PSR-E423 new owner CD questions

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Logix01001
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PSR-E423 new owner CD questions

Unread post by Logix01001 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:34 pm

We've just bought a second hand PSR-E423 which looks to be a great tool for our youngster to learn to play! :D

Apart from the keyboard and its music rest nothing else was included. We're about to order an AC-adapter, and the E423 manual has been downloaded from Yamaha USA's website.
But the CD which was originally included can't be found for downloading anywhere on Yamah's sites (or elsewhere), and I'm wondering if we're missing out on anything?

According to the manual (page 79) the PSR-E423 CD contains:

- 70 MIDI songs
- 5 style files
- 5 music database data
- songbook
- USB drivers (32 and 64-bit Windows versions)
- Musicsoft downloader

Apparently it's made for Windows (I'm on a Mac) so the drivers don't mean anything (I'm sure I can read the CD though, and transfer any relevant files), but what are the rest of the files for? And is the Musicsoft downloader essential for transferring MIDIfiles, or can any MIDI Sysex transfer app be used for this?
Yamaha gear: DX-7, TX-802, TX81Z, TX-16W
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SeaGtGruff
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Re: PSR-E423 new owner CD questions

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:31 pm

I was in a similar boat when I bought a secondhand YPT-400, another name for the PSR-E403. I was able to order a replacement CD from yamaha24x7.com for about $15. At that time-- maybe 4 or 5 years ago-- it was possible to search their site and order parts online, including replacement manuals or CDs. But I think the site has changed since then, and you're supposed to call their support line, ask them to look up the availability of a part for you, and order it over the phone. Also, the prices may have gone up a bit since then.

However, there's nothing on the CD that you absolutely need, so I'll go down the list and comment about each item to help you decide if you want it enough to order a replacement CD-- assuming one is still available to order.

- 70 MIDI songs: You can look in the manual or songbook to see if there's a list of these songs. You may or may not be interested in the individual songs, and you don't need any of them unless you want to use the songbook and the keyboard's Y.E.S. features to learn to play some of them.

- 5 style files: Again, you can look in the manual to see if there's a list of these styles. Whether or not you think you're interested in those particular styles, you can still use other Yamaha-compatible style files which can be (1) purchased online from sites such as yamahamusicsoft.com, or (2) downloaded for free from other sites. There are literally tens of thousands of style files that can be downloaded for free, although many of them might be very similar to each other except for modifications that people have made to them, and you might need to do a few modifications of your own so they can successfully play on the PSR-E423. If you are adventurous, you might even decide to learn how to create style files of your own. Of course, there are already a variety of styles built into the keyboard. And you can certainly play the keyboard without using styles at all.

- 5 Music Database files: Once again, you can look in the manual to see if there's a list of these. There are already many Music Database entries built into the keyboard. Some people really like that feature, and one drawback of the PSR-E models is that most of them don't have the ability to read "external" Music Database files the way the PSR-S models do. In my opinion, the big advantage of getting these 5 external Music Database files is that you (or someone else) might be able to use a hex editor to figure out how they're formatted, after which you could potentially create Music Database files of your own.

- Songbook: As of a few years ago, Yamaha has now posted these songbooks at their online sites, so you should be able to get it by downloading it. The hardest part is finding them on the web site, because they aren't in the same place as the downloads for the manuals. But if you search for your keyboard model, you can usually find its songbook that way.

- USB drivers: Even if you did have a Windows computer, you probably wouldn't be able to use the drivers on the CD unless your computer is running an old version of Windows. Instead, you should always go to Yamaha's site to get the most up-to-date USB driver for your specific version of Windows or (if available) of the Mac OS version you're using. I don't think the newer versions of the Mac OS require additional drivers, but older versions may.

- Musicsoft Downloader: This is a Windows-compatible program, so you wouldn't be able to use it on your Mac anyway, unless you have some sort of Windows emulator, virtual machine, dual boot setup, etc. I'm not sure whether there's a Mac version of this program; I've looked, but haven't found one, although I have a vague memory of seeing one on Yamaha's website years ago. But if you have an iPad-- or perhaps an iPhone or an iPod touch-- there is an iOS app called MusicSoft Manager which is basically the iOS version of the Musicsoft Downloader. You can use this program to save a backup of your keyboard's system memory (which has all of the User Songs, Registrations, and User Styles inside), or to restore a backup of the system memory, as well as to transfer external song files and style files into your keyboard's internal storage memory.
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: PSR-E423 new owner CD questions

Unread post by Logix01001 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:16 am

Thanks for taking the time to explain everything, SeaGtGruff!
SeaGtGruff wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:31 pm
However, there's nothing on the CD that you absolutely need, so I'll go down the list and comment about each item to help you decide if you want it enough to order a replacement CD-- assuming one is still available to order.
I probably won't spend lots of money on getting the installation CD, but I was hoping (since Yamaha allows for downloading the manuals) that they also included downloads of the installation CDs that came with the units (typically something an owner might lose), but they might think differently, looking to gain a few bucks on lost items like that :wink:
UPDATE: I finally found something (by going to downloads.yamaha.com) which led me to this PSR-E423 manuals download page and included more files than just the user manual!
Still no CD contents though :(

Honestly I'm not even familiar with the various terms yet (style files, music database files etc.) but once I get the time to read the manual I'm sure it'll become clearer :)

- 70 MIDI songs: You can look in the manual or songbook to see if there's a list of these songs. You may or may not be interested in the individual songs, and you don't need any of them unless you want to use the songbook and the keyboard's Y.E.S. features to learn to play some of them.
So those are the songs as featured in the songbook, available as MIDI files?
Assuming the songbook isn't keyboard specific (i.e. one songbook for each keyboard model); is this something that can be downloaded from other models' support pages?

- 5 style files: Again, you can look in the manual to see if there's a list of these styles. Whether or not you think you're interested in those particular styles, you can still use other Yamaha-compatible style files which can be (1) purchased online from sites such as yamahamusicsoft.com, or (2) downloaded for free from other sites. There are literally tens of thousands of style files that can be downloaded for free, although many of them might be very similar to each other except for modifications that people have made to them, and you might need to do a few modifications of your own so they can successfully play on the PSR-E423. If you are adventurous, you might even decide to learn how to create style files of your own. Of course, there are already a variety of styles built into the keyboard. And you can certainly play the keyboard without using styles at all.
I'm basically just curious when something is included :wink:
I did have a look at Yamahamusicsoft.com but could only find a couple of free style files. Are there any other sites you (or someone else reading) knows about, containing free style files?
I'm just getting to learn the terms, but I understand these are musical styles for accompaniement like "salsa", "bossanova" and so on, right? Do they also include new sounds, or are they basically sort of like a MIDI file which plays a specific sequence with the sounds already available inside the keyboard?


- 5 Music Database files: Once again, you can look in the manual to see if there's a list of these. There are already many Music Database entries built into the keyboard. Some people really like that feature, and one drawback of the PSR-E models is that most of them don't have the ability to read "external" Music Database files the way the PSR-S models do. In my opinion, the big advantage of getting these 5 external Music Database files is that you (or someone else) might be able to use a hex editor to figure out how they're formatted, after which you could potentially create Music Database files of your own.
Are these just organizations of existing styles, or something else? Excuse my ignorance.
- Songbook: As of a few years ago, Yamaha has now posted these songbooks at their online sites, so you should be able to get it by downloading it. The hardest part is finding them on the web site, because they aren't in the same place as the downloads for the manuals. But if you search for your keyboard model, you can usually find its songbook that way.
Apparently the song books are specific for each keyboard model (so I've answered my own question earlier), and although I found several on Yamaha's support page (searching for "song book") none of them are for the PSR-E423.
- USB drivers: Even if you did have a Windows computer, you probably wouldn't be able to use the drivers on the CD unless your computer is running an old version of Windows. Instead, you should always go to Yamaha's site to get the most up-to-date USB driver for your specific version of Windows or (if available) of the Mac OS version you're using. I don't think the newer versions of the Mac OS require additional drivers, but older versions may.
I think you're right, and in my experience you need to get the drivers for your specific OS version as they're usually backwards compatible with the product in question.
I also think you're right about newer Mac OS versions needing drivers at all. There is a downloadable OSX driver for the PSR-E423 but it's only for OSX up to version 10.5. I'm first going to see if it works out of the box without a driver.
Another question is if I can get this keyboard to work with an iPad. As far as I understand the same thing about drivers applies there (it's all built into the OS), but does anyone know if the PSR-E423 is compatible with an iPad?
- Musicsoft Downloader: This is a Windows-compatible program, so you wouldn't be able to use it on your Mac anyway, unless you have some sort of Windows emulator, virtual machine, dual boot setup, etc. I'm not sure whether there's a Mac version of this program; I've looked, but haven't found one, although I have a vague memory of seeing one on Yamaha's website years ago. But if you have an iPad-- or perhaps an iPhone or an iPod touch-- there is an iOS app called MusicSoft Manager which is basically the iOS version of the Musicsoft Downloader. You can use this program to save a backup of your keyboard's system memory (which has all of the User Songs, Registrations, and User Styles inside), or to restore a backup of the system memory, as well as to transfer external song files and style files into your keyboard's internal storage memory.
Good suggestion! I've found it and installed it on my iPad.
So I suppose this means the PSR-E423 can indeed be attached to an iPad!?
I don't yet know how the keyboard is configured or what it contains, but it's probably a good idea to save its contents in any case, then factory reset it (does anyone know how, and what this actually does with this keyboard?) so as to get a "fresh start". I did buy that special Apple Lightning to USB-3 camera adapter cable but I haven't tried it yet.

PS: perhaps a PSR-E423 owner having the CD could be so kind to upload the following files to this thread?

- 70 MIDI songs
- 5 style files
- 5 music database data
- songbook
Yamaha gear: DX-7, TX-802, TX81Z, TX-16W
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Re: PSR-E423 new owner CD questions

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:49 pm

I wish they'd upload the contents of the CDs to their servers and then let you download them, but they don't.

It looks like the 70 songs on the CD might be the same ones that were on the PSR-E403's CD, in which case the song books would probably also be the same.

The Music Database is sort of like a collection of preset Registrations which have been set up for playing specific songs. When you select one of the Music Database entries it will select a given Style and variation, tempo, Main Voice, and so on.

As you've surmised, the PSR-E423 can be used with an iPad (or vice versa). It doesn't require a driver, but it does require the appropriate Camera Connection Kit (that is, the old 30-pin version for old iPads that have 30-pin connectors, or the Lightning version for iPads that have Lightning connectors).

Aside from the MusicSoft Manager app, you might also want to look for the Sound Controller app, which you can use as a virtual mod wheel (among other things).

There are two types of reset procedures.

One is the Backup Clear, which clears the system memory and restores all of the default system settings. The system memory contains any User Songs that were recorded, any Registrations that were saved, and the User Style if one was loaded.

The other is the Flash Clear, which clears the internal storage memory, sort of like a computer's internal hard drive. This is the memory that holds any MIDI song files or Yamaha style files which you've transferred to the keyboard from a computer.
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: PSR-E423 new owner CD questions

Unread post by Logix01001 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:47 pm

SeaGtGruff wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:49 pm
I wish they'd upload the contents of the CDs to their servers and then let you download them, but they don't.
Yes, a lot of other companies do just that with their installation CDs.

It looks like the 70 songs on the CD might be the same ones that were on the PSR-E403's CD, in which case the song books would probably also be the same.
OK. I'll see if I can find it, but if someone reading has the CD.... :wink:
The Music Database is sort of like a collection of preset Registrations which have been set up for playing specific songs. When you select one of the Music Database entries it will select a given Style and variation, tempo, Main Voice, and so on.
Ah! Sounds quite useful.

As you've surmised, the PSR-E423 can be used with an iPad (or vice versa). It doesn't require a driver, but it does require the appropriate Camera Connection Kit (that is, the old 30-pin version for old iPads that have 30-pin connectors, or the Lightning version for iPads that have Lightning connectors).
I just tried it today and it worked right away without any trouble at all!
I was able to (using the "Musicsoft manager" app) back up the PSR-E423 "system drive" contents. There was nothing inside the "Flash drive", but I suppose that's actually only if a USB flash drive is attached, right?
So I'm ready to reset the keyboard.
Aside from the MusicSoft Manager app, you might also want to look for the Sound Controller app, which you can use as a virtual mod wheel (among other things).
Yes, that would be nice to have as (strangely) it's missing. Why add a pitch wheel and not have a mod wheel? Probably marketing strategies -not wanting to hinder some low-end synth sale or something.

There are two types of reset procedures.

One is the Backup Clear, which clears the system memory and restores all of the default system settings. The system memory contains any User Songs that were recorded, any Registrations that were saved, and the User Style if one was loaded.

The other is the Flash Clear, which clears the internal storage memory, sort of like a computer's internal hard drive. This is the memory that holds any MIDI song files or Yamaha style files which you've transferred to the keyboard from a computer.
Aha! So the "Flash" memory isn't a USB memory stick.
Looks like I can do both reset procedures, having completed the backup. I found the service manual for this keyboard and attached page 32 ("initialization") below, in case others are interested.
Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 20.45.21.png
Yamaha gear: DX-7, TX-802, TX81Z, TX-16W
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