Arranger Workstations: 5 Super-Cool Things To Do With Style Creator

When it comes to writing and arranging music, you need each part of the band or orchestra to do exactly what you imagine. After all, you’re in control. You’re the writer and arranger. With our arranger workstations you have the most versatile (and compliant) band available!

Workstation specialist Gary Hopkins explains all...

What's a 'Style'?

At the most basic level, a 'style' is a Yamaha backing accompaniment. But unlike a traditional backing track that you might sing along to when playing a karaoke game on your Xbox or PlayStation, a style is created in realtime; like a group of real musicians, all the instruments follow your chord changes and you decide when to move to the middle eight, chorus, verse or ending. It's your own duo, trio, band or orchestra, intricate and complex - but incredibly easy to use and play along to.

Our PSR-S, PSR-SX and Genos Series Workstations offer some of our best-ever styles; whether you already own one of these awesome powerhouses or are considering one, here are a few neat tricks you can perform with the Style Creator mode...

1. Mix ’n’ Match

Inside Style Creator there’s a cool little feature called Assembly. What this lets you do is use each style part as a building block. For instance, you can take the rhythm from one style and put it together with the bass of another style, the chords from another, and create your own brand new style.

2. Swing It!

Another neat way of creating new styles from existing ones is the Groove feature. You’ll find this under Channel Edit. You can convert an 8-beat style into 8-beat triplets, add a swing feel, and apply groove templates, completely changing the feel of the style.

3. Change the Feel

Different types of music often use the same beat but place emphasis on specific beats in the bar. Go to Dynamics in Channel Edit. There’s a list of different genres there, so if, for example, you wanted to give a normally straight beat a Reggae feel instead, you can do just that.

4. Make Your Own

This is the coolest feature: I can make an entire style from scratch. To consider just how much opportunity to be creative you have, just glance along the style control section. There are 4 variations, 3 introductions, and 3 endings. Each one of those sections allows you to record up to 32 bars. 32!! Then you have 4x 1-bar fill-ins and a 1-bar break to provide all the transitions between sections. That's a lot of style you can play around with there!

5. Hire, Fire & Re-Hire the Band!

You’re not stuck with the instruments a style starts with. Maybe that bass line would sound better with a slap bass rather than an acoustic upright bass? Or that folky acoustic guitar riffing on chords would have bit more edge played on a cranked-up heavy metal electric? You can also (successfully!) tell band members to quieten down (try telling a drummer to do that - sorry, drummers!) or move them to the left or right (without any lifting of amps or drum kits!)

So, there you go. As well as being able make your own styles from scratch, there are at least 4 other ways of making brand new styles from the built-in styles.

If you already have a PSR-S or PSR-SX Series arranger workstation, have fun experimenting with these top tips. If you don't, check out our new PSR-SX models. And, if you want something really special, have a look at our groundbreaking flagship model, the Yamaha Genos!





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