Fake Book MFDs
In the previous lesson, I discussed my effort to create a music finder database complete with all the songs from a particular fake book for my Tyros4. In the process I learned several things:
- Yamaha IDC MFD records may, or may not, be the best choices for a particular song.
- OTS settings on preset styles, even those with the same name, differ on the various Yamaha keyboards. So, specifying a particular style may be fine for some models, but not for others.
- Using only the preset styles for MFD records is too restrictive.
- The most recent keyboards provide the ability to include styles from the USB or HD as well as the preset styles.
- Modifying a record to include a style with settings that I liked would be fine for me, but not easily shared with others who may, or may not like the settings I chose.
- Each user is going to have to make changes to the record to suit themselves.
- Setting up a "good" mfd record takes a good deal of experimentation and, therefore, time.
I had originally hoped to provide a number of fake book specific music finder databases by using the styles from a "master" mfd that had a suggested record with the keyword field showing all the fake books that that song appeared in. It was clear, however, after doing a complete book, that those "suggested" settings had to be altered very frequently on my T4. Many of the suggested records were created for the PSR-3000 or the Tyros2 or even earlier models. Owners of newer models would find these unsuitable for their model and would have to change them. It was clear I would never have the time to check all the records or to create missing records for any significant number of fake books.
I did have a sizeable database of possible records for songs in the fake books. My Fake Book index, which I had expanded to cover 50 books, included over 12,000 songs. To gather records for songs in the fake books, I looked at the Yamaha preset databases and eliminated records for songs that weren't in any of the books. I also went to Yamaha's Music Finder+ to download additional records for songs that were in the Fake Book Index. To put all these together and eliminate duplicates, I made heavy use of Microsoft's Excel. So, the MFDs had to be moved to the PC, converted to tab-delimited text files, and moved into Excel.
When I combined all these together, I had records for over 2,500 songs, more than could even be loaded into the Tyros4 Music Finder system, which is limited to 2,500 records. So, I had to break the master file into smaller "parts" to limit it's size. I put aside unique records, that is, songs that appeared in one and only one book, for books that I did not have or was not interested in at the moment. That narrowed down the list enough to at least fit it in the T4. With this large mfd, I could use the search function to search on "JS" and find just the records for the Real Jazz Standards book and then work on them right on the Tyros4. Since I had narrowed the list down to something over 2,400 records, there was room on the Tyros4 to add some new records to the master file right there.
It was nice to finish all the songs in the Real Jazz Standards book, but I did not want to do that for more books. Not only did it take a long time, but, for my own use, I would like to change the OTS and, often, the left-hand voice, and so would want to make a style that was unique to me and which I would put in "my" mfd. But that mfd could no longer be shared without also providing all the unique styles.
But, having an mfd with all the songs from the fake book was still a major advantage, even if the style suggested had to be changed. Creating a new record is a bit of a hassle, but simply changing the tempo and/or style in an existing record was not all that difficult. I then occurred to me, as I moved between mfd and the Excel version of the mfd, that it would be possible to build an Excel version of the Master Fake Book Index that matched the format of an MFD tab-delimited record. That file, or course, would be much too large to fit into any music finder database, but subsets could be extracted that would fit. In particular, I could extract all the songs from a particular fake book and make an mfd for that fake book.
Of course, I needed to put in a style and a tempo for each song, but I didn't know what style or tempo to use for each song. But I could specify a default style and tempo and use that for all the records. I wanted a style that was somewhat generic but one that appeared in most of the keyboards. I found 8BeatModern was available in everything from the PSR3000 to the Tyros4 so I selected that as the default style and set a default tempo of 100. I set the GENRE field to "TBD" to distinguish all these records that had the default setting and would have to, most likely, be changed.
I then took my collection of records for songs from the index and identified all the records from the various Yamaha Style Collections (Frank Sinatra, Forties, BosaNovas, etc) from IDC and marked the GENRE for these records as "IDCCol" so you could identify where they came from. I expanded the record collection by incorporating the records from Gary Diamond's Music Finder Database and marked the GENRE for these with "GaryD". The records that I had modified or created in doing the Real Jazz Standards book were marked as "JoeW". For the remainder of the records, the original Genre specifications were kept. These records originally were part of the various preset MFDs or downloaded from IDC's MusicFinder+. Where I had a record for a song, from Yamaha or Gary or myself, I eliminated the "generic" default record. The final large Excel file had records for all the songs as well as multiple records for some individual songs.
Using Excel functions, I was able to create a column that would indicate a "1" or "0" depending on whether the keyword column included a particular 2-letter abbreviation. So, by setting the abbreviation to, for example "BE", all the records from the Best Fake Book Ever, would be marked with a "1" in the sorting column and the other records would be marked with a "0". Sorting on that column, I was able to copy all the BE records and paste them into a new Excel file with the MFD format. That file was saved as an Excel file and then saved as a tab-delimited file.
The tab-delimited file was them imported into the MusicFinderView program. All of the records in the tab-eliminated file were not always imported. If the record specified a style that was not available in the Tyros4, it was not imported. The records not imported can be viewed in the Delimited File Load Log, which displays the Genre, Song, and Style for the records not imported. The records that were imported were then all saved as a MFD file for the Tyros4.
The three files, the Excel file, the tab-delimited text file, and the resulting Tyros4 mfd file were them combined into a single zip file for every fake book in the master index. Those zip files are listed in the table below in the column labeled "Tyros4 MFD/Excel" and you can download anyone of them by simply clicking on the zip file link. The table shows the number of (Excel) records in the file and the name of the fake book. The fake book name is also a link to an Amazon record for that book if you want to get more information about the book or it's current price.
In May, 2013, Deane Peters modified these Tyros4 mfds for use with the PSR-S950.
I have converted all the fake book MFDs to run on the S950. I did not go through each MFD and replace styles that the converter did not find. Instead, I simply selected "CoolSwing" as the default style and it replaced all the styles the converter did not find. Therefore, some songs with the "CoolSwing" style might need to have a different style assigned to them but that should be easy to do on the keyboard once the MFD is loaded. In any case, there are enough songs in all the MFDs to keep a player busy for years. --Deane
Deane's MFDs are in the 2nd column labeled "S950 MFD/Excel".
How To Use These Files
If you have a Tyros4, you can use the T4 MFD file directly. If you do not have the Tyros4, you will need to create a version for your particular keyboard. You can do that using MusicFinderView. You can load the T4 version of the mfd into MusicFinderView and then set your keyboard as the Target Instrument. This will highlight records with styles that are not in your keyboard. You can modify them as desired if you want, or simply save the file with the styles you do have.
Alternatively, since the T4 MFD may not have all the styles in it, you can load an mfd file from your keyboard and then append the files from the tab-delimited text file to your file. If you want to make a number of versions for your keyboard, make a blank version of a music finder file for your keyboard by loading any mfd for your keyboard, deleting all the records, and then saving the result as a mfd file, for example, T3blank.mfd for T3 owners. Then, load the T3blank.mfd file. Imported the text file you want. Save the imported records as an mfd file and you will now have an mfd for that fake book for your keyboard.
Load that mfd file into your keyboard and replace the current mfd file (assuming you already have that saved as something or other). Now, as you play through that fake book, there is a record for every song in the book. Try out the song record and, if you don't like the setting, or if it is one of those "TBD" records, find a suitable style for the record and a suitable tempo and update the record. Be sure to update the file with your revised records. If you are planning on making many updates, you may want to save various versions with the date you saved them. For example, if working with the Best Ever Fake Book, you might saved the BE.mfd file as BE-Apr05.mfd with changes you made as of that date. Then, two days later, after you've made additional updates, save it as BE-Apr07.mfd. You will, in this manner, wind up have multiple versions of the file, but that is just a safety factor. In case you mess anything up, you can always just go back to the earlier version. When you have many versions, you can always delete some of the earlier ones just leaving you with the latest two or three back up versions.
In my T4 versions, I do have several records that refer to styles that were on my hard drive. When you load that record, you may get a notice that the style file is no longer available. You can see what style is specified by looking at the record and then simply reset that style to that record if you have it stored somewhere else on your hard drive.
For some reason, not at the moment clear, my mfd records on the Tyros4 are set to files that are stored on "HD1". But, in the mfd databases above, the record shows "HD" (instead of "HD1"). I assume that somewhere in the process of going back and forth between keyboard and PC and MusicFinderView and Excel and then back to MusicFinderView, an error may have cropped in. However, since these are "external" files to the T4, you may have to reset them all anyway. You could do this individually, or, perhaps by doing a global change in the Excel file.