1. #1

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    Is anybody doing this?

    I'm looking to make ambient / soft jazz backgrounds that I can solo over.
    I think a synth format would be more fun than writing on a computer or tablet.

    I don't want to perform on a beat box, I just want to make some fun backgrounds that I can call up.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Do you use iReal Pro? It’s fantastic for practicing standards. While you could always use a DAW (on your computer or synth), to roll your own backing tracks, here are some other simple options:

    Software/App

    • Band In A Box (PC /Mac)
    • SessionBand (iOS)


    All have reasonably low learning curves, sound great and permit you to select and mix instruments, control tempo, etc. worth a look.

    Arranger keyboard
    • Korg EK-50 $450 ish
    • Yamaha (many options from $199 to $4,000)
    • Casio


    These also have a learning curve but are oodles of fun and don’t require a computer, most have built-in speakers and are fairly portable. I have the Korg EK-50 and it is easy to use and sounds great.

    just a few thoughts to consider.

    Roli
    Last edited by rolijen; 05-07-2021 at 08:00 AM.

  4. #3

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    Hey Roli, thanks for the tip on the Korg EK-50 -- it looks like a great keyboard.

    I was thinking of something smaller like Novation Circuit Tracks, but the Korg might be easier to wrap my brain around since I can play piano. I practiced guitar with Ireal for a while, but my tablet crashed & I really don't miss it. I like looping better, but it is limited.

    Can you store & record tunes on the EK-50? I'm looking to make backing tracks that I can solo guitar or flute or EWI over, rather than performing on the keyboard.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    Hey Roli, thanks for the tip on the Korg EK-50 -- it looks like a great keyboard.

    I was thinking of something smaller like Novation Circuit Tracks, but the Korg might be easier to wrap my brain around since I can play piano. I practiced guitar with Ireal for a while, but my tablet crashed & I really don't miss it. I like looping better, but it is limited.

    Can you store & record tunes on the EK-50? I'm looking to make backing tracks that I can solo guitar or flute or EWI over, rather than performing on the keyboard.
    Yes. As with the Yamaha and Casio variants, the Korg lets me build songs track by track and save them to the keyboards internal memory or a usb flash drive. There are lots of great “styles” built in to jam along with, or to form the foundation for chords and notes you record. I’ll try to post a sample later today.

  6. #5

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    What? Keyboards, on a jazz forum? I’d never have thunk it!

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    What? Keyboards, on a jazz forum? I’d never have thunk it!
    Hey bop, I totally respect that comment. I only reached out to JGF because I figured there might be some knowledge here. Most reviews of synths & other electronixs are EDM oriented. Surely this thread fits under the category of "gizmo" ?!? I mean isn't a beatbox a looper on steroids?

    I haven't had the chance to play music with my regular bass player since 2020. So I'm looking at new ways to entertain myself. Looper, Flute, EWI, I'm hittin' some multi instrumental practice these days . . . Oh, and of course guitar. Still my #1.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    Hey bop, I totally respect that comment. I only reached out to JGF because I figured there might be some knowledge here. Most reviews of synths & other electronixs are EDM oriented. Surely this thread fits under the category of "gizmo" ?!? I mean isn't a beatbox a looper on steroids?

    I haven't had the chance to play music with my regular bass player since 2020. So I'm looking at new ways to entertain myself. Looper, Flute, EWI, I'm hittin' some multi instrumental practice these days . . . Oh, and of course guitar. Still my #1.
    Its all good brother!

  9. #8

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    Here’s a short snippet from a basic example of the Korg EK-50 as an accompaniment tool.

    I recorded the chord progression for Wes Montgomery’s OGD (Road Song) into one of the bossa nova styles built into the keyboard. Now, I press “Play”, watch/listen for the count-in, then play along.

    It’s also easy to download midi songs from the web or export midis from iReal Pro and save them to a flash drive. The EK-50 will play back standard midi files and mp3 files from the usb flash drive so it’s super easy to jam along with. Not a high-end arranger keyboard by any means, but the built-in styles are great, the sounds are very good and it’s dead simple to operate.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    Here’s a short snippet from a basic example of the Korg EK-50 as an accompaniment tool.

    I recorded the chord progression for Wes Montgomery’s OGD (Road Song) into one of the bossa nova styles built into the keyboard. Now, I press “Play”, watch/listen for the count-in, then play along.

    It’s also easy to download midi songs from the web or export midis from iReal Pro and save them to a flash drive. The EK-50 will play back standard midi files and mp3 files from the usb flash drive so it’s super easy to jam along with. Not a high-end arranger keyboard by any means, but the built-in styles are great, the sounds are very good and it’s dead simple to operate.
    Extremely well done rolijen! I didn’t want it to stop after the 30 second mark!