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Thank you for your rapid response. I have purchased a copy of it and I am very pleased with it I am impressed by the simplicity of use.
Just to let you know that I am very impressed with the Busker 4.0 software. I am using it to help me learn to play clarinet by giving me accompaniments that are a lot more interesting than just a metronome! I am still learning my way round the software but I was able to input and play a tune in minutes after starting.
Some of the things that are really good for me are:
1. Very simple melody input using drag and drop - quick and easy.
2. Simple input of comprehensive set of chords for the auto-accompaniment.
3. Quick and easy choice of a style to fit melody - I'm not looking to perform with this, although I think I could, but just something to get me in the swing of playing along.
4. It seems to be able to play any melody that I can input the score for and the scoring function is very adequate even though not 100% sheet music standard.
5. It plays pieces that I have never been able to figure out from the music so I should be able to start playing these now.
6. Being able to start at a slow tempo and come up to speed as I get the hang of a piece.
7. Transposing from key to key and printing out the scores.
8. Dropping 2 semi-tones on playback so that I can play straight from the score with my B-flat clarinet.
9. Plenty of features to help improve the overall sound without getting bogged down in technology.
10. But most important for me - it's so easy to set the whole thing up and get started with an absolute minimum of knowledge of the computer technology, synthesizers, sequencers, mixers, MIDI interfaces etc - this can be so daunting in "bigger" products. My setup is very simple:- 1.5GHz computer on Windows 2000 with cheap Creative Audigy soundcard that supports SoundFonts that Busker is able to select from. Set of mid-range Creative 2.1 speakers. Computer keyboard, mouse, monitor and Internet connection (optional to download more styles).
Very many thanks.
I like the intuitive way to use Busker: much easier than Band-in-a-box or XG-Works! "Live display" is very good and a dream for people learning to play guitar or keyboard. Hope you are building a wish-list for Busker and that it will have still more options in a next version. It deserves to be taken care of and grow. [Gunnar]
I tried out Busker version 3.0 this weekend. It is a marvelous nifty little tool that lets you capture the melody lines and chords of standard printed fake books and then have your arranger play the song back in any style of your choice complete with the chord progression. Busker can even save your project as a Standard MIDI file or a KAR file.
Busker 3.0 can be used as great teaching tool to show beginners how to play the melody line with the right hand and the chords with the left hand. The on-screen display shows the fingering of both hands plus the staff notes, chords and lyrics.
It becomes a whole lot more fun when you hook up a keyboard that has illuminated keys! For a test I hooked up a cheap $69 Casio LK-56 keyboard that has lighted keys. Watch the Casio in action as Busker plays Auld Lang Syne. See how the lighted keys on the Casio match up to the fingering on the screen.
Busker has a transpose function that lets you convert the score to any key of your choice. To make matters simple, I selected the key of C. The notes and chord progression instantly changed to the key of C (C, G7, C7, F, C, ).
Busker also has a convenient loop function for learning difficult phrases. For this demo, I set it to loop through bars 1 and 4.
For those who may be interested in using an arranger keyboard with Busker, here are the setup details:
I used a Yamaha UX-16 USB-MIDI cable to connect the Casio to the XP desktop running Busker.
Here are the relevant Settings on Busker:
MIDI In = Yamaha USB IN 0-1
MIDI Out = Yamaha USB OUT 0-1
MIDI Thru = ON
Synthesizer Type = GM
Auto Accompaniment Method = Use the Styles in a connected arranger keyboard
Chord Channel = 1
Melody Channel = 1
Synchronization = Slave (receiving clocks)
Basically I set Busker to transmit the melody and chord notes on channel 1 and follow the clock of the external arranger.
On the Casio LK-56, I had to use these settings:
GM Mode = OFF
Keyboard Channel = 1
Navigation channel = 1
Chord Judge = ON
Local = ON
Accompaniment Out = ON
Accompaniment Mode = Fingered (Split below F2#)
The keyboard channel (1) is the global receive channel on the Casio.
I turned Chord Judge on, so that notes received below the F2# split point will be interpreted as chords and trigger the chord changes.
I set the navigation channel to 1, so that the corresponding keys light up when the notes are received on Channel 1 from Busker.
I had local ON so that I could play along. It was important to set Accomp Out to ON, so that the clock could be sent out to Busker. Busker is relying on the external clock to play back in time.
Then all I had to do was select a 16 beat style on the Casio, hit [Syncrho Start] to have it set to go, then press the [Play] button on Busker when a window came up telling me that it is waiting for the Start Signal. At this point, all I had to do was press a chord, and it initiated playback from Busker in perfect sync with the Casio's internal style. I could now play the fills or variations or change styles or tempo as the looped section played through. I could even follow the lights and play the melody part.
So there you have it. For a grand total of $99 ($69 for the Casio, $30 for Busker), you have a versatile learning tool that shows you how to play any printed score complete with guiding lights and full accompaniment.
Throw in One Man Band version 8 ($50) and you can instantly transform a synth workstation like a Yamaha Motif 8 or Korg Triton Extreme into a versatile Arranger. The thousands of free Yamaha styles that OMB uses, sound best when played through an XG sound source. I picked up a used Yamaha MU100 for $270. I am very pleased with the results.
Music making and learning has never been so affordable and so much fun!! Thanks Jos for continuing to make your great programs even better.
View this thread on the Synt Zone - Arranger Keyboard forum
Busker is the finest score writing/playing program available, and I have tried them all. [Robert Ruda]