I have no idea where to start. please help!


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I'm not in a musician in any regard, in fact i'm only a teenager. Though, I want to make music. I usually can figure these things out on my own but everything about MIDI and all of that other stuff is intimidating since i don't know the first thing about anything. All I know is the difference between an audio and a MIDI file.
What I want to do is to record a piece, and simply upload it to my computer. I thought it was simple but it's not.
This is what I can work with:
Portable Grand DGX-650
A USB drive
My Mac laptop
and Garage Band
I don't have a mic, special programs, or a USB MIDI cable
So, not much really. Is there any way to get around this? or is what I have insufficient to upload and edit audio on GarageBand or any other free music program

Thanks for reading, and my knowledge is about 0 and i'm not sure if this is even the right place to ask. But again, thank you
 
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If you're wanting to do any live performance, I would look into Apple MainStage ($30) instead of GarageBand. It's far better suited for playing, as it's extremely simple and streamlined specifically for keyboard performance, so you can do patch changes quickly. GarageBand is and Ableton are more sequencers, so they can do things like DJing backing tracks and studio composition work, but I find them to be not as well suited for strictly keyboard performance, because changing patches and songs takes a little more time and work. Where-as MainStage is basically like a workstation synthesizer, you setup patches (it comes with many plugins, and you can add more 3rd party plugs later), you create a patch list, and can assign them to buttons if you want. At $30, it's PRACTICALLY free, compared to everything else out there, and the fact that you get the full compliment of Logic VIs and effects.

I've been gigging with it every weekend for the past 7 years.
 
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Thank you for telling me about MainStage I can afford it. But
1. when you hook up the MIDI to the app will the sound be transferred to the computer in real time?
2. do I have to record something prior and then upload it to the app?
3. do I need a specific cable to hook up the piano
4. If I do need a specific cable and don't have it could I just record it an let the audio be picked up by my laptop?
5. and what exactly is a patch
Sorry for all of the questions!
 
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If you're wanting to do any live performance, I would look into Apple MainStage ($30) instead of GarageBand. It's far better suited for playing, as it's extremely simple and streamlined specifically for keyboard performance, so you can do patch changes quickly. GarageBand is and Ableton are more sequencers, so they can do things like DJing backing tracks and studio composition work, but I find them to be not as well suited for strictly keyboard performance, because changing patches and songs takes a little more time and work. Where-as MainStage is basically like a workstation synthesizer, you setup patches (it comes with many plugins, and you can add more 3rd party plugs later), you create a patch list, and can assign them to buttons if you want. At $30, it's PRACTICALLY free, compared to everything else out there, and the fact that you get the full compliment of Logic VIs and effects.

I've been gigging with it every weekend for the past 7 years.
A quick google search cleared up my questions. but thank you so much! I think i'll be able to actually make something
 
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Hi Caroline,

My understanding from what you said you wanted to do, is make a piece of music on your DX650 and make an audio file of it to upload to your mac. Mainstage is not a recording program, its a mac application for managing virtual instruments and external midi keyboards for live performance. It won't record audio files for you so not sure why that was suggested based on the help you've asked for, just throws a bit of misdirection in the mix.

Looking at the manual for the DX650 online, the manual details recording a piece of music with the DX650 and creating an audio file of it which can be written to a USB drive connected to the 'USB to Device' port, look at page 45 if you have your manual or you can download it from the below link.

https://usa.yamaha.com/files/download/other_assets/7/329737/dgx650_en_om_a0.pdf

Once you have recorded your song as an audio file to your USB drive, you can disconnect the drive, plug it into your mac and simply copy the audio file from the USB drive to your mac's hard drive, from there you can upload your audio file to whatever social media sites you want and become famous ;)and you can use your audio files within garage band if you want to turn your files into another format like MP3. Not sure what format your keyboard will create the audio files in, I'm sure the manual explains that.

If you want to use Garageband to compose a tune using your keyboard, there are options. One way is to connect your DX650 to your mac using a USB cable from the DX650 'USB to Host' to your mac and use your DX650 as a keyboard controller to play / record the virtual instruments in Garage Band (I'm not a Garage Band user so you'll need to read up on Garage band if you don't know it that well). Your mac has a built in audio interface so all the sound will be generated from your mac.

To record your DX650 straight into your MAC to record the DX650's own sounds into your mac/garageband, you'll need a USB audio interface connected to your mac that will allow you to plug the audio outputs of your DX650 (stereo L/R pair) to stereo inputs on the audio interface, there are loads on the market across all price ranges so you'll need to investigate that on the internet and see what one suits your needs and has the necessary input / outputs to do what you need.

I'd say the easiest option for you is to compose all your music internally on the DX650, follow page 45 on how to create your performance into an audio file that's stored on a usb drive connect to your DX650, copy it over to your mac and away you go. once you're up and running, post some stuff here cause we'll all want to listen ;)

All the best and good luck with it,

Justin.
 
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Whoops, my bad, I miss-read a sentence in your post. I didn't realize you were recording, thought you were looking to play. Yeah, sorry, MainStage is not a recording environment. Your first choice of GarageBand would be the correct place to start.

Maybe it's me these days, for the first time in my life I'm in a "play first, record second" mode, so that's what's on my brain. Maybe I'm just getting old.
 
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Welcome Caroline.

Do try the method that Justin advises.

Please take note that some Yamaha’s record OK and the numbers of songs it can store is very small but then getting the audio off the keyboard can be problematic, I am not saying you will have a problem just making you aware that it might happen.

Do download and read the manuals as amongst then there is one on computer related operations.

This is the bit that does not make sense to me, images of your piano does not show any MIDI ports, and yet there are manuals and computer connections available to download which shows connections including that USB Yamaha has a MIDI interface its reference is UX-16
 
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Hey Biggles, the DX650 has a USB to Host port which will transmit MIDI over to a host computer using a standard A to B USB lead between the DX and Caroline's mac, I outlined that in my above post. I haven't got the DX650 but my Daughter has a little Yamaha keyboard which has the same port and works well for MIDI applications. :) I have a little Roland A series controller that I connect via USB to Host even though it has physical MIDI IN/OUT, I don't need to use them as the USB port transfers all MIDI data to my computer as does any USB based keyboard controller. Usually the physical MIDI ports are used to connect to other physical MIDI gear but if you don't have a USB to host interface on your keyboard then a dedicated USB MIDI interface or Audio Interface with built in MIDI IN/OUT would be required to connect a keyboard to a computer.
 
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