Author Topic: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards  (Read 1617 times)

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Offline Depo1964

Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« on: April 26, 2018, 08:58:31 AM »
Hi Everyone,
I am seriously considering purchasing a Genos.
I go back and forth between Yamaha (SY-22, SY-77, Motif-rack-XS) and Korg (01/W, Triton Studio) keyboards depending on when I'm ready to purchase and what I think will suit my needs at the time.

99.9% of my time is spent in my home recording studio.
I haven't played out live reguarly in close to 40 years
(with the exception of my high school band which had a Reunion Concert last weekend).

Listening to the Genos demos, especially those of  Peter Baartmans has really turned my hearing receptors way up.... especially this demo.

This would be my first Arranger keyboard.
What I am concerned about is that I have developed a process of creating music that involves a tight integration between my keyboard(s) and Cubase.   I have been using Cubase  since 1991.

I realize that Genos will open up a completely new possibility for creating my music, but will i still be able to use my old process of using Cubase to do my sequencing/recording as I learn the new possibilities with Genos?   

I am afraid of getting frustrated from what appears to be a very complex instrument.

I hope I have explained my situation and look forward to hearing any comments and/or feedback.
Thx in advance.

Offline Robert van Weersch

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 03:00:52 PM »
Yamaha tries to market the Genos as a studio keyboard and to some extend, this is true because you can create songs very fast and easily. But in my experience, if you compose and produce an entrire song of your own, you don't want to use a preset keyboard style, you'll want to create something from your own imagination. So I've used Yamaha's styles for inspiration, but in the end result, the preset styles were gone.

In my opinion, arrangers really shine in one, two or tree person band formations. A player/singer, perhaps combined with a guitarist or some other instrument, or a singer (m/f). An arranger is a complete band in a portable box, and it shows it power when used as such. I've always used arrangers, even in larger bands, because they have features (apart from styles/accomp.) which many synths or stage piano's don't have, like super articulation. Many voices sound way better, out of the box, on a Tyros 5 or Genos than on a Motif or Montage. But when you need to be able to modify every parameter of a voice, a synth is normally a better option.
Yamaha Tyros 5 76
Korg Liverpool (microArranger)

Offline Depo1964

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 09:57:25 PM »
Hi Robert,
Thanks for your reply.
Creating songs very fast is not on my priority list..... but easy?  Who wouldn't mind being able to do that?  I understand what you're talking about regarding using preset styles.   It helps to create a foundation from where your imagination can take over from there.

Never having any experience with Arranger keyboards and not being able to sit in front of a Genos it's hard to conceive how one defines presets.  During these Genos demos, you hear lots of different instruments and it's not clear if they were created by the user or by the Genos.

I'm not a person who needs to modify voices very much.... and what I'm seeing and hearing from the Genos regarding horn, guitar, orchestra instruments in the way of articulation.... it appears to me that the hardware is catching up with the software.... 

I would much rather depend on using all of these instruments from a Genos (one source) than having to worry about updating this piece of software for a trumpet.... that piece of software for stings... and yet another piece of software for guitar.... etc.... you get my point?
I would rather be concentrating on the music than on the maintenance of the software that helps me create music.

I guess my biggest concern is whether or not I will still be able to use Genos with Cubase in a way that I have always been doing since 1991.
I am hoping that because both are from Yamaha now,  that the interface will become even more interconnected and user friendly.

Offline DerekA

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 10:21:17 PM »
Is your 01/W still working?? I bought one back in 1993, the most expensive thing I'd ever bought at the time, and played it to death. It's currently in the garage, I can't bear to part with it even though it doesn't work any more ...

The Genos contains a 16-channel MIDI player, so yes you can use it with Cubase. You can easily use any of the preset voices through bank selection MIDI commands, I don't know about using user customized voices - I'm sure someone else reading will know. I'm also fairly certain that in the 'official' online demos, they only use the preset voices. At the launch presentations, they made quite a fuss about only using presets.

However, as has been hinted, if you're only using Genos as a tone generator it's a bit of a waste of what it can do.


Offline Depo1964

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 11:31:47 PM »
Hi Derek,
The Triton Studio replaced the 01/W quite a while back.... But I did get a lot of use out of it as well.
It was a good KB.

Yes,  I realize that the Genos has a 16-channel MIDI player, but can I bypass it and record MIDI directly into Cubase (8.0)?  I'm not concerned about using User customized voices.   The patches (what ever Yamaha is calling their sounds these days) sound quite adequate for my needs.

It there anyone that is using a Genos with Cubase and recording MIDI directly into Cubase?
If so, any thoughts on how easy or difficult the Interface is to use?  Thx.

Offline DerekA

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 11:40:45 PM »
Ah, you are using the keyboard to send MIDI data into Cubase.

Yes, that works. There are MIDI setup pages on the keyboard to define which channels and events are transmitted.

You can disconnect the physical keyboard from the L/R1/R2/R3 voices so that the MIDI data goes out to Cubase then back in again to the internal tone generator so that you can hear it. It will play whatever voice you've assigned to that channel.

Have a look at the MIDI setup in the reference manual, section 12

Offline keynote

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 11:45:48 PM »
I use Cakewalk Sonar Platinum and it integrates just fine with my Genos. Yamaha owns Steinberg the maker of Cubase. I would think Cubase would also work fine with the Genos since Cubase is a certified Yamaha product. If there's a problem with Genos working with Cubase then Yamaha has some explaining to do. But I think you'll be just fine. Although you might want to either call Yamaha or email them in order to get an official response as to your questions.

Arranger keyboards are special in that they have auto-accompaniment using Styles and Multi-pads. You can even play along with midi files and of course the Genos also utilizes registrations which are great for expanding your own musical possibilities. With the Genos you can also add audio styles by way of the expansion voice feature. And you can import .wav and .mp3 files and use them if you're more interested in working with audio than midi. The Genos is currently the best arranger on the planet as far as I'm concerned so you know you'll be getting a top notch keyboard with many advanced functions and features. I started out on arranger keyboards many years ago but I have also owned standard workstation keyboards such as the Motif and Motif ES as well as a Roland Fantom G7 but I still prefer arranger keyboards overall.

To give you an idea of the power and capabilities of an arranger keyboard I recorded this song about 13 years ago on what was then my Yamaha Tyros 1 arranger keyboard. I used a custom voice called Hammond X77 organ for the melody and midi backing tracks for the accompaniment. I recorded everything live into what was then my Sony Sound Forge 7 recording software. So really the possibilities are practically endless as to what you can do with a high-end arranger keyboard and that includes in a music studio and/or performing live. I included the song in the link below. PS: It is in .wav format so it might take a while to fully load on the Box website. Enjoy!

Because Of You

« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 11:48:24 PM by keynote »

Offline markstyles

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 12:35:50 AM »
Hi.. welcome:

Yes, Genos will work well with a DAW. I've been using Logic Pro with Tryos 3,4,5, and now Genos.. There are a number of ways to do this, depending on your preferences. I always played all the parts, originally on studio multi-tracks (yes I am a dinosaur), later DAWs.  Several years ago, I wanted to expand the horizons of my compositions. I was very intrigued by Steven Kay's "Karma" software.. But I couldn't control it to the extent I wanted.  It's quite brilliant, but complex. I couldn't master it.  I bought a Korg M3 which incorporated Karma into it.  I used a Motif, with all it's little cute arpeggios.
Then I looked into arranger kbds.  I had always frowned on them as 'cheating'.. Years before I had a project to complete 22 nursery rhymes with  singers, each in a different style.  I had 30 days to do project.  I bought 'Band In a Box'.. which is pretty cute.  I got the job done.  and continued to use Band in a box, using parts of various instruments, importing into my DAW.  I saw the Tyros 3, and was forced to buy it sight unseen, cause no store in NYC would display it. Most wouldn't carry it, because of it's price and esoteric quality.  I was thrilled with it, and have bought each successive model including the Genos now..  I got one of the first 80 shipped to the US.  You will not be disappointed with it. 

Now I always use the Genos, in conjunction with my DAW. They are closely intertwined with each other. 

I create a blocked out chord track, in Logic, assign to Genos MIDI track 2.  Logic transmits clock..  Genos is obviously synced to your DAW, and Genos is assigned to midi track 2 for 'chord detect'..

I often overdub individual tracks bass, kbd, guitar, etc. one at a time, so that each instrument uses different main variations at different times.. I sometimes make a registration, that consists of only a 'guitar overdub'.. That is each of the 8 registrations, calls a guitar part from different styles, different mains. etc.

When I have finished a particular track, I will assign it to a different MIDI channel (or even instrument) and then use Genos to create additional style parts.  So in effect you can use the arranger kbd to play much more than the 8 normal tracks.. While you can edit styles and parts in Genos, I find it easier to import the parts into my DAW, and modify from there.  For several years I have taken the midi tracks, and been building orchestra type scores.
I find it is a tremendous boon to your growth as an arranger too. 

In this way, it becomes almost impossible to detect it is a kbd arranger.  At this point, I sometimes use a style part, and then hand play my interpretation from it. 

Using the MPADS.. I record all 4 mpads simultaneously onto a Logic track, de-channel, cut into one block chunks, and unmute certain mpads to come in at various times.

The intros and Outros are obviously midi files, which unlike the mains variations, can be up to 16 bars long.  You can play with these. Hand playing or creating a DAW chord track, changing the 'chord detect' track to keep the intro to fit into your song.  You can often use the intro intact, by correctly transposing it to fit your current song project..  This creates a complexity, that implies you have taken years of theory and harmony study..

By studying the Genos MIDI set-up pages (the same as the Tyros was).  It's obviously the designers gave some considerable thought to use the arranger as a tool to use with a DAW.. I treat my Genos as a compositional tool.. to create midi data, I normally would not have come up with on my own.

I too, have spent the vast majority of my career, working alone composing by myself.. 

Since Yamaha owns Cubase, it's a good match.. Of course there are many ways to use your DAW with Genos.. from straight recording live, for further

I haven't been posting my music here for a while because unlike most of the posts here, the direction I am going in is not so apparently obvious, I used an arranger kbd like most people do..

I just uploaded my latest composition to songs.,44599.0.html

 you can check out different techniques I used. There are also some other virtual instuments used, so it is not entirely a Genos creating all the parts, several are.  The Genos, (and Tyros) does have some great sounds.  The SA2 and Mega voices are amazing, and can easily out-perform any Kontakt library (although there are a lot of them)
  Bass is a number of bass styles, mixed in with hand playing.  several of the parts started as style parts, but I modified them, or used them as inspiration to learn and hand play what Genos did (so it makes a AAA music, theory player).  Don't forget the Harmony feature. I sometimes use a track or two of that.  You can also get really into complexity by altering the chord detect track, judiciously changing - simplifying.

I've been using this technique since the Tyros 3. Over the years, a new approach periodically dawns on me to try..  It is truly fun and inspiring.

Hope this gives you some ideas..  Keep making music - it's good for you and good for the planet.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 12:48:57 AM by markstyles »

Offline panos

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 06:10:50 AM »
I am afraid of getting frustrated from what appears to be a very complex instrument.
I don't think a person who can handle Cubase so many years will find an arranger so complex as an instrument,Depo1964.
You allready know all the type of effects and arpeggiators and a style is nothing more than a  loop.
Just have to tell the loop what chord to be played and you have at least 8 organs play that chord
(usually 2 drumkits,bass,guitar,piano,pad,2 melodic parts)
and some extra pads if you wish.
Every style has 4 variations.(4 different loops)
So you don't have to build that parts one by one.
And they all been transfered to a different midi channel so you can modify anything in the process if you wish.
All styles presets or not can be modified.
The easiest way to do it, is by taking a part of a style and use it in another style so you can create a new style (a new loop).
This feature on our keyboards is called assembly.
As for the voices you can layer 3 voices and use a bunch of effects to your liking.

Here you can search the discussions on forum about Cubase and keyboards by putting the word Cubase.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 06:21:27 AM by panos »

Offline Depo1964

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 01:37:36 AM »
Thanks to everyone for their feedback, links (definitely going to read up on the MIDI setup) and demos of what Genos can create.
I bit the bullet and purchased a Genos... Hopefully I will be able to pick it up next week sometime.
I am going to check out several monitors to use with the Genos today.
Will be looking at Genelec M030s and JBL 705Ps.
Searching the forum found no matches on either.
btw,  the Forum search engine was not very helpful... 
Using Google Search found some Genelec matches but not for the M030.
Hope to be providing feedback to others in the future.
Have fun.  :)

Offline panos

Re: Newbie to Arranger Keyboards
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2018, 02:11:42 AM »
To get all results from the forum search engine Depo1964,first click "Home" under your image/name in Top left
(Home Help Search Profile My Messages etc)
and then use the forum engine machine so it will search all boards on forum about your quest.

If you click it right now you will get results just in the "Genos - General" board.

As for speakers,most people are saying that got to be good ones to take advanatage of the real sound abilities of the Genos.

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