Yamaha PSR-295 Manual
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Careless Whisper intro Cover Yamaha Psr 295
User reviews and opinions
|milly56||5:22am on Wednesday, August 4th, 2010|
|YAMAHA PSR 295 KEYBOARD The revolutionary looks of the PSR295 underline the fact that this is a serious upgrade to its predecessor, the PSR290.|
|battisti||6:14pm on Thursday, June 24th, 2010|
|YAMAHA PSR 295 KEYBOARD The revolutionary looks of the PSR295 underline the fact that this is a serious upgrade to its predecessor, the PSR290.|
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Power supply/AC power adaptor
Only use the voltage specied as correct for the instrument. The required voltage is printed on the name plate of the instrument. Use the specied adaptor (PA-5D, PA-3C or an equivalent recommended by Yamaha) only. Using the wrong adaptor can result in damage to the instrument or overheating. Check the electric plug periodically and remove any dirt or dust which may have accumulated on it. Do not place the AC adaptor cord near heat sources such as heaters or radiators, and do not excessively bend or otherwise damage the cord, place heavy objects on it, or place it in a position where anyone could walk on, trip over, or roll anything over it.
Do not expose the instrument to rain, use it near water or in damp or wet conditions, or place containers on it containing liquids which might spill into any openings. Never insert or remove an electric plug with wet hands.
Do not put burning items, such as candles, on the unit. A burning item may fall over and cause a re.
If you notice any abnormality
If the AC adaptor cord or plug becomes frayed or damaged, or if there is a sudden loss of sound during use of the instrument, or if any unusual smells or smoke should appear to be caused by it, immediately turn off the power switch, disconnect the adaptor plug from the outlet, and have the instrument inspected by qualied Yamaha service personnel.
Do not open
Do not open the instrument or attempt to disassemble the internal parts or modify them in any way. The instrument contains no user-serviceable parts. If it should appear to be malfunctioning, discontinue use immediately and have it inspected by qualied Yamaha service personnel.
Always follow the basic precautions listed below to avoid the possibility of physical injury to you or others, or damage to the instrument or other property. These precautions include, but are not limited to, the following:
When removing the electric plug from the instrument or an outlet, always hold the plug itself and not the cord. Unplug the AC power adaptor when not using the instrument, or during electrical storms. Do not connect the instrument to an electrical outlet using a multiple-connector. Doing so can result in lower sound quality, or possibly cause overheating in the outlet.
Dont forget the black keys! Youll hear a triangle, maracas, bongos, drums a comprehensive variety of drum and percussion sounds. For details on the instruments included in the drum kit voices (voice numbers 115 126), see the Drum kit List on page 82.
The sound effects are included in the drum kit voice group (voice numbers 125 and 126). When either of these voices are selected you will be able to play a range of sound effects on the keyboard.
Sound Effect Selection Procedure (refer to steps 1 and 2 on page 18)
1 Press the [VOICE] button from the MAIN display. 2 Use the dial to select 126 SFX Kit2. 3 Try out each key and enjoy the sound effects!
As you try out the various keys youll hear the sound of a submarine, a telephone bell, a creaking door, laughter, and many other useful effects. 125 SFX Kit1 includes lightning, running water, dogs barking, and others. Some keys do not have assigned sound effects, and will therefore produce no sound. For details on the instruments included in the SFX kit voices, see SFX Kit 1 and SFX Kit 2 in the Drum kit List on page 83.
This instrument includes an auto-accompaniment feature that plays appropriate styles (rhythm + bass + chord accompaniment) when you play left-hand chords. 135 different styles covering a wide range of musical genres are provided (see page 84 for a complete style list). Heres how you can use the auto-accompaniment feature.
Play Along With Auto Accompaniment STYLE
Press the [STYLE] button.
The currently selected style number and name will be displayed. You can now use the dial to select the desired style
Select a style.
The currently selected style number and name
Use the dial to select a style. For this example try selecting the 080 PopBossa style.
Since style number 112 and the pianist category styles (124 135) have no rhythm parts, no sound will be produced if you start rhythm-only playback. To use these styles turn on the auto-accompaniment and play on the keyboard as described on page 28 (the bass and chord accompaniment parts will sound).
Rhythm-only playback of the selected style will begin.
Style rhythm start!
Press the [START/STOP] button again.
The style rhythm will stop.
Press the [ACMP ON/OFF] button.
If ACMP ON is not showing in the display press the [ACMP ON/OFF] button so that it appears. The [ACMP ON/OFF] button alternately turns autoaccompaniment on and off.
This turns auto-accompaniment on. Check that ACMP ON appears in the display.
ACMP ON appears when auto-accompaniment is on.
When Auto-accompaniment Is On
The left-hand section of the keyboard becomes the accompaniment range in which you will play the chords that dene the accompaniment.
The auto-accompaniment range of the keyboard can be changed as required by changing the split point (page 51).
If you press the [START/STOP] button at this point rhythm-only playback will begin. Then if you play a chord in the accompaniment range bass and chord accompaniment will also begin. You can start style playback in a number of ways see page 28.
Press the [INTRO/ENDING/rit.] button.
INTROA or INTROB will appear in the display. Style playback will then start with an introduction, which will lead to either the MAIN A or MAIN B accompaniment pattern, accordingly.
Press the [SYNC START] button.
The beat display will begin ashing, indicating that the synchro-start standby mode has been engaged.
Synchro-start standby mode
The Synchro-start Standby Mode Is
When the synchro-start standby mode is engaged style playback will begin as soon as you play a chord in the accompaniment range of the keyboard. You can disengage the synchro-start standby mode by pressing the [SYNC START] button again.
Start style playback by playing a chord in the accompaniment range of the keyboard.
Not sure how to play chords? No problem! This instrument is capable of playing chords even if you only play one key refer to page 53 for detailed instructions for playing chords. Theres even a Chord Dictionary that will show you the ngerings for chords you specify by name (page 55).
Split point Accompaniment range
Play along with the style.
Play a melody with right hand while playing cords in the accompaniment range of the keyboard with your left hand. The beat display will ash at the current playback tempo.
Flashes at the current tempo
Each style has two main patterns MAIN A and MAIN B. If you press the [MAIN/AUTO FILL] button during playback a ll-in will play and then playback will switch to the other MAIN pattern.
An example of how you might play a pattern:
Style preparation INTRO A MAIN A FILL B MAIN B ENDING Style stop
Press the [INTRO/ENDING/rit.] button to end.
Style playback will stop after an appropriate ending.
This feature adds harmony notes to the main voice. When you press the [HARMONY] button to turn this feature on, the appropriate harmony type for the currently selected main voice is automatically selected. 26 different harmony types are provided. You can select a different harmony type by following the procedure outlined below. The effect and operation of each harmony type is different refer to the Harmony Type List on page 86 for details.
(Song Lesson off)
Song playback will begin automatically when you select Lesson 1.
Start the lesson!
Play the note shown in the display. When you play the correct note, the next note you need play is shown. The song will wait until you play the correct note.
(In the case of a right-hand lesson)
See How Youve Done
~~~~~~~~ Excellent Very Good ~~~~~~ ~~~~ Good ~~ OK
When the lesson song has played all the way through your performance will be evaluated in 4 levels: OK, Good, Very Good, or Excellent. Excellent is the highest evaluation.
The evaluation will appear after you have played all the way through the song. After the evaluation display has appeared, the lesson will start again from the beginning. Press the [START/STOP] button to exit from the lesson mode. Once youve mastered Lesson 1, move on to Lesson 2.
The evaluation feature can be turned off via the FUNCTION Grade item (page 64).
Lesson 2: Your Tempo
Select the song and part you want to practice (steps 1 and 2 on page 32). Press the [LESSON MODE] button twice to start Lesson 2.
Each time the [LESSON MODE] button is pressed the lesson modes are selected in sequence: Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Off Lesson 1
In this case the icons r2 indicate that right-hand lesson 2 has been selected.
Song playback will begin automatically when Lesson 2 is selected.
Play the note shown in the display. Try to play the notes at the correct timing. As you learn to play the right notes at the right timing the tempo will increase until eventually youll be playing at the songs original tempo.
Left-hand part Right-hand part
The evaluation display will appear when the song has played all the way through. Press the [START/STOP] button to exit from the lesson mode. Once youve mastered Lesson 2, move on to Lesson 3.
Lesson 3: Minus One
Select the song and part you want to practice (steps 1 and 2 on page 32).
Press the [LESSON MODE] button three times to start Lesson 3.
In this case the icons r3 indicate that right-hand lesson 3 has been selected.
Song playback will begin automatically when Lesson 3 is selected.
Chord changes and chord timing Style pattern changes Style number* Reverb type* Chorus type* Tempo Time signature* Style volume*
Track  Will play back as the left-hand melody part (MELODY L) Tracks   Will play back as other performance data.
Track [A] Will play back as the Style (autoaccompaniment) part.
Right-hand Left-hand Other performelody melody mance data (MELODY R) (MELODY L) The parts played by each track when a user song is played back.
The Difference Between MELODY R and MELODY L Songs are a combination of a melody and an autoaccompaniment style. Normally melody refers to the right-hand part, but in this instrument melody parts are provided for both the right and left hands. MELODY R is the melody part played by the right hand, and MELODY L is the melody part played by the left hand.
Press the [SONG] button, then use the dial to select the user song number (031 035) you want to record to.
Rotate the dial to select a song number between 031 and 035.
Select the track(s) you want to record to and conrm your selection on the display.
If you record to a track that contains previously-recorded data the previous data will be overwritten and lost.
Record a Melody Track and the Accompaniment Track Together Press the melody track button   you want to record to while holding the [REC] button. Next, press the [A] button while holding the [REC] button. The selected tracks will ash in the display.
Style accompaniment is automatically turned on when you select the style track [A] for recording. Style accompaniment cannot turned on or off while recording is in progress. If you use a split voice for recording, notes played to the left of the split point will not be recorded.
Press and hold
Record a Melody track Press the melody track button   you want to record to while holding the [REC] button. The selected track will ash in the display.
If style accompaniment is on and track [A] has not yet been recorded, the style track [A] will automatically be selected for recording when a melody track is selected. If you only want to record a melody track, be sure to turn the style track [A] off. To cancel recording to a selected track, press that track button a second time. Style accompaniment cannot be turned on or off while recording is in progress.
Recording will start when you play on the keyboard.
If the memory becomes full during recording a warning message will appear and recording will stop automatically. Use the song clear or track clear (page 41) function to delete unwanted data and make more room available for recording, then do the recording again.
The metronome can be set for up to 15-beat time signatures. A chime will sound on the rst beat of each measure, while a metronome click will sound on all others. You can also set the time signature to 00, in which case the chime will not sound and the click sound will be heard on all beats. The metronome will automatically be set to match the time signature and tempo of the selected song or style, but you can also change the tempo and time signature yourself.
Press the [METRONOME] button to start the metronome.
NOTE You can also access the Time Signature item by pressing the [FUNCTION] button and using the CATEGORY [ ] and [ ] buttons to locate the item (page 62).
Use the dial or the   number buttons to select a time signature between 00 and 15 beats per measure.
Indicates the beat number in the measure
You can stop the metronome by pressing the [METRONOME] button a second time.
Adjusting the Metronome Volume
Press the [TEMPO/TAP] button to call up the TEMPO setting.
Use the CATEGORY [ ] and [ ] buttons to select the Metronome Volume item.
Use the dial or the   number buttons to select a tempo from 032 to 280 quarternote beats per minute. Press and hold the [METRONOME] button for longer than a second so that the Time Signature item appears.
Use the dial or the   number buttons to set the metronome volume as required.
Touch Response Sensitivity
When touch response is on you can adjust the sensitivity of the keyboard in response to keyboard dynamics in three steps.
Press the [TOUCH] button to turn touch response on. The touch response icon will appear in the display when touch response is on (pages 22, 45).
Touch Response icon
Use the dial to select a touch sensitivity setting between 1 and 3. Higher values produce greater (easier) volume variation in response to keyboard dynamics i.e. greater sensitivity.
NOTE The initial default touch sensitivity setting is 2.
You can also access the Touch Sensitivity item by pressing the [FUNCTION] button and using the CATEGORY [ ] and [ ] buttons to locate the item (page 62).
Press and hold the [TOUCH] button for longer than a second so that the Touch Sensitivity item appears. TouchSns appears in the display for a few seconds, then the currently selected Touch Sensitivity will be displayed.
One Touch Setting
Sometimes selecting the ideal voice to play with a song or style can be confusing. The One Touch Setting feature automatically selects a well-balanced voice for you when you select a style or song. Simply select voice number 000 to activate this feature.
Select voice number 000 (steps on page 18).
If you have stopped playback at some point during this procedure press the [START/STOP] button to start playback again.
Use the dial to change songs, then play the keyboard and listen to the voice.
Use the dial to select voice number 000.
Select and play back any song (steps on page 30). Play the keyboard and remember the sound of the voice.
You should hear a different keyboard voice than you played in step 3. If you select a different song the keyboard voice will also change accordingly.
Adjusting the Voice Parameters
Reverb send level, pan, and a variety of other parameters can be individually adjusted for the main, dual, and split voices. Press the [FUNCTION] button and then use the CATEGORY [ ] and [ ] buttons to locate any of the following parameters. Once you have selected an appropriate parameter you can use the dial to adjust its value. Main Voice Parameters (page 63) M. Volume Main voice volume. M. Octave Main voice octave. M. Pan Main voice pan. M. Reverb Main voice reverb send level. M. Chorus Main voice chorus send level. Dual Voice Parameters (page 63) D. Volume Dual voice volume. D. Octave Dual voice octave. D. Pan Dual voice pan. D. Reverb Dual voice reverb send level. D. Chorus Dual voice chorus send level. Split Voice Parameters (page 63) S. Volume Split voice volume. S. Octave Split voice octave. S. Pan Split voice pan. S. Reverb Split voice reverb send level. S. Chorus Split voice chorus send level.
Adjusting the Harmony Volume
The harmony volume level can be adjusted for harmony types 01 (Duet) through 05 (octave).
Use the CATEGORY [ ] and [ ] buttons to select the Harmony Volume item.
This function adds sustain to the keyboard voices. Use it when you want to add sustain to the voices at all times, regardless of footswitch (optionally-available) operation. Press the [FUNCTION] button and then use the CATEGORY [ ] and [ ] buttons to locate the Sustain item. You can then use the [+] and [-] buttons to turn panel sustain on or off.
Play a Style With Chords but No Rhythm (Stop Accompaniment)
When auto accompaniment is on (the ACMP ON icon is showing) and Synchro Start is off, you can play chords in the left-hand accompaniment range of the keyboard while the style is stopped and still hear the accompaniment chords. This is Stop Accompaniment, and any of the chord ngerings recognized by the instrument can be used (page 53). The chord root and type will be shown on the display. You can also use the Harmony effects with Stop Accompaniment.
Adjusting the Style Volume
Use the CATEGORY [ ] and [ select the Style Volume item.
] buttons to
Use the dial or the   number buttons to set the style volume between 000 and 127 as required.
Playing Auto-accompaniment Chords
There are two ways of playing auto-accompaniment chords:
Easy Chords Standard Chords
The instrument will automatically recognize the different chord types. This function is called Multi Fingering.
Press the [ACMP ON/OFF] button to turn auto-accompaniment on (page 24). The keyboard to the left of the split point (default: 54/F#2) becomes the accompaniment range. Play the accompaniment chords in this area of the keyboard.
Split point (default: 54/F#2)
F# G# Bb
C D E F GA B C D E F
Accompaniment range Root notes and the corresponding keys
This method lets you easily play chords in the accompaniment range of the keyboard using only one, two, or three ngers.
This method lets you produce accompaniment by playing chords using normal ngerings in the accompaniment range of the keyboard.
How to play Standard Chords [Example for C chords]
To play a major chord Press the root note of the chord.
To play a minor chord Press the root note together with the nearest black key to the left of it.
To play a seventh chord Press the root note together with the nearest white key to the left of it.
To play a minor seventh chord Press the root note together with the nearest white and black keys to the left of it (three keys altogether).
* Notes enclosed in parentheses ( be recognized without them.
) are optional; the chords will
Recognized Standard Chords
All chords in the chart are C-root chords.
Chord Name/[Abbreviation] Major [M] Add ninth [(9)] Sixth  Sixth ninth [6(9)] Major seventh [M7] Major seventh ninth [M7(9)] Major seventh add sharp eleventh [M7(#11)] Flatted fth [(b5)] Major seventh atted fth [M7b5] Suspended fourth [sus4] Augmented [aug] Major seventh augmented [M7aug] Minor [m] Minor add ninth [m(9)] Minor sixth [m6] Minor seventh [m7] Minor seventh ninth [m7(9)] Minor seventh add eleventh [m7(11)] Minor major seventh [mM7] Minor major seventh ninth [mM7(9)] Minor seventh atted fth [m7b5] Minor major seventh atted fth [mM7b5] Diminished [dim] Diminished seventh [dim7] Seventh  Seventh atted ninth [7(b9)] Seventh add atted thirteenth [7(b13)] Seventh ninth [7(9)] Seventh add sharp eleventh [7(#11)] Seventh add thirteenth [7(13)] Seventh sharp ninth [7(#9)] Seventh atted fth [7b5] Seventh augmented [7aug] Seventh suspended fourth [7sus4] One plus two plus ve [1+2+5] Normal Voicing 1-3-5 1-2-3-- (3) - 5 - - 2 - 3 - (5) - - 3 - (5) - 7 or 1 - (3) - 5 - - 2 - 3 - (5) - - (2) - 3 - #4 - 5 - 7 or 1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - (5) - - 3 - b- 3 - b5 - 7 1-4-- 3 - #- (3) - #5 - - b3 - - 2 - b3 - - b3 - 5 - - b3 - (5) - b- 2 - b3 - (5) - b- (2) - b3 - 4 - 5 - (b7) 1 - b3 - (5) - - 2 - b3 - (5) - - b3 - b5 - b- b3 - b5 - - b3 - b- b3 - b5 - - 3 - (5) - b7 or 1 - (3) - 5 - b- b2 - 3 - (5) - b- 3 - 5 - b6 - b- 2 - 3 - (5) - b- (2) - 3 - #4 - 5 - b7 or 1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - (5) - b- 3 - (5) - 6 - b- #2 - 3 - (5) - b- 3 - b5 - b- 3 - #5 - b- 4 - (5) - b7 1-2-5 Chord (C)
Try playing a chord in the auto accompaniment section of the keyboard, checking the indications in the display. When youve played the chord properly, a bell sound signals your success and the chord name in the display ash.
Two or more notes played together constitute a chord. The most basic chord type is the triad consisting of three notes: the root, third, and fth degrees of the corresponding scale. A C major triad, for example, is made up of the notes C (the root), E (the third note of the C major scale), and G (the fth note of the C major scale).
In the C major triad shown above, the lowest note is the root of the chord (this is the chords root position using other chord notes for the lowest note results in inversions). The root is the central sound of the chord, which supports and anchors the other chord notes. The distance (interval) between adjacent notes of a triad in root position is either a major or minor third.
Major third four half steps (semitones) Minor third three half steps (semitones)
The lowest interval in our root-position triad (between the root and the third) determines whether the triad is a major or minor chord, and we can shift the highest note up or down by a semitone to produce two additional chords, as shown below.
Major chord Minor chord Augmented chord Diminished chord
The basic characteristics of the chord sound remain intact even if we change the order of the notes to create different inversions. Successive chords in a chord progression can be smoothly connected, for example, by choosing the appropriate inversions (or chord voicings). Reading Chord Names Chord names tell you just about everything you need to know about a chord (other than the inversion/voicing). The chord name tells you what the root of the chord is, whether it is a major, minor, or diminished chord, whether it requires a major or atted seventh, what alterations or tensions it uses all at a glance.
Root note Chord type Major 7 th
Some Chord Types (These are just some of the Standard chord types recognized by the DGX-205/203 and PSR-295/
Suspended 4 th 7 th Minor 7 th
Perfect 5 th
Perfect 4 th
Flatted 7 th
Major 7 th
Minor/major 7 th
7 th, atted 5 th
Minor 7 th, atted 5 th
7 th, suspended 4 th
Flatted 5 th
7 th chord
Minor 7 th chord
Suspended 4 th chord
Use the dial or the   number buttons to set the song volume between 000 and 127 as required.
NOTE Song volume can be adjusted while a song is selected.
Style Volume Song Volume Transpose Tuning Pitch Bend Range (DGX-205/203 only) Split Point
StyleVol SongVol Transpos Tuning
Determines the volume of the Style. Determines the volume of the Song. Determines the pitch of the instrument by semitone increments. Sets the pitch of the instruments sound in 1-cent increments. Sets the pitch bend range in semitone increments. Determines the highest key for the Split voice and sets the Split point in other words, the key that separates the Split (lower) and Main (upper) voices. The Split Point setting and Accompaniment Split Point setting are automatically set to the same value. When Touch Response is on, this determines the sensitivity of the feature. Determines the volume of the Main voice. Determines the octave range for the Main voice. Determines the pan position of the Main voice in the stereo image. The value 0 results in the sound being panned full left; the value 127 results in the sound being panned full right. Determines how much of the Main voices signal is sent to the Reverb effect. Determines how much of the Main voices signal is sent to the Chorus effect. Selects the Dual voice. Determines the volume of the Dual voice. Determines the octave range for the Dual voice. Determines the pan position of the Dual voice in the stereo image. The value 0 results in the sound being panned full left; the value 127 results in the sound being panned full right. Determines how much of the Dual voices signal is sent to the Reverb effect. Determines how much of the Dual voices signal is sent to the Chorus effect. Selects the Split voice. Determines the volume of the Split voice. Determines the octave range for the Split voice. Determines the pan position of the Split voice in the stereo image. The value 0 results in the sound being panned full left; the value 127 results in the sound being panned full right. Determines how much of the Split voices signal is sent to the Reverb effect. Determines how much of the Split voices signal is sent to the Chorus effect. Determines the Reverb type, including off (10). (See the list on page 86) Determines the Chorus type, including off (05). (See the list on page 86) Determines whether or not panel sustain is always applied to the MAIN/DUAL/SPLIT voices. Panel sustain is applied continuously when ON, or not applied when OFF. (page 50) Determines the Harmony type. (See the list on page 86) Determines the volume of the Harmony effect when Harmony type 1-5 is selected.
Local control determines whether or not notes played on the instrument are sounded by its internal tone generator system: the internal tone generator is active when local control is on, and inactive when local control is off.
This is the normal setting in which notes played on the instruments keyboard are sounded by the internal tone generator system. Data received via the instruments USB connector will also be played by the internal tone generator. With this setting the instrument itself produces no sound (keyboard performance, harmony, or style playback), but the performance data is transmitted via the USB connector. Data received via the instruments USB connector will also be played by the internal tone generator.
External Clock ON/OFF
These settings determine whether the instrument is synchronized to its own internal clock (OFF), or to a clock signal from an external device (ON).
The instruments time based functions will be synchronized to the clock from an external device connected to the USB connector. The instrument uses its own internal clock (default).
External clock control can turned on or off via the FUNCTION External Clock item (page 64).
NOTE If External Clock is ON and no clock signal is being received from an external device, the song, style, and metronome functions will not start.
Local control can turned on or off via the FUNCTION Local item (page 64).
NOTE If you cant get any sound out of the instrument, this may be the most likely cause. Playing the keyboard results in no sound when Local is set to OFF.
MIDI (PC Mode) Settings For Computer Connection
A number of MIDI settings need to be made when you connect the instrument to a computer. The PC Mode item can conveniently make multiple settings for you in one operation. Three settings are available: PC1, PC2, and OFF. Press the [PC] button to call up the PC Mode item, and select PC1 or PC2, as required. The setting you choose will set parameters such as Local ON/OFF, External Clock ON/OFF, and others for optimum operation with a sequencer application on your computer, for example. Refer to page 64 for details about the MIDI settings.
NOTE Set the PC mode to PC2 when using Digital Music Notebook* in the supplied CD-ROM. * Digital Music Notebook is a software application for handling songs and scores on your computer. Refer to the applications online help le for more information.
The Voice List includes MIDI program change numbers for each voice. Use these program change numbers when playing the instrument via MIDI from an external device. Program Numbers 001 to 128 directly relate to MIDI Program Change Numbers 000 to 127. That is, Program Numbers and Program Change Numbers differ by a value of 1. Remember to take this into consideration. Some voices may sound continuously or have a long decay after the notes have been released while the sustain pedal (footswitch) is held.
Panel Voice List
Voice No. Bank Select MIDI Program Voice Name MSB LSB Change# (0 - 127) (0 - 127) (1 - 128) PIANO 001 Grand Piano 002 Bright Piano 004 Honky-tonk Piano 003 MIDI Grand Piano 003 CP Harpsichord E.PIANO 005 Cool! Galaxy Electric Piano 005 Funky Electric Piano 006 DX Modern Electric Piano 006 Hyper Tines 006 Venus Electric Piano 008 Clavi ORGAN 019 Cool! Organ 017 Jazz Organ Jazz Organ Click Organ 017 Bright Organ 019 Rock Organ 019 Purple Organ 017 16'+2' Organ 017 16'+4' Organ 017 Theater Organ 020 Church Organ 020 Chapel Organ 021 Reed Organ ACCORDION 022 Traditional Accordion 022 Musette Accordion 024 Bandoneon 023 Harmonica GUITAR 025 Classical Guitar 026 Folk Guitar 026 12Strings Guitar 027 Jazz Guitar 027 Octave Guitar 028 Clean Guitar 028 60s Clean Guitar 029 Muted Guitar 030 Overdriven Guitar 031 Distortion Guitar BASS 033 Acoustic Bass 034 Finger Bass 035 Pick Bass 036 Fretless Bass 037 Slap Bass 039 Synth Bass 039 Hi-Q Bass 040 Dance Bass Voice No. Bank Select MIDI Program Voice Name MSB LSB Change# (0 - 127) (0 - 127) (1 - 128) STRINGS 049 String Ensemble 050 Chamber Strings 051 Synth Strings 050 Slow Strings 045 Tremolo Strings 046 Pizzicato Strings 041 Violin 043 Cello 044 Contrabass 106 Banjo 047 Harp 056 Orchestra Hit CHOIR 053 Choir 053 Vocal Ensemble 054 Vox Humana 055 Air Choir SAXOPHONE 067 Sweet! Tenor Sax 065 Sweet! Soprano Sax 067 Tenor Sax 066 Alto Sax 065 Soprano Sax 068 Baritone Sax 067 Breathy Tenor Sax 069 Oboe 072 Clarinet 070 English Horn 071 Bassoon TRUMPET 057 Sweet! Trumpet 057 Trumpet 060 Muted Trumpet 058 Trombone 058 Trombone Section 061 French Horn 059 Tuba BRASS 062 Brass Section 062 Big Band Brass 062 Mellow Horns 063 Synth Brass 063 80s Brass 063 Techno Brass FLUTE 074 Sweet! Flute 076 Sweet! Pan Flute 074 Flute 073 Piccolo 076 Pan Flute 075 Recorder 080 Ocarina
Tremolo 1/12 note Tremolo 1/16 note
Tremolo 1/24 note Tremolo 1/32 note Echo 1/4 note
Echo 1/6 note Echo 1/8 note
Echo 1/12 note Echo 1/16 note
Echo 1/24 note Echo 1/32 note
No. 10 Hall Room Stage Plate Off Reverb Type Concert hall reverb. Small room reverb. Reverb for solo instruments. Simulated steel plate reverb. No effect. Description
No. 05 Chorus Flanger Off Chorus Type Description Conventional chorus program with rich, warm chorusing. Pronounced three-phase modulation with a slight metallic sound. No effect.
MIDI Implementation Chart
YAMAHA [ Portable Grand/PORTATONE ] Date:27-Jan-2004 Model DGX-205/203,PSR-295/293 MIDI Implementation Chart Version : 1.0 Transmitted Function. Basic Channel Mode Note Number Velocity After Touch Pitch Bend 0,74 91,93 96,97 100,101 : True # Default Changed Default Messages Altered 1 - 16 x 3 x ************** 1 - 16 x 3 x x 0 - - 127 o 9nH,v=1-127 x x x *2 *1 *2 *2 *1 *1 *1 *1 *1 *2 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o 0 - 127 Bank Select Modulation wheel Data Entry(MSB) Data Entry(LSB) Part Volume Pan Expression Sustain Portamento Cntrl Harmonic Content Release Time Attack Time Brightness Effect Depth RPN Inc,Dec RPN LSB,MSB Recognized Remarks
0 - 127 : True voice ************** Note ON Note OFF Keys Chs o 9nH,v=1-127 x x x o o x o o o o x o x x o x x o x o
o 0 - 127 ************** o x x x o o x x x x o x *3
System Exclusive : Song Pos. : Song Sel. : Tune
o x x x o o
System : Clock Real Time: Commands Aux :All Sound OFF :Reset All Cntrls :Local ON/OFF :All Notes OFF Mes- :Active Sense sages:Reset
o(120,126,127) o(121) o(122) o(123-125) o x
*1 Refer to #2 on page 88. *2 DGX-205/203 only. Refer to #2 on page 88 as for PSR-295/293. *3 Refer to #3 on page 88. Mode 1 : OMNI ON , POLY Mode 2 : OMNI ON ,MONO o : Yes Mode 3 : OMNI OFF, POLY Mode 4 : OMNI OFF,MONO x : No
MIDI Data Format
NOTE: 1 By default (factory settings) the instrument ordinarily functions as a 16-channel multi-timbral tone generator, and incoming data does not affect the panel voices or panel settings. However, the MIDI messages listed below do affect the panel voices, auto accompaniment, and songs. MIDI Master Tuning System exclusive messages for changing the Reverb Type and Chorus Type. 2 Messages for these control change numbers cannot be transmitted from the instrument itself. However, they may be transmitted when playing the accompaniment, song or using the Harmony effect. 3 Exclusive <GM System ON> F0H, 7EH, 7FH, 09H, 01H, F7H This message automatically restores all default settings for the instrument, with the exception of MIDI Master Tuning. <MIDI Master Volume> F0H, 7FH, 7FH, 04H, 01H, ll, mm, F7H This message allows the volume of all channels to be changed simultaneously (Universal System Exclusive). The values of mm is used for MIDI Master Volume. (Values for ll are ignored.) <MIDI Master Tuning> F0H, 43H, 1nH, 27H, 30H, 00H, 00H, mm, ll, cc, F7H This message simultaneously changes the tuning value of all channels. The values of mm and ll are used for MIDI Master Tuning. The default value of mm and ll are 08H and 00H, respectively. Any values can be used for n and cc. <Reverb Type> F0H, 43H, 1nH, 4CH, 02H, 01H, 00H, mmH, llH, F7H mm : Reverb Type MSB ll : Reverb Type LSB Refer to the Effect Map (page 88) for details. <Chorus Type> F0H, 43H, 1nH, 4CH, 02H, 01H, 20H, mmH, llH, F7H mm : Chorus Type MSB ll : Chorus Type LSB Refer to the Effect Map (page 88) for details. 4 When the accompaniment is started, an FAH message is transmitted. When accompaniment is stopped, an FCH message is transmitted.When the clock is set to External, both FAH (accompaniment start) and FCH (accompaniment stop) are recognized. 5 Local ON/OFF <Local ON> Bn, 7A, 7F <Local OFF> Bn, 7A, 00 Value for n is ignored.
The essential guide to making keyboard music May 2005 3.20
E UE 8 SU 8 SS 28 IIS 28 No No
YAMAHA PSR-295 SONIK SYNTH 2
CLASSIC JAPANESE SYNTHESIZERS
The highs and lows of IQs prog-rock
WIN THIS YAMAHA PSR-295
PLUS IQ and Martin Orford CDs to be won!
The distinctive rhythms of The Night Tripper SOUNDS EXPO 2005
News from the music technology show
EXCLUSIVE ARRANGEMENTS AND EXPERT ADVICE IN A HANDY PULL-OUT SECTION
Contents May 2005
KEYBOARD PLAYER May 2005 ISSUE 288
Publisher/Editor Steve Miller Publisher/Advertising Paul Cohen Feature Writers David Ash, John Bates, Dave Carey, Cliff Douse, Joan Dovener, Andrew Gilbert, Roger Hempsall, Mark Jenkins, Barry Lenton, Douglas McPherson, M a r k Pre n d e rg a s t , A l i s t a i r Robinson, Steven Rosen, Ian Waugh Advertising/General Enquiries 48 Mereway Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW2 6RG Tel: 3695 E-mail: email@example.com Editorial Office 100 Birkbeck Road, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 0ED Tel: 5840 E-Mail: Stevemillerkp@blueyonder.co.uk Subscriptions UK 32.40 (inc P&P) see page 27 for subscription offer. Europe 45.00. Rest of the world 45 (surface mail) 55 (airmail). All cheques/POs to be made payable to Keyboard Player in pounds sterling only. Back Issues UK 4, Europe 5, rest of the world 6. For details of issue availability ring 3695 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Newsagent Distribution Lakeside Publishing Services, Rich Industrial Estate, Devon Street, London, SE15 1JR. Tel: 8589 Printed in the UK by Williams Press (Berks) Ltd,
Copyright Keyboard Player 2005 No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the prior written permission of the publishers. The publishers do not necessarily agree with views expressed by contributors, nor do they accept any responsibility for errors of interpretation in the subject matter in this magazine or any results arising there from.
KEY EXHIBITION IN-DEPTH REVIEW
Kawai MP4 stage priced at 1,099
New hardware and software at this years Sounds Expo show
IQ keyboardist Martin Orford talks about the current prog-rock scene
THE MIDDLE SECTION
Exclusive arrangements and expert tuition in a handy pull-out section
MASTERCLASS 17 BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT 21 SOUNDS ORIGINAL 29 TEST PIECE 31 DRUM BREAK 32
BACK ISSUES SUBSCRIPTIONS
An up-to-date list of the instruments reviewed in recent years
Get a couple of back issues free and save 6 with our new sub offer
IN-DEPTH REVIEW 37
Yamaha PSR-295 keyboard, priced at 199
CROSSWORD CLASSIC KEYBOARDS
Win a Yamaha PSR-195 plus copies of IQ and Martin Orford CDs
A look at the some of the many early Japanese synthesizers
COMPUTER MUSIC 46
by ones with nine or more, which is a measure of B4's success). There's also a replacement keyboard for your PC, colour-coded and marked with keyboard shortcuts for Cubase and Nuendo. So, there's plenty to look forward to here in KP. Software review products on the way to us will
include Band-in-a-Box 2005, Kontakt 2, Saxlab, Black Grand, Ivory, Scarbee Vintage Collection, Artu ri a Bra ss a n d Mi ro sl a v Philharmonik. As for hardware, there's the Hammond XK3, the CME controller keyboards, the roll-up keyboards from BCK and of course both Korg and Yamaha products.
Visitors to Yamahas stand get treated to the full demonstration of the Motif ES7 synthesizer and (below) CMEs impressive range of controller keyboards
Kawai reckons that the MP4, priced at 1,099 will fit into your car, into your budget and fill the stage with quality sounds. John Bates cant help but agree
VER THE last five years, Kawai has made two small but significant inroads into the rarefied niche market of digital pianos designed primarily for use on stage. These were the MP9000 and its successor, the MP9500. Both instruments were highly praised by the press, including Keyboard Player. Neither of these instruments was cheap (quality never is) and since they were designed with the professional player in mind, it was probably assumed that a professional road crew would be in attendance. Both instruments were substantial and, once flight-cased, were not the sort of keyboard that could be tossed easily into the average hatchback at the end of the night. A stage piano that delivered the sounds but could be carried easily by one person was certainly a gap in the Kawai product range and,
moreover, one that had been plugged many times by other manufacturers. Not any longer. The MP4 is Kawai's solution to a player's desire for a slim piano for serious use on stage. Like its predecessors, the MP4 is in reality two keyboards inside one body. The first keyboard is the player of on-board sounds within the instrument. The second keyboard is a hands-on sound editor of its own sounds but also a very shrewd 'mother keyboard' and one that can control external synths in great detail and with great compatibility. However, it is the internal sounds that will be the first point of contact and thus most likely define its profile to the listener. The MP4 manages to combine a sleek metal body with a slim profile. Finished in brushed steel, it is substantial in terms of feeling solid under the fingers on an 'x' stand but is also light enough to be
carried in a gig bag over the shoulder. All the controls are set into the angled part of the panel. Editing controls and controllers are to the left of the central display whilst internal sound banks are to the right. The keyboard is a full 88-note velocity-sensing with piano weighting. It will also transmit aftertouch to external synths. The action is good, using the latest evolution of hammer action simulation with a very slightly stiffer action, giving a fraction more resistance than before. Whilst sacrificing the complete wooden keys of the larger models, it holds its own as highly responsive key action. Kawai manufactures its own keyboard actions, unlike some digital keyboard manufacturers who utilise (but omit to acknowledge) bespoke keyboard actions made by companies such as Fatar. The pitchbend and modulation wheels have been relocated to the
upper panel. Oddly enough, I expected this to be a problem as the usual position is immediately to the left of the lowest key. However, in practice this proved not to be the case and I found my left hand easily moving over them without having to 're-program' my natural reactions. The MP4 comes with a sustain pedal which may well be all that a stage performer would need and there are additional pedals available to control expression and various other peripherals. The internal sounds are arranged in eight banks controlled by 16 buttons set in horizontally parallel rows of eight. The top row calls up the 'family'; the bottom row determines the tone variation of the upper bank selected. The instrument defaults to this 'sound' mode on powering up. The opening sound is a full concert grand piano. This is a superb classical piano, sampled from the doyen of Kawai's acoustic division, the EX concert piano. Both this sound and its variation, which is almost identical, are super all-round piano sounds, the sort that you would use where a full solo piano accompaniment is required and they both have an acoustic setting for a decent-sized room. The Studio Grand piano is a tighter-sounding instrument that removes the room acoustics. Its variation emphasis the middle range of the piano and is probably suited to backing accompaniment without cutting through an ensemble texture in the upper ranges. Mellow Grand is a lush ballad style sound whilst the Rock Piano is the hard-edged sound it should be although it sacrifices some of the depth in the lower regions in order that the typical left-hand work of this genre will cut through. Second in practical usage to acoustic instruments will be its range of electric pianos. Nowadays, a player needs a wide selection of these since the sometime outdated early Hohner, Fender and Wurlitzer sounds are used just as much as the 'drippy' chorused 'DX' electric sound. The electric piano sounds on the MP4 fulfil these requirements with a goodly selection of a dozen or so sounds, covering the aforementioned brands faithfully and offering subtle variations around the basic timbres. The only slightly weak sound I felt was the Electric Grand, a sound title that is
The acoustic pianos are stunning
always understood to be a simulation of the Yamaha CP80. This version was just a bit skinny in tone and a bit too brittle. My one little gripe here is that the sound programmers have, more often than not, dialled in a tremolo effect onto the preset electric piano sounds. For the life of me I cannot figure out why. This effect, although certainly present on electroacoustic pianos, is not really used that often and I feel it just gets in the way of otherwise decent sounds. Thanks to the programmability of the MP4 it is easy to remove this effect, but nevertheless it might put off some buyers initially. The Clavinet is faithful to the Hohner D6 and feels good under the fingers and we also have a synth variation. Percussive instruments like vibes and marimba are well served and the Harpsichord has a lovely clean, bright tone There are two full banks of organs. Concentrating on the drawbar sounds, these offer a very reasonable set of sounds that will suffice quite well for chord backing with even the odd solo sound being quite useful. Rotary speaker effect fast/slow is controlled on these with the foot pedal. I wasn't bowled over by any of these in particular but if this sound area is going to feature heavily in your set then you probably would have another instrument in mind dedicated to just that sound, given that this action is not the same as an organ. The four string sections are also quite acceptable, providing the sorts of sounds that will fit well into any backing track but pulling short of
detailed specific tones such as pizzicato and hard bowing. The same is true of the brass sounds; good general tones but no single instrument solo parts. Completing the range of on-board sounds are a good range of pad sounds and a selection of bass sounds. To sum up the built-in sounds: the acoustic pianos are stunning, the electric pianos excellent (when tremolo is taken out) and the other sounds are highly competent that will fill out any texture very well. As one would expect, any of these sounds can be split across the keyboard with a completely variable split point and also the sounds can be layered. Balancing the volumes between the sounds brings us to the 'zone' controls. These are four vertical sliders that initially balance two on-board sounds. However, they have many more functions than this. This is made clear on closer examination. For a start, there are four controls. Although the left hand Zone slider is allotted to a single internal sound, it is apparent that there is much more to these. The 'other side' of the MP4 is its almost complete mastery of MIDI in a live situation. The sliders can either control the internal sounds or external MIDI instruments and all four can be set in any combination of internal and external. The degree of control is simply staggering. Quite apart from dividing up the keyboard into four key zones, which can overlap if necessary, they control the varying volume between the zones, and can be used to set up and control almost any peripheral of an internal or external sound. Returning to the buttons that called up the internal sounds, these also work in a Set-up mode. A Setup is literally what it says. A complete registration but one that includes all the MIDI settings for external synths as well as any internal sound edits you have made. For example, if you used a rackmounted synth and similar sampler as part of your stage set-up, then the MP4 Set-up will recall the channels you use to access the external sounds, the program number to call up the sounds, any fine tuning to a wide number of MIDI controlled peripherals, and any keyboard areas you have designated to those sounds. This includes detailed parameters, such as a choice of monophonic note priority modes when working with, say, an external Mini-Moog lead sound.
Martin Orford talks to Mark Jenkins about his twenty years as founder member and keyboardist with progressive rock band IQ
What's happening is that a lot of people who used to support us have gone off, had kids, reached respectable middle age and started to look back to the bands they used to enjoy, found we're still there, and are now bringing their kids along to the shows. How do we tell? Whenever we sell Medium teeshirts at shows there are teenagers about, while the XXLs still go to the dads! Merchandising remains an important element of the band's work and Martin now runs their own Giant Electric Pea label which supplies tee-shirts and other items, as well as their whole back catalogue of albums, and CDs from like-minded bands and artists such as Jadis and Renaissance from the UK, Spock's Beard from the USA
At the moment the bands more popular in the UK than it has ever been
So for the benefit of bands now starting up, what sort of quantities are we talking about? "On the new album Dark Matter we made about 18,000 copies plus about 1,500 review copies. We send 800 or 900 to Germany alone to go into record store listening posts, which is another form of cheap or free advertising. Eventually we'll sell about 25,000 to 27,000 copies of an album, but we make perhaps 20,000 copies of the paper parts right from the outset so they're always ready, and you get a good quantity discount. The latest move into DVD has seen perhaps 5,000 sales each of the band's Subterranea show and the new IQ2 anniversary DVD. Shows are shot on MiniDV camcorders and edited on Macintosh computers by the band's website designer Dean and their guitarist Mike. "We've tried to lead the way in live shows with a three screen display and digital images, explains Martin. Dean and Andy in the projection team are looking for new images all the time and they like to make every show different. We believe now there's nothing a major label can do that we can't do ourselves. The latest IQ album Dark Matter certainly reflects its title by being philosophically gloomy as regards its lyrics, but Martin's recently released solo title Classical Music and Popular Songs rings the changes a little more. "My solo album has been on the back burner for years, he reveals. When you're in bands you always come up with material which just doesn't fit in, or you like it and the other band members don't. On my album the tracks have some more classical elements, and some of the material is more upbeat and optimistic than IQ which is quite a dark and 'doomy' band, so there was nowhere for that material to go. Pete from IQ sang on some tracks as well as John Wetton, and it sold around 7,000 copies so it more than paid for itself. It's a good album for driving down to the beach, which you can't really do with IQ. Now I have two or three more songs and some unfinished sections towards another album. IQ as a band have shows lined up in Montreal and Philadelphia for 2005, played a sell-out show in London recently, and for some years now have performed around
Roger Hempsall and Alastair Robinson put New Orleans legend Dr John under the spotlight
HIS MONTH we focus on the eclectic and enigmatic Dr. John, the New Orleans legend who straddles blues, boogie, jazz and rock. Born Malcolm John Rebennack in 1941, he grew up in a musical environment. His father owned a record shop, while a family friend, Cosimo Matassa, ran a recording studio. Rebennack started playing piano at the age of three and his father nurtured his interest, buying him a guitar. The young musician would spend hours practising both instruments. Matassa, meanwhile, would allow him to watch recording sessions. Rebennack formed his first band, The Dominoes, at high school and after graduation worked in
Matassa's studio. He went on to be a session guitarist in New Orleans and had some success as a songwriter. By 1960 he was in Los Angeles backing, among others, The O'Jays and Sam Cooke. He was forced to concentrate on keyboard playing following an incident in a Florida club when, stepping in to help a band singer who was being threatened with a gun, he had a finger shot off. The finger was sewn back on, but it restricted his guitar playing. After switching to bass and drums for a while, he secured a gig playing Hammond B organ. By the mid-1960s he had acquired the name Dr. John and the theatrical, voodoo trappings that helped bring him to fame. On stage
he dressed up in grand, feathered costumes, and began introducing Mardi Gras mumbo-jumbo into his songs. He recorded his first album, Gris-Gris, in 1968. It was a mix of New Orleans R&B with voodoo sounds, and included Walk On Gilded Splinters, which has been recorded by Marsha Hunt, Johnny Jenkins, Humble Pie and Paul Weller. By the time of Dr. John's Gumbo in 1972, he had begun to tone down the exotic approach and concentrate more on his New Orleans roots. In The Right Place, in 1973, reached the top 25 of the album charts and spawned the hit single Right Place Wrong Time. In 1978 he made a mesmerising appearance in The Last Waltz, the
film of The Band's farewell concert. By 1981 he had moved away sufficiently from the old Dr. John image to record Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack, a solo piano album. The 1980s saw him playing with a host of great musicians from outside the rock fraternity, among them saxophone player Tom Scott, blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon, British trombonist and band leader Chris Barber, the drummer Art Blakey, and saxophonist David 'Fathead' Newman. In the 1990s he played with an even more diverse range of musicians, among them Spiritualized, John Scofield, Ocean Colour Scene and Supergrass. In 2000 he turned his attention to Duke Ellington on the wonderful Duke Elegant album.
beats 2 and 3 with nothing on 4. On top of this is a snare, high tom, mid tom, low tom descending drum solo that is neatly held together with straight eighths on the cymbal bell. This is a great rhythm, but you could also use it for solo bars, intros etc. Pattern Four is a solid blues in triplets and is from Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me. It features snare drum on 2 and 4 with a shuffle bass drum that then plays the last two triplet beats of beat 4. This is held together with solid and constant triplets on closed hi-hat. This rhythm sounds great with any 'meaty' blues song. Pattern Five is actually two patterns. It's two bars of 3/4 and we've put them side by side to save space in both the music and the grid. We've taken it from Go Tell The People and features a bass drum beat and cymbal on every quarter in the first bar, which leads to the pivotal rim click on the first beat of the second bar. The cymbal also plays three quarter notes in this bar. In addition there is a broken triplet figure over it on tambourine. Pattern Six is another bluesy triplet pattern but this is more jazzy. The bass drum is sparse, but there is a triplet on the snare leading into the accent on 2, and again leading into the accent on 4. Again it has triplets on the closed hi-hat. This one is taken from Sing A Long Song. Pattern Seven comes from In My Solitude, and is a very delicate slow bluesy feel with a sparse bass drum against hi-hat triplets and a very quiet rimclick on 2 and 4.
Obviously, the 3/4 bars will have to stand alone and really, because the bluesy ones are so similar, they should stand alone, but the first three can certainly be played around with. You can, for instance, add the bass drum from the first two beats of Pattern Three to Pattern Two. This makes it sound like a more regular jazz fusion figure. The entire tom-tom motif from Pattern Three sounds totally different and adds a new dimension when played along with Pattern One. The high bongo figure from Pattern Two adds even more intensity to the solo feel of Pattern Three, and the high bongo figure from Pattern One sounds equally at home with Pattern Two. As always, there are many possibilities. Feel free to make your own experiments.
Andrew Gilbert discovers why this starter keyboard, priced at 199, has proved to be such a popular choice
ERE AT Keyboard Player, we regularly receive letters asking if we're going to review a specific instrument. (Some readers have been kind enough to say that they wouldn't dream of buying an instrument until they've read its review in KP.) If we haven't yet earmarked the instrument for a review, then we'll always do our level best to oblige by adding it to our list. Occasionally, though, we're asked why we haven't reviewed a specific instrument, which is not quite the same thing! There's normally a good reason for this, the most common being the close similarity of several models within a product range. We tend to choose a couple of them for a full review and include details of the other models within those articles. However, once in a while a letter or email will get us wondering why we've overlooked a particular product for review! Rest assured that we then do something about it, as is the case with the instrument in question here, Yamaha's PSR295. It's been around a little while now and has proved popular with firsttime buyers. Indeed, out of five new students of my own this year, three bought PSR295s. So, let's see what
makes it tick. Silver is definitely the 'in' colour at the moment, so it's no surprise that Yamaha has chosen this finish for the PSR295. As well as the colour, it shares the same slightly angular styling as the PSR-K1 and the larger PSR1500 and 3000 instruments. There's a good-sized LCD display at the centre of the fascia, with function and rhythm control buttons to the left-hand side and the main selector buttons, data wheel and keypad to the right. The control buttons are almost translucent and indeed some of them illuminate red when pressed. Although the PSR295 is primarily a keypad-entry type of keyboard, once you've chosen an option, such as a Style, Voice, Song or a data parameter, you have the choice of using the cursor buttons or the data wheel as well as the keypad to make your selection or set a value. Immediately above the keys but below aforementioned button groups you'll find, from left to right, the controls for the Styles, Registration Memories and Song Memories. Like all Yamaha keyboards, it's a neat and easy to navigate layout. The PSR295 has 487 voices to play with, encompassing 106
'native' sounds, ten drumkits, two SFX kits and the vast majority of the XG-Lite soundset. I'm pleased to say that included in the native sounds are quite a few voices in the 'Sweet' and 'Cool' varieties. These sounds are sometimes referred to as 'hyper accurate' and represent the best of what the keyboard has to offer. That's not to say that the 'regular' voices aren't good, for they most certainly are. Here are a few personal favourites. The prime Grand Piano is a super sound for a budget keyboard and it's good to see that Yamaha has retained the 'instant piano' button that returns the instrument to just a pure, touch-responsive piano sound, with no unwanted distractions. Cool Galaxy and Funky EP are the best of the electric pianos, both Rhodes-type voicings, and among the organs is a lovely chorus vibrato Hammond-ish voice called 'Cool! Org'. The accordions include a soft Bandoneon and a lively French Musette. Jazz Guitar is super smooth with just a touch of chorus added and if you're after that Hank Marvin and the Shadows sound you'll find two, in the shape of the 60's Guitar and Mute Guitar. The Strings are nice and smooth, with a nice
alternative in Chamber String. Solo Violin hits the mark well, but there's just a bit too much attack in the Cello for my liking. The Choir sings AAAH, but there's an even better sound in Stereo Vocal Ensemble and the oddly named (at least, for a keyboard) Vox Humana sings OOOH. In the sax and brass sections you'll find some of the sweet voices and all credit to Yamaha for retaining the wonderful Sweet Soprano Sax, as well as Sweet Tenor and Sweet Trumpet. The Brass Section is another really useful sound, blending well with the trumpets and trombones, and in the woodwinds you'll discover the Sweet Flute and Sweet Pan Flute. There follows a very handy collection of synth leads and pads. As well as basic square and sawtooth leads, Yamaha has included crackers such as the almost oriental sounding Bright, and their usual smooth Xenon Pad. It's very quick and simple to layer voices with the Dual Voice button and, when using a Dual Voice, the Voice control button to the right of the display then acts as a switch between the Main and Dual voices. By pressing the Function button a few times you'll arrive at a screen where you can balance and pan the Main and Dual voices, as well as adding reverb and chorus effects as required. One thing to bear in mind if you're going to layer sounds is that the polyphony on the PSR295 is just 32 notes, so if you're playing along with a style you'll have to be careful just how many righthand notes you're playing at any one time. The PSR295 features 135 styles that cover a wide range. It's perhaps a little weighted in favour of more modern stylings, and there's certainly plenty of scope in the way of rock, trance, hip-hop and garage, for example. However, other areas haven't been neglected and there's a fair old assortment of straighter styles in the big band, jazz, swing and country genres, as well as some good old 60s and 70s stylings, particularly Disco! If you want more traditional ballroom styles you'll be pleased to find all the main bases have been covered, with foxtrots, quicksteps, jives, waltzes and Latin American rhythms. To round things off come the inevitable 'Euro' and 'World' styles. Among my favourites in the styles have to be 60s Guitar Pop (switch to variation B and add this to
1981, was a four-voice, four-octave synth with piano, brass, clavinet, wood and 'funny' presets, a string section with four footages, white noise, LFO delay, and a 'senser bar' (sic) under the keyboard for filter wow and other effects. Around the same time, Firstman showed the PS-86, a fiveoctave, velocity and aftertouch sensitive eight-voice synth with chorus and simulated rotary speaker settings. This had some quite advanced features: as many as three LFOs per voice, high pass filters, envelope repeat, white noise, glide, chord memory, and the same 'senser bar'. Even more advanced was the FS-10C, a 32-memory programmable monophonic synth with oscillator sync and a touch control panel, very much in design and specification like the Moog Source. With a three octave keyboard separate from its main cabinet featuring a Moog-like pitch bend ribbon, it was programmed using magnetic strips, like the Yamaha CS-70M. Firstman's SQ01 resembled a cross between an EDP Wasp and a Roland Bassline: a 1024 note digital sequencer in a small grey box including a simple monophonic synth and a short touch keyboard.
The larger SQ10 was a three-octave keyboard equipped with a fourchannel 480-note digital sequencer, and various other products appeared including bass pedals and a two-VCO drum synthesizer, the battery-powered, flying saucershaped Synpuls SD-1.
No history of keyboard synthesizers would be complete without a mention of Casio. The company's experience in manufacturing calculators and digital watches led them in the 1980s to launch the VL-1, a pocketsized monophonic microsynthesizer, rhythm machine (and calculator!) using digital waveforms. This was followed by a series of affordable digital polyphonic keyboards which attracted many players on a tight budget. Casio's programmable synthesizers were launched a c o u p l e o f y e a r s l a t e r. T h e company's Phase Distortion (PD) synthesis method first appeared on the CZ101, a mini-key, eight-DCO, four-part multitimbral synth with a battery power option; the CZ1000 model with full-sized keys quickly followed, then larger instruments with built-in sequencers such as the CZ 3000.
PD synthesis used digital waveforms and had no filters, but could crossfade one waveform to another during the course of a note; so choosing a bright, resonant tone which crossfaded to a smooth, dull one would create a distinct impression of an analogue filter closing down. With detuning, strong unison and portamento modes, ring modulation and white noise effects, the Casio synths still have plenty to offer the experimental synthesist. Casio's next move, though, was into digital sound sampling with the FZ-1; there was a final synthesizer, the VZ-1, which used Interactive Phase Distortion (basically several PD circuits which could feed into one another). But despite licensing several of the later synths and samplers to Hohner for distribution under its name, Casio pulled out of the professional instrument market to concentrate on its popular domestic keyboards and digital pianos and shows no sign of returning.
Hi-fi manufacturers Akai also flirted with analogue synthesizers from around 1984. The AX80 was a five-octave, eight-voice, 16-DCObased velocity sensitive synth, featuring luminescent bar graphs showing the levels of all the sound parameters. This was quickly superseded by the more modest AX-60, which had just six voices but could produce layers and splits as well as having an arpeggiator. However, this was only marketed in Japan and the USA; Akai was developing its instrument range so fast that some models became outmoded before they were even promoted. The main reason for this was that Akai had discovered sound sampling, courtesy of the rack mounting S612 model, and the synthesizer products had to be brought into line with the sampler designs and to offer audio input facilities to process the sounds. The AX73, launched in 1986, was the first to adopt Akai's distinctive white styling and offered a six-octave keyboard which made it attractive as a master controller, plus a multi-pin audio input through its filters for each individual voice of Akai's samplers. The keyboard was velocity sensitive and the sampler sounds could be assigned to any keyboard zone, but the synth itself couldn't be split; the control panel was very much simplified, and the
single oscillator sounds were rather thin though helped a little by a builtin chorus. There was also a module version, the VX90. Before Akai moved over entirely to sampler production, the company showed one more oddity, the VX600. This has a short threeoctave keyboard and was really designed to work with the EWI and EVI wind controllers, the latter derived from Nyle Steiner's Electronic Valve Instrument. The VX600 played six multi-timbral voices using 12 oscillators to create chords from the single note input of the wind controller; but as well as parameters specific to the wind controllers, each voice had three envelopes, two LFOs, and 16 modulation sources patchable to 18 modulation destinations, making the VX600 almost as powerful as 'matrix modulation' synths such as Oberheim Xpander and Matrix 6. Though Akai didn't produce any further synthesizers, many of its later samplers offered complex envelopes, effects and resonant filters, and with MESA (Macintosh editing) software could be as flexible as many synthesizers.
often so cheap that the fact that servicing is barely available can be excused. Most of the ensemble and electronic piano products are pointless now, but anything else from Teisco and the much rarer Firstman, Multivox, Hillwood or Pulser should be leapt upon. The Kawai poly synths (whether analogue, samploid or digital) can all be great value too. Casio's PD synths are not very popular now (again leading to extreme budget prices if that's your priority) while Akai's designs tend to be rather large and limited in scope (apart from the very rare and desirable VX600) and anything to do with sampling is now rather being superseded by the use of computers. Next time, though, we're off to even more exotic locations including East Germany, Russia, China and even Mongolia! The sound sampling CD linked to this series is now sold out, but an even more powerful sampling DVD-ROM product will be available shortly. Further details from my website www.markjenkins.net.
final mixing and exporting your work as a finished audio product, ready to be burnt onto CD. Devices such as ReDrum, Malstrom and NN19 are all then covered in much the same way. To be honest, Reason is so much like the real instruments upon which it's based that you could almost use this book as a manual for a real subtractive synth, graintable synth, drum machine or whatever. The chapter on effects starts with an overview of what they are and how they are inserted into Reason, then goes into a detailed explanation of all of the effects that are supplied with the program. Chaining effects one after the other is also discussed, as well as more advanced effects use, like parallel effects processing, creating your own stereo reverbs and creating 'stereo wide' effects. It's all good stuff, and there are a couple of tricks I hadn't come across that will easily export into other, non-Reason, work. Next comes a chapter on the BV512 Vocoder. I wondered why this one didn't get grouped with all the other synths but a vocoder is half synth, half effect, so maybe that's the reason (excuse the pun). After this, we're told about Spiders, the Reason variety, of course! These virtual devices are basically splitters (Spider CVs) that can route a control signal from, say, the sequencer to several different devices simultaneously, or they can be basic mini audio mixers (Spider Audio's) that can combine or split up to four audio signals.
Obviously, you're going to have to know how to operate Reason's built-in sequencer, and this has its own 42-page chapter. Again, it starts basic and then gets more advanced as it goes along, so it's true to say that you can, if you wish, just read as much of the chapter as you want or need to. It's really pitched at people who haven't used a sequencer before so, if you already have experience of them or are a total beginner, you'll be well away in no time either way. The final chapters deal with a more detailed look at automation of various features and on integrating Reason with other software. In p a r t i c u l a r, t h e r e ' s a g o o d explanation of using Rewire (described very neatly in the book as a set of virtual MIDI and audio cables linking different programs) with such apps as Cubase, Logic and Sonar. By the time I'd had a real good read of much, but alas not all (not enough time, as always) of this excellent book, I'd gained a pretty fair understanding of a product that I'd previously only rarely encountered and never used 'in anger'. This didn't really surprise me, as I pretty much knew what to expect from reading other books in this series. The difference is that, with the other books, I already knew the product and this time I didn't. I'm impressed and can thoroughly recommend the book to anyone who's got Reason or is thinking about it In last month's article, I said I'd be looking at the Arturia 2600V
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