Export songs from old keyboard to new keyboard.


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I have a old Yamaha PSR280 and I would like to export the music library that came with it, and import it into my new keyboard. It has a midi cable inOut port but no USB port.

Is it possible to migrate all these files to my new Keyboard (my new Keyboard is a Casio) ?
Will I need special software to read the contents of the library?
Maybe there is a place online somewhere that houses all these song libraries form old keyboards?


Thanks in advance.
 
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happyrat1

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Not a fart's chance in a windstorm.

As a general rule styles are specific to particular makes and models and can't be transplanted to other keyboards, especially a different manufacturer.

Casio doesn't talk to Yamaha and Yamaha doesn't talk to Casio.

The only thing you could do is hook up the Yamaha to a computer with a USB MIDI Interface and export the tunes as MIDI files into a DAW program.

Those would be playable on the Casio with a USB hookup.

Gary ;)
 
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So I will need a DAW program to see and copy the midi files?
Can you tell me what DAW software is?
 

Fred Coulter

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Actually, you don't need DAW software. You need a MIDI sequencer. Almost all DAW software includes as part of its feature set a MIDI sequencer, but it's possible to find the sequencer without the rest of the software.

DAW - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_workstation
Sequencer - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_sequencer

These articles explain the software and provide lists of available software. To simply move a sequence from one keyboard to another, you don't need the bells and whistles of the expensive commercial packages. However, you may find that the commercial software is easier to use than the free software.
 

SeaGtGruff

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As a general rule you can't export the songs that are built into a Yamaha keyboard. There are usually functions to control which types of information will be transmitted by the keyboard via MIDI-- e.g., Keyboard Out, Style Out, and Song Out-- although I don't see anything like that in the PSR-280 Owner's Manual. The Owner's Manual for a keyboard that does have those types of functions will say that the built-on songs can't be transmitted via MIDI-- if you turn on the Song Out function, play back one of the built-in songs, and monitor the keyboard's MIDI output, you'll see that the built-in song isn't being transmitted. Since the PSR-280's manual doesn't list any functions for controlling which types of information will be transmitted via MIDI, you can try to transmit a song and see whether it works, but don't be surprised if it doesn't.

"DAW" stands for "digital audio workstation," and DAW software are programs that let you create, edit, and play back audio recordings on your computer. Most DAWs are commercial programs and can be rather expensive depending on how many virtual instruments, effects, and other features are included. However, there are some free DAWs, as well as some inexpensive commercial DAWs, plus "lite" versions of some commercial DAWs which are often bundled (i.e., included "free") with audio or MIDI equipment. There are also similar types of programs which might not be called a "DAW" per se-- e.g., they might be called a "MIDI tracker," "MIDI sequencer," or "MIDI editor." Some free programs that I know of are listed below:

Aria Maestosa
Avid Pro Tools First
LMMS
Ohm Studio
PreSonus Studio One Prime
Sony ACID Xpress
Tracktion T4
Willow Software Anvil Studio
Zynewave Podium Free

However, it is important to realize that even if the PSR-280 will allow you to transmit its built-in songs via MIDI as they're being played back, you'll probably need to edit the resulting MIDI data to make it compatible with another keyboard-- especially one from another company. Different manufacturers use different Bank Select and Program Change values for the sounds on their keyboards, as well as different System Exclusive messages. Yamaha keyboards generally have two types of voices-- GM or XG voices, and panel voices. GM voices are "universally available" on all GM-compliant keyboards, so a MIDI song file that uses only GM voices and other GM messages will work on any GM-compatible keyboard, although the voices might sound a bit different. But when a manufacturer includes built-in songs and styles on one of their keyboards, they usually choose the best-sounding voices so the songs and styles sound as impressive as possible. Unfortunately, the GM voices on a given keyboard usually don't sound as good as either the XG voices or the panel voices, hence you'll need to do some "revoicing"-- i.e., editing the Bank Select and Program Change values in the MIDI file to match the voices which are available on the other keyboard.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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Actually, you don't need DAW software. You need a MIDI sequencer. Almost all DAW software includes as part of its feature set a MIDI sequencer, but it's possible to find the sequencer without the rest of the software.

This is an important point, although it can be confusing to beginners. A DAW program actually encompasses different features-- recording, editing, mixing, sequencing, routing, virtual instruments, virtual effects, etc. Also, there's a huge difference between audio data and MIDI data. All DAWs are not alike, and if you're shopping around for a DAW-- or scouring the internet for a free DAW-- you really need to pay attention to each DAW's features and capabilities. Thus, I didn't list Audacity even though it's free and is often referred to as a "DAW," because Audacity doesn't have any MIDI capabilities. And some DAWs may appear to have MIDI capabilities but in reality their MIDI capabilities are extremely limited-- e.g., GarageBand doesn't let you save or export MIDI data, or stream MIDI data to a keyboard. Assuming you want to export the built-in songs as MIDI files, you need a program that can receive and record MIDI data. You also need a program that will let you easily edit that MIDI data.
 
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Thank you for all this great information. I just wish Yamaha made their built in song libraries available online, It would make it much easier for me.
 

SeaGtGruff

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It might be possible to find MIDI files for some of the songs online, especially if they're classical or traditional pieces, or even if they're well-known pop tunes. And for classical or traditional pieces that aren't available in MIDI form, you might be able to find the sheet music online and then use free notation software to enter the notes into the computer and export the song as a MIDI file.
 
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There is a version of AuraLee that comes with the Yamaha PSR280 (song 056 I think). Its kind of a jazzy honkytonk version. Really cool. If you can get your hands on the Yamaha PSR280 you should check out that tune.
 
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Fred Coulter

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And some DAWs may appear to have MIDI capabilities but in reality their MIDI capabilities are extremely limited-- e.g., GarageBand doesn't let you save or export MIDI data, or stream MIDI data to a keyboard.

I did not know that about GarageBand.

I'm not a Macintosh guy, but my daughter had to get one for college. In her piano lab course, she was supposed to make a four part arrangement of a piece using GarageBand. Since the school is a Mac school, a reasonable request. I had given her a MIDI to USB interface to go along with her piano. She told me at the time she'd never use it.

She found that it was so easy to use the piano as her input device that she threw together an eight part arrangement in about an hour or so. She was very happy. (I guess I'm right occasionally.)

I'll let her know about GarageBand's limitations, although I'm pretty sure she plans on going back to Windows as soon as she graduates.

(Her piano? Some sort of Casio 88 note piano that my father bought for my elder daughter when she went to school back in 2010. We went to Sam Ash and he tried them out from cheapest until he found one with a decent touch and sound.)
 
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