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Author Topic: BK7M - two things needed  (Read 4132 times)
 
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lparsons21
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« on: January 13, 2012, 04:20:34 PM »

I've had mine for a bit now, and two things just jump at me for not being there.

1.  No real fill function.  The only time a fill is offered is if you are changing the variation.  And even there, the fill is very simplistic and just one bar.

2.  No numeric keypad - makes picking a style or voice and bit of a PITA!

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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2012, 09:23:35 PM »

Roland, although they CAN play longer fills (plenty of Korg conversion styles out there with 2 bar fills) have always gone for the one bar system. Personally, although yes, you lose out on a more elaborate fill, you gain the ability to be spontaneous WHEN you want a fill, not having to worry about whether the style has a one or two bar style (nothing worse than asking at the last minute for a short pickup and then getting railroaded into a 2 bar fill!) or whether you are asking for the fill on an even bar or odd bar number, or facing weirdness if the verse or chorus structure is not an even bar length.

You see, for me, the problem is, how does the machine KNOW you just want a short 1/2 bar pickup, or a full bar fill OR a two bar fill? AFAIK, there isn't any system for YOU to tell the arranger which of these you need, so it always boils down to the arranger telling YOU what it is going to do... not my idea of a good time!

In the meantime, should you need to have a 2 bar fill, you can do a workaround by hitting for a fill-up one bar too early, then immediately hitting the fill-down at the end of it, voila! Two bar fill..!
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2012, 09:34:36 PM »

And the lack of a numeric keypad is supposed to be laid at the feet of your controller... Many modern MIDI controllers have keypads that you can set to send what you want.

The whole deal with the BK is, it is primarily designed to be run by remote devices, and mostly things like MIDI accordion, MIDI guitar, etc., where the player has BOTH hands busy much of the time. Much of the control has been moved to the FC-7 input, so you can keep on playing instead of having to take your hands off the instrument to be able to run things. I imagine a guitarist or accordion player has little opportunity to take a hand away!

Thus, the BK (and Roland arrangers in general over the last few years) has gone from the outdated 'free panel' system which worked well in the past given the limited parameters and sounds and styles at the user's fingertips, to more of  a 'set it THEN forget it' system, where the multitude of things you need to do to set a Performance up for a particular song is done IN ADVANCE, then called up quickly.

Both systems have their advantages, but given the complexity of modern arrangers, I feel, if you want to get the most out of your arranger, the 'preset for the song or style' is the better system.

But if determined to stay with the older 'free panel' system, I would take a long hard look at your choices in modern controller keyboards, and select something that you can task the alphanumeric pad to send codes. But don't forget, back in the days where you only HAD maybe 127 sounds to pick from, tops, punching in numbers was not too difficult. But modern arrangers have THOUSANDS of sounds, and THOUSANDS of styles... you really want to try and remember what number each one has?

I sure don't!
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lparsons21
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2012, 10:47:43 PM »

Good points, even if I don't like them!  Smiley

I use mine with an organ, my hands and sometimes feet are pretty darned busy.  But I understand the choices Roland made for a device that is supposed to be 'universal' in use.

Kind of like, I wish there was a stand to put it on that would make it a lot handier to fiddle with on the fly.  That there isn't is an understandable irritant, but I also understand that it would take a heck of a lot of different designs to get it done.

So the BK is great if I want to plan my song, and not so great for doing things on the fly.  But one can hope...

As to the fills, yeah, I see where you're coming from and I've done just as you've suggested to get a longer fill, I would just like the ability to tell it I just want a fill of x bars (or fractions) and not a fill to a different variation.
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Lloyd
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 09:09:34 AM »

Hej, hej Iparsons21,

Roland offers a stand for BK-7M it is: PDS10 Cheesy

http://www.kraftmusic.com/catalog/accessories/headphones/index.asp?product=5555

Torbjörn
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 11:27:52 AM »

I made a stand by attaching a kitchen chopping board to an old guitar stand by means of a right angle bracket. Necessity is the Mother of Invention !
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lparsons21
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 04:26:48 PM »

Hej, hej Iparsons21,

Roland offers a stand for BK-7M it is: PDS10 Cheesy

http://www.kraftmusic.com/catalog/accessories/headphones/index.asp?product=5555

Torbjörn

Yes, I know and mine is on the way.  Thanks for the info and the link.

I'll have to do some moving of things as I've found that placing the BK on the right side works better for me than on the left.  Luckily I have a son with a strong back to move the organ.  At about 450lbs+, it isn't something I'm going to move myself.  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2012, 11:38:11 PM »

If the style is for a specific song, and you want a fill of a specific length for it, then it IS possible to edit the style's fills to be what you want... but as far as I know, there isn't an arranger out there where somehow magically, you can tell it at any point 'I want a 2 bar fill HERE, but I want a one bar HERE, and just a pickup THERE', and I'm not really sure how you would go about that...

Perhaps a double tap for a two bar, single for a one... Anyone know if anything can already do this? I'm not talking about arrangers which will trigger a two bar if you are on an even bar#, one bar for an odd (you are in trouble if the verse has an uneven # of bars), but something where you can SELECT the length of your fill.

If you take a look at page 90 of the BK manual, there is a chart of MIDI PC# that, if transmitted on the Basic channel, will trigger the fills. I haven't tried to do this yet, but it might be possible to get the master keyboard to send a string of MIDI on a button call, and you MIGHT (I am not sure, haven't tried it for myself) be able to sent the code for Fill-up, but then follow if for the code for the Variation you are in...

But, have you tried THIS..? If you hit the button for the Variation you are currently in, you WILL get a fill that returns to the current variation (if auto fill on). No, it isn't a DIFFERENT fill in to the normal one, and I have long asked that repeat presses of the same variation trigger alternately Fill-up and Fill-down, but at least this does what you say you want (other than the longer fill).
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2012, 11:40:41 PM »

Have you also taken a look at the Nord C2 organ? For a Hammond two manual clone, unbelievably light. With perhaps some creative programming from the BK, it might be possible to do most of the sounds from the Lowery, and just let the Nord do the organ/Leslie sounds.
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 03:41:03 PM »

If the style is for a specific song, and you want a fill of a specific length for it, then it IS possible to edit the style's fills to be what you want... but as far as I know, there isn't an arranger out there where somehow magically, you can tell it at any point 'I want a 2 bar fill HERE, but I want a one bar HERE, and just a pickup THERE', and I'm not really sure how you would go about that...

Perhaps a double tap for a two bar, single for a one... Anyone know if anything can already do this? I'm not talking about arrangers which will trigger a two bar if you are on an even bar#, one bar for an odd (you are in trouble if the verse has an uneven # of bars), but something where you can SELECT the length of your fill.

I am confused...

It is possible in any arranger to trigger a fill at any beat within a bar.
The arranger plays the remaining from the fill section.
Are we expecting an arranger to start playing a fill section from the first beat whenever a fill is triggered?

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lparsons21
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 05:24:23 PM »

Have you also taken a look at the Nord C2 organ? For a Hammond two manual clone, unbelievably light. With perhaps some creative programming from the BK, it might be possible to do most of the sounds from the Lowery, and just let the Nord do the organ/Leslie sounds.

I haven't.  My avatar is a picture of the Lowrey I own, I don't even want to think about what I paid for it, even though the price was much better than other used ones were selling for.

The BK isn't ideal for these big theater style organs from a convenience standpoint as there's no really good way to get it in a great  position for on the fly changes.  But then, the BK isn't really designed with the organ players that twiddle in mind.

Overall, I love my BK because it brings new styles and voicing to my organ.
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 07:33:12 AM »

Quote
You see, for me, the problem is, how does the machine KNOW you just want a short 1/2 bar pickup, or a full bar fill OR a two bar fill?
Considering a generic style with "2 bar 4/4 main" and "1 bar 4/4 fill", to get a 1/2 bar I will push fill on the 7th beat, to get a 1 bar fill I will push fill on the 5th beat. My Casio CDP200R and Roland GW8 understand this very well. Moreover if I press fill on the 8th beat, I get a 1-beat fill !

Quote
nothing worse than asking at the last minute for a short pickup and then getting railroaded into a 2 bar fill!
I think this will happen only if the arranger starts the Fill section from the beginning every time a fill is triggered. Otherwise there will only be "less than 2 bar fill only".

Quote
Perhaps a double tap for a two bar, single for a one
Korg uses 'double tap' to loop a Fill section.
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 11:10:13 AM »

But if a fill is two bars long, you are assuming (or at least, the arranger is) that ALL musical phrases are even number lengths. All well and good when they are, but if they are not, how does the machine know if you have a nine bar phrase, or a seven bar phrase..? It will ALWAYS trigger two bars of fills when asked for on an odd number bar, whether you like it or not.

The thing is, this (one bar fills) is how Roland's have ALWAYS done fills, from the very beginning. I personally find that the few times I would like a longer fill (and that is rare) is outweighed by the ability to ask for the fill when YOU want it (or a short 2 beat pickup) and not have to worry whether it will go on too long. I have played Korg's, and I must confess, I am not too comfortable with it deciding for me how long it wants to play it for!
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 05:11:59 PM »

GW8A does not mind whether a 2-bar FILL is called on odd or even bar.
It only sees where within a bar it is called for.

Whereas, we can get a minimum of 1-beat pickup while using 1-bar FILL,
we can get a minimum of 1-beat + 1-bar Fill while using 2-bar FILL.

So ... I understand that the penultimate bar is the right time to trigger a 2-bar fill.

GW8A exhibits a very erratic Measure Display and is very unreliable in getting clue on the penultimate bar.
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 09:13:35 AM »

NO, that's the very point I'm making... how does the machine know if you are in bar 14 and want a one bar fill or a two bar fill?
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2012, 04:28:35 PM »

Say, a style has 4/4 MAIN and 4/4 FILL and that FILL is a 2-bar one.

Now I want
 'bar 1 of Fill' to sit on '(N-1)-th bar' and
 'bar 2 of Fill' to sit on 'N-th bar'.

If I trigger fill on
(a) beat 1 of (N-1)-th bar, I will get a full 2 bar fill.
(b) beat 2 of (N-1)-th bar, I will get 3 beats pickup + 1 bar fill
(c) beat 3 of (N-1)-th bar, I will get 2 beats pickup + 1 bar fill
(d) beat 4 of (N-1)-th bar, I will get 1 beat pickup + 1 bar fill
That is all.
This is how I tell the arranger my requirement.

If I miss case (d) then
 'bar 1 of fill' will sit on N-th bar and
 'bar 2 of fill' will sit on (N+1)-th bar.

Obviously N is taken to be greater than 1.
(N-1) is the penultimate bar I was talking about.
No matter N is odd or even this is how GW8A behaves.

We cannot have a 1-bar fill when FILL has 2 bars.
The closest approximation is '1 beat pickup + 1 bar' which can be achieved as shown in (d).


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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2012, 12:33:54 PM »

Yes... you see, the solution to having a two bar fill means you can't have a one bar (or less) fill....  Undecided

Given that most Roland users are very used to having one bar fills (or shorter if you hit on beats 2 or 3), I think the gain for the occasional two bar fill is more than outweighed by the inability to do shorter fills.

Personally, as I find longer fills become repetitive (being longer, they are also easier to remember each time they are played), I am generally MUCH happier with shorter fills, and I use my playing (in the bar before the fill) to add variety before the fill. In all fairness,  I tend to use half fills a LOT as 'pickups' and rarely even want a fill to run an entire bar, let alone two! But, then again, I don't necessarily play arranger the same as many do.

But honestly, if the price to pay for a two bar fill is no short pickups, I would rather things stay the way they are.

But, as has been pointed out, if you want longer fills, Roland's are capable of playing them. I've got many Korg conversions with two bar fills... I just can't seem to bring myself to use them, as used to calling short fills as I am! Drives me crazy to ask for a pickup, and get stuck with a whole extra bar! But different strokes for different folks, I guess!  Kiss
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2012, 07:11:22 AM »

Quote
Yes... you see, the solution to having a two bar fill means you can't have a one bar (or less) fill....

GW8A handles two bar fills that way. Is that so even in G70 ?
My new Korg MicroArranger handles it with a better logic.
You might fool this logic by asking for a short pickup on a odd measure(?).

I think this limitation in GW8A has an advantage too -
 Using an imported Korg Style with say Main:8 bars; Fill: 2 bars
 one can record phrases of odd or even measures in GW8A.
One cannot do this with Korg.

Quote
if you want longer fills, Roland's are capable of playing them

True, but not the way Korg does.

Another interesting feature in GW8A:
GW8A allows part length to be set in terms of Measure: Beat: Ticks.
That means GW8A allows something like 0: 1: 0 (a 1 beat style part).
Page 19 of GW-8 Version 2 Supplementary Manual says so.
It is actually so. It does something, I am not interested at the moment.
How is it in G70 ?
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