I wanted a music workstation synthesizer and my wife wanted a real acoustic piano that looks like beautiful furniture. We compromised by getting the Yamaha Clavinova CLP-440. It looks, sounds and feels like a real piano with enough tech (MIDI, USB, voices) to make a armchair techy musician like me happy. The PDF documentation covers most of the details you will need to start using the nice features, but there are a few things lacking so I’ll record some of my discoveries in this post.
The piano has a USB port that will easily accommodate a thumb drive or external hard drive. It stores and reads MIDI and WAV files.
Files created by the Clavinova will be stored in the “User Files” folder with a name USERSONG??.MID for MIDI files and USERAUDIO??.WAV for Audio files saved from the Clavinova. The ?? is the number of the song selected from the Clavinova LED interface. Here is an example listing of files on the USB drive:
USB Host with iPad
I wanted to be able to use my iPad to link to the piano for added voices and sequencing. There are several MIDI options available for the iPad, but since the CLP-440 has a USB host port, I was able to use an iPad camera kit (essentially an adapter to allow the iPad to view pictures from a SD card or USB camera). The Apple version and third party version should work fine. Using that, I found that several apps could see and control the CLP-440.
iPad Apps for the CLP-440
Searching the Apple iTunes store for app to work with the Clavinova wasn’t easy. I’ll record a few good apps that I found.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/garageband/id408709785?mt=8 – This $5 app from Apple is amazing on its own but it works great with MIDI from the Clavinova.
http://iosmidi.com/apps/midi-monitor/ – This app shows the iPad connecting to the Clavinova and the events coming from the keyboard (as well as driving action back to the keyboard through the iPad interface). Useful for troubleshooting.
Alchemy mobile Synth App
http://www.camelaudio.com/AlchemyMobile.php – This great app from CamelAudio adds a great selection of synth voices to be controlled by the Clavinova. As their site says, “Turn your iPhone/iPad into a powerful synthesizer! Alchemy Mobile includes everything from evolving soundscapes and fat basses to lush pads and pulsing arpeggios, and is available for free from the iTunes App store.”