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Let's talk about new features...

1 month 1 day ago 1 month 1 day ago by Diki.
Diki
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Let's talk about new features... #313
A simple topic. What are some NEW features you'd like to see on arrangers?

NOT existing features from other arrangers (maybe that's a different topic!), but things so far unseen on any arranger.

Here's a few of mine...

I'd love the last chord of an ending to 'hold' as long as you hold the keys. Sometimes the fixed length ending is too short, too long, whatever. It might be nice if the chord 'held' until you lifted your hands. And, if there's a drum 'flourish' at the end, it only plays as you lift your hands.

I'd like to see a 'half-time/double-time' button. This is a feature on a few software drum machines, and it is surprisingly useful, not only for songs that need a half-time or double-time section, but as a way to be used for a whole song for a different 'feel'.

This next one isn't on contemporary arrangers, so it qualifies, IMHO! But it used to be on some older arrangers: A knob for 'swing factor'... Back in the day, pretty simple 8beat or 16beat styles could be used in a huge variety of songs simply by changing the swing feel from dead straight to hard swung, and all points in between. It might be nice to see that come back, at least for styles specifically written for it (or imported from legacy styles that were simpler back then).

This one's a biggie... I'd like to see a standardization at the MIDI level of calls for Intros, Variations, Fills, Endings and Breaks. I have always dreamed of being able to MIDI two totally different manufacturer arrangers together and have them work as one. But no two manufacturers' MIDI commands for these things are the same. But a style with a Roland's drums, a Yamaha's guitar Parts and a Korg's percussion would be easy to do by muting the other Parts in each arranger (via a common Performance code). Just think... Even just one style on each of two arrangers would be able to generate 6X6 different sounding styles (if they both have 6 Parts) as you use different combinations of them - drums Yamaha, bass Roland, guitars Roland, Strings Yamaha, then drums Roland, bass Yamaha guitars Yamaha, strings Roland, etc., etc., etc..

But until there are common codes to change Divisions,, pretty impractical to operate. C'mon, manufacturers! The way to sell more is to make them talk to each other (just like what happened when MIDI was first invented... it lead to a sales explosion in synthesizers!).

How about it? Got any NEW arranger ideas?

BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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4 weeks 1 day ago
FreeEagle
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Let's talk about new features... #324
Hi ,

Thank you for this interesting topic. I would like to add some points , which are important to oriental musicians and maybe others also:

1. it would be very helpful, if we get the possibility to add a track to the Rhythm Composer which it support adding a WAV (or any other possible format ) file as s loop . ( This feature has Yamaha Genos and the PSR s975 series, and it is called Audio Phraser) . This is a very useful feature to add loops to your Styles and use them as s Rhythm Pattern.
2. It would be great to be able to do the following while composing a new Rhythm :
a. select a Time Signature like 4/4 for a Style , then be able to switch the time Signature to 2/4 (switching between Time Signatures) for a certain Variation like Fillin 1 or Variation 2 .
b. use half-bar for a Fillin.
3. Add more Variation bottoms to the Style instead of just 4 ( Main1... till Main4 ). It will be great to have about 6 Variations. Because we switch in a Songs to different Variations, and this will make life easier while playing Live on Stage.
4. Adding Ribbon under the Pitch-Bender to give better feelings while playing certain Sounds/Instruments.
5. Move to a Big colored Touch Screen. ( This will help selecting styles and sounds faster)
6. Increase the Internal Storage to 16 GB, to be able to load fastly Sounds( Samples) and Audio Phraser .....etc.
7. Integrate iPad / Create an interface to connect iPad and benefit from alot of Apps.
8. Add a Feature to lock my own Styles and save them to a USB. So that no one can use them on any other Arranger , just with my arranger. ( This Sould work with Serial Nr. of the Arranger itself.)

Sorry for my English.

Best Regards,
Nawar

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3 weeks 6 days ago
Diki
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Let's talk about new features... #335
Thanks for your suggestions...

Do you currently use an E-A7?

1. The BK-9 allowed synced loops with styles (up to 7 of them) but failed to add a parameter to Link them to Variations.

2. It seems that 4 Variations seems to be a standard across just about every arranger brand. I agree, more is always better, but you also have to take into consideration that it ups the work for the style creators considerably, and in these days of rampant piracy, they really don't see much rewards for their efforts short of the initial payment for inclusion in the ROM tones.

However, if you are using Variations for different songs, Roland's are capable of changing Performances seamlessly, so instead of using one style and one Performance, you can use two styles (or more!) and multiple Performances. It's an incredibly powerful system, if used right...



4. Yes, I love touch strips..! But Roland have never really embraced them except on their keytars. Come to think of it, all my keyboards except my Roland's have strips! Kurzweil's, Korg's, Yamaha Keytar... All keyboards should have one, IMO :woohoo:

5. Nice, but a big touch screen is pretty expensive. My G70 had a great one. But that was a $3500 keyboard. Korg manage to include one on the PA1000, but that's still $2000+. Mind you, I always felt that, without the software to make the screen display what YOU felt most necessary, there was always a certain thing missing. Roland don't appear to want to compete at any higher level than a $1300 arranger these days, so a big color touch screen looks unlikely for now :(

6. Again, unlikely in a $1300 arranger! I'm guessing you mean for the sampler in the E-A7, because the audio for the BK series (audio loops and audio backing tracks) loaded almost instantly from the USB stick. And yes, when I first saw that the E-A7 only had 128MB memory I thought it was a typo, or a flashback to the 90's! It is definitely something the E-A series needs improved dramatically to compete with Korg (which has 600MB compressed to 300MB). In today's streaming sampler world, it's getting very hard to find sample set creators that know how to be efficient with memory like they used to in the 90's.

7. The BK series did have several integrated iPad apps. But Roland decided to give them away for free, which I felt was a big mistake. Making enough money to offset their cost might have given them the desire to make them for newer models. But when you make nothing for doing something, there's not a lot of incentive to keep doing it!

8. One of the things I'd REALLY like to see is a protected memory system for arrangers, where 3rd party commercial styles could be stored and unavailable to copy. Sadly, before piracy became a huge issue, there were dozens of really talented style creation houses, pumping out great paid for styles for arrangers that kept the juices flowing and also incentivizing the arranger maker to make more styles well before a new arranger was due out. That's all pretty much a thing of the past, especially for Roland. Yamaha have a system to protect content (but keep it in house, mostly) and Korg have something as well, but it is primarily for samples and is costly to use for small 3rd party developers.

The profit for doing the work is so small nowadays, few do it any more. A protected memory system (allowing you to modify the 3rd Party Rom style but not copy it) is badly needed to get us back to those glory days! Talented style makers deserve to get paid for their work!

However, at the moment, if you want security for your personal data, all I can suggest is removing your stick when not playing and keeping it on you.

Thank you for your suggestions. I'm not trying to shoot your ideas down, but I thought I'd like to go over the points and see if some of them are truly practical, likely, or we may see them hopefully!

BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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2 weeks 2 days ago 2 weeks 2 days ago by mr-keyboard.
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Let's talk about new features... #341
I know this is a lot to ask for but I would like to see a virtual laptop version of all future arrangers.

I love working on my VPC1 with weighted keys. Perhaps Roland will release something with that kind of key control soon.

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2 weeks 2 days ago
Diki
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Let's talk about new features... #343
Have you tried vArranger?

While it's nice to think in terms of a software solution, it has been tried many times with only middling results. The sheer fact of the matter is, unless you have an IDENTICAL software sound source to the arranger the styles are designed for, you never get as good a result as the original hardware.

Play BK Roland styles from something like vArranger into a Roland BK, it will sound identical. Play the same styles into some generic soundfont, it sounds pretty poor..! Rinse and repeat with Yamaha styles, Korg styles, etc., and you start to see what the issue is.

Modern arrangers have thousands of sounds and drumkits. And each style is designed for those specific sounds, the way their tone balance blends, the way their velocity response and crossover points respond to the notes, the way their effects sound... Even simply playing an older Roland style (say from the G1000 era) in a BK series arranger means there's a fair bit of work to do to make it sound its best. Now imagine the sheer amount of work taking ALL your styles and having to tweak them so they work with some generic soundfont!

It's a task few want to take on...

I like vArranger because it plays styles from Roland, Korg and Yamaha. But unless you have a Korg, a Yamaha and a Roland to play each one into, you are still not going to hear as good results as the originals.

In your situation, what I'd suggest is to place an E-A7 on top of the VPC1 and MIDI (or USB) into it, play the arranger from the piano. Ideally, you need weighted keys for weighted key sounds, but a nice electronic action keybed is best for sounds like organs, clavinets and things like that that had lightweight keys in the first place. Plus, an arranger needs a lot of buttons and knobs and sliders to be used fully, and that VPC1 seems a bit short on those! Plus no pitch bend lever... So many sounds simply don't work until you input some pitch bend. Horns and winds, guitars, synth sounds, you name it.

Virtual pianos work very well, but they are one trick ponies. They only have to get ONE thing right. A virtual arranger has to get everything right. That's a tough thing to nail. IMHO, no-one has yet succeeded.

Plus, let's face it... Developing an arranger is a huge task. Are Roland or anyone likely to do it when they aren't going to be able to charge over $1300 for it? I rather expect everyone wants to see a $3000 arranger in a software form for a few hundred, tops. All they would do is kill their hardware sales (and the money that bankrolls further development) and be pirated in a few weeks after release.

Not much of an incentive, LOL :evil:

But give vArranger a try... I think you are quickly going to see the main drawbacks compared to hardware.

BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.

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1 week 6 days ago
FreeEagle
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Let's talk about new features... #364
Hi Diki,

yes i use currently E-A7 .

I agree to most of your point of views, especially Nr. 7 . This was a big mistake to give away the Apps for free, instead of further developing and sell them for a proper price.

Best Regards,
Nawar

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