Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

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Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by yul » Wed May 09, 2018 4:02 am

yamaha_psr_e453.jpg
Yamaha PSR E453
Hello! First time PSR user here and somewhat experimented musician hobbyist.

I love the sounds on the PSR e453 but I do have a few questions please:

Is there a way we can switch/disable reverb on styles? it's baréy tolerable amd it's way too cheezy..I don't think it's possible but perhaps there is a hack?

Secondly, is there any way I can play the patches/registrations from a midi enabled PC ?
I would like to sequence drums but midi in to the PSR seems to default to piano sound and basic drums on channel 10. Can this be changed?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Re: E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by Saul » Wed May 09, 2018 10:21 am

Hi yul, welcome to yamahamusicians.com :)

The PSR is not my area of expertise although I have recently tested the E453 against the Casio CT-X700 which I must admit did change my perceptions of entry level arranger keyboards...for the better ;)

The only problems I can really see at this price point is there are a lot of compromises and control over effects seems to be one of them.

I am used to having full control not only of what effects are turned on for a particular sound but also the amount of the effect that is applied. But with the PSR and the Casio the effects are "pre-set" and are either on or off. Although the E453 does give you some minor control over reverb depth but, it's not ideal by any means.

I noticed in the manual it says
Some Songs and Styles use Reverb Types which cannot be selected via panel operation. If such a Song or Style is played back, “- - -” is shown on the display.
So It appears that you can select reverb for some styles and not others although I don't think you can actually turn it off which is what you wanted to do. But perhaps someone with more experience of the E453 will know a way to do that?

Regarding controlling the E453 from your PC yes you can do that although I have a feeling there may be some limitations. One of our moderators SeaGtGruff pretty much knows this stuff inside out and I am sure he will be able to help you with this particular problem.
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Re: E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Wed May 09, 2018 12:51 pm

Welcome to the forums!

Yamaha does love the reverb effect-- not just on the styles but also on the voices.

Unfortunately, the PSR-E453 doesn't let you change the Reverb Type on the styles, nor can you turn down the Reverb Depth on the styles.

However, if you've connected the keyboard to a computer via USB then you can use a suitable computer program-- such as a DAW-- to do all sorts of useful things, including turning down the Reverb Depth on the styles. But before I go into that, let me cover some basic terminology and facts.

A multitimbral keyboard such as the PSR-E453 is designed to play a number of different parts using its tone generators. These are parts in the musical sense of the term, meaning a portion of music that's meant to be performed by a given instrumentalist or singer, such as the first violin, second violin, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, male tenor, female soprano, etc.

Note that a part is not the same as a MIDI channel, even though it's common to assign a specific part to a specific MIDI channel, or vice versa.

The PSR-E453 has three sets or types of parts-- the keyboard parts, accompaniment parts, and song parts. If you're sending the keyboard's MIDI data to a computer or other attached device, you can control which of these three sets of parts are transmitted by going into the Function menu and changing the Keyboard Out ("KbdOut"), Style Out ("StyleOut"), and Song Out ("SongOut") settings as desired.

The keyboard parts are the splits and layers that you play by yourself on the keyboard, including any extra notes that the keyboard adds when you're using the harmony, arpeggio, or auto chord features. The PSR-E453 has three keyboard parts-- the Main Voice, Dual Voice, and Split Voice. If you're transmitting the MIDI data for the keyboard parts, the PSR-E453 will use channel 1 for the Main Voice, channel 2 for the Dual Voice, and channel 3 for the Split Voice.

The accompaniment parts are the tracks that are played by the style or pattern. There are eight accompaniment parts-- Rhythm 1, Rhythm 2, Bass, Chord 1, Chord 2, Pad, Phrase 1, and Phrase 2. However, for the purpose of toggling the various accompaniment parts on and off using the six Track Control buttons, Rhythm 1 and Rhythm 2 are grouped together as Drums, and Phrase 1 and Phrase 2 are grouped together as Phrases. If you're transmitting the MIDI data for the accompaniment parts, the PSR-E453 will use channels 9 and 10 for Drums, channel 11 for Bass, channel 12 for Chord 1, channel 13 for Chord 2, channel 14 for Pad, and channels 15 and 16 for Phrases.

The song parts are used to play the 16 MIDI channels of a song file or of MIDI data being received from a computer or other attached device. There are two points to keep in mind with regard to the song parts:

(1) You cannot use the Song Out function to transmit the keyboard's built-in songs; if you've selected one of the built-in songs, the Song Out function will be disabled ("---"). But if you record a User Song and select it for playback, the Song Out function can be turned on.

(2) The song parts are separate from the keyboard parts, so incoming MIDI data doesn't normally affect the voices you've selected for the keyboard parts. For instance, under normal operations you can't use a computer or other attached device to change patches while you're playing, because the incoming MIDI data will be played with the song parts rather than the keyboard parts. However, if you select Voice 000 (which is the OTS or One Touch Setting voice) then the Main Voice will use whichever voice has been selected in the song. This apparently doesn't work with incoming MIDI data, but there's an alternative.

If you connect the PSR-E453 to a computer, you can turn off the keyboard's Local Control function so that nothing you play on it will be sounded-- it will behave just like a MIDI keyboard controller that has no sounds of its own. Then you can set up MIDI tracks in a DAW or other MIDI software to receive the MIDI data coming from the PSR-E453 and send it back to the keyboard-- that way the PSR-E453 will also behave just like a sound module that plays whatever MIDI data is being sent to it.

Doing this allows you to modify the MIDI data using the DAW's functions, such as splitting the data coming from the keyboard into different zones based on the MIDI Note values and sending each zone back on a different channel-- which lets you split and layer voices beyond what the keyboard parts will allow-- or transposing the Note values, filtering out certain types of MIDI messages, inserting additional MIDI messages, etc. Thus, you can have the DAW send patch changes to the PSR-E453 and the voice will change while you're playing. Or you can have the DAW play a loop containing an automation lane with a modulating wave of Filter Cutoff CC messages. Or you can send Reverb Depth CC messages which turn the reverb all the way down on the accompaniment channels.

As far as your second question, the song parts will default to the GM standard, which means all of the MIDI channels will default to GM Program 0* (Acoustic Grand Piano), except for channel 10 which will default to the Standard Drum Kit. If you're playing back a song file then the song parts will use whichever voices or kits are specified in the song file. Or, if you're sending MIDI data to the keyboard then all you need to do is send the desired Bank Select and Program Change values for the voices or kits you want to use.

*Note that the MIDI program numbers can be problematic due to the common practice of referring to certain MIDI parameters with "human" numbers rather than the actual "computer" numbers. For instance, the MIDI channels are actually coded as 0 through 15 within MIDI channel messages, but most people refer to them as channels 1 through 16. Similarly, the 128 GM programs are coded as 0 through 127 within MIDI Program Change events, but in printed lists and tables they're frequently given as 1 through 128. Furthermore, different software may use different numbering. For instance, Ableton Live uses 1 through 128 for the Bank Select MSB, Bank Select LSB, and Program Change. Acoustica Mixcraft (which is my DAW of choice) uses 0 through 127 for the Bank Select MSB, Bank Select LSB, and Program Change. In the PSR-E453 voice list, Yamaha uses 0 through 127 for the Bank Select MSB and Bank Select LSB, but uses 1 through 128 for the Program Change. So you need to pay close attention to the numbering convention which your DAW uses for each parameter, as well as the numbering convention which is used in the voice list from the keyboard's manufacturer.

Note that the PSR-E453 has USB audio as well as USB MIDI. This allows even more interesting possibilities, such as sending the keyboard's MIDI to a DAW and having the DAW send back either MIDI data for the keyboard to sound using its available voices and kits, or audio data from one of the DAW's virtual instruments in place of the keyboard's sounds. It all depends on how you set up each MIDI track in the DAW.
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
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by parametric » Wed May 09, 2018 1:09 pm

THAT'S an exceptional document you have put together there Michael . . .

You have DONE all the Manual-diving to isolate these nuggets of important information necessary to get the

very best out of the board.

I would advise anyone who has an E453 to print it out and keep it by the board. This will save HOURS of searching.

I have to wonder how "universal" these point are between models - or would it be necessary to re-create

for each PSR?

No matter. The Bullet-points are all there in YOUR document - and so ought to make the task easy(er).

Excellent work ((i)) ((i)) ((i))

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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by Saul » Wed May 09, 2018 1:14 pm

Agree with Chris, that is one of the most in-depth responses to a post I have seen in quite a while ((i)) ((i)) ((i))

Now I know why I never got into the dark abyss that is MIDI :lol: I'm so glad I play acoustic guitar :wink:
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by yul » Wed May 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Thanks so much for the detailed information! This seems useful for others too!

I have been reading the midi chart and data list and it brings me to the following questions:

- For style reverb : can I use CC or sysex messages from my DAW to turn it down? I believe you may have hinted at that but I can't find the info.

- For external midi control of my PSR: Is there any way I can access my current selected registration/patch via MIDI? I am looking at the data list and can see MSB/LSB messages for the presets but nothing around the current playing keyboard settings. Otherwise is there a way of controlling keyboard parts (up/low/split?) via some MIDI setting from my computer instead?

I may just be asking too much and will need to find other ways to make the best out of it then (I have more questions on that later :D )

Thanks and have a great day!
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Wed May 09, 2018 9:32 pm

There was something else I started to write in the first version of my response but forgot to put back when I was revising it-- the difference between a system effect and an insertion effect.

Reverb Type and Chorus Type are system effects, meaning they're applied to the entire system and can't be set to different values for the different parts of the keyboard, so you can't (normally) use one Reverb Type for the accompaniment parts and a different Reverb Type for the keyboard parts. Therefore my first inclination was to suggest that you try changing the Reverb Type to number 10 ("off") in the Function menu. Unfortunately, I tried it on my PSR-EW400 and it doesn't seem to work when using a style. I think styles have Reverb Type SysEx messages in the "SInit" sections that initialize the settings for the voices used. I was hoping that changing the Reverb Type after selecting the style might override the style's default Reverb Type, but it didn't seem to make any difference. I happened across the following on page 33 of the owner's manual:
Limitations while recording
[…]
• When you use a Style/Pattern, the following parameters cannot be changed: Reverb Type, Chorus Type, […]
I'm not sure if that's supposed to be true whenever you use a style, or just when you're recording with a style, but I couldn't detect any changes in the sound of the style playback as I cycled through the various Reverb Types and Chorus Types in the Function menu while a style was playing.

If you connect to a computer and bounce the keyboard's MIDI back to itself as suggested in my first response, I think it might be possible to change the Reverb Type by sending the appropriate Reverb Type SysEx message-- see the keyboard's MIDI reference for the message format and data values. But that might be tricky, because you'll need to filter out any SysEx messages coming into the DAW from the keyboard, then add the desired SysEx messages that you want the DAW to send back to the keyboard, otherwise the Reverb Type might keep changing back to whatever is specified in the style's "SInit" section. Also, some DAWs don't support SysEx messages at all; they appear to filter out and discard any SysEx messages encountered while importing a MIDI file or sending MIDI to the DAW, and they have no functions for adding or editing SysEx messages in a MIDI track or sending SysEx messages to their MIDI Out ports. Fortunately, Cockos makes a free set of plug-ins, including a MIDI control plug-in that can send SysEx, so that might be one way to send SysEx from a DAW that doesn't include SysEx support.

In any case, the Reverb Depth and Chorus Depth are channel settings, so you can change them by sending the appropriate CC messages on the desired channels. For instance, you could turn the Reverb Depth all the way down on the style's Drums tracks (channels 9 and 10), but crank it up on the style's Pad track (channel 14). The MIDI reference doesn't identify which CC is which-- it just refers to them both as "Effect Depth"-- but the Reverb Depth is CC 91, and the Chorus Depth is CC 93. Again, you might need to have the DAW filter out any incoming CC messages on the style's MIDI channels, otherwise the keyboard may keep sending whatever Reverb Depth and Chorus Depth values are imbedded in the style and the DAW will just bounce them back to the keyboard, thereby overriding any changes you had sent.

By the way, I had meant to ask you which DAW or other MIDI software you're using.

There are also insertion effects, which differ from system effects in that they're applied only to a specific part rather than to the entire system. Unfortunately, the PSR-E453 doesn't have any insertion effects, so I probably shouldn't have mentioned them at all because it just confuses the issue at hand-- but you might encounter insertion effects on other keyboards.

As for your second question, as far as I know the PSR-E453 doesn't let you select a Registration by sending MIDI messages to the keyboard, as can be done on a few of Yamaha's other models-- the Tyros and Genos, plus most of their synths (which have "Performances" rather than "Registrations"). Neither can you select a Style Number or control the style's playback (chord changes and section changes) that way. But if you're using a computer with your keyboard then you could create MIDI clips which contain the sequences of SysEx messages, Bank Select and Program Change messages, and various other Control Change messages for selecting the desired effects types, voices, and all of the parameters related to the effects and voices. Then you could load and play the desired MIDI clip-- or, if the DAW supports it, use a pad controller to "launch" the "scene" that contains the desired MIDI clip, as can be done in Ableton Live, Acoustica Mixcraft, and Bitwig Studio (to name the ones I'm aware of; there may be others).
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
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by yul » Wed May 09, 2018 9:50 pm

Thanks so much for your reply!!

I am using MULAB as a DAW which is quite flexible and comprehensive.

I still need to figure out how to access basic tones remotely and if I can layer these via midi in some way.

The manual does state that the PSR is a 16 channel multitimbral device. If that is so then everything will be perfectly fine as I would use my DAW for effects and sequencing drums at the very least (will need to find out if envelopes knobs will work here for pads etc..)

It might just be that I will need to work the various LSB/MSB messages as per the manual to scroll the tones but that would take me some time.

I will update if I ever figure anything out.

In any case, I am enjoying the beautiful sounds of the PSR nonetheless, especially with the registrations combined with recorded user drum arpeggio tracks it seems like a good starting point to get some cool music going.

Many thanks,
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Thu May 10, 2018 1:53 am

I'm not familiar with MuLab yet, but I see that it can run in a free/demo mode, so I'll give it a spin.

Using Bank Select MSB/LSB plus Program Change shouldn't require "scrolling" through the tones; just send the values for a specific voice and you'll get that voice. And both the amplitude envelope (Attack/Release) and the lowpass filter (Cutoff/Resonance) should work on voices you're controlling via MIDI-- that is, where the voice is being played on one of the MIDI channels as opposed to one of the three keyboard parts. So if you use the "trick" I've outlined, where you use the keyboard as a controller to play itself as a sound module by routing its outgoing MIDI back to its incoming MIDI-- be it with a DAW or even just a simpler MIDI router such as MIDI-OX-- then you shouldn't have much trouble once you've figured out any setup issues.
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
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by yul » Fri May 11, 2018 1:01 am

Very good thanks again I will give this a spin and give feedback over the next few days.

Yes Mulab has a free version. It's really great considering it's modular structure and the MUX module which you can build around.

Cheers
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by yul » Tue May 15, 2018 9:58 pm

Hello! I have finally managed to set up my PSR-E453 as a multitimbral device using my DAW.

I can now set up some cool drum patterns triggered remotely and play on top with the keyboard patches/registrations and manage the effects however I want which is fantastic and edit/record in my DAW.

It's possibly the best way to go around this machine IMO.

Some challenges were how to figure out program changes which were only available in the MIDI in list editor as opposed to the automation lanes.
Also using the PSR data list, the MSB/LSB used actual values where as program changes requires -1 (ex: program 30 is PGM CHANGE 29)..

I do have other questions which I will post in another thread.

Many thanks!
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Re: Yamaha E453 questions please (new user)

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Wed May 16, 2018 2:08 am

I haven't checked out your DAW (MuLab) yet, but a lot of DAWs let you select which MIDI messages you want to see in the automation lanes-- although for the CC messages they may just display the CC numbers, in which case you need to know that Bank Select MSB is CC 0 and Bank Select LSB is CC 32 (or hex 20). And yes, the need to subtract 1 from the Program number is kind of a pain. :)
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
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