Author Topic: Genos Review (MAGA)  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline Marcus

Genos Review (MAGA)
« on: June 28, 2018, 05:29:42 AM »
Genos Review – MAGA (Make Arranging Great Again): by Marcus

After enjoying a few months with my Genos twinset, I thought I might post a few demos and my personal insight. I am very appreciative of fellow forum members that contributed in a positive light within the 10 Genos boards that help us learn and grow from each other's experiences.

For those who agree that the Genos is by far the best arranger keyboard in the world par none presently, I am sure they are just as thrilled as I am with it's arranging capabilities and amazing sound quality. The Genos has at least increased my creativity three-fold over my previous Tyros 5 setup. I will be extremely pleased to delve deeper into the Genos abilities in the coming years for my composing/arranging needs and ultimately create songs and new sounds for live performances and the odd recording.

I was just asked to perform at benefit concert the other week to present two or three songs from my arranger keyboard. It was nice to meet up with a few local musicians in this fund raiser event. Most I worked with in the past and in a few studio recordings, I worked as backing vocalist or singing harmony tracks.

I recorded one of the performances live during the sound check and recorded the other same two songs a few days later in my home studio. I love the fact that I can easily reproduce a full home studio Genos song arrangement, save the settings to a performance registration and instantly call up the song in Sync/Start mode ready to go in a live performance.

Sure, I can simply sit and play with my Genos with all the presets, but I enjoy delving deeper into my own multi-channel arrangement with custom voices, MIDI's, styles and Multipads. Better yet, Sync/Start a complex custom arrangement taking advantage of the Genos power, authentic sounds and ultimate sound quality. I also discovered that the Genos Hard Disk Audio recorder gives pristine high-quality renders in both the Quick and Multi-Recording modes.

All three songs incorporated 8 tracks of MIDI, auto-synched with a style and multipads, plus custom OTS voice settings for my Left hand, Right hand playing, plus a MIDI bass pedal voice. I also take advantage of Vocal Harmony settings with my live vocal and live performances.
Another advantage to creating your own custom MIDI song tracks is, I can embed the chords and lyrics into the score, key changes, tempo changes and print out my Left and Right-hand parts with the lyrics and chords for me to play.

I am still waiting for the Genos sound set to be written for the Sibelius notation program, but for now I just use the Yamaha XG sound set and change over to my preferred Genos voices and Revo Drumkits with the resulting imported MIDI song file within MIDI Multi Recording mode. The resulting MIDI song file is then Sync/Started to a Custom slave style, which is embedded with the required Multipads and OTS voices. Still haven't found any arranger with this much live performance power, but my previous Tyros 5 did serve me well in the past. The Genos is like the Tyros 5 on steroids without the severe restrictions as that previous platform was stretched to the limit, while the Genos opens up years of new creativity. 

I’ll just provide the following links and a brief description to each song, where I will try to demonstrate the power, quality and creativity through the Genos arranger or at least how I use it at a semi-pro capacity.

Halleluiah (Leonard Cohen song)
You will notice that I use Real Reverb + as my default reverb. As the Tyros 5 Real Reverb DSP, this reverb type has stellar quality. I resaved all my Tyros 5 work and registrations with this reverb default. Easily done by Menu-Utility-Parameter Lock-Reverb type.

I Sync/Start my modified Orchestral12-8 style (featuring the PopPerkkit Revo FSX and the VintageMutedKit Revo drum kits) to my custom created MIDI song file and Multipads. These Revo kits are the highest quality and the most authentic kits I ever worked with. I introduce and layer several VocalChord type Multipads during the song   
In the MIDI Song file composed and rearranged with Sibelius 7, tempo changes are embedded within the rendered XG MIDI along with chord and lyric data. This file is reworked further with StyleMagic YA and PSRUTI programs before final editing within the Genos Song creator. I reworked the XG voices with Genos voices like, SA2 Flugelhorn and the Francesca Solo voice from the Greetings from Italy expansion pack.

The huge advantage Genos (Song Creator) has is the ability to add individual Insertion Effects to each of the MIDI Song channels, plus adding the fact that each channel is using Real Reverb + as the default reverb, with is my preferred reverb type for my vocals and mic.

For my programmed OTS Right/Left – hand parts, I use layered CFX Grand Pianos and DSP effects and after the last key change I revert to organ voices and MIDI bass pedals. I normally work-in organ in most of my arrangements because of my organist background. MIDI bass pedals also gives me the advantage of controlling chord inversions and slash chords while in Full AI Keyboard fingering. Full AI also translates my Right-Hand arpeggio playing used in this song. Yamaha style chord tracking and fingering interpretation is the best I have ever experienced over any other arranger brand.

Lastly, normally in-home studio vocals I use my Apex 460 tube mic for it’s sensitivity and warmth, but for gigging I use the Shure SM58 and in these song recordings. I like using Vocal Harmony where appropriate and sparingly. Basically, you just want to create the illusion of harmonies within the mix, yet still sound professional. I always set approximately a 40:60 ratio with the lead vocal being the dominant over the VH.

There are improvements to the Genos VH2 over the Tyros 5, but mostly through a more intuitive interface through the touch screen and easier to get to the sub-menus. When setup to your personal voice type and in combination to the available DSPs, the VH2 is cleaner than my T C Helicon Voicelive 2 Extreme unit. For straight chordal VH effects using your own voice, the Genos VH2 does a commendable job up to 4 harmonies. However, not as good within vocoder type harmonies and the Formant/Gender interface. For me, Roland still has the lead in Formant/Gender bending with their Varaphrase technology. Technology found in my trustworthy Roland VP-7 VH unit I use with both my Genos boards. Actually, I found the best VH combination using both the VP-7 and the Genos VH2 at the same time. Format/Gender vocoder effects through the Roland VP-7 are still best to date that I heard or at least suits my voice type the best.

Hallelujah (Genos).mp3

You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban) original: (Secret Garden)
You Raise Me Up is an epic inspirational song that deserves the full orchestral score and another choice for me to arrange an 8-channel controller MIDI file with a modified custom style, clocked to the tempo, yet fully free to select style Mains-Fills-Breaks. I chose the Genos OrchRockBallad1 as the suitable style to modify to slave and Sync/Start with the You Raise Me Up MIDI score. Main voices used are the Genos CFX piano voices and the CelticViolin1 voice from the Celtic Expansion Pack.

The Sibelius 7 score was a real brute to re-arrange within the program with three key changes and selecting what suitable voice channels would better suit the MIDI score or a style part. Again, I printed off the Left Right-hand piano parts with the chords and lyrics to follow as sheet music for each song or I could transfer to PDF format viewed on my iPad Pro.

No multipads are used in this song, but 8 MIDI channels, 8 Style channels and 4 LH-RH channels make for a nice suitable rich score. Even though I have Sync/Started with a MIDI, Style and (Audio)Multipads on my Tyros 5 in the past, the Genos is a much more capable arranger and with 128+128 (256) note polyphony, I have never yet experienced any note drop off as I commonly did on my Tyros 5. The combination of higher quality audio, voices, drumkits and DSPs makes complex arrangements fun to create and a pleasure to perform live.

I had to rethink my workflow for the Genos, as Yamaha removed the Tyros 5 File Access buttons for the MIDI Songs and Styles folders. I also ended up using a USB drive used between my home Genos and my gigging Genos. I create all my work at home and just the USB drive with me for gigging, while occasionally updating the User Drives.

By using a shared USB drive, I created a Performance folder that would contain all the required custom song styles, MIDI songs, Multipads and Live Performance Song registration Banks. Once I access the first Performance registration bank from the Genos Home menu, I can instantly access that folder or cycle easily through the Performance and Voice Registration banks I need for a live gig. Each Custom Song Style particular to a song already is modified with the correct tempo, OTS voices and Multipads assigned to it or if associated with a corresponding MIDI Song file, the Sync/Start is already saved to a Registration button position within a Performance Registration bank.

By calling up a Performance Registration Song with the freeze function (off) and then freeze button (on) again, I am free to cycle through the Voice Registration banks preselected to go into that performance folder for any custom voice I want during the song performance. This works well in absence of the File Access buttons and folder memory paths the Tyros 5 had.

You Raise Me Up (Genos).mp3

Everybody Hurts (REM)
This third song was more simplistic but work out very well with a MIDI Song file Synced to the corresponding Custom Song Style. Especially with the dynamic Revo Drum Kits available on the Genos and the 6-8GuitarBallad style that worked well. The style Mains Rhythm2 track was cleared in Style Creator and manually programmed the Seq High Hat and the Claves. The Delay LCR 1 Variation Effect was applied to the Rhythm2 track to simulate the same effect on the original REM song. Again, a very powerful function to the Genos to allow Variation and Insertion DSP effects in both the style and MIDI Song parts.

Unique also is the Drum Setup Editor within Style Creator where I can not only access various Preset Drum Kits, but also access my Expansion Drum kit voices for editing and substitution. The drum kit editing is then saved within the Custom Song Style save and unique to the requirements of that particular song.

I used the same layered RH-LH CFX Grand Pianos and DSP effects from the previous ballad-type songs and revert to organ voices and MIDI bass pedals at the repeat section at the end of this song. Again, Multipads were not required with this arrangement, but a vocal audio multipad could have been used for some of the background vocal effects. I did however use the VH effect or choir effects at the end of this piece as well. Love the fact that once the Performance Song registration is called up, the Sync/Start is automatically loaded with the correct custom Song, Style or programmed Multipads and I can simply perform the whole orchestration score, plus my playing and chording, live.   

This goes far beyond just the “sit and play” concept to a higher-level arranger performance. I haven’t even touched upon the amazing Genos Ensemble feature, SA2 voices, REX files, Audio Multipads or Custom User Audio Styles, which I all want to delve deeper into. No arranger can come close to the power, voices, styles and sound quality of the Genos, especially when I occasionally have the Genos twinset setup with MIDI bass pedals.

Everybody Hurts (Genos).mp3

Lastly, I want to mention and address the Genos 128+128 (256) note polyphony. It is wonderful to not have to worry about note drop off or one of my layered voices suddenly disappearing because I went over the polyphony limit. I ran the Genos with 25 simultaneously channels playing and even with a 3 second reverb, I cannot choke the polyphony.
If I ran one of my MIDI Song files synced to a style with full layered voices and all Multipads running simultaneously or just a Hymn Style with all Multipads active along with full layered RH-LH full chord notes with a long reverb, my previous Tyros 5 would drop notes going over the 128-note polyphony limit. Impossible for me to exceed the 256-note polyphony on my Genos, and that is even without accessing any of the expansion voices.

The following hymn and Song style, if played on Tyros 5, would exceed it’s 128 note polyphony limits. On my Genos, no problem. I also want to demonstrate more Vocal Harmony settings as well with the following demo hymn song, All Creatures of Our God and King.   

All Creatures of Our God and King (Tune: Lasst Uns Erfreuen, with alleluias, Cologne, 1623)
The Genos Free Play style, Organ Hymn, has Intro II based on the Lasst Uns Erfreuen tune. I modified this style in Style Creator adding a Rhythm drum track, to help me keep timing and adjust tempo to suit many more hymns. The Mercator Organ voice samples from both the Genos and the Tyros 5 are fantastic and I incorporated progressive layered voicing up to a full organ registration programmed into OTS 4. Amazingly authentic, especially running audio through my powered JBL Subs and using the Octaver Bass function on my Roland PK-6 MIDI Bass pedals.

I also take both the Genos VH2/DSPs and my Roland VP-7 VH processor through it’s paces in conjunction with the modified Organ Hymn style and controlling VH through a combination of note/bass pedal playing and the VH2 chordal setting in the BigAcapella VH preset.

The following hymn song has 5 verses played and sung for the hymn, All Creatures of Our God and King.
Verse 1 – I begin with my acapella voice adding the Male & Female choir preset from my connected Roland VP-7 unit in Variation Vocoder mode. Between verse 1 and 2, I start the Intro II of the style leading into Style Main variation A.

Verse 2 – I switch from the VP-7 VH and use the Genos VH2 BigAcapella preset in Chordal mode and adding Tempo delay. Instead of direct vocoder interpretation of my notes I am playing, the VH is interpreted by the chord played. OTS organ voices are moderate linked to OTS 2, but layer to full organ by verse 5 and Main Variation D, along with adding Multipad choir voices.

Verse 3 – Back to the VP-7 unit with the Gregorian Choir Variation preset. This VH preset is described as a large chorus suitable for classical music. Style Main variation B.

Verse 4 – Instrumental interlude. Style Main variation C.

Verse 5 – Full Organ programmed into OTS 4. Long 3 second reverb. All four choir Multipads are active. RH3 is linked to my MIDI bass pedals with the Octaver Bass function activated to add another octave to the bass notes played. Using the strongest VP-7 Variation preset, simulating a Gospel choir. Polyphony if played on a Tyros 5 would already have notes being dropped, but the Genos is stable and clean. A true pleasure to own and play. Hymn style ends with Ending III and eight note full organ chords.

All Creatures of Our God and King (Genos).mp3

Hope you found my read interesting, hopefully informative and enjoyed the songs.
MAGA( Make Arranging Great Again)

Hallelujah (Genos).mp3

You Raise Me Up (Genos).mp3

Everybody Hurts (Genos).mp3

All Creatures of Our God and King (Genos).mp3

Gear: Triangle
"Extremely Happy with Genos"
The following users thanked this post: soryt, maartenb, voodoo, erbis, Kaarlo von Freymann, khudson7

Offline Al Ram

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 06:27:12 AM »

I found your post very informative and interesting.  From this post and other previous posts from you as well as advise you provided to me in the past, I can tell that you are very knowledgeable and that you have mastered the Genos and are taking full advantage of it.

I am impressed with your songs, you really took the Genos to task. I particularly liked the voice and the clean recording.

I wish you the best.

Have a great night/day.

San Diego/Tijuana

Offline maartenb

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 09:31:39 AM »
Wow, Marcus, awesome post! And great to hear your performances!

Impossible for me to exceed the 256-note polyphony on my Genos, and that is even without accessing any of the expansion voices.
Just to be precise: when you don't use Expansion Voices, the Genos is "just" 128-note polyphonic (if I understand the technology behind the Genos correctly). The big difference is that a stereo sample/voice uses one "note" on a Genos, while it took two "notes" on the Tyros series.

I am very happy that you notice the difference between the Genos and Tyros, since it means the Genos stepped up its polyphony, while on paper it might look the same as Tyros.

I love your paraphrasing of MAGA!  ;D  Indeed, let's MArrGA!


Offline pjd

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 01:59:04 PM »
Hi Marcus --

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and performances. Great stuff!

-- pj

Offline Bachus

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 02:40:11 PM »
Make arrangers great AGAIN?
When where arrangers not great?

Love your write up Marcus..
It shows your view on arrangers..

I sat down today at Musik store with both the Genos and the Montage..
(And some other instruments)
Soundquallity wise both instruments are really really convincing..

But the 88 key Montage feels like it is build like a truck..
I don’t think there is any other instrument with this buildquallity..
So i will be saying a prayer tonight...asking for an 88 key Montage with build in Genos..
There is enough room on the Montage for the Genos screen and all important buttons..
But thats just my personal wishlist..

I can imagine how much everyone loves the Genos, from an arranger Pov..
Its easy accesible.. and sounds great..  everything works really intuitive..

Keep enjoying your Genosses Marcus... 
because thats where its all about.. for all the latest keyboard news and information.

Offline Marcus

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 05:03:30 PM »
Thanks for your kind comments.
Yes, you are correct about the polyphony. On my hymn song, I was using only the Genos internal voices with 128 stereo polyphony available (no expansion voices). So safe to say, it would be really rare in any circumstances to exceed the 128 note limit. Even then one can just access the available 128 expansion voices.
The Tyros 5 is a very capable arranger. My understanding is the polyphony 64 + 64. So yes, two notes to create a stereo sample. So, when I was experiencing note drop off on my Tyros 5, I was dealing with actual 64 note limit in polyphony.
I experienced no drop off at all with the Genos, so I guess safe to say the Genos has double polyphony over the Tyros 5 despite the confusion in how the specs are explained.
Polyphony will only be taxed to the limit on the Tyros 5 is you use many layers of sustained voices and multipads with a long reverb.

Nice hearing from you. I still check out your Sand, software and sound site from time to time. Take care.

Still waiting for your 88 key portable arranger. Actually, a pretty good idea, but perhaps very expensive to produce and not as popular to sell compared to the smaller keyboard versions. Never thought I would like the 76 note version arranger over my previous Tyros 5-61, but the Genos-76 is a perfect size and still easy to transport. Especially the fact the Genos is significantly lighter than the Tyros series and not much wider than the 61 note Tyros version.

I wouldn’t mind owning more boards or one like the larger 88 key Montage, but in my retirement years a twinset setup and midi bass pedals satisfies my organist background needs and available space in my home studio.

“...asking for an 88 key Montage with build in Genos..” is a pretty fair wishlist. My only wishlist now regarding the Genos or the next Genos model is having the smooth voice transition between voices changes. Easy to compensate by lifting off the notes during the voice change or between registrations, but number one on my wishlist for Yamaha to address.

Take care as well,
Gear: Triangle
"Extremely Happy with Genos"

Offline Bachus

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2018, 03:27:58 PM »
Maybe Yamaha could expand the smart pianist app,...
And make it available to all instruments...

That would make the P515 a real good contender in the 88 key arranger market
And the Montage a great option too...

Personally i am convinced that the smart pianist app gives the arranger mechanic a fresh new start.. for all the latest keyboard news and information.

Offline keynote

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2018, 04:12:13 PM »

“...asking for an 88 key Montage with build in Genos..” is a pretty fair wishlist. My only wishlist now regarding the Genos or the next Genos model is having the smooth voice transition between voices changes. Easy to compensate by lifting off the notes during the voice change or between registrations, but number one on my wishlist for Yamaha to address.

I think Yamaha could provide Seamless Sound Switching on the Genos with an OS update. But in all practicality it's probably too much to ask. It would likely require extensive programming adjustments and besides Yamaha needs to provide at least one or two new features for Genos 2 so people will be more inclined to do the upgrade dance. I would also like to see a metal housing for Genos 2 but of course it would add a little more weight to the keyboard and that's probably the main reason why we won't see a metal housing on Genos 2 since most arranger players are older and/or of retirement age. My former Fantom G7 had a metal housing and was built like a tank and it also had Seamless Sound Switching which is especially nice for gigging purposes. Here we are ten years later (the Fantom G came out in 2008) and Yamaha only has seamless sound switching on the lesser priced Montage not their $5,500 top of the line arranger keyboard??  ::)

Thanks for sharing Marcus!



Offline gdc

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 02:55:53 PM »
Hi Marcus,
Outstanding! I am truly impressed and thoroughly enjoyed the performances.

Offline erbis

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 03:15:45 PM »
Marcus - you are amazing ;D
Your performance is above average. The genos is in the right hands.
I greet :)
There is no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.

Offline Gloria

Re: Genos Review (MAGA)
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 06:12:13 PM »
 Marcus, Your performance is awe inspiring, & so professionally arranged & played! Thank you for sharing the way you created these arrangements.  Your VH setting is great & your voice is even greater.  In your hands the Genos is Genius!  :)

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