How to use CasmEdit to create a

YAMAHA format style


Structure of a style

A style consists of several sections. Usually the structure of the style includes two basic musical variations. These parts are called Main A and Main B. As a rule, the basic style playing is carried out in these sections. As an example it is possible to take any song - usual song structure is having sing, refrain, sing, refrain etc. The sing can be in Main A and refrain is in section Main B. In a real music composition there are some inserts between the sing and the refrain. There are 4 sections of inserts: Fill In AA , Fill In AB , Fill In BB , Fill In BA . And there are 2 sections of introduction (called Intro A and Intro B) and 2 sections of song end (called Ending A and Ending B).
In more senior models than PSR-630 and PSR-730 there are additional sections Break AA and Break BB.
In new models PSR from Yamaha (PSR-640, PSR-740 and PSR-9000) the structure of a style can include four basic variations: Main A, Main B, Main C and Main D. Inserts Fill In CC and Fill In DD are also added. Read your keyboard manual to define the section names, supported by your PSR. However the practice of using of ready styles shows that superfluous section in a style file in any way do not prevent for correct playing of style on PSR.


Each section represents the completed musical fragment with observance of certain rules. For example the basic section (Main A and Main B) are created in such way, that while cycling this section there is the impression of the uniform musical execution. All others sections are executed unitary by pressing the appropriate button on PSR and after their end again there is one of two basic variation. Each of sections is written down in determined chord root (basic note) . When your PSR distinguishes chords entered by a user, it automatically changes playing under the certain laws, which we shall discuss further.

Style files

Yamaha styles are stored as files of the standard SFF (Style File Format). The basis of style makes usual MIDI messages. Thus in the beginning of a SFF file (*.sty) there is a MIDI file of the standard SMF0 (Standart MIDI File 0).
Then at the end of the MIDI file the extended information of style is added. This part of the file begins from the four-byte heading "CASM" and it will be quite logically enough to name it as the CASM part of style. So CasmEdit helps you to edit the Casm part of the file. More successful creation of styles needs understanding of CASM parameters.

Section in a file

In a style file all of sections are written down consistently in the following sequence:

The beginning of each style is marked by a Marker. The Marker is a standard MIDI - files concept. It represents the text placed in a certain time position. For correct work of style there should be two markers at the beginning of a file: SFF1 and SInt. The section Main A begins only in the second measure (SFF1 and SInt are the first measure). In some senior models of PSR two sections Break AA and Break BB are supported:

Using of Cakewalk

Restrictions on use of Cakewalk is not found. If you use any other editor, yours midi editor should in addition be able:

If your editor is not able it, it is necessary to use another.

Creation of style using Cakewalk 9.0 and CasmEdit further will be considered.

Creation of style "from the beginning"

Then is described the sequence of the creation of own style without using of any style as a prototype.

1. Create the new project in the editor Cakewalk and save it as "Style.mid" (or "Stule.wrk"). You can use any name for developed style.
2. Create new tracks, using given table:

Track number Name MIDI Chan Remark
10 Drum 10 Used as drums
11 Bass 11 Used as bass
12 Chord 1 12 Used for chords
13 Chord 2 13 Used for chords
14 Pad sound 14 Pads
15 Phrase 1 15 Additional music Phrases
16 Phrase 2 16 Additional music Phrases

If there is a lot of track for you, create only those which will be used.

3. Establish the necessary tempo, key, musical instruments and so on ...

4. At the beginning of the composition set markers SFF1 and SInt. Further the whole measure is have to be empty.

5. At the beginning of the second measure set the marker Main A.

6. Then set all other markers in a sequence described in the table. Lengths of sections choose from the same table. The lengths of section have a recommendatory character.

Section Length ( measures)
Main A 4...8
Fill In AA 1...2
Fill In AB 1...2
Intro A 1...8
Ending A 1...8
Main B 4...8
Fill In BA 1...2
Fill In BB 1...2
Intro B 1...8
Ending B 1...8

7. Record musical contents of tracks by anyone way habitual to you . The recording of each section should be carried out in one strictly determined chord root (basic note) and chord type. It is necessary to remember or to write down what chord root and type where used for each section. The list of Yamaha chord types is given below:

On figure is given the construction of chords from base note C:

The red points show the basic notes of a chord, and dark blue auxiliary.

If you are at a loss in a choice, write down all of section in Cmaj7. That is default Yamaha choice.

8. Save the result of the work as a file "Style.wrk" (name any) for convenience of repeated updating of style in Cakewalk.

9. Also save the result of the work as a file of the standard SMF0 - "Style.mid". This file is required further for creation of the file of style. Once again I pay your attention that is necessary under duress to choose the format Standart MIDI file 0 at recording. Other formats Standart MIDI file 1 and Standart MIDI file 2 do not approach.

10. Exit Cakewalk.

11. Start CasmEdit.

12. Open "Style.mid", selected in menu File/Open:

Select file type - Midi files(*.mid) and specify your MIDI file:

If contents of the MIDI file is in order you will see an inscription " OK... " in status string.

13. Select in menu Create/Create CASM section:

It will call the master, which will analyse yours MIDI data and will offer variants of CASM for every section.You will see the window with the additional data for the correct choice:

In the table the explanatory of values of fields is given:

Field Remark
Ch The number of MIDI channel (1-16)
Bank Bank of XG instruments
Group The group of instrument
Notes Total of the notes in the channel
NotRep Quantity of the different notes in the channel
MaxRep Quantity of recurrences of the note, which most often in the channel. As a rule it's higher for drums.
ASSIGN Assignment of the channel

Using the shown information you should correctly establish assignment for each channel. I.e. You are to set the field ASSIGN for each used channel to set correct value - one of possible: Melody, Drums, Bass, Chord, Pad, Phrase. Where:

Melody This channel is used for playing of melodies
Drums This channel is used for drums
Bass This channel is used for bass
Chord In this channel are written down guitars party or something like that
Pad This channel is used for pads
Phrase Music phrases

It is the most important and delicate moment of CASM creation. Depending on the value, selected by you in fields ASSIGN Ctab data (CASM) will be created for each of section. CasmEdit has an opportunity of delicate adjustment of parameters of all values of assignment -Melody, Drums, Bass, Chord, Pad, Phrase. For this purpose change the value, necessary to you, in the file called "Casm.ini", taking place in the same catalogue as CasmEdit.exe and establish USE=1 in the changed section of "Casm.ini".

To do the assignment choose the channel and from the list in the bottom part of a window choose assignment. Repeat for all used channels. It is shown in figure:

In the following figure you can see the final assignment:

Press the button CreateCasm. The message about created CASM section will appear:

14. After pressing the button OK you will see the list all created CASM sections with contents of all sections Ctab:

If you recorded MIDI data in chord root and type distinct from Cmaj7, you should specify it each channel of section: S.Chord Root (basic note) and S.Chord Type (basic chord type).

You can change S.Chord Root and S.Chord Type for one instrument or for full section or for a channel (in menu Section/Assign Chord Root and Section/Assign Chord Type) (in menu Channel/Assign Chord Root and Channel /Assign Chord Type).

If you have made changes in a Casm Editor window , it is necessary to keep changes, having chosen in the menu File/Save....

15. Select File/Exit in menu of Casm Editor:

If you have forgotten to save changes, Casm Editor will offer you to keep changes on exit.

16. The basic window of the program with MIDI contents of style will appear again. Choose in the menu File/Save as...

Choose the type of files Yamaha styles (*.sty) and enter a name of the style file which will be created after pressing the button "Save":

You will see a window with acknowledgement of creation of your style:

This style can be used both in the program Yamaha Visual Arranger, and on PSR keyboard of Yamaha.


Editing of ready style without increase of amount of tracks

Sometimes it would be desirable to make changes in a style created by other authors, that it will more corresponded to your own musical predilections. It is conditionally possible to allocate three tasks on the change of a style:

  1. Changes which are not touching a musical part of style (for example replacement of instruments, installation of a level reverberation in the channel etc.)
  2. Changes CASM - parameters of style (for example change base chord root in any section)
  3. Change of a musical part of style (notes)

First two tasks are completely solved by CasmEdit. In the basic window of the program you can edit any MIDI message (except note pressing ), add new or remove unnecessary. In a window View/Casm Editor it is possible to change any CASM parameters of section, to keep the made changes and then to keep the new version of style

If you are going to edit a musical part of style, it is necessary to execute it as follows:

1. Start CasmEdit.

2. Load style(*.sty), which you are going to edit.

3. Choose in the basic menu of the program File/Export to...:

4. In the appeared window specify names of new files - first (*.mid) will contain the MIDI part of the style, in second (*.csm) will be kept the CASM part of the style:

Press the button "Export" for recording in files. Now edited style is broken on two parts. You should change the MIDI file in which you have exported the part of the original style.

5. Exit CasmEdit.

6. Edit received MIDI file by your favorite program (for example Cakewalk) and save the made changes in a file with the same format - SMF0.

7. Again start the program CasmEdit.

8. Execute the command File/Import from... In the basic menu of the program:

9. In the appeared window specify names of imported files - in first (*.mid) it is necessary to specify edited MIDI file received from style, in second (*.csm) it is necessary to specify the file exported earlier from the initial style CASM file.

Press the button "Import" to do import of files. The message of successful import of files will appear. And you will see the recommendation to save the created style:

10. Follow to this advice and save new style, having chosen in the basic menu of the program File/Save as... Do not forget to choose a type of a saved file - Yamaha styles (*.sty).

11. Restrictions on editing:

If you change base chord root or type, you will need to do these changes in the window of editing of CASM section.

12. All rest is authorized...

Editing of ready style with addition of tracks

  1. Execute export of the style as it is described in the previous section (item 1 - 5)
  2. Edit the MIDI file of the style with any operations with tracks
  3. Execute the import of parts of style as it is described in the previous section (item 8 - 11)
  4. Create CASM part of style, as it is described in item 13-16 of the "Creation of style "from the begining"

From the author

The given way of creation of styles is not an official manual of creation of SFF styles. The offered decisions have recommendatory character. I do not carry the responsibility for created styles, their quality and I have no the right to guarantee complete compatibility with any PSR model . The program CasmEdit is not a commercial product and is free-of-charge. At creation of own styles with use CasmEdit the link on CasmEdit is not obligatory...

If you see in the program lacks, bugs or know more about CASM section of styles, than is realized in the program, by all means write to me :

And please do not pay much attention on my Russian English. Remember - English is Greek for me... Or try to write something in Russian...


For more complete understanding of style creation process I recommend you to read the description maid by Jens Christensen (creation of styles for PSR-7000). All recommendations completely will approach to the majority of other PSR models :

I wish to you creative successes in the creation of own styles! It will be pleasant to me to have in the collection even one style created by you with the help of CasmEdit...

Osenenko Evgeny

Moscow. May 2000


Thanks to Clemens Kurtz (e-mail: "" ) you can download the translation to German of this page

September 2000