Tweaking styles

When you try styles found on the internet in OMB using your synthesizer, then you will notice big differences in quality. Many of the styles, are converted from Non-Yamaha keyboards. They usually don't sound as good as they did on the original keyboard. There is a lot that you can do to improve this. Here are some tips and tricks.

Use the mixer to change controller values.

In the PC Keyboard 1 window: press a chord to start the accompaniment. Now select the mixer from the menu. You can adjust the values of volume, reverb etc. while the accompaniment plays to hear the result. Tracks that use the same channel have coupled mixer sliders. Press the Save button in the mixew window to save the style with the new volume settings.

Revoicing the style.

Press a voice button in the mixer window. You will get a list of XG banks and patches. You can select a bank and view the included patches. Alternatively you can select the option "patches" to view a list of all patch variations. You can browse through this list to audition the patches while the accompaniment plays and hear the effects. The banks and patches shown are basic XG included in the OMB.INS file. Replace this file with a Cakewalk .INS file if you have one for your synth.

Drumset conversion.

Load a style and go to the stylemaker window. You can view the different parts (variations) with the select box. The drum tracks have the text "drums" in the "Misc parms" column. There can be more than one drumtrack. Click on a drum track and press the play button. If it sounds like a jungle it might need conversion.

Double click on the track in the events column. A list of all the notes in the drum track appears. Click on the notes to hear the sound and write down which ones need replacement (e.g Bb1, C4, etc.). Then exit the events list and select the menu option Tracks/Convert. Double click on a listed note in the conversion table that must be repaired. An edit window will popup.

There are two ways you can deal with the problem. You can replace a note with another more neutral sound (e.g. a brush) or you can decrease the velocity of the note (-99 won't be heared). If you're finished editing the conversion tabel then save it with the save button. You will need this table to repair more styles from the same origin later.

Check the track(s) that need conversion. If you want to do the conversion in all parts then check this option too. Now press apply to do the conversion. Press Exit and go to any of the windows PC-Keyboard1, PC-Keyboard2 or MIDI-Keyboard to start playing this style.

For Oriental drumsets there is a conversion table availabe that converts everything to bongo's and conga's. It has been succesfully applied to many Oriental styles.

Loop length and time signature.

Sometimes there is a gap of a few bars in a variation. If a style is called 78ballad and the time signature shown in the stylemaker window is 4/4 then that might not be correct. Click on the time signature to change this. In most cases the gap will be caused by a wrong length of the part. Select menu Part/Length and change the number of bars/measures. Go to any of the windows PC-Keyboard1, PC-Keyboard2 or MIDI-Keyboard and play to check if the gap has disappeared.

The Control Area.

The patch (instrument), volume, reverb etc. are specified in an extra part of the style called the Control Area. All this is sent to the synthesizer before the style starts playing. This data can be viewed by double clicking the column "Control data". It is possible to include this data at the start of each individual part (view this in the column "Events"). Some times this is done because some parts use different instruments. In many converted styles these controllers are inluded in each part but are all the same.

Your synth will need some time to process all this data and this can be heared as a small delay or glitch each time the loop repeats. To repair this press the "Ctrls" button. You will get an overview of the controllers in all parts of the style. Press the "Patch" button to view the patches. There should be only values in the top line "Style wide" this is the Control Area. If the same values are repeated in all parts then you can move them to "Style wide". Double click on any value outside the "style wide" area. All the data in the column will be cleared and moved to the "Style wide" area. The bank msb and lsb controllers will be moved automatically with the patch.

You can also use this window to edit the controllers in a style.

Doing the complete conversion with OMB.

If you own the keyboard or software that uses the styles that you want to convert, then you can do the complete conversion with OMB. To do this you must first make a MIDI file that plays all the variations. The intro's and endings played in C and all the other variations played in CMaj7. Create a new style in OMB. Paste the parts of the MIDI file in the style parts in OMB. The intro's and endings with transposition type Melody and the other parts with transposition type Chord. There is a workshop about this.


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