questions of the Genesys design team
Q. What exactly are REAL SOUNDS?
Generally speaking, the REAL SOUNDS button
provides a highlight of some of the best sounds in the instrument.
REAL SOUNDS are sounds which have been specially created by sampling
particular nuances of the way a musician plays a specific
instrument. A good example is REAL TRUMPET. For this sound we asked
the trumpet player to play straight notes and then to play the same
notes with a scoop effect. The way that the timbre of the instrument
changes when a brass player uses his lips to create this effect is
unique and cannot be replicated with simple pitch bending.
These two samples were then assigned to a
velocity switch which introduces the scoop effect when the key is
pressed harder. If you play this sound more softly, you can also
introduce pitch variation with aftertouch. This, in combination with
the natural scoop effect, allows for great articulation of the sound
using a fairly simple playing technique.
Other sounds in this family have more subtle
articulation; like REAL CELLO and REAL ALTO. These sounds do not
involve velocity switching but they have been sampled with natural
player attacks and vibrato for greater authenticity.
TIP: There are some very impressive
sounds which could not be included in the sound presets. You can
find these in SINGLE SOUND mode and you might want to include them
in your demo as example of how many great extra sounds are inside
the machine. A couple of good examples can be found on page 11 of
the BRASS family. Here you will find REAL MUTE TRUMPET and TRUMPET
FX which come from the same recording session that produced the REAL
Why is there an ORGAN family and
a DRAWBARS family?
Not everybody understands drawbars and, for
this reason, we included a family of purely sampled organ
combinations. This family also contains things like Church Organ and
transistor organ samples which cannot be well replicated with
The DRAWBARS family is unique because it
allows you to construct your own sounds exactly as you might on a
drawbar organ. The presets in this family are simply manipulations
of the same basic combination which can be easily edited by the
To make your own drawbar sound, first
select POP ORGAN2 in the DRAWBARS family, (I chose this particular
preset because all of the drawbar sounds are active (some other
presets mute the unused drawbars to optimize polyphony).
Now press ESCAPE and then press PARTS (F5) in
the main screen . Notice that the lower of the two leds to the right
of the sliders is on. This indicates that the slider mode has
changed. The sliders can now be used as organ drawbars. Sliders C
thru H can be used as organ drawbars for the main sound. The footage
for each slider is shown in the corresponding part of the display.
Sliders A and B will control the volume of the
left hand sound in ACCOMP SPLIT and BASS SPLIT mode respectively.
The rotary, (Leslie-effect) can be
controlled from the SLOW/FAST button on the front panel. For more
convenience, you can also assign this function to a pedal, (SECTION
EDIT/PRESET/PEDALS & WHEELS), or to one of the four pads, (PADS
What does the USER button do in the
PRESET FAMILIES section?
If you press USER and then go to the different
sound families, you see that they are all empty. These are the empty
slots where you can save your own sound presets. There are exactly
the same number of these as there are in the preset families. A
“power user” could completely change all of the sound presets and
then store the results in these locations. This means that you can
completely customize the Genesys to contain exactly the sounds that
you want. Once you’ve done this, just press USER after switching the
instrument on and the preset families now contain your own sounds
instead of the factory presets. No other keyboard offers such a
simple and powerful system for organizing user-created sounds.
Q. Why are there Bossa Novas in the JAZZ
Many jazz players use Bossas for creating a
variation in the bridge of a swing tune. In fact, some swing tunes
are even written that way. Putting all the Bossas in the LATIN
family would have made it difficult to switch between Swing styles
and Bossas in realtime. So we put two Bossas in the JAZZ family to
cater to this need; one straight time and one double time. Just make
sure you press TEMPO LOCK before switching over.
Q. What’s so special about PRO SPLIT?
PRO SPLIT is the only feature which allows you
to use a style correctly when playing a split keyboard patch – bass
in the left hand and chords in the right. Most keyboards offer some
kind of control over the chord scanning. Usually the choice is
left hand or full keyboard (pianist mode). Some keyboards
also offer a right hand scanning mode. However, none of these modes
will correctly reproduce a chord played in two halves with a split
keyboard – bass on the left and chord on the right. If you use right
hand scanning, the bass notes you play on the left side of the split
will be ignored and not included in the accompaniment voicing. If
you use full keyboard scanning then the bass section must use the
same sound as the right hand.
PRO SPLIT overcomes this problem by
diving the bass and accompaniment parts of the style into two
distinct sections. The bass section is voiced solely by the notes
you play on the left side of the split. It will not be influenced by
what you are playing with your right hand (as long as your left hand
is playing something). Similarly the accompaniment tracks only look
at the right hand notes for their voicing.
Consider a chord like Fm7/Bb, (that’s Fm7
with a Bb bass). This is a pretty easy chord to play on a piano.
However, trying to reproduce such a simple voicing on some style
keyboards is almost impossible unless you switch to full
keyboard/pianist mode; forcing you to play without a split. In this
case, if you wanted to play with a layered sound like piano and
choir, the bass notes you played would also play the choir sound in
this low register, which will sound pretty awful. Using PRO SPLIT,
you can independently select appropriate sounds for the right and
left hand sections while the style section correctly interprets the
chord voicings from both sections.
Are there any other special style
controls that I should know about?
There are many style controls on the Genesys
that have been implemented as a result of extensive research into
the needs of arranger keyboard users around the world. There are two
which should be pointed out in any demonstration. The first is
The RESTART button was added as a tool
for anyone who accompanies vocalists or other instrumentalists who
have a tendency to loose their place in the song. Frequently, a
vocalist might skip a whole beat or more while singing, (hearing “1”
in their head while the keyboard player is still counting “4”). When
this happens, just press RESTART on the vocalist’s downbeat. The
style is now re-aligned with the vocalist’s count.
The FREEZE CHORD function is another
great tool for the accomplished player. Although primarily designed
for use in PIANO STYLE mode, it can be used in any of the keyboard
modes. FREEZE CHORD allows you to temporarily stop the instrument
from recognizing any further chord changes, “freezing” the last
chord that you played. This can be particularly useful in PIANO
STYLE when you want to have more control over the auto-recognition
of the accompaniment. The freeze chord function can be assigned to
any of the three connected pedals and will be active only while the
pedal is held. You will find it at the very end of the pedal
functions in PEDALS PROG which is a page of the PEDALS & WHEELS menu
in SECTION EDIT/PRESET.
SONG PLAYER & DISK
Is there a quicker way to scroll through the
directories of a CD or Hard Disk?
Yes. Normally you use the up and down arrows to
move one directory at a time. If you want to search more quickly,
perhaps to locate a folder right at the end of the list, you can use
the PAGE PREV and NEXT buttons to jump one whole directory screen at
a time. The PAGE buttons also work in a similar way when you’re
scrolling through a directory’s contents.
Why is SONG, MP3 and WAVE data sorted
into specific folders on GEM-produced disks?
convention is followed to enable the use of the shortcut buttons in
the SONG PLAYER / SELECT screen. These buttons, (along the right
side of the screen), provide an instant means of locating a
particular type of song file without having to search for the folder
that contains it. They automatically open the folder with the
related name, (MP3, WAVE, MIDIFILE etc.). These folders are fixed on
the hard disk and cannot be renamed or deleted. However, if you are
going to make your own data CDs containing multiple types of song
file, it’s a good idea to use these same folder names so that the
SONG PLAYER shortcuts can be used with it.
If I want to copy some MP3s, WAVs etc.
from my computer to a CD, is there anything else I should know
before burning the CD to optimize it for the Genesys?
You should try to use the same ISO file system
compatibility as the Genesys. Your CD burning software should allow
you to set this up from one of the option or preferences windows,
(in Nero they can be found under the ISO tab in the “Burn CD”
The settings should be configured as follows:
ISO Level 2, (31 chars)
Character Set = ASCII
Format = Mode 1
Joliet = Unchecked