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Discussion in 'MIDI' started by Larry Lars Nelson, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Larry Lars Nelson

    Larry Lars Nelson

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    I have songs on a thumb drive. When I play them I want to play along for practice but I can't hear the keyboard. How can I use both and still hear the keyboard when I play?
     
    Larry Lars Nelson, Oct 17, 2016
    #1
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  2. Larry Lars Nelson

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    You should be able to just play along with the song. I'll try this on my PSR-E433 later and get back.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Oct 17, 2016
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  3. Larry Lars Nelson

    Larry Lars Nelson

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    Hey Sea. Did you check your PSR E 433 for playing with the song? I get some sound but it's real quiet. Thanks. Lars
     
    Larry Lars Nelson, Oct 20, 2016
    #3
  4. Larry Lars Nelson

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I apologize for the lengthy delay in replying-- I had to go out of town for a while to help one of my sisters.

    The problem you describe is caused by the balance between the Song Volume and the Main Voice Volume. The more sophisticated Yamaha PSR-S and Tyros models let you adjust the volume of each keyboard part, style channel, and song channel, but the PSR-E models don't have that sort of advanced mixer functionality. But what you can do is adjust the volumes of the three keyboard voices, the overall volume of the style, the overall volume of the pattern, and the overall volume of the song.

    Select the Main Voice you want to play along to the song with-- and, if desired, the Dual Voice and Split Voice-- and then make all of the desired adjustments to the voice volume(s) and other settings, as I described a week or two ago in one of your other threads.

    Then select the song you want to play along to and start its playback. While the song is playing, press the Function button and use the Category buttons to navigate to the SongVol function. It has a factory default setting of 100, which is not its maximum volume (it can go up to 127), but is still quite loud. Note that it might not be 100 if you've previously changed its setting, because whatever setting you choose will get saved even when you turn off the keyboard.

    Start playing something on the keyboard while the song is playing-- it doesn't matter what, you just want to be able to hear both the keyboard and the song at the same time-- and then use the minus/No and the plus/Yes buttons to decrease or increase the SongVol to the desired level so you can easily hear both the song and your own playing without having to bang on the keys. An alternative is to use the large spin dial to increase or decrease the volume, or you can simply key in the desired number setting on the numeric keypad.

    I've found that a SongVol of around 40 is about right for when you want to play along on the keyboard, although it will really depend on the particular voice you're using and the various channel volumes used inside the MIDI song file.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Oct 28, 2016
    #4
  5. Larry Lars Nelson

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    One thing I forgot to mention is that the PSR-E433 has a maximum polyphony of only 32 notes, although that's a bit confusing/misleading because the actual polyphony varies depending on which voices you're using.

    The PSR-E433 has 32 tone generators, which is where the "32 note polyphony" comes from. But Yamaha uses "elements" to create their voices, which (if I understand correctly) are like layers of sound-- i.e., each element is a sound played by a tone generator, so if a given voice is formed from, say, four elements then each note played with that voice actually uses four tone generators rather than just one.

    The rule of thumb seems to be that the maximum number of elements used for any given voice should not exceed the total number of tone generators divided by 16 (because there are 16 MIDI channels). Thus, keyboard models with larger maximum polyphonies-- 128, 192, 256, etc.-- can have voices formed from more elements.

    The voices on the PSR-E433 are formed from either one or two elements, so that means the maximum number of simultaneous notes you can play with a given voice is either 32 or 16, depending on how many elements the voice has.

    You must also keep in mind that layering a Dual Voice with a Main Voice will also use up some of the available tone generators. And any notes which are sustained-- either by holding down their keys or by depressing the sustain pedal-- will also use up the tone generators.

    The reason I'm mentioning all of this is because it can have an impact when you're playing the keyboard in unison with a MIDI song. What generally happens is that if the keyboard's maximum polyphony is exceeded then you'll start getting "dropped notes," meaning notes that get cut off prematurely. Usually a keyboard will drop the oldest notes first.

    If you find yourself running into this situation, there are a couple of things you can do to help:

    (1) You can open the MIDI song file in a MIDI editor on your computer to identify the voices used on each MIDI channel. Then you can "revoice" the song so it uses only voices formed by a single element. Yamaha used to show the number of elements for each voice in their keyboard manuals, but they seem to have stopped doing this. You can still find copies of the old XG specifications online, and the voice lists in those specifications show how many elements are used for each XG voice. But another way to try to figure this out yourself is to play the lowest key on your keyboard as loudly as you can-- using a sustain pedal to keep the note held-- then quickly (and quietly) start running down the keyboard from the highest key (still sustaining the keys) until you hear the low note get dropped. (That's why I suggest playing the high keys quietly-- so you can still easily hear the sustained low note.) If the low note gets dropped after playing 16 high notes then the voice uses two elements. But if the low note doesn't get dropped until after you've played 32 high notes then the voice uses one element. By the way, you might want to revoice your MIDI song files even if you don't plan to play along with them, because they might have been created for a keyboard with different voices than the PSR-E433, or that has a higher maximum polyphony-- so it's always a good idea to "optimize" a MIDI song file or style file for whichever keyboard model you happen to have.

    (2) Another thing you can do is turn off one or more of the song tracks. This is especially helpful if you want to play the part that's on a given channel. The PSR-E433 has six track buttons that can toggle the song channels or style channels on and off. There are (usually) more than six channels in a song, so you can't toggle all of them on and off, but hopefully the channel you want to turn off can be toggled using one of the track buttons. If not, you could always load the song file into a MIDI editor to remove the desired track(s)-- just be sure you keep a copy of the original file.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Oct 29, 2016
    #5
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