How to Use the GEM WS2 Keyboard Workstation: A Guide for Beginners
The GEM WS2 is a keyboard workstation that offers a variety of features and functions for music production and performance. It has 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch, 16-track sequencer, 8-track accompaniment system, 256 sounds, 128 styles, digital effects, disk drive, MIDI interface, and more. If you are new to the GEM WS2, you may find it helpful to read this guide that will show you how to use some of its basic functions.
Before you start using the GEM WS2, you need to connect it to a power source and an amplifier or headphones. You also need to insert a floppy disk into the disk drive if you want to save or load data. To turn on the GEM WS2, press the POWER button on the rear panel. The display will show the main screen, where you can select different modes and functions.
The GEM WS2 has 256 sounds that are divided into eight categories: Piano, Keyboard, Guitar/Bass, Strings/Orchestra, Brass/Woodwind, Synth/Lead, Percussion/Drum Kit, and Special Effects. To select a sound, press one of the eight SOUND buttons on the left side of the panel. The display will show the name and number of the sound. You can use the DATA +/- buttons or the numeric keypad to change the sound within the category. You can also use the VOLUME slider to adjust the volume of the sound.
The GEM WS2 has 128 styles that are divided into eight categories: Pop/Rock, Dance/Techno, Latin/Afro, Jazz/Swing, Country/Folk, Ballad/Slow Rock, Classical/World Music, and User Styles. A style is a pre-recorded accompaniment that follows your chord changes on the keyboard. To select a style, press one of the eight STYLE buttons on the right side of the panel. The display will show the name and number of the style. You can use the DATA +/- buttons or the numeric keypad to change the style within the category. You can also use the TEMPO +/- buttons or tap on the TAP TEMPO button to adjust the tempo of the style.
Using the Accompaniment System
The GEM WS2 has an 8-track accompaniment system that allows you to play along with a style. The tracks are: Drums, Bass, Chord 1, Chord 2, Chord 3, Chord 4, Phrase 1, and Phrase 2. You can control each track individually by using the ACCOMPANIMENT buttons on the panel. To start or stop the accompaniment system, press the START/STOP button. To change chords on the keyboard, use the lower part of the keyboard (from F#2 to B3). The display will show the chord name and type. You can also use different modes to play chords: Single Finger (one finger), Fingered (two or more fingers), Full Keyboard (anywhere on the keyboard), or AI Fingered (automatic recognition).
Recording a Song
The GEM WS2 has a 16-track sequencer that allows you to record your own songs. The tracks are: Track 1-8 (melody tracks), Track A-H (accompaniment tracks). You can record up to eight songs in memory or save them on a floppy disk. To record a song, follow these steps:
Press the SONG button to enter the song mode.
Press one of the SONG buttons (1-8) to select an empty song.
Press one of the TRACK buttons (1-8 or A-H) to select a track.
Press one of the SOUND buttons to select a sound for the track.
Press REC and then START/STOP to start recording.
Play on the keyboard or use the accompaniment system.