First off, neat forum you guys have here! My name is Adolfo, and I've been an on-and-off Yamaha arranger enthusiast for a long time. I was raised on my dad's Electone FX-20, and after a hiatus of several years I'm looking to recreate the experience with software: first, because I believe I'll get better sounds and more flexibility. Second, cause it's MUCH cheaper!
Been lurking for a few days picking the archive on how best to use my old PSR-6300 as a MIDI controller for live performance. So far so good! It really is amazing how far things have come in the last few years.
I'm on a Windows 7 setup for now (although I fully intend to go Linux once I get a handle on the basics; maybe Bachus can give me some advice later on
. I started out by following the Frank route, with LiveStyler as the frontend connected to Forte via Miki Yoke, Bandstand or soundfonts for accompaniment, and miscellaneous VST's for right hand voices.
My first problem was, of course, latency. I was getting something like 40ms, which made it impossible to play. Figuring my lappy's onboard sound was sub-par, I ordered the successor to Edirol's UA-1EX, Cakewalk's UA-1G. Five minutes after hitting the Pay button, I discover the asio4all driver. Presto, 5ms latency with onboard sound! I'm hoping the USB card doesn't do WORSE when it gets here.
Onto styles. I ended up buying both One Man Band and LiveStyler, for although both are exceedingly cool, I found some weaknesses I hope my money'll go toward fixing. Basically, OMB Originals 10.3 has a much more usable user interface (even if the looks are dated), but I found it to be rather unstable: depending on what I configure, I have to restore the original omb.cfg file or it simply won't run. LS 12 is more stable (although I managed to crash it once), but the UI is kinda clunky: makes sense if you have a touch screen, though at least for now I don't intend to use it that way. The "Ja" / "Nein" dialog buttons are kinda funny, though, hehehe...
In either one, however, I found that using Yamaha's old S-YXG50 VSTi for drums and accompaniment gives the best sounding *unedited* Yamaha styles. No latency problems either, even with 128-voice polyphony, which I was led to believe would going to be a hitch. The SGM-2.01 soundfont (couldn't find SGM180, I figure 2.01 is its replacement) sounds pretty good on LiveStyler, but only for the default styles. Anyway, when I start making my own styles I'll probably use something like Bandstand or Reason with Garritan's GM refill, but for now the XG50 is good enough.
Forte Ensemble: didn't fall in love with it, although I haven't seem MIDI routing this complete anywhere else. For now I'm using Kore 2, which in addition to seeming more robust, comes with a very handy (especially for a newbie) and good-sounding library of miscellaneous voices and effects. It'll also probably work well with Kontakt, being from the same company n'all...
Which brings me to the current stage of my project: figuring out how to control everything (including style or preset selection in OMB or LS, and instrument selection in Kore or Forte) for at least an hour-long set using only the switches on my PSR. Any tips? I figure controlling OMB or LS will be relatively easy (easier on OMB, where I can actually understand how to do it without RTFM). Nevertheless, I still have no idea on how I will change instruments (or event instrument settings such as volume) with Kore or Forte, especially since they're on the other side of a virtual MIDI cable!