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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Kind of like saying cars are inferior to boats. Very different applications. Sequencing (whether in a computer or a keyboard) is for people who want to compose their own backing tracks; arrangers are for players who want backing tracks automatically generated for them as they play.

Tracks don't get generated automatically. You build the sequence, you must specify the root chord and the accompaniment algorithm is just an ensemble of arpeggios.

I owned Yamaha arrangers and Synths so I can comment only about Yamaha:
You can somewhat do this on MOTIF series as well as MOX/F but it is intentionally limited through software so that you can't have this capability without suffering. You can modify the Pattern mode to behave like an arranger.

In Korg PA series, you can cut a sequenced MIDI song and create a style out of it.

*** It is worth mentioning Stephen Kay here. If you want something beyond Yamaha's silly arpeggios, read about Korg KARMA and Stephen Kay. Kodus to this intelligent man.

Last edited by Abdol; 05/08/20 10:14 AM.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Sequencing (whether in a computer or a keyboard) is for people who want to compose their own backing tracks; arrangers are for players who want backing tracks automatically generated for them as they play.

Tracks don't get generated automatically. You build the sequence, you must specify the root chord and the accompaniment algorithm is just an ensemble of arpeggios.
You don't have to build any sequence with an arranger. It will algorithmically generate a backing track for you as you play. You select the style, and it will employ instrumentation and idiomatic phrasings appropriate to the style in generating the backing. Using your left hand as a guide, it will play in the appropriate keys (maybe that's what you meant about specifying the root chord?). You hit buttons on the panel as you play in order to specify changes (intros, fills, endings).

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Sequencing (whether in a computer or a keyboard) is for people who want to compose their own backing tracks; arrangers are for players who want backing tracks automatically generated for them as they play.

Tracks don't get generated automatically. You build the sequence, you must specify the root chord and the accompaniment algorithm is just an ensemble of arpeggios.
You don't have to build any sequence with an arranger. It will algorithmically generate a backing track for you as you play. You select the style, and it will employ instrumentation and idiomatic phrasings appropriate to the style in generating the backing. Using your left hand as a guide, it will play in the appropriate keys (maybe that's what you meant about specifying the root chord?). You hit buttons on the panel as you play in order to specify changes (intros, fills, endings).

What kind of algorithm? Name the algorithm.

If you don't know the name tell me how those tracks are generated.

Also how those presets are put in an arranger?

I looked in the manual 2 decades ago and there was a style creation procedure. I could duplicate all the internal presets and modify them, erase them, and even create one from an empty style. It's so wonderful that mine was unable to do it autonomously like the one you're talking about here.

Last edited by Abdol; 05/08/20 01:44 PM.

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The Roland FP-90 has auto accompaniment which is utilized via the piano partner 2 app. I expect this also works on the FP-60/30 also - but probably not as extensive. Yamaha and Casio both have apps (computer/Ipad), but not sure if they feature accompaniment also. Here's the video on the Roland...

Piano Partner 2


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Originally Posted by Abdol
What kind of algorithm? Name the algorithm.
Something doesn't need a name to be an algorithm.

Originally Posted by Abdol
If you don't know the name tell me how those tracks are generated.
You're familiar with arpeggiators, it's the same idea, but the functionality goes beyond what an arpeggiator does. I guess you could consider a style to be a set of pre-programmed related multi-track arpeggiators (using the sounds and idiomatic phrasings associated with a certain genre, and given an appropriate name), with additional user controls.

Originally Posted by Abdol
Also how those presets are put in an arranger?
I'm not sure I understand the question... they're stored in memory and recalled with buttons, just like all the other sounds and functions of the instrument.

Originally Posted by Abdol
I looked in the manual 2 decades ago and there was a style creation procedure. I could duplicate all the internal presets and modify them, erase them, and even create one from an empty style. It's so wonderful that mine was unable to do it autonomously like the one you're talking about here.
Modern arrangers do let you create your own styles, but many popular styles are provided. I don't know anything about arrangers of decades ago, but here's a starting point that demonstrates what I'm talking about, from 1:45 to 21:45:

Note that it shows how the boards play out of the box, no user programming at all. Pick a style and start playing, and all the backing instrument sounds are selected and play in the appropriate styles as you use your left hand to change chords and right hand to play melodies. As he plays, the right hand may occasionally leave the keyboard to select a different right hand sound, but more importantly, his left hand also leaves the keyboard to tell the backing tracks when to switch sections (intro, verse, ending, maybe some other alternates) and when to put in a fill. This latter ability along with the ability to edit those styles to your tastes (or make your own)--and just the overall sophistication of what the backing tracks are doing--make an arranger different from the typical simple auto-accompaniment you find on many DPs.

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Originally Posted by Progman
The Roland FP-90 has auto accompaniment which is utilized via the piano partner 2 app. I expect this also works on the FP-60/30 also - but probably not as extensive. Yamaha and Casio both have apps (computer/Ipad), but not sure if they feature accompaniment also. Here's the video on the Roland...

Piano Partner 2

The FP-90 actually doesn't, I mean it is not built in and accessible as is. You need to run the app on a tablet. On Android (7.1+ demanded), a wired USB connection is required, Bluetooth no go. The app is free, but is rated 2 stars on Google Play.

The FP-80 had this without having to use a tablet.
youtube.com/watch?v=I4XLdle6np8
youtube.com/watch?v=L_UCl0pDfXY

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Something doesn't need a name to be an algorithm.

Yeah... Nope grin It actually does. What is typically used by arrangers is a simple lookup table and a for loop to play the pre-cooked sequence.

Arrangers today, yesterday, weeks, months, or years ago, in fact, use pre-cooked sequences. There is no such thing as on the fly generation of music at least in arrangers. Korg has two different algorithms the older one I guess uses fractals and then is Karma. PA series and PSR series don't have any of them.

Yamaha still uses the lookup table in its synths.

How does lookup table work and this is how it is implemented by Yamaha and Korg in the PA series:

-For every scale, the permitted notes are defined (e.g. C)
-The chord your playing is detected (super simple, sort and then lookup table)
-The prerecorded sequence notes are then mapped/modified based on the scale mapping rules which can be another lookup table and it gets stored in a temporary memory (let's say RAM).
-The sequencer module plays this temporary file in a looped fashion until you make a modification.

Now let's test this algorithm:
If you happen to own and ever worked with an arranger like PSR-SX900, Genos or PA4X or PA1000 and not ones that are manufactured 20 years ago (like me), you will realize that certain preset styles are not going to sound right in certain keys. Some will sound correct in minor, some in major and 7th and diminished may sound total nonsense.

Why? Because the mapping algorithm is dumb. It has a dumb lookup table and look up table says map notes 1,2,3 to C, D, F, etc... regardless of considering the scale.

Let me give you a western example so you can understand:

Play the happy birthday song in C. Then store it as a style. The play it with Cm. There is youtube video that demonstrate how happy birthday should sound in minor scale. Compare them and get back to me.

When you play a chord, the chord is identified through the lookup table module ( you may say what if the chord is not ordered? It doesn't matter, it's super easy to sort that out).


If you want to learn more about this stuff check programs like "Style Works" lets you create the sequence. All you need to do for creating a style is to record a sequence, then specify where fill-in A,B,C and D etc are. Then the key of the song and voila.

Karma and other technology from Korg is very different. They also use pre-cooked patterns but Karma imitates the limitations of the instruments as well. It is very complex compared to the nonsense arpeggios offered by Yamaha. I own the MOTIF XF and I know what a pile of junk is the arpeggio algorithm inside of it. It can't detect chords properly and Yamaha doesn't even give a single flying fluck about it.

Anyway, I just wrote this for intelligent people who want to learn about this topic. anotherscott knows it all and I'm wrong.

Last edited by Abdol; 05/08/20 04:03 PM.

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Note that it shows how the boards play out of the box, no user programming at al.

So how did that style initially become to existence? You put the circuit together and the keyboard produces the styles out of its butt?

Dude someone already programmed it and dumped all the styles in the memory. Those poor guys are Yamaha, and Korg artists. You can actually find the guys who created these styles for Korg and Yamaha.

I don't know which universe you're coming from. Maybe I'm one of the seven sleepers that just woke up and arrangers are now using AI to jam with you... I should go and double check.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Sleepers

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Last edited by Abdol; 05/08/20 04:12 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Something doesn't need a name to be an algorithm.
Yeah... Nope grin It actually does.

You can come up with any algorithm you want. There's no law that says you need to give it a name.

Also, the dictionary definition of the word is: "a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer." As I see it, the arranger has a bunch of rules it follows to determine what should be played depending on what keys the user hits. That is, when you play that C major chord with your left hand, you are not hearing a C major chord, nor are you hearing a random bunch of notes, but you are hearing a sequence of sounds that are being generated by a set of rules.

But if you don't like my use of the word algorithm, that's fine. Call it a lookup table or whatever, musically it still behaves as I described, that's the point I was making. So if you prefer, I'm fine with this version of the above with the problematic word removed: You don't have to build any sequence with an arranger. It will algorithmically generate a backing track for you as you play.

Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by anotherscott
Note that it shows how the boards play out of the box, no user programming at al.
So how did that style initially become to existence? You put the circuit together and the keyboard produces the styles out of its butt?
I didn't say NO ONE programmed it, I said the USER did not have to program it. The USER is the person who buys it and takes it out of the box and plays it. All he has to do is hit a button and play and he will have backing tracks, without having to specify exactly what all the backing instruments should be playing or do anything in advance.

Again, this is all about making the distinction I talked about above: Sequencing (whether in a computer or a keyboard) is for people who want to compose their own backing tracks; arrangers are for players who want backing tracks automatically generated for them as they play. With the arranger, you pick a style, and you will hear drums, guitars, strings, whatever, automatically playing parts appropriate to that style. With a sequencer, you'd have to create all individual the backing parts yourself.

Originally Posted by Abdol
Anyway, I just wrote this for intelligent people who want to learn about this topic. anotherscott knows it all and I'm wrong.
I'm glad you didn't write it for me, because it had nothing to do with the point I was making and isn't anything I care about. Personally, I never use arpeggiators OR arrangers. (I do own boards that can do these things, but I don't use them for those purposes.)

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Originally Posted by anotherscott
You don't have to build any sequence with an arranger. It will algorithmically generate a backing track for you as you play. You select the style, and it will employ instrumentation and idiomatic phrasings appropriate to the style in generating the backing. Using your left hand as a guide, it will play in the appropriate keys (maybe that's what you meant about specifying the root chord?). You hit buttons on the panel as you play in order to specify changes (intros, fills, endings).


You need to create the sequence in a certain key, store it and the arpeggiation system will translate the sequence to the new key. That's how it works.

It will not necessarily play the appropriate notes!


Root chord is a concept in arpeggio creation. The root chord is the key in which you will compose the sequence to be used with the style.

Arranger Style = Ensemble of looped arpeggios

Arpeggios = Sequence of notes in a chord

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arpeggio

A sequencer that can translate notes to a different root chord is called arranger.

The backing is not generated. The backing is always obtained by translating an already sequenced phrase composed in a specific chord/key to the destination chord/key in realtime.

If the sequence is composed in C Major, and you're now playing in D#m7, the sequence will be translate to notes valid in C#m7 key but it will not necessarily sound musically correct.

You want to know what root chord is read this:

https://cdn.korg.com/us/support/download/files/35ef67f512daf49e36d571c0c34b89bc.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline%3Bfilename%3DPa4X_New_Features_v3.1.0_E.pdf&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf%3B

Or any Yamaha PSR/Genos user manual, or MOTIF arpeggio creation:
https://www.yamahasynth.com/synths/motif-xf-performance-mode-explored

Anyway. Honestly I don't know why you're not getting it. Cheers.

Last edited by Abdol; 05/08/20 08:27 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
You need to create the sequence in a certain key, store it and the arpeggiation system will translate the sequence to the new key. That's how it works.
The user in that video did not create the sequence at all much less in a specific key. He turned it on and played. And the key of the song he chose to play does not matter. I mean really, if it screwed up if you started playing the song in a different key, you'd be unable to play any song that modulated, which is a whole lot of songs!

I think maybe this confusion goes back to what you said in the previous post:
Originally Posted by Abdol
Play the happy birthday song in C. Then store it as a style.
That's not how it works (see the demo I pointed you to). You don't play a song and save it as a style. You pick a style and then play the song in it. So pick an english waltz or a tango or flamenco or bossa nova or reggae or trance or foxtrot, whatever floats your boat... and then start playing Happy Birthday over it. In any key. Done.

Originally Posted by Abdol
A sequencer that can translate notes to a different root chord is called arranger.
I wouldn't say that... even boards with simple arpeggiators can transpose those sequences as you play, that doesn't make them arrangers. But I don't want to get mired down in terminology and definitions here, I've only been trying to make one point: Sequencers require that you program all the parts yourself, arrangers create the backing parts for you (and yes, they can do it automatically as you play).

Now, if you want to complain that arrangers don't always do their job well, that's a whole other conversation. I'm sure one can find flaws. But they DO let you instantly start playing a song, in a style of your choice, in the key of your choice, with instant accompaniment that follows you, with changes you can select on the fly (intros, endings, fills), etc. I don't know why you're not getting it, so we're even. ;-) But really, just go into a shop one day (assuming that will be possible!), turn on one of these Korg or Yamaha arrangers, pick a style, hit start, and start playing. You may be surprised.

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Everything you're saying is wrong. A style is a song. Stripped into sections using specific tags. Update your knowledge. That being said you're one of a kind and I should have known better.

I don't have to read your jibberish stuff! You don't even know how an arranger works and you're lecturing here.

So let's put an end to this, I'm saying you are not wrong but I'm more right. Hope this works for your brain.

Last edited by Abdol; 05/09/20 12:21 AM.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
You don't even know how an arranger works
Maybe it's that I've been focusing on how an arranger works from a user's perspective, and you've been talking more about how it works from a programmer's perspective...? It is certainly possible for a user to create his own styles on an arranger if he wants to. But he doesn't *have* to. He can just turn it on, select a style, and play (in whatever key) and get backing tracks automatically played for him. Arrangers do work that way. I really didn't expect disagreement about that. But the internet is full of surprises.

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Arranger examples!

https://soundcloud.com/clothearednincompoop/sets/arranger-examples-yamaha-qy70/s-NhZSz6K3TTr

In "QY70RockCMajorVariations" the arranger plays rock in C major variations: normal, M7, 6, 7, add9, M7(9), aug and 7(9) as they are titled on the device.

It could do the same in a minor scale.

Was there supposed to be some problem? 🤔

Yes, the bass plays exactly the same pattern all the time. They didn't do anything fancy with that. But arrangers can "adapt" to different chord styles. As in: somebody at Yamaha made variations of the rhytm guitar part. Call it what you want. I suggest "programming". 😉

With this specific device at least the intros and endings don't have chord type specific variations, so that is one problem.

In "QY70RockMajorIntro" the intro and A part are played and that works fine. Yamaha thought about happy rock even though they slightly ripped off a 90's "angry rock woman" song with that intro.

However "QY70RockMinorIntro" doesn't really work as the intro is still in major and the A part in minor. Yuck. So, no sad rock with this arranger style.

Finally "QY70RockGmajor" is in the key and tempo of Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy" (Does it?) which you might now recognise if not already from the earlier examples.

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Originally Posted by Abdol
Everything you're saying is wrong. A style is a song. Stripped into sections using specific tags. Update your knowledge. That being said you're one of a kind and I should have known better.

I don't have to read your jibberish stuff! You don't even know how an arranger works and you're lecturing here.

So let's put an end to this, I'm saying you are not wrong but I'm more right. Hope this works for your brain.

You sure have been rude in practically all of your exchanges...Im glad you put an end to it...

Thank-You Anotherscott for the info....and youtube link...

Last edited by BarryR; 05/09/20 07:44 AM.
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The Yamaha QY70 is an editable device, so the user can either create new styles from scratch or take one of the factory styles and edit it, so probably that rock intro above could be made to work in a song that starts with a minor chord. Then it just won't sound like Sheryl Crow anymore. 😉

There's of course no reason why intros (and outros) in arrangers couldn't be either major/minor agnostic (by leaving out the critical note of the scale) or major/minor specific.

Here are cheesy trance examples from the cheesy Yamaha DJX keyboard: intro, main and outro in C minor and C major.

https://soundcloud.com/clothearednincompoop/sets/arranger-examples-yamaha-djx/s-uu8QFhdJS1A

Behold! It works! And that's a cheesy 90's home keyboard.

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I'm not really interested in the heated debate of semantics etc. and I think many of it stemmed from confusion on what exactly someone means with a specific word or expression.

Anyhow...

Quote
Arrangers are only good for playing a cliche rhythm. A repetitive pattern.

I guess most people would agree. laugh

And somehow both first say more or less same thing and then disagree on it:

Quote
With arranger keyboards, you can play songs on the fly with the preset rhythms.

Quote
Note that it shows how the boards play out of the box, no user programming at all. Pick a style and start playing, and all the backing instrument sounds are selected and play in the appropriate styles as you use your left hand to change chords and right hand to play melodies.

Exactly.

The problem was with "generating".

This is essentially correct:

Quote
...arrangers are for players who want backing tracks automatically generated for them as they play.

Notice the "as they play". They (the player) tell the arranger what chord to play and the arranger then "generates" the preprogrammed rhytm pattern in that chord.

Quote
Tracks don't get generated automatically.

Tracks (complete songs) don't. The accompaniment does based on the input from the player.

But maybe "generated" just sounds too fancy here as it's actually a simple and stupid pre-programmed process. (Until we get AI accompaniments with AI drummers and AI bassists thinking like drummers and bassists.)

Just as was said:

Quote
Arrangers today, yesterday, weeks, months, or years ago, in fact, use pre-cooked sequences.

Arrangers are then smart enough to transpose up and down:

Quote
You need to create the sequence in a certain key, store it and the arpeggiation system will translate the sequence to the new key. That's how it works.

So at least you (or e.g. Yamaha) don't need to do it separately for all the chords. laugh

Quote
If the sequence is composed in C Major, and you're now playing in D#m7, the sequence will be translate to notes valid in C#m7 key but it will not necessarily sound musically correct.

I guess this is correct if the instrument's natural range is exceeded in the process. Or the end result e.g. for a guitar part might something very difficult or impossible to play. Or something a guitarist just wouldn't play that way.

Quote
A style is a song.

A style has no melody or chord progression. You enter those as a player.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
In "QY70RockCMajorVariations" the arranger plays rock in C major variations: normal, M7, 6, 7, add9, M7(9), aug and 7(9) as they are titled on the device.
Maybe because the Q70 was designed to be operable without a keyboard and/or it's over 20 years old, but the arrangers I've seen do not have such chord variations "titled on the device" -- instead, you play the chord on the keyboard (e.g. whichever C variation you want), and that becomes the guide. And so this...

Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
However "QY70RockMinorIntro" doesn't really work as the intro is still in major and the A part in minor. Yuck. So, no sad rock with this arranger style...There's of course no reason why intros (and outros) in arrangers couldn't be either major/minor agnostic (by leaving out the critical note of the scale) or major/minor specific.

...isn't an issue either, because Intros can be played in any key, major or minor, by playing either a major or minor chord when you initiate them.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Quote
Arrangers are only good for playing a cliche rhythm. A repetitive pattern.

I guess most people would agree. laugh
I see that perspective, but much popular music is highly repetitive, and may well have the same rhythm from beginning to end, perhaps with a fill or stop somewhere which is perfectly do-able on an arranger as well. So repetitive-ness is not an inherent obstacle to song/arrangement creation regardless of your tool of choice.

That leaves us with cliche. That's where an advanced user may want to edit the styles and create his own, rather than relying only on the ones that come pre-programmed from the factory, despite the hundreds of styles that may already be there. That said, the reason something becomes cliche is because it's been used a ton of times. So if you're doing cover stuff, one of those "cliche" arrangements may be just what you're looking for.

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No the problem with the QY70 is that it just won't play e.g. that rock intro in minor even if I feed it a minor chord via MIDI which is also a possibility.

But it's not even meant to be a realtime accompaniment device, so it was just a bad example.

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