Yamaha MX61 Synthesizer

Hi I am a long time user of Audacity & am currently using 2.1.1. My PC OS is Windows 7 Professional. I am considering buying a Yamaha MX61 Synthesizer
http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical-instruments/keyboards/synthesizers/mx/?mode=series It comes with its own editing software “Cubase”, but I’m too old to start using someone else’s editing software. Has anyone got one of these, is it compatable with Audacity, did you have to install additional software. Have you any other comments.

The new MX series combines Motif XS sounds, USB Audio/MIDI connectivity and advanced DAW/VST controller
features at a ground breaking level of affordability.

I get all sorts of alarm bells. I’m betting half the instrument is in the computer making it really interesting to record the performance.

Audacity doesn’t support MIDI very well, so you’re left with USB audio which Audacity should be able to handle. It should “look” like plugging in a USB microphone or other sound device. It should. If all else fails, you can adapt the headphone plug like I did on my last two Yamaha keyboards. If your computer has no stereo line-in, a Behringer UCA202 is easy to use and I certified it for perfect musical overdubbing.

I found it handy to Google product complaints before I buy something. Ignore the glowing positive reviews and concentrate on the negative ones, extra points if there is a typo here and there. Those were probably written by real people.

If the unit does depend on MIDI connections to work, then you may be stuck with their recording software, at least to get a sound file. Once you get it that far, you can use Audacity to cut it in post production.


This is quite unusual. We generally warn people that keyboards only do MIDI and not audio over USB unless they explicitly say that they do audio over USB. In the case of the MX61, it does explicitly say that:

But the MX doesn’t just control software DAWs and VSTs; it’s an audio interface as well. Just connect a USB cable to your computer and you can monitor all the sounds from your computer via the headphone output of the MX or listen to your DAW tracks by connecting the MX to external studio monitors or PA gear.

That does not mean that it is guaranteed to be plain sailing recording with Audacity. The MX61 ‘may’ require ASIO drivers (I can’t see on their website whether it does or not). Audacity does not support ASIO out of the box because unfortunately license restrictions prevent Audacity from being distributed with ASIO support enabled. It is possible for users to build Audacity from the sourcecode with ASIO enabled, but probably easier to learn how to use Cubase. Cubase also has the advantage that it has good support for MIDI, whereas Audacity cannot record or play MIDI.

The short story is that you ‘may’ be able to record the keyboard with Audacity using the MX61 USB connection, but it’s not guaranteed. If that does not work, then you have options to either record the keyboard via an audio interface that does not require ASIO (such as the UCA 202 in koz’s picture), or use Cubase.

To make use of the keyboard’s MIDI features, Audacity can’t do that, so use Cubase (or similar).

Hi Koz
The MX61 has two computer connections, besides the speaker / mike lines in & out, a USB & a USB/ printer type connection & will output WAV files. I’ll try the bad google comments & see what comes up. Thanks for the info.

You get where we are going with this, right? The more work the keyboard demands the computer do, the more it’s likely to smack into Audacity trying to do its job. The more stand-alone it is, the more likely you will be able to perform completely on the keyboard and just use Audacity to record and process the work.

Audacity would like that.


Hi Koz
You haven’t said anything to put me off buying the MX61. I’m not trying to make adjustments to the sound from MX61 which is what I think Cubase will do. Downloaded a YT tutorial on basic Cubase but would still prefer Audacity. So long as I’m only capturing the sound from the MX61 with Audacity, I think I will be OK. Thanks for the help.

Lot of water gone under the bridge in the last few days, I bought the MX61 & have successfully recorded through its USB connection directly into Audacity. See
Today has been like the curates egg, good in parts :unamused: Earlier this week BT sent me an email saying if I renewed my contract, I could have a new free router. It arrived yesterday & I installed it without problems. This morning I can’t access my email, eventually got through to online help & after exchanging messages with some lady in foreign climes, asked to speak to a supervisor, he didn’t do much better so it is still down. So if anyone is experiencing “Error 15” BT claim it’s a fault at their end.
To clear my head I thought I’d have another go at recording, I eventually managed to register with Cubase, with the PC connected to the MX61 USB I recorded something, a midi file I think, see pic 1, then I tried to export a wav file from what I had recorded, failed miserably. Went back to MixPad & recorded & exported a track as a wav, imported into Audacity & edited it. Then compared it to the sound from the MX speakers to my PC speakers (Identical speakers) the Audacity recording sounded very dull very little treble, even with the tinnitus I detected that. So then I switched the speakers, PC to MX & visa versa, still the same. So then I went into the sound card on the PC, see pic 2 & made some adjustments, which improved things no end. Pic 3 is the Mixpad track imported into Audacity. Then I had a quick look at the Audacity recording device box & saw the MX61 was showing as an option, clicked on that played the MX & recorded the track directly into Audacity, bingo give that man a coconut, see pic 4.
You need to read all the thread in the Yamaha forum to see what the full story is. http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=8122&p=45866#p43460
pic 3.jpg
pic 2.jpg
pic 1.jpg

Congratulations. Pleased that you’ve got it working.

Spread the word; to record from a specific device (in your case the MX61), select it as the recording input in the device toolbar.
Another note to add here is that for Audacity to see the device, it should be connected before you launch Audacity. If you connect the MX61 when Audacity is already open, Audacity will not be able to see it until you “Rescan Audio Devices” (bottom of the “Transport” menu).

I’m a happy bunny.

This morning I sat down & composed & recorded my first keepable track on the MX61, connected to my PC via a USB cable & directly into Audacity. I then edited it by increasing the amplifcation by about 50% of what Audacity suggested, then adjusted the treble setting until I got it as near as dammit as I could hear from the MX61 speakers. I then exported “Shingle Shores” as an MP3 & added it to a set of images we had taken last year on our Kent holiday. I had these images in mind when I composed the track as I thought they would go well together. The Completed AV show “On Shingle Shores” is available on YouTube using this link. Hope you like it.

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing.
You may also be interested in the Audacity SoundCloud group. Some details here: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/audacity-group-on-soundcloud-closed/35444/1

Thanks Steve, I’ll take a look.