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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts.

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6820
I am trying to set a bass line and other style parts to go to lower notes than original set out in the style but cant seem to get this to work.

I have tried and exhausted every setting in the menu.

An example of what i am trying to achieve:

In the key of C, the bass lines lowest note is C0...
when I play a G chord, i want the low note of the bass line to be G-1, not G0 of the same octave...

cant seem to get this to work.. is it achievable with these keyboards? it is easily done on a yamaha and Korg arranger.

All the best.
Nick
1 month 1 week ago

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6821
What arranger or software you using?

I admit, I don’t try to create styles (if I want a realistic basslines I’ll play it by hand or program an SMF) but I have heard that Roland’s on the whole don’t offer as many wrap around range options than other brands.

But is that G-1 note within the ‘normal’ range of a bass guitar? Roland tend to preset wrap arounds to prevent notes going too low for the real instrument.
1 month 1 week ago Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Diki.
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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6822
What Diki said is true. I'm pretty sure that on Rolands, E0 is considered the lowest note for most bass guitars. You could try revoicing the track with another instrument (like pipe organ, etc.) but I don't think I've seen any note designation below octave zero on ANY MIDI instrument.

First, which keyboard are you using? Second, is the issue with how it sounds in live play? Or to drive another device via MIDI? Or to create a MIDI track for a project?

On very old Rolands up to the VA-series, there was a parameter you could set, either "natural" or "full", that would determine the wrap range. Natural was based on the native range of the instrument. Full meant the computer would try to synthesize a sound even if the result was inaudible or non-musical. (I actually think this was put in as a workaround on the G800 to record sequences using the style composer, because it lacked a full sequencer.)

On modern Rolands beginning with the G70, you can change the OUTPUT of a style track by going into the Makeup Tools. This will allow you to lower the bass line by an octave, even if you can't change the source pattern in the style composer. The makeup tools are applied AFTER the output of the style engine.

If the issue is live MIDI, there are a lot of ways to offset the MIDI output and lower it by an octave. If your Roland doesn't have this ability as a built-in menu option, perhaps the receiving device does. And if neither has this ability, there are "black boxes" you can put inline with MIDI Thru that will do this for you. If you are trying to make a recorded track, you can always edit the track after it's recorded.

You are correct in observing that Yamaha and Korg give you a lot more control over how the arranger engine transposes the recorded pattern. Frankly it's amazing how good the Roland styles sound given the limited parameters. (It's possible that the factory has access to more parameters than those available to users through the Style Composer interface, although I didn't find evidence of that.) The tools on a Roland are few, and what tools they do offer are poorly documented. I did a lot of experimenting this past spring. I learned some interesting things, but never bothered to write up my findings. Hopefully I'll do that soon. Good questions!!
1 month 1 week ago Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by TedS. Reason: clarity

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6823
I just read your post again...
If you are using one of the newer arrangers you may be able to insert an Alteration Mode message on the bass track. As parameters in the Alteration Mode message choose 'Degree' and specify a range from E0 to D#1. Then, if you record the pattern in the key of C beginning with C1, when you play a G chord or any chord with a bass of G, the style engine should transpose the bassline down to G0. That's as low as the style engine will take them. If you want the sound or output to be lower than that, try lowering the octave using Makeup Tools. Hope this helps.
1 month 1 week ago

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6824
But could you use Alteration on the ABS track? I thought that was for ACC tracks...

Mind you, I guess you could always use an ACC track for basslines, but you’d lose the ability to mute it using the ABS off function.
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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6825
It's more subtle than that Diki... I did a lot of "experiments" this spring. I tried to stay disciplined, document my findings, and not fall into bouts of random jamming, etc. The ABS track isn't as "different" as some would believe. At one point I asked myself "why did Roland even bother to make a distinction." I even wonder how much of the behavior I noticed is intentional, and how much is due to software code that wasn't subjected to rigorous quality control.

I tested a BK-9 and E-50. I don't have access to the Prelude right now, and I never got a chance to see if my conclusions held for the RA-800. Of course the RA predates Alteration mode messages but I'm curious how the Prelude would handle them. I suspect that Roland's software quality control was a lot better back in 1996 when post-release OS updates on floppy were a bigger deal.

I like the sound and playability of the factory styles, but to me the real genius of Roland arrangers is the chord fingering (chord intelligence.) If you really want to create custom style patterns with detailed control of what each track does, you are almost better off with an EM-50 midi'd a Yamaha QY-70! Not kidding!!
1 month 1 week ago

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6826
Sorry I forgot to say I am using a BK9 but I have also tried it on myG70 and am having the same results...

I am making a 4/4 dance / techno doof doof beat with a Synth bass note every half bar inbetween the kick drum.

I just want the bass note to crawl lower as I play chords lower in the left hand split.

When I play a C chord Using C E G, the bass note repetitively plays the C note of that same octave which is fine... but then when I go down to play an Amin using A C E from the below octave - the bass plays A notes above instead of going down to the below octave.

And again if I play a G chord or F chord in that same lower octave I want the bass notes to play i that same octave (lower instead of jumping higher)...

I hope this helps?
1 month 1 week ago

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6827
As a rule, Roland keeps the bass pattern within one octave, no matter where you play in the chord recognition zone. Surprisingly I think this is still true even if you activate MBS (manual bass). And yes it does limit the player's creativity in real time compared to Yamaha, etc. I guess if you want to play a bass pattern that spans multiple octaves you have to use the LOWER voice, or hook up a two-octave pedalboard or external keyboard and assign a live voice to it.

As a novice musician I find Roland's approach more forgiving, because you get the same bass note no matter where you finger your chord. It's also more consistent "out of the box" if you're trying to drive another arranger's style engine via MIDI. On the other hand, you can always restrict the output of the Yamaha bass track to one octave using MIDI or parameters in the Style File Format. So Yamaha's is the better approach. Good on you Nick to observe that!

However, we still might be able to "trick" the Roland into doing what you want. We know that it transposes based on the DEGREE of the scale, and not relative to the "number" of the note played. But the degree of the scale might be relative to the original recording key...

If F is the lowest you want your bass run to go, re-record your pattern specifying a Key of F and make the pattern based in F. (It's perfectly okay to have an ABS pattern recorded in F and other accompaniment patterns recorded in C.)
Hopefully now when the pattern is transposed in real time, it will place C (the 'sol' degree of the scale) above F, with A, G, and F moving down in pitch toward the first degree of the scale on which the pattern was based.
Try it. If it still doesn't wrap at "F", maybe you can force this behavior by inserting an alteration mode message: Type = 'Degree' and a range of E0 to D#1. (Despite what the manual says, you CAN add alteration mode messages to the ABS track and the board will interpret them normally. In this case I'm not sure whether it will make any difference.)

And if re-recording in the key of F doesn't get you what you need, there's still one more trick you can try, as long as the bass notes you want are always the root of the chord. (I.e., if you need an alternate bass or "slash" chord this second trick WON'T work...)

-Start with an unused ACC track (or overwrite one that you don't need.)
-For recording purposes, choose an instrument with a traditionally wide range of pitch such as an organ voice
-Record your single-note bass pattern in the key of F (or lowest note in your riff), but high up on the board so that all pattern notes are above C3 048. Yes I know that's not the bass range, but trust me on this. We can adjust it later.
-Insert an Alteration Mode message: Type = 'Degree'. Specify a range beginning at the desired wrap point, and just enough octaves to include all pattern notes. For example, if your pattern notes range from F3 to F4, try a low limit of E3 and a high limit of D#5.
-Copy to minor and 7th sub-variations, make any desired changes, and save your user style
-In Makeup tools, edit the instrument for the ACC track you just created and transpose two octaves lower (Octave -2)
-Mute the ABS track because the ACC track you just recorded will provide your bass accompaniment. For test purposes you probably should solo the track you just made.

[EDIT: Changing the instrument voice in Makeup Tools CAN restrict the pitch output range in live play. I.e., changing from organ to bass guitar may cause all notes to be transposed within the same octave, even if the original pattern spanned multiple octaves. This is disappointing. The "normal range" is one of the hidden, implicit parameters associated with voice patches on Roland arrangers. "Retrigger" behavior is another; that's a subject for a different post. The only known workaround is trial and error with different patches to find one that sounds good and spans the desired range.]

Now when you play live, if you're lucky the new 'bass' (your custom ACC track) will transpose within a two octave range based on the root of the recognized chord.

The dirty secrets that Roland told no one (or maybe it's just shoddy programming, who knows)...
-There's very little difference between ABS and a normal ACC track
-ABS can NEVER be polyphonic
-Notes recorded on the ABS track always follow the Bass Inversion setting when it's activated, i.e., lowest note played in the chord recognition zone
-Instrument voices have a predefined range and retrigger behavior which is not generally documented

For regular ACC tracks:
-Pattern notes C3-048 and above are transposed according to the ROOT of the recognized chord
-Pattern notes below C3-048 follow the Bass Inversion setting (!!) when it's activated
So yes Virginia, you can have as many bass tracks as you want, and they can be polyphonic too.
If the pitch break at C3-048 is inconvenient, you can still get the desired behavior by programming the pattern as needed, and then make it sound right in live play by changing the instrument octave in Makeup Tools.

...and that's how I spent my pandemic summer. Further discussion welcome!

[Edits 2020-08-20 to reflect findings from additional experimentation.]
1 month 1 week ago Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by TedS. Reason: clarity and expanded to reflect new experience

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6828
Thanks for the very detailed response! :)

I never knew that Roland kept their bass pattern into 1 octave - this is a massive annoying limitation!
however your work around options seem to get me out of trouble so i will give them a go and report back.

Cheers!
1 month 1 week ago

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6829
If you listen to most real bass players, you will tend to see that they do not repeat phrases on every degree of the scale. Part of that is due to the range limits of the instrument itself, part of it is for the sake of making the bassline more interesting. But, on the whole, machine basslines seldom approach the art of a real bassline. Listen to the best of them, and you will quickly find that no automatic substitute gets you there. There is so much about a bass line, the way it walks TOWARDS a chord, how it leads a line, how it finds a way around range issues that, for me at least, the first ’tell’ that a track is done with an arranger is the bass line.

The problem boils down to the fact that real musicians know what the NEXT chord is going to be, and an arranger has no idea until you play it! So a musician shapes what he plays to take you where you are going, and an arranger just plain jumps there at the last second. Unless you are designing a style for one specific song in one specific key, it’s almost impossible to get that flow. I have a healthy respect for the best style creators, who manage to create bass parts that at least disguise the shortcomings as well as possible.
1 month 1 week ago Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Diki.
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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6830
Don't forget Roland allows you to write the style pattern for each type of chord.. You can write a lead in bassline when a seventh chord is recognized.. You know it will be leading to the root chord.. This is an easy fix for a more realistic bass line.. Let me add this, reserve a variation (number 3 as an example) use a walking bass and matching chords as it progresses to the root chord (only on the seventh chord of variation 3.. aA neat trick is after you play the 7th and let the style walk up, before it loops , change the transpose and let it walk to the key change..
1 month 1 week ago Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Fran. Reason: more info

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Adjusting the low and high notes of style parts. #6831
Trouble with 7ths walking around is, how does it know whether to do it on a major or minor scale? A G7 walking down to a C would run through very different notes to walking down to a Cm. Same with walking up. Do you go through the A and B, or the Ab and Bb...?

On basic major blues, yes, preset walks can work well. But there’s always something ugly waiting to happen if the tune modulates around a bit, or has a minor bridge, etc..
1 month 6 days ago
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