Author Topic: Electric Piano Tremolo sound for PSR-E433 and up  (Read 347 times)

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Offline SciNote

Electric Piano Tremolo sound for PSR-E433 and up
« on: June 27, 2017, 01:25:10 AM »
In a the section for "The Next Yamaha Keyboard", pjd posted a thread with the topic of the Roland GO:KEYS keyboard.  During that thread, pjd posted a link to a demo he made using that keyboard that had a cool electric piano sound with tremolo.  I got to thinking that I didn't think that the PSR-E433 had such a sound built in, so I started wondering if it would be possible to synthesize it.

So, I got to work and came up with the following...

So... How did I do it?  I used the harmony/tremolo function.  But the tremolo function really isn't a traditional tremolo -- it just repeatedly plays the notes you're holding down, so, I could not just simply apply that to an electric piano sound and be done with it.  What I did was to use it as a background reinforcement to the main sound.  Since harmony can only be applied to the main voice, the dual voice serves as the main electric piano sound.  Then, essentially, the electric piano sound with the keyboard's harmony/tremolo (which is set on the main voice) comes in as a background reinforcement, providing the tremolo pulsing effect while the dual voice's electric piano sounds continuously, so that the overall sound doesn't break up with each pulse or repeat of the note from the harmony/tremolo function.

It does have some limitations.  The tremolo effect only applies to notes that are being played with keys being physically held down.  If you use a sustain pedal and let the notes ring on after letting go of the keys, the tremolo effect stops.  And I believe that the harmony/tremolo function only works for four notes at a time.  Also, with an actual electric piano's tremolo, I believe there is only one tremolo generator, so that it does not matter when you play the keys on the keyboard -- all notes will be "in phase" with the same tremolo pulses.  With the PSR-E433, a new harmony/tremolo pulse starts with the press of each new key, so that each note that has the tremolo effect could be pulsing at different times, unless you hit all the notes together as a chord.

Here's the patch...

Main Voice ......... 17 EP Pad (PSR-E433 -- other keyboards may use a different voice number)
Main Volume ...... 85
Main Octave ....... -1
Main Pan ............ 64
Main Reverb ....... 60
Main Chorus ....... 80
Main Attack ........ 67
Main Release ...... 67
Main CutOff ........ 16
Main Resonance .. 64

Dual Voice ......... 16 Venus EP (PSR-E433 -- other keyboards may use a different voice number)
Dual Volume ...... 95
Dual Octave ....... -1
Dual Pan ............ 64
Dual Reverb ....... 60
Dual Chorus ....... 80
Dual Attack ........ 64
Dual Release ...... 64
Dual CutOff ........ 50
Dual Resonance .. 64

Harmony ............... 15 (Tremolo 1/8)
Harmony Volume ... 125
Reverb Type .......... 2 (Hall 2)
Chorus Type .......... 1 (Chorus 1)
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
The following users thanked this post: John Plumridge, SeaGtGruff, Guitarist

Offline pjd

Re: Electric Piano Tremolo sound for PSR-E433 and up
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 07:08:23 AM »
Hi Bob --

Interesting approach! Thanks for posting the MP3 demo.

I really enjoy your explorations and thanks for writing them up! There is so much more to learn about our instruments.

-- pj
The following users thanked this post: Guitarist

Offline SciNote

Re: Electric Piano Tremolo sound for PSR-E433 and up
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 10:39:41 PM »
Thanks!  I really enjoy exploring the synthesis capabilities of these keyboards, and as I have had Wurlitizer and Yamaha home organs, as well as a DX-7 over the years -- and, in high school, I learned about synthesizers on an Arp Odyssey and Arp Omni-2 -- I continue to be impressed at what an "entry level" keyboard can do that had a street price of only $250 when I bought it.

I have SiriusXM satellite radio, and they have been playing the top 40 songs of this week in 1981.  So, what does that mean?  It means that I've heard the classic Kim Carnes song, "Bette Davis Eyes" a few times recently, which has a really distinctive synthesizer sound throughout.  So, I have been working on seeing how close I can come to replicating that.  I'll probably post something soon!
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520