Author Topic: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?  (Read 2216 times)

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Offline lmederos

Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« on: May 03, 2022, 06:33:32 PM »
I realize this may be somewhat off topic for this board, but some of you may have both arranger and synth --- and there is no friendlier forum that I've found for keyboards !

I have an SX900, and it's great.  But I'm starting to expand / crossover into other sounds and now am considering adding a Yamaha MODX (or Roland Fantom 0) to my arsenal.  If any of you do have a synth too, I would be grateful if you could offer some guidance.  I've seen MODX videos and although a different approach, backup / accompaniment similar to an arranger seems possible with the MODX.

What I'm struggling to understand is the "sampling" aspect of a synth.  What do they mean by sampling?   Is this creating new sounds from clips?



Again, grateful for any guidance or resources anyone can recommend.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2022, 07:10:14 PM by lmederos »
-- Luis

PSR-SX900
 

Offline Mike W

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2022, 12:27:34 AM »
Hello Imederos,

I have a Sx900 that I play with a Fantom 8 (weighted piano action), and other times with a Fantom 07 (synth action).  I also had an MODx in the past.

Itís a personal choice which synth you choose since both MODx and Fantom are great keyboards, and each has advantages and are very deep.  I personally found the Fantom a bit easier for me to get my head around.   One thing I really like about the Fantom is the ďkeyboard switch groupĒ function of the 16 pads. You can assign different voices to each of the 16 pads making it very easy in a live setting to easily switch to 16 different sounds (with sound remain) as you play. On the lowest row of pads I have one pad assigned to sx900 voice 1, another to right 2, and another to right 3. So at the touch of a button I can play any of the Sx900 voices on the Fantom keyboard. So, as an example, if you are playing a flute on the Sx900 voice 1 and see that voice 3 is a sax, at the push of a button you can play the sax on the Fantom (while still keeping the flute active on the sx900 keyboard). The option of having 2 key beds for live playing makes it more enjoyable for me to decide on the fly what voices on each that I want to play. And itís quite easy to do once you get the hang of it.

I have the Fantom on the bottom since it gives me 76 or 88 keys, and has dozens of very good sounding pianos, eps, etc.  The SX provides all the arranger and pad backing, with the exceptional Yamaha acoustic voices.  The Fantom has some great supernatural acoustic voices and many synth voices- over 6000 highly customizable voices in total with plenty of faders and switches.  Rolandís midi integration is excellent, and the organ emulation is excellent (perhaps not as nice as my Hammond, but pretty darn good if you like organ). So with a midi cable, your sx900, and a Fantom 0, you have a powerful 2 keyboard setup that is very light and will keep you busy for years making new setups and sounds. Another thing I like is when playing at home, you can plug the Fantom into the sx900 speakers and it sounds pretty good!

I hope that helps!

Best,
Mike

 
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Offline lmederos

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2022, 07:41:30 AM »
Thank you.

Let me digest what you wrote.  Mind of I come back with some more questions?
-- Luis

PSR-SX900
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2022, 09:42:05 AM »
This may not be exactly the type of system you have in mind, but I have a Yamaha PSR-E433 as my main keyboard, which handles my styles, as well as most of the main melody and background tones.  But for more flexibility and more esoteric synthesizer sounds, I also use a Roland Gaia SH-01 synthesizer with the PSR-E433.  The Gaia is a 3-octave keyboard, so it's not really designed to be used on its own, but it works great as an auxiliary keyboard for synth leads that I couldn't fully create on the E433 (such as leads with portamento), as well as other orchestral, synth, and organ sounds that make it easier to change sounds while I'm playing a song by simply jumping from one keyboard to another without having to push buttons during a song.  And even though my system may be different that what you are considering, you would still have access to the similar benefits of having arranger styles and sounds along with the great flexibility of being able to create and edit unique sounds with the synthesizer.

For 88-key weighted hammer action playing, I also have a Casio CDP-200R electronic piano.  Additionally, as I learned to play keyboard on a home organ, I also have a 1-octave pedal board hardwired to an old Casio MT-68 for bass pedals.

I find that having access to the multiple keyboards gives me a whole lot of flexibility when playing songs.  If you are considering using an arranger keyboard and a synthesizer at the same time, I highly recommend it!
Bob
Current: Yamaha PSR-E433, Roland GAIA SH-01, Casio CDP-200R, Casio MT-68 (wired to bass pedals)
Past: Yamaha PSR-520, PSR-510, PSR-500, DX-7, D-80 home organ, and a few Casios
 

Offline lmederos

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2022, 04:56:25 PM »
This may not be exactly the type of system you have in mind, but I have a Yamaha PSR-E433 as my main keyboard, which handles my styles, as well as most of the main melody and background tones.  But for more flexibility and more esoteric synthesizer sounds, I also use a Roland Gaia SH-01 synthesizer with the PSR-E433.  The Gaia is a 3-octave keyboard, so it's not really designed to be used on its own, but it works great as an auxiliary keyboard for synth leads that I couldn't fully create on the E433 (such as leads with portamento), as well as other orchestral, synth, and organ sounds that make it easier to change sounds while I'm playing a song by simply jumping from one keyboard to another without having to push buttons during a song.  And even though my system may be different that what you are considering, you would still have access to the similar benefits of having arranger styles and sounds along with the great flexibility of being able to create and edit unique sounds with the synthesizer.

For 88-key weighted hammer action playing, I also have a Casio CDP-200R electronic piano.  Additionally, as I learned to play keyboard on a home organ, I also have a 1-octave pedal board hardwired to an old Casio MT-68 for bass pedals.

I find that having access to the multiple keyboards gives me a whole lot of flexibility when playing songs.  If you are considering using an arranger keyboard and a synthesizer at the same time, I highly recommend it!


Thank you Scinote!   Having 2 keyboads for similar reason was in the back of mind.
-- Luis

PSR-SX900
 

Offline Mike W

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2022, 03:59:18 AM »
Thank you.

Let me digest what you wrote.  Mind of I come back with some more questions?

Absolutely Luis!  Iíd be happy to help

In addition to considering if you want a synth, some considerations for a 2 keyboard setup are:

-a 76 or 88 keybed on the bottom is nice if you play piano since there are more keys.  The 07 has synth keys, the 08 has weighted keys, but the weight also increases significantly on a weighted 88 key.  The 07 is 16 pounds, so thatís what I use when I play in a group when I donít need arranger functions, and when I need more options for pianos, pads, synth sounds, etc

- while I do enjoy playing the Sx900 and Genos as a single keyboard, at home I really like the 2 keyboard setup a bit more, probably since I grew up playing organ. While Yamaha has nice pianos and E pianos, adding a synth like the Fantom will give you dozens of very good and different sounding pianos, along with over 6000 other sounds.  Synths also give you another way to create a limitless variety of sounds that are highly tweakable.

- if you decide on a second keyboard/synth and intend to play it with the SX900,  make sure you get something that has very good midi controller functions.  I had many keyboards in the past that were not as good as they could have been in that regard, which can be frustrating.  In fact, from my experience there are only a few that have provided the flexibility that  I was looking for. For example, a good synth/master keyboard provides many controllers (knobs, sliders, buttons) that also can be easily assigned to control the Sx900 (or other keyboard).  The Fantom has this plus the ability to assign each of the 16 pads to select any combination of individual or layered sx900 and/or Fantom sounds at a push of a button.  Combined with the Sx900 registrations and OTS, it jus opens up a whole new world when playing live.

I hope that helps Luis.
 
The following users thanked this post: lmederos

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2022, 10:23:46 AM »
All excellent answers already given by the members here.
I would like to add just a bit of advise from my own experience.

Yamaha Arrangers are excellent when it comes to STYLES and they provide great onboard VOICES, but do not have detailed VOICE editing options.
Synths on the other hand are excellent when it comes to onboard VOICES and have deep VOICE editing functionality, layering and the ability to create complex splits.

It is advisable not to try to use a Synth as an Arranger. Synths have ARPs but this is no where close to a fully orchestrated 'band' which an Arranger provides. Arrangers have different A,B,C,D Main sections, Intros, Endings, Break and the Auto Fill option when changing sections. You will never be able to get and Auto Fill on a synth.

To summarize, both types of keyboards have their own strengths and weaknesses. You will have a lot more fun if you use each for its own strength.
PSS480, PSS290, PSR630, PSR3000, MOX6, Current: PSR S970 + PSR SX600 + Casio CTK-240
 
The following users thanked this post: lmederos

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2022, 11:22:12 AM »

I use Genos as an arranger keyboard and Roli Seaboard49 with a computer as a synthesizer.
I consider myself a rather weak player because I use the TRANSPOSE buttons.
My question: How would it be possible to send out  midi signal, that only transmits the status of the transpose from an arranger keyboard?  This means that the notes are played on synth keyboard, only the transpose mode is externally controlled. With which MIDI settings should this be done?

Genos,  Roli Rise49
 

Offline mikf

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2022, 10:05:39 PM »
I dont think that anyone answered your question about sampling, so I will try.
Samples are sound recordings of real instruments typically made by specialists, often commercially for sale, but sometimes available free. You load them into a keyboard, and then they can be played back at any pitch depending on the note you press, to provide a good facsimile of the actual instrument. This is a little different from instrument simulation, which make simulated voices by manipulating sound waves.
Some of the sounds on arranger keyboards are already 'samples' of real instruments. But in some arranger keyboards or synths you can load additional samples. 
Sampling is a complicated thing because the nature of the sound of any instrument is often different at different volumes, different pitch, and depending on how it is played. So great samples take a lot of skill to prepare, can take up large amounts of memory, and can be expensive to buy.
Mike
 
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Offline lmederos

Re: Anyone here have both arranger and synth keyboards?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2022, 10:33:01 PM »
I dont think that anyone answered your question about sampling, so I will try.


Thank you!  This was helpful to understand I truly don't expect to be messing with this !
-- Luis

PSR-SX900