Fusing Genres: Digital Workstations in Action
We want to share with you the sonic capabilities of our digital workstations and how they are built to assist your live performance. With only a few simple taps, PSR-SX600 engages the multi pads and arpeggiator to accentuate the EDM sound.
How Brad optimised the PSR-SX600 to make the outstanding EDM version of Vivaldi’s Winter?
a conversation between Product Manager Dean Kalb and Product Specialist Bradley Eustace
D: Hi Brad, thanks for taking the time to discuss your rendition of ‘Winter’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Specifically, I’d love to know how you achieved the EDM flavour on the PSR-SX600 and how some of the sections were played?
B: Good morning, Dean – thanks for the opportunity to share. Perhaps I can start by highlighting the accessories used, more specifically, the pedals. I used an FC3A to change through the registration memory where up to 8 panel sounds can be assigned. With a simple push, you can change through each bank to enhance each section or just simply change the panel sound. Also used a FC4A for sustain.
D: Oh wow, and what are panel sounds?
B: Panel sounds refer to any style, voice, or variation from the PSR-SX 600 as the registration memory is not limited to just voices. For example, I assigned the “DJ Mix 2019” beat to registration bank 6 and a “Harmoniser” to bank 5. One is rhythm and the other is Harmoniser function.
D: That must help with a piece like this, especially when adding the nightclub to it. As for the beat, it sounds like it comes in after the fill with very little action. How did you achieve this?
B: The drums are in there the whole time! The first registration memory bank has the “Dj Mix 2019” beat but it’s layered with an arpeggiator and a high pass filter. This gives the impression that there is no kick drum as the low frequencies are removed.
D: So, did you just press registration bank 6 to restore the original beat?
B: Yes, but you’ll notice a fill before that. I used the FC3A pedal to quickly engage bank number 3 in which I have a fill in assigned.
D: Very impressive! I feel as if the intensity of the voices slowly increases throughout the entirety of the piece. What can you tell me about that?
B: Good pick-up.. there are two things at play here.
Firstly, the sweeping effect is palpable from the first note. To achieve this, I had the live control setting set to ‘0’, cut the decay of the first note and used the modulation wheel along with the filter.
Secondly, the style variations are marked A,B,C,D which increase in intensity through as you go up the alphabet. What this means is for each registration memory setting (remember the “DJ Mix 2019” beat), there are 4 different variations of that sound that increase in intensity.
D: Brilliant. When the melody starts [bar 18 on the score], you can hear a subtle but effective increase in the intensity? Can you explain?
B: Registration Memory bank 3 has the “Pan Heaven” bell pad type sound which I use to play the melody. Upon repeating it in the next section, I changed it to bank 4 in which I had layered the “pan heaven” voice with another string voice called “ballad comp”. It certainly thickens it up!
D: There are harmonies here as well that follow this section. Is there another panel sound assigned to the registration memory?
B: Correct. Bank 5 has a “harmoniser” which adds a 5th to the “pan heaven” string sound. I’d probably need a third hand to play these manually!
D: I’m glad we can share these insights with the wider Yamaha community. I believe you have a surprise for some our readers.
B: Yes, I am happy to share the ‘Winter’ Dorico file, PDF score and PSRSX-600 registration data for anyone who wants to add this to their repertoire or adapt it to their own taste. I had a lot of fun doing this!
D: Amazing! Bradley, thank you so much for sharing.