Friday, July 29, 2011

Styles From Around The World At Yamaha Online Services!

We know that musicians need variety. We all have different needs when it comes to practice and performance, and fortunately Yamaha has been aiming to meet those needs for years! This is why you'll find a variety of Style files at Yamaha MusicSoft\ and Internet Direct Connection, from the absolute best programmers around the globe! From Denmark, we have Styles from Midi Spot that are produced under exclusive license from Yamaha! At the Yamaha Music Europe headquarters in Germany, our colleagues are creating some of the most innovative and versatile Yamaha Styles for the European and International music scenes! And last but certainly not least, Yamaha's Research and Development team in London are constantly working to deliver new Yamaha Premium Style Files, which are created to the exacting standards of the Styles that come factory installed in your instrument! This week we've gone through our catalog and picked out some of the newest, best, and most popular Styles from each of our content production teams, but if you don't see what you're looking for, you can always browse our extensive catalog!

Latest Yamaha Premium Styles

Status Rock
It's a burning hot blues rock style with some unexpected bells and whistles! Status Rock was inspired by the 1977 Classic Rock hit "Rockin' All Over The World" by Status Quo(Though written and originally recorded by John Fogerty). The driving blues rock vibe of this Style gives it a real fist-pumping quality, which is complimented by the subtle vocal harmonies that enter the second variation. My favorite variation is the fourth, where the entire Style transforms to give us dramatic synchronized hits that create a high energy moment, while leaving space for little bluesy licks. The One Touch Voice Settings could not be more perfectly paired! You get two scorching lead guitars, a rock organ, and a golden saxophone!

Soft Piano Beat
The softer side of rock is no less versatile. Here we have a light, airy Style that lends itself easily to ballads, but it suits any mid-tempo piano rock tune with a few taps of the tempo button. Though this Style is based on Katie Melua's "The Closest Thing To Crazy", I quickly played through some of my favorite ballads including "Everything I Do(I Do It For You)" and "Unchained Melody", just to have fun trying some familiar songs with a new Style. Soft Piano Beat builds consistently through each variation, with One Touch Settings that match the added layers of complexity with subtle intensity. Featured voices include the world famous Yamaha Grand Piano, soothing flutes, and a warm string section.

Latest Yamaha Styles

New Rumba
The Latin percussion, piano and classical guitar are so spot on in this Style. Easily the most authentic Rumba Style to date!

Alma Blues
A Spanish Blues style with electronic drums and Latin percussion, featuring deep bass tones and some killer synth sounds!

Alaska Disco
An aggressive tempo drives this Style and makes you want to dance! A thick string section and some really funky polyryhthmic percussion give this one something extra!

Dance Field
Dance Field is a perfect Style for uptempo pop tunes. Instantly memorable, and extremely versatile with a solid beat and interesting synth patches.

Popular Midi Spot Styles

Wonder Shuffle
The wonder shuffle has some great 70's funky clav sounds and a crisp horn section. Add in the slap bass and you're ready to entertain!

Burning Rock
If you ever dreamed of rocking out with Blue Oyster Cult on their 1981 classic "Burnin' For You", then you'll love this style. All the elements are there, you only need to play the bass notes. Then it's time to solo with some of the best lead guitar sounds ever played on an arranger/workstation.

Blind Beat
This style has all the key elements for Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called To Say I Love You". Bring it to life at your next party, or improvise to create your own Stevie inspired mid-tempo ballad.

Groovy Ballad
This style says "You Know I Love You, But I Just Can't Take This". It says a lot of other things too, but mostly that. Featuring a DX7 style electric piano sound, you can have a lot of fun composing 80's ballads.

All of these Styles and so many more are available from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection!

Have a great weekend!

~Drew

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Virtuoso Performance Software Update: Max Levinson And Jerry Herman!

We're pleased to release two more collections from the popular Virtuoso Performance Software series in downloadable format! This amazing and intimate series is now available for Yamaha Disklavier E3 and DKC-850 models, as well as Clavinovas and Keyboards! This week's additions include classic works from Shubert and Bach as performed by the inimitable Max Levinson, as well as a collection of musical theatre giant Jerry Herman's best loved songs, performed by the man himself!

Max Levinson- Bach & Schubert
Max Levinson is an enormous pianist. His appearance is slender. His demeanor… soft spoken. His attitude… modest. But when he sits before a piano and lays his hands upon the keyboard he calmly dawns the air of a maestro. Max possesses an understanding of the music he performs and the instrument he plays upon that would be considered profound for an artist twice his age. He astounds people wherever he plays. Coaxing a piano to speak can only be the product of intelligent and sensitive artistry; of experience and understanding the poetry and passion the immortals were able to capture and convey in their music.

The Max Levinson- Bach & Schubert Collection contains mature works rife with the pathos of lifelong emotional experience, that were penned by two geniuses separated by a century. Bach was, by most accounts a pious family man who devoted much of his work to the Lutheran church and nobility. Schubert was a struggling bachelor whose legacy is his chamber music and vocal lieder which he presented in the salon soirees of the bourgeoisie. Though their lives were dramatically different it's obvious they encountered similar joys and sorrows in the pursuit of their dreams; similar victories and defeats.

We're fortunate both were graced with the notion to capture such through their talent. And that Max's talent can momentarily suspend us within their drama, reviving these two emotional musical diaries: One, a baroque engraving and the other, a romantic epic.

Max is one of the illustrious alumni of the Westwood Yamaha Music School who went on to study with the late Aube Tzerko (student of Schnabel) and with Bruce Sutherland, two local piano legends. From Los Angeles he moved to Boston where he received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, in English Literature from Harvard while studying with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory. He's performed with major orchestras, in major chamber music festivals, and in recitals covering the globe in addition to his master classes and duties on the faculties of the Boston Conservatory and Brown University.


Jerry Herman- On His Own
Jerry Herman is a legend. He is alive and well(at 80 years old) and still writing music and championing causes. Herman is the composer and lyricist of phenomenal hits like "Hello Dolly," "Mame," and "La Cage Aux Folles," and can proudly state that over the last 30 years not a single day has passed where one of his shows has not been in production somewhere in this world.

Jerry's had the kind of success and career people dream of. As a self-taught pianist/composer, Jerry burst upon Broadway in the early 1960's as its youngest creator of music and lyrics with the successful show "Milk and Honey." By 1969 he had three hit musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. He's collected a lifetime's worth of Tony Awards, Grammy Awards, Drama Desk Awards and Gold Records. He's been elected into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, the Theater Hall of Fame and he recently was a recipient of a Kennedy Center Honors award. He's one of only two composer/lyricists to have had three musicals to run over 1,500 consecutive performances on Broadway.

Jerry doesn't just render his songs. He plays with theatricality and exuberance exposing the emotional aspects of his songs, understanding them like no other. With the Jerry Herman-On His Own collection, you can enjoy the music of a legend as if he were sitting in your home, personally performing for you.

The Virtuoso Performance Series is available for download exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft. Watch for updates to this series in the coming weeks!

~Drew

Chaque semaine, de nouveaux morceaux MIDI viennent enrichir le site Yamaha Musicsoft !


A l’occasion des vacances estivales, vous serez sans doute nombreux à profiter de votre temps libre pour pratiquer votre instrument. C’est aussi pour vous l’occasion de découvrir l’ensemble des services et contenus offerts par Yamaha sur le site www.yamahamusicsoft.com.

En effet, depuis de nombreuses années, Yamaha développe pour vous des fichiers Midi, des nouveaux styles, de nouvelles sonorités…Une importance considérable est apportée bien évidemment à la qualité de ces programmations. Chaque titre est réalisé avec soin, afin de correspondre au mieux au morceau d’origine, et de vous permettre d’exploiter pleinement les qualités et fonctions offertes par votre instrument.

Ainsi, lors de la création de séquences midi, les sonorités MégaVoices, au potentiel extraordinaire, seront préférées à celles utilisées habituellement par le standard général midi, offrant à l’utilisateur une reproduction la plus réaliste possible. Vous pourrez aussi par exemple, lors de l’utilisation des séquences midi, non seulement afficher les partitions, mais aussi, accéder aux fonctions pédagogiques de votre clavier Yamaha ou ludiques avec l’affichage des paroles (Selon le modèle que vous possédez). Les nouveaux styles vous permettront quant à eux d’étendre considérablement votre répertoire musical en complétant les accompagnements déjà présents sur celui-ci.

Chaque semaine, nous ajoutons une multitude de morceaux Yamaha Songs et Yamaha Premium Songs à notre catalogue de fichiers MIDI files sur le site Yamaha Musicsoft et sur Internet Direct Connection. Notre équipe de programmateurs de fichiers MIDI travaille tout au long de l’année, afin d’agrémenter notre catalogue des derniers morceaux les plus en vogue, tout en s’assurant de vous proposer aussi, tous les plus grands succès de ces dernières décennies.

Cette semaine, nous avons sélectionné des succès internationaux actuels et quelques vieux tubes ! Testez les nouveaux morceaux ci-dessous, ou accédez à notre catalogue entier en cliquant ici !


Whiter Shade Of Pale


Hotel California


Billie Jean


Waka Waka (Time For Africa)


Imagine


Si vous voulez apprendre à exploiter pleinement les possibilités offertes par les fichiers Midi, utilisés conjointement avec votre clavier Yamaha ou votre Clavinova, visionnez notre nouvelle bibliothèque de vidéos d’apprentissage (En anglais) !
Ces nouvelles séquences Midi et bien d’autres encore sont disponibles exclusivement sur le site Yamaha MusicSoft et depuis Internet Direct Connection !

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Tribute To The Music Of Amy Winehouse

On July 23rd the music world lost an incredible talent. Amy Winehouse passed away at the age of 27 at her home in London. She was known for her unique and timeless voice which was used with producer Mark Ronson to create music that was incredibly fresh, though rooted in the 50's and 60's. It's a shame to see so many media outlets focusing on Amy's struggle with addiction in the wake of her death, instead of paying tribute to the amazing creative force that she was. In her short career, Amy Winhouse won five Grammys for her 2006 album "Back To Black", a BRIT award, and three Ivor Novello Awards. Her blend of Soul, R&B, and Jazz is known throughout the world and will not be forgotten. Join us in remembering a remarkable icon in pop music with Yamaha MIDI files of Amy Winehouse's biggest hits.

You Know I'm No Good




Rehab




Valerie





~Drew

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Video Roundup! Yamaha Online Services' Midi Workshop Video Series!


The first phase of our MIDI Tips and Tricks Video Series highlighted many of the awesome possibilities that are available when you load a Yamaha MIDI file into a Yamaha MIDI Keyboard or Clavinova. Production of the second phase of this series has already begun, so look out for new videos in the coming months. As always, your suggestions are welcome! Let us know what you want to see in the next round of videos, and we'll try to cover as much as we can! In the meantime, you can enjoy the first four videos!

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 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 addition to our Midi Workshop Video Series shows 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!!



The fourth and final video from phase one of our Midi Workshop Video Series 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

Yamaha MusicSoft's Best Selling Piano Course: Learn & Master Piano!

The Learn & Master Piano Course from Legacy Learning Systems is our best selling educational product 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 was designed to suit 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! Read our full in depth review
of this amazing product!

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


~Drew

Yamaha's Piano Radio Honors Andrew Lloyd Webber!

Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most revered names in musical theatre, and has been referred to as "the most commercially successful composer in history". In addition to his commercial success, Lloyd Webber has 7 Tony Awards, 3 Grammys, an Oscar, and was the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Now you can enjoy the works of this master composer on his very own Piano Radio Station!

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Radio Channel features over 3 solid hours of music including selections from Phantom Of The Opera, Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Cats! It's a truly incredible station that pays homage to a truly original and accomplished composer. You will find the new Andrew Lloyd Webber Radio Channel at channel number 24, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week! If you've never used Piano Radio before, visit our Connection Guide to get set up. It's quick and easy! With over 20 different channels of music, there's something for the whole family- no matter the occasion! You can listen to some samples of what you can expect to hear on the new channel below!

I Don't Know How To Love Him
From Jesus Christ Superstar


The Phantom Of The Opera


Memory
From the hit musical "Cats"


Enjoy!

~Drew

Yamaha Premium Style Set List: Play The Perfect Gig!

Putting together a good set list for your show can be really difficult. Everyone wants to begin and end their set with a big song, but that's the easy part. What do you put in the middle? Do you build intensity for a few tunes, then try your ballad? Maybe you start off slow, and work your way up to a dance party at the end? I know I've wasted hours of my life sitting in the rehearsal room scrutinizing every little detail of a 40 minute set. That's why I've put together a sweet set of Yamaha Premium Styles to make it just a little easier for you to get on stage!

If you don't have a gig lined up, practicing a set list at home can give you the professional experience of working one song into the next for a live performance. There are few things that are more grating than listening to a band tune up between each song. With Yamaha Keyboards and Clavinovas, you can put all the Styles for your show on a USB device, in the instrument's hard drive, or save them to a registration bank and call them up quickly and seamlessly during your show. Check out the set list I put together, and get started on your own today!

Disco Celebration
Every good set needs a high energy opener. Disco Celebration will fit the bill perfectly! With it's uptempo and undeniably dancey groove, you can make a solid first impression, and get the attention of your audience.


Funky 70's
Song number two is crucial! You have your audience's attention, now you have to work to keep it! Use Funky 70's to invoke the funk of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" and keep your party rolling! This one is a great second song because it's still uptempo, but you can save some room in your set to take it higher!


R&B Rock
Easily transition into a classic R&B rhythm for the third song in this set. Adjust the tempo to decide how big you want to go here, but we'll take it down a notch with the next song. R&B Rock has a steady backbeat and expressive brass voices for melody or added layers of rhythm.


Groove R&B
I generally like to cool things off in the fourth posistion of my set. For this purpose, I've put the Groove R&B Style here. It's not a complete ballad, but still enough of a departure from the really upbeat stuff we've already played. A Style like this one can add some depth to your set without losing all the energy.


The Blues
I've put one of our all time best selling Premium Styles in the fifth position: The Blues! This style is absolutely perfect for any classic blues tune! You can decide how fast or slow to play this one, but after a somewhat slow tune, The Blues can be used to start picking the tempo back up, while offering yet another layer of diversity to your set.


Piano Rock
Use Piano Rock to keep the mid-tempo jams rolling! Think Ben Folds or Billy Joel, and you're not far off! This style is pretty versatile, but I would play something bright in a major key because we're beginning to gear up for the end of our set. We want to get the groove back!


60's Pop Beat
Song 7 already? Didn't we just get on stage? Here we've got our 60's Pop Beat, perfect for songs like Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman. Speaking of cover songs, I love to put them near the end of a set! It makes a nice surprise for your audience, and frankly it's just fun to play other people's songs sometimes! Get inspired!


Memphis Soul
We've worked ourselves back up to the upbeat high energy level that we had at the beginning of our set! Memphis Soul has all the rhythm and blues of the famous Memphis Sound, giving you the tools for big songs like Wilson Pickett's The Midnight Hour! 2 Songs to go! Let's take it higher!


Sunshine Pop
Sunshine Pop is a highly infectious Style with a driving rhythm and an exciting feel! Inspired by the song Walking On Sunshine, this Style fits perfectly into the ninth slot of our set. It's our second to last chance to impress our audience, so lets give them something they can dance to!


Soul Pop
Our last song needs to be a scorcher! With the Soul Pop Premium Style, we can go out the same way we came in! High energy soul with a back beat anyone can dance to, groovy bass, bright horns, and warm organ fill out this Style making it a perfect show closer!


All Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection. Feel free to share your set lists and videos at the Yamaha Online Services Facebook page!

~Drew

Friday, July 15, 2011

Behind The Scenes With Yamaha Style Programmers!

Yamaha Premium Styles offer the absolute highest quality rhythms for Yamaha MIDI keyboard instruments. They're available in a wide variety of genres, with the aim of satisfying any musical need that may arise. Whether you're using Styles in the studio or on stage, or just as a tool to help you write songs, Yamaha Premium Styles set the bar high for performance and sound quality. But... Where do they come from? How are they made? These questions come up from time to time on Yamaha Online Services' Facebook Wall, in customer inquiries, and on Yamaha fan sites. Fortunately, I came across an interview we conducted with one of Yamaha's Style Programmers a little while back. If you've ever been curious about Yamaha Style File Production, we've got the answers directly from the source! We asked one of Yamaha's lead Style producers to give us the details on the Style production process. As a member of a small team of the programmers responsible for all of Yamaha styles, he has worked on every Premium Style as well as the styles that come pre-loaded on Yamaha's keyboards. In our brief interview he let us in on some information that should come in handy to anyone using styles, and will hopefully give you some new insight that you can put to use in your keyboard performances.


Q. What, exactly, is a style file?

A. A Style File contains music (MIDI) and system parameters that are played by
the Style Engine. All Yamaha keyboards featuring Styles have a Style Engine
built in their software. It smoothly and seamlessly recognises and follows
chord progressions played on the keyboard, then instantaneously plays the
selected Style File to sound the correct chord and instruments to provide an
interactive accompaniment.

Keep reading for the full interview
, including tips for cool uses for style on your instrument, details on what makes Yamaha's files the highest quality files around, and what exactly goes into the style production process.

Q. What goes into making a style file? What's the basic process, and where do you come in?

A.After deciding what to make, the actual 'making' process is quite
streamlined.

First up is writing the music. Our creative programmers compose the Style
introductions and endings, the main sections, fill-ins and rhythm breaks,
ensuring they will work within the style system parameters, whilst also
capturing the essence of the required musical image.

After creating the musical aspects, the style is then technically checked.
This is a detailed process which includes playing each style section in
every key, using all recognised chord types.

The final stage of 'making' is mixing. Yamaha's studio technicians set
volumes, DSP effects, EQ and many detailed audio parameters, carefully
engineering the final sound field of each style.

Yamaha has a huge range of products, many of which have completely different
sounds. Another creative job is cross-grading Styles so that they get the
best out of each instrument in the range. This ensures customers experience
the best possible quality from their instruments Styles.

My role includes overseeing the creative processes but changes depending on
whether the style itself is destined to be in a product or sold via the
internet as a Premium Style. It's probably a good time to mention that all
Yamaha Premium Styles go through exactly the same 'making' process as the
styles built in the products themselves, ensuring they are of the highest
quality.

Q. How is producing a style different from producing a MIDI song file?

A.A MIDI song file is linear and plays a specific song. A Style reacts in
realtime to chords you play on the keyboard, producing an accompaniment or
'backing band' for the music you are playing.

From a producing point of view, you would either be making an arrangement of
a song or a sound alike, in both cases no original composition is required.
When making a song you don't take care that it sounds good when transposed
into different keys, whereas this is hugely important when making a style.

As a user, for MIDI songs you can turn tracks on and off, adjust the tempo
and transpose keys, but you don't have any real control over the song, it
just plays... With styles you are in control of what the band actually
play, leaving you free to sporadically repeat a chorus or create a new
verse.

Q. Yamaha puts a lot care into making sure that their instruments are top quality, and that same care goes into style file creation. But what does that mean in the final product? How does Yamaha's famous quality come across in a style file?

A.The care and attention to detail of Yamaha's content creating staff is
nothing other than obsessive, the team always goes that extra step to push
the bar ever higher. In the final product this passion becomes clear. Of
course you have the overall sound which has been carefully crafted, but each
individual part of every style has been produced so it plays and sounds like
a real instrument. If you solo parts of the Style like drums, bass, guitars
etc., you can hear the detail that goes into realising each of these parts.
Put the parts together and you have a Style that really sounds and plays
like a band or orchestra.

The content team uses the best possible musicians and technicians to
compose, arrange, check, mix and finalise each style to make sure it sounds
and plays great in our products.

Q. What are some of the coolest uses for styles that you've seen?

A.I think experimenting by turning different parts of a style (RHY, BASS,
CHRD1 etc.) on and off, you can really create some nice results. If you
think of the parts of a style as your band members, you are effectively
changing your line-up.

The vast range of musical genres covered by Yamaha's Styles makes it easy to
experiment playing with different grooves and sounds, discovering new ways
to express your music.

Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.


~Drew

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yamaha Update: Virtuoso Performance Software Is Now Downloadable!

Virtuoso is an artist oriented production company recording original piano performances by the finest pianists and composers for today's discerning owners of Yamaha Disklavier pianos and Clavinova electronic keyboards. The company was originally an offshoot of David L. Abell Fine Pianos in Hollywood, CA (the showroom that for 50 years supplied pianos to the entertainment industry and the stars) Virtuoso has archived the unique musical talents of their "friends and customers", and they're now available for download exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft.

This week we're releasing two outstanding collections from the Virtuoso line that were performed by two equally outstanding musicians: Alan Broadbent and Dick DeBenedictis. These collections have never been available for owners of modern Yamaha Clavinovas and Keyboards, or E3 and DKC-850 model Disklaviers! Keep reading to learn more about these amazing artists, and check back often for more updates from the Virtuoso line!


Alan Broadbent- "Labor Of Love"
Alan Broadbent is a native of New Zealand and an alumnus of Berklee College of Music. He has worked as a pianist, an arranger, conductor and composer for a list of artists that includes Chet Baker, Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini, Lee Ritenour, Scott Hamilton, Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. Over the years he has been the recipient of numerous Grammy awards and nominations. Alan has a thoroughly unique and identifiable piano style and approach to his playing. He plays with intricacy, detail and precision. He can finesse, he can swing, he can dazzle with technical flourish but never for its own sake. In other words, Alan is easy to listen to, but the closer you choose to listen the more you're going to discover. The title, "Labor of Love" is a nod to the one thing all of the songs in this collection have in common: They all have the word "love" ensconced within their title. This marvelous collection of ballads and moderately up-tempo pieces are worthy of being considered a master class in jazz piano technique. This collection includes breathtakingly beautiful performances of "My One And Only Love", "Starcrossed Lovers", "What Is This Thing Called Love", "Everything I Love", "I've Never Been In Love Before", "Love In Vain", and many more. Preview "Labor Of Love" here!

Dick DeBenedictis- "Fascinatin' Rhythm"
Dick DeBenedictis began his musical career as a dance-music arranger and rehearsal pianist on Broadway for such musicals as "Do I Hear a Waltz?" (with Steven Sondheim and Richard Rogers,) "Bajour" and the revivals of "Annie Get Your Gun" and "Showboat." He later served as music director and arranger for such stars including Liza Minelli, Barbra Streisand, Bing Crosby, Diana Ross and Carol Burnett. Over the years since moving to the West Coast to work in television and motion pictures he has garnered nearly a dozen Emmy nominations for his scores and themes to TV shows and movies such as "Perry Mason," "Matlock," "Columbo," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Quincy." Dick's approach to playing is highly theatrical. He's a very physical pianist pulling in quotes and styles from a variety of influences including Chopin, Gershwin, Bach and Erroll Garner. He loves utilizing long, developed introductions before breaking into the main body of the song, and uses modulations to carry forth the musical momentum. It's not unusual to find him jumping in and out of several distinct styles within the same piece of music, then winding it back down and ending with the same material he used for the beginning. This is very creative arranging! Dick DeBenedictis is not just playing the music for you. Instead, he's taking you on a short, compact musical journey then bringing you back home. It's great fun! The "Fascinatin' Rhythm" collection includes wonderful solo piano renditions of "Night And Day", "Someone To Watch Over Me", "It Might As Well Be Spring", "Fascinatin' Rhythm", "Dancing In The Dark", "All The Things You Are", "I Got Rhythm", and more. Preview "Fascinatin' Rhythm" here!

Virtuoso Performance Software is available for download exclusively at Yamaha Musicsoft.

Enjoy!
~Drew

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Midi Workshop Video #4: The Vocal Harmonizer & Yamaha MIDI!

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"!



Click the links below to watch the other videos in our MIDI Workshop Series!
"How To Mute Tracks In A Midi File"
"How To Edit Voices And Save Changes In A Midi File"
"Using Yamaha Style Files With Yamaha Midi Files!"

You can watch the MIDI Workshop Series and all of the Yamaha Online Services videos at the Yamaha Online Services Official YouTube Page.

Enjoy!
~Drew

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New PianoSoft: Sleuth And Spy Themes!

It's an incredible week for PianoSoft lovers! Today we've released an instantly classic PianoSoft collection that chronicles some of the most memorable movie and television theme songs in the genre of Detectives and Spies! "Sleuths and Spies" contains 13 classic themes in the fan-adored PianoSoft Solo format. Sue Downs has performed a remarkably complete collection, featuring the main theme from the James Bond movie dynasty, in addition to television themes from Matlock, Peter Gunn, Dragnet, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents! Relive the magic of our favorite "Whodunit", and "Howcatchem" crime fiction stories with a Yamaha Disklavier, Clavinova, or Keyboard! Check out the audio samples below, or preview the entire collection by clicking here!

Theme From Perry Mason




Theme From Peter Gunn




Funeral March Of A Marionette [Theme From Alfred Hitchcock Presents




"Sleuths And Spies" is available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

~Drew

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Premium Styles: Status Rock And Soft Piano Beat!

This week's new Premium Style files have redefined usability. Though on opposite ends of the rock and roll spectrum, both Styles fit easily into any live performance while offering classic and reliable rhythms for the studio or at the songwriting desk. Yamaha Premium Styles are made to the exacting standards of the pre-installed Styles in Yamaha keyboards, by the same team that programs the on-board content.

These are the absolute highest quality files available to Yamaha Style file users that want to seriously upgrade their performance options, and they're only available at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection. Keep reading to learn more about the new Soft Piano Beat and Status Rock Premium Styles from Yamaha!


Status Rock
I have been playing with this style all day! It's a burning hot blues rock style with some unexpected bells and whistles! Status Rock was inspired by the 1977 Classic Rock hit "Rockin' All Over The World" by Status Quo(Though written and originally recorded by John Fogerty). The driving blues rock vibe of this Style gives it a real fist-pumping quality, which is complimented by the subtle vocal harmonies that enter the second variation. My favorite variation is the fourth, where the entire Style transforms to give us dramatic synchronized hits that create a high energy moment, while leaving space for little bluesy licks. The One Touch Voice Settings could not be more perfectly paired! You get two scorching lead guitars, a rock organ, and a golden saxophone! Check out the demonstration video below, but the fun won't really start until you load Status Rock into your Yamaha keyboard!




Soft Piano Beat
The softer side of rock is no less versatile. Here we have a light, airy Style that lends itself easily to ballads, but it suits any mid-tempo piano rock tune with a few taps of the tempo button. Though this Style is based on Katie Melua's "The Closest Thing To Crazy", I quickly played through some of my favorite ballads including "Everything I Do(I Do It For You)" and "Unchained Melody", just to have fun trying some familiar songs with a new Style. Soft Piano Beat builds consistently through each variation, with One Touch Settings that match the added layers of complexity with subtle intensity. Featured voices include the world famous Yamaha Grand Piano, soothing flutes, and a warm string section.



Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection. Check out the entire catalog by clicking here!

~Drew