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Tyros Love?


Tom Williams

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A buddy of mine just gave me his Yamaha Tyros. I get the impression that it's a cross between a high-end workstation, and a high-end mall-purchased Grandma-targeted Lowrey organ.

 

Despite the above description, it looks pretty impressive.

 

Do any folks on this board have or use one? Or at least, can anyone enlighten me on how an "arranger station" relates to people who actually play keyboards?

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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Tom,

 

Just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

A lot of us older dudes grew up with a Grandma-Lowry-Baldwin-Similar autoaccompanient organ in our background, usually conjoined with the smell of old people, elaborate doilies and couches clad in transparent vinyl. And no self-repeating musician would be caught dead with one, well, until Phil Collins ripped out the drum machine and started touring with it.

 

But the high end arrangers (Tyros, Korg P-series) are pretty robust, professional sounding pieces of kit. And I've heard some freaking amazing things out of them, despite a previous bias against automatic accompaniment. One might even argue that KARMA is the unholy love child of the home organ and the Heisenberg principle.

 

All to say - congrats on the Tyros. I'm betting the programs / patches / instrument sound pretty great, and many you'd be willing to gig out. Combine that with the kind of gig that could use a little rhythm and back ground (I play a few gigs where noses wouldn't be turned up) and you could have a very useful machine.

 

And if you compose at all....dayum! Talk about a songwriter's kickstarter!

 

Tim

..
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I've often (?) wondered what people do with these. At the end of the day it's a $4k arranger kb. Are they used mostly for "one man bands", composition tools or studio use. I've rarely seen anyone gig with one.

 

They do sound mighty impressive. In fact, I'm more impressed by it than the latest Montage. The latest model (now Tyros 5) is on my buy-when-the-lottery-jackpot-hits list for sure.

 

I think it's also a shame that the arranger and synth developers at Yamaha don't "communicate" - would be bada$$ to get some of those super realistic Voices froma Tyros to a Motif/Montage...it has never happened.

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They are cool - expensive, but cool. In some ways it feels like cheating as it is doing most of the heavy lifting. This is esp. true if you are used to building your tracks from the "ground up".

 

But.. if you go in with the attitude that it's a "backing band" and you are the bandleader calling out the chords and playing along, arrangers can be a fun diversion.

 

Congrats on your gift - I'm sure you'll have a blast with it!

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I've often (?) wondered what people do with these. At the end of the day it's a $4k arranger kb. Are they used mostly for "one man bands", composition tools or studio use. I've rarely seen anyone gig with one.

 

You just haven't been to places where they're used. I used to gig with my Korg Pa1XPro all the time with a singer. The styles in the top of the line arrangers are freaking amazing. They certainly have absolutely squat to do with those old crap Lowery or even Hammond organs with all that 60's era tech in them.

 

Go onto the Tube and check out all the vids for the Tyros, Korgs and Roland arrangers. Keep in mind these things are super complex. You have to be a real player to get the most out of them plus you're not limited to the on board styles. They all have forums where you can download gazillions of new ones especially for certain exact covers. You can use midi files, or parts of midi files mixed with the style and all kinds of stuff I won't go into here. And you're not forced to use the arranger section. You can turn that off and use the sounds alone like any other keyboard in a band.

 

Here's a vid of the Tyros 4. I don't know what version the OP has so I picked this one, I think the 5 is the latest. The big thing about arrangers is it takes the chords from your left hand and you learn to hit the chord slightly ahead of the chord change to give it that split second to hit it on the beat. That requires some practice.

 

 

You really need to listen to this vid all the way through because he explains in detail just how it works. And, imagine you get a call for a gig with a $500 budget and the singer says I want you to back me up by yourself so you bring this. I've done that quite a few times. Do I prefer to play with a full band, of course I do. But these arrangers are a lot of fun too because you're the whole show man. Trust me people are amazed that you're putting out all this sound by yourself. No, it's not going to cover Dream Theater or a loud classic rock festival gig but for all the small low paying gigs where if you use a full band you all make $50 each these things are great.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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Arrangers bore me.

 

Sure, its nice to have a drum fill , drum intro, etc.

 

But overall they do NOT compare to the sound quality of a Kronos.

 

I enjoy rolling my own instrument parts, programs, etc. I play several tunes from the 60's/70's and I enjoy putting my own embellishments on the tunes.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Just because a keyboard has GM "ringing phone" and "car crash" sounds doesn't mean you're obligated to use them.

 

Likewise, just because a keyboard has auto-accompaniment doesn't mean you're obligated to use it.

 

I've never had a Tyros, and I don't gig, so I'm definitely not speaking from personal experience here, but one of the forums I hang out in is rife with Tyros users (and yes, they do use its auto-accompaniment features). It has a great deal to offer a gigging musician. You can set up the voices you want to use-- including tweaks to the sound parameters like attack/release, cutoff/resonance, reverb/chorus, etc.-- and save those settings to registrations for easy recall while you're playing a song. And if you use an iPad to display sheet music, you can set it up to automatically recall a specific registration when you display each song in your iPad app. Or you can add your own records to its Music Finder database, which some Tyros owners prefer over using registrations. It also has Multi Pads that you can program to play loops or musical phrases-- although if you're against using auto-accompaniment, I guess you'd also be against using Multi Pads. ;)

 

I have a few cheap Yamaha keyboards that have auto-accompaniment features, but I personally don't use those features. So don't think I'm judging or criticizing anyone who looks askance at the thought of playing with auto-accompaniment, because it isn't my cup of tea, either.

 

But on the other hand, performing with an auto-accompaniment involves more than simply pressing a button and letting the keyboard do everything for you, because you've got to control the key (chord) changes, as well as switch between different sections of the style, all while playing the lead part with your other hand-- or even playing with both hands. I have a lot of respect for keyboardists who can do that.

 

EDIT: PS-- Congratulations on your "new" Tyros, Tom! I'm sure you're going to enjoy exploring its capabilities, whether or not you choose to go gigging with it. :)

 

Michael Rideout
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I can see where Jazzmammal is coming from. There is a pro gig out there for an arranger, it's not just for hobbyists or song writers. On the other hand, that gig isn't necessarily one I would enjoy, although if the money were right I could deal.

 

I don't know... as players we spend so much time working on techniques for solo play where we do bass, harmony, and melody as an art - the arranger's auto accompaniment features take control of that away. And also as social beings I think most of us like to play with other musicians on their instruments and the possibilities of what might happen when you do that are always exciting.

 

The sounds in the Tyros are amazing but I'd still opt for a Montage, Kronos, or Forte if I had that scratch and was in the market.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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The sounds in the Tyros are amazing but I'd still opt for a Montage, Kronos, or Forte

 

Yes, I never could understand the stellar price of arrangers.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I guess in addition to sound design / sampling etc. there is also time and money invested in the musical patterns (either in house or commissioned) in all these genres they have to cover. I'm certain that adds to development costs.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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People who have never had one long enough to really dig in and find out what it can do will never get it and that's ok. But...

 

 

Is this as good as jamming with TOP? Uhhhh, no but tell me just how crappy and unhip this is. This isn't exactly Feelings at a Holiday Inn lounge.

 

Just like a Kronos or Kurzweil it's all about the player being good enough to pull stuff like this out of it.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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I've somewhat stayed up on the latest generations that come out over the years, as I do a fair amount of solo and duo stuff. For me the biggest negative has always been the fact that the keyboard isn't a weighted action but a synth. I simply can't play them anymore. And extended time on them can trigger tendon and arthritic issues.

 

After many years of doing some of these solos gigs with vocals, LH bass and drum tracks, I find it more free and natural just doing piano and voice.

 

But hey for free, that's great for you to futz around on it. :thu:

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Thanks for that video, Bob. It helped me wrap my brain around these things a little better. It looks incredibly useful for solo and duo gigs. I'm pretty sure I could find a use for it for a project my wife and I are working on...if only I had a couple grand lying around. :(

 

I know these things can get a bad rap for feeling like you're "cheating", but after watching this video it struck me as this guy played it pretty much the same as how I play in a band context. So if I think about it like I'm playing with a band then it no longer has that silly issue of cheating.

 

I think the idea of cheating is unique to keyboardists. Our instrument allows us to be the whole band/orchestra for better or for worse. Because we CAN I think we start to think we HAVE to. I don't see this problem with saxophonists. Lord knows I catch myself worrying about it needlessly.

 

On further reflection, Tom, you are going to hate the Tyros. PM me and I'll give you an address where you can "recycle" this abomination. :cool:

Live rig: Roland FA-08, Yamaha MOTIF ES 6, laptop for supplemental sounds.
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Congradulations on your new keyboard. I'm sure if you really learn all its capable of you won't have the distain for it some players do. They just don't realize all the things you can do with it, and yes they did evolve from Grandma's Lowrey but have moved light years ahead.

My Roland BK9 is the best keyboard I've ever owned beside my Studio Piano and B3. I can play it as a regular keyboard and have done so with two bands (and most of the sounds you really need are very good ), I can do a piano trio with just bass/drums following my two handed playing. I sometimes midi in bass pedals and with the split keyboard can do a pretty good Hammond emulation. I can use "Styles' which are pre-done backing arrangements, but I do edit them a ton. I can change sounds in any part and play along with the band as I like it. I control the tempo, chord changes and intensity of the backing. It will do SMFs and let me edit those also and insert "jump marks" so I can control flow of the arrangement. Got a full dance floor, you can jump back to different sections and keep the SMF playing as long as you like. You can also build your own tracks from scratch. I was tempted to get a VR09 to go with my Casio Privia but realized I already have one in my BK9, and with a much better keybed. Hope this gives you some direction so you don't dismiss the Tyros too quickly.

Its a tool and its only as good as the player using it.

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I've somewhat stayed up on the latest generations that come out over the years, as I do a fair amount of solo and duo stuff. For me the biggest negative has always been the fact that the keyboard isn't a weighted action but a synth. I simply can't play them anymore. And extended time on them can trigger tendon and arthritic issues.

 

After many years of doing some of these solos gigs with vocals, LH bass and drum tracks, I find it more free and natural just doing piano and voice.

 

But hey for free, that's great for you to futz around on it. :thu:

 

Hey Dave

I had a BK7M Arranger module midied to my Privia. Weighted ley problem solved.Pretty amazing little box.

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I've said this before, in my recent review of the Tyros/Pa4X etc. but I'll reiterate some...

 

For me, on duo and some trio gigs with only keys and a guitar my arranger is the perfect solution. At its most basic I use it as a drum machine with various sections, fills etc. It works so much better than simple 1-pattern solution to help songs to build up, change feels for the bridge etc. For some songs I do custom drum programming. It is still a machine, but it sounds much less canned than other approaches, yet is still variable, so I'm not limited to playing the same form as I would be with tracks.

 

And by using Tempo Lock I can even switch to other songs and create on-the-spot medleys.

 

I am almost always playing my own LH bass, and a variety of sounds (single/split/layer/a 2nd keyboard) with my RH.

 

Lately I have been experimenting with using the accompaniment and having it scan my RH, so I can still play my own bass line, but I get some "help" from my RH chording. I tweak the Style to have very little going on (muting parts/lowering levels) so it gets fuller without sounding like the unit is taking over. And yes, once in a while I go into regular accompaniment mode, where I feed it chords with my LH and let it play my heavily modified/subdued accompaniment parts. This helps when I want to take a synth solo, or some other instrument and want to use the LH controllers for expression.

 

My Korg Pa900, and many other arrangers allow for phrases to be triggered from a button, or pad. I sometimes use this for more dance-oriented tunes to add some parts that I can't cover while I'm "holding down" the basics. As an example, in Uptown Funk I sequenced the slide up to the OB brassy chord hits, and the rise part, and both of the brass/horn line sections. So I trigger those in real time while I play other parts. There's a world of possibilities using that feature to add additional parts, or to mute the usual rhythm and create interesting break-down sections.

 

Are all the sounds top-of-the-line pro ready? Certainly not... so I will always bring another board to cover the things that I am "fussy" about. But for these smaller gigs an arranger brings me a multitude of possibilities for me to help make the music fuller, more varied sonically, and done right it can be very musical.

 

We just have such an attitude about them here in the States. It's all about what you do with it. A little goes a long way... But I can't imagine doing pop-reggae tunes, dance grooves, R&B tunes etc. with what the arranger adds to what would have been solo piano/keys performances.

 

Jerry

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Jerry, you're too modest. Every time the subject of arrangers comes up I go back to the Korg forums to see what's going on. I just found a link there to your KB Mag comparison review of the new Korg Pa4X to the new Tyros 5. Excellent job and this must have taken some serious time, I know how complex these things are.

 

Here it is:

 

http://www.keyboardmag.com/gear/1183/top-end-arrangers-reviewed-korg-pa4x-and-yamaha-tyros5/55871

 

Here's something else I'll add to this discussion. If you're doing gigs in public you're supposed to be a performer not just sitting there like a lump playing your keys. You should have some ham in you, right? Now, I'm not the liveliest guy on stage but I try. When people see me playing an arranger they can tell I've turned myself into the proverbial one armed paper hanger. I've got all kinds of stuff going on. I'm hitting buttons, sliders, moving my hands and fingers all over the place and they hear all this sound and they wonder how is that possible. Several years ago I had a summertime casino gig with a sax player and a vocalist using my Pa1xPro. I had people commenting on it all the time. They would say at first they thought I was playing tracks then realized no, something else is going on. I have full control over the song, I can decide to vamp for a bit if the vocalist decided to acknowledge someone in the crowd and missed his entrance or extend the solo for the sax player. I can even decide to change the style just to add some variety to things.

 

I'll still always come back to playing in a full band is more fun but arrangers are pretty cool too.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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Hi --

 

I currently play a Yamaha PSR-S950 as my main practice board and play an MOX6 (and sometimes a Nord E2) at my church gig. The S950 sounds and effects are on par with the MOX6. In fact, quite a few of the MOX arpeggios are taken from PSR/Tyros styles. No need to splash out for a Tyros when an S950/S970 will do.

 

The thing I like most is the integration. Using registrations, I can bring up a backing track, effects and voices together with just a few button presses. Very little time wasted hunting and pecking, more time playing. I rarely use the accompaniment style stuff anymore except to do a little hobby-mode composition.

 

I don't think anyone would think that it's "cheating" to play in a live band with a bass player, guitarist and drummer. "How dare that bass player cover my left hand part!" :-) So, I wouldn't have any qualms about using the S950 at a solo/duo gig. It's been a great tool for helping me to play with the church ensemble where everyone has their job, especially for playing in the pocket, exposed melodic lines, unfamiliar scales, and so forth.

 

I'm happy with the thing.

 

All the best -- pj

 

http://sandsoftwaresound.net/

 

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