Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Midi Workshop Video: Edit Voices In A MIDI File And Save Your Changes!

We are proud to release the second installment of our new Midi Workshop Video Series. In this video, we outline the process of changing voices within a Midi file, and saving these changes for easy access later. Many Midi file users will want to permanenly remove the melody line from a song, to allow them to sing in a performance or practice setting. Others may want to change some of the voices to achieve a more appropriate sound or style for their audience or personal preference. This video will show you steps to edit your Midi files and save them in the hard drive of your instrument for easy access on stage or in your home.



You can watch our first Midi Workshop video "How To Mute Tracks In A Midi File" at the Yamaha Online Services Official YouTube Page.

~Drew

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Kickoff Sale At Yamaha Online Services!!

The weatherman says the rain in the North Eastern United States is about to subside, and I even heard the words "80 degrees fahrenheit"! Summer is almost here, and Yamaha Online Services is jumping in early with our Summer Kickoff Sale! Whether you're a new Yamaha user or a seasoned pro, there's no better time to build up your musical arsenal with high quality Midi and Style files, or sharpen your skills with some new lesson books.

From now through Monday you can save 20% on all PianoSoft, Midi Files, Style Files, Sheet Music, Digital Lesson Books, and Accessories at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection! It's a perfect time to learn some new songs and get the soundtrack going for the summer months!

* All products discounted 20%, except for subscriptions and select Premium Packs and Voices.  Sale ends Tuesday, May 31st at 12am EST.  Offer cannot be combined with other promotions. Offer not valid at Yamaha MusicSoft European Edition.


~Drew

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get The Sound Of The 60's With Yamaha Premium Styles!

It's funny how the past informs the present. In art, fashion, media, and music, there seems to be this cycle of looking back every 20 years or so and taking new inspiration from decades gone by. The culture and music of the 1960's is still influencing the music of today, weather it be in the form of Beatle-esque harmony and songwriting, or the use of production techniques that bring to mind the Motown era.

Regardless, it's nice to hear the roots of modern rock and pop music. If we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it, but that doesn't mean we can't remember the good ideas of the past and build upon them.

This week we are featuring some of the best selling Yamaha Premium Style files, which also happen to be perfect for the various sounds of the 1960's. From Novelty Pop of early 1960's Britain, to the Soul Pop of Motown, and even the Surf Rock sounds of California, you're bound to find a perfect Style for something old, or reinvented. Listen to some of our favorites below:



60's 12/8
The 12/8 rhythm featured in this Style has spawned some of the most recorded songs of the 20th century. This version has a mid-60's American sound.


60's 4 Beat Soul
Think Temptations or the Four Tops, and you're really close with this style. Featuring the big Motown production style of the late 60's, this one is essential to any style file collection.


60's Chart Beat
Inspired by the soul pop of the 60's, this style prominently features electric bass guitar and a tight horn section. 4 variations give you the freedom to build your tune with complexity and character.



60's Brit Pop

British rock and pop groups started a musical movement in the mid-1960's that spread throughout the English-speaking world. Here the distinctive rhythm and sound of Manchester in the late 60's is recreated.



60's 8 Beat Fast

The Fast 8 Beat is essential for all your surf rock hits! Load up this style to play like the Ventures, and rock your way into the summer season!



Yamaha Premium Style Files
are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection! Check out our full catalog of Premium Styles here!

~Drew

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MIDI Video Series! Learn Faster! Get Better! Use MIDI!

MIDI songs are often thought of as cheesy elevator music, but this is a common misconception. Yamaha has set the bar high for MIDI programming, ensuring that only the best quality files are available to Yamaha owners.

Using the best voice sets available in Yamaha MIDI keyboard instruments, the sound reproduction of your favorite songs is performance quality and fully editable. Not only are Yamaha MIDI songs high quality, but they are specifically designed to function with the learning features of Yamaha Keyboards and Clavinovas.

We are proud to announce our new MIDI Tips and Tricks Video Series, where we will be highlighting the awesome possibilities that are available when you load a Yamaha MIDI file into a Yamaha MIDI Keyboard or Clavinova.

The first video in this series will walk you through the process of muting tracks in a MIDI file using the Tyros4 arranger workstation. Muting tracks in a MIDI file is a great way to change the feel of the song you're playing, but also useful for learning different parts of a song. When you mute some of the tracks, you've got your very own band to practice with!



The process described in this video is similar on all Yamaha Arranger/Workstations and modern Clavinovas, but feel free to contact our Customer Support team if you get stuck.

The second installment of our new Midi Workshop Video Series outlines the process of changing voices within a Midi file, and saving these changes for easy access later. Many Midi file users will want to permanenly remove the melody line from a song, to allow them to sing in a performance or practice setting. Others may want to change some of the voices to achieve a more appropriate sound or style for their audience or personal preference. This video will show you steps to edit your Midi files and save them in the hard drive of your instrument for easy access on stage or in your home.



The third installment in our Midi Workshop Video Series has been released!! This video will show you how to use a Yamaha Style file to change the feel of a Yamaha MIDI file in REAL TIME! It's a handy performance trick, that will allow you to change genre, intensity, or style of a song without having to load a new song. If you want to try a familiar song in a new style, it's easy to do! When I'm writing new songs at my keyboard, I like to try playing them in a variety of styles to get a sense of how the finished song should sound. You can also use this trick for any USER recorded MIDI song in your Yamaha Keyboard or Clavinova!!



Our Midi Workshop Video Series already includes videos that will show you how to Mute Tracks In A Midi File, Re-voice And Save Midi Songs, and how to Use Yamaha Midi Files With Yamaha Styles. Today we release the fourth installment in our Midi Workshop Video Series. This video is a fun one! Here we talk about the Vocal Harmonizer feature that is built into Yamaha Arranger/Workstations and modern Clavinovas! The Vocal Harmonizer works with Yamaha MIDI files that contain chord data. When the Vocal Harmonizer is on, the instrument will analyze the chord data within the MIDI file and automatically generate vocal harmonies in the key of the song you are playing! All you have to do is connect a microphone to your instrument, and sing your favorite song! Your Yamaha Arranger or Clavinova will do the rest. Check out the latest Midi Workshop Video below. I had so much fun playing with a few of the different Vocal Harmony effects on the Tyros4 that I almost started laughing while singing Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"!



Yamaha MIDI Files and Style Files are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

~Drew

Monday, May 16, 2011

New PianoSoft! The Chopin Ballades Performed By Gergely Boganyi!

The Newport Music Festival is an annual Classical music festival that takes place in Newport, Rhode Island, in July. Each year the festival invites world class performers and competition winning artists to perform well known works from the world's greatest composers, as well works that are lesser known, or have been lost or forgotten over time. One of the focal points of the Newport Music Festival is to keep Classical music alive.

Each year, the Festival chooses one (or more) of the great composers from the world of Classical music to be their featured artist. In 2010, the featured composer was Frederic Chopin. The festival curates a performance of nearly every piano solo piece, every chamber piece, and every vocal piece written by the featured composer. Usually the featured composer's catalog is divided between anywhere from 12 to 20 pianists, however in 2010, the Festival did something a little different...

Virtuoso pianist Gergely Boganyi performed every one of Chopin's solo compositions himself! That's over 200 works, and makes this even more incredible is the fact that Boganyi performed them all from memory!
The Chopin Ballades were performed on the first day of the festival at The Elms. A Disklavier DC7 Mark IV Pro was used to capture and record these performances! Now you can experience this performance note-for-note in your home using your Yamaha Disklavier, Keyboard, or Clavinova! Check out some samples below of what you can expect in the PianoSoft Solo collection: The Chopin Ballades: The Newport Music Festival 2010

Ballade No.1 in G Minor, op.23


Ballade No.4 in F Minor, op.52


Yamaha has been the offical piano of the Newport Music Festival for nearly 25 years! The Chopin Ballades performed by Gergely Boganyi is available exclusively from Yamaha Musicsoft!

~Drew

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Songs From Midi Spot At Yamaha Online Services!

Midi Spot is a boutique company in Denmark that manufacturers Midi song and Style files under exclusive license for Yamaha instruments. All Midi Spot products are programmed by highly skilled and educated musicians to the exacting standards of Yamaha Songs and Styles. Each file takes a minimum of 24 total hours to program to ensure the highest possible quality.

This week we're releasing a number of new song files from Midi Spot, and we couldn't be more excited. We've got big hits from Creedence Clearwater Revival, Frank Sinatra, Elton John and Kiki Dee, Shakin' Stevens, and more! Take a look at what's new at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection from our friends in Denmark at Midi Spot!



Down On The Corner
Creedence Clearwater Revival



I've Got You Under My Skin
Frank Sinatra



Help Me Make It Through The Night
Kris Kristofferson



In A Letter To You
Shakin' Stevens



Don't Go Breakin' My Heart
Elton John and Kiki Dee



Have a look at all the new MIDI songs from Midi Spot here, or browse our entire catalog here! All of these MIDI songs and many more are available now at both Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection!

~Drew

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Vintage Keyboard Premium Voice Pack At Yamaha MusicSoft!

The Vintage Keyboard Premium Voice Packfor the Tyros4 is astounding in both the variety and accuracy of the sampled instruments. In addition to 30 voices, this pack includes 10 Styles, 16 Registrations, 3 Multi-Pads, and 2 Demo Songs. Keep reading to learn more about the inspiration for the Vintage Keyboard Pack, and the history of the instruments modeled to create one of the most complete collections of vintage keyboard tones.

The WurliEP voice is just as responsive as the instrument it was modeled after. The bright end of this voice is perfect for that late 70's pop sound made famous by groups like the Carpenters and Supertramp. For a little variation, you can try the WurliAmp voice, which offers a warmer, richer tone. Play either voice with a little more intensity on the keys, and you can get the sound to "break up", and give you that sweet "buzz" quality in the bass. Check out the video below from 1979!



There's also a handful of awesome Clav voices, making it easy to layer funky keyboard licks on a recording. Since the Clav is so bright, it really cuts through live mixes. In this pack you can choose between muted (ClavMute), phased (ClaviPhaser), auto-wah (ClaviTouchWah) or my personal favorite: ClaviStereo! Mix and match or use them all! Check out this video for inspiration!



And what Vintage Keyboard collection would be complete without a selection of tine-based electro-mechanical voices? This pack features 10 variations of classic and instantly recognizable electric piano tones. Divided into 2 significant production periods in the 70's this section of the pack offers a LOT of diversity. This type of electo-mechanical piano sound was (and is) used by musicians ranging from Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea to Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Jamiroquai, Radiohead and more! Check out the video below for a classic example:



From the 1980's we have spot on samples from two of Yamaha's most famous keyboard instruments: the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and the CP80 electric piano. In the Vintage Keyboard Pack there are 10 variations sampled from the DX7, that will give you all the tools you need to reproduce world famous tones that inspired and carried tunes like "After All" by Al Jarreau and "Hard Habit To Break" by Chicago.



The CP-80 is an "electo-acoustic" piano, featuring actual piano strings but no sound board. Instead the vibration of the strings is converted to electrical signals by a sophisticated pick-up system. The CP-70 was a slightly smaller version of this electric piano, and was used by everyone from Hall & Oates to Led Zeppelin as a standard touring piano. Check out Jazz and R&B legend George Duke tearing into a Yamaha CP70, and know that you'll have that sound in three CP80 Premium Voices included in this pack!



Visit the Yamaha Tyros YouTube channel to watch the official Vintage Keyboard Pack voice demonstration videos. The Vintage Keyboard Premium Pack and all other Premium Voices are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft.

~Drew

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Learn & Master Piano Course: A Yamaha MusicSoft Best Seller!

The Learn & Master Piano Course from Legacy Learning Systems has been an overwhelming hit at Yamaha MusicSoft! The course includes 10 DVD lesson discs, 5 play along audio CDs, as well as a comprehensive, easy to follow lesson book to guide you through all 28 lessons at your own pace. This course is absolutely perfect for any beginner, intermediate, or advanced player who wants to further their skills as a pianist.

Learn & Master Piano is the next best thing to private, in-home instruction, and at a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can control your level of commitment, practicing when you have the time, and moving on when you're ready!

See our full in depth review of this course here!

The Learn & Master Piano Course and the Bonus Workshop DVD's are now available from Yamaha MusicSoft.


~Drew

Learn To Play Songs Of The Beatles With Yamaha MIDI Files!

The Beatles are one the most successful and critically acclaimed pop groups in the history of music. In just 10 years, they released 27 studio albums, 17 EPs, and 54 singles, many of which went platinum. At Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, we have a variety of hits from the Fab Four, all in the Yamaha Play Along format.

The songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney has been unmatched in pop music. The Beatles catalog is peppered with number 1 hits ranging from earnest ballads like "Yesterday" and "Let It Be" to rockin' early 60's songs like " I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Eight Days A Week", and we have them all at Yamaha MusicSoft. We've even got some of the "far out" songs from the mid to late 60's like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Across The Universe" in additon to late period bluesy Beatles tunes like "Get Back". Check out our full catalog of Beatles MIDI songs here, or check out some of our favorites below:


I Saw Her Standing There


Lady Madonna


Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da


Penny Lane


Revolution



All these MIDI songs and many more from The Beatles are avaialble now from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection! And remember: All You Need Is Love!



Have a great weekend!

~Drew

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mozart Masterpieces Brought To Life On Yamaha's Piano Radio!


Anyone can tell you that Mozart is one of the most important classical composers that ever lived. Born in what is now Austria, he began composing at the age of 5. In the next 30 years of his life, Mozart would pen more than 600 compositions, ranging from choral music to piano solos, symphonies, operas, and chamber music.

Mozart's talent was so great, and his ear for music so strong; he transcribed Gregorio Allegri's Miserere in its entirety from memory, having heard the piece performed only once. In doing so, Mozart created the first illegal copy of the Vatican owned composition, which at the time was punishible by excommunication!

Mozart drew influence from popular Baroque composers including J.S. Bach, and Handel, and was very good friends with his Classical contemporary, Joseph Haydn. His work would directly influence that of Ludwig van Beethoven and Mozart's most famous pupil: Johann Nepomuk Hummel in addition to countless others. His style evolved constantly. It is said that Mozart pushed the technical sophistication and emotional range of many popular genres during his time, while developing and popularizing the Piano Concerto almost entirely on his own.

We couldn't think of a better way to pay tribute to the brilliance of Mozart's music than to give him his very own channel on Yamaha's Piano Radio. The Mozart Masterpieces Channel goes live today at Channel 22 on Yamaha's Piano Radio and will be dedicated to the work of a young man with insurmountable talent. Mozart Masterpieces features over 4 hours of Mozart's most famous compositions, performed by talented pianists including Meiko Miyazawa, Bryan Pezzone, Michael Endres, and many more!

If you're new to Yamaha's Piano Radio service, it has never been easier to get connected. Visit our comprehensive Connection Guide and start streaming over 20 channels of piano music through your Yamaha Disklavier, Clavinova, or Keyboard- 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Check out the current Channel List to see what else is available now, or listen to some samples from the brand new Mozart Masterpieces channel below:


The Abduction From the Seraglio from the PianoSoft Solo Collection:
Mozart Opera Overtures


Rondo in D Major, K. 485 From the PianoSoft Solo Collection:
Meiko Miyazawa- The Young Mozart


Sonata No. 12 in F Major, K 332- Allegro From the PianoSoft Solo Collection:
Bryan Pezzone- Mozart Piano Solos.


~Drew

The 80's Are Electric With New Yamaha Premium Styles!

The 1980's saw the birth of MTV, the reinvention and emergence of pop superstars like Michael Jackson and Madonna, and a genre that could only be defined as Teen Pop. Where the 70's left us with large orchestral productions of Disco music, the 80's nurtured a new sound that relied largely on synthetic instruments and electronic sounds, found in synthesizers and MIDI keyboard instruments that were developing throughout the decade.

Independent record labels were popping up everywhere, giving more artistic freedom to the Alternative Rock groups in the 80's. College Radio was playing a bigger role than ever in bringing underground rock to the masses, which at the time was influenced heavily by the rock music and production techniques of the 1960's. Here is where the term Roots Rock was coined. Roots Rock (or "Cow Rock") artists were rallying against the slick, poppy production of Synth Pop and New Wave music by returning to the "roots of 1950's and 60's rock and roll. Notable acts to emerge from this movement include John Mellencamp, Chris Issak, and Steve Earle. This style eventually trickled into the 1990's and beyond influencing bands like Son Volt and Wilco.

This week's new Yamaha Premium Styles offer something for both sides of the coin, whether it's the Synth Pop stylings of Human League and A-ha or something a bit more Rock And Roll, you'll find it exclusively at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

80's Synth Pop
SynthPop took shape in the late 70's and early 80's as a sub genre of the New Wave movement, due to the introduction and commercial acceptance of electronic instruments.This style features a classic driving eletronic 16 beat, synth strings, and muted synth bass, that bring to mind SynthPop groups such as The Human League, Erasure, Depeche Mode, and the Thompson Twins.




80s Root Rock 2
80s RootRock2 is a versatile style with a strong backbeat in 4/4 time. It was inspired by the 80's rock classic "Simply The Best", but works great for any I, IV, V song structure. Featured lead voices include rock saxophone and a soaring rock guitar!



~Drew