Playing on arranger, performance+covers?


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Hello!

Im classical pianist, but I want to learn to play popular music.

If someone can help with this?

1. How do you use your keyboard - arranger, because I try to play arranger and it have built in styles for songs but that styles sounds different from original song and most of them sound amateur. And how can you play 5, 6 songs with the same style, because that sounds so amateur if one or couple styles are for one same song...

How do you insert different styles for each song, make, or how do you play different songs on arranger or any keyboard?

2. Can you make a list of songs and just select that song and everything starts different from last one?
 
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SeaGtGruff

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Even with a single style, you can get quite a bit of variation out of it-- you can vary the tempo to make it slow and leisurely, or speed it up to make it fast and energetic; and on many (most? all?) keyboards that have styles (or "auto-accompaniments") you can also turn the individual channels or "tracks" of the accompaniment on and off. Thus, you can have the auto-accompaniment play just the drums and rhythm section, or just the bass part, etc.

Also, there are different kinds of auto-accompaniments-- e.g., Yamaha has "styles" and "patterns," which are two different things-- and styles are usually programmed such that the notes played by the musical parts (bass, guitar, synth, etc.) will change in accordance with the keys you're pressing in the auto-accompaniment section of the keyboard, so that lets you use the same style for many different songs.

Additionally, most styles contain two-to-four variations, as well as multiple "intros," multiple "fill-ins" (for transitioning from one variation to another), and multiple "endings"-- so by varying the tempo, turning specific tracks on or off, switching between different variations, and of course playing different notes or chords in the auto-accompaniment section of the keyboard, you can get quite a bit of mileage out of a single style.

However, keyboards that can play auto-accompaniments usually have a wide variety of styles to choose from-- e.g., "country" styles, "rock" styles, "pop" styles, "folk" styles, "jazz" styles, etc. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't use a "country" style to play a "rock" song, or vice versa. And with the exception of inexpensive "beginner's" keyboards, you can usually load additional style files into the keyboard and play them. The more advanced keyboards even let you create your own styles on the keyboard itself, but if not you can create your own new style files on a computer.

Many keyboards-- especially the more advanced ones-- also let you save your currently-selected voice(s), style, tempo, and other settings to a "registration" so the settings can be recalled later with the press of a button. Thus, you could set up the keyboard for one song, save the settings, set it up for another song, save the settings, etc., such that you can recall the settings as needed for a series of songs in a set, or even switch settings in the middle of a song and then switch back-- e.g., if you need to switch from an electric piano to an organ for a particular part of a song, then back to an electric piano. So you can switch styles during a song if need be.
 
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Thank you very much!

How can you make style on computer? You can make style with all that intros, variations, fill ins and endings? Will arranger recognize that parts?

When you make your own style is there arpeggios or patterns that you can use for bass, drums and similar?


Can you make track on your computer or (more advanced) arranger that is complete, in other word you dont need to change chords with left hand and not need to press variations...just play the main part with both hands?

What arranger do you suggest, or what function is important to have?

Is there Internet community that exchanges different styles for popular songs?
 
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SeaGtGruff

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If the keyboard you're using doesn't let you create a new style directly on the keyboard itself, you can still create a new style on your computer by doing the following:

(A) If your keyboard lets you record tracks directly on the keyboard itself, then record different tracks for the drums, rhythm, bass, guitar, organ, etc. Note that you don't need to record key changes, just record everything in the key of C Major. And you don't need to record everything at once-- i.e., you can record yourself playing the intro, or multiple intros if desired, then the different sections (e.g., for the verses, for the chorus, etc.), then the fill-ins or bridges that will transition from one section to another section, and then the ending or multiple endings. You can pause between each part without stopping the recording, and you don't need to worry about hitting bad notes or losing the tempo, etc., because the idea is to just make a raw recording of all the bits and pieces that you want to use in your new style. Then you'll probably need to convert the in-keyboard recording to a MIDI song file so you can transfer it to your computer for the next step.

Or

(B) If your keyboard doesn't let you record directly on the keyboard-- or if it does but you'd rather skip that step-- then you can connect the keyboard to your computer and record the bits and pieces of the style in a DAW program. In other words, it's just like step (A) above except you're doing it on your computer in a DAW rather than doing it on the keyboard. Just make sure you're recording the MIDI signals coming from the keyboard, as opposed to the keyboard's audio output. You'll still need to work on it some more, but it's a good idea to go ahead and save the raw recording before the next step, just so you'll always be able to go back to the original recording if something goes seriously caca during the later steps.

Then

(C) Load the MIDI file from step (A) or (B) into your DAW-- if you used method (B) then it should already be in your DAW-- and use your DAW's features to correct any wrong notes, fix any variations in tempo, move the starts and/or ends of any notes as needed so they play on the right downbeats or upbeats, trim any parts as needed, etc. Note that each of the fill-ins should be no longer than 1 measure, but the various main sections can generally be any number of measures long (although you'd want to keep them short, such as 4 measures that will loop over and over for as long as that section is being played, rather than 16 measures that are really just 4 identical measures which are being played 4 times in a row). You aren't making the finished style in this step, simply "cleaning up" the tracks of the raw recording to fix the notes, tempo, measures, etc. Save the cleaned-up MIDI file, preferably using a new name so you don't overwrite the original file (just in case).

Then

(D) Close your DAW and open up a utility program that can be used to convert a MIDI file into a style file. In this step you'll need to pick which measures of your recording you want to use for each part (section or variation) of the style. You'll also need to pick which source tracks you want to use for each of the style's tracks (MIDI channels), as well as change the instrument voices (if necessary) by modifying the Bank Select and Program Change values to pick only voices that are available on your keyboard. Note that there are documents about how style files are organized, and you might want to keep such documentation handy in case you need to refer to it. For instance, styles are normally played on MIDI channels 9 through 16, and you'd want to be familiar with that fact so you don't accidentally try to use channels 1 through 8. Then you can save the new style file and try it out on your keyboard.

Or

If you don't want to go through all of that, there are other utilities that let you create accompaniments on your computer, such as Band-in-a-Box, RMCA Realtime MIDI Chord Arranger Pro, etc. I personally don't have any familiarity with any of them, but you can search the web for a program that fits your needs-- e.g., see the list of utility programs at http://www.synthzone.com/midiaccomp.htm

Edit: PS-- Yes, there are people who post and/or exchange style files. Your best bet would be to search for a web site or forum that's dedicated to styles for your particular brand of keyboard, such as Yamaha, Casio, Korg, Roland, etc. But you may also be able to find a utility program for converting a style file for one brand of keyboard into a style file that's compatible with your particular brand.
 
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Ok, thank you all so much. I was sick so I didnt use internet.

Can you tell me this, please:

I understand now arranger, but, what do you think and can you explain me about music workstations?

Im looking and saving money to buy keyboard but I didnt decided what to buy, arranger or music workstation?


I tryed Yamaha moXF 6 and keys are very comfortable.

How can you make song on music workstation?

How to make intros, begining, fill ins and ending?

Is it posible to make on keyboard or you must use computer program, and if you use and make one song, can you turn off some parts on keyboard if you have sax or violin present? Is that midi file to, so you must made complete song in midi file?
 
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SeaGtGruff

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Arrangers and workstations have similar features as each other, but you can think of them as being on two ends of a spectrum-- on the simpler/less expensive end are the arrangers, and on the more complex/more expensive end are the workstations. That's not always true, at least with respect to price, as some arrangers can be just as pricey as some workstations.

You might think of a workstation as an arranger on steroids. Both should let you create your own styles ("auto-accompaniments" that have intros, loops, fill-ins, and endings) as well as record your own songs.

One post I read in a different forum said that arrangers tend to focus on the "bread and butter" instrument sounds-- pianos, electric pianos, organs, guitars, basses, strings, etc. Portable keyboards ("lesser beasts" than arrangers) and workstations also have these instrument sounds-- the idea is to give you a wide range of instrument sounds to choose from. However, portable keyboards generally don't let you create your own styles-- i.e., they usually have some onboard styles to choose from but you can't create your own on the keyboard-- and might not let you record songs on the keyboard, either (although some do let you record songs). On the other end of the spectrum, workstations generally have a lot more synthesizer sounds and effects than arrangers do. But note that both arrangers and workstations generally let you add new instrument sounds, either by using sampling to create your own sounds or by buying expansion packs and sound sets.

But the above isn't written in stone anywhere, and there can be some fluctuation-- especially from one manufacturer to another (e.g., Yamaha versus Casio)-- with regard to what specific features are available on portable keyboards, arrangers, and workstations, and where the boundaries separating one from the other are.

Of course, even if you have just a portable keyboard-- or for that matter, a MIDI keyboard controller that can't generate any sound on its own-- you can always use a DAW to create your own accompaniments, loops, and songs.

The bottom line probably depends on what you plan to use it for-- live professional performances, live casual performances, playing purely for personal enjoyment at home, recording songs for personal enjoyment, recording songs professionally, etc. If you're wanting to perform and record professionally, a workstation is usually the way to go, since it will be packed with the most features and instrument sounds. If you're wanting to perform and record for more casual reasons-- e.g., performing in local gigs or playing for family and friends-- then an arranger, or even one of the more expensive portable keyboards, may be all you need. But it also depends on what your budget can support and how much you're willing to spend on a keyboard, since even a casual amateur who plans to only ever play in complete privacy might want to splurge and buy a workstation if he or she can afford it.

As far as using auto-accompaniment styles, MIDI song files, and songs recorded in a DAW, you can usually turn the various parts on or off selectively-- although that isn't always the case on portable keyboards, especially the less-expensive ones.
 
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Hey touch_master,

As a humble suggestion, sometimes it's best not to get bogged down in the nomenclature associated with different types of keyboards. If you have a clear vision for what you want to use the keyboard for, you can then match the features of any potential keyboard you'd like to purchase to that vision.

Sometimes it's just a matter of doing lots of research on line, and then auditioning a few of the likely candidates at a music store (if you can). If you do have access to a decent music store the staff there can potentially help you work out features that you need/don't need on various 'boards.

Good luck!
 

The Y_man

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Hello!

Im classical pianist, but I want to learn to play popular music.

If someone can help with this?

1. How do you use your keyboard - arranger, because I try to play arranger and it have built in styles for songs but that styles sounds different from original song and most of them sound amateur. And how can you play 5, 6 songs with the same style, because that sounds so amateur if one or couple styles are for one same song...

How do you insert different styles for each song, make, or how do you play different songs on arranger or any keyboard?

2. Can you make a list of songs and just select that song and everything starts different from last one?

What keyboard have you got??
Every unit is different...............


The Y-man
 
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Ok, its much clearer now. Thanks.

I have Korg sp-250 digital piano which I use for classical music.

Can I use korg to connect to some music program to try to make song? I heard something about music card, low latency?
Usb to midi or midi?

One more very important question:

------> What aout sounds that can upload, insert to different keyboards? Are there different formats of sounds and styles that can be inserted in different keyboards (yamaha, korg, roland,...)? Can I insert cool sounds from music workstation in arranger and vice versa? Can I insert from yamaha to korg? And how can I make my own sounds?
 

The Y_man

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I can tell you Casio is very proprietary and difficult to load Yamaha sty files. Vice versa, Casio CTK/WK files can't be used elsewhere.

The Y-man
 
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SeaGtGruff

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Regarding sounds, I don't see anything in the user's manual about modifying the parameters of a sound (e.g., attack, release, cutoff, and resonance) or loading new sounds, so I'd guess there's no way to modify sounds or get new sounds.

And as for using sounds that were designed for some other keyboard, even with a single manufacturer (e.g., Yamaha) there can be several different data formats, and possibly different versions of a given data format, depending on the type of sound and the generation of the keyboard, such that it might not be possible to load a voice designed for a different model. So even if your keyboard did have the ability to load new sounds, it probably wouldn't be able to load any sounds from a different keyboard manufacturer.

However, your keyboard has MIDI OUT, so you can hook it up to a computer using a MIDI-to-USB cable, then use the keyboard as a MIDI controller with a soft synth or virtual instrument, which would let you use additional sounds-- but they would be coming from outside the keyboard, as opposed to sounds that the keyboard produces by itself.
 

SeaGtGruff

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There are programs that let you take a MIDI song file, select different parts (MIDI channels) and measures from it, and create a style file from that. So if you have a MIDI song file for a particular song, you can theoretically create your own style file for that song-- assuming you have such a program that works with style files for your brand of keyboard, and assuming some of the parts of the song lend themselves to being turned into a style (i.e., the drum patterns, bass lines, rhythm guitar chords, etc. that are used throughout the song are repetitious enough that they can be converted into loops).

On the other hand, most styles and style files are designed to be "generic" enough within a specific musical genre that they can be used for a large number of songs within that genre, so you generally don't need a style that's been designed for a specific song, just one that's intended for a given musical genre.

Edit: PS-- If you're thinking of buying a Yamaha keyboard, you can see the sorts of style files that can be purchased from Yamaha for that keyboard by going to http://www.yamahamusicsoft.com/ and selecting the specific model of keyboard that you bought. But that isn't the only source for Yamaha style files-- there are many, many style files that have been created by individuals, which can either be downloaded for free or purchased for a nominal fee.
 
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OK. What do you think: playing live with music workstation and backing track in format of midi... and just playing piano, or other instrumetns on keyboard with backing track. Of course, if i have guitar player I will turn of guitar....

Do you know, is that accepable, does anyone doing that?
 
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