PSR Tutorial Report - Annual 2014 & Jan '15
We have had some major changes in January for 2015. But before discussing that, let me take this opportunity to provide a brief summary of what happened on the PSR Tutorial in 2014.
2014 Annual Report
Four new PSR Performers joined us in 2014. Mark Chapman, playing the PSR-S710, started in May. Jim Laing, playing on the Tyros3 and Tyros5, was added in June, and in August, Morrie Reece (Tyros5-76) and Roger Brenizer (Tyros4 & Yamaha Electone Organ) brought the total number of PSR Performers to 104. (I might also mention that in January of 2015 our newest PSR Performer: Frank Filipo, recording on his PSR-3000 became our 105th PSR Performer.)
The four new performers along with 25 earlier Performers added 482 songs to the online archives. This does not count the 72 additional songs added in the 2014 Christmas Jukebox by 14 Performers and 10 other contributing artists.
In September, three new song collections were announced! Song Collection No. 1 has over 2,000 MP3s provided on an 8 GB USB drive. Song Collection No.2 has 1,850 MP3s on an 8 GB USB. Both collections are merged and available on a 16 GB USB drive. These collections replaced the earlier song collections (Songs-2009, Songs-2010, Songs-2011, Songs-2012 and Songs-2013).
In January, Deane Peters (Hammer) sent in his set of 422 PSR-S950 song-styles and the late Neal Saunders sent in almost 300 song styles from his Gig-disk collection. Both sets were included in the new Style Collection #7 - Song Styles announced on January 10. Style Collection #7 includes over 10,300 styles, all of which are named after particular songs. It also includes a folder of MusicFinder Databases and a folder of registrations that illustrate how they are used to set up your keyboard to play a particular song.
Very few people can create their own new styles. However, Jan (styles2psr in the forum) can and he has produced some wonderful new dance styles. In August, Jan gave us 14 new Dance styles and in December he added another 21 new Synth styles. You will find these on Jan's Dance Styles page.
Henni has collected thousands of styles for PSR/Tyros owners. In July, Henni added to his collection by converted 500 styles from the Tyros5 for use by PSR-S950 owners. These and all of Henni's PSR-3000 styles are available on Henni's Collections page.
In October, one of the PSR Tutorial Forum members (Mike) provided a big boost to our style archives by sending in a batch of styles converted from other keyboards for use with the Yamaha PSR9000. These styles, of course, also work on later Yamaha arranger keyboards. All of these styles have 4 variations, but none have OTS voices and none are exact duplicates of styles provided in other sections on the web site. This collection, which includes over 2,800 styles, is found on the Styles > Othr Kbds > Mixed page.
While Yamaha keyboards can often play styles from earlier Yamaha keyboards, playing styles from newer keyboards can be more problematic and "tuning" is often required. Fortunately for Yamaha owners, Onacimus Sayaham, has long been providing these "conversions" for us. His conversions are extraordinary and have long been appreciated by PSR-3000 owners. This past year, Onacimus extended his conversions to apply to owners of the PSR-S910. You can find all of the new Onacimus style conversions listed below on the Onacimus Collections page. They also can be found on the PSR-S910 Styles page.
- In March, Onacimus completed the "Standard Styles Collection (SFF2) with nearly 800 selected styles from the CVP-209/210, PSR-9000/9000PRO, PSR-740(Floppy), PSR-2000/2100/1500, and PSR-S550. These keyboards do not have MegaVoices but do have Sweet!, Cool!, Live! and many outstanding standard voices. He also added 63 Oriental Standard Styles from the PSR-A1000. These styles can be usable in PSR S710, S910, S750, S950 also in the A2000.
- In May, Onacimus completed two sets of Oriental Super Mega styles from PSR-A2000. There are 75 styles included in this set, which Onacimus named "Oriental Super Mega" styles.
- In June, Onacimus compiled a collections of 247 Multipads. The multipads were drawn from several basic models - PSR-2000 (including the PSR1000/2100/1100/1500), PSR-S900, PSR-S910, Tyros1, Tyros2, Tyros3, and PSR OR700. (The Multipads are found on Onacimus' Multipad page.)
- In October, Onacimus finished his Internet Collection for the PSR-S910 with 222 various styles (not preset styles) from the internet. These were designed for the PSR-S910, but will also work on the S950 as well as the Tyros3/4/5 models.
- In November, he completed the Super Mega Plus Collection for the PSR-S910 with 412 new and different styles from the Tyros5/4, PSR-S950/750/650 and CVP-609. Note that this collection includes 65 new Audio styles that have been converted for use on earlier keyboards.
In November, Style Collection No. 8 was announced. It replaced (and extended) the earlier Style Collection #4 by adding 5 additional keyboards. The new collection gives you all the original Yamaha styles from 20 keyboards - 6,780 styles! These original styles are provided organized by keyboard as well as by Genre. In addition to the Yamaha preset styles, this collection also includes the 3,600 style conversions done by Onacimus Sayaham for the PSR3000 and for the PSR-S910. This is one of the finest collections we have and I recommend it highly to any Yamaha owner.
In March, thanks to Jim Laing, we expanded our Gig Disks section by adding a new page for Jim's Registrations. Jim created these on the Tyros3 and has been reworking them for use on his new Tyros5. There were three sets of Jim's registration files added in March: Retirement Home Registrations (with settings for 64 songs), Band Registrations (113 songs), and Italian Registrations (21 songs). In May, Jim added a set of Irish registrations for 13 Irish songs and in August, he .expanded his registration offerings with a set of "MISC" and a set of "XTRA" registration banks with about 100 new songs.
Additional registration files were provided by Peter (Xeenix) who compiled a series of registrations for a number of Busker's fake books. In July,, Peter gave us registrations for the 101 songs in Buskers 101 Hits (Book1, Book2, Book6, Book7), and the Busker Play It Again book with 55 songs. In August, Peter added an alphabetical list of his registrations for 12 Yamaha keyboards. You'll find all of these registrations on a new page in the Styles | Gig Disks section for Peter's registrations.
At the end of January, we added a brand new page to our collection of software utilities. Murray Best released his Yamaha Registration Manager and in March he updated the release to Version 4.3.4. If you have ever had to convert a ton of registrations when you moved up to a new keyboard, you will be very happy with the availability of this latest utility. It allows you to view and edit registration files on your computer. It also lets you convert a registration created on one model for use on a different model and even includes a batch mode.
Michael Bedesem continued improving the wide array of utilities that he has provided to the Yamaha community. In January, Michael Bedesem released V4.92 of MixMaster and then, in December, Version 5.0 became available. MixMaster is a program specifically designed for the editing of Yamaha midi files such as the song, style, pad and voice files used by the Tyros/PSR line of instruments. In February, Michael updated MusicFinderView to version 3.07 and then again in March, it moved to Version 3.08. In July, Michael Bedesem released V1.0.4 of FolderCheck. FolderCheck is a utility that scans folders on the computer and displays the number of files in each folder. In August, Michael Ver 1.8.2 of Padmaker-Midi, a tool for creating a Multipad based upon the patterns from one or more midi or pad files.
In addition to providing us useful programs, Michael also provides useful answers to Frequently Asked Questions. In September, Michael Bedesem releases the 2014 update to his popular PSR/Tyros/CVP FAQs. This latest version of his FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) is a massive 149-page pdf document that you can download or view online jumping directly to the areas that may be of interest to you.
In March, the Lessons section added a new sub-section called Workshops. Five articles were added. These are English translations of tutorials by Heidrun Dolde that were available to German readers for some time. The five new workshops are Organizing Files, Keyboard File Storage, Setup Registration, Registrations Workshop, and Arranging Music.
PSR Tutorial Forum
The PSR Tutorial Forum remains an integral and important part of the PSR Tutorial web site. In 2015, there were 28,056 posts added to the forum. That is an average of 114 posts per day. The 10 most popular boards were Tyros5 (7,696 posts), Tyros4 (2,695), PSR-S950/S750 (2,478), Sheet Music, Fake Books (2,122), Songs played by forum members (1,939), Styles/OTS (1,854), PSR-E433 (943), Piano Books (843), Yamaha Keyboards-General (832), and PSR Performer songs (583). There were 3,685 topics started in 2014.
At the end of the year, there were 1,536 members in the forum and an average of 7 new registrations occurred every day. But the forum can be viewed by visitors as well as by forum members. And, while there are a lot of "posters", there are also a lot of people who are readers or visitors and never post in the forum. On average there were an average 111 folks online every day last year with a maximum of 234 on August 3. The total pages viewed toped 15 million with an average of 42,000 pages per day! Those "visitors" are looking at a lot of pages.
Changes in 2015
The statistics shown above for the PSR Tutorial Forum hint at the problem we ran into toward the end of the year. There were several times in December where the server was crashed due to a load that was larger than it could handle. I was advised that I would need to boost the RAM available and I did, going from 3GB to 4GB. However, that still did not solve the problem. The server we were using simply wasn't up to handling the load, in therms of number of users and bandwidth that we were experiencing.
The solution would require going to a much larger server with additional memory and storage and, of course, additional cost. I reviewed all the options and thought of the implications of the change for several weeks and finally made a decision and took the plunge in early January. We had a transition period of several days while the whole site was being migrated from the old server to the new server and then a few days until the domain name change was effected. The domain "psrtutorial.com" now points to the new server so users should still be able to access the site as they always have. However, they should see a substantial increase in performance - pages should appear much faster than they did before and we should not have to worry about system crashes for some time into the future.
The cost of the new hardware and the migration to the new server added about a thousand dollars to the 2015 bill, which of course will be continued each year. Thanks to those who have supported the PSR Tutorial in 2014, I was able to cover that cost so we are good to go for another year. However, if you are enjoying the resources of the PSR Tutorial and have not yet become a PSR Tutorial, I refer you to the section below. Becoming a "supporter" is the easiest way to keep the PSR Tutorial alive and growing.
Supporting the PSR Tutorial
The PSR Tutorial web site and the PSR Tutorial Forum are free to all visitors. The costs of hosting and maintaining this web site and the associated PSR Tutorial Forum are covered by the various resource collections that PSR Tutorial supporters order. When you order any of the available resource sets you are, in fact, supporting the PSR Tutorial as well as gaining useful material. Supporters get additional benefits in the PSR Tutorial forum, including additional files and resources not available on the main site. You can order any of the items from the main order page or from the Add to Cart buttons on individual product description pages. Thanks to all who have contributed to the support of this site over the years.
-- Joe Waters, ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), 1 February 2015