MIDI Recorder on PX-560

Overview

The MIDI Recorder on the PX-560 is easy to use and convenient for simple recording tasks. For example, if you are experimenting with a musical idea using a single instrument tone and want to capture the idea quickly, the MIDI Recorder works great. This video demonstrates a simple example. However, if you want to do anything more complicated than that, the level of difficulty explodes to between tediously challenging and simply impossible; the only real alternative is to use a DAW.

The MIDI Recorder is capable of playing 16 tracks, each with a different tone, simultaneously. You have to record each track separately. This can be fun to lay down a drum pattern on track 1, an organ chord progression on track 2, and improvise a piano or guitar tune on track 3. Lots of room for creativity here, and this will work fine for short and simple tunes. However, the longer and more complex the song, the more editing is required and this is where the MIDI Recorder’s minimal feature set becomes clear (see also this forum post).

Key Features and Limitations

  • 16 tracks plus system track
    • System track contains setup info (layer, split, tempo, etc). Auto Accompaniment volume level and transpose setting are not recorded.
    • Tracks 1-16 can record Upper 1 tone only
    • Mixer only controls tracks 1-16, so don’t record an instrument on the system track
  • Storage locations (memory) for 100 songs with 50,000 notes per song
  • Recording name has a maximum of 12 characters (but file name has a maximum of 8 characters [see also this forum post])
  • Editing
    • “Punch In Sync” and “Punch In A-B” (see below)
    • Insert blank measures
    • Delete measures
    • Copy entire track to another track
    • Delete (clear) entire track
    • Quantize a range of measures
    • Key shift a range of measures on a given track
    • No ability to copy/paste (duplicate) parts of a song (measures)
    • No ability to cut/paste parts of a song (measures)
    • All editing functions require specifying measure numbers. This becomes extremely tedious, increasingly so the longer the song gets.
  • Import / Export
    • Recordings can be saved to USB flash drive as a MIDI file
    • Standard MIDI recordings can be imported from USB flash drive
    • MIDI recordings cannot be transmitted via USB connection to a DAW [see also this forum post]
    • MIDI received via USB from a DAW cannot be recorded [see also this forum post]
  • CGP-700 has same touch screen and sequencer

Recording Types

  • New = Creates a new recording on a track
  • Re-Recording = Clears all data from a track and creates a new recording
  • Punch In Sync = Overwrites existing track from the time you press a key until you stop play back. If you don’t stop recording immediately after you finish playing, it will keep recording nothing (blanking out whatever was previously recorded). When selected, the “Cancel Punch” and “Punch In” buttons appear on the touch screen. If you want to discard the Punch In recording, press “Cancel Punch” BEFORE you stop recording. Press “Punch In” to start recording with silence before playing a key.
  • Punch In A-B = Overwrites existing track only from point A to point B. Play back begins at the current time index, then recording starts at point A and stops at point B (i.e. continue playing to the end of the track).
    • “SetA” and “SetB” touch screen (TS) buttons refer to the start (point “A”) and end (point “B”) of a recording.
    • The “A-B Repeat” TS button changes to “Punch Out Erase” when in “Record Ready” mode.

Bottom Line

The MIDI Recorder is a very useful feature for what it does (basic recording of short, simple tunes). However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what you’ll be able to do with it. In short, for all there is to love about the PX-560, it is not a workstation. Partner the PX-560 with Ableton Live (or another DAW) to maximize the capabilities of each.

Loading Standard MIDI File

  1. Menu > Media > Load > MIDI Recording Data
  2. Select the file on the USB to load.
  3. Execute
  4. Verify:
    1. Menu > MIDI Recorder
    2. Tap the recording title to open the list of user recordings
    3. The loaded file should be the last name on the list and, by default, the notes will load into Track 1 (not the System Track)