Question about using a usb keyboard with key vs a usb interface?

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Member Since: May 01, 2010

I just recently got a Yamaha YPG-635. I didn't buy an interface because the guy said you can simply use a usb storage key to transfer your song files to and from your computer.

I just today finally found said usb key that the keyboard supports and configured it, etc etc. After transfering over one of my compositions and played it back on my computer, the sound is terrible. I tested it on other computers, tvs, etc to make sure it wasn't my own computer.

The playback on my yamaha is clear and rich. But when i transfer the files from the usb storage key to computer it sounds fake and raspy.

If I bought an interface would this resolve my problem? I just simply want it to sound the same as it does as I'm playing it on my keyboard when i transfer over to put on a cd, etc.

Help please!
Thanks so much,

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Since: Sep 30, 2008

May 02, 2010 04:12 am

Deleted By NBrunk

Since: Sep 30, 2008

May 02, 2010 04:16 am

I don't know a lot about Yamaha keyboards, but if it's rendering a .wav file to the USB key so you can simply transfer that to the computer, that makes me wonder if increasing the bit rate/depth would solve your problem.

An example would be 44.1khz/16bit to 96khz/24bit. While huge increases from already high resolutions don't always bring huge improvements, if it's too low then the sound can be compromised.

If the keyboard's synth patches (or whatever sounds it makes) are internal (ie. you're not doing MIDI processing w/ the computer) and you're not recording the keyboard externally (with a mic), I wouldn't imagine that an interface would improve your sound quality.

This just comes from someone who rocks the MIDI controller as opposed to the keyboard though, so take this with a grain of salt.

Good luck

+1 cool point for the status of female musician, by the way...haha

Uh, at least one more time . . .
Since: Feb 07, 2007

May 02, 2010 01:43 pm

BriBri, did you install the MIDI driver on your computer? It sounds like the USB "song" that you are trying to play back is just using your (and others') computer's stock MIDI instument files to play back the song. Did you try playing and recording a song via the "to host" USB port? Default MIDI instuments on the computer (at least in my case) sound like a bad electric piano: if I incorrectly set up the MIDI software in my application (the recording software and, say, the KORG Wavestation), all I get is the above-mentioned bad piano sound. What kind of file extension is on all the files on the drive? Check all the folders; I'm guessing that they're peculiar to the keyboard (no WAV or AIFF or any thing like that). Apologies if I mis-understood your question, or adding confusion; I took a look at the manual, but all that transferring files stuff (and MIDI in general) often flummoxes me.

Since: May 01, 2010

May 02, 2010 09:59 pm

Thank you for your help NBrunk =) And yes I see what you're saying about increasing. I've done multiple things in that area with it, and no such luck. It all still sounds so electronic and raspy.

And yeah, I guess you're right about the interface. I'm just getting desperate, haha. So trying to look at everything available.

ahaha and thank you for the cool point =P 1 cool point for you for someone who notices ;)

Since: May 01, 2010

May 02, 2010 10:09 pm

Hi Tim N, yes I did install the midi driver that the keyboard originally came with. Then I downloaded the updated midi driver after getting off the phone with yamaha tech people.
I installed the cd that came with it, called "Musicsoft Downloader"

And yes, thats exactly what I'm having as well. Sounding like a bad electric piano.

But as far as i know everything is set up correctly. I don't have any recording software, I wanted to be able to play my keyboard as it syncs up with my computer live. But I haven't been able to find something that will work with that. Any suggestions would be great!

I've looked at the manual over and over and haven't found anything either.. The file on my usb key says ".MID" but I've played it on windows media player,itunes, Quicktime and something I downloaded called MidiPlay and it all sounds the same.
Only folders on the drive is a xml document and then the songs.

I'm assuming you have a 635, or something similiar. Would you mind filling me in on how you get your compositions over to your computer and still sound smooth?

Thanks so much!

Uh, at least one more time . . .
Since: Feb 07, 2007

May 02, 2010 11:35 pm

Actually, I don't have a 635--I went online and got the manual. I didn't want to start popping off about the thing without first checking . . . it still sounds like you're trying to play back the MIDI encoded songs on computers that don't recognize the MIDI file as unique to the Yamaha sounds that are generated by your keyboard. I can tell you what I do when I play my keyboard, a simple M-Audio 48 key device: I first load up recording software (in my case, Magix Samplitude) and then enable a track in this software to record a MIDI device--the "USB device" that is my M-Audio keyboard. (The Korg software can also be played as stand-alone software.) The recording software then lists the plug-in software that is available, one of these being Korg Wavestation. I click on this, and the Korg interface appears. I must enable "monitor" to hear the sounds the thing makes--if I don't do this, I get the crappy default MIDI piano, or sometimes nothing at all. After that, I can play what I want, or record what I want--I simply choose the emulation I want, and it plays it. That is, when I choose "Church Organ," it sounds exactly like it, and this comes out of the speakers on my monitor system, in all it's glory; these MIDI notes that I play go to the recorder if I choose to record.
It seems likely, from what you've said, that the various computers that you are trying to play your songs on can't read the MIDI files, with the exact information that's there, to play back faithfully the sounds you want to hear. They are defaulting to standard MIDI "notes," and that's why you hear the bad stuff you're hearing.
I'm really not sure if you can play back a song via the USB drive. Have you actually recorded songs on the Yamaha? Or are you simply trying to get the same sound that comes out of the Yamaha's speakers to come out of the other devices you've mentioned? It seems likely that the Yamaha can record MIDI note and chord sequences, and this is what you are trying to hear on your computer. I'll bet that if you had recording software the Yamaha would show up as a "USB device" in there, and the downloaded software you have would enable the Yamaha as a type of plug-in. It actually should show up as "stand alone" software; you should be able to play your keyboard and have the sound come out of the computer's soundcard. In other words, you should see an interface on the computer that is your Yamaha keyboard, and this interface should have full functionality--an extension of the hardware keyboard.
In short, the key thing here is: Are you recording things that you've played onto the USB drive? Do you hit a record button, start playing, and then hit stop? If so, you are recording MIDI data--simply instructions for a device that will play it back--if said device has the proper stuff to decode the instructions. If I record my Wavestation Church Organ into my software on my computer, and then take that recording to our practice space's computer, when I play it back, I get the shitty default piano, because the practice space's computer doesn't have the Wavestation's software installed.
So: Post back and confirm if the Yamaha can record stuff into it's memory. I'm guessing that if it can, it's MIDI rather than hard audio data (a .WAV file, or an .mp3, or an .AIFF, etc. That ".MID" file suggests it's straight MIDI) This might be your main issue--if it is, you've got an easy workaround.

Since: May 01, 2010

May 03, 2010 11:48 pm

Oh ok I see, well thank you for taking the time too look at the manual!

Yes, what i do is press record , and play something and it records and saves onto the keyboard. then you're supposed to be able to plug in your usb storage key and transfer your songs over, which i do.

I think I understand what you're saying about straight midi file rather then a mp3. So it wouldnt be the same.
The only thing is, I dont know how or what i need to get or do to resolve it.

Since: Sep 30, 2009

May 04, 2010 12:17 am

Well, first i guess we should confirm that the key can't transfer audio data. Could you give a little more insight there? Brand/model?

After that, you'd need some sort of audio interface. Depending on how serious you may consider getting into recording and such, you might want to consider something up to something in the range of the UX1 ($150). However, if all you're interested in is accurate representations of your Yamaha, you could probably get something like the behringer UCA202 and a cheap mixer. Possibly the behringer XENYX 502 would do the trick. Together that would cost around $70 though. Probably 85 after shipping. Hmm. Does anyone know of a cheap connector from RCA to 1/4 inch?

Since: May 01, 2010

May 05, 2010 03:04 pm

Out of the list of what the 635 supports, the key that usb key/drive i ended up getting is a "PNY USB 2.0 Drive." It was on the list, this one was just the updated version of it.
And the keyboard detects it and everything. I took just some regular mp3s off my laptop and moved to my comp and it worked just fine.

The reason I the 635 attracted me so much was the ability to move your songs without having to spend more on an interface. But if I dont figure out this usb thing, $70 isn't bad. and no, dont know of any connectors.
Thanks for your help!
Since: Nov 11, 2007

May 05, 2010 05:54 pm

The problem will not be your USB storage device. You need to find out the type of file that the keyboard is giving you, as Tim pointed out. If you're using windows, right click on the file and click properties. It will most likely be either .WAV, .Mp3, .MID. Any recommendation for your situation should be based off this file we need that!

Since: May 01, 2010

May 05, 2010 11:26 pm

this is what it says-

Name: UserSong1.MID
Type: MIDI Sequence

The rest is just size,date, etc.

So with that in mind, does anyone have a recommendation for what my next step should be resolving it. Avoiding an interface if at all possible.

Thanks so much for everyone's help!

Uh, at least one more time . . .
Since: Feb 07, 2007

May 05, 2010 11:29 pm

All things considered, BriBri, it would be to your benefit to get into recording things on the computer. There is free software available, and as mentioned by others above, a simple stereo interface is quite cheap. As I said above, your keyboard can input MIDI, which is then easily turned into CD-ready 44.1 16bit info via software.
It still sounds to me like the keyboard only transfers (via USB drive) MIDI. As Quincycan said, what exactly are those file types? You could also judge this by their size--MIDI files are going to be far smaller than WAV and even their compacted brothers, the typical 128mp3 . . . .

Uh, at least one more time . . .
Since: Feb 07, 2007

May 06, 2010 08:34 am

Well, I just posted, and so did you--it's a MIDI sequence. I may have been right above--second party computers (and even yours, for some reason) don't have the unique Yamaha MIDI software instruments to decode your MIDI-encoded songs properly. You said you loaded the relevant software into your computer, so it should be able to play your songs exactly as you heard them and recorded them. Try riht-clicking on your transferred files that are in your computer (or on the plugged in USB drive). Select "open with . . . " and you will be presented with options. Hopefully you will find "Yamaha something or other" (some kind of stand-alone player peculiar to Yamaha, that is) as an option. If not, look for the Yamaha software, open it, and try playing the file with it. There should be some way to play the file.
Look into the suggestions above, and try recording directly to the computer. If you want transfer those "MID" files to a CD, you will need to convert them, and its quite easy to do this nowadays with even the cheapest recording software.

Since: May 01, 2010

May 09, 2010 11:59 pm

I found a program for about $200 that detected my keyboard and lets me record live into midi and export into mp3 =) it also lets me put the midi files on the usb key to the program and plays them back perfectly. Thanks so much for everyone's help! =)

Since: Sep 24, 2010

Sep 24, 2010 07:34 am

Hi bri I am facing the same problem here with my new keyboard PSR S550b. Can you please tell me the software so that i can also get it. I really need to transfer my songs from the keyboard to my PC.


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