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What is a Style in general
A Style is an ensemble of playable sounds, rhythms, and effects that convey a specific genre or piece of music. A style is equivalent to a rhythm section of a band.
Included are drums, bass and other accompanying instruments such as rhythm guitar, piano, and strings or rhythmic instrumental interjections.
A style is specific for an instrument. Therefore it can only be loaded into the appropriate keyboard or compatible keyboard. The style will then be selected in the auto accompaniment section on a keyboard and will be controlled by playing chords in the left hand.
Styles respond in real time to players‘ chord changes and feature multiple intros, fill-ins, variations and endings for dynamic performances.
Korg’s Pa Series arrangers contain hundreds of onboard Styles, with the ability to edit, create and add more Styles.
What is a Midi file
In the MIDIworld, MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and is the sound engine behind backing tracks karaoke, jam tracks, beats and of course, MIDI Files.
MIDI Files are created through a MIDI sequencer, easy to edit, transpose, print notation, create melody and harmony guides. A MIDI File is also referred to as a MIDI, MIDIS, midi file, midi files, SMF (Standard MIDI File) and GM (General MIDI).
A midi file is like a song, defined in length, that can be played on an electronic keyboard or other midi-player. A midi file contains 16 tracks/channels and thus can play up to 16 different instrument voices simultaneously.
The individual tracks of a midi file can be activated or deactivated (usually right on the keyboard itself).
For example Switching off the melody track when you will sing along or turning off one or more tracks while you play them yourself.
You can change the key (transpose) and the tempo of a midi file.
What is exactly the SongStyle
The songstyles do not differ in anything from simple styles, only in their content and I will explain what do I mean by that:
Typically, the styles depending on models of different companies, have a number from intro’s, variations, fills, breaks, endings, wherein in each of them contained part of a rate, usually lasting 1-4bars or more.
In Songstyles it becomes much more specific:
Each element of the above, contains the entire part of the song, for example whole introduction to Intro1 up 32bars, although there may be second input different from the first to Intro 2, the verse of the song to some variation, the chorus in another, etc., depending each time according to our requirements and are looking for any songstyle.
So depending on the requirements of each song and according to our experience, but also thinking about the convenience as well as ease of use for each musician, we create songstyles to meet perfectly in every case, even when things go wrong … what I mean:
Suppose that for a particular song that we want to play, we need an introduction, a verse, a chorus and an ending. Suppose that all these, we have already written in our songstyle. Obviously, we have left over 2intros, 2variations, fills kai endings possibly. Those vacancies, therefore, may seem useful to us creating extra variations, for example a pace of few bars for the verse or chorus, an extra fill or break, all these when some musician or singer did not correctly enter the song parts, loose several bars etc. giving us the opportunity to play something to bring him back and generally not seen the ” wrong ”, from wherever it comes.
It also gives us the opportunity to play similar songs same style furnishings without changing pace and without interruption.
In more sophisticated cases, the vacant positions of variation can be used in other ways, as always with the song demands that we want to play, so as to facilitate us.
As usual, in the variation of a songstyle, it is enough to play the tone, for example, Cm and will hear all the changes of the chords inside the variation. In the empty variation then, we can put exactly the same bars as the previous, but in a way that each time we change the right chords to follow the line of the song. This, of course, assumes that we will perform well the changes of the right chords, without forgetting or parallax the chords.
A different way you can use the extra variations is where we want to have freedom in our hands. For instance, to different things in the track as a supplement or if you just want to play clean piano around the keyboard, so we set the variation to suit a particular tone only, giving us total freedom of movement, especially if we play a solo piano song.
So depending on the requirements of each song, we create and the corresponding songstyle, in which of course can be used for other similar style furnishings songs, as may well be the basis for creating new styles, simply using for those who know the tools and possibilities afforded by the very Pa arrangers through the style editing operation of the instrument, with the help of some external daw.
Why SongStyles and not just a simple Style?
Simple styles are convenient, and yet so boring !!!
How many times happened to play something where the riff and groove of the style you use, sounds okay but still have the feeling that something is missing?
So having this lack in your mind, you begin to search for the many styles that you already have on your arranger, only to find that you have too many styles in which you can play the same song.
Everything sounds fine… yet is still bothering you, that something is missing.
It is the element of orchestration, the song build-up, are the specific phrases that characterize a song, the tutti or breaks, the Mix of this song.
Here is the SongStyle comes into play and give the solution to all the above, and also to save us from the monotony of the same rate in similar songs with the same fills and breaks with the usually not very good quality Plays and guitar strumming patterns.
The Songstyles gives the feeling of complete and tied live orchestra, which is not a true copy of the disc, have their own personal stamp their own air, adapted to ” live ” just as you imagined a live high-level orchestra, to plays with us … and guess what: It is incredibly funny yet unbelievably perfect!!!
Why to use SongStyle instead of karaoke mp3?
Going back a decade and further, we see that for a cover of some famous songs, it will be needed enough money and time, which today somebody can find for free on the internet or worst case for a few euro, even the original song without the lead voice, and most important it will be well-made, and crafted in the studio.
So the question arises why to use a songstyle, and not a karaoke mp3 song, since most of the arranger models of the Korg have this ability, and where, indeed, in most of the cases, the karaoke has the vocals!?
Why prefer a songstyle of 8 – midi tracks and no premium mp3?
The answer to this is not that simple but I will explain the best I can. There are many reasons why a musician would prefer the songstyle, and the most important reasons in our opinion are the following :
I. Styles, just like the songstyles, draw their sounds from the sound generator of each arranger. This means that all the rhythms, play up and down with the same sounds. The mp3s have huge audible differences between them, from song to song. To simply put it, it’s like with each song you hear a different band, which is unnatural for a live orchestra. The subject of audio, is multi-faceted since other functions are involved, like compression of sound or the mastering of a mp3, that is why I will not go further. Imagine how unnatural will sound, the uncompressed voice that will be singing over the mix! And this is, of course, the characteristics of a karaoke mp3.
II. An even bigger reason is the flexibility. In songstyle, while you are playing you can do the following and even more in real-time:
a) Change tempo speed
b) Change key
c) Change instruments
d) Change EQ for each track, effects, and mix
e) Fade in/fade out
f) You have a cue, which means that you can play one songstyle after the other, anytime you want it, with the order you like, to start the song from any part of the track you wish, to play it as many times as you like, and the part of this as many times as you want! For example, a double-chorus or double input, to take a break and go directly to the chorus, thus creating countless medleys on the fly, and all of them non-stop.
g) To restore the voice of the singer within a song if it has gone missing, unlike the mp3 which starts from the beginning and plays until the song’s over non-stop.
All of the above are impossible to be done, and especially in real-time with the karaoke mp3.
Why to use SongStyle instead of midi file?
The arrangers of the PA series play midi files using the sequencer feature, which in fact have the double number of tracks from the styles. The problem is, that the midi files usually have a count-in in the beginning, a small gap of one music meter most of the time, which is needed in order for the sequencer to get the information and the changes of sounds, etc. with the result that we don’t have a cue.
Also, the midi file behaves just like the mp3, it will start and stop where it ends. There are, of course, markers that you can put before, to be able to return various points of the song, but it is a complex process that is not recommended and often creates new problems if not done correctly.
However midi files are very good solution for those who don’t need a cue and all of the above mentioned in the ” f) ” section of “II.” paragraph, as long as it’s made correctly. In Songstyles, you have the structure of the song in your fingers, which allows for quick transitions, for example, from the intro to the chorus, from a break to the intro, again fill and chorus, break and go to the next song…