Performing with an Accordion and Tyros5
My accordion files are played on an accordion coupled via MIDI to my Tyros5. The sound from the accordion goes from the accordion and the organ sounds come from the Tyros5 and sometimes from a Roland BK-7m backing module. Everything is coupled via MIDIi, so we have a lot of sounds to play with.
This photo shows the installation I have in my little studio. It is also what I (and Dick) use for a performance. The Tyros5 and the PSR-900 are the central sound machines. And beside the Tyros5 is the Roland BK-7m backing module. The BK-7m is only used for some accordion styles that are not on the Tyros5. I think it is made for accordion sounds.
I only use the PSR-900 now and then to play, for example, a trumpet or saxophone and not more, but the sound is very nice.
The Tyros5 is used for strings and other orchestra sounds in the background because this sound is stereo and therefore the music performance sounds better. Some times I also use the Tyros5 for the piano sound.
This setup is only used when I play accordion and I need no drums. I also play music on the Tyros but than with styles and so.
In have two accordions with MIDI. The first is the Piatanesi. This is an Italian instrument and plays very well. I bought it in Castelfidardo in Italy. In this accordion are two built-in microphones and and a built-in MIDI device. Both devices have a wireless connection with a mixer and MIDI expander. The sound from this accordion is mono.
Then, I have a Roland FR-7 digital accordion. I play this also on a performance but only when I have to play a longer time because of the trouble with my left shoulder. Because it is a digital instrument, I don't have to pull on the accordion for sound and my shoulder likes that. MIDI and sound are also coupled via a wireless device. The sound is mono.
And then I have the Roland BK-7m backing module, also coupled with the midi expander on channel 3 and then with a cable to the mixer. The BK-7m understands my FR-7 accordion very well in one click. So when I play accordion with a style, I can use the Tyros5 or the BK-7m.
From the sound mixer it goes to the Bose 400 w amplifier and also to a laptop computer for recording if we wish that. This mixer is also digital and couples with Bluetooth to my Samsung. On the Samsung tablet I can manage the mixer and that is very nice. I could not buy the mixer I am using so I built it myself. My mixer has 5 MIDI IN ports and 4 MIDI OUT ports. See the diagram shown here. Click on the image for a larger view.
(Jul 16, 2022) Here are some Accordion/T5 songs played by me and some together with my friend Dick (marked with an *). These are all well known Dutch songs we played on a musical performance. Our friend Hans recorded our performance. For more information on how I have connected my accordions to my Tyros5, see the section on "Performing with an Accordion and Tyros5" at the bottom of this page.
Aan het strand stil en verlaten
More on MIDI Installation Details
Using MIDI in a performance may be new to some users so Joe asked me to provide some more explicit details on how all this works. I will try to explain my installation a little bit better.
When I have a performance, which is for the whole evening, I have the instruments with me as you can see on the connection drawing. As you can see, I am not a draughtsman, but I hope it is understandable. Click on that image and it will open larger in a separate window.
I have the following hardware:
- Tyros5 and PSR-900 keyboards,
- Roland FR-7 Accordion and Piatanesi Accordion both with MIDI,
- Roland BK-7m Sound module with MIDI,
- DAB sound mixer/amplifier (2 x 400 watt),
- MIDI Merger (built by me) with 4 MIDI IN and 4 MIDI OUT,
- Two speakers (400 watts)
- Two microphones
- One laptop ASUS computer for possibly recording,
- And, of course, cables and a technician.
I play mostly on the accordions and on the Tyros5 when, for example, they want rock n roll, so I use a very nice rock style. The Tyros5, PSR-900 and BK-7m have sound cables conjugated to the DAB sound mixer/amplifier to have stereo background music. Two microphones are also connected.
The two accordions are conjugated with a Lekato wireless guitar device shown here, so I have a wireless sound connection with the sound mixer although the sound of these instruments is only mono. The wireless connection allows me to move on the stage with the accordion if I want to.
Now let's look at the MIDI connections. First, consider the MIDI Merger, the central device for all connections. I built it myself 25 years ago and it still works fine. However, you can buy this kind of thing on the internet or in a good music store.
You can put more MIDI instruments together on this device and send the MIDI OUT signal to receiving instruments such as the Tyros5, PSR-900 and BK-7m. Both accordions have a wireless MIDI device (see picture) so I can move on the stage without any cable.
The Roland FR7 has a battery for 10 hours. The Pitanesi is an air accordion and has a battery for the MIDI device and the microphone amplifier. Battery change is once a year. When I play, for example, the FR7 accordion, you can hear the sound direct from the sound mixer/amplifier and then the speakers, but this is very “dry”.
The MIDI OUT signal from the FR-7 accordion goes wireless to the MIDI Merger and then, with a cable, to the midi in connector from the BK-7m sound module, Tyros5 and PSR-900. For example, I choose on the Tyros5 strings then the Tyros5 will play with the accordion in the same keys. The strings sound from the Tyros5 you hear via the sound mixer/amplifier and speakers. That’s it, no more. Also, any sound from the PSR-900 or BK-7m backing module, you hear the same way.
I have only one way with the MIDI signal. I can not play on the Tyros and then also hear sound from the accordion.
The accordion gives only MIDI OUT to the MIDI IN of the MIDI Merger. Then, the MIDI Merger combines the MIDI signals to MIDI OUT and this goes to the MIDI IN connectors on the Tyros5. BK-7m and PSR-900 and the Tyros5 or BK-7m or PSR-900 or all three together play the sound I want. That sound can be very nice as you can hear on my mp3’s.
I hope this explanation gives visitors a better view on how all this works!