Yamaha File System

by Joe Waters

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To help explain the Yamaha file system, I'll use, as an example, a group of files that you could download from this site and use in your keyboard. The files are in a zip file -- ExFiles.zip. You can, if you want, download this file and follow along with the discussion using your own keyboard. I'll use Tyros3 screen shots to accompany the discussion, so, even if you are not trying this on your keyboard, you will be able to get an idea of what is going on. Your screen may look a bit different with another keyboard, but all the key components will be the same.

Files in Your Personal Computer

If you download the example files zip file ( called ExFiles.zip ) and unzip it, you will find that it contains a folder called "ExFiles" that contains several files as well as a subfolder. I put that folder on a flash drive and examined the contents in a Windows XP File directory. The file listing is shown in Figure 1. This listing shows file "Details" rather than just file icons. The file "Details" view lets you see the file name and file extension, the file size, and the type of file as well as option options you may select if desired.

example files in pc directory
Fig 1. PC Directory for ExFiles

The folder contains 24 files and one sub-folder named "RGT". The listing shows the file Name, file Size, and file Type. The "Name" has two parts. The first part, the file name, can be just about whatever you want to use as the name of the file. The second part, indicated by the ending period and three characters, i.e. ".pad", indicates the "Type" of file. Windows can be set to show or to hide the "type" part of the filename.

File Types

A computer "file" generally holds data and/or instructions that tell a computer what to do. I'm using the term "computer" generically. Actually, the instructions are for a particular "program" within the computer.

For example, if you use Microsoft Word to create a word document, that document "file" would have a name that ends with ".doc". That ending identifies the files as a Microsoft Word document. The PC file system will associate an ending of ".doc" with the Microsoft Word program and if you try to "open" that doc file, your PC will launch Microsoft Word, which will open that file so that you can read and/or edit it. You could launch, if you want, your PC Notebook program, a text editor, and open the ".doc" file, but you might be surprised at what you see. The contents will not look like they do when you view it in Word. That's because the file itself includes not only the text included in your Word document, but all the instructions that you gave to format that text -- what margins to use, what font type, what font size, etc. Microsoft Word understands these instructions and uses them to format your text and show you the document. Notepad can not do that.

Associated Programs

In the listing above, song files, are identified by the ".mid" file type. I have associated the ".mid" file type in my PC with the VanBasco Karaoke Player program. That is why you see the term "VanBasco's Karao..." shown in the file listing for ".mid" files. If I tried to open one of those files on my PC, it would launch the VanBasco program, which would play that midi file.

Style files in the listing above end with a ".sty" or a ".STY". The PC doesn't know what program to associate with these files, so they are listed with a Type of "STY File". If you tried to "open" one of these files in Notepad, you would see a screen filled with strange characters because the file contents include all the instructions needed by your keyboard to create a style file. If, on the other hand, you tried to open this style file on your PC using Michael Bedesem's MidiPlayer program, that program would recognize the ".sty" file type and would load the style. You could then play parts of the style through the MidiPlayer program.

The bottom line here is that the "files" used by your Yamaha keyboard can be saved and listed, even renamed, in your personal computer, but unless you are using a PC program specifically for one of these file types, you will not be able to use these files on your PC; they are meant to be used in your Yamaha keyboard. In, addition, understand that the file "type", those last three letters, are important in helping your PC, and your keyboard, understand what the file is and where it would be used.

PC directory of RGT folder
Fig. 2 PC Directory for RGT Folder.

While we are looking at things from the PC perspective, let's open that RGT folder and see what is in it.

This folder holds 11 files, all of which are registration files, which end in ".REG" (used on the PSR-2000) or ".RGT" (used on more recent keyboards). Registration files are keyboard specific. Your keyboard may "recognize" all these file names when you are looking at registrations, but, unless the file was made on a keyboard like yours, you will not be able to load it and use it.

On your PC, if you were using a program like Microsoft Word and you opened a folder to load a document, Word would show you all the Word files in that folder. It would not show you files Word could not use unless you specifically asked to view ALL files. You'll soon see that your Yamaha operates much the same way. When you are looking to play a song, it will show you only the song files. Let's take a look now at how your Yamaha would handle these files.

Files In Your Yamaha Keyboard

With your sample files on a flash drive, let's take that flash drive to your keyboard and see what's there. Below is the MAIN screen from a Tyros3 keyboard. Note that the screen title is shown at the very top of the screen.

T3 MAIN screen with buttons

This is your entry point to selecting many of the different files. Use the [A] button to access song files; the [D] button, Style files; the [E] button, Multi Pads; and the [J] button, registration files. All the voice buttons, [F], [G], [H], and [I] will access voice files. The RIGHT3 voice is only available on the Tyros models and the the position of Styles and MultiPads may be different on your keyboard, but all these choices should be somewhere on your MAIN screen.

The numbered buttons below the MAIN screen will be used for selecting "pages" when looking at file directories, for selecting file options, and for entering characters when naming a file. The [TAB] buttons will be used to move between the various storage locations (PRESET, CARD/FLOOPY, USB, HD). You will soon become very adept at selecting files or choosing options by using the buttons surrounding your keyboard's MAIN screen.

Song Files

SONG screenOK, let's take a look at our example song files, the ones with the ".mid" file extension. From the MAIN screen press the [A] button to open up the SONG display screen. Again, take note that the word "SONG" appears on the first line of the screen telling you that this is the SONG Display screen. You will initially be looking at the PRESET area where the SampleSongs folder from Yamaha is stored. Use the [TAB] buttons to tab over to your USB1 drive. The screen shot here is showing my USB drive. I had removed everything from my drive except the sample files so my USB drive is showing only one folder, ExFiles. I know this is a folder because there is a folder icon displayed by the folder name. That is how you recognize folders rather than files. That folder is located next to the [A] button, so press the [A] button to select and open the folder.

ExFolder contents in SONG displayWe are now looking at the contents of the "ExFiles" folder. You can tell that by looking at the bottom left of the USB1 display (right below MoonlightInVermont and above the P1 page indicator), which shows the folder icon and the folder name "ExFiles".

The song list shows us a folder, RGT, and five songs. It is not showing any of the other files that you know are in that folder on your USB drive. Because we are looking at "SONG" files, your Yamaha is only showing you the song files, those with a ".mid" or ".MID" file extension, in that folder. If you were to examine the RGT folder at this point by pressing the [A] button to open it, you would see a blank screen, that is, no files in that folder. We know that there are files there, but none of them are song files so the folder would appear to be empty. The fact that the folder shows no entries through the SONG display screen is NOT A REASON to delete that folder. It may, indeed, in this case, does, contain files other than song files.

If you open the RGT folder, you can return to its parent folder by pressing the UP button, which would be the upper [8] button below the screen. Back to our set of sample midi files you may note that the file titles are truncated. You only see as much of the title as will fit on half the screen. This may encourage you to use short titles or abbreviations in your filenames. While the PC can display a very long filename, your Yamaha is limited in how many characters you will be able to see in the filename.

You can select any song to load and play by using the corresponding lettered button. Let's try Cavatina by pressing the [B] button. This will highlight the song name. Press the [EXIT] button to return to the MAIN screen. If you double-click the song name, this will select the song and automatically return you to the MAIN screen.

MAIN screen with Cavatina selectedBack at the MAIN screen the contents of the SONG cell has now changed from "NewSong" to "Cavatina-BV01~". You can now use your panel SONG buttons to Play/Pause this song. This particular song was using a preset style, GuitarSerenade, so when we loaded the song, the keyboard also loaded that style and it's associated voices.

The "NewSong" that had been showing in that [A] cell was a default empty song file that Yamaha loaded when you turned on your keyboard. If you were to turn on the record feature and try some quick recording, you would be saving to that "NewSong" file. To save your recording you would have to save the file although you would want to name it something other than "NewSong" to distinguish your recording from Yamaha's default new song name. The "Naming Files" lesson in this section will explain how you can change the name of a file.

If you wanted to adjust the Cavatina midi file, you could do that. But if you wanted to save your changes, you would want to save your modified midi file under a different name. While you can not change any of the preset files in your keyboard, you can, indeed, change files in one of the other storage areas. So, if you modified the Cavatina song file and "saved" it using the same filename, you would, in fact, be replacing the version on the USB drive with a different version. If you don't want to replace an original file, simply save it under a modified filename and you will have both the original version and your modified version available. Feel free to audition the other midi files in the sample file set.

Style Files

STYLE display screen for PresetLet's now take a look at the example style files. From the MAIN screen, press the [D] button to select a new style. If you are following the example here, you were trying out Cavatina, which used the GuitarSerenade style. If that is the currently loaded stoye, the STYLE Display Screen opens up showing the GuitarSerenade style, a PRESET style located in the "Ballad" folder. If the midi file was not using one of your preset styles, than whatever style you had previously loaded would still be there and the STYLE screen would open up to that style.

STYLE display screen for USB filesWe want to see what is in the ExFiles folder on the USB drive, so tab over to the USB1 area and open the ExFiles folder. Now, you see that same RGT folder and 7 style files. Note that you are not seeing the file extension, only the file name. The file extension was used to determine which of the files in that folder would be shown in the STYLE display screen.

The first style file is shown as 8-BtWarm. On the PC, that file was listed as "8-BtWarm.s781.STY". The ".STY" indicated a style file and you can see the name in the window, but what is that ".S781" part of the filename? That is a code indicating what ICON to show next to the filename. The icon specification is optional. If you check the original listing, there is no icon code for BlueberryHill, Ebb-tide, or Ipanema. So, the Tyros3 simply inserts a default ICON for these files. When you are naming a file, you can not only provide the characters for the filename, but also select the icon that will be used with that file. The icons are for your own use, they have no impact on how the style plays.

If you repeated the exercise of checking the RGT folder, you would again see nothing in the folder since there are no style files in that folder. Feel free to try out any of the style files. I'm going to try out VegasPianist_EL.

MAIN screen with VegasPianist selectedSelecting that style and returning to the MAIN screen you see that the STYLE cell now shows VegasPianist_EL and that the voices have been changed to reflect the OTS settings in this style. This has not impacted the SONG cell -- Cavatina-BV01~ is still sitting there. The Multi Pad, however, has also been changed since that, too, is stored with the style. Of course, you don't have to keep that Multi Pad file. You could load a different Multi Pad file to use with this style. Let's see what Multi Pad files are included in the ExFiles folder.

Multi Pad Files

MULTI PAD display screenPress the [E] button to open up the MULTI PAD display screen. Check that top line and make sure it says MULTI PAD to be sure you are looking at the Multipad files. Tab over to the USB drive. Looking in the ExFiles folder, you see the RGT subfolder and, now, five multipad files. No songs or styles, although they are still in that folder. Since we are looking for Multi Pad files, ".pad", those are the only files shown. Again, we see the filename along with an icon. Select any of the Multi Pads and try them out.

MAIN screen with Multi PadsI selected the PianoArp8Bt Multi Pad and you see that in the MULTIPAD cell on the MAIN screen here. That selection did not alter the currently loaded style, nor did it alter the Multi Pad that is stored in that style. In future lessons you will see how you can modify the style itself to change the Multi Pad style stored with that style and many other aspects of the style.

If you were to simply save the VegasPianist style now with a new name so you could have a "new" copy, you would not be saving it with a different Multi-Pad -- that is a more complex process. However, if you wanted to change the voices used in the OTS, that could be accomplished by simply creating a new OTS and saving the file as you normally do. Note that the currently selected Multi Pad file would also be saved in the OTS button. So, let's look at some of the voices provided with the example files.

Voice Files

VOICE display screenPress the [F] file to open up the VOICE display screen for the RIGHT1 voice. Voice files (.vce, .liv, .swv, .clv) are shown in the VOICE display screen. All of the keyboards come with preset voices. Users can alter various voice parameters and modify the sound of any instrumental voice and save that as a "new" voice file. These files are very small since what gets saved is not the initial voice file, but the parameter changes used in altering that voice file. For this reason, a voice created on the PSR3000 may sound very different if that voice is loaded into a Tyros3.

The preset voices of the Tyros3, particularly the Super Articulation2 voices, are very realistic and one of the main reasons for moving up to that keyboard. Unfortunately, you can not take a voice from the Tyros3 and play it on earlier keyboards. The Tyros models also allow for the addition of sampled voices. These voice files can be very large and usually require additional memory. These files are very different from the voice files you see in the example file set. Go ahead and try out some of these voices and see if they work on your keyboard.

MAIN display with new voiceOK, we're back at the MAIN display screen where I have replaced the RIGHT1 voice with the BigGrandSD voice. I can play the style using this new voice in RIGHT1. However, if I were to press the OTS1 button, the voice would revert back to the original GrandPiano voice. But, if I were to press [MEMORY] and then the OTS1 button, it would save the current right-hand voices in the OTS1 memory button. I could use this method to change any of the voices used in any of the OTS buttons. To save my "new" OTS settings, I would simply save the currently loaded file, probably under a new name, and the current OTS settings would be saved with that new file.

Registration Files

REGISTRATION BANK display screenYou'll learn all about registration files in the Registrations lesson section. But let's take a few moments here to look at some of the example registration files (also called a registration bank.) This time, we press the [J] button to open up the REGISTRATION BANK display screen. Tab over to the USB drive and open the ExFiles folder. This time we see no files at all, only the RGT folder. We don't see any files because we are looking for registration files and there are no registration files in the top level of the USB drive directory.

REGISTRATIONS display screenThere are some, however, in the RGT folder. This time, when you open the RGT folder, you will see a list of available registration files. There are 10 registration files shown. Registration files are keyboard specific. I have appended a keyboard abbreviation to the registration file names to indicate what keyboard the registration is for. The folder has one registration file from the PSR-2000 (Bank1_2k.REG), but that doesn't even show up in this listing. The registration files from the 3K, Barefoot_G_HP~ and COUNTRY1_3k, do show up, but when I try to load them in the Tyros3, I get an error message saying "Data hasn't been loaded properly." A PSR-3000 would have no trouble loading these files. I used Yamaha's conversion utilities to convert some Tyros registrations over to the T2 and then the T3. The T3 seemed to be able to load and use all of these versions.

REGISTRATION INFO ScreenA registration file (also called a registration bank) holds information for what is stored in the 8 registration memory buttons. A feature that was new on the Tyros3 is an INFO button that will show you what is stored in that registration file. I selected the Ballads1_T3 registration file and pressed the upper [6] button which opened the REGIST INFORMATION screen. The [TAB] buttons are used to toggle between the first four registration entries and the last four entries. The [F] button closes this screen. The first registration button [RM1] has a GrandPiano as the R1 voice and Strings as the R2 voice with Insomnia ad the Left-hand voice. It is using the MAIN A variation of a style called Xmas Midnight at a tempo of 90.

MAIN screen with Registration file loadedSelecting this registration and returning to the MAIN screen I can see that the REGIST cell now shows Ballads1_T3 as the loaded registration file. I had also pressed the first registration memory button so you see that the R1, R2, and L voices have all changed and the REGIST cell also shows the name of this registration memory button, "Piano&String". But the STYLE hasn't changed. I do not have the style called for in that registration, so the currently loaded style remains in place, but I do have the new voices from that registration.

[Murray Best's Registration File Manager program can be used to convert a registration made for one keyboard so that it can be used on a different keyboard.]

Music Finder Files

There is one set of files in our example files group that have not yet been seen in any of the screen shots - the Music Finder data files (.mfd). Unlike all the other types of files used in your Yamaha keyboard, you can not access the Music Finder files from the MAIN screen. Since we have a whole section devoted to the Music Finder, I'll delay the discussion of how to access and use external Music Finder files to that section.


Each of the various file types used with your Yamaha keyboard has its own display screen where you are shown only files appropriate for what you are trying to do, i.e. if you are trying to load a style file, you will only see style files.

All of the display screens work exactly the same way. The TAB buttons are used to move between the various file storage areas (PRESET, CARD/FLOPPY, USB, HD). The letter buttons are used to select and open subfolders or to select and load files. If a directory has more than 10 files and folders, the numbered buttons are used to select "pages" of your file directory, each of which shows only 10 items.

If a file has a file extension not understood by your keyboard, it will not be shown anywhere. Some files are meant for specific keyboards and will not load in any other keyboard. File names can be very long, but only a limited number of characters (8 to 22) can be shown in the display screen, capital letters take up more space than lower-case letters, wide characters take up more space than narrow characters.

Now that you know how to find and load files, the next lesson will cover what you can do with those files besides simply load them into your keyboard.


This page updated on February 17, 2015 .