Author Topic: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?  (Read 1051 times)

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Offline Alias

Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« on: June 28, 2017, 09:56:54 AM »
Hi guys! I happen to have a very old keyboard (Yamaha PSR-38), I think it came out in 1987 and I was wondering if I could use it in a DAW to play my vst instruments with. It does have midi in/ midi out sockets in the back but I'm not sure if it's going to be recognised by the DAW (Where DAWs even a thing back then?). I am using Cubase 8 and I will connect the keyboard to the midi in/out plugs on my focusrite scarlett 2i4. Haven't tried it yet, still waiting for the midi cables to arrive.
Has anyone ever tried it with such an old keyboard?
Any info is welcome. Instructions for a noob even more welcome!
Thanks in advance!
 

Offline MillKa

Re: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 02:08:14 PM »
Yes, that should work.

Do you still have the manual ? If not, it is still available on the Yamaha website (55 pages in English, German, French, Italian).
The description of MIDI Stuff starts on page 36.

To use the keyboard part of the PSR-38 as input to Cubase, you need to connect the MIDI-Out socket of the PSR-38 with the MIDI-In socket of the Focusrite.
To use the tone generator part of the PSR-38 as output for Cubase, you need to connect the MIDI-In socket of the PSR-38 with the MIDI-Out socket of the Focusrite.

However, it looks like the PSR-38 keyboard part doesn't support 'note on velocity' aka touch sensitivity. So no matter how hard or soft you hit the keys, the keyboard will always send notes with average velocity.
Martin makes noises on Yamaha PSR-S950, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, Technics SX-GX7, Yamaha DX-7, Roland MT-32
 

Offline Alias

Re: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 11:40:40 AM »
Hey man, thanks for taking the time to answer. That is great news, can't wait for the cables to arrive!I had read the manual but I didn't put much stock into it due to the keyboard being so old.
I plan to use it only as input to cubase, its sounds are not that great save one or two.

Yeah, no touch sensitivity on this one but it is very comfortable to play on, especially compared to the cheap-cheapish midi keyboards you can buy today and it has 61 keys on it too.
Anyway, I will post again when the cables arrive. Thanks again!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 11:42:54 AM by Alias »
 

Offline Alias

Re: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 06:56:30 AM »
It worked and quite easily too! Plug and play easy! Thanks again Millka!
 

Online Toril S

Re: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 03:20:08 PM »
Hi! Are you satisfied with your focusrite audio interface? I plan to buy it, connect my old PSR-47 to it, and record some songs. Maybe with the use of audacity. Understand that software is included, but I want something simple, since I never have done this before. Take care of your vintage keyboard! People collect those :)
Toril S

PSR S970, PSR 2100 and PSR-47.

http://psrtutorial.com/perf/torilSusegg.html
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 05:45:51 PM »
Understand that software is included, but I want something simple, since I never have done this before.

I had a look at what's included-- Ableton Live Lite and Pro Tools First. If you feel like trying one of those, I'd recommend Ableton Live Lite. But I'd actually suggest PreSonus Studio One Prime, especially if you just want to record audio, or if you want to get your feet wet with MIDI. But when/if you're ready to get more serious about MIDI, I'd suggest Steinberg Cubase.
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443
 

Online Toril S

Re: Super old keyboard as a midi controller?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 08:29:49 AM »
Thanks :) Just audio for the time being. Last I recorded anything from my keyboard, I used a cassette player :) LOL!
Toril S

PSR S970, PSR 2100 and PSR-47.

http://psrtutorial.com/perf/torilSusegg.html