Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Talent Behind the Sounds: Interview with Sound Designer Peter Krischker

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Krischker, the mastermind behind the Easy Sounds Synth Voice Libraries. Peter has been working with Yamaha Synths for over 30 years and he brings a wealth of sound design and programming experience to every product he creates. We were thrilled to hear his insight into the artistic process.

Click here to view Easy Sounds Products in a new window.

We spoke with Peter about one of his favorite Synth Voice Libraries, the FM Xpanded library. Peter describes the library as "...the ultimate retro pack for your Yamaha MOTIF Synth." The library is based on the FM technology that served as the foundation for the famous DX7 synthesizer.

What inspired you to create the FM Xpanded library?

My intention was to offer comprehensive sound library for the Yamaha MOTIF-series with an emphasis on playable live sounds. FM synthesis is closely linked with the history of Yamaha Synths. The DX7 electric piano sound is one of the most recognized instrument sounds from the 1980' was obvious to offer a playable FM sound library.

What did you use as the source for these sounds? How did you go about creating them?

For the sample production I used the legendary DX7 as well as several other FM synths, including the SY99, FS1R, DX200 and FM8.

The original FM-sounds were not simply sampled 1:1 - I developed FM-partials, which were mapped as User Waveforms and combined with new FM-voices using up to eight voice elements from the MOTIF XS / XF / MOXF. I called this technique "Sample-Partial-Programming". The process offers a very high flexibility allowing for creative sound design.

Check out out FM Xpanded, and other great Easy Sound Libraries. Each product detail page contains audio and video demos.

Which sounds are your favorite and why?
I love the classical FM E-Piano voices like The Champ, Lovely Tines, Classic SY99, Original DX, and American Ballad. They sound like pure FM in high quality - just what you expect from an FM library.

Tell us a little about your work with Yamaha.

My first synthesizer was a Yamaha CS15! In the early '90s I contacted Yamaha Europe about sound design work for SY99 and we started a successful collaboration that continues today.

Since the development of the CS1X I've been a member of the Yamaha voicing team. I've been involved in countless voicing projects like CS6x, AN1x, FS1R, AN200, DX200, EX5, MOTIF XS / XF, DTX-series, Tyros-Series, Yamaha World Wide Content and many others.

I'm not a trained keyboard player - I started making music with guitar. Now I'm going back to my roots playing electric guitar again when I have time left alongside the synth projects. Maybe one of my next sampling projects will be a guitar library!

You can hear the retro voices from FM Xpanded in this video, or check out the library on our site!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to use One Touch Settings - PSR-S950

One Touch Setting (OTS) is a powerful feature that you can use on your PSR-S950 to optimize your performance instantly. OTS uses programming features within a Yamaha Style to select the Voice that sounds best with a particular Style Variation.

Today, we are going to learn about OTS, OTS LINK, and how to load a Style File you have purchased from Yamaha MusicSoft. Let's get started.

On the PSR-S950, you have four One Touch Settings and four Style Variations:
One Touch Setting: the buttons labeled "1, 2, 3, 4"

Style Variation: the buttons labeled "A, B, C, D"
The One Touch Setting selected (the button with an orange LED) was programmed to be used specifically with a Style Variation in the same position. For example, If you have One Touch Setting "1" selected, the voice selected for this OTS is meant to be played with Style Variation "A".

One Touch Setting Link (OTS LINK) is a feature on your Arranger Workstation that grants you full utilization of an OTS. This feature acts is an auto-select function that keeps an OTS tied to the appropriate Style Variation:

- Variation A is linked to One Touch Setting 1
- Variation B is linked to One Touch Setting 2
- Variation C is linked to One Touch Setting 3
- Variation D is linked to One Touch Setting 4

OTS LINK is activated when the OTS LINK button is pressed, and an orange LED is displayed:

You may have noticed that with OTS LINK turned off, you can switch between different One Touch Settings even if you do not change to another Style Variation. This choice is valuable, also. You can perform one Style Variation, while switching between the four available OTS.

 Let's go ahead and load Yamaha Style Steel Drum Pop that we've purchased from Yamaha MusicSoft via USB thumb drive.

Get Steel Drum Pop for PSR-S950 here:

If you want a different Style, check out all available Styles for PSR-S950:

Step 1: Insert the USB thumb drive to the "USB to Device" port on the back of the PSR-S950

Step 2: Select "Expansion/User" under STYLE

Step 3: Navigate over to the tab "USB1" on the screen

Step 4: Press button "A" to the left of the screen to select "xt Steeldrum Pop".

Step 5: Have fun using One Touch Setting and One Touch Setting Link! 

If you'd like to continue shopping for awesome Yamaha Styles, click this convenient link to get back to jump to the catalog page in a new window:

- Justin
Yamaha Music Interactive

Have a suggestion for a blog post? Post your idea in the comment section below!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to change the melody Voice on a Yamaha Premium Song - CVP-609

Yamaha Premium Songs are MIDI files designed to work perfectly with the high-quality Voices in your instrument. Each Premium Song is a multi-track MIDI file that are made of Voices hand-picked by a producer.

Although these MIDI files sound great as they are, you may wish to change out the Voices chosen for the file. For example, instead of hearing the melody played by a flute, you would rather hear it played by a guitar. 

Using a Yamaha CVP-609 Clavinova, let’s walk through the steps to switch out the main Voice for a Premium Song.

Step 1: Connect USB Drive to Yamaha CVP-609 Clavinova

Let’s say that you just bought an awesome Yamaha Premium Song from to play on your Clavinova. You've copied the MIDI file onto a USB drive and now you’re ready to play it. Plug the drive into the “USB TO DEVICE” port on the left side of the Clavinova. 

Once you've plugged it in, your screen will say “USB Device Connected”.
Step 2: Open the Song Selector

Tap the HOME button to the right of the screen. Now, tap the box that says “New Song”. This will bring you to a menu of songs to choose from.
Step 3: Select MIDI on the top of the screen

In this case, we are looking for the words MIDI at the top the screen, with an image of a Clavinova and USB drive next to it. Go ahead and tap that button. 
Step 4: Select USB 1

Tap USB1 on the screen
Step 5: Select an awesome Yamaha Premium Song

In this case, I only have one file to choose from on my USB drive. Tap it and then tap the close button to get started.

Step 6: Play Song Under SONG CONTROL, push play to start the song. It will play as we continue through the steps.
Step 7: Select menu and then select Mixer

The mixer allows you to edit the instrument choice and levels for up to 16 channels within a given Yamaha Premium Song.

Step 8: Select Song Ch. 1-8, then select Channel 1

With Yamaha Premium Songs, Channel 1 is always the main voice, or melody, of the song. Tap the yellow box "1" to see the instrument selected for the main Voice. In this case, the voice selected for the song is called “Lektro Codes”.

Step 9: Pick a different Voice.

As the song plays, you’ll notice that the melody will sound different once you change the main voice. Browse the different voice categories to pick a Voice that fits best.
So that’s it. It is a simple way to adjust the Yamaha Premium Song you just purchased, using the features of your CVP-609.
But there’s more…

Stay tuned for a future post, where we teach you how to save your Voice setting choices for later use!

Yamaha Music Interactive

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Sale! Soak up the savings with 20% off everything at Yamaha MusicSoft.

There's still time to save 20% on everything sold at Yamaha MusicSoft. Now through Wednesday, July 30th, enjoy summer savings on MIDI Songs, Style Files, PianoSoft, Yamaha Premium Packs, Voice and Style Expansion Packs, and more!

*Offer cannot be combined with other promotions. Sale ends July 30th at 11:59PM PDT.

Monday, June 16, 2014

MIDI Sale! Save 20% at Yamaha MusicSoft

Save on all MIDI songs, including sports anthems to celebrate the upcoming big game festivities.

Now through Sunday, June 22, save 20% on all titles in our MIDI catalog, including "Dare La La La (Brazil 2014)," "To Brazil," "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," "We Are One (Ole Ola)" and more.

*Offer cannot be combined with other promotions. Sale ends June 22nd at 11:59PM PDT.