Advanced Song Editing

by Phil Hall

Previous Nextcentered text

Using the Song Creator to Change the Volume of a Single Track in the Middle of a Song

There was some discussion while I was "on vacation" (retirees don't really get vacations) about how to change the volume of a single track in one or more places in the middle of a song. There were several suggestions offered, but all used Cakewalk or changed the volume for the whole track.

The PSR Song Creator, however, can also be used to accomplish this right at your keyboard. You can edit the midi commands using cut and paste, but in this lesson, I thought I would describe the "insert" method to give you more insight into the potential of the Song Creator. The following instructions work on the 2000, 2100, Tyros and 3000 (and subsequent keyboards - JW); although the screens might be slightly different. These instructions are based on the Tyros and the screen shot below shows the Tyros screen.

The discussion focused on how to lower the volume of track 1 near the end of the song without effecting the rest of track 1. I broke this down into 21 steps. But don't think that it is that complicated. If I say "Press H" or something similar, look at the screen next to the button. You will learn your way around editing quite quickly that way.

Step 1 - Load the song you want to change.

Step 2 - Press [Digital Recording].

Step 3 - Press [A] - Song Creator (it's also the Song Editor).

Songs  1-16 screenStep 4 - Press the [Next] button to get over to the tab that says 1-16. This shows the midi commands for a track.

If you want to change a track other than #1, Press [F] enough times to make the screen show the desired track number.

Song - 1-16 - FILTER - MAINStep 5 - Press [H] (Filter) - The filter allows you to show or hide the different kinds of midi commands. There are three FILTER screens, MAIN, CTRL CHG, and STYLE. The first one you see will be the MAIN screen. In this screen shot, the PITCH BEND and AFTER TOUCH events would still be hidden. For this, we want to see them all. So -

Step 6 - Press [H] again, for ALL ON.

Songs - 1-16 -  FILTER - CTRL CHGStep 7 - We are going to repeat this process for the other two screens of midi events.

Press [D] CTRL CHG (Control Change) and then [H] again for ALL ON. The screen shot here shows all the control change events turned on.

song - M-16 - Filter - STYLE eventsStep 8 - Press [E] (Style) and then [H] again for ALL ON.

NOTE: Step 8 is not required for changing volume of a track - but there are many other things that you can change the same way, and seeing all the data is usually good.

Step 9 - Press [Exit] once to see the midi commands for this track again.

Step 10 - Press the Song [Start/Stop] or [Play] button to get the song playing.

songs-1-16 bar 15, beat1Step 11 - Press the button again when it gets to the point you want to change the volume. If you went to far, no problem - Press the [A] Button to get back to the last note BEFORE you want the change to take place. That note should be the one that is now highlighted. In this screen shot, we want to change the volume in Bar 15, Beat 2, so we stop in the line right before that: Bar 15, Beat 1.

Bar 15 Beat 1 duplicatedStep 12 - Press [6] Down (or bottom) for INS. This will insert a new line, which is a copy of the one the cursor was on and highlight the new line.


Note changed to CTRLStep 13 - Use the [D] or [E] button to move the highlighted box over to the word Note.

Step 14 - Press the [5] button (top or bottom) enough times to change the word Note into Ctrl (so that we can control the volume).

Changing CTRL from 0 to 7Step 15 - Press [E] once to move the highlight to the next column. This is the command type.

Step 16 - Press [5] top enough times to make the number in the box a seven. To check your work, the far right column on that line should now say Volume.

Volume setting changed to 60Step 17 - Press [E] again to move to the next column. This is the volume setting - 0 is no volume, 127 is the highest volume.

Step 18 - Press the [4] or [5] button top or bottom to get the volume number that you want. The [4] button moves it up or down 10 at a time, the [5] moves it one at a time. In the partial screen shot above, volume setting is moved to 60.

Step 19 - Press the [1] bottom button several times to back up several bars in the song. Press the Song [Start/Stop] button to listen and see how you like the change. If you want to change the volume some more at that location, move the highlighting back to that line you inserted and over the volume number you set and change it again. (If you change it again you must move the highlight to another box or line to make it take effect. We did this the first time by backing up and listening to part of the song again.)

Step 20 - Press [I] (Save) and follow the usual steps in saving a song.

Step 21 - Press [Direct Access] and [Exit] to get back to your main menu.

Note: You will find that the Song Creator has turned off some of your settings such as OTS Link and Sync Start. If you want to change the volume in other places or on other tracks, just go through these steps again.

Other Changes You Can Make

You will find that there are many other editing things that you can do from Song Creator and the 1-16 tab. For example:

Wrong Note

Played a wrong note while recording? (I never have, but some of you might have.) Select the track that the note was on. Start the song playing. Stop the song when it gets to the wrong note. Press the [A] button to highlight the bad note. Press the [D] or [E] button to highlight the note name (F3 for example). Play the right note and it will change it. Move the highlight off that box to make the change take effect. Don't forget to save the change.

Too Loud (or Soft)

One or more of the notes are too loud or too soft? Find the note as above. Highlight the line, then highlight the number to the right of the note name. This is the velocity value. Play any note one or more times until the volume is as loud or soft as you want. How hard you hit the note last is what will be remembered. Move the highlight off that box to make the change take effect. Save your change. You could also have used the [4] and [5] buttons to change the velocity, but my way you get to hear it.

Timing Off

Play a note too early or late or not hold it long enough? The numbers in the lines for notes are bar:beat:clock - for example 015:3:1080 means that note starts playing in bar 15, third beat in the bar, and 1080 clocks after the start of that beat (there are 1920 clocks per quarter note but they are numbered 0 to 1919 - computer people do that just to confuse us). The next column is the word Note for the type of line this is (we changed one to Ctrl 7 or Volume earlier). The name of the key pressed is the next column (D5 would be the 5th D from your left on your keyboard). The number following that is the Velocity or how hard the key is struck (0 to 127). And the last pair of numbers are the number of quarter notes and clocks that the note is to be held. 0002:0960 would be 2 quarter notes + 960 clocks (half of 1920 or half a quarter note) or a half note tied to an eighth note.

Just look at all the fun you can have!

If you have any questions send me a message; I'll be happy to try to help. I charge a very small fee - you have to send in a song that you fixed - fair enough?



This page updated on March 3, 2014 .