Controlling Yamaha YPT-300 with Chromatone CT-312


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Okay, this has had me stumped since I first midi connected the chromatone (as master) to the yamaha keyboard (as slave).

Basically what happens is, no matter what patch I select on the Yamaha, when I play the chromatone, the Yamaha still plays patch OO1 (grand piano). I can literally be pressing the keys on the yamaha, set to patch 133, with my right hand and get a rhodes sounds, and with my LH be pressing the keys on the chromatone, and the Yamaha will be generating a piano sound: at the same time. (I didn't even know the Yamaha could produce multiple channels at once).

So I'm stuck playing only the grand piano sound, which is admittedly a very nice sound (even the cheapest Yamaha piano sounds nice to my ears). But I'm eager to hear what Rhodes sounds like triggered by the chromatone, man!

So here is what I have tried:

1) I've tried changing, on the yamaha (slave) the midi receiving channel. From 1 to 16: no difference

2) I've tried changing the sending channel on the chromatone (master): 1-16. No change, except channel 10 will trigger the yamaha's drum patch, even if its not selected.

3) Every combination of local on/off on both keyboards.

Any suggestions, besides ones that would involve a computer (this is for a live setup)

Thanks in advance for any help
 
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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Don't quote me on this, because I'm not sure whether I'm correct, but I think the Yamaha has 32 different channels-- i.e., 2 ports with 16 channels each, which (for lack of better terms) I'll call channels A1 through A16 and channels B1 through B16. I don't think I've seen this documented anywhere (although someone from-- I think-- Yamaha USA posted here some months ago and said something to that effect-- as I understood him, anyway-- in reference to the USB-MIDI driver). In any case, I believe that's how many Casio keyboards work (as described in their owner's manuals), and it certainly seems to fit the way the Yamaha behaves.

Basically, anything you play on the keyboard while the "Local On" setting is active will use the panel's voice settings-- i.e., the Main/Dual/Split voices that you've selected on the panel, which are on channels 1 (Main), 2 (Dual), and 3 (Split). The voices on channels 9 through 16 are used for, and controlled by, the style you've selected.

If you send MIDI messages to the Yamaha, the voices for the incoming MIDI data will be controlled by the incoming MIDI messages, but any voice change (Bank Select and Program Change) sent to the keyboard will not affect the current panel settings. This has a number of implications and consequences:

(1) If you don't send any voice changes to the Yamaha, any notes you send to the Yamaha will be played using (I think) the XG or GM "Acoustic Grand Piano" voice-- i.e., Bank Select 0-0 and Program Change 0.

Edit: However, anything you send on channel 10 (without including any voice changes) will default to the standard XG/GM drum kit, since the GM standard states that channel 10 is used for percussion.

(2) If you send voice changes and other control changes-- reverb, chorus, attack, release, cutoff, resonance, pitch bend, etc.-- to the Yamaha while the "Local On" setting is in use, anything you play on the Yamaha will use the panel settings and will not be affected by the incoming MIDI voice changes and other control changes.

(3) You can send MIDI events-- notes, voice changes, etc.-- to the Yamaha on channels 1 through 16 (which we'll call B1 through B16) and yet you can still play along on the keyboard (if you're using the "Local On" setting) with the voices and other settings that are currently selected on the panel. For example, you can send an organ voice and notes on channel 1 (B1), yet simultaneously play an electric guitar voice on channel 1 (A1).

(4) If you play the keyboard with "Local" set to "Off," you can send the notes to a DAW, then send them back to the Yamaha with voice changes and other control changes added, so that the DAW is controlling the voices while you're playing "live."

(5) If you do the same thing as above (4) but with "Local On," you can mix (layer) the voices coming in from the DAW with the voices set on the panel. This is similar to (3) except the notes being sent from the DAW are the same ones you're playing on the Yamaha-- i.e., they're simply being bounced back from the DAW with other MIDI events inserted.

Like I said, I'm not certain about all that, so don't quote me on it-- but by all means, try out different approaches (as determined by what you're trying to accomplish) using those assumptions, and see if they work for you.
 
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Thanks for taking the time to provide all this info.

I'm not sure if any of it is helping me solve the problem though.
 

SeaGtGruff

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I had no idea what a Chromatone was, but I looked it up after I posted (duh, because it would have made too much sense to look it up before posting). I guess it all hinges on whether the Chromatone can send Bank Select and Program Change events. If it can (and I'd be surprised if it can't), then assuming you want the YPT to be the slave (sound generator) for the Chromatone, you need to connect the Chromatone's MIDI OUT to the YPT's MIDI IN, set the YPT to "Local Off," and then be sure to send the desired Bank Selects and Program Changes from the Chromatone to the YPT on whatever channels you're using.

The Bank Selects and Program Changes for each of the YPT-300's voices are listed in the table that's on pages 65 through 70 of the Owner's Manual-- except you'll need to subtract 1 from the Program Change values as they're shown in the table. For instance, Voice 001 ("Grand Piano") is selected by sending a Bank Select MSB of 0, a Bank Select LSB of 112, and a Program Change of 0 (not 1), because the MIDI Program Change event uses values from 0 to 127, whereas the table in the Owner's Manual gives these values as 1 to 128. To give another example, to select Voice 094 ("Analogon") you'd send a Program Change of 81 (not 82).

I don't know how the Chromatone works-- is there a PDF of its manual available somewhere online?
 
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I reckon it's like coupling a Chihuahua with an Irish Wolfhound. Theoretically possible, but can't see any good reason to put yourself through the hassle. :)
 
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To use the Chomatone's very intuitive manual to trigger a very nice Rhodes preset that the Yamaha has. This is my solution until I can get a piano module for the Chromatone.
 
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I had no idea what a Chromatone was, but I looked it up after I posted (duh, because it would have made too much sense to look it up before posting). I guess it all hinges on whether the Chromatone can send Bank Select and Program Change events.
I think this is the essence of the problem right here. I can't figure out how to do this. I do have a manual for the chromatone, but no pdf is available. (If I didnt have a slow scanner I'd probably scan it and share it with the world.)
 

SeaGtGruff

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Well, their web site is in Japanese, so I can't really tell much, but it looks like they have an iPad app for it, and the screenshots appear to show a field or drop-down box where you can specify the desired sound-- although (1) you indicated that you want to avoid a solution requiring a computer, and (2) I don't know if the selectable sounds are limited to the 128 General MIDI instrument sounds. In any case, if the iPad app lets you select the desired sound, this may or may not imply that the instrument can send BS and PC events, since it might be that the required Bank Select and Program Change events are being generated and transmitted by the app rather than by the Chromatone itself.

Probably your best bet would be to call or email the company, explain what you're trying to do, and see if they can tell you how to accomplish it.
 
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If the only reason you don't want to use a computer is because you're playing live, Michael's iPad suggestion is a good one, they're very convenient in a live environment.
 
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I have this same problem with my Yamaha YPT-300. It looks like what's happening is the keyboard, by default is set to receive data on all 16 channels at once (OMNI mode). From what I've read, there doesn't appear to be a way to turn OMNI mode off from the keyboard itself, so it is always receiving on all channels. There should be a way to turn OMNI mode off and specify the channel that it receives midi data on to filter out the other channels, but I haven't found a way to do this yet.
 

SeaGtGruff

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I don't know if it would help, but you might be interested in reading some of the documentation for Yamaha's XG protocol. The MIDI references for Yamaha's XGlite keyboards such as the YPT-300 are extremely sparse. Unfortunately, some XG messages might not be supported by XGlite keyboards, and some of the messages that are supported might use different parameter settings than those listed in the XG documentation, so you'll need to engage in a lot of trial and error to see what works, what doesn't work, and what can work with the right tweaking. You can find a goodly number of XG documents at Jørgen Sørensen's web site (http://www.jososoft.dk/). You might want to start with the document for version 2.00, dated 2001, just because it's the most recent document and thus has the most up-to-date information.
 
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