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Versatile Tones / Articulations / Realism

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I WANT an MZ-X500, mostly due to the awesome videos from Ralph Maten on YouTube.  (I suspect he has done some serious custom editing on his MZ to do what he does.). :2thu:

If the MZ-X500 was 76 keys, I would have bought one already.  (Maybe for NAMM in January...please Casio!) :banghead:

So...articulations.  I can't get my hands on an MZ anywhere but I played the Yamaha PSR-S970 yesterday and the Super Articulations are ... WOW!  Can the MZ-X500 create these articulations (fret slides, keyoffs) in the melody hand while playing (like the Yamaha) or do I have to hit pads or special keys in the lower register to trigger these random (but gorgeous) nuances?  I looked at the Appendix pg 15, referencing "Versatile Tones" but I'm still not clear on this.  Thanks all.

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The guitars do have various nuances like body slaps, muted picked strings, fret slides, string noises and various other sounds.  These are triggered by velocity and by keys outside of the normal range for guitar.  For example, some guitar tones have velocity triggered fret slides.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, BradMZ said:

The guitars do have various nuances like body slaps, muted picked strings, fret slides, string noises and various other sounds.  These are triggered by velocity and by keys outside of the normal range for guitar.  For example, some guitar tones have velocity triggered fret slides.

 

 

 

       ....including this other WOW! factor: 

 

                  Yamaha PSR-S970  (61 keys):  £1,737    Bax shop

 

                  Casio MZ-X500       (61 keys):  £680       Bax shop

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BradMZ, I am re-visiting this post because FINALLY I was able to find an MZ to try out...in Singapore!. I had to travel half way around the world to get my hands on this MZ machine. It was nice to finally get to play one and try out the Tones. You mentioned above some guitar tones' articulations and nuances being triggered by velocity but I couldn't get it to work the way I expected..  (The demo keyboard I tried had update 1.4).

 

I was frustrated because I could not get the "fret slides" (glissando) and "string squeak" to sound natural while playing. Striking the key harder did not trigger a slide on the standard Guitar Tones I tried.  They seemed to produce no articulations (while playing) other than level/volume. Also, the Versatile Tone guitars (Tone 0463 and 0464) were so sporadic in their velocity triggers, that it sounded terrible.  It was triggering slaps, mutes, harmonics and slides so randomly, I could not get the "exact velocity" to trigger just a nice fret slide or string squeak. I was expecting the versatile tone to give me that Super Articulation feel and sound... but I couldn't do it.

 

The Yamaha PSR-770 and 970 are my comparison keyboards for these guitar Super Articulations.  The sound and nuances are so natural on those keyboards that when I play, it sounds great.  But the Yamaha PSR is at a much higher price point.  I love the capabilities of the MZ, and of course, the price.  So, if I can figure out a way to reproduce a similar guitar sound and nuance in the notes I'm playing, that would be another box I can check off in favor of the MZ.

 

1) Anyway, can you (or anyone) guide me to a specific Tone that emulates this?  Or maybe it's a setting you can help me understand.

 

2) Could you (or someone) direct me to a video that SPECIFICALLY shows these articulations/nuances and the tones used while someone plays.  I am specifically referring to a glissando/fret slide where a guitarist quickly moves across one or two frets while the note is being played, and "string squeak" where you hear the movement of the guitarist's fingers squeaking along the strings as he moves between notes or chords. (Not too much, just enough to make it sound realistic)  I hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks to all.

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I can't understand what is being said in the video (which I have watched before) but it does NOT seem to show triggering of any special articulations like slides or special tones like string squeak, by note velocity. (String squeak is called "fret noise" by General MIDI despite the frets having nothing to do with it.) The brass tones played near the end of the video apparently trigger doits, falls or shakes at key release instead. (It's unclear to me if release velocity affects the triggering of the articulations or only affects their volume with respect to the main tone. Release velocity is fairly hard to control, IMO.) 

 

Versatile Tones are analogous to Yamaha's MegaVoice technology, which is easily ten years old now. That's how far behind Casio is at present when it comes to triggering articulations. As Yamaha has repeatedly maintained, MegaVoices are not intended to be played live; instead they are played by specially designed arpeggios, which keyboards like the Motif models have in spades.

 

The MZ-X500 doesn't have anything like Super Articulation (SA) or eXpanded Articulation (XA) or even Korg's version of XA, which are themselves fairly old technologies but probably patented, hence effectively unavailable to Casio. And Yamaha progressed to SA2 for the last few years, so they're even further ahead. The MZ-X500 can evidently generate most of the important articulations, unlike previous Casio keyboards, which is a huge step in the right direction. It's just the triggering part that is lacking.

 

That said, if you are willing to create your own custom samples (could even be done by recording articulations from the MZ-X500 itself by the MZ-X500 itself one at a time) you can build tones that allow controllable selection of articulations by velocity. The first video in this thread likely shows something like that. In that thread Brad, CMF's resident MZ-X500 expert and all-around nice guy, provides some great explanations of the MZ-X500's capabilities in that regard. 

 

Strangely enough, I have been able to find only two videos, the one in this thread and the one I posted in the thread I referenced above, that show any special articulations from the MZ-X500 when played "normally" (not counting ones that show articulations triggered by the pads). Maybe there are more and I simply missed them (somehow). 

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Perhaps this is yet another instance where the technological capabilities of the MZ are not being properly explained by Casio? 

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Something like THIS is the kind of control of articulations a keyboard like the MZ-X500 should have, obviously with a different kind of interface compatible with Casio's touchscreen UI.

 

 

 

https://www.orangetreesamples.com/products/mind-control

 

As you can see this goes way beyond Yamaha's SA or XA technology. It doesn't even have to be quite so complicated on a Casio keyboard; even two or three simultaneous conditions per articulation would be fine. Heck, I'm sure even the fixed triggering conditions provided by SA would suffice. But SOMETHING beyond just velocity, key release and key position is needed. 

 

It's a point I have made here many times BEFORE I  knew software like this existed (which was about half an hour ago). When it comes to emulating acoustic and electric instruments, this is where the rubber meets the road. 

 

Here's some more from the same people, this time built in to one of their virtual instruments:

 

 

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Here's a patent from 2008 that describes mechanisms to switch between articulations during normal playing as a better solution than the keyswitching typically provided in sample libraries (the MZ-X500 of course doesn't even provide that). If you can understand Patentese it's an interesting read. My point in presenting all of this stuff, some of it ten years old now, is that the concepts have been out there for a while. Heck, they're so old that Casio might well consider using some of them. :lol:

 

 

 

 

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