Yamaha Portatone PSR-6300 Demonstration Disk

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Van wolf_

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23-08-2021, 20:18

Heh, that thing (or a somewhat similar model) was one of the first keyboards I played when I was young. Used it for my first micro-concert at primary school, after which I was bombarded to being the resident pianist to support the school singing, while also making piano arrangements myself. The actual school piano largely being an out-of-tune wreck that wouldn't be out of place in a haunted mansion. Ahwell, you gotta start somewhere...

Van Manuel

Ascended (18154)

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23-08-2021, 20:54

Pencioner wrote:

So basically this demo just plays some midi to PSR ? And to start playing it does wait for some control SYSEX message from keybpard?
Now i understand... then it is not what i expected Smile I was looking for some OPM tunes btw...

No, as far as I understand it sends SYSEX messages TO the keyboard to configure it with Yamaha specific commands. And indeed, it plays music on the PSR via MIDI.

Van encore

Supporter (8)

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23-08-2021, 23:22

Manuel: Wow, great run-down of how it works. Interesting tricks that they used. When I listed the filenames in DOS (before I imaged it) I was wondering why they had weird symbols in the filename - now I know why. Smile


So basically this demo just plays some midi to PSR ?

The PSR-6300 has a "Custom accompainment programmer" section and a "Music programmer"-section. So you can program 8 of your own drum patterns with bass and chord (which is quite fun) and you can also record your own arrangements (which is quite hard).

So the MSX-program never really sends any traditional MIDI-information, not any note-on / off, pitch bend etc. Instead it sends the whole Music programmer-arrangements and the custom accompainment dumps via sysex and then starts playing the arrangement (via some other sysex messages). I discovered this by looking at the MIDI data sent to the keyboard by looping it back to my MIDI interface and looking at it with ReceiveMIDI. I also think the first messages it sends are "local off".


Here is a recording of how it currently sounds. Some of the songs I recognize are:

Miami Sound Machine - Conga
Whitney Houston - Saving All My Love For You
Bananarama - Venus

I think at least 2 of them are Yamaha originals.

The reason I can tell some songs has problems is that some of them won't start by themselves without help. On the Conga-song, I tried restarting the machine after it had loaded. It will reset the different sound section volumes but it will still remember the arrangement and the custom drums - and then I was able to hear the intended bassline which was silent before. I think the tempo and volume might be off on some of the songs too.

Well, I will have to experiment more with it, maybe I could try loading / running some of the sections directly instead of the AUTOEXEC.BAS ?

Van Manuel

Ascended (18154)

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24-08-2021, 00:25

You could try that, but there is no guarantee it will work, of course. Who knows what all these machine language routines do and depend on... But nothing stops you from trying and experimenting as much as you want, of course Smile

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