MFX Styles - Create accompaniment using Yamaha styles

MFX Styles is a MIDI effect that can be used in any Cakewalk (Sonar, Music Creator) version that supports MIDI effects. It adds accompaniment on channel 9-16 using style files that are compatible with those used in Yamaha PSR and Tyros keyboards. These styles are available for free and for sale in large ammounts, a small set is included. The accompaniment follows chords and other directives that are placed in text events in the track.

Download a full functional 30 days trial version of MFX Styles for free,or buy the full version for only $29.95. MFX Styles requires Windows 98/2000/ME/NT/XP/Vista/Windows7 and of course Cakewalk to plug it in. If you are running Windows Vista or Windows7 then you will also need to download the helpfile for Vista.To install it unzip the downloaded file and run the install.exe. There are more details about installation in the readme.txt and more details about the usage of the plugin in the mfxstyle.hlp file. Below is a short tutorial.

After installation the plugin will become visible in Cakewalk in the list of MIDI effects with the name "Styles". MFX styles is used in non-realtime, that is you apply the effect on a track and after it is finished you can play the modified track. If the concept of realtime and non realtime usage of effects is not clear to you then please read about this in the help file (mfxstyle.hlp).

Before you apply the effect, you must place directives in the track. These directives tell MFX Styles about the chords and style parts to use. They are placed in text events (use the eventlist in Cakewalk) and have the prefixes "chord:", "style:" and "part:".

The style directive tells MFX Styles to use the first style on the list of loaded styles. Chord: G will ensure that the accompaniment in the following part of the sequence is played in a G chord. Part: Intro A will select the Intro A part of the style. The part: X at the end will stop the accompaniment and should always be placed as last directive. Now activate MFX Styles (right click on the clip that contains above text events, select MIDI effects and select Styles).

In the style box at the top you can load up to 10 styles. In the current track there is only one needed. The tempo and time-signature of each style is listed. In the part box at you can inspect the parts that are available in each styles with the length in measures. When you click on the OK button the accompaniment is added and the Styles window disappears. You can now play the track with the added accompaniment.

Above is the eventlist showing the result of applying the effect. As you can see not only patches, controlls and notes are added but also text events with the prefix "<styles>" that echo the directives. This allows you to check the results of your directives. Chords that are not placed at the start of a beat and parts that are not on the start of a measures will be delayed until the next beat/measure. A chord type that is not recognised may be replaced by a more basic chord type and a part that is not present in the current style will be replaced with an alternative. You also may have to adjust the tempo and meters (Cakewalk does not allow a MIDI effect to do this) to match the listed values and insert or delete measures to match the number of measure in an intro/ending.

More MIDI plugins.