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Yamaha digital piano - playing MIDI on grand piano voice?
#3051671 12/01/20 01:53 PM
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I've been using Noteflight to annotate sheet music over USB, I have noticed that playing back MIDI files (via USB storage) or as a MIDI output uses a alternative (fake sounding) piano, instead of the default grand piano voice/instrument. (that you hear when playing the keys).

I've also tried using WebMidi and reading the actual channel/voice that the piano sends over USB, then replaying that. I still get the fake sounding piano. Using the piano built in recording controls results in the correct instrument.

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? I'll admit I have little knowledge of how MIDI works.

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Re: Yamaha digital piano - playing MIDI on grand piano voice?
turtlebits #3051850 12/02/20 01:56 AM
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The best way to understand MIDI is an analogy.

Imagine that you have a file with some text in English. In order to hear it, you can ask some narrator to read it aloud. The narrator has his (her) specific voice, timbre, and pronunciation.

By analogy, MIDI file is a kind of music text. In order to hear it you can input it in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and assign some VSTi (Virtual Sound Technology Instrument) for playing it aloud.

This kind of music text is designed for a computer, not for human reading, although you can edit and view it using Piano Roll notation (this is typically supported by a DAW).

There exit many DAWs and thousands of VSTi-s, imitating many musical instruments, from free to very expensive ones. If you have a DP (digital piano) of synthesizer, you typically can assign the DAW MIDI input from the instrument keyboard, and the audio output to the instrument audio system.

Many DP and synthesizers contain basic DAW elements, which allow doing without a computer.

Last edited by Andrew_G; 12/02/20 02:05 AM.
Re: Yamaha digital piano - playing MIDI on grand piano voice?
turtlebits #3051931 12/02/20 08:54 AM
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What instrument model are you using?

Some models let record the actual sound (audio) of the instrument over USB to your computer (USB Audio). I think every Yamaha model released since 2018 has that feature.

Some other models let you record the audio - as a WAV file - to a USB drive.

Note that MIDI is not audio, it is just the notes, their volume, and pedals etc. No sound. Why you ask? Because MIDI is 40 years old! (Now I feel old... MIDI is younger than me!)

Last edited by Burkey; 12/02/20 09:00 AM.

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Re: Yamaha digital piano - playing MIDI on grand piano voice?
turtlebits #3051955 12/02/20 10:04 AM
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Either:
- The MIDI file specifically sets the sound to use with an "Instrument change" message in the MIDI file in which case you should remove it with a suitable editor.
- The MIDI file specifically sets the sound to use with an "Instrument change" message in the MIDI file in which case you should select the desired sound on the Yamaha once MIDI playback has started. (If there's enough time!)
- The Yamaha simply just always uses the "General MIDI piano" sound with MIDI data no matter what. (I doubt!)
- Some other scenario that didn't quickly come into my mind.

Re: Yamaha digital piano - playing MIDI on grand piano voice?
turtlebits #3052018 12/02/20 12:22 PM
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I'm using the Yamaha YP-625.

I'll play around more with debugging all MIDI messages coming from the piano - was only checking for noteon/noteoff events. I was assuming current instrument data was coming from those events, but it makes sense that I need to tell the piano to select an instrument as a separate event type.


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