This page tells my story in music; and the story of this site.
This site was created at October 22 1999 as "The Unofficial YAMAHA PSR 740 Home Page".
You can mail me from the link in the top right corner of all pages at this site.
But please notice that I am only able to answer questions about my site; my software; my styles; and my articles.
I do not have the time to answer other questions; and often not even the knowledge / experience.
I started playing keyboard in an age of 35 in 1984.
Well, my first keyboard was not a keyboard really, but a home organ - a Yamaha B 35 leased for 3 months in a local shop. I was fascinated... and after the 3 months a bought a Yamaha B 55N.
I had this "heavy" instrument for three years and learned what is up and down in music.
Besides founding this web site, I began programming software and creating styles in 1999.
And then I bought a brand new Yamaha PSR 6300 in 1987 (price app. $2,500 in 1987).
This was a lot more exciting. The voices (32 ordinary and 32 solo voices) were much better and the styles (32 with one variation!) were much better.
In 1991 I got a pc with a MIDI connection. But I had a lot of work (and trouble) with this as the keyboard was *not* General MIDI. At that time I learned the MIDI specification.
To spice up the sound and facilities of the PSR 6300 I added an EMT-1; an EME-1; an EMR-1; an EMQ-1; a FB 01; and an A 220 - and a zillion of MIDI cables!
A problematic setup as some/all elements were not General MIDI.
Well - gave me some MIDI experience.
In the end I got tired of all the MIDI cables and bought a new keyboard...
... and this was a PSR 620 - a nice keyboard.
And just for fun I had a M-Audio Mini 32 for some time; but did not like the tiny keys...
During the spring of 1999 I was thinking about buying a new keyboard - once again! This thinking activity was forced by the fact that I was going to be 50 years later that year. My family and my friends kept asking me for what I wished for my birthday present. I told them that I really, really wanted a new keyboard. And what happened at my birthday: I got a tiny little children's keyboard - and some money to buy a real one. Great.
In the meantime I began searching the internet for information. And I found out that Yamaha was going to market new models later that year. After my research I decided to wait until I had seen and heard the new Yamaha before deciding what to buy. There were not many information sources at that time; the internet has really grown rapidly since then.
At September 22 1999 I finally got my PSR 740.
It was definitely the first available in Aarhus (the second biggest city in Denmark) and as far as know one of the first sold worldwide too. And now the interest exploded. How were the voices? Better or similar to PSR 8000? (top model that year). What about the new 4 variation styles? (PSR 740 was the first Yamaha model having this). Can the new styles be played at older models? Can 740 play the "old" 2 variation styles? etc.
At that time the only place for discussions was Chris Hansen's now closed board. But this was going to change soon. (Read the "Story of this site" section below).
While developing new software in 2005 to mid 2006 I had a Tyros 1 keyboard in my home.
Later on I got a PSR 3000.
While developing a Yamaha style extractor software for Lionstracs Mediastation in 2007 I got a X 76.
Did not fancy it, and sold it after few months. And sold the PSR 740 as well.
While developing new software in 2008 I had a Tyros 3 keyboard at my disposal.
2 years later I got a Tyros 3 of my own - just before Tyros 4 was launched.
In 2014 I decided to downsize... Built-in speakers and size matters...
And as I have never used the features for singing in my previous keyboards, I decided to go for a PSR S750.
My PSR 3000 and my Tyros 3 have got new homes...
And what is going on right now? Check the Newsletter page.
At October 22 1999 I founded this site as "The Unofficial YAMAHA PSR 740 Home Page".
The site was just a tiny little one in the beginning. Just a picture, specifications and features from the promotion material, style and voice list, a few articles and links to the very few PSR sites available at that time.
Mostly it was the information I had collected in my research phase before buying the PSR 740. I had filed all of it, and why not make it public?
"Rome was not built in one day" (Danish saying). And this site was not build in one day either.
Since the beginning this site has continuously been updated with Yamaha keyboard related stuff. And now a lot of people tell me that this site is *the* keyboard resource site worldwide. Thanks.
At the very same day I got a mail from Bob Gelman with this subject line: "Synchronicity of Brains on Different Parts of Earth is discovered".
Bob had founded the two very successful discussion groups: "yamaha-psr-songs" and "yamaha-psr-styles" at eGroups (now Yahoo groups) at the very same day as this site was founded.
Bob was right when saying: "We'll have lots of fun in the future". This has been and still is fun.
NOTE: The PSR 740 stuff has now been moved to the PSR 740 Corner
In November 1999 I began experimenting with style creation and modification.
I soon found out that style files were MIDI files with some extra non-MIDI data added in an extra data chunk. The identifier of this extra data chunk was "CASM".
Soon I realized that setting the "Ctabs" (= the CASM data chunk in the style file) at the keyboard was very time consuming.
The only style software at that time was Style Works from EMC and Julijan Zavernik's MSC designed for PSR 7000 (and therefore not able to handle the "new" styles).
I knew almost nothing about programming; but I knew I had to get the CASM data format. Yamaha never answered my questions about this. Nor did Klaus at EMC or Julijan.
Then byte by byte I reverse engineered the CASM format.
In the meantime Jim McGoldrick wrote an ActiveX "save-to-file" control for me. Now I could create the CASM data and append it directly to the MIDI file. At January 3rd 2000 I published the first version.
Later on I created an installation program which handles some security problems. In September 2002 the program was replaced by better programs (read section "Other Software" below).
In January 2002 I started learning a real programming language: Java. This was very challenging for me, and I soon decided to try to program a "MIDI file to style file"-converter.
In mid April the first conversion was made with a very simple user interface. But the important thing was: The methods in the program worked fine.
Then I added the user interface, a player and some other features and involved my beta testers in the project in the beginning of May 2002. They helped me a lot by pointing out features and documentation to improve.
And May 17th: Time for publishing and presentation at this site...
Screen shot from August 16, 2002. Notice the direct midi2style link in the middle top; and notice the site is about the style project started in 2001 (read section "Styles" below).
To each new version I have got an enormous response. Thanks a lot. Most positive and often with a question: Why can't I ... ? What about ... ?
I have tried to fulfill the wishes from the users.
Being my first real programming project, my experience in software architecture was very limited. This has given some logical problems; some akward user experiences; and some hard-to-maintain situations.
To fix at least some of these problems, the program architechture and User Interface was totally redesigned in the spring of 2015 by the release of version 6.
After each new version I have thought: "Now the program is finished"; but nevertheless new wishes keep coming up... Maybe a version 7 will come...
The midi2style page.
In 2001 I began style programming.
My plan was to program 5 new styles from scratch per month. I did this for some months, and you can download the results here.
Besides the original styles, I have done a lot of MIDI to Style conversions using my midi2style software (read above). Some of these styles are here.
My programming work was continued, and soon many more software programs were created.
Now I have written 40 software programs using Java and .Net programming languages.
Take a look at my other software programs here.
In the long period since the founding of this site, I have gained much knowledge and many experiences.
All this I have described in a series of articles which can be found here.