A Music Finder DB for the T4

by Joe Waters

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As I mentioned in the previous lesson, I wanted to setup Music Finder databases for individual fake books. I had done this earlier for the PSR-2000 and it seemed like it was time to update that project. One could simply pick out a fake book and start working on the songs in that book. However, since many songs appear in several different fake books, it is more efficient to use the same song record for every book that the song appears in. This required setting up a database that showed, for each song title, all the books that that song appeared in. It was that database that told me which of the songs in the Music Finder+ system would be needed. If there was a record for a song that was not in any of my fake books, no need to download the record since, not being able to play by ear, I could not play the song if I didn't have the sheet music.

By combining records from the various Music Finder preset databases and the new records downloaded from Yamaha's IDC, I was able to come up with a database with records for over 2,000 songs. For all of these I modified the keyword field to include two-letter abbreviations for the fake book in which that song appeared. With these keywords in place, searching on a particular 2-letter phrase in the keywords would produce a subset of records containing only the songs that were in that book. For example, I used the abbreviation "JS" for Hall Leonard's Real Jazz Standards Fake Book. Searching on "JS" created a subset of songs from that book. Of all the books included in the system, that book had the highest percentage of songs covered. So I decided to complete the book by creating records for the remaining songs. In some cases, there are two records for a single song since the song may have been popular in two different tempos.

This screen shot shows the final MFD for the Real Jazz Standards Fake Book. There are 302 records in this database covering the 260 songs found in this fake book. Note that there are two records for All or Nothing At All. One uses the Main A variation of the JazzGuitarClub style at 93 bpm and the other uses the MAIN B variation of the BigBandFast2 style at 144 bpm. Neither one of these match the records downloaded from the Music Finder+ system.

I learned, to my disappointment, that many of the records that I had downloaded had to be modified. So, not only did I need to create missing records for some of the songs, but I also had to modify many of the records that were already collected. I gathered a lot of experience in selecting new styles and I'll provide some tips you may find useful below. The bottom line is, while some Music Finder+ plus records may work just fine for your particular keyboard, many not be at all be what you want and you will need to fix the record yourself. So, let's see how to do just that.

Creating Music Finder Records

Earlier lessons showed how you can edit a Music Finder record and make changes, so I assume you know how to do that. Here, I'll provide some tips on how you can figure out what to put in those records.

What Is the Right Tempo?

If a record didn't sound quire right, for example, the style seemed to be playing too slow, the first step seemed to be to find out what the song should sound like. To do this, I took advantage of my iTunes system. I have a lot of songs in my iTunes library and I could simply listen to different versions of the song from my own library. I found a small application called bpmWidget, which is "a tap-tempo bpm estimation device that can then copy the bpm to the ID3 tags of the current track in iTunes at the click of a button." When playing a song in iTunes, I simply tapped the mouse in time with the song tempo and this widget calculated the beats per minute (bpm). I don't know if the tapping was perfectly accurate, but it was close enough for my purposes.

Of course, I didn't have all the songs and even for those I had, I may have had only one or two versions of the song. But, with iTunes, it is a simple matter to go to the iTunes store, search on a song title, and find many versions of the song, each of which you can audition. I did that and would listen to the sample and tap along with the beat and jot down the calculated tempo. It was amazing how many different artists recorded some of these songs. After all, this was a book of "standards." For some of the songs, the performances would cluster around a common tempo or, perhaps around two tempos. For some songs, however, it was clear there was no commonly accepted tempo and the performances were almost all different and over a wide range of tempos from very slow to very fast. This pretty well illustrated how you could use just about any tempo for some songs. Other songs, by contrast, did have some agreement as to the "accepted" tempo and I wanted to select a tempo that would be familiar to most people. After listening to (and recording the tempo for) many (sometimes 20 or 30) variations of a song, I would get a feeling for the tempo (or tempos) I would like to use for the song. So, I would edit the exiting record and set the tempo appropriately.

Trying Out Styles

Every style has a default tempo and when you select and load that style, it starts out with that tempo. You can change the style tempo, of course, but to compare various styles as candidates for a particular song, it would be nice if you could load the alternative styles and listen to each one as it played at the desired tempo. Fortunately, there is an option in your keyboard that lets you do just that.

Keeping tempo constantOn the Tyros4, select the FUNCTION menu and, from there, select the STYLE SETTING/SPLIT POINT/CHORD FINGERING option. On the first TAB, STYLE SETTING, you can specify what happens when you change styles. Notice, on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the STYLE CHANGE BEHAVIOR options, one of which is TEMPO. You can choose to HOLD or RESET the tempo. If you put this on HOLD, then, whenever a style is playing and you load a new style, the keyboard will hold the current tempo and the new style will start playing at that tempo. If the SECTION SET is kept at OFF, as in this screen shot, then whatever variation you currently have will not change either.

If you are playing BigBandFast1 with MAIN B at a tempo of 80, you can can go to the STYLE screen and select BigBandMed1 and that style will be loaded without any break in the playing -- tempo still going at 80 and you are still listening to the B variation. If OTS Link is on, you will also be listening to the OTS2 voices.

This is an easy way to try out different styles for a particular song. Note that you are trying out not only a different style, but also a different OTS voice. I found that many of my choices for a MusicFinder record were driven by the OTS voices available in that style. I tried to set all the records using only preset styles, but that also restricted me to the preset OTS voices. I did include some styles from the Tyros3, which may have had more appropriate OTS voices. The Tyros4 includes a lot of scat voices in the OTS, which are fine as an occasional novelty, but would become tiresome if used on a lot of songs.

Intros in the MFD Record

Every style has four main variations and you can specify which of these main variations will be used to start the song. The variations normally advance from a very simple format to a busier, more complex format, that is, more voices in the accompaniment. A style that may be appropriate with one variation, may not work well for a different variation.

There are also three different INTROs that can be specified in the MFD record. These, too, usually advance from very simple to more complex and extended versions. One of these may be just right for a particular song, however, if an audience hears the same introduction for several different songs, it can become very tiresome. In my case, after several hundred songs, I grew less and less enamored of using an Intro. I also found that the Intro seemed to play at a louder volume than myself when the song started. It was like the intro was playing with touch sensitivity OFF. I normally play with TOUCH ON and use a soft touch. So, the intro would sound loud when compared to the sound of the song itself. For this reason, I wound up setting the intro to match whatever main variation I was using. So, if the style was to start with MAIN A, I would set the Intro to MAIN A as well. You, of course, can reset this to be whatever you want.

Using Advanced T4/S910 Features

I restricted my choices to preset styles and OTS because I wanted to be able to provide this MFD to other users. If it were for my own use, the records might be very different. Most users will freely change the OTS voices to suit their preferences for a particular song. Those changes can be saved in a registration file or they can be saved as a new version of the style itself. You can't change the OTS on the preset style, but you can change the OTS and save that style somewhere on your USB or hard drive. If you do that, your Music Finder record can point to your modified style for a particular song. Since the Music Finder can now point to any style, not just the preset styles, it is no longer a very restricted system. Yes, it is still limited to setting the tempo and the style, but the style can be any style you want and you can make all the changes you want in that style so that the Music Finder record can now point to songs specifically tuned to a particular song just the way you want to hear that song.

After adjusting many of the records for the Real Jazz Standards book, I discovered that using the T3 version of a style, rather than the T4 version, resulted in a better fit. So, I created a folder with the original T3 styles in it and pointed to that folder when selecting the style for the record. In the MFD record, the T4 style, DreamyBallad , is used for Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me and it is displayed in the STYLE field of the MFD record as:

[Preset] Swing&Jazz

The T3 version of this style is used for Angel Eyes and it is displayed in the STYLE field of the MFD record as:


The style is displayed in two lines. The first line shows the path to the style; the second line, the style name. This record pointing to a style on the HD would only work if your HD has exactly similar folders and style names. However, if it doesn't match exactly, you can simply edit the record and point to the named style in whatever folder you happen to have it.

Both records above called for the MAIN A version of the style. In the T4 style, there is a SA ConcertGrand piano in the R1 voice; in the T3 version, MAIN A has the SA2 RomanceClarinet voice in R1. This is a good illustration of how a given style can have different OTS settings in different keyboards.

A Complete MFD for the T4

If you have a Tyros4 and would like to try out the Music Finder database I created for the Real Jazz Standards Fake Book (JS) as well as one created for a smaller fake book, Real Chord Changes For 54 Standards (RCC54), they are provided below in the zip files in the table below. I chose these two books because I had the largest percentage of records available for the songs in the books and, therefore, only had to add a limited number of "new" records to complete the collection. It turns out, however, that these two books are different from most of the fake books available. The Real Chord Changes book includes some jazzier chords for each song as well as the original chords. The Real Jazz Standards book includes the verse and chorus of each song, as do all fake books, but also includes an introduction for most songs.

Tyros4 MFDs
JS-RealJazzStan.zip RCC54Stan.zip

The zip file includes the Tyros4 MFD file as well as an Excel file and a tab-delimited text file of the MFD records. The Excel file was created by loading the MFD file into Michael Bedesem's MusicFinderView program and then extracting the records as a tab-delimited text file. This file was then loaded into Excel and saved as an Excel file. You can use Michael's program to convert the T4 MFD file to your specific keyboard by setting your keyboard as the "target" instrument. In so doing, however, records using styles not in your keyboard will not be saved. You can, alternatively, load an MFD from your keyboard into MusicFinderView and then append the tab-delimited file to your MFD, or to an empty MFD, to make a version for your keyboard. Records that could not be added are shown in the import log.

The Excel file will show you the style used (including those that were not Tyros4 presets) and the variation. It does include a number of Tyros4 styles that are not available on earlier keyboards, but, since you know how to find an appropriate style by yourself, you can take the tempo specified and find a style on you keyboard that would work for you.

After the above exercise, it was clear I could not use this method to create complete Music Finder databases for other fake books. In the next lesson, I'll describe the method I did use to create databases for other fake books.

This page updated on March 2, 2016 .