Disk and file copy utilities
MIDI Sequencer Software
Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
Media Player Software for Creating Playlists
Music education Software
Notation and Scoring Software
Transcription Software - Converting Audio to MIDI
This section briefly describes the kinds of music software that is useful to people who own MIDI Players. Music software is constantly packaged under different names. Computer operating systems today are using Windows 7, Mac OS, and the Universal formats for Linux. For software that runs in DOS or uses serial ports, refer to the original MIDI Player Tools 2003 edition or at www.carolrpt.com.
To download the software, click the
Disk and File Copy Utilities
A common tendency when using DOS utilities such as these, is that they will happily overwrite your files in the directory or on floppy disk you are using. Always use a COPY of the song file you want to change when using these utilities, and keep the original, unchanged copy somewhere else just in case you don’t like the results!
The nice thing about this copy utility is that it copies files on floppy disks to your hard drive on XP computers. It saves the trouble of duplicating a copy-protected disk first, then moving the files to a hard drive.
This is not a free program, but Shareware from the author, Guenter Nagler who will eventually want a small fee. Not only does it convert MIDI format 1 to format 0, MIDI format 0 to format 1, but repairs errors in MIDI file structure, convert MIDI files to and from Karaoke (.kar) files, edit MIDI files, change volume, contains a simple MIDI player, etc. One really nice feature is the "convert program to PianoDisc" which puts all the tracks in a MIDI file (format 0) on channel 1 so that is plays on a player piano. I think this is a "must have" program to editing MIDI files.
This utility was written by Richard Stibbons has good documentation and is available at:
program was written by Spencer Chase to modify the volume in MIDI files.
It was written with the MIDI Player Pianos in mind as the piano parts (channels
1 and 2) can be modified separately from the Ensemble parts. He also has
other utility programs here.
These are 5 of the handiest utilities you will ever use with your Disklavier - perhaps the only ones you will need. The author who wrote them years ago has insisted on anonymity, but everyone who uses these programs should give a quiet thanks. They are free. These programs allow you to make back-up copies of your Yamaha diskettes without the copy protection. The original PianoSoft discs are copy protected so that your computer cannot see them. This has been achieved by placing invalid data on the first sector of the diskette. As DOS and Windows always refer to this sector to check out a floppy, they will report that the discs are bad. The Yamaha machinery ignores the first sector so it reads them normally. These programs work best using the 2DD disks formatted on your computer’s disk drive at 720 kb. For more information about using 2DD 720k disks, refer to the section on Managing Disks. The detailed instructions for these programs are contained in the dkvutils.txt.
A DOS utility which must be run from the real DOS (i.e. not DOS running under Windows). It copies copy-protected Disklavier discs onto unprotected blank floppies. These must be Double Density (2DD) (not 2HD) disks formatted to 720 KB. The copy will play normally in Disklaviers and may also be examined in the normal way by DOS and Windows. See the section, Formatting Floppy Disks in the Managing Disks section.
explores Disklavier discs and enables Disklavier .FIL files to be added to the disc directory, PIANODIR.FIL. Enables editing of title fields, disk name, etc. You would use this program to create you own Yamaha-type (ESEQ) disks from songs in your collection.
VELOSET (runs in Windows)
displays the velocity distributions of any MIDI file (and E-SEQ file) dropped into the window. The dynamic range and minium velocity may be adjusted using the right and left sliders. The modified version of the file may be re-saved and will overwrite the original version. This is the program that is easiest to use to make “quiet” versions of your Yamaha disks. For those who want to use their Disklaviers as background music on occasion, make “quiet” copies of your Yamaha Disk using this program
Converts MIDI type 0 or type 1 files to ESEQ. The output filename takes the input name, substituting the FIL extension. The filename is truncated to 8 characters and made. It will overwrite an existing ESEQ file of the same name without warning. It would enable you to collect songs from the internet and play them on Disklaviers that ONLY played ESEQ files
ESEQ to MIDI type 0 files. The
output filename is the same as the input name, substituting the MID extension. Again, it will happily overwrite an existing MIDI file of the
same name without warning. You
would use this program to convert a Yamaha ESEQ file to a standard MIDI file so
you could print out the sheet music and learn to play that particular
arrangement of a song yourself.
Software utility for Windows, written by Mark Fontana, which allows you to encode MIDI and ESEQ music files into the special audio formats required by several types of electronic player piano systems: the Yamaha Disklavier, PIanodisc iQ, Live Performance LX, Marantz Pianocorder and QRS PIanomation and create CDs that will play your MIDI Player.
PPFBU Player Piano Floppy Backup Utility http://www.kinura.net/ppfbu/
The absolute best floppy disk utility as of 2016. Windows based utility for backing up Disklavier and PianoDisc floppy disks.
A sequencer can be thought of as a word processor for music. This is the kind of program used to edit, play and record MIDI files. You can change which track the piano will play, edit “wrong” notes; change pitch and volume; assign parts of the score to various instruments as well as the piano. Most sequencers also have a Notation Window from which you can edit and print sheet music.
PowerTracks Pro Audio (Windows) www.pgmusic.com
Also has Jukebox feature; Notation view for editing and printing sheet music; Tracks Window view for editing tracks and the instruments that play on them; Mixer Window for editing volume; etc. You can use a program like this to record music off your MIDI piano directly into your computer; set up play lists to control your piano from your computer, edit and print sheet music. Also comes with a really good instruction manual. Has a feature which will convert MIDI files to audio files that can be burned to a CD.
Yamaha XG Works 3.0 (Windows) www.midiplayertools.com/Software
This is the Yamaha Music Sequence Software that does all the standard features, but also does a lot more. Has an incredible assortment of editing tools and views. It is specially designed to edit the XG sounds that came with your Disklavier. It also does guitar editing and tablature and Voice to Score editing. This program has been off the market for years.
Anvil Studio (Windows 7/Vista/XP) www.anvilstudio.com
Free editor for both MIDI and Audio files. Plug-ins available.
AriaMaestro (open source GPS) MIDI editor from http://ariamaestro.sourceforge.net
Audacity (Windows, MacOS, Linux) is a free, open platform audio editor at: http://audacity.sourceforge.net
Rondo (MacOS) shareware MIDI editor at: www.fracturedsoftware.com/rondo/
Sonar X1 by Roland at www.cakewalk.com
Logic Express (Mac OS only) at www.apple.com/logicexpress/
RePerform - the only sequencer software available for editing high resolution MIDI files created on a Disklavier Pro. Available from: http://www.zenph.com/zenph-software/reperform.html
DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations)
Digital Audio Workstations are suites of software programs that work together to produce, edit and master both digital audio and MIDI music. They do all the things that sequencer software does and much more. Usually included are various plug-ins for sound design and a library of sampled instruments, drum patches, rhythm modules and a good sound module. There are several popular ones available with names like Adobe Audition, Steinberg Cubase, Ableton Live, ACID Pro, Cakewalk Sonar, MOTU Digital Performer, etc. Usually a very fast computer processor, 2-4 GB ram, and external hard drive for the audio data and a digital audio interface (like the MBox) are needed to run these programs without frustration.
The following two software packages are considered industry standards and both accomodate virtual pianos:
Logic Pro Studio 8 or higher (MacOS only) at: www.apple.com/logicstudio/
Pro Tools LE (Windows, MacOS) packaged with MBOX (digital iaudio nterface) at: www.avid.com
These are software packages that turn a piano MIDI file into a fantastic digital audio recording. They can be stand-alone programs, or plug-ins for Digital Audio Workstations, often called VSTs (Windows), AUs (Apple computers) or RTAS (ProTools). You open the Virtual Piano program, and drop in a MIDI file. Out comes a beautiful digital audio file (.wav) that can be burned to a CD or changed into an MP3 file to play in your home or car stereo system. DAW packages above come with good sounding pianos and you can use the synthesized piano sounds on your computer soundcard to do this, but if you really want a super quality sound, listen to these:
Akousitic piano package (can buy them individually)
Virtual Grand Piano by Art Vista at www.artvista.net
Steinberg The Grand 3 at www.steinberg.net
PianoTEQ (France) www.pianoteq.com
Ivory II at www.synthology.com
Media Player Software for Creating Playlists
Also known as Jukebox Software. These programs allow you to compile “play lists” on a computer connected to your Midi Player. You can choose any number of songs you want and play them in the order you prefer. Great for parties when you don’t want to change the disk every 20 minutes, or your disk drive is broken on your control unit.
A free program with many features that works on all Windows platforms. Plays standard MIDI files only. Also has very good instructions. Make sure you don't overlook the little buttons in the corner! Available on this site.
The unique feature is that it can play .fil files (Yamaha's proprietary Eseq files) right from the PianoSoft floppy disks without having to convert them to MIDI files first. Available on this site.
Winamp is a free media player that allows you to manage and organize your music. It runs on Windows and has an Android app
another free media player that some folks like better than iTunes. Runs on Windows only. Some people think this a THE BEST of the media players. See:
a Karaoke Player for Apple Computers
dkvBrowser RCP Supercedes dkvBrowser(non RCP)
an alternative to the Disklavier Remote for MarkIV, E3 Disklaviers, and the DKC-850 Control Box
Music Education Software
A musician can play a piece of music on a MIDI instrument, reading the music off the computer screen, while the music's accompaniment is synchronized to his/her playing. You play the "solo" part on a keyboard, and Home Concert plays the accompaniment, following your timing, tempo, and dynamic changes! It's like having a private orchestra and conductor to play with you every time.
Internet MIDI enables you to give lessons over the internet, perform over long distances for internet audiences, and play duets with someone else over a long distance. It connects two MIDI instruments together over the Internet. If you connect two MIDI keyboards and play a note on one of them, the same note plays on the other one.
Notation and Scoring Software
Used to edit and produce sheet music. Although Sequencer Programs above have this feature, a dedicated program for this purpose may have more features. Most notation software will let you enter the notes with a mouse; enter notes by playing them on your computer keyboard, or import a MIDI file you created on your Midi Piano. These programs are also used to change the key signature or transpose music up or down with just a few mouse clicks.
It has been my experience that no matter what program you use, extensive editing is needed to produce playable sheet music. See Printing Sheet Music from MIDI Files in the Music Files section.
Cakewalk Music Creator www.cakewalk.com
This is thought by many to be the primo scoring program available. Full details, free versions of Note Pad, and less expensive versions are available on their website.
Smart Score www.musitek.com
This is a precision music scanning program that works with Finale. It claims to be able to scan sheet music and turn it into MIDI files. It also claims to be able to transport the scanned images of sheet music into a form that can be used to transpose the key signature and do other editing. My own experience is that this process still needs a lot of editing, even for the amount of money spent!
This is the other professional software package that is very popular. It works with their Photo Score Pro software with supposedly good results.
Transcription Software - Converting Audio to MIDI
It is now fairly easy to convert a MIDI file into an audio file so that it can be played from a CD or MP3 player. However, the reverse, converting an audio recording to a MIDI data file that will play your piano, is mostly still impossible. The closest anyone has achieved this feat is John Q.Walker and the team at Zenph Sound Innovations (www.zenph.com) with their Re-Performances. The Melodyne Editor (www.celemony.com) is the first successful software to be able to edit a polyphonic audio file just like you would a MIDI file. It can take a trio of singers, and isolate a note or phrase of one voice that is off pitch. The problem has been that piano music is not just one single tone (monophonic), but due to all the overtones and partials generated with each strike of a string, piano music is polyphonic.
However, some progress has been made in converting single voices to MIDI files. This means that the human voice, or a guitar, or flute might work with this software, but definitely NOT a piano because of the harmonics generated.
Akoff Music Composer 2.0 http://www.akoff.com/music-composer.html
It is music recognition software which performs WAV to MIDI conversion. You can sing, whistle or play guitar, piano, flute and so on with your microphone, Composer will automatically recognize and score your music and create standard MIDI sequences. Neither a MIDI keyboard nor any musical experience are required to compose music.
Amazing MIDI 1.70 http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~araki/amazingmidi/
Automatically transcribes music, converting WAV files into MIDI files. It can recognize single-instrument polyphonic music. Even if the music contains several different instruments, Amazing MIDI writes down all detected notes as a single-instrument music. The demo version of this program creates a 30-second MIDI file!