PSR-EW410 Output with a DAW

Yamaha's best entry level keyboard for performing various styles of music, from the latest dance to classical and vinyl favourites. 61-keys, touch response, powerful on-board speakers and easy-to-use professional features.

Moderators: Derek, parametric, Saul

User avatar
Johne1
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:28 am
United States of America

PSR-EW410 Output with a DAW

Unread post by Johne1 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:53 am

How many channels does the PSR-EW410 output when connected to a DAW? Does the # of channels change depending on connection (USB vs MIDI, for example)? I'm a guitar player putting together a home studio and the Yamaha PSR-EW410 looks like it could add a lot of creative options. Thanks in advance!
User avatar
SeaGtGruff
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:24 am
United States of America

Re: PSR-EW410 Output with a DAW

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:05 pm

The short answer is "As few as 1 and as many as 16," but that doesn't mean you'll be able to play "live" on up to 16 channels at once. The longer answer involves the PSR-EW410's "parts" and how they relate to the 16 MIDI channels.

Generally speaking, in music a "part" is a portion of a musical composition that's written for a particular instrument or performer, such as the percussion or drums part, the lead guitar part, the rhythm guitar part, the first violin part, the brass section part, the male tenor part, etc.

Keyboard manufacturers often use the word "part" to mean one of the sections-- or "zones"-- of the keyboard, or one of the various functions to which you can assign any of the instrument sounds that the keyboard can make. For example, if you "split" the keyboard into two sections then you have a "left part" and a "right part"; or if you "layer" two different sounds together then you have a "layer 1 part" and a "layer 2 part," although they would usually be called something like "right 1" and "right 2," or maybe "left 1" and "left 2" if they were on the left side of a split. The specific parts which are available can vary from one model to another, or even from one brand to another.

There are three basic types or categories of parts on the PSR-EW410: (1) the "keyboard parts," (2) the "style parts"-- although they should more generally be called the "accompaniment parts"-- and (3) the "song parts." And there are three settings in the Function menu that let you decide which of these three types of parts you'd like the PSR-EW410 to output over its MIDI connection: (1) the "Keyboard Out" function, (2) the "Style Out" function, and (3) the "Song Out" function.

The PSR-EW410 has three keyboard parts: (1) "Main," (2) "Dual," and (3) "Split." The Owner's Manual refers to these as "voices"-- that is, the "Main Voice," the "Dual Voice," and the "Split Voice"-- but it also uses the word "voice" to mean one of the many different instrument sounds that the keyboard can make, such as "Voice 001" (which is the "Acoustic Grand Piano" voice), so for this discussion I'll refer to them as the "Main part," the "Dual part," and the "Split part."

There's no way to turn off the Main part, but the Dual and Split parts can be toggled on and off via the DUAL and SPLIT buttons. If the Dual part is turned on, it will be layered with the Main part, so Main is what other models call the R1 (or Right1) part, and Dual is what other models call the R2 (or Right2) part. If the Split part is turned on, it will be assigned to the keys which are to the left of the "Split Point," so Split is what other models call the L (or Left) part. By toggling the DUAL and/or SPLIT button on or off, you can play the keyboard using (a) the Main part by itself, (b) the Main and Dual parts layered together, (c) the Split part on the left side and the Main part on the right side, or (d) the Split part by itself on the left and the Main and Dual parts layered together on the right.

If the "Keyboard Out" function is turned on, the three keyboard parts will be transmitted on the following channels:
- Channel 1 = Main
- Channel 2 = Dual (if turned on)
- Channel 3 = Split (if turned on)
Some keyboards let you change which MIDI channel a given part will be transmitted on, but the PSR-EW410 does not; Main will always be sent on channel 1, Dual will always be sent on channel 2, and Split will always be sent on channel 3.

The PSR-EW410 has eight "style parts"-- or "accompaniment parts"-- although some of them are grouped together as far as how they can be toggled on and off: (1) the "Rhythm1 part" and "Rhythm2 part" are grouped together as the "Drums track," (2) the "Bass part" is the "Bass track," (3) the "Chord1 part" is the "Chord1 track," (4) the "Chord2 part" is the "Chord2 track," (5) the "Pad part" is the "Pad track," and (6) the "Phrase1 part" and "Phrase2 part" are grouped together as the "Phrases track." That's just how Yamaha organizes the eight parts which make up their styles; other companies may organize the various parts of their accompaniments differently than Yamaha does. Also, the PSR-EW410 has a second type of accompaniment called "Groove Patterns"-- which were known as "DJ Patterns" on earlier models-- and I believe that patterns use different parts than styles do, although I don't know how the parts of the patterns are organized.

If the "Style Out" function is turned on, the eight style parts will be transmitted on the following channels:
- Channel 9 = Rhythm1 (if the Drums track is turned on)
- Channel 10 = Rhythm2 (if the Drums track is turned on)
- Channel 11 = Bass (if the Bass track is turned on)
- Channel 12 = Chord1 (if the Chord1 track is turned on)
- Channel 13 = Chord2 (if the Chord2 track is turned on)
- Channel 14 = Pad (if the Pad track is turned on)
- Channel 15 = Phrase1 (if the Phrases track is turned on)
- Channel 16 = Phrase2 (if the Phrases track is turned on)
Note that if two channels are combined together into one track, you cannot toggle those channels on and off separately. Note also that some styles might not use all eight style parts, so only the channels which are actually used by a given style will be transmitted (if their corresponding parts are turned on). And finally, it should also be noted that the Groove Patterns are apparently protected from being copied, as they can't be transmitted over the MIDI Out channels.

The PSR-EW410 has 16 "song parts," which are simply the 16 MIDI channels, so they don't have any particular names the way the keyboard parts and style parts do. If the "Song Out" function is turned on, whichever channels are used by the MIDI song file will be transmitted. Thus, if a given MIDI song file uses channels 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 14, but doesn't use the other channels, then only channels 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 14 will be transmitted. It should be noted that the built-in songs are protected from being copied, so they can't be transmitted over the MIDI Out channels.

As far as playing the PSR-EW410 "live," you can play the keyboard parts while using a Style, in which case you can transmit on up to 11 channels at once-- the channels used by the three keyboard parts (1, 2, and 3) and the channels used by the eight style parts (9 through 16). You can also play the keyboard parts while a Song is being played back-- but only 16 channels can be transmitted, so you might need to limit the Song to channels 4 through 16 so that channels 1, 2, and 3 can be used for the keyboard parts. And lastly, you can't play a Style or Pattern while a Song is playing, and you can't play a Song while a Style or Pattern is playing.

By the way, all of this discussion about MIDI channels is really only relevant if you're wanting to record the PSR-EW410's MIDI output in a DAW, or if you want to use the PSR-EW410 as a MIDI keyboard controller or MIDI sequencer for playing virtual instruments in the DAW. Keep in mind that MIDI data isn't audio data-- that is, MIDI isn't "sound"-- so when you record the keyboard's MIDI output in a DAW you aren't recording the sounds that are coming from the keyboard. You can of course record the PSR-EW410's audio output in a DAW, but in that case the MIDI channels have no relevance at all; only the two audio channels (left and right) would be relevant.

You can also go in the other direction-- that is, you can transmit (or sequence) up to 16 channels of MIDI data from the DAW to the PSR-EW410, in which case the PSR-EW410 will be played "automatically" like a player piano. You can even play the PSR-EW410 "live" while the DAW is sequencing MIDI data to it. However, the PSR-EW410 doesn't let you control the accompaniment remotely from a DAW or other external MIDI source the way that the more expensive PSR-S, Tyros, and Genos models do.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
User avatar
SeaGtGruff
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:24 am
United States of America

Re: PSR-EW410 Output with a DAW

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:57 pm

Just to add a bit to my previous reply, I mentioned that the PSR-EW410 outputs up to 16 channels of MIDI data. However, that doesn't mean you're limited to using no more than 16 channels in your DAW.

You can actually use as many MIDI tracks as your DAW will allow. The maximum number of MIDI tracks that can be used in a project varies from DAW to DAW, or even between different editions of a given DAW. (The maximum number of audio tracks also varies, but you had asked about MIDI.)

Most DAWs also let you use more than one MIDI channel in a single MIDI track, similar to a "format 0" MIDI file, although it tends to be more convenient for editing and mixing purposes to use one MIDI channel per MIDI track in a DAW.

In addition, most DAWs have functions that let you filter and process MIDI data based on things like the MIDI channel number, the MIDI Note value, the Velocity of the MIDI Note events, and other criteria. This allows you to take the data for a single MIDI channel that's being sent by your keyboard and split it up into multiple zones based on different Note ranges, velocity ranges, and so on. These zones can be split or layered together however you wish, such as splitting the Notes into four zones from left to right even though the keyboard itself restricts you to two split zones, or layering six different instrument sounds together even though the keyboard itself restricts you to two layered zones.

However, it's important to note that the PSR-EW410 itself is still restricted to receiving data on 16 MIDI channels, regardless of how many MIDI channels and MIDI tracks you might be able to use in the DAW.

On the other hand, the PSR-EW410 can play external sound sources through its speakers, so you could use the PSR-EW410 as a MIDI keyboard controller to play more than 16 different virtual instruments in the DAW and have the DAW output the audio from the virtual instruments to the PSR-EW410's speakers so it sounds like the keyboard is making the sounds.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
Post Reply

Return to “Yamaha PSR E-453 and E-463 Forum”