DGX-660 Mixing Volume Issue -- Anyone Else?

Yamaha PSR/PSS & DGX Home Keyboards. If your particular model PSR/PSS/DGX keyboard doesn't have it's own section here is the place to post.

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DGX-660 Mixing Volume Issue -- Anyone Else?

Unread post by Therenix » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:14 am

My DGX-660 is almost right out of the box and performs mostly impressively -- I'm a little frustrated by its limitations in arranging, but I'm also new to this and may find work arounds for the stuff I'm finding limiting.

That being said, tonight, I experienced what seems like a pretty huge bug unless I'm just totally not understanding something.

While recording, I laid down track 1 of 4 (out of what should be 5 available on the keyboard -- maybe 6 if you count the A track) in the Natural Grand voice. That was fine.

Over that, I used a Power Kit to add some drums and that was fine.

Track 3, I switched to Air Vocals and recorded and played back the vocal part -- no problem here.

Track 4, I switched to Overdriven for some guitar parts and doing a play through for practice, it sounded fine. But, the second time through, when I went to record track 4 on top of the rest, it played at like half the volume. My screaming guitar licks (from my practice run through) were so quiet you could barely hear them while recording. I kept on, thinking it might be a recording only issue, but then I tried listening to it when I finished and once again, you could hardly hear the guitar voice. AND, I noticed, once the volume dropped, it was at that volume in that voice for everything else I tried to do -- whether recording or not -- whether messing with that song or just doing something totally different.

What's concerning me, is after a series of trying different approaches to the same problem, I did get it to record in full screaming guitar volume freshly after restarting the keyboard from a power off, but when I went to do the same thing on track 5 as a test -- it was once again as quiet as a church mouse.

My question is, has anyone else noticed this kind of behavior? Is it a problem with my unit alone, or is it more widespread? I *think* I remember reading that tracks 1-3 were the only ones that would record dual voice.... while I'm not doing that, it did strike me as possibly important that I see this mostly when using track 4 -- maybe the limitation persists from dual voice to various other voices depending on your combination of events?

My next question is, I got the DGX 660 mainly for the reviews, 88 keys, aesthetics, and price, but the more I play with it, the more I'm finding myself drawn to the arranger functionality (as described above -- I'm no professional by any means, but the limitation of 5 tracks and no control of volume between tracks - like fade in or fade out- these are things I find frustrating) -- would I be better off returning this one (regardless of whether the above is a bug or not) and buying some other type of keyboard that might do these things a little more easily?

Any and all advice appreciated.
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Re: DGX-660 Mixing Volume Issue -- Anyone Else?

Unread post by 2112 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:30 am

Well, the better arranger keyboards from Yamaha don't have 88 keys and have synth action, unless you go to the top of the line. Do you have money for that? Can you play on 61 or 72 unweighted keys?

DGX-660 is definitely an educational device. If you are an experienced musician then you aren't really a target for it.

Yamaha is really good at market segmentation. You can get from them either a fish or a fish tank, but not both.

Edit: If you want to play a little with arrangement/style features you can do so for free with Windows-based software. I won't post links, but search the web for Yamaha PSR tutorial and styles. There is a very active community, although they really don't care about pianists obsessed with "action" and "key feel". See if you can fit there.

Edit2: Sorry, forgot to write about your mixing issue. The mixer on DGX-660 is intentionally primitive. What you need to do is to set both "Song Volume" and "Style Volume" to 100 (out of 127). That includes you saved registrations, which you may need to modify. Then remember to modify just "Main/Dual/Split Voice Volume" when recording your tracks. You can get e.g. main voice volume above 100 to put lead in front of the mix. It is kinda primitive but works OK for non-professional applications.
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Re: DGX-660 Mixing Volume Issue -- Anyone Else?

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:18 am

As 2112 says, the mixer is fairly primitive as compared to the more sophisticated models such as the PSR-S, Tyros, and Genos lines. The song recorder is also fairly primitive.

You can still get by with them once you learn how everything works, but to be honest you'll get better results if you record your music on a computer using a DAW-- and that's also true with the PSR-S, Tyros, and Genos lines, despite their more sophisticated mixers and recorders.

I would encourage you to stick with the onboard mixer and recorder if only to better learn what they can and can't do, because they can be convenient to use for quick recording despite their limitations.

But in the long run you'll probably want to consider using a DAW for recording, especially if you want to do more than just casual recording. The catch is that DAWs can have steep learning curves, especially if you've never used one before. But they're also fairly easy to use once you learn how to get around in them.
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: DGX-660 Mixing Volume Issue -- Anyone Else?

Unread post by Therenix » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:49 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful replies guys. I appreciate the help and advice.

Re: my original issue -- I've done a little more testing and there's definitely something wrong with the volume level halving, but it seems isolated to two guitar voices called Overdriven and Distortion. They work ok when recording the first track, but if you lay them over another track they lose half the volume sporadically but frequently.

I couldn't reproduce it with any other voices (but I also didn't try it with every single voice) so maybe its something to do with the effects used on those voices when recording causing some sort of feedback issue which they compensate for by lowering the output of the original voice. I'll keep working on it to see if I can narrow it down further.

As to whether it's the machine for me to begin with, if a DAW levels the playing field and I'm going to wind up there anyway, I see the logic to holding steady with the DGX and honing my craft on the software side until I hit a wall I just can't move. My wife sends her regards SeaGtGruff -- after reading 2112's well thought out reply, I was almost tempted to just go get a Genos.... lol.

Thanks again guys -- I'll keep updating on the original issue in case someone else runs into it.
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