Composing Questions

Section for information and discussion about the Yamaha Tyros 1, 2 , 3,4 and 5 Arranger Keyboards.

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Bouncingkeys
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Composing Questions

Unread post by Bouncingkeys » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:16 pm

Hi, and a Happy New Year to everybody.

I recently became the proud owner of an almost mint condition Tyros 1 complete with the Yamaha stand, speakers and all sorts of discs and goodies.

I've owned a number of keyboards in the past, but I now want to try my hand at composing. I'm 72 years young, so go easy on me! This will be purely for HOME use to start off, so please don't suggest anything too technical.

I want software that will enable me to enter notes as I play them directly onto my PC using my Tyros keyboard as the input device, and not by a computer keyboard.
I then want to be able to edit that music and print it out. What software would you recommend? I've looked at Sibelius First, MuseScore, Cubase and Finale, but not sure which will be the easiest and most effective to use.

That's the first thing. I also need to know how to connect it to my Tyros to do this.
Do I need midi cables, a midi interface of some sort, like an M audio device or something else?
Never used midi or stuff like that.

I use Windows 10.

I'd be very grateful for any help as I don't want to waste money buying the wrong stuff, but Im happy and able to buy what's needed.

Really would appreciate some guidance. It's a new project for me, and I want to make it work.

I'll look in later. Thank you. :D
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Derek
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Derek » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:59 pm

Hello, and welcome.

Did a copy of Cubase AI come with the Tyros disks? That would allow you to try a cut down version of Cubase for free.

I think the main question is how do you wish to compose. Are you a proficient music reader and wish to enter "dots" in which case a score writing package like Sibelius or Finale might be better (but the score package in Cubase pro is no slouch). if you want to do step time "piano roll" type entry via the Tyros keyboard then a sequencer with score capabilities should be fine.

You've sort of answered the question in your post in that you want to use a music keyboard for entry and to be able to print a score off, if I understand correctly. In that case I would lean towards a sequencer with scoring capabilities as being far more flexible for general recording, editing and playt back duties rather than just a score programme. This is just my opinion, but unless you are professionally making scores that must be of the right quality to hand out to musicians who sight read, then starting with a scoring package may be overkill. I must confess though that I read music poorly. I am more of a play by ear person. Other people who read music better may have a different opinion! :)

Steinberg now also do a score program, called Dorico. And you can get 30 day evaluation keys for all of their key products, which allows you to try before you buy. So you could download both Cubase Pro and Dorico (assume you may be able to do the same with other company's products) and evaluate both of them for 30 days to see what fits your needs better.

If the Tyros has a USB To Host Slot (the more square looking one) then a USB lead and the Yamaha USB MIDI DRIVER (you can download from here will create the MIDI connection for you without needing a dedicated interface. Otherwise you will need MIDI leads and a USB to MIDI interface. If the latter, please avoid these $10 "USB MIDI leads" you see on eBay as they are quite limited. A decent interface like a MIDI Sport UNO or MIDI SPORT 2x2 do not cost much more.

Go for the UNO if the Tyros is the only thing you'll ever connect. the 2x2 allows you to connect two devices, and I can personally vouch for this one. I've had one for 15 odd years, and it is bomb proof and works with every MIDI device I have ever connected to it. Other interfaces from different vendors at the same price point should be equally fine.

Hope that Helps
Regards
Derek Cook

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Bouncingkeys
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Bouncingkeys » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:02 pm

Derek. Thank you so very much for your reply and invaluable information.

Let me digest it all, and I will get back in a day or two.

Really appreciated. Thank you.
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Bouncingkeys
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Bouncingkeys » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:32 pm

Ok. So I'll take it as above.

Yes, I read music without too much trouble. I've previously played pianos, digital pianos (latest was a Yamaha DGX660) and I have played a 4 manual church organ in the past, but probably very rusty there! I used to play by ear, but that was emphatically caned, literally, out of me as 'wrong' by a 70 year old piano teacher I had back in the late 1950's. Such a pity as I always played more confidently that way. So I was forced to learn the dots.

I want any progtamme to enter the notes as I play them. I think doing it manually would be amazingly time consuming, and I'm not that confident about doing it. Changing an odd note here and there perhaps, but a whole score... No.
I've just been having a try on the Sibelius First trial version, and it recognised the Tyros immediately, using the basic USB A to B plugs. It put the notes on a piano score accurately as I played, and as a first try, I've been encouraged. It also printed out the sheet.

I've downloaded several trial versions of other composition and sequencing software so I'm going to experiment with those over the next few days to see which suits me best.

I'm certainly not professional standard and all my compositions are purely for my own use. It's my hobby which I enjoy.

I have also been able to look at the two midi interfaces mentioned, but whilst doing so, came across a Roland UM-ONE still brand new and unused at £15, which is being sent to me tonight. The reviews on it were extremely good.
I may go for the M audio midisport if I add another sampling midi keyboard.

I'll return to update. Thank you for your help. Anything and everything is useful to me in this new learning curve.
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Derek
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Derek » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:02 pm

No worries, happy to help. Let us know how you get on.
Regards
Derek Cook

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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Bouncingkeys » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:38 am

Thanks Derek, and I've deliberately left a little time to explore my options.
The Roland UM-ONE arrived, brand new, and with the up to date driver from the Roland website, connected immediately to my Tyros, and I think I got a good bargain at £15.

Moving on to software.
I registered with Sibelius to try their offerings, but getting to actually use their site is like pulling teeth in that every single time I went to log in, it told me that either my password or user name or email was incorrect. Reset the password several times, but it just won't happen.
I have since read online from many would be users that this is a frequent scenario, so I've binned it.
Finale Notepad and Musescore for the time being, are producing adequate results, so I'll keep trying others as and when. Last one I used, many moons ago, was Cubase on an Atari.

I'm happy to buy some software, but it obviously must work! I have the option of using both Windows 10 or Mac, sowill continue searching.

Reading other posts on the forums has been really useful and educational, so thanks to all.
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Saul » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:53 am

Glad to hear you are getting to grips with the Tyros and scoring software...a belated welcome to the forums by the way ;)

Have you tested Dorico yet? I know Derek mentioned it earlier. It is Yamaha's own scoring software and although a relative newcomer it seems to be maturing quite well. There is a trial version so nothing to lose by giving it a go.

How are you finding the Tyros 1? I think it came out in 2003 so getting on for 17 years old now. Still a great keyboard of course :)
Saul
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Bouncingkeys » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:08 pm

Hi Saul, and thanks for the welcome.

I hadn't heard of Dorico, thanks, so I'll investigate it later, especially as we're iced in today!

I am completely blown away by the Tyros, and I was very fortunate to buy it from a guy in Devon who has clearly looked after it with very great care since buying it new.

There's not a mark on it, and the sale for £425 included the genuine Yamaha speaker system , Yamaha stand, stool, manual, proper dust covers, 2 pedals and a lot of software. It also has an 80GB hard drive installed. I sold my DGX660 for just over that, so apart from the cost of going to get it (600 mile round trip + hotel).... 😂

The age was a factor, but Ive balanced it against the realism that nothing lasts forever. I have no reason to expect issues, but repaired an Orla organ several times, so not afraid of minor circuitry and electrical issues. Keeps my retirement interesting!
If worse comes to worse, I would go out and buy another one tomorrow.
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Re: Composing Questions

Unread post by Saul » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:41 pm

Wow, long round trip to get your Tyros! I have done similar in the past but these days I tend to either buy locally or online...although I would never buy an acoustic guitar online. Still, always a nice drive to Devon ;)

Tryos tends to be pretty reliable, the main issues that crop up on the older ones are the screen sometimes goes blank. It is replaceable and I think there is a third party one out there if memory serves. If so there will be a link on the forum somewhere.

Let me know what you think of Dorico once you get a chance to test it.
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