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Thread: Using a Yamaha keyboard as a midi controller

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    Question Using a Yamaha keyboard as a midi controller

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    Hi! Thanks in advance for answering me.

    I record with Ableton Live 9 Suite and i'm a bit of a noob to set-up correcly.
    Basically, I have a E313 Yamaha Keyboard that I'd like to use as a MIDI controller. I'm plugged correctly (I think so) into my computer and Ableton recognizes a "USB 2.0-MIDI". I've tried to update my preferences and put all the MIDI ports on and all, but my computer keyboard is still used as a midi controller... I don't know what to do!

    Any help would be appreciated.
    James

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    DK Live, but usually, one has to select input on the MIDI track

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    Since the PSR-E313 has MIDI ports, I take it you're using a MIDI-to-USB adapter, or maybe a USB audio interface that has a MIDI port?

    I have Ableton Live (Lite) and a PSR-E443 keyboard, so I should be able to help you as long as there isn't some kind of technical problem with the MIDI connection. I'll post again later after I've switched over to my other computer that my keyboards are connected to.

    In the meantime, can you clarify what exactly you're trying to do-- (a) use the PSR-E313 to input Note events and record them in a track, or (b) use the PSR-E313 to play virtual instruments "live"?
    Michael Rideout - Yamaha YPT-400/PSR-E433/PSR-E443/PSR-EW400/MX49BK; M-Audio Axiom 61-II
    Acoustica Mixcraft; PreSonus Studio One; Steinberg Cubase; etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaGtGruff View Post
    Since the PSR-E313 has MIDI ports, I take it you're using a MIDI-to-USB adapter, or maybe a USB audio interface that has a MIDI port?

    I have Ableton Live (Lite) and a PSR-E443 keyboard, so I should be able to help you as long as there isn't some kind of technical problem with the MIDI connection. I'll post again later after I've switched over to my other computer that my keyboards are connected to.

    In the meantime, can you clarify what exactly you're trying to do-- (a) use the PSR-E313 to input Note events and record them in a track, or (b) use the PSR-E313 to play virtual instruments "live"?
    Hi! Thanks for the reply!
    I indeed use a MIDI to USB adaptater, but I'm not sure how I need to plug it in my computer... Do I plug both wires (input and output)?
    I want to use my keyboard to play the virtual instruments that are on Ableton. I do not want to use it as a piano, I want to use it as a MIDI controller. I know that the software recognizes it (as "USB2.0-MIDI") but don't know if I need to install anything...
    Any help is appreciated!

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    I've tried to keep the following notes brief. Hopefully the second half won't be too difficult to follow without pictures.

    USB-MIDI INTERFACE CONNECTIONS

    Connect the MIDI IN of the USB-MIDI interface to the MIDI OUT of the PSR-E313 keyboard. (You want the keyboard's output to go into the interface.)

    Connect the MIDI OUT of the interface to the MIDI IN of the keyboard. (You want the interface's output to go into the keyboard.) If you just want to use the keyboard as a controller then this connection is optional, but it will let you sequence MIDI data from Ableton Live to the keyboard.

    Of course, you should also connect the USB of the interface to your computer.

    PSR-E313 SETTINGS

    Go into the PSR-E313's FUNCTION menu and scroll to the PC MODE function. Set it to PC2 if you want to use the keyboard as a controller; this will turn off the LOCAL control and EXTERNAL CLOCK functions, and turn on the KEYBOARD OUT function.

    There are other settings which can affect the MIDI data that's sent by the keyboard-- e.g., TRANSPOSE and MAIN OCTAVE among others-- but we won't worry about them right now.

    ABLETON LIVE SETTINGS

    Go to Ableton Live's OPTIONS menu and select PREFERENCES-- or you can press the CONTROL and COMMA keys together.

    In the PREFERENCES window, select the LINK MIDI tab.

    Assuming the connection is showing up as USB 2.0-MIDI as you'd previously mentioned, INPUT: USB 2.0-MIDI and OUTPUT: USB 2.0-MIDI should appear in the MIDI PORTS list.

    Next to INPUT: USB 2.0-MIDI, you want the TRACK button to be ON, but the other two (SYNC and REMOTE) can be OFF.

    Likewise, next to OUTPUT: USB 2.0-MIDI, you want TRACK to be ON, but SYNC and REMOTE can be OFF.

    Then you can close the PREFERENCES window.

    MIDI TRACK SETTINGS

    When you start Ableton Live, you should get two MIDI tracks and two AUDIO tracks. If you want to follow along with my example then you can delete the two AUDIO tracks, since we won't be using them.

    Live starts in SESSION VIEW, so that's what I'll use for my example.

    Go to INSTRUMENTS, INSTRUMENT RACK, SYNTH LEAD, find the BRIGHT SAW LEAD.ADG, and drag it onto the first MIDI track.

    If you've set everything up correctly, you should now be able to play the BRIGHT SAW LEAD with the PSR-E313, since MIDI tracks are automatically set to get MIDI FROM ALL INS and ALL CHANNELS. (If playing on the PSR-E313 doesn't control the BRIGHT SAW LEAD, go back and double-check your various connections and settings.)

    However, normally you wouldn't want each MIDI track to get its MIDI FROM ALL INS and ALL CHANNELS, so let's change that. In the track 1 column (or 1 BRIGHT SAW LEAD), click on ALL INS and change it to USB 2.0-MIDI. Then click on ALL CHANNELS and change it to CH. 1.

    Now go to INSTRUMENTS, INSTRUMENT RACK, PAD, find A SNOW PAD.ADG, and drag it onto the second MIDI track.

    You should now be able to play A SNOW PAD with the PSR-E313, except the BRIGHT SAW LEAD doesn't play anymore.

    In the track 2 column (or 2 A SNOW PAD), click on ALL INS and change it to USB 2.0-MIDI, then click on ALL CHANNELS and change it to CH. 2.

    Hmm, now playing on the PSR-E313 probably doesn't do anything! To fix that, turn on the PSR-E313's DUAL VOICE, which transmits on channel 2. (And as you might have guessed, the MAIN VOICE transmits on channel 1.) Now it should work again.

    But the BRIGHT SAW LEAD still doesn't play along with A SNOW PAD. You can play either one by clicking on its column to make it active (as long you've got the DUAL VOICE turned on). Alternately, you can change the MONITOR setting of both tracks from AUTO to IN, and then you'll be able to play both sounds at the same time.

    Let's try something else. What if we want to split the keyboard so the left half plays the BRIGHT SAW LEAD and the right half plays A SNOW PAD? One way to do that would be to turn on the PSR-E313's SPLIT VOICE (which uses channel 3) and change the channels on the two tracks to CH. 3 and CH. 1, respectively. However, there's another way to do it that gives us more freedom.

    Leave track 1 set to CH. 1, but change track 2 to CH. 1 as well. (You can turn off the DUAL VOICE as well.)

    Click on track 1 to select it, then go to MIDI EFFECTS and drag the MIDI EFFECT RACK down to the bottom part of the screen where the settings for the BRIGHT SAW LEAD are shown; it will be displayed to the left of the BRIGHT SAW LEAD controls.

    Click on the third icon in the top left corner of the MIDI EFFECT RACK to show the chain list.

    Then click on the KEY button in the MIDI EFFECT RACK to get a little MIDI keyboard display.

    Right-click to the left of the keyboard, where it says "Drop MIDI Effects Here," and select CREATE CHAIN. A bar should now appear across the keyboard display. Grab the right edge of the bar (the cursor should turn into a right bracket or "]") and drag it to the middle of the keyboard so the bar stops at the E3 key.

    Now click on track 2, then drag and drop the MIDI EFFECT RACK in the bottom part of the screen next to the settings for A SNOW PAD.

    Click on the third icon in the top left corner of the MIDI EFFECT RACK to show the chain list.

    Then click on the KEY button in the MIDI EFFECT RACK to get a little MIDI keyboard display.

    Right-click to the left of the keyboard and select CREATE CHAIN. Grab the left edge of the bar (the cursor should turn into a left bracket or "[") and drag it to the middle of the keyboard so the bar starts at the F3 key.

    Now the left half of the keyboard will play the BRIGHT SAW LEAD, and the right half will play A SNOW PAD.
    Michael Rideout - Yamaha YPT-400/PSR-E433/PSR-E443/PSR-EW400/MX49BK; M-Audio Axiom 61-II
    Acoustica Mixcraft; PreSonus Studio One; Steinberg Cubase; etc.

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