This course is worth your time! It is definitely one of the more advanced MIDI controller concept courses on this website. I thought the layering techniques with the live song examples really helped me understand how I can look at a keyboard and improve my live playing capabilities.
Where else can you find top notch tutorials for the price? Nowhere else! Jordan Rudess is amazing in this tutorial, it is my pleasure to learn from him.
it's always a pleasure to hear jordan rudess play, and watching these videos is twice as enjoyable. you get to see numerous close-ups of the keyboard while he's running his riffs, which is obviously something you don't get when you go to a concert, or even [typically] watching them on video.
overall, i found the videos informative and fun to watch. if i could sum it all up, i'd say the videos were enlightening and enjoyable, but not as useful as i'd hoped.
i could've benefited much more from more in-depth demonstration of his performance techniques, which is a very weak area for me. the beginning ['warm-up'] exercises were perfect for me, but they comprise only about 1/4 of the series, and i found myself wanting much more.
otoh, i found many of the videos on programming to be pretty basic. the most common approach he uses in them is to play the individual sounds that make up a patch, then demonstrate how that sounds when played. it's also not uncommon for him to have a segment he introduces with, 'here's a lick from such-and-such' [song from one of the dream theater albums], and then play the lick. that's it. i'm left feeling, 'yeah... and...?' not that i don't enjoy listening to dream theater or watching jordan play, but that's not what i expect from a tutorial. it would be MUCH more useful if he followed up his demo with either more in-depth details on how he plays it, or on how he designed the patch.
what i'd like to see is this: get jordan back in the studio and have him redo the tutorial, cutting it into two separate tutorials -- one on performance technique, and one on synth programming. in each tutorial, have him go into much greater detail.
for example, in the performance tutorial, have him explain how he plays the licks he's demonstrated and go through them slow motion [it's a pain having to rewind the video time and time again to try to figure out his fingering]. have him explain the pitfalls to watch out for, possible exercises to support the passage he's demonstrated, and maybe even alternative [similar] passages we could try on our own. maybe have a screen-on-screen-type inset w/a close-up of the keyboard's display, so we can see exactly when he advances to a new patch, changes a setup, etc. i'd also like to see more of him doing things like 'this patch allows me to achieve this effect when do such-and-such, and that's useful because i can use it in such-and-such a way during this passage' -- followed by a demonstration. videos 52-54 on controllers are great examples of this.
in the programming tutorial, he could anticipate some of the common questions a viewer might have and answer them as part of his exposé. it really isn't enough to say, 'here's this cool patch i developed and these are the layers i programmed to get it' and go through the layers one by one ; he could answer questions similar to the following :
- what factors influenced your choices of the sounds used in the patches ? i.e., why did you choose 'this' sound instead of 'that' sound in this particular case ?
- what alternative sounds did you consider, why might those have worked, and why did you finally choose the ones you did ? i.e., an elaboration on what you were trying for and how you got there.
- what kinds of difficulties had to be overcome in programming that particular patch ? [again, pitfalls that we viewers would be grateful for knowing we can avoid...]
- the same kinds of questions w/regard to any effects and filtres that were needed ; e.g., 'i want to be able to change this sound to make it brighter during some of john's guitar passages, so i chose to use a controllable high-pass filter here, and i've set it to be controlled by the mod wheel', that sort of thing.
in anticipation of the argument, 'yeah, but all of that is highly dependent on the type of synth you're using', i have to reply : 'it doesn't matter'. it's true that the specific buttons you'd push to program one synth will be different to another, and some functions won't be available in one synth or another, but in most cases, we can still reproduce the fundamental aspects [which are the most important] of the concepts he'd demonstrate. and for those of us who actually do own a k2500/k2600, we'd benefit even more.
summary -- this was less a 'teach a man how to fish' video than it was 'here's this yummy fish i cooked for you.' ...but, yeah, the fish was yummy. :)
Wow, what a virtuoso you are! I really enjoyed watching you. I would have like to see your settings and how you make your layers. But still trying to replace my jaw...
Awesome insight into some of the techniques behind a phenomenal player/artist. Nice ideas on splitting the keyboard into different sounds, layering, and adding expressivity to your performance.
Enjoying going through the lessons and seeing upfront his performances revealing his finger styling and technique. But I wish he gave more detail how he set up his sounds so we know what is required. He demonstrates on a Kurzweil but then performs on the Korg Triton. Is he using the built in sounds of the keyboard or he is hooking up to a DAW with vst plug-ins? If so which library is he using.
For his final 3 performances is he going through prearranged presets triggered by his feet? Because he doesn't touch a single button while his sounds are changing.
Can I just use a Korg Triton to get those sounds layered, and triggered or do need something more?
Love Jordan, love Dream Theatre. If you're a keyboard player or is learning you should watch! If you're a fan of Dream Theatre but don't play, you still should watch it!
Jordan never ceases to amaze. A must watch for any keyboard players who want to improve their performances. From pre-gig warm-ups to keyboard layering and splits to managing all that live.
The best, most instructionally sound course on keyboard and synthesizer technique. This course is jam-packed with inspiration and motivation for anyone aspiring to become a better keyboardist.
Videos 1 to 17 are great, where Jordan shows different techniques to practise in the keyboard. After that he gives a glimpse of splits, layers, and bank switching while playing different parts of Dream Theater's repertoire. Jordan is an incredible keyboardist, and great musician. Maybe videos 18+ are for the fans, maybe there's a lot to learn there for the advanced, for me the lesson ended at video 17. I feel like he's got lot to teach, but instead he showed what an incredible player he is.