PSR-e343 and Cubase (Please bear with me)

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Hi

I have read similar posts and threads for this but not yet one that pinpoints my question (not saying the answer isn't there, just haven't found it)

Totally new to this and bought my 10 year old daughter a Yamaha psr-e343 last year. This year I have bought her a focusrite scarlett studio so she can record acoustic instruments and vocals (quite straightforward). The bundle came with Cubase LE7 software and want to know if all I need to do to record voices from the Yamaha is to simply plug the usb (printer type) cable from keyboard to PC.

I have read all kinds of info, some way to technical for me. So I need help in 'layman' terms to enable me to do this.

I have contacted Yamaha via email and the response was that I need to use a GM or XGlite template? Forgive me for sounding stupid, but is this something I download from the internet and run with Cubase or is there something else I need to do?

I want to present this package to her on Christmas Day and plug in and go! So if I need to download programs or buy other hardware/accessories please advise

Thank you so much in advance guys
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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DAW (digital audio workstation) software such as Cubase can record either audio signals or MIDI data. So you have two options for connecting the keyboard to the computer-- (1) you can use an audio cable so you can record the keyboard's audio output, or (2) you can use a USB cable so you can record the keyboard's MIDI output.

If you want to go with the audio approach, you'll need an audio cable that has a 6.35mm (quarter inch) plug on one end and a 3.5mm plug on the other end:

http://www.thatcable.com/product/6_35mm-to-3_5mm-Stereo-Jack-Plug-Cable-Pro-Audio-Adapter-Lead

The alternative is to get a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable and a 3.5mm-female-to-6.35mm-male adapter, or a 6.35mm-to-6.35mm cable and a 6.35mm-female-to-3.5mm-male adapter. Either way, be sure to get a stereo cable (and, if necessary, a stereo adapter), rather than mono. Connect the end with the 6.35mm plug to the "PHONES/OUTPUT" jack on the back of the keyboard, and connect the end with the 3.5mm plug to the computer's "audio in" jack (there may be two-- a pink one on the back of the computer where the sound card is, and another one on the front of the computer with an icon of a microphone by it-- either one should work fine; check your computer manual for more info if needed).

You might also want to get an audio splitter so you can plug a pair of headphones into the keyboard at the same time. You can even get a combined splitter and adapter-- i.e., one end has a female jack of one size, and the other end has two female jacks of the other size. If you have a pair of headphones that have a 3.5mm plug, then you could get a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable and a 6.35mm-to-3.5mm/3.5mm splitter. But if you have a pair of headphones that have a 6.35mm plug, then you could get a 6.35mm-to-3.5mm cable and a 6.35mm-to6.35mm/6.35mm splitter.

If you want to go with the MIDI approach, you'll need a standard USB cable, such as used with a printer that has a USB port. The beveled square end connects to the "USB TO HOST" port on the back of the keyboard, and the flatter end connects to an available USB port on the computer (don't use a USB hub).

I'd recommend getting both types of cables so your daughter can use both approaches. The advantage of recording the keyboard's audio output is that you're capturing the same sounds you hear when you listen to the keyboard's built-in speakers. The advantage of recording the keyboard's MIDI data is that you can edit the data in the DAW to correct "bad" notes, modify the duration of the notes, etc.
 
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That is fantastic and very clear advice. Thank you so much, you have brought to an end what has seemed like a mammoth quest and receiving various conflicting information (some information from musical instrument shops and Yamaha Europe), most of which appeared to be far too complicated for what should be a straightforward operation. I haven't yet tried this but I trust your knowledge having read advice you have given others, and Yamaha - it seems - is your specialty.

I hope you don't mind if I ask you another question? I am not desperate to try this, but I have also seen on youtube etc... that it is possible to download Yamaha apps for the ipad and then use these apps by connecting the ipad to the psr-e343. I understand that I need a iUX-1 cable in order to do this - which is fine - but I don't know about anywhere else in the world but these are quite expensive here in the UK. I have tried to research if a company has mimicked the iUX-1 with no joy yet. However, I have read that the Apple camera connection kit does the same job (at about a quarter of the price). Is this something you have had experience of or can shed any light on?

Again, many thanks for the advice on my initial query as this is more pressing
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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I have an iPad, and I connect my Yamaha keyboards to it using the iPad Camera Connection Kit, which is a lot less expensive-- as well as more flexible-- than buying the i-UX1 cable. What I mean about "more flexible" is that the iPad Camera Connection Kit contains two adapters-- one for SD cards (I think; I haven't used it yet) and one for USB plugs (the flattened end that plugs into a computer). So if you buy the iPad Camera Connection Kit then you can read SD cards on your iPad or connect it to standard USB devices, whereas buying the more expensive i-UX1 gives you just the USB connectivity-- plus, the iPad Camera Connection Kit should be available at almost any store that sells iPads and/or iPad accoutrements, so you can just walk into a local store and buy it rather than having to order it and wait for delivery!

Edit: PS-- I'm not certain, but I think the i-UX1 is just a cable that essentially combines a standard USB cable with an iPad USB adapter. That is, the iPad (and similar devices like the iPod and iPhone) doesn't have a USB port, it has a special port that doesn't match any of the standard cables used in computing-- it's proprietary to Apple. So the i-UX1 is (as far as I know) nothing more than a cable that has the beveled square USB plug (male B type) on one end and Apple's special plug on the other end-- it doesn't (as far as I know) contain any special hardware or software for MIDI-related stuff, because when you connect a Yamaha keyboard to your iPad it uses Apple's CoreMIDI protocol to handle the MIDI-related stuff.

By the way, that (CoreMIDI) also means there's no Yamaha USB-MIDI driver that needs to be installed on the iPad, as is the case with connecting the PSR-E343 to a Windows computer.
 
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DAW (digital audio workstation) software such as Cubase can record either audio signals or MIDI data. So you have two options for connecting the keyboard to the computer-- (1) you can use an audio cable so you can record the keyboard's audio output, or (2) you can use a USB cable so you can record the keyboard's MIDI output.

If you want to go with the audio approach, you'll need an audio cable that has a 6.35mm (quarter inch) plug on one end and a 3.5mm plug on the other end:

http://www.thatcable.com/product/6_35mm-to-3_5mm-Stereo-Jack-Plug-Cable-Pro-Audio-Adapter-Lead

The alternative is to get a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable and a 3.5mm-female-to-6.35mm-male adapter, or a 6.35mm-to-6.35mm cable and a 6.35mm-female-to-3.5mm-male adapter. Either way, be sure to get a stereo cable (and, if necessary, a stereo adapter), rather than mono. Connect the end with the 6.35mm plug to the "PHONES/OUTPUT" jack on the back of the keyboard, and connect the end with the 3.5mm plug to the computer's "audio in" jack (there may be two-- a pink one on the back of the computer where the sound card is, and another one on the front of the computer with an icon of a microphone by it-- either one should work fine; check your computer manual for more info if needed).

You might also want to get an audio splitter so you can plug a pair of headphones into the keyboard at the same time. You can even get a combined splitter and adapter-- i.e., one end has a female jack of one size, and the other end has two female jacks of the other size. If you have a pair of headphones that have a 3.5mm plug, then you could get a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable and a 6.35mm-to-3.5mm/3.5mm splitter. But if you have a pair of headphones that have a 6.35mm plug, then you could get a 6.35mm-to-3.5mm cable and a 6.35mm-to6.35mm/6.35mm splitter.

If you want to go with the MIDI approach, you'll need a standard USB cable, such as used with a printer that has a USB port. The beveled square end connects to the "USB TO HOST" port on the back of the keyboard, and the flatter end connects to an available USB port on the computer (don't use a USB hub).

I'd recommend getting both types of cables so your daughter can use both approaches. The advantage of recording the keyboard's audio output is that you're capturing the same sounds you hear when you listen to the keyboard's built-in speakers. The advantage of recording the keyboard's MIDI data is that you can edit the data in the DAW to correct "bad" notes, modify the duration of the notes, etc.
 
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Thank you so much for all your help. We have experimented with Cubase today and recorded several tracks with guitar, vocals and percussion.

I then experimented with the psr e343 and made sure I had all the cables you suggested, jack plug adapters and a splitter. I tried the USB option first and although I could 'see' sound on the control panel moving vertically up and down - I could not hear sound. I then switched to the audio cable option and at first also didn't work until I selected "acoustic guitar &vocal" option in 'New Project'. I just wanted to test this and had the keyboard set only to 'portable grand', the audio coming through the headphones was awful with a lot of distortion. but I had sound nonetheless! I don't know if you have Cubase 7 but it seems like a minefield for me. Although it seems pretty user friendly in that you can choose a number of different templates, I just want to plug in the keyboard and record a track, with clean true notes.

I will continue to experiment but if you have any suggestions to simplify what we are wanting to do please let me know. Or if there is a way of switching things off - filters etc... Do I need to download any drivers if using audio cable? Also, I go to device setup and from the drop down menu there are many Yamaha options, but no option for this model.

Sorry to keep pestering you and you have been a massive help already.and I really appreciate it.

Merry Christmas!

Mick
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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First of all, if you're recording the keyboard's MIDI output you might not hear anything, depending on how you've got it set up. Keep in mind that if you want to record the MIDI data then you don't need to mess with an audio connection, so as long as nothing is plugged into the keyboard's "PHONES/OUTPUT" jack you should be able to hear whatever's being played coming out of the keyboard's built-in speakers-- although no sound will be going out to the computer and DAW, just MIDI data (which has no audio content) being sent via the USB cable. Or you can plug a pair of headphones into the keyboard so you can listen to what's being played without bothering anyone else. If you do connect an audio cable to the computer at the same time as the USB cable then you'll probably want to use a splitter (see below). In any case the MIDI data being recorded by the DAW won't have any sound, so you won't be able to hear anything within the DAW unless you assign a virtual instrument to play the incoming MIDI data.

Now, if you're recording the keyboard's audio output rather than its MIDI output, you won't be able to hear what's being played through the keyboard's built-in speakers, and you might not be able to hear it in the DAW until you stop recording and play back the recording-- or if you do have an option to listen to the audio signal over the computer's speakers while it's being recorded by the DAW, there might be some latency (short time gap) between striking a key on the keyboard and hearing the sound come out of the computer's speakers, which can mess up your rhythm and timing. A better solution would be to plug an audio splitter into the keyboard so you can run an audio cable from the keyboard (or splitter) to the computer yet also be able to plug a pair of headphones into the keyboard (or splitter).

Another thing to be aware of is that you might need to adjust the audio levels for the input going to your computer, as you may get a lot of hiss or noise otherwise.
 

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