PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

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mlochala
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PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by mlochala » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:05 pm

Hello everyone! I have a couple of questions regarding my PSR E453.

First, is there a way to record on the PSR E453 without having the whole accompaniment play along? I would like to use just the drum track, but I have not found a way to do this without the whole accompaniment (including bass, drums, rhythm, etc.) playing along. I am trying to arrange some music to use for our youth services at church and I can't seem to get over this one hurdle.

Secondly, I noticed that the string sounds (and several other similar sounds) do not hold even when using the sustain pedal. The PSR-E453 isn't the only Yamaha that does this. I've seen this on several other Yamaha models, even upper level keyboards. Is there a way to change this, or is this just a Yamaha trait?

I have relatively very few gripes about this keyboard. These two issues, plus I wish the acoustic piano (Grand Piano) tones were a bit more realistic*, are the only issues I have with it. Otherwise, I really enjoy using this board. For the money, it is absolutely fantastic.

I appreciate any and all responses for these questions.


*For comparison, listen to the $100 less Casio CTK6250's acoustic piano sounds (especially the Classic Piano tone). They are noticeably better and more authentic sounding. Amazing considering that little board is so inexpensive and even boasts an impressive 16 track MIDI sequencer instead of just a five track recorder. Yamaha, ahem.....

Edited to correct the spelling of "accompaniment"...
Last edited by mlochala on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by 2112 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:16 pm

mlochala wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:05 pm
First, is there a way to record on the PSR E453 without having the whole accompinant play along?
I'm going to make an assumption that you are asking about recording into the built-in user song recorder.

It appears that all the PSR-E models have a fixed mix for the backup styles. It is their way to differentiate families of their products. The only thing that you can control is the total volume of the style.

But the built in tone generator actually responds to the individual MIDI control messages that let you adjust the mix. Just turn off the "Local" mode via front panel FUNCTION or with a short MIDI file. Then all you need to do is use one of many MIDI loopback/patchbay tools to send or not send the MIDI channels that you want to hear.

On Linux the MIDI loopback is really trivial:

Code: Select all

aconnect 20:0 20:0
. Please see if some of the MIDI tools that you may be already familiar do support that functionality. Also, with loopback active you don't need to record, it works fine while playing live.

Edit: Oh, I forgot about the official Yamaha apps for the Android and Apple iOS. Apparently they do use some undocumented MIDI SysEx-es to control the hidden features of various Yamaha keyboards. You may want to give them a try if you have a compatible device handy.

Edit2: I also forgot about the Yamaha's built-in capability of never starting the harmonic accompaniment. If that suits you, then it is very easy and doesn't require any external hardware. Just start the style with the START/STOP button and never play anything in the accompaniment split area of the keyboard. You can even shift the split point all the way to the left to give you more keyspace for your own performance.
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mlochala
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by mlochala » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:21 pm

Thanks for the response! (Boy, I really butchered the word "accompaniment", didn't I? No wonder it didn't look quite right!)

So, if I understand you correctly, the only possible way to do this with the onboard recorder is to record with the accompaniment on using the START/STOP but do not activate with the split area of the keyboard? I thought for sure there was another way. Seems I had done this before previously on a YPG-235, which has very similar functionality.

Thanks for your help.

What about the sustain issue with the strings type sounds? Every other keyboard (besides Yamaha) I've ever played would hold the strings sound indefinitely when using the sustain pedal. Makes for much smoother transitions from chord to chord. Normally, anyway.
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by 2112 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:35 pm

mlochala wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:21 pm
What about the sustain issue with the strings type sounds?
I've heard of E-4xx users playing with the "M.Release" & "D.Release" settings of the voices they use to get somewhat longer sustain times. I have no personal experience with that, besides maybe suggesting exploring the various synthesizer voices instead of the default choice of bowed strings. Are you going for particular musical function of helping to sustain harmony or particular timbre/sound?
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:39 pm

I know you can use the Track Control buttons while playing a style to toggle the various style tracks* on and off. But you can't use those buttons for that purpose while recording because then they are used for the song tracks rather than the style tracks.

As an alternative, when you select a style it will normally play just the rhythm track until you "start" the accompaniment, so it might be possible to record just the rhythm track; I'll have to try it and see.

As another alternative, I believe there is a "No Chord" chord type which is supposed to turn off the chordal accompaniment, although I need to check whether this turns all of the accompaniment other than the rhythm, or just the chords. If it turns off everything except the rhythm, you might be able to use it to do what you want.

As a third alternative, you could try setting the Split Point all the way down to the first key of the keyboard, and see if that lets you use the rhythm without triggering the musical accompaniment.

And as a final potential alternative, when you record a User Song with a style the recorder doesn't actually record the style's playback, just the style number you've chosen, along with certain style settings, plus the section changes you trigger by pressing the style buttons on the panel, and the chord types you trigger by playing specific keys or key combinations in the accompaniment zone. Some of the style setup messages that get recorded are the on/off status of the eight style channels. So as a last resort, you could go ahead and record your User Song with all parts of the style playing, save the keyboard's memory to a User File (which is similar to a Backup File), and extract the User Song from the User File (which is not easy to do unless you're very familiar with the User File format, the Standard MIDI File format, and hexadecimal text editors). Once you've extracted the User Song to a MIDI file, you could edit the SysEx messages which set the eight style channels on, turning off all of them except the ones that are used for the rhythm. And then you can play the edited MIDI file on the keyboard.
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Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by mlochala » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:13 pm

Thank you for the replies! I appreciate your information very much. I guess I just need to play with this keyboard more and get more used to it. I will try your suggestions and see how they work.
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by 2112 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:56 pm

Have fun.

Since I've heard the complains about "Strings" voice pedal sustain on Yamahas many times already, I decided to investigate with my own ears. I stepped into some of the dens of fanboism and trollery that did have recordings to compare. What I heard from those "other keyboards" to my ears sounded more like an emulation of some vintage "stringer" string synthesizer than an actual string orchestra. The actual orchestra with human performers obviously does "sustain" by continuous, repeated bowing, not by some magical sustaining energy source.

To that extent the "Yamaha way" of doing "strings sustained with pedal" is better sounding. Select "Strings" as the voice, turn on the arpeggiator, select "OrcheStr" as the arpeggio type and set "Pedal function" to "Arp Hold". Other usable arpeggio types that I've tried were "Pickin1", "Strings1" and even "DiscoLd" and "DiscoCP".

The above obviously doesn't work when the "Strings" are used as the default dual voice layered under behind a piano. In that configuration another registration setting is required that either moves the strings to the sole main layer or muting the volume of the main layer.
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by RonW » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:04 pm

Hi, it's not exactly straight forward but I figured it out and do it all the time. Here are the steps and you should do them in order.
1.) Press Song Button and select an empty user song.
2.) Press Style and choose. Turn ACMP on if it isn't already.
3.) Press REC button and the Track Control A track button. This is where accompany stuff is recorded.
4.) Now click off the parts of the accompaniment that you don't want to use. In your case that would be Track Control buttons 2-5. The drum track is usually on 1.
5.) Press any key in the split area and count the number of measures you want.
6.) Press Stop/Start to end the recording.

As far as getting my sustain pedal to work, I've only got it to work in the xglite voices.

Hope this helps. If you are still having trouble PM me.
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Re: PSR E453: Recording With Drum Track Only?

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:01 pm

Thank you, Ron! :)
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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