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Roland style structure trivia for $200

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Roland style structure trivia for $200 #6517
Maybe a dumb question... But is has anyone observed any difference in program behavior among Roland's melodic accompaniment tracks?
Obviously the Drum track is for drums, which do not transpose. A lot of the music I play doesn't involve drums, so I don't care too much about this one.

I'm pretty sure the six ACC tracks all behave the same, in terms of how they transpose the recorded pattern. If someone knows otherwise, please speak up!!
Yamaha has a pretty extensive Note Transposition Table (NTT), which allows a user to customize the behavior associated with a style track. I always wondered whether Roland had something like this, undocumented, going on behind the scenes?

Have you observed a customary approach regarding what types of instruments and patterns are typically programmed on each channel? For example: Does channel 14 (Acc4) tend to have sustained orchestral or synth "pads", whereas Acc5 and Acc6 might tend to be programmed with melodic phrases?

The ABS track might be the only one that behaves differently. Obviously if "Bass Inversion" is activated, it will transpose according to the lowest note, instead of the root of the chord. Some questions:
Is the Bass track always monophonic?
What happens if you copy a Bass track to a different accompaniment track, or vice-versa? (If no one's ever done it before, it might be fun to try!)

Last tough question... What's your go-to source for Roland third party styles? Are there any third party utilities for dissecting styles, or creating new ones on the PC?
Thanks all!
4 months 1 week ago Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by TedS.

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Roland style structure trivia for $200 #6518
To get a sense of what I'm speaking of, please have a look at the "Arrange Mode" parameter on p51 and p52 of the attached manual.

The PMA-5 was a brilliant, feature-rich device for its time. I wonder if it was programmed by, or somehow affiliated with the Arranger division? In some ways it has more flexibility in style creation and playback than the contemporary G-800, or any Roland arranger since!

Unfortunately I never figured out a way to play it "live" with an attached MIDI keyboard (which is very easy to do with a Yamaha QY-70, by comparison.) Does anyone know how (or if) it can be used as a real-time arranger module?
4 months 1 week ago Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by TedS.
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Roland style structure trivia for $200 #6520
Roland have always been a bit barebones compared to Yamaha or Korg when it comes to user adjustable parameters in style creation sections. However, with as few of the overall users involved in style creation, TBH, I've always felt that perhaps they put their time and money (always limited!) into more useful user interaction with the style engine... For instance, Roland are STILL (AFAIK) the only arranger brand that allows velocity control of style Parts to make louder or softer, an amazing feature for those who had it. By editing Style Parts' Dynamic Arranger, it was also possible to turn Parts on and off rather than just louder or softer, which allows quite a bit of variability into what is often styles' repetitiveness.

Roland still have the different Style Divisions for chord type, so careful use of this for slightly different patterns can avoid the repetitiveness, again. But it has been a VERY long time since detailed editing for NTT's and range transposition were part of the Roland OS. You DO have a bit of control about single lines with the Alteration Mode and Adaptive Chord Voicing features.

One thing that always hurt Roland was not opening the format to an easy to import, export and edit format, unlike Yamaha, who's file format was close enough to .MID that it was easier to edit in a sequencer. But, as I alluded to, with so few of Roland's users being heavily into style creation (the ethnic users are a big driver of this with the ROM so seldom addressing their particular niche, and Roland failing to add a sampler to add niche ethnic instruments), I think Roland simply saw that heavy R&D into this particular area didn't really pay off well...

One other thing I think that shaped Roland's style editing lack was, in truth the style editing was so often really only used much to recreate specific lines from specific songs in the creation of Songstyles (styles only really useful for one song) and Roland's focus was always more towards SMF's for these particular things, as they could be extremely song specific! Roland arrangers' SMF playback has always been of a higher standard than other brands, and they added Mark/Jump markers to allow arranger users more control over the structure (strangely, arranger players had this long before WS users got it!).

But basically, no... if your goal is micro-control over user created or edited styles, this has NEVER been Roland's strength. I think they relied on having talented style creators make some of the best, punchiest live sounding styles in the ROM (and indeed, these guys MAY have had access through proprietary software to aspects of the style engine beyond the control of end users).
4 months 1 week ago
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Roland style structure trivia for $200 #6521
And I think that the PMA5's lack of success (or any kind of successor) showed how much basic user interest in the more arcane style editing control existed... LOL

To a certain extent, ethnic music tends to drive the demand for extensive style editing, and this is an area that Roland long trailed in because they had no sampler to add specific ethnic sounds. So the large scale demand for detailed editing never really materialized on the scale it does for Korg and Yamaha.
4 months 1 week ago
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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