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Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 #2750898
07/12/18 12:49 AM
07/12/18 12:49 AM
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Posts: 9
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OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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I'm considering this as well as the 645. I'm curious if the features are and continue to be useful. If it were just a few hundred, there wouldn't be much loss in trying but it's a substantial premium so I'd love to hear from anyone who owns it whether it was useful for training. My fear is it's of only temporary use for a beginner. I'd love to hear either 1st (or perhaps 2nd) hand experience with it.

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Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2750902
07/12/18 01:19 AM
07/12/18 01:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,354
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Hello,

May I ask which features are attractive to you, and what kind of training you are doing?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2750926
07/12/18 07:46 AM
07/12/18 07:46 AM
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Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
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sheffsteel Offline
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Hello Outofnameideas,

I’d say the CSP-170 is more of a fun/ family entertainment piano. It’s an introduction to the CVP range. However having fun can provide inspiration to practice more.

I have the impression that as a training tool, guide light systems are just a gimmick. Practicing using guide lights just makes you proficient at using guide lights but it is fun for the beginner.

One thing I’ve realised is that the theory behind a concept (The CSP range) can be totally different to practical experience. On paper (in theory) I think the CSP offers so much for the beginner to intermediate level player.

BUT I too would love to hear genuine feedback from anyone who has lived with the CSP for a few months.


Last edited by sheffsteel; 07/12/18 07:48 AM.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2750987
07/12/18 12:59 PM
07/12/18 12:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Oregon
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OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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I've got two children taking lessons (about 1 year in). It makes sense that the lights might help learn a piece the first few times through so perhaps it takes some of the early friction off. It can be hard to get app implementations executed well on the iPad side. Much depends on how long and how well Yamaha supports the app through upgrades. Otherwise I'm curious to hear people's real life experiences. Sometimes features are better than they look on paper. The cost premium is steep so it might have to be for the 170.

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Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2751175
07/13/18 06:53 AM
07/13/18 06:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
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sheffsteel Offline
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Outofnameideas,

If I had young children hoping to learn the CSP is a great idea, yes it a bit gimmicky but there’s nothing wrong with that and there’s a massive fun factor with it for all the family to be involved. It is a piano I’d be interested in buying myself.

I have the impression that many on this forum are more traditionalist and intermediate to advance standard players so I doubt you’ll find many giving a recommendation or having any interest in the CSP or CVP range especially as you do pay a premium for the extra bells and whistles of an arranger keyboard.

I think it was brave of Yamaha to try something different using the new technology of the IPad to create a new market to try to attract new/ younger pianists.
Makes one wonder how successful the CSP range has been for Yamaha?

Last edited by sheffsteel; 07/13/18 06:57 AM.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2751223
07/13/18 11:37 AM
07/13/18 11:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 31
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napilopez Offline
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As a beginner that has tested a similar "follow the lights" piano, I think they have their use. Wrote a long review about it here (I work for a tech blog) https://thenextweb.com/reviews/2018...-uses-rgb-lights-to-help-you-play-piano/

Basically, don't rely on the lights as a crutch. The way I liked to use them was actually after I'd done a few playthroughs of a section reading solely reading the sheet music. I didn't want them to mess up my progress with sightreading, so I actually found the lights most useful when honing in my muscle memory for a piece, to help me avoid making mistakes. Your mileage may vary.

In any case, I'm actually going to be testing the CSP-150 soon which is basically the same with worse speakers and with plastic instead of a wood action. I'll let you know what I think of that. Since the reviews on that are pretty scarce, what would you like me to check out?

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2751257
07/13/18 03:20 PM
07/13/18 03:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
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OutOfNameIdeas Offline OP
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That's useful. I played Cello so I have that perspective. I certainly less music (note volume alone) to absorb learning a piece. Once I learned to read music, there were a few slow awkward times through where I'd need to work out finger positions. After several runs the music was more to keep my place and sometimes was unnecessary for solo pieces. But for a younger student with less experience, maybe the lights get you dialed more quickly. I would have some concern it would slow the sight reading education part. To this day, my brain is cemented in the bass clef.

The price premium is still tough to swallow. On the piano the graphics seem out of the 70's although perhaps the app is more up-to-date. You'd also need confidence you could find whatever piece you needed in their catalog. One disappointed App reviewer complained about being a captive to MusicSoft for content. I think it only comes with a few hundred pieces (something like that).

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2751303
07/13/18 06:29 PM
07/13/18 06:29 PM
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CantRead Offline
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I bought this DP for my eight year old son, who started to take piano lessons. I'm not a musician and therefore unfortunately cannot evaluate the piano properly.

Before we bought that DP we had a simpler one where I've tried to learn to play something, just for fun as I knew I wouldn't spend years on piano training. So I've tried to learn Für Elise (the first third part, the slow one) using scores (which I didn't new how to read). I managed to learn few measures but could not memorise more and gave up quickly.

With CSP I tried again and was able to memorise the first third of Für Elise in about two weeks, using Stream Light. After that I was able to play without lights. So I would say they helped me a lot. But I want to stress out that I'm not learning a proper piano playing but rather doing fun. I don't know if Stream Light can help with proper learning.

I wasn't confident to try the other (quick) part of Für Elise, so I've found another piece to work on - a simplified version of The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. Using Stream Lights I was able to memorise the right part, then the left part. I wasn't able to play both hands simultaneously, with or without Stream Lights. I thought I reached my limits and stopped practicing. That lasted several months.

In the meantime my son continued his lessons with a teacher (on his acoustic). Now he plays several pieces from scores with both hands. Time to time he plays something with Stream Lights but he has a strict separation between fun (Smart Pianist app, songs with Stream Lights) and exercises (working with score book).

That's about piano playing experience but this DP offers more - the entertainment mode.

You can load any MIDI-file, choose a channel which you want play on keyboard yourself and piano will play all other channels. It's like playing in a band, a lot of fun. Videos on youtube don't show this mode; they all show accord recognition on mp3 which is a far less interesting thing in my opinion. With MIDI you can play exactly as written (as opposed to accords guessed by the app) and you can use a guide-mode where piano waits for you to hit correct keys.

You usually choose a piano track but you can play other tracks and you can play using any voice from the library of 700 voices. For example I have a Game Of Thrones theme for Cello, which I play using Stream Lights using Cello voice. Very entertaining.

Other examples of my "band performances":
- Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel - using piano voice with guitar layer.
- Dunkelheit by Burzum - piano voice with electric guitar layer.
- Nothing Else Matters (piano version) by Metallica.
- a couple of kids songs - kids like to play songs they know.

Summary: this DP is a home entertainment system for families. We have used it very intensively first four months but less so lately.

I can answer technical questions if you have any.

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: OutOfNameIdeas] #2772368
10/14/18 10:52 AM
10/14/18 10:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 3
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iceryan Offline
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Hi! CSP170 owner here. Previously owned Kawai CS11. Intermediate player but audiophile.

Biggest pros for me in csp170;
-Pretty! White cabinet is very elegant. Well hid and minimal buttons that don't detract.
-wifi or wired control via Smart Pianist app on Android or ios works nice and clean
-helper lights are nice feature that works with other apps too such as flowkey. Helpful for a quick glance in difficult pieces to read music on. Can be turned off and invisible behind tasteful design.
-LOTS of voices included... 700+ i think... Good control over featured piano voices, but not over nonpiano
-higher watts and quality of sound resonates well from "speaker box"
-touch is nice.
-sounds good... But see below

Cons for me:
-not great bass resonance/reproduction. I added a 12v slim alpine powered enclosed subwoofer to aux and mounted it behind piano. Has remote wired adjustment for bass power and balance. Can set cut out, in frequencies. Very nice add on.
-BIG CON can't use as midi controller except with headphones. This really sucks. They could enable a "silent voice" or disable local playback in app/firmware so can use all the hi tech connectivity options to actually use as midi controller with live playback back into nice piano soundsystem (w my bass!) But only option is with headphones on your external laptop/mifi machine and piano volume turned down to silent. Bummer! Yamaha confirmed this limitation, but offered no suggestion of implementing it in future.

Otherwise a nice beautiful versatile good sounding good touch piano for learners or intermediate players who want a fullsize attractive kit on the higher end of spec for this price range.

But if it wasn't for sharing it with a new learner who also insisted on white, i would prefer CS11 instead i think. Especially had i known no local disable option.

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: iceryan] #2772375
10/14/18 11:08 AM
10/14/18 11:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,618
Germany
JoBert Offline
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JoBert  Offline
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Originally Posted by iceryan
But if it wasn't for sharing it with a new learner who also insisted on white, i would prefer CS11 instead i think. Especially had i known no local disable option.

I know it's too late, but there is a white CS11...

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: JoBert] #2772597
10/15/18 03:01 AM
10/15/18 03:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,354
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Kawai James  Offline
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Posts: 14,354
Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by iceryan
But if it wasn't for sharing it with a new learner who also insisted on white, i would prefer CS11 instead i think. Especially had i known no local disable option.

I know it's too late, but there is a white CS11...


Yes, definitely too late, I expect... but good call!

[Linked Image]


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: iceryan] #2772965
10/16/18 08:34 AM
10/16/18 08:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
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sheffsteel Offline
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sheffsteel  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
Originally Posted by iceryan
Hi! CSP170 owner here. Previously owned Kawai CS11. Intermediate player but audiophile.

Biggest pros for me in csp170;
-Pretty! White cabinet is very elegant. Well hid and minimal buttons that don't detract.
-wifi or wired control via Smart Pianist app on Android or ios works nice and clean
-helper lights are nice feature that works with other apps too such as flowkey. Helpful for a quick glance in difficult pieces to read music on. Can be turned off and invisible behind tasteful design.
-LOTS of voices included... 700+ i think... Good control over featured piano voices, but not over nonpiano
-higher watts and quality of sound resonates well from "speaker box"
-touch is nice.
-sounds good... But see below

Cons for me:
-not great bass resonance/reproduction. I added a 12v slim alpine powered enclosed subwoofer to aux and mounted it behind piano. Has remote wired adjustment for bass power and balance. Can set cut out, in frequencies. Very nice add on.
-BIG CON can't use as midi controller except with headphones. This really sucks. They could enable a "silent voice" or disable local playback in app/firmware so can use all the hi tech connectivity options to actually use as midi controller with live playback back into nice piano soundsystem (w my bass!) But only option is with headphones on your external laptop/mifi machine and piano volume turned down to silent. Bummer! Yamaha confirmed this limitation, but offered no suggestion of implementing it in future.

Otherwise a nice beautiful versatile good sounding good touch piano for learners or intermediate players who want a fullsize attractive kit on the higher end of spec for this price range.

But if it wasn't for sharing it with a new learner who also insisted on white, i would prefer CS11 instead i think. Especially had i known no local disable option.


Thanks for the user review, there don’t seem much feedback from actual users anywhere on the net.

I have a Kawai CS4 which also has no “local off” midi setting and can’t normally be used as a controller.

However there is a work around solution.
From my iPads headphone out socket I insert a 3.5mm mini plug.
On the other end of the lead there are 2 din sockets (red and white) and they go into the amplifier section of a pair of iLoud speakers.
The ILoud speakers are very small, so visibly don’t stand out too much and sound surprisingly clear/ good for the size.
Obviously would prefer the convenience and fully bodied multiple sound of the in built piano speakers though.

Last edited by sheffsteel; 10/16/18 08:36 AM.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: CantRead] #2772970
10/16/18 08:54 AM
10/16/18 08:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
S
sheffsteel Offline
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sheffsteel  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
Originally Posted by CantRead
I bought this DP for my eight year old son, who started to take piano lessons. I'm not a musician and therefore unfortunately cannot evaluate the piano properly.

Before we bought that DP we had a simpler one where I've tried to learn to play something, just for fun as I knew I wouldn't spend years on piano training. So I've tried to learn Für Elise (the first third part, the slow one) using scores (which I didn't new how to read). I managed to learn few measures but could not memorise more and gave up quickly.

With CSP I tried again and was able to memorise the first third of Für Elise in about two weeks, using Stream Light. After that I was able to play without lights. So I would say they helped me a lot. But I want to stress out that I'm not learning a proper piano playing but rather doing fun. I don't know if Stream Light can help with proper learning.

I wasn't confident to try the other (quick) part of Für Elise, so I've found another piece to work on - a simplified version of The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. Using Stream Lights I was able to memorise the right part, then the left part. I wasn't able to play both hands simultaneously, with or without Stream Lights. I thought I reached my limits and stopped practicing. That lasted several months.

In the meantime my son continued his lessons with a teacher (on his acoustic). Now he plays several pieces from scores with both hands. Time to time he plays something with Stream Lights but he has a strict separation between fun (Smart Pianist app, songs with Stream Lights) and exercises (working with score book).

That's about piano playing experience but this DP offers more - the entertainment mode.

You can load any MIDI-file, choose a channel which you want play on keyboard yourself and piano will play all other channels. It's like playing in a band, a lot of fun. Videos on youtube don't show this mode; they all show accord recognition on mp3 which is a far less interesting thing in my opinion. With MIDI you can play exactly as written (as opposed to accords guessed by the app) and you can use a guide-mode where piano waits for you to hit correct keys.

You usually choose a piano track but you can play other tracks and you can play using any voice from the library of 700 voices. For example I have a Game Of Thrones theme for Cello, which I play using Stream Lights using Cello voice. Very entertaining.

Other examples of my "band performances":
- Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel - using piano voice with guitar layer.
- Dunkelheit by Burzum - piano voice with electric guitar layer.
- Nothing Else Matters (piano version) by Metallica.
- a couple of kids songs - kids like to play songs they know.

Summary: this DP is a home entertainment system for families. We have used it very intensively first four months but less so lately.

I can answer technical questions if you have any.


That’s really interesting about the MiDI file loading system, thanks.

Was also interesting to hear sbout how useful you’ve found it for learning.
I’ve often thought that there’s no real proper answer regards the best way to learn piano, depends on the individual and the circumstances.

There’s the traditional way to learn with a proper teacher, history shows this is the best way to learn to a high standard.
However with the use of technology there are now various follow light, teaching/ learning apps and on line teaching systems.
These all have weaknesses but tend to be much more fun than traditional methods and are generally much cheaper too.
Having fun whilst learning the piano is a great way to stay motivated to continue learning.

Personally I think a combination of all methods is probably the best, it’s great to have choice .

Last edited by sheffsteel; 10/16/18 08:56 AM.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: sheffsteel] #2772976
10/16/18 09:14 AM
10/16/18 09:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,354
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by sheffsteel
I have a Kawai CS4 which also has no “local off” midi setting and can’t normally be used as a controller..


Please check page 35 of the owner’s manual.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: Kawai James] #2773003
10/16/18 10:31 AM
10/16/18 10:31 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 41
Sheffield, UK
S
sheffsteel Offline
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sheffsteel  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2014
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Sheffield, UK
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by sheffsteel
I have a Kawai CS4 which also has no “local off” midi setting and can’t normally be used as a controller..


Please check page 35 of the owner’s manual.

Kind regards,
James
x


Got all excited then ha ha........rushed down stairs.....checked under the piano and the label says it’s a CS3 not CS4.

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: sheffsteel] #2773168
10/16/18 06:39 PM
10/16/18 06:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 14,354
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by sheffsteel
Got all excited then ha ha........rushed down stairs.....checked under the piano and the label says it’s a CS3 not CS4.


In that case, try page 33 of the owner's manual.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: iceryan] #2773707
10/18/18 05:27 PM
10/18/18 05:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
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sraf Offline
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Originally Posted by iceryan
-BIG CON can't use as midi controller except with headphones. This really sucks. They could enable a "silent voice" or disable local playback in app/firmware so can use all the hi tech connectivity options to actually use as midi controller with live playback back into nice piano soundsystem (w my bass!) But only option is with headphones on your external laptop/mifi machine and piano volume turned down to silent. Bummer! Yamaha confirmed this limitation, but offered no suggestion of implementing it in future.


I'm considering purchasing a CSP 170 - so I asked Yamaha about this, and they provided the following suggestion:
Quote
MIDI Local Off is not an option that can be selected on the piano currently, however if you are using the Smart Pianist app to control the piano then you can always turn the volume of the Main Voice down on the Balance screen which will give you the same effect.


Can you see if this helps for you and report back?

Thanks!

Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: Kawai James] #2773775
10/19/18 02:26 AM
10/19/18 02:26 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,023
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Doug M. Online content
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by JoBert
Originally Posted by iceryan
But if it wasn't for sharing it with a new learner who also insisted on white, i would prefer CS11 instead i think. Especially had i known no local disable option.

I know it's too late, but there is a white CS11...


Yes, definitely too late, I expect... but good call!

[Linked Image]


Nobody is permitted to use this piano unless they wear an all white suit grin wink

[Linked Image]


Instruments: Current - Kawai MP7; Past - Yamaha PSR7000
Software: Sibelius 7; Neuratron Photoscore Pro 8
Stand: K&M 18953 Table-style Stage Piano Stand
Re: Looking for owner experiences with Yamaha CSP-170 [Re: iceryan] #2775468
10/25/18 03:14 PM
10/25/18 03:14 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
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CantRead Offline
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Originally Posted by iceryan
BIG CON can't use as midi controller except with headphones. This really sucks. They could enable a "silent voice" or disable local playback in app/firmware so can use all the hi tech connectivity options to actually use as midi controller with live playback back into nice piano soundsystem (w my bass!)


Piano's built-in tone generator can be disabled via MIDI by sending command "Local Control Off" to piano. Once disabled it remains in disabled state until power off or until command "Local Control On" is sent.

To send the command you need a device connected to piano via MIDI. For example if you connect piano to PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) and the midi connection is established you can use program SendMIDI like this:

Code
# Disable tone generator:
/path/to/sendmidi dev CSP cc 122 0

# Enable tone generator:
/path/to/sendmidi dev CSP cc 122 127

Here "CSP" is the name of MIDI port; partial match works, that's why you don't need to type the whole name. Command "sendmidi list" prints the list of available midi ports. You can of course create batch files to quickly send the commands via desktop shortcuts.

On iOS you can use free app MIDI Wrench to send the command. That's useful if you use your iPhone/iPad as MIDI station instead of PC. In MIDI Wrench settings configure one of virtual buttons to MIDI CC122 (Local Control On/Off). The app works only via cable connection (doesn't work via WiFi).

I have also prepared two midi-files with these commands. Playing back one of them disables Local Control and the other one enables it. These files can be played back from a device connected to piano via MIDI. However they don't work from Smart Pianist because it doesn't play midi-files via MIDI port but rather uploads the songs to piano in a special way. I don't post these files since they are not more useful than the other methods of sending the commands.

Yamaha should have put a keyboard shortcut to enabled/disable local control via piano keyboard (Function-button + certain piano key). I've asked them to do that in January 2018 but they didn't do that of course. Maybe if more people ask they add this in next firmware. I'm sure this is very easy for them to implement and there are not used keys to choose from (none of the existing shortcuts has to be deleted to give room for the new one).


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