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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:48 pm 
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Does anybody have any tips/techniques to apply to when emulating the "non-keyboard sounds" on a keyboard, such as a bass, guitar, drums, woodwinds, brass etc... :? :D

I got a Yamaha CVP207, and I find it easier to play the piano patches more than the "other" patches...but I would like to learn how! :D

Are there any books or online links, that thoroughly explain how to apply certain techniques to the keyboard, "with the non-keyboard sounds/patches" so that your emulated instrument sounds "close" to the original, so that I can start using these "emulated sounds/patches" in my composition and cover songs?

Thanks!
-Mitch-

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:50 am 
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Mitch,

I don't have any real experience but I started subscribing to Computer Music and have found a few forums containing information specific to what you are asking but most of them are about using samples and combining several layers of samples to achieve a more convincing sounding result.

If you are using samples you might want to peruse;
http://www.kvraudio.com/
http://www.computermusic.co.uk/main.asp
http://forum.midiaddict.com/
http://www.homerecording.com keyboard forum

I should have mentioned him first....MRSKYGOD! He had some very good sounding synth patches of various gear and always has good, researched and knowledgable advice.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:52 pm 
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Mitch , I think we have touched on this before. I use a lot of attack and decay adjustments to 'impersonate" stringed orchestra instruments. I even adjust these on my very dedicated mellotron patches. ( I hate that tape click note on sound thay make) They just sound much better with some delayed attack and aftertouch. If you have more than one synth , you can find say a guitar patch and layer it with others using different velocity and aftertouch settings for each patch. Get rid of any effects patches have and add effects later in the mixdown. Seems most of the the manufacturers add way too much reverb , delay and echo to sell patches. I use a breath controller for horn sounds with a dedicated horn board in my Motif ES. Acoustic guitars on the keys need to be played over the entire keyboard instead of in a couple of octaves. Get a guitar and find the open string notes on the keyboard. Less notes is better. Left hand does the E, A and D strings. Right hand does notes around the G , B and little E. Roll your chord voicing left to right as you play to make it sound like a strum. I'll never forget when Ricky Recordo was here and he was playing "Classical Gas" on the the keyboard as Captain (a very good guitar player) walked in to jam. His jaw dropped , and remarked to Ricky...................."That's just wrong" !!!!!!!!!!
:lol: :lol:

There are times when I just close my eyes and not look at the keyboard as I'm trying to imitate an instrument. Your eyes get in the way sometimes. Use your ears and feeling to get the sounds you want.

Now Banjo , Accordian , and Harmonica's ? Forgit it! @&*!&#)!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:19 pm 
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Quote:
Now Banjo , Accordian , and Harmonica's ? Forgit it! @&*!&#)!


Yeah I love a good harmonica/harp sound but I don't know any players. I have yet to hear any convincing harmonica emulations.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 pm 
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Thanks Guys...didn't mean to upset you...just felt like posting it under the new Recording Keys topic...

Quote:
Acoustic guitars on the keys need to be played over the entire keyboard instead of in a couple of octaves. Get a guitar and find the open string notes on the keyboard. Less notes is better. Left hand does the E, A and D strings. Right hand does notes around the G , B and little E. Roll your chord voicing left to right as you play to make it sound like a strum
...gotta try that one out! :wink:

Quote:
I use a lot of attack and decay adjustments to 'impersonate" stringed orchestra instruments
...cool idea too!

Quote:
There are times when I just close my eyes and not look at the keyboard as I'm trying to imitate an instrument. Your eyes get in the way sometimes. Use your ears and feeling to get the sounds you want.
..I think that's what's been happening...for kicks the other day, after watching the movie, Ray, I went to the piano, and decided to play a song, while closing my eyes...sure I hit alot of bad notes...but the music sounded much more alive than when I was just reading the notes off the the music, and staring back at a black piano and keys! :lol:

:lol: But like I said, its a shame, where there are so many keyboard companies, and plugins/emulators, and there is not a class or book or video or website, that discusses how one is to apply correct musicianship to the keyboard patches to get them to sound convincingly real...my bass guitar playing on the keyboard sucks, but the percussions and strings are sounding a little bit better now... :lol:

BTW...if there are any piano players out there, who play with a bass guitar I have got a question about accompaniment/musicianship:

-Usually when only playing the piano I would do some kinda technique
with the bass cleff of the piano like playing: arpeggios, Perfect5ths,
Perfect4ths, doubling the octave, and lastly, just playing the root of the
bassnote...are there any other techniques that I can try?

Is there a different technique, that one should apply to, when playing the
bass guitar, instead of, what one would presume, when playing the bass clef of a piano?
for instance, usually/sometimes, the pianos bass & treble clef, is played legato...is the bass guitar supposed to be legato also?

:? I'm just confused on what piano players do with their left hand, if they already have a bass player...like Elton John, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Burt Bacharach...etc...does the bass player play the same bass piano notes? :?

:shock: :shock: I would like to start layering the piano's bass clef, with a bass guitar patch, but once, I do, they sound muddy on headphones... :shock: :shock:

:D Thanks again... :D
-Mitch-

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:06 am 
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Play bass with the drums Mitch! That's the most important thing. One of the compilments '61 got at Texastock was from Ross (Tudan). He said Don played a bass like a bass player instead of a guitar player. I've played bass for years.........like a guitar player. :lol:

Start with the root notes , play with the drums. Seems like simpler is better IMO. I don't read so i can't help you there. Listen to the bass players out there.

BTW .ain't nobody upset1

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:35 am 
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so then...when the drums are playing, the bass should be playing at the exact time/beat?

I dunno if its my stupidity, but when I play a piano piano piece with the sheet music, I play the bass clef what's written for piano, and then I tried to add the bass guitar with the root-3rd-5th pattern, or root/5th pattern...but it still sounded dissonant... :? ..could be a Yamaha thing...they may want you to only stay on the root chord using a bass guitar patch...and not to add any passing tones, or play perfect 4ths/5ths..etc... :?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:26 am 
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I think you are getting the picture. Don't try to play lead down there. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:30 am 
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Mitch,

I think keyboard bass, electric bass and upright bass all have their places and have distinct styles and sounds especially when played by a player dedicated to that specific intrument.

I can't imagine any bass player being able to come up with something half as good as Stevie Wonders left hand keyboard bass part (for that particular song) on an electric bass. For that song an elctric bass guitar instead of the left hand keyboard part would not sound right IMHO.

There are other classic songs with either upright or electric bass that would have achieved that status if the bass had been played on the keyboards.

As a bass player I have to play differently when a keyboard player joins the group verses just guitar and drums.

Keyboard players have to adjust to having a bass player compared to not playing with one.

While the upright and electric bass guitar are closer together than keyboard bass and all three cover bass frequencies they are three very distinct intruments that will affect note choices, passing notes etc.

In very general terms I have found on bass guitar that most of the time the root and fifth work well on the down beats.

Passing notes are often best on the up beats or the 2 and 4 of a 4/4 measure.

Walking bass lines is an art in and of itself especially in swing and jazz where you can play all kinds of notes within the chords and even invert or change the chords altogether. What notes work depend not only on the current chord but on what you just played against the last chord and what the next chord you are going to is.

As far as locking in with the drummer the most important thing (in most situations) IMHO is to synch up with the bass drum pattern first with strong full notes and leave lots of room for the snare to ring out ofter the attack. If you play notes on the snare hits you usually want to mute the note or play more stacato.

The spaces between the notes is as least as important as the timing and choice of the notes you do play.

I'm not really a keyboard player but I would think the thought process and especially phrasing would require a very different approach.

'61 is amazingly competent on guitar, bass and keyboard so perhaps he can add more or discredit my theories.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:47 am 
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:D As always...Everybody's reply is always patient, and thorough on this forum!...
I thank you all! :D

Quote:
Keyboard players have to adjust to having a bass player compared to not playing with one.
..What are some things that they usually do when playing with a bass player?

Quote:
In very general terms I have found on bass guitar that most of the time the root and fifth work well on the down beats
. I guess for now on, I'll continue to playing root and 5ths! :D

Quote:
Passing notes are often best on the up beats or the 2 and 4 of a 4/4 measure
:shock: maybe my timing was off, as I was only playing passing notes as BEFORE it would go to the next beat! :shock: ...ummm...does that make any sense? :oops: :lol:

Better get back to using the metronome/click-track :idea: :lol:

:D Thanks again everybody for your advice! :D
-Mitch-

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:54 am 
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MitchM2005 wrote:

Quote:
Keyboard players have to adjust to having a bass player compared to not playing with one.
..What are some things that they usually do when playing with a bass player?



Drink a lot!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:43 am 
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:lol: HA HA HA :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:12 pm 
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I will describe how my wife and myself work together, with our limited experience. There are much more experienced keyboard players out there that I am sure can give a better point of view, but this is what we have worked out.

My wife plays keys and I play bass in our church worship band. Over the past two years we have developed a relationship where we each leave room for each other in the music. As well as leaving room for the other members of the band.

Now what does that mean? When D started playing she would get the piece of sheet music out and paly it note for note. Melody and bass lines both. Left and right hands both. I started by asking her to lay off on the left hand as it got into my register and the two (my bass, her left hand) just made for a muddy bottom end. Fortunately she went to a couple of keyboard seminars, that covered playing in a band, which reinforced everything I had been asking her to do as the correct way to play in a group. So now she often plays only her right hand!

At the seminars she also learned to NOT play the melody. This is part of what I meant by leaving space in the music for others. In the case of the melody, that is the domain of the vocalists.

OK, so now no left hand, no melody, what is left? Insight here came from two sources. I bought her a Berklee School of Music book. This started out (and we have only completed the first little bit of the book) by having her join the rhythm section by playing along with the bass and drums.

Two simple examples:
1. Think back to all those old soul songs where the guitar played beats 2 and 4 with the drums.
2. And there there is the Tramp Beat where she plays 1, 2 and, 3 with the bass (me).
THese are simple examples, opportunities here are endless.

The second insight came from a seminar where the leader described his keyboard playing in two styles: rhythm as above, and what I will call'atmosphere' although I think he used a different word.

So what is 'atmosphere' playing? This is where D just holds a chord for its duration in the song. In a 12 bar blues that would be 4 beats bar 1, four beats bar 2 etc. No rhythmic playing involved. For this she typically uses string, organ, and synth pads. I am sure you can recall many songs where this goes on. Especially back to soul songs where the organ player holds the chord and then cranks in the leslie for effect towards the end of the phrase.

The other thing that we have learned, and which was also reinforced at all the seminars we attended is: "less is more" or to put it another way "it isn't what you play, its what you don't play" This goes for all the instruments in the band. This is where you understand your place in the music and leave room for others in the sound painting you are creating.

Hope this is of some help. Any insight or comments on the above from experienced keyboard players would be welcome as there is always more to learn.

CW


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Quote:
maybe my timing was off, as I was only playing passing notes as BEFORE it would go to the next beat! ...ummm...does that make any sense?


It all depends on the song and genre of the music.

I do like to work in the passing notes on the up beat (1/8 note) just before a down beat 1/4 note.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:12 pm 
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Excellent post CW by the way!

Good real world application and explanation.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 5:28 pm 
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:!: WOW CW...That is a GREAT post! :!:

Quote:
When D started playing she would get the piece of sheet music out and paly it note for note. Melody and bass lines both. Left and right hands both.
...That's exactly what I do! :oops:

Quote:
I started by asking her to lay off on the left hand as it got into my register and the two (my bass, her left hand) just made for a muddy bottom end
... :idea: so that's my problem! :idea:

Quote:
Fortunately she went to a couple of keyboard seminars, that covered playing in a band, which reinforced everything I had been asking her to do as the correct way to play in a group. So now she often plays only her right hand
...man, I wish I could have went to those seminars... :( did you go somewhere like GuitarCenter or Sam Ash, how did you know about the seminar? :)

Quote:
So now she often plays only her right hand!
...OK, then maybe I should start splitting the keyboard, left hand = bass guitar, and right hand = piano. :idea: :wink:

Quote:
I bought her a Berklee School of Music book.
...What was the name of the book, I would like to read it! I didn't know if the book would have been any good, cause many times, just looking at the Berklee books are very short... :oops:

Did you mean "soul songs" as in music from the 1950s and 1960's, or "soul songs" as in church/gospel/choir songs? :oops:

Quote:
So what is 'atmosphere' playing? This is where D just holds a chord for its duration in the song. In a 12 bar blues that would be 4 beats bar 1, four beats bar 2 etc. No rhythmic playing involved. For this she typically uses string, organ, and synth pads. I am sure you can recall many songs where this goes on. Especially back to soul songs where the organ player holds the chord and then cranks in the leslie for effect towards the end of the phrase
...OK...this I gotta try...I'm thinking that's like Eclipse at the end of Pink Floyd's: Dark Side of the Moon, or SteppenWolf's: Magic Carpet Ride and Born to be Wild, or Bob Dylans: Like a Rolling Stone...In which the organ goes up the CMAJ scale using triads!:wink:

:D Thanks for your post CW...do you have any audio files of you and your wife playing...I would like to get an idea how it sounds when one does those such techniques! :D

-Mitch-

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:17 am 
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Hi Mitch - I'll try to answer some of your questions:

Seminars - these were presented at Worship Music conferences. All the 'musical' and 'arrangement' problems that occur with secular bands also occur in Worship Bands. People playing too much, notoriously the 'classically' trained keyboardist; people not listening to what the rest of the band is doing; etc. ad infinitum. The seminars are designed to help those that are new to ensemble playing understand the structure of a group and what people play in the groups that they see on stage. I haven't seen anything like this at a music store.

The Book: "Berklee Practice Method KEYBOARD Get Your Band Together"Published by Berklee Press. ISBN 0-634-00651-7
http://www.berkleepress.com
It has a CD so you can listen and play along.
I also bought the BASS version, has the same songs, but is focused on the bass parts. That way we can practice and learn together!

'Soul' songs - yes definitely the stuff from the 50's and 60's! Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floydd, Booker T and the MGs. I think a lot of the stuff I particularly liked was from the Stax rhythm section featuring Duck Dunn on bass (one of my all time favourite bass players) and Steve Cropper on guitar.

We don't have anything recorded that is presentable. Mostly practice sessions, trying out different voices and rhythms, that usually get deleted. The G has helped us immensely by allowing us to sit back and objectively critique our ideas and then go back and try to improve them.
I am sure you can find examples of what I spoke about on commercially recorded stuff.

Glad I could be of some help.

Colin


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:15 pm 
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CW hit on some good points. Doing a lot of overdubs , it is very easy to get the bottom of my stuff too muddy. When piano is in the mix I will play right hand one set of tracks and left hand on another. That way I have some control at mixdown. Left hand piano , synth pads , noises , etc all contribute to the overall balance of the mix. I play with a blues band once in a while and I play very little left hand on the B3 patches unless the left hand part voicing involves higher register harmonics. I usually just comp cord and solo right handed. The left hand runs the leslie speed on the pitch wheel live. In the studio , I run the leslie speed with a midi connected expression pedal as I usually play B3 stuff with both hands as I split the keyboard and runs 2 stereo pairs out to the recorder.

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