tight budget.
I have been looking at Yamaha psr 373.
One of my interests will be playing hymns and I notice in the XGlite section there are church organ voices. Just wondering if anyone knows if they sound ok or are there better recommendations?
Thanks David
 
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The sounds within a PSR E series are OK but only OK.

They only cost £220 so please do not expect to much from them.

As a beginner keyboard they do the job, the inbuilt learning system is useless as the screen is far to small to see the music that it shows. Yamaha OS Menu systems are not the greatest and product support is spasmodic.

An alternate is the Korg EK50 @ £275 which IMO is a vastly more superior keyboard especially with the OS Menu system. At this price point the Korg has the best organ sounds.

To get even better organ sounds with style features would well and truly break the budget but that is something for the future.

Best advice is go to a Music Store and have them show you both, have a run out to Bonners in Eastbourne or Andertons in Guildford if there are no well stocked Music Stores near you.
 

Rayblewit

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Have a look at the e383.
It is fairly new and a friend of mine just bought one. It sounds superb for its price. Clean and crisp organ sounds to choose from.
R
 
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I also play church music on a single-manual arranger. None of the Yamaha entry-level keyboards below the PSR-SX600 are programmed to recognize "slash" chords, i.e., chords with an altered bass like C/B. This will really frustrate your ability to accurately play Organ scores. It's one of the reasons I don't recommend the entry-level Yamahas to beginners.

Among low-priced keyboards, I'm adamant that the Casio CT-S500 is the best value, and probably easiest to get passable results on. The "string quartet" style is really good for traditional liturgical music. If you also need style editing, step up to the CT-X3000, but for what it is, I like the -S500 a bit better.

Getting back to your original question, the exact organ tones and tone quality shouldn't be the deciding factor. I could plug either the Casio OR Yamaha into an external tone module such as the Ketron SD2 or a PC running VSTs (virtual instrument sound samples), and it would sound better than a top-end Genos! Your amp / speakers are an equally-important consideration.

If you really want to become an organist or have more control, you'll need to step up to a mid-range arranger with a full MIDI implementation. Then you could plug in a set of foot pedals and play like a pro. Good luck in your journey!
 
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As TedS has written about mid ranged Arrangers I’ll add to his comments.

There is not much choice!

Korg Pa700

Roland EA7

Yamaha PSR SX700 & 600

The Yamaha PSR SX600 is c£620 and the others listed above are £1000 and upwards.

All the above are in a different league to the E373.

I can pretty well guarantee that if you do buy a 373 and practice to make good progress then after a maximum of two years you will be wanting something better and the £220 spent on a 373 will not get you much when it is sold on eBay. I had a E363 many years ago, it lasted six months, I just did not like all the Menu diving nor did I like the sounds but that is just my personal preference, apart from acoustic piano sounds for me the rest leave a lot to be desired.

Have a look on second user websites for any of the above models.
 
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I have played/recorded evangelical hymns and 20th century southern/country gospel for nearly 15 years. I started with a PSR-S910 and moved to Genos 1.

I NEVER try to play hymns that would match even the most primitive pipe organ because every Yamaha style that I've ever listened to and probably the same for other manufacturers: the styles are MEANT for secular/pop music and even if marked "gospel", they never sound like traditional church sounds. I typically use piano, woodwinds, some brass (trombone or trumpet) and electric and acoustic guitars for "melody voices".

That's not to say that arranger keyboards can't be made to sound fairly decent if STYLES are not used, but what's the point of an arranger keyboard if you do NOT use styles?
 
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IMHO - the best variant is - software arranger (yes, it is possible to find free versions of arrangers) and ... Hauptwerk virtual organs. If you never heard the sounds of Hauptwerk organs - take a time to listen them in YouTube for example. You'll be surprise :)
 
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Mr. Nuttall as you probably know, an "organ" has at least three divisions: lead or melody (traditionally the upper manual), harmony (lower manual), and bass (pedal division.)

If you're NOT going to add MIDI pedals to your keyboard, an arranger is your best and only hope of emulating an organ, because it would be amazingly difficult to play both harmony and bass with your left hand on any other type of single-manual synth.

One of the defining functions of an arranger is "auto bass chord" (it's called by different names by different brands.) Put simply, the bass follows the chord, or in better models, the lowest note played in the chord section. This partial automation allows even a relatively unskilled player to play the bass and chord at the same time, yielding a passable result. And it isn't by accident. Arrangers evolved from "home organs," which themselves evolved from electromechanical organs like the B3. So in a certain sense they are a widely available and comparatively affordable evolutionary descendant of the organ.

Regarding styles, you really should listen to some of Yamaha's "free play" styles, which are not modeled on specific pop songs, and are very useful for liturgical music. Although Yamaha was the first to commercialize the concept, similar styles can be programmed for any of the major brands; I have done so and have shared my experience previously on other forums. Casio's "String Quartet" style is similar to a free play style, that's why I mentioned it. Finally, most arrangers have limited auto bass chord functionality even when not using a style. These could be re-voiced with organ tones, or plumbed through MIDI to an external tone bank like Hauptwerk.

I also mentioned that low-end Yamahas such as the PSR-E373 DON'T recognize chords with altered bass, so there are some organ scores that won't ever sound right on them. They also don't accept free play styles, that style structure is reserved for better models. So although cheap to buy, Yamaha's entry-level models are a dead-end. If the original poster (David) is serious about this, he's better off with the Casio, or stepping up to one of the mid-range instruments that Biggles listed in his post.
 
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I am looking to purchase a budget keyboard to learn to play different styles but on a tight budget.
I have been looking at Yamaha psr 373.
One of my interests will be playing hymns and I notice in the XGlite section there are church organ voices. Just wondering if anyone knows if they sound ok or are there better recommendations?
Thanks David
If you're playing classical/trad hyms the responses above are great. If you're going after modern gospel, a clone wheel (Viscount or Hammond) would be a modern option. Used ones go really fast! A real vintage Hammond is choice one for those genres, but if you go the synth route, you MUST have an expression (volume) pedal that has gain from 0 to loud. I've grown to really hate synth organ for jazz and gospel, but I understand the budget issues, I've played a Korg Krome on jazz organ dates (yuck). Synth pipe organs are much better that their Hammond Jazz/Gospel program conterparts. Good luck.
 

Rayblewit

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He gone!
In the words of Biggles "he sodded off"

Your replies, DoubleGee and TedS are superb but sadly wasted on this thread.
 

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