Wersi OAX a few weeks in

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Wersi OAX a few weeks in

Postby johnb2713 » 24 Mar 2023 08:31

I've had my OAX 500 for a few weeks now and I thought it would be good to step back and review my experience.

On first sight, the OAX looks a very simple instrument with a relatively small amount of buttons and controls around the panel when compared to other organs I've had. Central to the panel is a large colour touchscreen and the OAX user interface lives here. Some things are a little odd but once you settle into the Wersi way of doing things it all becomes easy to use and understand. On the default screen you can see instruments assigned to Upper, Lower and Pedals, it is possible to have up to 16 voices shared around the three areas. Voices can be mapped to areas of the keyboards too, other manufacturers have a keyboard split Wersi simply say this voice is from C3 to B4 etc, the areas can overlap too.

The system is so incredibly flexible for example voices can be assigned to the expression pedal to have a greater or lesser effect allowing the user to make some instruments very expressive I suppose you would say, this is in addition to the touch sensitivity of the keyboards AND pedalboard. The accompaniments are fully editable, instruments can be changed etc quite easily, it's all in there!

In terms of memory for presets there's loads of space for both presets and song storage due to the fact the OAX runs on a Windows PC with a solid state hard disk drive sat in there. A major advantage of running on a PC is the ease of upgrade, in my short time of ownership 2 updates have been made available free of charge. It's a very simple process, I have my OAX connected to the internet via WiFi and the downloads come straight into the organ, installation being a single touch of the button on the screen.

When I first sat down at the instrument it was OK, clearly there was a lot more in there than I was accessing. I had Brett Wales with me for a day and both the instrument and my knowledge were upgraded by a huge margin. The flexibility of the OAX system allowed Brett to install his personal OAX system onto my machine, he played some of his amazing stage repertoire demonstrating the OAX system is the same between the range of instruments.

The only downside or weakness I've found is with the MIDI aspects of this instrument. There's no built in MIDI recorder / playback facility and interfacing it via MIDI I haven't managed to do yet. My previous instrument (Yamaha Genos) I used MIDI easily, not so with the Wersi, I'm told that this feature is under development and will be released as a firmware upgrade.

So in summary, if you change to an OAX be prepared for initial disappointment / apprehension. Do get some time with an expert such as Brett who knows the instrument and the Wersi way of doing things like the back back of their hands, it pays dividends and saves hours of heartaches and frustration.
Organ: Wersi OAX 500
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Re: Wersi OAX a few weeks in

Postby Hugh-AR » 25 Mar 2023 19:51

John,

Some interesting comments there. I presume there is an AUDIO recorder. Does this record in WAV or MP3?

As far as MIDI is concerned, I never think of an organ as an 'Arranger Keyboard'. An organ is played 'live', 'as an organ'. If you wanted to MULTITRACK your performance (ie. use the MIDI RECORDER and add several more tracks afterwards) then get an instrument that is geared up to do this. As for interfacing with any other instrument via MIDI, I cannot see the purpose in doing this. The instrument you have just bought will surely have all the sounds you could ever want to use. And people say that if you record in MIDI you can 'correct' any mistakes you make afterwards. They must be joking! If I make a mistake when I am playing the whole piece usually goes to pieces from that point onwards. On my Tyros 4 I can use the MIDI to do 'step recording' ie. I can program in all the notes I want step by step like you would do using a computer program. Why would I want to do that? I use my fingers to actually play the notes I want to hear, 'live'. My son had a friend who produced some amazing music .. on a QWERTY keyboard. But give him a 'music' keyboard and he couldn't play a note. It's a different way of doing things.

Hugh
It's all about the music ♫ ♪ ♫ Organ: Yamaha AR80 & Keyboard: Tyros 4
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Re: Wersi OAX a few weeks in

Postby johnb2713 » 26 Mar 2023 07:57

Most of the 'stars' in the organ world use MIDI tracks during their performance, the OAX stars are no exception. The instrument does have a MIDI interface, in fact 2 of them, it has a PC onboard and theres no reason NOT to have MIDI recording and play back. I feel your view of organs are live instruments only is somewhat out of date Hugh, even our local church organ plays using MIDI during services, I know that for a fact, I recorded the MIDI tracks for some of them.
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