Author Topic: Basic questions on registrations and songs  (Read 2266 times)

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Offline jcm2016

Basic questions on registrations and songs
« on: May 07, 2021, 03:22:27 PM »

I'm new to the world of keyboards, having purchased my PSR SX 900 a couple months ago.  Loving it so far!

I have some questions about songs and registrations.

1.  The keyboard came with some preloaded songs (9 or so).  Are these essentially just registrations that Yamaha have preloaded and also have lyrics and score files connected to them?

2.  I see references here to registrations being available for free.  Is the idea that someone has thought about a style, voices and other settings that work with a particular song, and give that away?  Is it correct that I'd need to source the sheet music somewhere else (or just know the song)?  I think in principle someone could include a file with the score and/or lyrics, but is that not common?

I purchased some registrations along with sheet music from Strawberry.  I've really enjoyed that and it has helped me explore the keyboard.  The registrations are simply the settings, not lyrics or score.  I've just started tweaking them.

Since I'm new to arranger keyboards (not new to piano or music in general), I wish I could find a guide that goes all the way back to the beginning of how to use an arranger keyboard.  I've looked at all the videos mentioned here for tutorials, and while  super helpful, I feel like I'm missing some basics (thus my questions).

Many thanks in advance!


Offline Toril S

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 03:46:43 PM »
On the main PSR TUTORIAL site press the tab lessons. Very useful  ! All functions of the Yamaha arranger keyboards are explained there.
Toril S

Genos, Tyros 5, PSR S975, PSR 2100
and PSR-47.
Former keyboards: PSR-S970.

Toril's PSR Performer Page

Online DerekA

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 04:15:37 PM »
A Song is actually a MIDI file, which is industry standard - it contains the notes for the song, arranged across a number of channels or parts. On a Yamaha arranger, when it plays back you can call up a score view which effectively reads the MIDI file and shows the "sheet music" live on the screen. Some MIDI also have lyrics embedded.

A Registration is a file in a custom Yamaha format which ties together a collection of settings (you decide what to include) which can include a MIDI song file, a text only lyrics file, panel voice settings, vocal harmony settings etc.  The registration is a set of pointers to things that exist elsewhere (midi files, text files, voice files, style files, vocal harmony files etc) , but it can include additional settings to "tweak" them (for example point to a panel voice, but change the reverb depth from the default). Note you cannot display a PDF sheet music file on a Yamaha arranger, so a registration can't point to a PDF.

So for your questions:

1 - These are MIDI files which Yamaha have preloaded on the keyboard. The score view can display the score on the screen. They have lyrics embedded in them.

2 - If you buy a registration, then you're getting the settings that can be used to play the song but you're probably not getting the associated MIDI file so you won't see the score on the screen.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 04:17:54 PM by DerekA »

Offline mikf

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 06:19:21 PM »
Derek has given you good information, but simply - a song is a midi and will actually play by itself.
 It sounds just like an audio (recording) but actually isn't. It uses the electronic information stored on the midi file to create the song through the sound module on your keyboard.
Registrations are just pointers to features that have been selected and stored, often for a specific song, but YOU have to play the song.
But not all registrations are for songs because you can also use registrations for general set ups. Best to get on the tutorials and learn about these things.

There are lots of registrations available on this forum, all are free. One thing to be careful about with registrations - because it is just a pointer to a feature on the keyboard, like a voice or a style or an effect etc, if it is not from exactly the same keyboard it may not work perfectly and you can have some tweaking to do. For example, they may have used a custom style and the registration will never find that on your keyboard. And of course they are just someone else suggestions, and may not suit you.   
There is also a feature called musicfinder which is suggested styles and voices from Yamaha for specific songs.  However, ultimately, most people learn to select these things for themselves, so while it might be handy for a new player, you might drift away from them later.

These keyboards have so many features that it can be daunting at the start to think you have to learn everything, but that is not necessary. It's like your iphone or computer, most people only learn about what they regularly use.

Offline jcm2016

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 07:01:34 PM »
Thank you everyone for the responses.  I've started looking at the Lessons section and indeed it has been very useful.   Much appreciated!

Offline overover

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2021, 07:38:53 PM »
Welcome to the PSR Tutorial Forum, jcm2016!

Here are a few more comments on the subject of "Registrations":

Please note that the term "Registration" is sometimes used incorrectly. Often with "Registration" one means a "Registration Bank" (which is saved as a .rgt file).

A Registration Bank can contain up to 8 individual Registrations (on buttons 1 - 8 with most models and 1 - 10 with the Genos).

Via a single Registration, i.e. by pressing a certain Reg button (after the relevant Reg Bank has been loaded beforehand), almost all playing settings of the keyboard can be changed.

Of course, Registrations can also be used to change the Keyboard Voices only (but not the Style), or a Registration only changes the Pedal assignment, etc. There are many different options here. :)

Best regards,
They always said: "This is not possible!"  Then someone came and - just did it!

Never put the manual too far away.  There's more in it than you think!

Offline jcm2016

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 02:34:55 PM »
I've been working through the lessons and WOW, absolutely WOW.  It is so incredibly helpful.  A tremendous thank you to those that put it together.  It is written so well.  Some of the things I had figured out through the the manuals and videos etc with much fumbling, and I've had many aha moments.  Again, thank you!

It's all made me think of a few questions.

1.  A question on midi files.  Why would someone download someone else's midi file onto their keyboard?  It seems to me that the keyboard is then essentially an amplifier for playing a pre-recorded song.  I think I get recording your own song on the keyboard using midi.  What am I missing?

2.  A question on downloading styles or registrations.  Is it correct that when someone creates a style for a song and makes it available here (or somewhere else for free), the style would have three intros, four main sections and three endings, with some selected voices for OTS?  Essentially another one of what comes pre-loaded?  So maybe simply someone's creativity, or maybe made to work with a specific existing song? 

3.  I've purchased some registrations that come with the fake book and a USB.  Each registration bank has 8 registrations with notes on which measure they line up to in the fake book.  Is what I've purchased pretty much the same thing as what is available for free - with maybe more customization for parts of the song, plus matching to the fake book?  I've been very happy with what I purchased, and really appreciate the ease of having the USB ready and the fake book.  I'm simply trying to understand the differences.

Many thanks!

Offline tbaroghel

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2021, 06:06:44 PM »
I think one very useful ressource is the 'Bonus Playlist for PSR-SX900' available for download from Yamaha: a playlist - a list of songs- pointing to registrations. Once installed on a usb stick, you will find it encompasses all styles with very good examples of how the SX900 can perform

Here is the French link to the page, but the file is the same

Regards from Paris,


Humbly returning to arrangers after many years, with a PSR-SX900

Offline mikf

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2021, 06:25:54 PM »
1. In the early arranger days we had no audio recording capability on the keyboard only midi so the easy way to listen to anyone else’s music was to copy and play play the midi on your own keyboard. Nowadays it is still sometimes done for a few reasons eg if you want to play along, change the key, or learn the song at a slower speed, because midi files can be edited easily.
2. If someone makes a style for a song you are at their mercy whether or not they did a good job on it, provided all the parts or not. So free registrations and styles are a very mixed bunch, sometimes good , sometimes terrible. And sometimes a song specific style listed by someone is no more than just a standard style where they has set the tempo for that song.  However, if they are commercial ie you paid for them, they should be good. But again, not always true.
3. As I have said above, you never know, but most companies providing these “packaged products” commercially do a decent job, otherwise they would soon be found out and not sell much. Free stuff will seldom involve the fake book or music. You have to work that out yourself.

Overall, it’s the internet, like everything else there are some gems out there, and sometimes it’s free, but there is also some (quite a lot?) of junk to sift through.  You can only find out for yourself. I have personally never used anyone else’s registrations, because I find that I prefer to pick my own styles, voices, etc for a song. But many people like them. If you want a style that sounds a lot like the original recording, and the person has done a nice job, they can be great. But frankly, 90% of the music you will play can probably just use standard styles. You are just as capable of picking a suitable voice and style as anyone else. And you learn best by doing just that. At least that is my opinion.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 08:16:21 PM by mikf »

Offline jcm2016

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2021, 10:51:17 AM »
Thank you for the additional responses.

I downloaded the registrations from Yamaha and can really hear how they match up to particular songs.  For me, I need to find sheet music.  I can pick out bits, maybe could pick out the whole thing with enough time, but that's what I lack - time!  Do people generally already have oodles of fake books, or maybe are very good at memorizing the tune, or can you pick it out so quickly on the fly, something else?  Piano isn't my first instrument (trumpet is), and even on trumpet I always struggled with the memorization.  I knew what I wanted to play in my head (aurally) but the mechanics of that's a Bb then a C, etc, so press this and that was always memorization to me, and never came easily.  I appreciate that this isn't really a keyboard question - I'm just musing.

Thanks again.

Offline mikf

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2021, 02:15:58 PM »
Some people have a good collections of fake books, but there are a couple of really good ones that cover a lot. There are also some free sites where you can get fake sheets for a lot of popular songs. You can also ask for music and styles here, but in general its harder to get very modern stuff. Reasons - old standards, country and pop are mostly what people with these keyboards play.
As far as learning to play by ear, its like running upstairs, you dont really memorize how to do it, because memorizing requires fast recalling, which is conscious thought, and no-one can run upstairs while thinking about the mechanics. You have to train and trust your subconscious to know what to do without thinking. A good typist doesn't think the next letter is a 't' and that is 5 from the left on the top row, and I hit it with my 4th finger. They train their subconscious to know that, and only think about the word they are typing. Thats how you have to play by ear. Repetition, experience and trust. You really have to learn to get out of your own way to play by ear.
The keyboard is also more difficult to play by ear than some instruments because you have to identify and play harmony and melody simultaneously, and control both hands very separately. Many people never manage it, while others do it naturally.

Offline StuCos

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2021, 08:40:56 AM »
Hi there,

Whenever I come across a style which song specific, which I know I'll enjoy playing and for which I don't already have the music, then I'll just go onto

If the song comes up in a key with a lot of flats or sharps, then, if you want, before you print the music off, you can transpose it to a key of your choice.

I've bought numerous pieces of music off this site and have always been happy with my purchase which is a digital pdf download.



Offline chburn45

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2021, 06:04:43 PM »
I have psr sx900. Am new to it and keyboards in general. I was ablate download the PSR-sx900 Playlist and select and play any of the songs. Is there a way to see the score for the songs in this playlist? Or better yet, sheet music? Thanks.

Offline mikf

Re: Basic questions on registrations and songs
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2021, 07:07:17 PM »
Short answer is no. These are only suggested set ups for the song. You would need to identify the songs you want to play then find music in a fake book, or here or elsewhere on line.