Your opinion on ABC ?


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Starting in the 70's with their Electone organs, Yamaha developed Auto Bass Chord (ABC) system.... the player simply holds a chord in the left hand and the ABC system gates the chord to match the drum rhythm tempo and provides a simple Bass line (1:5, 1:3:5 or 1:7:5 variations were possible).

This feature is still available in all their PSR keyboard line..... and top of the line arranger keyboard, the Genos.

Similar systems exist in the Casio family of personal keyboards and Roland BK keyboards I think.... but I have no experience with other than Yamaha.

If you have experience across these systems.... please let me know what you think ?

Which keyboard maker excels at this ? ..... is it still Yamaha ? ...... are they all pretty much the same now ?

Thanks for your feedback.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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I'm guessing those might be intervals-- 1st-5th, 1st-3rd-5th, and 1st-7th-5th.

I'm not sure whether ABC is still available on modern Yamaha keyboards, at least not in its original form. I'm not very familiar with ABC as such, but I assume it evolved into Yamaha's auto accompaniments, or styles.
 
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What do these numbers represent?
The numbers are degrees of the musical scale.
For example, if you were playing a C chord..... 1 would be C.... 3 would be E and 5 would be G
and although 7 would be B ..... as I recall it played a flatted seventh ( i.e. B- flat) which is actually more useful musically.
The beauty of the numbering system is that it is independent of the key.
so if you held down an A major chord...... you would get 1 = A, 3 = C-sharp, 5= E and 7 = G
The system was smart enough to change to a flatted third when holding minor chords, so switching to A-minor chord would give the 3 = C instead of C-sharp.
Finally, the simplest bass that anybody can play is the root note of the chord.... then comes an alternating root and fifth ..... next in complexity, the arpeggiated 1:3:5 or 1:7:5 ..... and finally 'walking' bass that moves up and down....... below is my Youtube channel for musical instruction and free sound patches for synth keyboards..... it's mostly about keyboards but there are also couple videos on bass

https://www.youtube.com/user/stephenmendes1/playlists?view=50&sort=dd&shelf_id=8
 
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I'm guessing those might be intervals-- 1st-5th, 1st-3rd-5th, and 1st-7th-5th.

I'm not sure whether ABC is still available on modern Yamaha keyboards, at least not in its original form. I'm not very familiar with ABC as such, but I assume it evolved into Yamaha's auto accompaniments, or styles.


Yes I have one of the cheap Yamaha PSR keyboards..... you select a style and take what you get.... but in listening to it critically there are some improvements over ABC but on my PSR keyboard you don't have much options to modify anything..... your only choice is the style you pick.

Sorry I wanted this to start at 12 min 38 sec ..... but when it embeds it starts from the beginning.... just fast forward to 12m 38s to hear the modern Auti Bass Chord in action

 

SeaGtGruff

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I don't have any experience with other keyboard brands, just Yamaha and one old Casio model, so I can't offer any opinions on how other manufacturers perform in the auto accompaniment department.

EDIT -- Regarding the 7th, my guess is that you get either a major 7th or minor 7th according to the type of 7th chord you're playing, just as you get either a major 3rd or minor 3rd according to whether you're playing a major or minor chord.
 
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happyrat1

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Weren't the old Hammond Tonewheels the first to have this sort of auto chording?

Gary ;)
 
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SeaGtGruff

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I tried to find out about the old Hammond tonewheels but couldn't find anything about auto chords. Anyway, I think the question is whether the various companies-- Yamaha, Casio, Roland, Korg, Nord, or anyone else who makes a keyboard with auto accompaniment-- are pretty much equal as far as the quality and feature functionality of auto accompaniments. I'm not sure about the answer to that, but I believe that some Yamaha owners like to gripe about things that Yamaha does or doesn't do in the auto accompaniment department, and why don't they have such-and-such capability like Roland does-- such as creating an auto accompaniment from a MIDI file without having to use an external computer program.
 

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