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Yamaha PSS-A50 : MIDI Controller - More Possibilities with MIDI Connectivity

Yamaha PSS-A50 as a MIDI Controller:

As a keyboardist, there are times we need more sounds in our setup. The most convenient way to generate those sounds, is by using software instruments.

What got me excited about the Yamaha PSS-A50 is that, it is more than just a MIDI controller! It has the ability to transmit its onboard arpeggio pattern, motion effects and more! This allows greater playability when controlling the software instruments.

Yamaha PSS-A50 MIDI Connectivity

MIDI connectivity widely available on devices such as synthesizer, keyboards, drum machine and sampler. These MIDI controllers are the tools musicians use to control sounds on a software instrument through a DAW.

Yamaha provides a USB-MIDI cable for greater convenience. The Yamaha PSS-A50 is a plug-and-play device, it makes connecting to your computer or tablet seamless and easy!

In total 16 MIDI Out channels are available on this keyboard! MIDI functions to control channel and settings are easy to navigate. For example, you can turn off internal voices by disabling "Local Control". It also comes with more MIDI functions such as, "Control Change" for non-note expressive changes and "Program Change" which transmit and receive program change messages.

Step-by-step Guide

1. Connect to computer using the MIDI cable:

- Connect the USB cable provided to your computer.

2. Launch your software application or DAW (GarageBand for this Demo)

- Yamaha PSS-A50 is a plug-and-play controller, most DAW will detect the device.

3. MIDI functions available Local Control - Click Shift + (E) This is a useful feature, it will mute the built-in speaker and internal voices.

Program Change - Click Shift + (D)

Control Change - Click Shift + (C)

MIDI Channel =/+- Click Shift + (F/G)

4. Select track or assign MIDI Channel and start recording. - Select track or assign MIDI Channel that you would like to record and start recording!

5. Freedom to edit & modify track

- Edit and modify music score and notes. This is useful for scenario such as wrong notes being played. Instead of recording the track from start, you can simply delete and modify the notes!

Benefits of the MIDI Connectivity

16 MIDI Out Channels

The 16 Midi Out channels allow me to map and control more than 1 sounds to be played at once. This is great when you layer Synth Lead and Synth Pad together.

Transmit Arpeggio via MIDI

A cool fact! You can transmit onboard arpeggio pattern through MIDI to control the software voices. This is a great feature to extend the arpeggio pattern to more voices available on your software instrument.

Transmit Motion Effect via MIDI

Motion effect allow real time control of parameters such as filter, modulation and pitch while recording a track. This is great for recording or performing live after layering all the tracks together! In this video, I will show you how to use the MIDI functions, arpeggios and motion effects to record a track! My track consist of 5 sounds! All tracks are recorded and controlled by the Yamaha PSS-A50.

Drum - Onboard arpeggio pattern (127)

Synth Pad - Onboard arpeggio pattern (113)

Synth Lead - Onboard motion effect - Pitch Up + Modulation On 2 (C04)

Bass & Strings - Pre-recorded on 2 separate tracks

For this MIDI demo, all sounds are from the software instrument*

Watch The Demo Video!


If you are looking for a compact MIDI controller, Yamaha PSS-A50 is perfect for you. It is very lightweight and affordable! Equipped with onboard sounds means it can perform as a standalone keyboard too! The ability to transmit the onboard motion effects & arpeggio pattern allow it to have greater advantage than most MIDI controller! The pro-level keys feels great as compared to some MIDI controllers that I have tried. It fits perfectly in today’s on-the-go lifestyle and in a home studio.

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