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Here you are, hoping to learn more about "playing" your new Yamaha arranger keyboard. And the first topic under "playing" is files? Why is that?


Well, truth be told, your arranger keyboard is actually a computer. And, like all computers, it needs instructions that tell the computer processor exactly what to do. Those instructions are embedded in "files." The "styles" included in your keyboard are stored in style files. Your keyboard can automatically play "midi songs" based on the information stored in a midi file. You can capture and save many of the parameters you set up for playing a song in a registration file. When you press a key on your keyboard, you hear the a musical note equivalent to the key you pressed. The instructions in a voice file tell the keyboard how to adjust the sound so the note sounds like the note produced by a particular musical instrument.

Permanent Files - All of the files that come with your keyboard are included permanently in the hardware of the keyboard. You can copy them and make alterations to the copies, but you can not delete them or hurt them. They are always there and always available.

Your Files - If you were only interested in using the features that come with your keyboard, you may not care too much about the fact that files are involved in getting the keyboard to make the music you are creating. Most users, however, want to do more. If you want to capture and save your own performance, you will be creating your own midi file. If you want to modify the preset styles and create your own version of a style, you will be creating your own "new" style. If you are getting a set of songs ready for a performance, you will undoubtedly want to set up a number of registration files that make it easy to rapidly configure your keyboard for each song you are planning to play. So, you see, understanding how Yamaha handles files and how you create and interact with these files is an important first step in mastering your keyboard.

Internet Files - A major benefit of the Yamaha keyboards is that you can use external files in your keyboard. There are additional style files that you can purchase from Yamaha and add to your style library. On this web site, you will find tens of thousands of style files available. These can be downloaded and added to your collection. Getting new styles is always a treat and will add years to your enjoyment of your keyboard. There are also thousands of midi songs available here and on hundreds of other internet sites that you can download and replay on your keyboard.

Storing Files

If you want to create your own version of some files, or if you have downloaded files from the internet, you need a place where you can store the file. Internet files can, of course, be stored on your personal computer. But they don't do you any good there. You need to get them into your Yamaha so you can use them on your keyboard.

The keyboard has a limited space on board for saving your files. It is called the USER area and, for the early keyboards (PSR-2000/2100), the USER area provided about as much storage as a floppy disk. If that were all the space available, you would be severely limited in using anything that wasn't already included with the keyboard. But, the PSR-2000 (and PSR-2100) included a floppy disk drive and files could also be stored on a FLOPPY. Not only could they be stored on the floppy drive, but the PSR-2000 could read the floppy drive and load the external files almost as quickly as it loaded the preset internal files. The floppy had limited storage space, but the user could have as many floppies as they needed. This was a great leap forward.

The PSR-3000 eliminated the floppy drive in favor of a smart media card, which added a CARD storage area for user files. It also added a USB port so that your files could also be saved on an external USB flash drive. In both cases, files were accessed and loaded almost immediately and the user could have multiple smart media cards or usb drives. But, instead of just the 1.4MB available on a floppy disk, the new devices were capable of storing megabytes (or even gigabytes) of information. Good-bye floppy disks.

Technology overtook the smart media card solution, but the USB flash drives grew to dominate the market and have been included on all the keyboards since the PSR-3000. It is now a simple matter to download files from the internet, store them on your personal computer, copy them to a flash drive, and then take that drive to your Yamaha keyboard and have all those files available for your use in making music.

Tyros models after the original Tyros1 include a Hard Drive so that there is an HD1 storage option available on these keyboards. With a USB midi connection between your keyboard and your computer, you can even simply drag and drop files from your computer hard drive to your Yamaha hard drive. It is also easy to copy files to a USB drive from your computer and then take that USB drive to your Tyros and copy the files over to the Tyros hard drive.

The Genos model abandoned the hard drive, but expanded the onboard USER drive space enormously to 68GB. The new PSR-SX900 has approximately 4GB of onboard USER storage (SX700 has about 1GB) as well as storage space on an external USB drive.

File Lessons

OK, in just about anything you are doing with your keyboard you will be working with files. So, you need to understand all about files, about folders, and about storage options (USER, FLOPPY, CARD, USB1, and HD1). How Yamaha handles files is different from how your computer handles files.

The first lesson in this section, File System, explains the Yamaha file system in some detail. It has remained basically the same on all Yamaha arranger keyboards (PSR and Tyros) from the PSR-2000 introduced in 2001 through the PSR-S975 introduced in 2018 models. As a result, the basic operation of the system remained similar over many new models. This changed with the introduction of the Genos in 2017 and the PSR-SX900 in 2019. The new models use a touch-screen interface very different from all the earlier Tyros and PSR models. In the first lesson, how the new PSR-SX900 handles files is explained first and then the a separate section explains how all the Tyros and PSR models handle files.

The second lesson, File Ops-SX, covers the basic file operations implemented on the touch-screen interface. The examples shown here are from the PSR-SX900. Operations on the Genos will be similar. Copying files, renaming files, creating folders, deleting files, and saving files are all covered in this lesson.

The next 7 lessons ( File Ops-Tyros, Naming Files, Viewing Files, New Folders, Copying Files, Changing OTS, and Copying Multi Pads) cover much of the same material explaining how these file operations are carried out on Tyros models and on PSR and PSR-S models. Hopefully, these lessons help you learn how to understand and work with Yamaha files. The skills you learn here will be used in all subsequent lessons covering the various features of the keyboard.

Almost everyone will also want to know how to get more files. While you can get thousands of additional files by ordering one of the PSR Tutorial Data Collections, most users will get their free files from the internet. The File Downloads lesson will help those who are new to this process. Most internet files are compressed to save storage space and download time so users have to uncompress the files back to their normal size before they can be used. The File Compression lesson points you to several internet sites that explain this process and can provide you with a variety of file compression utilities if you need them. For those uncomfortable with the downloading and unzipping process, PSR Tutorial Data collections can be ordered along with a USB drive where the data is provided uncompressed and ready to use as soon as you put the USB drive into your keyboard.

You can also purchase new files (songs or styles or registrations) from Yamaha or other commercial providers. These may be provided by sending them to you electronically in email or by providing links that would require you to downlad and uncompress the files.


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This page updated on February 15, 2024 .