Author Topic: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh  (Read 1602 times)

Hugh Wallington

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Plays AR 80
Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« on: March 10, 2016, 09:50:05 PM »
I think most people would just switch on their organ/keyboard, press a few buttons .. and play something.  I can't seem to do that.  I have probably been listening to Radio 2, and something from the 50s or 60s has caught my imagination.  Listening to the 'backings', I am thinking, "I can do something like that on my AR".  I suppose this comes from playing in a band when I was a youngster.  So when I get to my AR 80 and switch it on I am hunting through all the drum rhythms in the STYLES looking for something to suit the song that is now embedded in my head.  And then when I have found something suitable, I load it into ACCOMP. PROGRAM and experiment with the backing PARTS to see if I can come up with something similar to what I have heard, and program it in.

Take House Of The Rising Sun.  That has an arpeggio running right through it, so can I get a backing like that?  Not 'note for note' but a 'pattern' in a backing that gives the right 'feel' to the song.

First I had to find a STYLE with the right beat/sound for this song; and found 6/8 Ballad 1 from BALLAD.  Using Phrase 1, I changed the VOICE from Grand Piano to Steel Guitar, and came up with this as a 'backing PART'.  Have played just a C chord to start with so you can hear how it sounds; and then some of the other chords.

Click to listen:

The Phrase 1 'Part' to accompany House Of The Rising Sun - MP3

There is more on how I arrived at this backing part in Playing Technique:

http://www.ar-group.org/smforum/index.php?topic=1058.0#top

Here's a short DEMO so you can hear how this backing Part blends in with the Registrations I have chosen.

Rising Sun DEMO played by Hugh Wallington - MP3

And then ..

I am listening to this and realise that this would be a suitable backing for another song I have been trying to play for years.  The Great Pretender.

So I load the House Of The Rising Sun STYLE into ACCOMP. PROGRAM to make yet more changes to suit the 'Pretender' song.  First, I changed the Bass VOICE from Finger Bass to Acoustic Bass.  And programmed in a new 'Bass PART'.  I did this for both MAIN A and MAIN B.

So now the Bass PART sounds like this.  You need headphones, or a sub-woofer (which these days is called a 'Soundbar') in order to really hear that bass part.

The Bass 'Part' for The Great Pretender - MP3

And then, for the 'Bridge' (or 'Hook'?) I added a new PART to Phrase 2 (MAIN B), first replacing the VOICE E. Piano 2 with Grand Piano.

This is what I wanted the backing to sound like:

The Phrase 2 'Part' for The Great Pretender - MP3

I am keeping the Registration sounds the same (quite like that 'Jazz Organ' Registration for playing the tune), but need to 'split' the Lower keyboard (on the F) so that I can 'jump' down from the Upper to the Lower when I get to the 'echo' notes that give you the F ninth chord sound (just love harmony, and it's the F9 at this point that makes this piece).  Brian Lisher has told me that you canít split the Lower on the HS8, so hereís another Ďplusí for the AR.

Finally, here is a short burst so you can hear how this has all panned out.  Use headphones, sub-woofer or Soundbar to really pick up that Bass Part.

The Great Pretender, DEMO played by Hugh Wallington - MP3

Just love my AR!  For me it's the technical bits.  I'd rather create backing parts of my own than get one from a STYLE 'Bank' that may or may not have the sounds I have going round in my head.

I was asking Peter Slack if he could do something like this on his organ/keyboards, and he tells me no, not quite like this .. but if he has a MIDIFILE of a backing, he can turn that into a STYLE he can use.  And can change the 'voices' if he so wishes.

Any comments about 'backings' on other organs/keyboards .. if one can change the voices or put in one's own 'PART' as you can with the AR?

Hugh

PS.  I have just listened again to The Great Pretender by The Platters, on YouTube.  They have a 'repeating piano' running right through this piece.  So that's me back to ACCOMP. PROGRAM to create a 'repeating piano' PART that I can use as well as the above.
AR Admin

Hugh Wallington

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Plays AR 80
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 02:49:20 PM »
Another thing I really like about the AR is using a floppy disk!  Well, probably not the actual technology of using it (some of our Members have replaced their Floppy Disk Recorder with an Emulator, so use a Memory Stick instead), but how the AR makes a recording.  There are two files created, the .b00 file and the .evt file, and they work together.  The .b00 file is the Registration file; and the .evt file is the Playing (Event) file.  These are DATA files so can only be 'played' through the AR.

This is what happens when you 'play' a track from a floppy.  First, the AR loads up the Registrations for the piece (from the .b00 file); then you hear the piece playing (the .evt file).  The .evt file is on a 'time line' and every button you press as you play (eg. a Registration Memory button) is replicated as it goes along.  Lights change at the appropriate moments, and you can make a note of what has been pressed and when.

When the piece has finished, you have access to the complete set-up that was used.  You know which STYLE has been used (if one was used), and when; which instruments were chosen etc.  And this includes any Voice or Style that has been adjusted/created by the player.  This means you can use the set-up you have just heard to play a piece of your own.

You can't do this when recording to .mid or .mp3.  You can hear what was played but would have no idea what voices or styles were used, and wouldn't have access to the set-up to use yourself.

The disadvantage of what the AR does is that you can't 'play' your recording on any other device.  If you want an MP3, then you have to 'Play' the floppy track through the AR and take the output from the Line-Out (Phono) into an external recording device (eg. Audacity on a laptop).

Hugh
AR Admin

Margaret Draper

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Plays AR 100
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 01:35:01 AM »
Hugh Ė I too love my AR.   
After all the years weíve been together (my AR and me) I still enjoy.
I prefer to create my own mix of voices and rhythms, though I donít delve as deeply as you do into rhythms etc.
I do find a greater sense of achievement by working out things for myself from scratch, though this does not come instantly to me, and probably the end result isnít always as it should be.

Cheers......MARGARET DRAPER



Hugh Wallington

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Plays AR 80
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 12:53:52 PM »
At our organ club last week we had Chris Powell playing.  Now he has a Roland Atelier, and you can purchase Atelier software from the Shop on his website.  One thing he did (quite often) was .. as he was playing some melody on the Upper, he would get to the end of a phrase .. and then jump down with his right hand and play some notes on the Lower (to the right of the split).  Lots of organists do this, but what was quite striking in his case was that the last note/chord he had played on the Upper continued to sound until he went back to the Upper.  That was quite amazing!  I thought maybe he had 'double recorded' it previously.  But he said no, on the Roland you can program the right footswitch to do a HOLD on either the Upper, Lower or Pedal.  So when he got to that point he just moved his toe to the right and held the switch in until he was ready to go back to playing the Upper.  How useful is that?  He added that he thought the Roland was the only organ you could do this with.  He also told me that most Yamaha Organ players 'program' the right footswitch to change Registrations (which he could have done as well), but he preferred to change the Registration buttons by hand and use his right footswitch for something else.

So that is a facility I would like to have on my AR.

Hugh
AR Admin

Peter Slack

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 463
  • Plays Korg PA4X, Roland AT80SL, Technics GA3, Tech
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2016, 05:07:52 PM »
Hi Hugh

Yes, I've seen Chris Powell do that too. It's extremely effective, and I just had to ask him how he did it too. Apparently, all the Rolands can do this and I keep meaning to try it on my AT80SL.

Some of these little tricks are well worth remembering aren't they.

Peter S

Peter Slack

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 463
  • Plays Korg PA4X, Roland AT80SL, Technics GA3, Tech
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 08:38:44 AM »
Hugh,

By the way, I have seen Billy Preston use lollipop sticks or similar to do this.  At the appropriate moment he will push them in between the keys to hold down the high note!

Just thought I would mention this. If you do try it please post a video on You Tube!

Keep the music playing (and that high note!)

Peter S

Hugh Wallington

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Plays AR 80
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 09:12:46 AM »
Peter,

Now that's a thought!  Wouldn't have occurred to me to use something 'physical' to hold those notes down.  Maybe something heavy to 'weigh' it down  .. like a gold bar.  I'll see if I have any lying around.

Hugh
AR Admin

Hugh Wallington

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Plays AR 80
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 03:59:04 PM »
Peter Slack has made another suggestion for 'holding' that last chord on the Upper before you jump down to the split on the Lower:

Set up the SUSTAIN on the UPPER to MAXIMUM; drop the Knee Lever (this activates the SUSTAIN function); make sure the SUSTAIN TAB for the UPPER is ON.  With the knee lever dropped there will be NO sustain.  When pushed to the right, the SUSTAIN is activated (in this case, Maximum .. so virtually HOLD).  Remember to drop the Knee Lever again when you get back to the Upper to continue with the tune.

Hugh
AR Admin

Hugh Wallington

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2807
  • Plays AR 80
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 04:02:37 PM »
Would also like to have Vocal Harmony on my AR .. as it can be done on the Tyros 4.

This is what you can do with this function:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMpNSyzfrOU&feature=related

Hugh
AR Admin

Peter Anderson

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1830
  • Plays AR 80
Re: Why I just love my AR 80 - Hugh
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 04:52:05 PM »
For more about the Knee Lever, click this link:

http://www.ar-group.org/smforum/index.php?topic=732.0


There is also a small reference to the Knee Lever in Starting From Scratch No 7:

http://www.ar-group.org/smforum/index.php?topic=1377.0

Peter