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How to write a movie soundtrack on the Yamaha PSR-SX900 keyboard

Have you ever wanted to create your own Movie-style music? - Here's how you can do it with just 3 fingers (and a keyboard!).

Writing a movie soundtrack at home on the Yamaha PSR-SX900 keyboard with a nice tabletop lamp, probably from Ikea. And who's desk is that tidy? really? where's all the crisp packets and coffee cup stains? She's clearly not a real musician!
How to write a movie soundtrack on the Yamaha PSR-SX900 keyboard
Chris Hammond

Soundtracks are a crucial element of Movies and TV shows. They have the power to enhance the entire viewing experience by amplifying emotions and even playing a part in the storytelling itself.

If you want to make your own movie-style soundtrack but you’re not really sure how to do it, then the Yamaha PSR-SX900 keyboard might just be what you need to get started.

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It not only makes writing cinematic-style music very easy, but it also produces a wonderfully high-quality sound. It really feels like you’ve got Hans Zimmers’ orchestra at your fingertips.

I want to emphasise that you really don’t have to be a great keyboard player to produce a really professional-sounding movie-style soundtrack on this keyboard, and that’s really the beauty of it.

How to write a movie soundtrack on the Yamaha PSR-SX900

Watch Chris explain how easy it is to make your own movie-style music on the Yamaha PSR-SX900 keyboard. You don't need to be an expert. In fact, you can easily do it using only 3 fingers!

In the demonstration video, I never use more than three fingers at any single moment. I can do this because I’m using the system built into this keyboard that automatically completes a lot of the music for me but still allows me to be the creative driver. I very easily make up my own movie style soundtrack.

Let me explain how I did it: I loaded up a special type of pre-programmed backing tracks which are called ‘Freeplay’ styles.
They’re designed to require absolute minimal input, and you don’t really need to keep time with the music, essentially, the keyboard keeps up with you as you play.

I selected one called MovieHorns which has a gorgeous brass feel to it – trumpets, cornets, and the like. There is also one that has a little more of a choral feel called EtherealVoices.

There’s a nice Musical style backing – think Andrew Llyod Weber – called OnBroadway. I also use one called EtherealMovie which is a proper full cinematic orchestral style. Absolutely perfect for those big John Williams or John Cage style movie themes.

I must give an honourable mention to the sheer quality of the sounds that make up these backings. Yamaha really deserve credit in making these sounds such good quality and also so accessible, even for absolute beginners.

As an example of what I mean, the main strings sounds on the Yamaha PSR-SX900 are no ordinary strings, they are actually real samples of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra! Furthermore, the main choir sounds contain samples from a genuine boys & mens choir, recorded in the chapel where they perform to capture the ambiance of the setting.

Kevin Costner during the filming of Dances With Wolves thinking about the wonderful Yamaha PSR-SX900 and wondering why he didn't use it to write the soundtrack to the movie. Clearly, he's just realised that it wouldn't be invented for another 25 years.

Overall, there is a really wide choice of styles on the Yamaha PSR-SX900 keyboard for you to find your perfect musical backing, and remember, although the keyboard does a lot of the hard work for you, you can really dig into the details and customise the voices and settings to suit your own style and give it a personal touch.

Used Organ Selection

It’s worth keeping in mind that in the video, I’m only using preset sounds from this keyboard. I’ve not altered anything and I’ve only saved my favourite settings for the sake of demonstrating to you. As you can see, for creating brilliant TV and movie style soundtracks, this keyboard really makes it easy to do, and, perhaps more importantly, it’s so much fun!

Just a final note. It’s very easy to save your recordings onto the keyboard’s onboard memory itself without requiring a computer. If you decide that you would like to take your recording and put them on a computer for sharing with others, then you can easily transfer them via a standard USB memory stick.

A nice addition to this keyboard is that you can share your saved settings with other players across the world! In fact, if any current PSR-SX900 players would like a copy of the settings I’ve used in the video, just email me and I’ll send it over to you for free. You’ll find me at sales@epianos.co.uk.

I really hope that you enjoyed this article and the video. The little Yamaha PSR-SX900 continues to burrow a warm place in my heart since I’ve had it at home over the last 18 months. It’s such a fun machine and perfect for smallish places like a man-cave or, indeed, a shed!

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Chris Hammond Manager
Chris is the manager of ePianos.co.uk and the driving force behind the demonstration, comparison and review videos that we feature on our website. He is responsible for overseeing all areas of the sales and marketing team, with extensive product knowledge and many years of experience as a musician and composer.

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