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Old 2008-09-10, 02:11
the lamb
Senior Metalhead
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Keyboards Expansion & How to go about it?

Okay i have to say,I am totally lost in all the terminology regarding keyboards (i am a guitarist, basically). I have a friend's old keyboard with midi capabilities (just a basic Yamaha PSR 330 ). It has a good feel and quite some options and all, yeah. But the patches are really limited on it. So we were discussing options. Well, what i know is that being a midi instrument, you can expand the patches on it. I tried to do some research on the net, but got lost (due to terms like controllers, sequencers, sound modules, soft synths etc).

I would like to use this keyboard on stage and in my mini studio setup.
I want to get a better sound and patches (Don't really mind using a laptop or something on stage).
I want to add a pitch bender.
I want a recording option with the keyboard.

Is all this possible, without the need of buying a new keyboard, and if so please point me in the right direction.

Please reply with information rather than website addresses (so that if i have a further question i can direct it here itself)

Last edited by the lamb : 2008-09-10 at 02:20.
Old 2008-09-10, 07:32
Soeru's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Land of Dust
Posts: 3,551
Before I start make sure you understand that MIDI = data, little pulses of info like on a video-game controller, NOT sound.

Does his keyboard have midi out and in connections? If so you can use that same keyboard, all you need is a soundcard with midi ins/outs, or if you already have one without midi and just want midi capability, get a "USB midi interface". You won't be using the yamaha's patches anymore, you'll just be using it as a controller that triggers notes in software synths.

To play/trigger synths on your PC with the keyboard, you need is a VST plugin-compatible sequencing/recording program(ie: Cubase, Ableton Live, Reason, Reaper, Sonar, etc.) and a software synth VST plugin/instrument(most of these programs come with a few for free). The VST software synth just takes the raw data coming from your midi keyboard and triggers the notes(much like an electronic drumset, except it triggers music notes). That's how it works basically. You can then add even more VST effect plugins to the keyboard track like pitch bend, reverb, and god knows what else. There are tons of free vst plugins out there.

And to record midi performances all you have to do is create a midi track in any recording program, assign your keyboard as the input for it and set a VST synth as an effect for that track and you're set for recording. You should be able to hear the synth being triggered in real time while you're playing the keyboard.

To use it on stage you just need the laptop, usb midi interface and keyboard set up, and your sequencing program working real-time(I hear Ableton Live and Reaper are better for live performances, but if I were a guitarist I'd just record the keyboard tracks and have them play automatically live and focus on my guitar playing).

Hope that helps.
Originally Posted by far_beyond_sane

(Did you know In Flames had a 2005 album called "Come Clarity"? How prophetic. I think they're trying to tell us all their sperm are dead.)

Last edited by Soeru : 2008-09-10 at 07:35.

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