Author Topic: Extra keyboard  (Read 2140 times)

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Offline Kevin Sanders

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Extra keyboard
« on: April 09, 2016, 05:28:13 AM »
I've just acquired a S910 after an aborted purchase of a S900. The 910 is very nice and I'm very happy with it so far. I've already added both FC5 and FC7 pedals and, whilst I have never been a pianist, it is the piano voices that have grabbed me the most.
So I plan on adding an 88 key piano keyboard with either GH or GHS weighting. Old Yamaha portable pianos are available very cheaply now and the oldest ones, like the P60 are reported to have the most authentic weighting. I'm getting to my questions, honest.
Is a Yamaha keyboard the best match for my PSR?
Does it matter about the reduced polyphony if it is hooked up to a PSR? Does the controller (piano) keyboard adopt the polyphony of the PSR?
Since I really only want to use the piano for its weighting and not its voicing, could I be better off with a true controller keyboard like an M-Audio KeyStation, or would that introduce too many extra controls. Though I played organs years ago I'm pretty much a beginner with current stuff especially MIDI. Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
PSR S-910, P-60, DD-65, KX-25
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 08:04:06 AM »
Hopefully someone who's actually used a second keyboard to control a PSR-S910 or similar arranger workstation will answer, but in the meantime here are my two wooden nickels:

Is a Yamaha keyboard the best match for my PSR?

Not necessarily-- see my comments in the third section below.

Does it matter about the reduced polyphony if it is hooked up to a PSR? Does the controller (piano) keyboard adopt the polyphony of the PSR?

What matters is the polyphony of the keyboard that will be generating the sounds. A keyboard controller doesn't even have any polyphony, since it can't generate sounds of its own, yet it can still be used to control the PSR-S910. :)

Since I really only want to use the piano for its weighting and not its voicing, could I be better off with a true controller keyboard like an M-Audio KeyStation, or would that introduce too many extra controls.

If you don't mind making all of the selections, settings, style changes, etc. on the PSR-S910 itself, then you don't need a keyboard controller with any extra controls-- except maybe a pitch bend wheel and modulation wheel, which are fairly standard on even basic keyboard controllers. But if there are extra controls (buttons, pads, knobs, sliders) that can be mapped to specific CC events, patch changes, etc., then you should be able to make at least some of the settings changes from the keyboard controller, depending on what events the extra controls are mapped to. Even then you still might need to make certain selections or changes from the PSR-S910 itself.

If you are going to make some, most, or all of the selections and changes on the PSR-S910 itself, and just use an 88-key controller for playing piano voices, then you'll probably want to get a good two-tier keyboard stand so you can position the PSR-S910 above the 88-key controller for convenient access. Then you can use the PSR-S910 as a second manual.
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443
 

Offline Kevin Sanders

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Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 10:53:18 AM »
Thanks, Michael, that's just the sort of thing I needed explained/confirmed. It was actually the lack of controls on the old P60 that attracted me as I would like the two keyboards to be as close as possible.
Would the P60 (for example) map onto the PSR keyboard or would it be independent? Would it control the left voice, the right 1 or 2 or would it be additional? I don't understand enough about MIDI.
Thanks again for the reply.
PSR S-910, P-60, DD-65, KX-25
 

Offline pjd

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 11:21:12 AM »
Hi Kevin --

I would recommend learning more about MIDI before making a purchase.

In 50 words or less, MIDI sends messages on 16 channels. The sender and receiver need to use the same channel. Usually, everything defaults to channel 1. However, ...

The S910 is very flexible and configurable. See Chapter 10 "Connections" in the S910 Reference Manual. The MIDI system settings let you configure transmit and receive settings. In the receive settings, you can set the MIDI channel for RIGHT1, RIGHT2, LEFT, etc.

The P60 MIDI implementation is quite basic -- you can set the transmit and receive channels. I recommend downloading the P60 Owner's Manual and taking a look. You might find the P60's approach to be too basic or that level of simplicity may be all that you're looking for. If you're being a second-hand keyboard, then it's definitly worth reading the owner's manual ahead of time to make sure that it has the level of MIDI configurability that you'll need. Might want to try connecting the keyboard to the S910 before buying it and see if the seller can help you out, too.

Standard 5-pin DIN MIDI usually works, but the send and receive channels do need to be coordinated.

All the best -- pj
 

Offline Roger Brenizer

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 12:18:03 PM »
Hi Kevin,

Because you aren't familiar with midi, I've uploaded The Midi Manual for you to my OneDrive account.  This manual probably contains more information than you need to know, as it's very comprehensive.  The link follows:

https://goo.gl/hM4WJs+

I wish you well!
"Music Is My Life"
My best regards,
Roger

(The older I get...the better I used to be...LOL!!!)
Rogerís PSR Performer Page
 
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Offline mikf

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 02:16:28 PM »
Kevin
You don't need to know much about midi. The set up to control the 910 from e P60 is very simple, and as long as you have midi out in the P60 you can set it up to drive accompaniment, voices, whatever you want, on the 910. You can also use the P60 piano voice which may be better than the 910 piano voice. There are many articles on the forum about doing this.
Mike
 

Offline TwinTyros

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2016, 11:49:35 PM »
Hi Kevin,

Because you aren't familiar with midi, I've uploaded The Midi Manual for you to my OneDrive account.  This manual probably contains more information than you need to know, as it's very comprehensive.  The link follows:

https://goo.gl/hM4WJs+

I wish you well!

Hi Roger,

Thank you for sharing "The Midi Manual". Very useful even for me.
Much appreciated.
Regards,
Marcel
 

Offline Roger Brenizer

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 12:06:48 AM »
Hi TwinTyros,

I'm happy to know The Midi Manual will be a useful tool for you.  Whether someone is a beginner or a seasoned midi veteran, they will find this a very useful reference.
"Music Is My Life"
My best regards,
Roger

(The older I get...the better I used to be...LOL!!!)
Rogerís PSR Performer Page
 

Offline Kevin Sanders

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Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 03:06:57 AM »
Thank you all so much for your help. I'm also gratified that someone else got something out of it.
Having looked at the three manuals, I am not going to make a hasty purchase. There are plenty of inexpensive keyboards out there so I don't have to worry about missing one.
My major expense, the S910 itself, has already exceeded my expectations and I'm already thinking of an upgrade, but not for at least a year. I have much to learn and my muscle memory has to be retrained.
One of the things I enjoy very much is setting the left and right1 voices to the same thing, like grand piano or concert guitar and playing some of my favourite songs. I'm amazed at the quality of the 'acoustic' sounds. I'm not ready for others to hear them yet as I'm sure my brain is doing a lot of fill in for me, so I sit for hours with headphones on just going through my back catalogue. Magic!
Thanks again, everyone. You've given me enough to be going on with.
Best wishes
PSR S-910, P-60, DD-65, KX-25
 

Offline Kevin Sanders

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Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 02:30:12 PM »
This is an update of my progress. Again, many thanks to everyone who helped me. You have all been very kind.

I did buy a P60. It had no sound from the right channel so I got it very cheap £77 GBP :o). Connected to the S910 it just simply worked. Amazingly well. I simply set MIDI channel 1 on the S910 to 'KEYBOARD' and ther it was, an 88 note S910 with all the same functionality as on the 61 note keyboard, but with an extra octave above and below. I can switch the piano from external to local with a key combination and - this is the very nice bit - all the piano voices are there! These are not being generated by the piano - the only connection is through MIDI - so the MIDI commands generated by the piano are telling the S910 to play that instrument. I'm pretty sure (but not certain) that a piano from another manufacturer would not have this level of compatibility, but you guys may know better. The 61 note keyboard still plays whatever it was set to, but the piano plays the piano (or whatever) and there is no longer a split point, unless I use the (very different) split point facility of the piano itself.

As for mounting - SeaGtGruff (Michael) - I simply have it on a table with the S910 resting on top of it held in place by a strip of Velcro. Two kitchen cabinet legs velcroed to the bottom of the S910 made it extremely stable. I can push hard agains it and it doesn't move at all.

I have since added a KX25 keyboard because it was very cheap and I have that dedicated to the RIGHT2 voice which makes live performance a bit easier. That one isn't entirely satisfactory as it is designed to be used with computer DAW software and I haven't got easy access to the transpose facility. This is needed because the S910 doesn't transmit transpose data, but will receive it. Any thoughts here would be appreciated.

On top of that I have added a DD-65 drum machine which I've set to 'RHYTHM2' so it plays the drum kit of the style. It will be easier to do the drum tracks (when I get better at the drumming)

I can't tell you how much joy these instruments have brought me. Thank you all again for your help.
PSR S-910, P-60, DD-65, KX-25
 

Offline Roger Brenizer

Re: Extra keyboard
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 03:07:56 PM »
Hi Kevin,

Thank you so much for the update.  It sounds like this combination of instruments is bringing you a lot of joy and will continue to do so well into the future.  The main thing most of us should remember is to simply have fun with our chosen instruments and music related software programs.

Thanks once again for the report and update, Kevin.  :) :) :)
"Music Is My Life"
My best regards,
Roger

(The older I get...the better I used to be...LOL!!!)
Rogerís PSR Performer Page