Recording Your Own Multipads

by Leo Dunne

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Use the following step-by-step procedure to create your very own multi pads. These steps should work on all PSR and Tyros keyboards since the PSR-2000. (The images show the four MULTI PAD buttons on the PSR-2100 and PSR-3000 respectively.)

Step 1. Select a Style which you want to create a Multi Pad for.

Step 2. Cancel (turn off) the LAYER voice on the 2k/3k keyboards (R2 & R3 voices on the Tyros) and assign a voice of your choice to MAIN (or R1).

Step 3. Press [DIGITAL RECORDING] button to bring up the DIGITAL REC MENU and then select the MULTI PAD CREATOR (button C).

Step 4. From the MULTI PAD CREATOR screen display select NEW BANK, button [C]. You can see that the screen is very similar whether for the 2000/2100 (left) or the Tyros/3000 (right).

Step 5. At the bottom of the screen you will see the REPEAT and CHORD MATCH functions for all 4 Pads. They are initially OFF. Turn them all ON. (Use the 8 numbered buttons at the bottom of the screen.)

Step 6. There is a little window for each of the four pad buttons. You select a pad button by pressing the corresponding button ([A], [B], [F], or [G]. Select Pad1 to start (press the [A] button) to designate this pad for recording to. At this stage you must make all the settings you require for this Pad, including Voice, if not already assigned to MAIN or R1. The most critical settings to consider would be Volume, Pan, Reverb, and Octave/Tune. All these settings are made via the MIXING CONSOLE.

Step 7. Press the [MIXING CONSOLE] button to enter this facility and make all your settings as required.

Step 8. Press the [EXIT] button to return to the MULTI PAD CREATOR screen and to enter the Recording phase. Notice the REC prompt on the screen next to the [H] button, but don't press it just yet. Before you proceed, start the rhythm and have a little play about until you think you know what you’re going to record. Remember, you can only record to the MULTI PADS in the key C, that is, any combination of notes/chords of C including semitones, but avoid using "F" unless for a fleeting moment in a run. Refer to your Owners Manual for further clarification.

Step 9. Now, to start recording press the [H] button as indicated, which will result in a Message "Record Waiting." For what you might ask? For you to start playing, of course! Recording starts as soon as you touch the keys. So, take a deep breath and try to start left and right hands together.

While there are no rules here, it’s good idea to start a Pad at the beginning of a bar and to end at the end of a bar or sequence of bars, i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16. .etc.

To finish/stop/end recording, hit the [H] button again. This is best done "Smartly" coinciding with the end of a bar or bar sequence.

You can now check out how your Pad sounds and how the PSR handles chord changes. Just play the left hand/rhythm and bring in the pad 1 as in normal play. It is unlikely you'll be happy with your first take, but don’t worry, just repeat the process in step 9 over and over until you are happy with the result, at which time you can move on to recording Pad 2.

Step 10. Repeat the procedure from Step 6 above by selecting Pad 2 and follow through to end Step 9, and so on through all 4 Pads.

When you have completed recording all your pads, go through the Save/Name process as prompted on the screen. You can, of course, include this step at the end of each Pads recording session. I fact, prudent folks have learned to save early and often.

After a while you will become quite proficient at this procedure and you can achieve some very interesting results. I also think that your own Pads tend to be a better fit for your music, because they have been developed in your own style of play. Here are a few further pointers which may be worth considering.

Pad Volume

Try to record all Pads so that they all play back at similar volume levels. I currently record at approximately 100 but may make some adjustments up/down depending on the voice strength itself. At a specified volume level, some voices will be more prominent than others and you should take account of these variances when recording. This also becomes important when later you may wish to transfer individual Pads between Pad Sets.


Pads are likely to be more effective and/or distinctive if panned from left to right. I tend to follow a standard pattern and use the following approximate settings: P1 - 20, P2 - 40, P3 - 85, and P4 - 100.


Most voices benefit and become brighter with a little reverb, so make these settings to your liking at the set-up stage prior to recording. As far as I'm aware, it’s not possible to make adjustments to the many Mixing Console settings after Pad recordings have been made and saved.

Post any questions you may have on the psrtutorial Forum, or send me an email directly. For those who want their multi pads ready made, you'll find over one hundred that I have created available on the Multi Pad page in the Styles section.




This page updated on March 3, 2014 .