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P250 Loop on the fly?


Anomaly

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I am pretty serious about buying a P250. Definitely need a new board.

 

I saw some debate about the looping capabilities of a P250. I am a primarily a pianist, but I play some guitar, dobro and mandlolin, too. I am looking for a board that can loop on the fly, so that I can play a verse and pick up another instrument and play along.

 

I've done this with a boomerang with guitar, but of course, with the piano, I have the stereo sample situation to deal with.

 

Any tips out there?

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Originally posted by Anomaly:

I am pretty serious about buying a P250. Definitely need a new board.

 

I saw some debate about the looping capabilities of a P250. I am a primarily a pianist, but I play some guitar, dobro and mandlolin, too. I am looking for a board that can loop on the fly, so that I can play a verse and pick up another instrument and play along.

 

I've done this with a boomerang with guitar, but of course, with the piano, I have the stereo sample situation to deal with.

 

Any tips out there?

Wow such a cool idea, I'd love to know if thats possible in the P120. I love playing improvised chord sequences and then overdubbing with Korg Z1 horns and left hand guitar chords on the P120... hmm..
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You can loop on the P250. I'm assuming you haven't recorded anything and you are starting from scratch. Once you have a Song Recorded and Saved, looping is a piece of cake.

 

The sequence of events is basically this:

 

1. Press Song Select until you see NewSong in the screen.

 

2. Press the Voice you want to use for the recording. I usually start with a Bass voice for a bass line on Track 1 and then go back and repeat the process for a high hat (from the XG Drum Sets) for Track 2. I haven't advanced beyond 2 tracks, but I would bet my money it's the same process over and over again. This would probably be easier using your home computer to accomplish.

 

3. You have to Enter the recording mode, but first make sure that the 'Bell \ Click Level' [look in Song Setting] is on and the level of the bell is adequate. This isn't the most intuitive part of the piano, but after you do this a few times, you'll get the hang of it.

 

You're going to start recording on Track 1. Simply press and hold down the Record button and Track 1. The lights will start flashing and you should now hear a Bell marking the tempo. As soon as you start playing, the 'recorder' starts recording and you'll see the Bar number in the upper right hand corner of the screen. If you don't hear the Bell with an accent on the downbeat, you will have to turn on the Click \ Bell and adjust the level setting. Also, 4\4 is the default meter ... you can change this to 7\4 if you feel adventurous.

 

Now, to play against this 'Bass line' (since you want to start improvising) ... you will first have to go back to Song Mode and edit the 'Repeat mode' so that it is On ... the default is Off. You then have to adjust the number of bars you want repeated and that's about that. (There's a little glitch with this program - when you 'Repeat' (looping), you will not hear the last bar of the material that is recorded. Also, that Bell will play for the last bar or so of the Repeat and that can be annoying - you have to go back to SongSetting and change the level of the Bell to 0. This is a bit of a drag, but it's doable. You can also go back and Quantize your Bass line and maybe adjust the Tempo setting.

 

To Save this takes a bit more button pushing, but it can be done. Naming the New Song to 'My Masterpiece' can be a bit tedious because you're just working with a +\- button to input 'letters' - I would assume this would be easier if you have the P250 hooked up to your computer and worked from there. I haven't done that just yet.

 

This will take much less time than you think and after you do it a few times, you'll do it without thinking.

 

What I should do is create a few 'Songs' with just a High Hat track ahead of time and add a Bass line. A little trick when recording the High Hat on beats 2 and 4 --- Remember I said as soon as you start playing, the 'Recorder' starts recording - it starts on beat 1. Well, if you're starting on beat 2, that can be frustrating because the Recorder doesn't know you're starting on Beat 2 and assumes you're on Beat 1. Simply play a note that does not sound on beat 1. On the Drum Sets, there are many notes not assigned to an instrument. I just play the top note of the keyboard to 'fool' the 'recorder' into thinking I am 'playing' on beat 1.

 

If I wrote anything incorrectly, perhaps someone who owns a P250, could jump in and set me straight. I'm still in the learning mode and still make mistakes when using this keyboard. What I wrote above is basically accurate. If this were an actual manual, I would double check to be sure I used the correct words.

 

I hope this helps.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I should attempt to clarify the looping ability of the P250.

 

You can loop the entire amount of musical information you've recorded, but the software will add a bar or two of a bell\click to set up measure 1. That takes the feel out of looping - at the end of every chorus, you have an extra measure to set up bar 1. That drives me crazy.

 

If you shorten the length of what you want repeated, you can keep the 'correct' number of measures for feel, but the last measure or so of the repeat will be that bell\click ... less irritating, but usable. You make your choice and neither is what I would prefer.

 

I would define this as a glitch or a fault in the programming, but I'm sure we will be told this is a feature. ;)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

I should attempt to clarify the looping ability of the P250.

 

You can loop the entire amount of musical information you've recorded, but the software will add a bar or two of a bell\click to set up measure 1. That takes the feel out of looping - at the end of every chorus, you have an extra measure to set up bar 1. That drives me crazy.

 

If you shorten the length of what you want repeated, you can keep the 'correct' number of measures for feel, but the last measure or so of the repeat will be that bell\click ... less irritating, but usable. You make your choice and neither is what I would prefer.

 

;)

It sounds like what you are saying, Dave, is that I couldn't pull this off on a live performance? What I had in mind was playing through a verse and chorus on piano, then picking up another instrument and letting the P250 loop the verse and chorus until I sat back down at the piano to finish the song.

 

They make those phrase samplers, like the Boomerang and Roland has one, which enable a guitarist to play rhythm then play along with leads. A friend of mine is quite proficient at that, adding several layers of polyrhythms and a bass line, even harmonizing with his first lead. He can do all of this in a live performance setting.

 

What I was wondering is whether this could be done with theP250. But, it sounds like this glitch you speak of won't allow for it.

 

How about it Mike? Why shouldn't we have the same priveledges as guitarists? It would be a tremendous selling point.

 

The phrase samplers, like I said before, are only mono, so that is not an option.

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Bear in mind, I've only had my P250 for two weeks or so and I still have a great deal to learn.

 

Perhaps Mike Martin can jump in or have a tech from Yamaha answer your initial post and correct any errors in mine.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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If I can find a way to loop without that bell\click interfering, I'll post a solution. In the meantime, could others who own the P250 post their tricks?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

If I can find a way to loop without that bell\click interfering, I'll post a solution. In the meantime, could others who own the P250 post their tricks?

Unfortunately, there is no way around that bug/feature. As I mentioned in another thread, this is most irritating as loop recording is really what one wants to do without booting the dang computer. The same feature (=bug) is in my SY-99 and in another old Yamaha midi sequencer (forgot the model #), so it seems to be the way Yamaha thinks looping should be done. Wrong. kpop
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Mike Martin, I have only lived with my P250 for a few weeks and already I have some valid suggestions. It would seem to me that if Yamaha were to ask the user how things could be improved, that perhaps things could, well ... improve.

 

I do not believe that any musical company has asked me for my opinion after buying their keyboard. I do regularly receive follow up phone calls after I take my Volkswagen in for service.

 

Things could be so much better if the engineers would ask the musicians how things could be improved. I should not have to earn a degree in electrical engineering or computer programming to make valid suggestions.

 

Has anyone here ever received a follow up call after you purchased a keyboard?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Good point. I remember when I bought a new Kubota tractor, they sent an engineer from Japan to inspect the machine, lube it, take oil samples and give me a free oil change every 2000 hours. The engineer, climbed all over that thing, inspecting welds, taking pictures. He asked me, through and interpreter, what the good and bad points were in the machine. He detailed all the changes I recommended. Some of those changes were effected in later models.

 

To say I was impressed would be an understatement. It was no wonder to me why the Kubota had such a stellar reputation and was living up to that reputation as I ran it through its paces on the job. It was an incredible machine--a dream to operate and stone-axe reliable.

 

I realize that there is a big difference in price between my Kubota and, say a P 250, but it only stands to reason that if someone REALLY wanted to capture the market, like Kubota did, they should have some kind of user feedback system that was regularly perused by the engineers.

 

One doesn't have to spend much time on these threads to realize that they are not alone in their disapointment with factory keyboards. There is a lot of work to be done toward meeting consumer needs than has been accomplished to date. Really, in many ways, I think some of the technology has caused a bit of regression in user creativity and inspiration when compared to some synths of days gone by.

 

I don't want a machine that does it all for me; I want one that inspires me to do it all. I want what I perform with it to be MY art, not some programmer's. I don't appreciate having my dreams determined by someone else's loops; but I think I deserve to be able to go out and purchase a machine that brings out the best of me as a player.

 

Why am I feeling like the "right one" is so elusive? I long to walk into a music store, sit down at a keyboard that is so wonderful and inspiring that it makes me say, "Come away with me, my love. Let's make beautiful music together." I have played acoustic pianos and a few guitars like that. Maybe it is time for less to become more, because more certainly has become less in my world.

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