Author Topic: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7  (Read 2623 times)

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Here are the next parts of my creating styles from scratch tutorials. This time I continue with recording pad type sounds and dig a lot deeper into some of the theory and technology involved with recording styles.
Link to my YouTube channel is in my profile.
Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4
Learn how to create a new style on your Yamaha keyboard and record some instruments. Includes freezing style harmonies to play back the original recording and not follow the left hand. Also some notes on split points and playing other live sounds along with the style.
Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 5
Learn how to create a new style on your Yamaha keyboard and record some instruments. Includes pros and cons of assembling parts from other parts. Also a look at how I solved the homework from last time and assembled and changed the bass part in from section A to section B.
Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 6
Learn how to create a new style on your Yamaha keyboard and record some instruments. Includes adding three harmony / pad type tracks including reusing the same recording and setting track volumes.
Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 7
Learn how to create a new style on your Yamaha keyboard and record some instruments. Includes review of the homework with chord parts for section B. Also takes a deep dive into how mixer settings are stored in each track data.
The following users thanked this post: terryB, Mike W, Colin D, frozzers, KeyboardByBiggs

Offline Dromeus

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 06:55:17 PM »
Hi Markus

In part 7 of your tutorial series you're discussing settings of the mixing console and where these settings are stored in the style. Maybe I can shed some light on this topic.

A style file does have an initialization section. Just as a normal MIDI file, the very first measure contains all the events to setup the style parts. Many of the preset styles will use this setup throughout all the style variations. The variations will contain nothing but note events. Some styles will add controller events to some parts/variations, e.g. cutoff/resonance for filter sweeps, pitch bends etc. Only few styles will use different voices for a part when changing variations. At this stage it is important to emphasize, that as soon as you add controller values or different voices etc to a variation, this must be done to ANY of the variations of this part. If you don't do this, a setting in one variation would alter a subsequent triggered variation in sound, which will result in an inconsistent behaviour.

Now the Style Creator hides these details from the user. This may be to make things simplier, but it is not transparent to the user, where exactly those settings will be stored in your user style. That's where things become a little confusing. Even worse, it does not allow you to control what is happening. In the Style Creator you have to setup each voice used in a variation individually. There is no simple way to setup a part's voice for all variations simultanously. This can be a nuisance when you apply filter, EQ and/or effect settings, that must be repeated for each variation. Of course you could use Assembly/Copy and (possibly) wipe out the note events, but it must be done for each variation. In a full featured style, there are 15 Variations to deal with (I will point out below how to accomplish this with a different workflow).

Now most of the mixer setup goes individually to the current parts variation. An exception is the insertion effect. As you've pointed it will not be copied from the preset voice when you select the voice. There is a reason for this. The insertion effect will be stored in the style's initialization section. Once you have set this for a part, it is available for any variation of this part. Any customization of the effect parameters will remain intact, even when your choosing the voice for another variation of this part. As we know, changing insertion effects while notes are being hold will cause audible glitches. Therfore it makes sense to allow only one common insertion effect for all variations of a part.

In your video you're asking yourself, where the value of the volume controller is stored. In a preset style the volume is stored in the initialization section (in most cases where it will remain constant for all variations). When you create a style from scratch volume will be stored individually for all variations. Don't ask me why the Style Creator does not display volume (CC 7) in step edit mode.

Having said that most of the mixer setup goes individually to the current parts variation, there is even a way to modify controller settings etc in a global way. The workflow is important here. When you enter Style Creator and thereafter you lauch the Mixing Console, all the tweaks will go to the current active variation. When you launch the Mixing Console first, apply your tweaks to a part, and thereafter you launch the Style Creator (I've assigned the Style Creator to one of the Assignable Buttons for easy access) and store the style immediatly, all tweaks will be stored globally for this part. More precisely it's not stored in the initialization section, but individually for all variations of a part.

The Style Creator is always good for a surprise and sometimes for some headaches. Keep up the good work and have fun. Looking forward to your next tutorials.

Regards, Michael

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 11:47:43 PM »
Hi Michael,

Thanks so much for all these great details, I will have to read through them at least two more times  ;D

makes a lot of sense that there is a init part for all sections and that is not shown.

I also lately did notice the mixer settings carrying over from the performance mode mixer changes into all sections of a style, might mention that in a later tutorial. Feel free also to comment directly on YouTube if you feel other users would benefit from it.

This stuff is indeed a lot deeper than you would expect.

Did you ever try to use an external MIDI controller like drum pads or a step sequencer to record drums in a style? I feel like this only works when you are outside of the style editor and is blocked inside the editor :o would be so great to use external controls here, or Yamaha could provide a 16 step sequencer in the touch display, or use the registration plus OTS plus Multipads buttons...


Offline EileenL

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 12:02:04 PM »
I am Intrigued as to why you are recording different chords into a style part. The usual that we are used to is to record parts in C Maj key and then the keyboard converts the parts as you play the chords in the song.
How will your style achieve this as you have not demonstrated this.

Offline Dromeus

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 01:21:32 PM »
I will have to read through them at least two more times  ;D

Sorry about this, it would be a lot easier sitting side by side and talking instead of writing... *sigh*

Eileen's reply is very valid of course. Currently, in your tutorials you're creating not a "real" style, i.e. a flexible acmp that reacts to realtime chord changes. It's more like a pattern based approach where all the chord changes are pre-recorded. When performing you just fire the desired patterns.

Markus, will you cover "normal" chord-controlled styles in forthcoming tutorials? This would require to dive into the wonderful world of NTT, NTR, Retrigger, High Key, Guitar NTR, you name it... all that advanced stuff in the CASM section of a style.

Regards, Michael

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 09:49:55 PM »
Hi Eileen and Michael,

yes, great point, I did mention it in one of the more recent tutorials that I am faking the styles a bit by using them more as a pattern based approach. I find thinking in C all the time a lot harder tbh and yes, I have to lean a lot more about the high / low limits, scale transformations etc.

I am actually tempted to start a song in song mode without using styles but it seems that that is posing other restrictions like no drum editor for once. did you guys ever try this?

also just noticed after all these months that there are more voices available other than Legacy in style/song mode like GM, Style Voices etc. still bothers me that when I select voices via the mixer in song mode or via the style, they do not seem to load their EQ settings etc. only seems to work when I use the Right 1 button.

sorry, answering with more questions ;-)


p.s.: Michael, I did get into the details of your answers above and they all make sense but I believe are way over the head of my viewers. I will credit you for the tip with the general mixer changes for all parts before entering Style Edit in one of my next tutorials!

Offline panos

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2019, 09:12:15 PM »
The way Markus is showing how to make a style works the same if you want to create a song Yes in style creator you have to use mostly the Cmaj7 chord(C-E-G-B) but is some cases you need to use oather patterns as well.

Yamaha does uses another notes for some Main parts if you look at their styles.
Hard to archive of course but that's why they can create nice styles I guess.

Otherwise all 6 organs of the style would have played the same notes for each chord but I guess a real band or an orchestra don't stick to a theoretical term like a "chord" and they don't play something that contains just a chord's notes for a whole bar or a half bar.
It would have been kind of a "weak" arrangement.Don't you agree?

I have recorded my pc's screen so you can see how a preset style is written in the Cmaj7.
I am showing just the 4 mains:

In other styles if you take a look you will see that there are organs that may not play in Cmaj7 at all.
For example this is a style from the old Eurodance expansion pack,probably a preset style for the newer models, I guess.

I believe Olly Woo is doing a really great job with those tutorial and everyone can benefit from watching them because even my older s750 works the same way as the Genos.
In Genos there more options and more tabs etc in style/song creator so it is more handy for a lot of stuff.

Apart from Olly Woo's videos the only tutorial series I have seen on Youtube about keyboards are Fred's fine tutorial's about registrations and a gentleman who is giving tips about keyboard playing in the German language.
So the PSR Tutorial page is still the best place to find out how a Yamaha keyboard works and what really can do but videos are always helpful and easier to watch than reading.

Offline Dromeus

Re: Genos Tutorials - Styles with Instruments - Part 4 to Part 7
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 12:06:45 PM »
Hi everybody

I agree, Olly Woo does a great job teaching how to use the Style Creator. How to record and edit note events, select voices and use the mixing console to produce well-sounding patterns. He points out the features and the limitations of the onboard Style Creator. If you seriously want to dive into the world of style creation, I would strongly recommend these tutorials as a basis how to operate the Style Creator.

If your goal is to create styles that respond to your left hand chords (after all, this is what arranger playing is all about), you have to take the next step. I'm afraid, the skills needed to produce a "real" style are demanding. First, you should have a solid understanding of harmonics theory. If you enjoyed a good musical education, this knowledge is already in your DNA. If not, there are a lot of good books on this subject or other sources of information. Second, you need a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the Yamaha auto accompaniment. This is where things get hard. You need to understand:

- NTR, the note transposition rules
- NTT, the note tranposition tables
- how NTR and NTT settings work together, to create musical parts like bass lines, polyphonic pads, chord arpeggios or monophonic melody lines (drum parts are easy, no transposition needed)

This is already the hardest part, but there are even more parameters you should understand to create styles as perfect as Yamaha's styles:

- HIGH KEY, controls the direction (up/down) in which transposition will be performed
- NOTE LIMIT HIGH/LOW, this represents hard limits for pitches used in the generated pattern
- RTR, the retrigger rule, controls what will happen, if some notes of a part is still sounding, but you change the chord.

I know of only one source that really provides the information need to understand all these parameters. I'm afraid this source is only available in German. It's Reinhold Pöhnl's book "Styles & Patterns". It was published 2003 and therefore features the SFF1 style format. Nowadays Yamaha arrangers use the SFF2 format, but this is only an extension to SFF1, Reinhold's book still is 100% valid.

As you can see, creating a style from scratch is not a piece of cake, and I seriously admire those professionals creating those preset styles for Yamaha (though they won't have to use the Style Creator like us mortals). The good news is, that we have tools to creatively modify existing styles:

- Using the mixing console to revoice parts. Keep in mind that the correct workflow is: use the mixing console to revoice, THEN go to style creator to save a copy. If you launch the style creator, THEN you enter the mixing console, any edit will apply to the current style variation only.

- Using Style Assembly to combine patterns from different styles.

- Modifying the groove with the Channel Edit / Groove function.

When you start recording your own part pattern (to replace a pattern in the preset style), chances are good that you don't need to change the (CASM) paramaters above. E.g. when changing just the rhythmic pattern of a RHY part, just play the chord used in the preset style (Cmaj7 in most cases) to create your new rhythms.

So don't be afraid to try and experiment, you can't destroy anything. Olly Woo's tutorials gives you valuable insight how to record and edit patterns using the Style Creator.
Regards, Michael