Monday, April 27, 2009

Expansion Voices For the Tyros 3?

Last week, the Tyros 3 website was updated with an audio clip of a song featuring what like new "choir and vocals" voices, along with the announcement:

Expand Your Creativity
Premium Download Service
Coming This Summer

And, other than two blurry images suggesting more new voice previews to come, that's it! Since this announcement is almost as mysterious as the "puzzle piece" teasers for the Tyros 3 itself were,it looks like we're all going to have to wait a little longer for any more details to emerge. Of course, we'll keep you updated as soon as we know anything...

- Doug

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Sale - 20% Off All Downloads @ Yamaha MusicSoft

Spring is here, and what better way to celebrate by saving money on new music for your keyboard? Take 20% off all MIDI Songs, Styles & PianoSoft downloads at Yamaha MusicSoft all weekend long!

Clean out those Winter cobwebs with some fresh new music - the Spring Sale runs until 12am Tuesday EDT.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Add a Twist to Songs With the Easy Song Arranger

Conventional wisdom says that there’s a right way and a wrong way to play a song, but that notion is being questioned more and more every day. Who’d have thought that a jazz version of the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” could sound so good, or that Johnny Cash could so easily turn a piece of grimy industrial music into such an effecting folk tune?

Experimentation like this is not only important to pushing the boundaries of music, it’s also tons of fun! And with the Easy Song Arranger tool on Digital Music Notebook, you can come up with endless musical concoctions of your own.

The Easy Song Arranger tool lets you change the style of any song so you can hear it and play along with it in any genre you want. You can also add intros and endings while muting and adding additional accompaniment parts.

To open the Easy Song Arranger, first open a song from your library and click the arrow at the right hand side of the screen. You’ll see that it has three sections:

  • The Intro and Ending section

    Here you can specify whether or not you want the player to add an introduction and ending to the song during playback. With Intro and Ending set to on, the song will start after an intro and ending will play once the sheet music comes to an end.
  • The Style Selection section

    This is where you can select what type of background accompaniment you want the song to have.

    First, select the general genre you want to use – choose from Ballad, Country, Dance, Latin, Pop, Practice, R&B, Swing & Jazz, Traditional and Waltz.

    Then, choose a particular style to use within the genre you’ve chosen.
  • The Arrangement section

    This section is where you can get really specific about what you want to hear. Each style has 8 different parts which you can turn on or off using the boxes in this section. Customize to your hearts delight.
Once you’ve got the settings the way you want them, click create, and then start the song.

As you can tell, the Easy Song Arranger can be used for serious performance or just for laughs, depending on the mix of song and style that you choose.

Click here to watch what can happen when the Easy Song Arranger is allowed to run wild on some classic songs.

Watch as Yamaha's Digital Music Notebook program turns "House of the Rising Sun" into a dance track.

Watch as Yamaha's Digital Music Notebook program turns "Auld Lang Syne" into a reggae track.

- Doug

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yamaha @ the London International Music Show

I'll admit that the London International Music Show is not usually on my radar. Since we mainly focus on keyboard music here at Yamaha MusicSoft, the more guitar and drum based LIMS usually takes a backseat to NAMM and Musik Messe for us in terms of trade shows.

But the guys over at Yamaha UK have come up with what sounds to me like an amazing idea for this year's show. In addition to the usual great lineup of Yamaha artists and products, Yamaha UK has put together a Yamaha UK is putting together a fully stocked recording studio for the show which will be housed in a vintage Airstream trailer!

In conjunction with the Band for a Grand program, musicians attending the show will actually be able to work with industry leading recording engineers in the studio to put together their own recording right at the show. All recordings made in the studio will then be uploaded to Yamaha's Download Live site.

I can only imagine what awesome recordings will come out of this.

We'll be stuck here in New York, so if you happen to be attending the LIMS this year (June 11-14), we're extremely jealous.

- Doug

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Starting Out With Styles - The Single Finger Mode

Styles provide one of the most powerful features of a Yamaha keyboard - the possibilities for the full band sounds you can get out of your instrument with styles are almost endless. Of course, this endless possibility can also make styles seem daunting and confusing to use. When you can do so much with styles, where do you know where to start?

In this video, Yamaha keyboard expert Peter Baartmans explains the easiest starting point for beginning styles users - the Single Finger mode. Watch and learn as Peter takes you through the basics of playing harmonies with just one finger in the left hand of the keyboard!

Once you've got the basics of style playback down, don't forget to check out all of the great expansion Premium Styles available on Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, including the new styles I talked about in yesterday's post.

- Doug

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Premium Styles Are In!

We've just released eight new Yamaha Premium Styles, covering European Pop and 80's sounds.

Check below for a full list of new styles, and make sure to check back with us tomorrow for a guide to the single finger style mode featuring Peter Baartmans!

GermanPop - Poppy and upbeat acoustic guitar driven style with organ backing.

MountainSchlager - Synth based dance/pop with bright lead sounds.

FunkyGuitar - Breezy electric guitar leads and aggressive rock drumming.

PianoSlowShuffle - Jazz/blues piano based style with nice brushed drumming.

80'sMoviePop - Synth sounds, blended with rhythmic electric guitars for a classic 80s sound.

80'sChartHit - Horns and strings, bass and piano along with a shuffling pop back beat.

PushbikeShuffle - Country-blues-rock straight out of the 70s.

80'sXmasPop - Don't let the Christmas designation fool you - this is a great pop style for any time of year.

- Doug

Friday, April 3, 2009

This Week's New Songs & PianoSoft

In addition to the new Spriritual & Worship channel on Yamaha Piano Radio, we've got two new PianoSoft collections and a bunch of new songs for your this week.

With new releases including a Rascal Flatts PianoSoft collection and three new tracks from the Jonas Brothers, this week's batch of new music is a godsend for anyone looking for more country or current pop music on their instruments.

Click here for a full list of this week's new products.

Plus, be sure to check back next week for new Premium Styles!

- Doug

PianoSoft Collections

Prayin' for Daylight - Hits of Rascal Flatts

It's Not Unusual - Hits of Tom Jones

MIDI Songs

Have a Little Faith in Me - Joe Cocker

Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips

Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants

Rich Woman - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Love Is On Its Way - Jonas Brothers

Poker Face - Lady GaGa

Year 3000 - Jonas Brothers

Burnin' Up - Jonas Brothers

Lovebug - Jonas Brothers

If You Could Only See - Tonic

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted - Jimmy Ruffin

Alone - Heart

Teardrop - Massive Attack

Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart

Stranger in the Crowd - Elvis Presley

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yamaha @ Musik Messe 2009

This year's Musik Messe conference kicked off yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany, and Yamaha is on the scene, debuting new instruments, software and showcasing Yamaha artists and instruments with a ton of live events and performances.

Some of the most interesting new instruments are in the new Avant Grande series - new slimline digital pianos that raise the bar in terms of the look, feel and sound of real pianos. They're also pretty cool looking. Check them out here:

The Avant Grande N3

The Avant Grande N2

Yamaha Europe has a site running with podcast updates directly from Frankfurt, so you can keep up with all the developments as they happen. The site also features descriptions of all the new products being announced, and event schedules so you can either plan your visit or get jealous of all of the festival goers enjoying daily performances from Peter Baartmans & Michel Voncken.

Click here to check out some footage from last year's Messe (of course, you'll have to excuse the German, but the music translates pretty well).

- Doug

The MM8 Synthesizer and MOTIF Rack Module

The Tenori-On

The S90 Digital Piano and MOTIF Synthesizer