Author Topic: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series  (Read 956 times)

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Offline SciNote

Keyboards like the PSR-E433, E443, and E453 have a basic 6-track sequencer on board.  When I'm recording a multi-track song, I generally use this sequencer to record most of the song, but often, there are other parts or effects that I want to add, so I use a DAW (I use Audacity) to record the music of the 6-track sequencer to a DAW track on the computer, and then just add the additional parts and effects by simply recording additional tracks on the DAW.

The 6-track sequencer is handy, but it does have limitations.  For example, once you record a track, there is no way to make any changes to it, such as adjusting the volume or tone.  However, you can use the DAW for this purpose.  Instead of simply recording the audio of all tracks at once to the DAW, you can just record one track at a time from the 6-track sequencer to individual tracks on the DAW.  You can do this because the PSR-E4xx keyboards DO let you turn off specific tracks when playing them back, so you can select to just play back one track at a time when recording them to individual DAW tracks on the computer.

Of course, when recording each individual track to a DAW, one at a time, it is almost impossible to get them lined up in time (meaning all of the beats of the tracks matching properly) on the first try.  Fortunately, Audacity allows you to select individual DAW tracks and literally slide them back and forth so you can properly align the beats of the tracks properly.  I imagine other DAW's have a similar function.

So, there you go!  Once you have all the tracks recorded on your DAW, you can then just use the DAW to adjust the volume of the tracks separately, and then you can even add effects like filtering to each track individually.

Of course, if you only need to adjust one or two tracks separately, you can customize this technique, such as by recording the audio of 4 of the 6 tracks at once in one DAW track, then recording the two remaining tracks on their own DAW tracks for independent editing.

I did a variation of this because I wanted to enhance the bass line on a song, so I recorded the audio of all six sequencer tracks to one DAW track like normal, but then I recorded the bass track of the sequencer to its own DAW track, so that there were now two tracks with the bass line -- the main DAW track with the audio of all sequencer tracks, and the dedicated DAW track with a copy of just the bass track from the sequencer.  After "time aligning" the DAW tracks to line up the beats, I used Audacity's editing features to filter the dedicated bass track (getting rid of the plucking sound and just leaving the deeper sounds) to allow this track to just reinforce the bass line.

I just wanted to point out how you can really expand the recording capabilities of our keyboards with a DAW and a little effort.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 
The following users thanked this post: SeaGtGruff

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 01:49:51 AM »
Have you ever looked at any DAWs that include MIDI functionality? :)
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 02:10:46 AM »
Hi SciNote,

It looks like you have a very particular, strange and curious way to make DAW recordings.

As already said by another member, plse try to find a 16 track midi sequence program first. See google.
It will help you out a lot to make your audio editing and recording a lot easier and more pro.

Jeff
DAWS MAC & WIN
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 02:17:03 AM »
No, I haven't experimented much with MIDI yet.  Mainly just audio.  When I was thinking of buying the E453, and wanted to see if I could transfer my E433 files to the E453, I did what you suggested and converted my sequencer projects to MIDI files on the keyboard, then tried playing them on other instruments in a music store to hear how they sounded.  They sounded good, but then I remember you saying, if I am not mistaken, that because MIDI can only allocate 8 channels to the five melody tracks and the other 8 channels to accompaniment, and that main and dual voices require their own channels, that there would not be enough "room" for main and dual voices for the 5 melody tracks. Then, I decided not to buy the E453 at this time (At this point, I think I'll just wait and see what the hypothetical E463 looks like next year!).  And then, I discovered that I had been recording my songs in mono all these years, and that setting my computer properly to stereo greatly improved the sound of my recordings, further reducing the need for me to buy the E453 (previously, I was thinking that I could use the E453's built-in USB-to-audio feature to help improve the sound).  So, I haven't experimented much with MIDI since then.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 03:23:36 AM by SciNote »
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 02:26:22 AM »
Hi SciNote,

It looks like you have a very particular, strange and curious way to make DAW recordings.

As already said by another member, plse try to find a 16 track midi sequence program first. See google.
It will help you out a lot to make your audio editing and recording a lot easier and more pro.

Jeff

Other than possibly making some of the initial recording easier, in that I wouldn't have to start recording a track over from the beginning if I made a mistake, what would be the real benefit of this?  One thing I am doing is to see what can be done with the PSR-E433 exclusively, so I do not yet want to try using other sound sources through MIDI with my recordings.  And if I record a MIDI file that plays the PSR-E433 like a sequencer, I will quickly run out of polyphony.  When stacking audio tracks, polyphony becomes unlimited.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 02:37:02 AM »
Hi S,

An internal  sequencer is not needed to make a 16 track midi recording.

Simply use and install a midi 16 track sequence program ( DAW ) in your pc, connect your midi in- and outputs ( or USB ) of your kb with the soundcard of your pc.
If USB is available you have only to connect your kb with your pc. Check your pc if it recognizes your midi kb connection.
A  kb midi driver is ( mosty ) required.

Make all your records ( track by track ) in your midi daw prog.
All editing can be done after the recording.

Good luck, Jeff
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 02:56:22 AM by Jeff Hollande »
DAWS MAC & WIN
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 02:56:07 AM »
I realize that an internal sequencer is not required when using a MIDI DAW, as the MIDI DAW would take the place of the sequencer.  But once the recording is done, track by track, to the MIDI DAW, what is then the sound source when playing back the tracks?
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 02:57:41 AM »
Your kb. Like you are playing a midi file. :D

Jeff
DAWS MAC & WIN
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 03:20:33 AM »
That's what I was thinking.  That's where there could be issues with polyphony, as the PSR-E433 only has 32 notes of polyphony, so when there are multiple tracks with chords and other effects, notes could cut out pretty easily on a fairly complex song.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline Jeff Hollande

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 03:41:41 AM »
Hi Bob :

I am not familiar with your kb. :-\

A couple of months ago I have bought a new S770 with 128 notes of polyphony. It works great for my personal applications.
The S770 is not expensive.

I would like to have a T5 but the present price is much too high for my budget.  :'(
Maybe in the near future, when the Genos will be available, a second hand T5 might be my next move.

Being a daily user of XGWorks ( for midi recording ) and Sonar Platinum ( for audio recording ) this kb offers me everything I need to do the job well.

To learn both programs I needed approx. 1 year but ... I am an old man. ;)
 
There are enough DAW programs available for recording/playing midi - and audio. See internet.

To create a nice sound I have additional equipment.

Bye, Jeff




 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 03:46:46 AM by Jeff Hollande »
DAWS MAC & WIN
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 08:38:33 AM »
Bob, you can still make a MIDI recording in a DAW using 16 (or more!) tracks, regardless of the keyboard's polyphony, maximum number of MIDI channels, etc. Then, when you want to convert the MIDI tracks into audio tracks, you can mute all but one track, send it to the keyboard and record the audio output in the DAW, track by track, until all of the MIDI tracks have been converted into audio tracks. As long as each individual track doesn't exceed the keyboard's polyphony, it should sound fine. And you might want to save the MIDI tracks in case you want to go back later and modify any of them-- use a different keyboard voice, edit the notes, etc.

Of course, the way I just described it is more laborious, but it lets you overcome the keyboard's limited polyphony, as well as the limitations of 16 channels. And you don't need to create all of the MIDI tracks before you start converting them to audio-- you can create a few MIDI tracks, convert them to audio one by one or as a group, then create more MIDI tracks, etc. It's similar to how one singer can become a quartet, or how an old monophonic analog synthesizer can become a symphony playing Switched on Bach! :)

Besides overcoming any limits of polyphony or number of MIDI channels this way, you can also mix your keyboard's voices with those from virtual instruments, or use different reverb types and/or chorus types on the various tracks, etc.

There are actually many different work flows you can use, including the way you're currently doing it. The process that someone else uses might not work best for you for some reason, so do it however you like-- but stay open to other ways. Don't feel like you need to do it the way someone else tells you to, but don't hesitate to vary your methods based on the situation. A lot of the things we take for granted today in audio recording-- especially audio effects-- were discovered and developed through creative experimentation in the recording studio. :)
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Multi-track sequencer/DAW recording tip for PSR-E4xx series
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 04:00:23 PM »
Certainly, that would be a good way to have a recording where you could later make direct changes to the voice numbers and parameters afterward, or give you the ability to add other sound sources to the recording.  But as you implied, it would be pretty complex to first record the MIDI tracks, then record each one (or at least groups of tracks that won't exceed the polyphony of the keyboard) as an audio track, and then stack the audio tracks and make sure they are all time aligned.

I was just originally suggesting a way that the main 6 tracks built into the keyboard could be modified without too much difficulty.  I like starting with the built-in sequencer since it is right there on the keyboard.  But after recording a song with the sequencer, it's very possible to realize that a particular track is not loud enough, or maybe has too much treble, or something like that.  In that case, recording the individual sequencer tracks to the DAW as audio, or even just splitting off the sequencer tracks you want to modify -- recording them as separate DAW tracks and putting the rest of the sequencer tracks on their own DAW track -- gives you the ability to make changes in volume or tone, or add other effects, to these individual tracks without having to rerecord the track from scratch on the keyboard.

The idea is that, when I record a multi-track recording, it's going to eventually be recorded as audio for me to listen to on a stereo or to distribute to other people, so that splitting off the tracks that need to be adjusted separately during the audio recording process isn't too much more overall work.

I guess another possibility would be to use the keyboard to turn the song into a MIDI file, and then changes could be made directly to the file on a computer.  But like I mentioned above, I believe you said that when you convert a song into a MIDI file, you may lose the dual voice of two tracks because only 8 channels are available for the 5 melody tracks, but correct me if I'm wrong about that.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520