PC Access to Yamaha Disks

Posted by: wavelength

PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 07/15/06 09:39 AM

Hi All!

I'm wondering if anyone can here can help me with my present quandry. Basically I have in my possession about 20 disks of music made with a yamaha keyboard of (approx.) 1993-1999 vintage.

The problem is the maker (a relative) is deceased and nobody knows which actual model keyboard it was. The disks are not in any format my PC recognises (it wants to format them) and I understand many early yamaha keyboards used a proprietry format for their disks.

My question is, can I find out what model keyboard it was from these disks (without, for example, trying a disk in every Yamaha keyboard from that era). i.e. Is there software that will read these proprietry formats? I have spent considerable time searching the internet for a solution but to no avail. I also emailed Yamaha and got this reply:

I am replying to your email regarding your midi files. Unfortunately without knowing the model of the keyboard it is impossible to tell what format the midi files are in. Our earlier model PSR keyboards saved user songs as a system exclusive file which means that those files are unique to that particular model and can only be played by that keyboard. Yamaha does not make software which can convert system exclusive data into a standard midi file. If this software is available it will need to be sourced from a third party. Yamaha released quite a number of PSR model keyboards from 1993 to1999. Some of these include:

PSR-77, 78, 79
PSR-82, 83, 84, 85
PSR-110, 130 180 185, 190, 195
PSR-220, 225, 230
PSR-410, 420
PSR-520, 530
PSR-620, 630

Finally, some of the labels on the disks may well give some clues as to their origin in that I believe they reference Yamaha presets/sounds. These include:

Bebop, Helicopter, Afro Beat, Hammond B3, Tunnel Organ, Electronic Buzz, Russian Chant, Solo La, High Ah, Low Ah, Breathy Doo

The disk labels also make reference to High voices and Low voices

Anyone recognise those presets? Or can anyone here steer me in the right direction? I guess at least if anyone knows which of the above models uses a proprietry disk format would be useful for a start.

Thanks for your time.


Posted by: John North

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 07/16/06 12:53 AM

Hi John

What are the file extensions. I suspect they might be style (rhythm) files - .sty. If so, they should be playable on most Yamaha keyboards. You can change an .sty file by renaming it .mid. It will then play on your PC but don't expect a song, only different sections of accompaniament to that song.

Posted by: Graham UK

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 07/16/06 01:16 AM

I am guessing....If they are Yamaha Disk Orchestra floppies then these will not read in a PC.
This is to stop them being coppied.
Posted by: wavelength

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 07/16/06 03:30 AM

Thanks John and Graham for your replies.

The problem is I can't actually get my PC to read the disks. When I put the disk in it says "This disk is not formatted, do you want to format it now". This happens with each of the 20+ disks I have.

If they are indeed Disk Orchestra Floppies, is there software which will enable my PC to read them?
Posted by: rikkisbears

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 07/27/06 02:09 AM

Hi John,
do you believe they're songs or styles??
If there's any song titles, what are they?

best wishes

[QUOTE]Originally posted by wavelength:
[B]Hi All!
Posted by: cajun100

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 07/27/06 02:01 PM

In the KURZWEIL line of digital pianos (maybe some of the portable KB too) I have seen this language in the promo material:

"Records and plays back auto-accompaniment performances. Can play Standard MIDI Files and can read and convert disks from Yamaha PianoSoft and Disk Orchestra Libraries, plus PianoDisc Music Library."

Perhaps you have a contact who owns or sells Kurzweil models, and couple see if this might work:

Load floppy into Kurz, copy to hard disk, copy back to (another) floppy as MIDI file (which you MIGHT be able to then rename to *.STY and use in Yamaha boards).

OR -- read Yamaha files into Kurz hard disk one by one -- place new DOS-format diskette into Kurz floppy drive -- copy all right back without conversion. At least then YOUR computer should be able to see and move the files around.

But first option might work best all around.

Worth a try if you really want to keep and use these proprietary format files.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 09/22/06 05:43 AM

Dear John,

I am quite familiar with this issue, and this is what you should do:

All pre-PSR-630/730 models use a proprietary file system for the Disk Orchestra. Luckily the PSR-630/730 inherited this. Meaning; although it now uses the FAT file system, it is still capable of reading the old proprietary disk format. Even the PSR-620 had FAT support, but used Yamaha’s proprietary file system when formatting.

You should lay your hands on a PSR-630/730 and use it to copy the content of the proprietary disks to a regular FAT disk using the build-in copy function. It has worked for me! (PSR-730)

Good luck,

Posted by: wavelength

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 09/22/06 06:50 AM

Thank you Steven - I'll certainly give this a try.

Thanks again to everyone else who replied.

I guess my next question would then be: once I'm able to get my PC to recognise the disks, will the song files appear as midi files that I can open with Cubase or will I need software that will read "Disk Orchestra" files?


Posted by: rikkisbears

Re: PC Access to Yamaha Disks - 09/23/06 04:58 PM

Hi John,
if they are Disk Orchestra Disks, even if you manage to save them as a midifile, you'll possibly have problems with the sound & drum mapping. The original disks are not xg or gm.
ie you could have brass playing instead of a piano if you use it with a normal gm or xg soundsource. Drums can be an even bigger nightmare. I'm going to the extreme of editing a soundfont for use in my laptop. Longterm project.
One of the older Yamaha soundmodules TG100 I think had the Disk Orchestra mapping & there used to be a module called the DOM 30 that used to play them directly.

I'm not familiar with how the psr's Steven mentioned handles them ie if the can save them as a midifile, do they also alter the drum & sound mapping to xg??.

My Clavinova plays them, but I have no way of editing or saving them on the Clav.
Supposedly my PSR1500 is Disk Orchestra compatible. I have a usb floppy drive but it's not a yamaha one ( it belongs to my laptop)my normal midifiles play via the floppy drive when connected to the psr, but the Disk Orchestra DIsks aren't recognized
( I get format error).
When I midi my Clav to PSR1500 & use the Clavinova's disk drive to play the disk, the psr1500 plays the Disk Orchestra sounds & songs back perfectly.

My Technics keyboards used to play the Disk Orchestra disks & so did my 9000pro.

What keyboard do you actually have??

best wishes
[QUOTE]Originally posted by wavelength: