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New instruments I woked on...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nate Tschetter, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    I do a lot of demos, voicing, pattern-making, styles, etc. for MI manufacturers. So, I thought I'd share a couple of things I worked on recently.

    First is the E-mu "Vintage Pro", a ROMpler box of vinatge synth. keyboard and drum stuff. I was going to do some voicing for it but I was too busy with other projects so I just made a bunch of audition demos. Audition demos are just voice demos so if you walk into the store and call up a patch with "audition" on, it will play this little 8 to 16 bar thing. The hardest part about making these things is coming up with fresh ideas. I made 75 in total and my record for most in a single day was 25. After that, my brain looked like a piece of beef jerky.

    I also made the obligatory "Big Demo". Please pardon my gratuitous use of the LA Jazz-Fusion genre, its not _really_ my thing but it makes for a quick demo when you're inspirationally overdrawn. I _did_ use REAL MUSICIANS to do the drums (yes, I consider the guy I used a musician rather than a drum owner) and a guitar player to do one of the lead sounds.

    Earlier in the year, I was working on the new "Yamaha Tyros". Its more of a "home" or "portable" keyboard than a "pro" instrument. However, portables have some great features on them, some of which i beg and scream for Yamaha to put on their pro keyboards.

    I made a bunch of styles for the Tyros, the most interesting (IMO) being the "Unplugged" styles. This style showcases a new type of voice we have called "Mega Switching". The MS voices in Tyros are guitars and basses but not just the pitched elemnts of those sounds. Rather, all the mechanical noises like strums and slides of been extracted and placed at the top of the keyboard. So, with the acoustic guitar, you have all these alternating downstroke and upstroke pick noise elemnts record at different tempi. When you match that to a few chorded parts, it becomes quite convincing.

    Not only did we have those non-pitched mechanical sounds but we had a few pitch articulations to work with. Soft pick, hard pick, mute, slap, hammer-on (this was REALLY useful), slides and harmonics. All of this stuff made for some really convincing sequenced guitar. Will it replace your favorite guitar dude? Well, no, that's not the point but if you're a keyboard player, it will let you put down an idea so you can play it for the aforementioned guitar dude.

    Finally, in these styles, I sweated bullets to make it play like a damn guitar player. I consulted with my favorite guitar dude and we spent a lot of time getting all the voicings right. So, if you play an "E" major chord on Tyros (with MY styles!) you get an open "E" voicing. You play "G" you get the "G" voicing (with root and third on the bottom). Also, it gives you real 4 and 5 note voicings of seventh chords so the style can go from campfire tunes to Michael Hedges to Stephan Grappeli or whatever. Its really quite good.

    OK, well there it is, a couple of things I've been doing. Sorry to spend so much time patting myself on the back. If its any consolation, I think I pulled a muscle doing so.

    Happy Holidays
     
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Nate..Those are fine accomplishments.

    (PS, your typo got me the giggles..on messinger I referred to a smoke as a smole..now many are saying to me..time for a mole smole..LOL)

    Now I have to soak it all up.

    I need to invest in a keyboard and have always been fond of the Kurzweil K2000. I realize it is a 1995 dinosaur by todays standards but what I want is:

    Weighted keys (88 is not necessary)
    Sampling
    Midi (duh)
    and stereo output balanced if possible 1/4 is fine
    SPDIF output. (I have ways around that so I can do without it)

    I have seen the K2000's going for around 400 bucks.

    Is there anything that you would rec. for that low price range that is new now?

    Any others?

    I have been doing acoustical works mainly since 1998 and I have not shopped nor do I know what is out there.

    I feel you can bypass a days worth of research in a paragraph...as I trust your instincts.

    Good Work Man!!
    (Nate has it going on folks)

    I took the big demo the the drive. I want you to hear something...cool?? (I like what you did with the hat in panning and filtering..very catchy work! (and the type of music I like best)
     
  3. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Hi Bill

    Hey thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate. Sometimes being a content dude is hard because relatively few manufacturers put credits in the manuals (E-mu used to) and frankly, front-line salespeople get sick of your demos after the first day so...heh...its a zany job.

    The funny thing about that big demo was that it was just like a recording project...your results are only as good as your music and musicians. The music came together quickly...say, 20 minutes or so to write the tune. Then, I called the guys I knew would kill it. For this thing, I knew the drums were key so I called my favorite drummer and he laid down all that drum stuff (6 channels worth) in an hour. The guitar lead stuff was just done virtually. I didn't have to program endless drum fills, beats and other crap that the guy could just play instinctively. Same for my guitar guy as he would play against my lead with the cool guitar bends and all that. I felt like a genius for using common sense: why do it the hard way when you can pay someone to do it right?

    I'll answer your questions about gear with a few general comments but tell me what you want to use this new instrument for. Studio? Live? What kind of music? Do you need sequencing? Do you need lots of sounds?

    I don't really know of anything in the $400 range that meets all of your requirements. Yamaha has a few home keyboards with weighted action that are coming in the $600 - $700 range but they don't sample or have SP/DIF. Even used, you won't find too many weighted action instruments around because people like to keep them as studio controllers (Korg T1s, even KX88s, etc...)

    So, looking at your general requirements for an instrument, there are only two things that come to mind: the Korg Triton or the Yamaha Motif 8. Both really do the same thing, its just which flavor you prefer. The Motif is quite a bit newer so it has certain technological benefits over the Triton (namely, I'm sure the cost of all computer related components decreased or performance increased after the Triton came out).

    If I was looking at these two instruments, my number one concern would be the action. I _HATE_ crappy weighted action. Actually, I should probably say that I am _SO_ incredibly used to play Yamaha weighted action for, going on, 20 years now that I just cannot play any other weighted keyboard. The Korg and Yamaha action feels similar but I can pick the Yamaha every time and it feels most like a piano to me.

    Aside from that, there are a lot of bells and whistles. The Motif has some cool stuff it can do with MIDI and audio, arpeggios, really solid internal sounds, all that. On the other hand, I played a gig the other day with a bass player who had broken his hand and couldn't do everything on the electric so he brought a Triton LE and played key bass on a few tunes. Good god, that thing sounded HUGE! It was very "Minimoog-esque" with a kickass mono mode (something not every manufacturer gets right).

    Hope this helps, drop me a line if you need more specific info about the Motif as I can get it straight from the Big Y!
     
  4. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

    thats great Nate, now you made me want that emu box, how do you rate it ? those filters look very interesting but I've never used an emu product...
     
  5. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Hi Mario

    Its probably a good collection of vintage instruments to have around. They have some really nice sounding digital filters and a good patching matrix. Also, the wave ROM has a nice assortment of vinatge stuff.

    The effects are a little lackluster, but the cool thing is with any of these E-mu boxes, you can buy the ROMs and slap them in whatever you have. Some have more slots than others (I think the Proteus 2500 has the most) so you can kind of build your own monster ROMpler...a good idea in my opinion. The only limiting factor is, you're limited to the hardware that runs all the ROMs and E-mu's hardware is starting to get a bit long in the tooth.

    I'd also check out that new little Korg thing...the one with the vocoder built-in.
     
  6. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

    cool, i guess for 600 bucks its a good deal, I'm also thinking of getting a motif rack when they come out, i'm a yamaha fan you know...
    the micro korg thingie? looks nice too and affordable...
     

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