Music Software and Utilities

Disk and file copy utilities
Sequencer Software
Jukebox Programs
Music education Software
Notation and Scoring Software
Transcription Software

This section briefly describes the kinds of music software that is available, and presents programs that are free or inexpensive for downloading from this website.  Music software is constantly improving and being packaged under different names.  To see a good listing of what is available, as well as demo versions of professional programs, go to the  http://www.sharewaremusicmachine.com 

NOTE: You will need to have a program on your computer like WinZip to open some of the software described and available here.  The software, or the associated links, described in this section can be found at www.carolrpt.com/softwaredwnld.htm  Each program comes with detailed instructions in the readme.txt files.

Disk and File Copy Utilities

Most of these programs are DOS programs, and need to be run by restarting your computer in DOS mode.  They don’t always work from the DOS prompt in Windows. 

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!  You should be familiar with the information in the sections on  Managing Disks and  Music Files  before using any of this software.

AnaDisk

A disk copy program has been able to copy any copy-protected disk so far. Even  runs in the DOS window of XP.

CBX driver  from www.Yamaha.com for Windows 98

This utility must be installed when using the Yamaha CBX cable to connect the To Host port on a Disklavier Control Box to computer.  See To Host Port in the Connecting a MIDI Piano to a Computer section.

RootARipper

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.

RipARoot

This copy utility does the same thing as above in that it copies files from a floppy drive to a hard drive without needing to duplicate the floppy disk first.  It only works on DOS.  Before running the program, create the directory you want the files copied to (target directory on the hard drive) first. 

Convert~1.exe also called SMF Utilities. 

These utilities are DOS programs provided by the Roland Corporation as unsupported utility software for the PianoDisc website.  In this package there are two utility programs for converting Standard MIDI Files (SMF) file types.  The FCNV10.EXE converts SMF of Type 1 to Type 0.  This is probably the program you will use most often.  Users should have a working knowledge of DOS.  The detailed instructions are in the SMF Utilities Readme.txt.  This is a very simple program to use once you get the hang of it!

 gnmidi v.2.04

This is not a free program, but Shareware from the author, Guenter Nagler who will eventually want $30.  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.

MIDImod

This utility was written by Richard Stibbons has good documentation and is available at:  http://www.spencerserolls.com/Download.html 

MidiMod2

This 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.
http://www.spencerserolls.com/NewRelease.html 

 

The Giebler Utilities

These are commercially available disk manager and sequencer utilities from Giebler Enterprises at www.giebler.com  Cost is about $59. They provide disk manager copy utilities for many electronic keyboards including Yamaha Disklavier and PianoDisc. They are DOS based programs.  To copy the copy-protected disks, each song must first be copied individually to your hard drive, then reconstructed onto a floppy disk.  The new disk image can then be stored on your hard drive and reproduced with a single click. You could even store copies of disks that have the volume adjusted lower than the original copies for those “party” events.

 

The Disklavier Utilities Programs  (dkvutils)

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 DisksThe detailed instructions for these programs are contained in the dkvutils.txt.

 DKVCOPY

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.

 ESEQ Explorer  

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

MIDI2SEQ

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

 ESEQ2MID  

Converts 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.

Sequencer Software  

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 (the MIDI pianos use Tracks 1 and 2 sometimes noted on the controller as L and R); 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   

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.  Available from www.pgmusic.com

Yamaha XG Works 3.0   

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. To see a more complete explanation go http://www.yamaha.co.uk/xg/html/midplug/m_mid10.htm. Available from Yamaha Dealers.    

 PC Music Studio Kit (PCMSKIT) 

Advertised by Yamaha and produced by Voyetra as an all-purpose music sequencing program.  Looks like a good value for the money.  Also has capabilities for editing MIDI files and producing sheet music.  Check it out at from www.buyyamaha.com

Cakewalk Home Studio 

This product keeps changing available features.  The latest version can be found at www.cakewalk.com It can edit and print sheet music with lyrics and guitar tablature, transpose key signatures, etc. Has multitrack digital audio and MIDI recording and editing. Much more.

Jazz++

This is a free, open architecture music sequencer program with many features available at http://www.jazzware.com  JAZZ++ is a full featured, audio capable midi sequencer for Linux and Windows and offers a lot of functions normally only found in expensive sequencer software.

Media Player Software

Also known as Jukebox Software.  These programs allow you to compile “play lists” on a computer connected to your Midi piano or Disklavier.  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.  So far, only MIDI files play in these Jukebox programs, meaning that native and proprietary file formats must be converted to MIDI files first.  See Eseq2mid software above for using PianoSoft files.  

VanBasco's Karaoke Player

A free program with many features that works on all Windows platforms. Also have very good instructions.  Make sure you don't overlook the little buttons in the corner!

YAMPlayer

This program is still under development and a beta version is included here thanks to the author.  The unique feature is that it will be able to use .fil files (Yamaha's proprietary Eseq files) right from the PianoSoft floppy disks without having to convert them to MIDI files first.

 

Music Education Software

 Home Concert  

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. Available from it’s creator at www.timewarptech.com


Band In A Box 

This is one of the coolest music software programs around!!  It can generate accompaniments, chords, bass lines, guitar tablature, etc.  as well as the music notation.  Definitely check this one out. Available at www.pgmusic.com

 

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  

A commercial program available from www.cakewalk.com  My suspicion is that it is a repackaging of their older Scorewriter program.

Finale

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 at:  www.finalemusic.com

Smart Score

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!  Produced by Musitek at www.musitek.com

Sibelius

This is the other professional software package that is very popular.  It works with their Photo Score Pro software with supposedly good results.  Check them out at www.sibelius.com

 

Transcription Software 

The dream of being able to convert the digital audio music played on stereos to MIDI files that would play your Midi Player Piano is still that - a dream!  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.

NOTE:  The opposite process, converting a MIDI file to an audio file is possible.  Many audio CDs use the sound of MIDI music.  MIDI to Wav Conversion is easier, called "rendering", and is available in the Pro Audio Tracks sequencer software mentioned above from http://www.pgmusic.com  MIDI files are converted to audio and burned to a CD.

Akoff Music Composer 2.0  

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 1.60  

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!

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