Author Topic: Expansion Manager - how is it helpful? And trying to find registrations?  (Read 1929 times)

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Offline jcm2016

Hello - I've had my PSR SX900 for a couple months and it's my first arranger keyboard.  I've been learning a lot through this site (thank you!).

In my case, the number of sounds and styles pre-installed are currently overwhelming.  I'm looking for registrations that tie a series of settings to a particular song (I've posted about that elsewhere with helpful responses).  At this stage, I want to play songs and enjoy that they are more rich and varied than when I play them on the acoustic piano.  I'm not yet spending time adjusting the subtleties of styles or voices, or looking for different nuances.  I've purchased some commercially, and they're great.  But expanding that way will be pricey.  I appreciate that some registrations may simply be selecting a suitable style and tempo for a particular song - even that is helpful. 

I appreciate that I could make all these selections myself, and that's exciting, but also somewhat paralysing as there's so much choice.

I think the Yamaha Expansion Manager is used for handling expansions of sounds and styles?  In other words, I can bring on more sounds and styles and decide which ones through the Expansion Manager?  I think for me - since I'm not (yet) looking to grow the number of sounds and styles, the Expansion Manager isn't useful.  I downloaded it, hoping it would be a sort of user-friendly hub for finding sounds, styles and registrations.  But it wasn't user friendly (at least in my eyes) and I didn't see anything about registrations.  Am I missing something?  Is the Yamaha Expansion not really a tool for me given what I've described?

I did download the "Bonus Playlist for PSR-SX900" from Yamaha and that's been fun.  I want more of this!  I looked around on this site and saw places to download styles.  I download one of the files from the Gary Diamond gig disk - the B artists - and got it onto a memory stick.  After inserting the stick into the keyboard, the styles came up in the styles section.  I started them, but the voices were the ones from starting up the keyboard.  I tries OTS link and that didn't help.  So I believe what I've downloaded is solely the style without a voice selection?  I looked in the registrations section and the folder for B artists was empty.  Have I missed something? 

As always, I'm simply trying to figure out "what is" and then how to apply that to my particular situation.

Thanks in advance!

Offline EileenL

Here are a few registrations I made up you may like to try.
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Offline jcm2016

I figured out that there is another area on the Forum with registrations.  I downloaded the ~3,000 from Peter (xeenix) and have been having tons of fun.  I've had a fakebook on the stand and just search the song name, play using Peter's registrations, then move along.  It's exactly what I'm looking for! 

I appreciate that these were done for the Tyros 5, and don't really take advantage of the multiple registrations within a bank (like the commercial ones I bought), but for the price, they are absolutely sensation!!  Peter - if you're on here - thank you!!

Are there other sources of registrations that are aimed at specific songs?  Some of the others I saw after Peter were either smaller lists are aimed at music style, not specific songs.

Eileen - thank you, I'll give those a whirl.

Offline StuCos

Hi Jcm2016.

What you may find helpful is if you download from the forum (sorry, not sure where the post Is) a list of all the styles and suggested song titles. Just look through the list, see if there are any songs you might like to play, call up the relevant style and use the One Touch Settings. At least you are getting four registrations for each particular song.

Hope this helps,


Offline DerekA

The expansion manager is used to load new sounds, and styles which use those sounds. Have a look at the Yamaha website, you might see something that is good for whatever music you particularly like. Many of them are now free.
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Offline jcm2016

Thanks all for the replies.

Now that I've had some success with downloading registrations, I'm wondering why would someone create a new style?  If someone wants to adjust various components of the style, why not save that as a registration?  Then the voices can we with it as well?   Is saving a style a legacy of older keyboards?   Or maybe a new style without voices gives flexibility to add any voices?  One can do that with a registration too?   Unless you're bringing a new voice (maybe recording your own human voice), then isn't a new style simply a manipulation of the existing components already on the keyboard (which of course is its own art) - so could be saved as a registration?

I'm asking solely to understand - not to judge anyone's approach or preferences. 

Thanks in advance

Offline DerekA

Using the style creator, you can completely reprogram any of the 8 tracks on any of the intro/ABCD/ending/fill in style sections. It's not just changing the voicing, it's completely changing what the pattern sounds like.

Also if you want to change e.g. volume or voice settings in just one section, you need to make the change in style creator. A registration can only override the settings in all of the style sections at once.

Offline mikf

These keyboards are very powerful tools, and just like computers, often have multiple ways to get to what seems to be the same end. Yes, it is true that many re-named styles have fairly insignificant differences to the original, and the same end could have been achieved another way.  That can be a matter of choice, but it is also more than that. For example, very deep changes can be made to a style, things that cannot simply be done by adding or altering features, and storing those in a registration. For example I can take the bass line from one style and replace it in another, I can change some or all of the voices in a style, so that a trombone phrase becomes a violin phrase, and in fact styles can be created completely from scratch. Just like on computers, the power users tap into all or many of these things, but many people can do all they ever need to do without ever getting into this.
On choice, some people simply prefer that they adjust and re-name a style for a particular song, rather than use registrations. Both can work similarly, but at the same time offer slightly different pros and cons.
 And we are all a bit different in our approaches, capabilities and interests. Some members love being able to use other peoples set ups (registrations) for songs, because they feel either intimidated by the process of doing themselves, or simple think it saves effort. Then again some will never have done that at all. In over 15 years of owning an arranger, I have never imported someone else's registrations.   
Couple of things to take note of when using registrations from other people.
1. Registrations are essentially just files that point to features and their settings. So unless they are all in the same place on your keyboard the keyboard can't find them. Its like me saying the pens are all in the top right hand drawer on my desk. That will probably not be true for your desk. This can lead to problems when you import registrations.
2. They are just someone else's idea of what works on that song. That doesn't mean it's good, or better than you can do yourself. And making music is a creative not a mechanical process, and there are always many different ways to play a song.

Offline EileenL

Packs contain new voices new styles Registration and Multi pads in most of them which are not on the keyboard. A really nice pack is the Celtic one and also Church and Christmas. There are some very nice voices in them.

Offline jcm2016

Thank you for the responses.

To those that don't start with someone else's arrangements, how do you approach a song?  What's your process? 

For songs I know, I can hear what I want, but there are so many different settings it would seem to me to take ages to find the specific ones?  Is that just experience, of more quickly being able to know the name for a particular style, and the voices?

How about a song you don't know?  I've had some fun calling up a song I've never heard, and sight-reading, with someone else's registrations.  Of course I could throw any style and voices on it, and I appreciate that an imported registration is just someone else's idea.  What do you start with if not someone's else's?  The creative variation is endless (even more if you compose the tune), but also daunting!

Again, I appreciate that this is all individual.  I'm simply having fun and am looking around at how other people approach the instrument.

Offline mikf

The most important settings are just the style choice, the tempo and the main lead voice. I usually just tap in the tempo, then try a few styles till I like one. Either it matches the thoughts i have in my head, or it sparked a bit of inspiration. I also have a few favorite styles that I use a lot, because we all have a style of music we prefer in our main locker. In my case it is old standards. I find that don't need need a lot of fancy styles to play my favorite music, in fact I now often like the style to be very simple.
There is a simple way to 'audition' styles by setting the keyboard so it doesn't change tempo as you change style ie the style does not default to its set tempo when selected, but plays at the tempo you have set. With a little familiarity you can usually rattle through a number of styles and find something that works in no time at all this way. But of course many people would then spend time on other settings to perfect the sound, either because they like doing that, or because they are going to record or perform the song at a gig and are prepared to spend more effort on it. And there are a lot of people who like to try to modify the sounds and styles to be very close to the original iconic recording of the song they are playing. Then they capture those settings in a registration or even a new style. 
On lead voices, the choices on these keyboards are mind boggling and in the early days you will be seduced by the amazing range of sounds at your fingertips. It's hard to resist simply playing around with all the possibilities. And of course this gets even more mind boggling when you start applying effects to customize the voices. There are many people using these keyboards who have an interest in sound creation, and for some this becomes the main attraction of the keyboard, but for others I think that passes and you start to rely on a few favorite voices. A long time ago there was some discussion about this which revealed that many good players will often set up a small bank of favorite lead voices on the main registration bank that they use all the time. That way they can quickly select what they want, when they want it, rather than either searching through the whole voice menu or relying on pre setting song registrations or OTS  which sometimes throw up an unexpected voice, because you don't always remember what is in there. I think one of the other keyboard manufacturers - Korg I believe - even had a built in feature for this. 
But we all find our own way to do these things, and the beauty of these keyboards is that they work for a very wide range of different approaches.