Yamaha CVP-509 digital piano

The educational technology and digital learning wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The Yamaha CVP-509 is a high end "arranger" or "ensemble" digital piano. It sounds and feels a bit like a real piano but it also includes hundreds of other instruments, styles (auto-accompaniment and rhythms), a built-in sequencer/recorder, etc.

Just bought one - I will write down a few tricks and tips for absolute amateurs (like I am) and music educators (which I am not). I'll improve over the next few month - Daniel K. Schneider 17:41, 9 September 2011 (CEST)

See also:

The Interface

Yamaha CVP-509 PE

The keyboard has a fairly complex Interface. Some functionality can be reached through different paths.

There are various kinds of panel controls, roughly:

  • Some buttons that lead to a tool
  • Style selection, style control, voice selection, sequencer buttons
  • The LCD and related controls (A-J and 1-8 ▲/▼) buttons
  • The data wheel + Enter buttons
  • The direct access button. See page 40 of the Data List manual for details. Most often, various buttons of a control group (e.g. styles or voices) lead to the same tool. E.g.
    • DIRECT ACCESS + A style category => Style settings / Split Point / Chord Fingering
  • The function button: Entry point for the hierarchical menu of all functions.

In addition, I suggest that one should quickly learn how to use registration memory for remembering (selected) settings, such as tempo, style + chord fingering, microphone. Once you master that, switching between accompaniment styles is more enjoyable when trying to play a song...

(more to come, need a good picture first that isn't copyrighted ...)


Voices are the sounds that the keyboard can produce by pressing keys and by playing recorded sounds in various forms, e.g. styles or midi files.

The CVP-507 allows for a huge amount of parametrization. Below, we just mention harmony and echo type.

Kinds of Voices

are intended for creating sounds with MIDI, e.g. auto-accompaniment
Super Articulation! (SA) and Super Articulation 2 (SA2)
implement realistic transition and continuity between notes. Super Articulation 2 implements Articulation Element Modeling (AEM). This adds vibrato and other effects, mainly to wind instruments. For each SA/SA2 voice, pedals can be used to add extra effect. Press the Info (7) button in the Voice Selection display.
Mostly keyboard sounds. These are obtained by various sampling technologies (Stereo Sampling, Dynamic Sampling, Sustain Sampling, and Key-off Sampling).
Quote “acoustic instrument sounds sampled in stereo, to produce a truly authentic, rich sound”
implement various electronic elements synthetically
acoustic instruments
Drum sounds, obtained by dynamic sampling and stereo sampling
Latin percussion instruments, obtained by dynamic sampling and stereo sampling
Various drums and other percussion sounds can be played with the keyboard
Implement some special sounds assigned to individual keys
Organ Flute
Allows to configure vintage organs (e.g. a Hammond) with flute footage levers, organ types, rotary speed, vibrato, etc.

Modifying voices

Harmonies and Echo are used by some built-in styles, e.g. Jazz BigBand styles. It's probably a good idea to select such a style and then inspect the voices used. Try for example "Modern Big Band".

You can play a polyphonic instead of a single voice
1) Press the [VOICE EFFECT] button (rectangular button at the extreme right of the keyboard)
2) Press the [I] (HARMONY/ECHO) button
3) Press the [J] (TYPE SELECT) button
You can choose between a variety of chords, e.g. two notes, three notes, various 4/5 note variants.

The effective chord that will be played depends both on the selected harmony and type and the chord that is played. I.e. if auto-accompaniment detects a minor chord then the voice of right or right 2 (or the combined) also will be minor.

Echo type
Start as above, i.e. bring up the TYPE SELECT tool
At the bottom of the same menu (as Harmony) you then can define either an echo, a tremolo of a trill and the parametrize these.
Use the 4-8 buttons to parametrize
Other parameters
1) Select a voice, then Press (6 ▲ / VOICE SET)
2) You now can change many parameters using the various TABS


Styles in Yamaha technology refer to playing rhythm and accompaniment.

To select a style:

  • Press a category in the Style selection section, e.g. POP & ROCK or Jazz
  • Press one of the A-J buttons in the LCD or use the Datawheel + Enter. Pressing the same style category button will show the next page. Alternatively you could press one of the [1..] buttons at the bottom.

There are two types of accompaniment voices: Rhythm only or full

  • To play Rhythm only: the [ACMP ON/OFF] button must be off. Then, press [START/STOP]
  • For auto-accompaniment, do as above, but then set the [ACMP ON/OFF] button to ON. You then can either press the SYNC start button in order to start as soon as you press a button, or the START/STOP or the Metronome (tap, tap, tap, tap).

Style types

Pro (P)
accompaniment exactly follows the chords of the player.
Session (S)
provide even greater realism and authentic backing by mixing in original chord types and changes
Free Play (F)
Are characterized by rubato performance. You can perform without being constrained by a strict tempo. I.e. adapts to your tempo somewhat.
Pianist (P)
provide piano-only accompaniment, i.e. arpeggios and bass/chord patterns

Chord fingering types and recognized chords

Accompaniment (styles) can be controlled by the chords played in the chord section of the keyboard. There are seven types of fingering. Switching between chord fingering types is somewhat tedious, but there are two workaround solutions: Either using memory registration (see the tip just below) or by pressing the LEFT button ON/OFF.

To call up the chord fingering tool, there are two methods:

  1. Press FUNCTION key → Select [C] STYLE SETTING/SPLIT POINT/CHORD FINGERING → TAB [E][F] CHORD FINGERING (this is the long method)
  2. Press the DIRECT ACCESS button, then press the ACMP ON/OFF button (faster method)

There is an alternative method for switching between full keyboard and fingerd:

  • Put the pinao in full keyboard (or AI full keyboard) mode as described above
  • When "full keyboard" or "AI full keyboard" is selected, pressing the [LEFT] button in the Part On/Off section will revert it to fingered and the other way round.

However, when you change style variation or style, you will have to press the LEFT button again. It's not what I call an ergonomic solution, but I couldn't find any faster/better.

Important tip: If you prefer switching between styles and want to keep the same tempo and the same chord fingering, you also can use memory registration (see also below):

  1. Select any style. Then program the chord fingering and the tempo, e.g. "full keyboard" at 120.
  2. Press the [MEMORY] button in the REGISTRATION MEMORY section.
  3. Untick everything with the ▲/▼ buttons, except style and maybe tempo
  4. Hit one of the memory buttons

Repeat this procedure with another button if you plan to used "fingered" chord fingering (i.e. be able to play with a saxophone). However, if you switch between these two, it will bring up the originally selected style. In other words, this "trick" only works if you stick to a registration and associated chord fingering (unless I didn't figure out some advanced registration trick...)

Basically, as far as I can tell now, switching between chord fingerings while playing and using different styles (like various big band and various bossa nova styles) is rather a hassle since registering dozens of setups is not something that I would like to do...

List of types:

Single Finger
define major, minor and seventh and minor seventh chords (only) with one to three fingers (see the manual, I don't recommend using this unless you are a beginner)
Multi Finger
Does both single finger and fingered (see below). A good alternative for lazy people (only play the complex chords that you know) or advanced beginners who know some chords but not the more complex ones.
“Lets you finger your own chords on the chord section of the keyboard, while the instrument supplies appropriately orchestrated rhythm, bass, and chord accompaniment in the selected Style” (Reference manual, p 17). You need to press at least three keys.
AI Fingered
Almost the same as fingered, except that it tries to guess chords played with less than three fingers based on the previous chords.
Fingered on bass
Same fingerings as Fingered, but the lowest note played in the Chord section of the keyboard is used as the bass note.
Full Keyboard
“Detects chords in the entire key range. Chords are detected in a way similar to Fingered, even if you split the notes between your left and right hands.” (Reference manual, p 17)
AI Full Keyboard
Like full keyboard, but tries to be smarter. I.e. the manual claims that you can just try to play about "anything", e.g. not worry about playing full recognizable chords all the time. AI fingered doesn't work well for me. E.g. I like to play lead sheets (left had with simple three or four fingered chords and left melody and simple improvisation). E.g. it wont' recognize a chord like Eb-A-D (F13) or E-Bb-D (C9).

Chord recognition

Fingered chord recognition is quite similar between fingered, AI fingered, full keyboard and AI full keyboard, but there are some differences. As far as I can tell, it works much better with "fingered" or "full keyboard" (fingered) ... but that may depend on what one plays.

Recognized chords are best listed in the data list booklet (printed or online). It includes most of the chords that could be found in Jazz lead sheets. However they can't be played in any way since there are ambiguities. E.g. an inverted minor7 is also a major6 like Cm7 with lowest note Eb is EbM6. I don't know if there is a list of recognized voicings, therefore try ! Anyhow, at my level of playing it doesn't matter. Most often, a "wrong" chord sounds fine too :)

Full list using Yamaha's abbreviations (some popular alternative abbreviations included)

Recognized chord types (Reference manual, p. 41)
Chord Name Abbr. Alt. Abbr Normal (root position) voicing C Example
1+8 1+8 C1+8
1+5 1+5 C1+5
Major M or maj or Δ 1+3+5 C or CM or Cmaj or CΔ
Sixth 6 M6 1+(3)+5+6 C6 or CM6
Major seventh M7 maj 1+3+(5)+7 CM7 or Cmaj7
Major seventh flatted fifth M7b5 1+3+b5+7 CM7(b5)
Major seventh add sharp eleventh M7(#11) 1+(2)+3+#4+5+7 CM7(#11)
Add ninth (9) 1+2+3+5 Cadd9
Major seventh ninth M7(9) M9 or maj9 1+2+3+(5)+7 CM7(9) or CM9 or CΔ9
Sixth ninth 6(9) 1+2+3+(5)+6 C6(9)
Flatted fifth (b5) 1+3+b5 Cb5
Augmented aug + 1+3+#5 Caug or C+
Seventh augmented 7aug +5 1+3+#5+b7 C7aug or CM7+5
Major seventh augmented M7aug +M7 or 1+(3)+#5+7 CM7aug or C
Minor m - 1+b3+5 Cm or C-
Minor sixth m6 1+b3+5+6 Cm6
Minor seventh m7 min7 or -7 1+b3+(5)+b7 Cm7 or Cmin7 or C-7
Minor seventh flatted fifth m7b5 Ø or Ø7 1+b3+b5+b7 Cm7(b5) or CØ7
Minor add ninth m(9) 1+2+b3+5 Cm add9
Minor seventh ninth m7(9) 1+2+b3+(5)+b7 Cm7(9)
Minor seventh eleventh m7(11) 1+(2)+b3+4+5+(b7) Cm7(11)
Minor major seventh flatted fifth mM7b5 1+b3+b5+7 CmM7(b5)
Minor major seventh mM7 1+b3+(5)+7 CmM7
Minor major seventh ninth mM7(9) 1+2+b3+(5)+7 CmM7(9)
Diminished dim ° 1+b3+b5 Cdim or C°
Diminished seventh dim7 °7 1+b3+b5+6 Cdim7 or C°7
(Dominant) Seventh 7 1+3+(5)+b7 C7
Seventh suspended fourth 7sus4 1+4+5+b7 C7sus4
Seventh ninth 7(9) 9 1+2+3+(5)+b7 C7(9) or C9
Seventh add sharp eleventh 7(#11) 1+(2)+3+#4+5+b7 C7(#11)
Seventh add thirteenth 7(13) 13 1+3+(5)+6+b7 C7(13) or C13
Seventh flatted fifth 7b5 1+3+b5+b7 C7(b5)
Seventh flatted ninth 7(b9) 1+b2+3+(5)+b7 C7(b9)
Seventh add flatted thirteenth 7(b13) 1+3+5+b6+b7 C7(b13)
Seventh sharp ninth 7(#9) 1+#2+3+(5)+b7 C7(#9)
Suspended fourth sus4 1+4+5 Csus4
One plus two plus five sus2 1+2+5 Csus2
cancel 1+b2+2 Cancel

Wikipedia has a large set of articles about chords, in particular:

Style channels and volume balance

Auto-accompaniment has 8 channels, and you can turn them off/on

  • Press the channel on/off button once or twice (below and left of LCD)
  • Press the 1-9 ▲/▼ buttons to turn on/off a channel

To adjust the volume balance:

  • Call up the main display, either by hitting EXIT (several times maybe) or [DIRECT ACCESS] + EXIT.
  • Turn ▲/▼ style volume with the [2] ▲/▼ buttons
  • Same for the three keyboard voices, right right2 and left: use [5-7]

Chord tutor and display of current chord

In the Chord fingering tool (see above), use the [6-8 ▲/▼] buttons to select the name of a chord. It then will display the notes to play.

The currently played chord is displayed on the LCD default screen, i.e. exit from any tool by pressing the EXIT button.

Song control / MIDI

The CVP-509 allows to play and record MIDI files and other related formats.

Playing a song / displaying the score

  • Select the song by pressing the [SONG SELECT] button
  • You either can choose from built-in songs, songs you registered internally or songs on the USB stick (use the TABs)
  • Use the [A-J] buttons for selecting the song
  • Press [PLAY/PAUSE]
  • (Optional) Press the [SCORE button] to see the music notation
  • (Optional) Turn song channels off/on by first pressing the [CHANNEL ON/OFF button] (to the left of the LCD) and using the [1-8 ▲▼] buttons.

Practise score reading with the guide lamps

  • Select a song (as above)
  • Press the [GUIDE] button
  • Press the [TRACK 1(R)] button to mute the right hand part
  • Press [PLAY/PAUSE]

You now must play the notes in the right part, or the system will wait. Slow down using the TEMPO controls (to the very left of the keyboard)

The reference manual, p. 40 explains more playback parameters. E.g. some folks may distribute MIDI files where the melody part is not on channel 1 and you can tell the keyboard which track should be the right hand part.

Simple Karaoke / Sing along

You can plug a microphone into the keyboard for singing along. By plugging it into the (vertical) [MIC./LINE IN] jack (standard 1/4" phone jack), you can enjoy singing along with your own performance or along with Song playback. If you have a microphone with a small jack, make sure to use mono converter (see also: troubleshooting below).

Viewing the lyrics or the score:

  • press the [LYRICS/TEXT] button. This only works if the file contains lyrics data in the commercial format. It will not work with *.kar files
  • If no lyrics exist, you can press the [SCORE] button to see the score. Music notation settings can be changed (play with the ▲▼ buttons).

You then can use special effects:

  • Bring up the tool: [FUNCTION] → [G] MIC SETTING/VOCAL HARMONY

You then can (for starters) do three things:

  • Turn on the MIC EFFECT [I] (this is also available from the mixing console)
  • Add vocal harmony (press the 6 or 7 button)
  • You than can choose a type of vocal background with [H]

To use this setting either turn on [ACMP ON/OFF] (for your own playing) or use a playback song that does have chord data, e.g. the ones in the "Sing-along" category found through [Song select]

The reference manual describes a whole lot of settings one could use ...

A list of decent Microphones
  • NADY SP-4C (cheap)
  • Panasonic RP-VK21 (cheap "karaoke" mic)
  • Behringer XM8500 (cheap, probably a good one for starters)
  • Shure SM48-LC (fairly cheap, good reputation)
  • Shure SM-58 (medium priced, probably the most popular workhorse in this category)
  • AKG C 1000 S (more expensive)
  • Sennheiser E935 (more expensive)

Play back with style

Assume that you made or found melody file (Song) with just two tracks (chords and melody). You now can add style (auto-accompaniment) to this.


  • Select the song
  • Select a style and (optionally) fix tempo etc.
  • Turn the [ACMP ON/OFF] style control button on
  • Press [SYNC START] button
  • While holding down the SONG [STOP] button, press the [PLAY/PAUSE] button to enable synchronized start.
  • You now can either Press the [START/STOP] style control button or play chords with your left hand.

I tried that with this Yann Tiersen file using a rock style and the result was quite nice.

Read the reference manual, p. 40 for a more detailed explanation.

Quick recording

Procedure for simple recording

  • Press the [REC] button and the [STOP] button (in the Song control section) simultaneously.
  • Press the [REC] button. This will start recording
  • Press the [STOP] button to stop recording. You will see a warning that you can save the song (can be done later).
  • Listen to your "song" by pressing the [PLAY/PAUSE] button
  • For saving, press the [SONG SELECT] button.
    • You now can choose where you want to save it (internal memory or USB)
    • Name the file (i.e. change the default name).
    • Press [OK].

Multi-track recording:

The procedure is similar as above but you have to be careful with the "holding down":

  • Start as above by pressing [REC] and [STOP]
  • Press the [REC] button (hold it) and one of the [1 ▲▼] – [8 ▲▼] buttons to select a channel. You can select from a popup-menu what part (e.g. left or bass) should go into the selected channel
  • Play
  • Hit [STOP] once you are done playing
  • Now press the [REC] button again (hold it!!) and select another channel with the 1-8 ▲▼ buttons
  • As soon as you start playing it will play the previous track and start recording.
  • Hit [STOP]
  • .... repeat, then save as above.

Audio playback and recording

The instrument allows to play and to register MP3 and Wav files from a USB stick.

Playback of USB audio


  • Insert a USB stick (it is left/front) slot with MP3 or WAV files. The files can be arranged in folders
  • Hit the USB button (it is up/right from the LCD) in order to bring up the Playback display (AUDIO PLAYER display) tool.
  • Hit the song button ([A]), then select a file in a directory
  • In order to select a file, press the [8 ▲▼] (FILE SELECT) button and then use the A-J buttons to select a file
  • Hit Exit to return to the Playback display tool
  • Press the [2 ▲▼] button to play or use other controls e.g. [6 ▲▼] to play the next file
  • If you want to play along, you probably need to lower the volume of the play back. Raise the MP3 volume control with the [7 ▼] button.

Procedure for playing all the files in a directory

  • As above, select a directory from the stick (showing all the files)
  • Select the first file
  • Press [7 ▲] (REPEAT)
  • Use the [7 ▲▼] to select either OFF (default), SINGLE, ALL or RANDOM
  • Close this menu with [8 ▲▼]
  • Hit the EXIT button
  • Press [2 ▲▼]

TIP: Often, some performers play in different keys. You can raise or lower the pitch of the keyboard with the with the +/- transpose buttons (they are to the left of the style section). Each press will raise/lower by a half tone. E.g. Guitar players like to play in E. If you have a lead sheet in C, click four times on the + transpose button.

Read more:

  • Owners manual, p. 83
  • Reference manual p.69, for using the mixing console

Record your performance as audio

You can record:

  • Keyboard parts (Right 1, Right 2, Left), Song parts, Style parts.
  • Input from a microphone, guitar or other instrument (via the [MIC./LINE IN] jack).
  • Input from another audio device, such as a CD player, MP3 player or the like (via the [MIC./LINE IN] jack).

If I understand right, you can't have all of mic input, connected instrument or other audio devices since there is only one input.... to be test.

Basic procedure for recording your playing

  • Ready the right style, voice, chord fingering etc.
  • Press the [USB] button (as above)
  • Press the [E] (RECORDER) button to bring up the Recording tool (USB AUDIO RECORDER display).
  • Hit the [J] Record button to start recording
  • Hit the [J] button again to stop recording. You can use the keyboard as usual while recording, e.g. change styles. If you hit [USB] button, you will be back to the recording screen, i.e. you can J to stop and register. The file will be save in the root of your USB stick with random file name. Format is *.wav, i.e. the kind of format you get on audio CD's. There are many converters if you you need an MP3.

Registration memory

This important tool allows to remember a series of settings. I.e. you quickly can put the piano in favorite modes using a right style, voice, tempo, etc.

Overall, the procedure is the following:

  1. Set your preferences, e.g. a style, a chord fingering, a voice, etc.
  2. Press the [MEMORY] button in the REGISTRATION MEMORY section.
  3. Tick each kind of parameter you want to remember by using the [2▲▼] – [7▲▼] buttons, then enter or remove the checkmark by using the [8▲] (MARK ON)/ [8▼] (MARK OFF) buttons.
  4. Then press one of the eight registration memory buttons. You also can use several banks if eight registrations are not enough (read the owner's manual, p. 79)
  5. Save the settings as memory bank: Press the REGIST BANK [+] and [-] buttons simultaneously and select SAVE [6 ▼]

It also is possible to inspect a setting (if you forget):

  • Press the REGIST BANK [+] and [-] buttons simultaneously and browse ....

With registration memory, you cannot just recall some very precise setting, but just remember some key parameters like chord fingering and tempo. For an example see Chord fingering types and recognized chords above.

Finally, also read the reference manual (p. 64 ff.) for additional functionality, e.g. for using the pedals to switch between registration (so you can keep your fingers on the keyboard) or how to freeze certain items ...

PC connectivity

In order to connect the keyboard to a PC, you first need to install the appropriate drivers. For Win7, you need to download since they are not included in the CD (not in mine):

For using “Yamaha hardware from your computer via USB, you’ll need to install the USB-MIDI driver software. The USB-MIDI driver is software that transfers MIDI data back and forth between your music software and the instrument via a USB cable.” (USB Midi installation guide, included in the driver download)

Procedure for Win7

  • Buy a USB host cable that has a male Type B (square) end and a standard USB flat end on the other side (or whatever your computer has, e.g. a mini-usb can do too). This is a kind of USB cable you may never have seen before.
  • Unzip the compressed files
  • Disconnect all USB devices from the computer except for the mouse and computer keyboard.
  • Turn off the power of the instrument.
  • Connect the USB connector of the computer to the USB TO HOST connector of the MIDI instrument. The connector is underneath left/back (not left/underneath front)
  • Turn on the power of the keyboard
  • Windows then will try to install a driver ... (wait !)
  • When the message “Device driver software was not successfully installed.” (or equivalent in other languages) appears, continue the installation procedure.
  • Install the driver: Double-click the file “setup.exe”. ... (click a few times)

The driver now should appear in the control panel as Yamaha USB midi driver and in the list of peripherals as digital piano (Control panel, peripherals and printers)

Keyboard to PC software test

Testing with a music notation software:

  • Download and install MuseScore, a a free cross-platform WYSIWYG music notation program that offers a cost-effective alternative to commercial programs such as Sibelius and Finale.
  • Click File->New
  • Menu Notes->Note Input
  • Play a chord on the piano. You should see it.
PC to keyboard test
  • Installed AriaMaestosa, a free editor/tracker. Other tools that can play a keyboard will do too. See MIDI for alternatives.
  • Import a (simple) MIDI file, e.g. a two track piano file like Jump Jive an' Wail from MuseScore.com
  • Change the output device in your program, E.g. in AriaMaestosa: Menu Output-> Digital piano
  • Hit the play button ... you should hear at least some sound.

File formats

This part is very shaky and not complete. Do not trust this.

Midi variants

  • General MIDI, GM (Midi level 1) and also MIDI level 0
  • XG is a Yamaha midi extension for providing more voices and variations, effects, etc.
  • GS is a similar extension from Roland
  • XF extends Standard MIDI aka SMF with lyrics
  • KAR (only play the midi part, but cannot display the karaoke text)
  • TUNE 1000 (commercial karaoke format extension)

Note: For the follow the lights feature, one can assign parts. By default it takes the first two tracks (if I understood right).

Music (audio) formats

  • MP3
  • WAV, i.e. the typical file format found on Music CD's

Yamaha proprietary

Yamaha style files seem to be MIDI format 0 files with one or more additional sections. The .sty extenion is used for the CVP 5xx model and Tyros 4 models if we understand right.

Sections are identified by markers

    • SSF1, SSF2 - voice definitions, volume, reverb, chorus, pan etc. settings
    • CASM
    • OTS - one touch settings
    • MDB

Voice file define various "instruments"

  • Voice file extensions:.vce, .liv, .swv, .clv
  • Vocal harmony (VH) allows to add vocal harmonies to vocal line sung by the user.
  • AEM is a tone generation technology for super articulation voices (see above)
  • Pianosoft Disklavier uses what ? (also works on CVP line)


  • Roland GS (saved as midi)

Suggestions for improvement

  • Add a few user-programmable buttons that could remember a sequence of user input. I find it tedious to have to press two or four buttons to bring up a tool, e.g. things like chord fingering, or background voices. Most of that functionality can be achieved by registration memory, by carefully (not) selecting certain parameters, but it's not exactly the same thing. An alternative would be letting the user select finer grained parameters in this tool. Unfortunately, "style" for instance, includes both an auto-accompaniment style and the chord fingering.
  • The included CD launches a program that helps to install a driver and then provides some links to web sites. It didn't have the right drivers (e.g. it proposed a VISTA driver for my Win 7 64 bit!) and some web links seem to lead to URLs that don't exist anymore (e.g. product information) and MegaEnhancer. Not a real problem for me since I know how to search for stuff like drivers, but not good for computer unsavy folks (most people).
  • Support more USB wireless adapters. Using a cable that runs through the living room and then upstairs is not an option for me. Make sure that people can more easily find the list of supported USB adapters. E.g. they are not here in the list of manuals. You actively have to hunt for it through searching, e.g. here. Very few brands and models are supported and major brands like CISCO or Zyxel are not. E.g. I tried a recent CISCO Linksys WUSB600N-EU and a Zyxel NWD2205 and none worked. Quite a disgrace !

Troubleshooting and errors

Before reading on, see FAQs at CVP Users Group Forums !

Internet connection
  • Warning: Only very specific (and I'd say exotic) USB Wireless adapters seem to work. I didn't manage to use a main-stream Zyxel 802.11n 300Mbps. The keyboard wont recognize it.
  • The list of compatible USB adaptors is available on some Yamaha country sites, e.g. the one for Switzerland (if you are lucky this link will still work).
Styles and voices
  • In principle, perceived errors are not errors, but an effect related to the way styles are programmed (harmony, echo). E.g. some styles implement polyphony voices that will remain even you switch the voice. Changing the voice parameters or changing the style is the solution. Else, just reboot (off switch) or press the Grand Piano button.
  • You also may have changed the settings yourself .... See factory resets.
Microphone not working
  • Firstly, make sure to use the right entry (it's a vertical slot behind the headphone's) and then make sure that the switch is left (mic/line in instead of line in)
  • If you own a cheap mike with a small jack (the kind you would use with your computer), make sure to use a mono converter jack. I.e. if you use one that works for your headphones it will not work (that happened to me and I had to think hard in order to find the problem). A mono jack only has a single "ring" as opposed to the two of the stereo jack !
Factory and custom reset

There exist two ways of doing a factory reset, a global reset or resetting only certain parameters. In both cases you will loose data (unless you saved customization on a USB stick)

  • Function button -> Utility -> System reset tab -> Press [7]
  1. Factory reset(s)
  2. Custom reset(s)

Note: You also can do a full factory reset by holding down the C7 key (right-most key on the keyboard) and then switch the power on. You will loose all data.

Firmware and PC Drivers
  • Occasionally Yamaha releases firmware. Before downloading check your version like this:
Function->Utility->Owner tab, more precisely:
1. Press the [FUNCTION] button.
2. Press the [J] (UTILITY) button.
3. Using the TAB [ < ] / [ > ] buttons, select the OWNER tab and display the Owner setting screen.
4. Press the [7 ▲ ] (VERSION) button to display the current firmware version.
  • Midi drivers for Windows may be outdated on the included CD. E.g. there wasn't any Win 7-64 bit driver. It can be downloaded from Yamaha

For firmware upgrades, follow the official instructions, e.g. CVP-509 Firmware Updater V1.30

Humming and loudspeaker hiss
  • CVP-509's are known for a constant small humming (independent of volume setting). You may have to put your head under the keyboard to hear it. According to various forum messages, e.g.in this thread if you complain, Yamaha sends a technician that could cut a trace on the PCB and this will fix the problem.
  • In addition, there is a soft noise/hiss from the small speaker system on top (and that you can't hear in headphones). Nothing can be done about this we believe except turning off other devices nearby. e.g. move away computers and cellphones


Manuals, drivers and official help


The included print manual is not enough. Some information is available on the included CD, but may not be up-to-date. All the manuals are available at yamaha, in particular:

  • Internet Connection Guide (For firmware version 1.10, i.e. 2010/2011). Upgrade the firmware if yours is lower. Adds some extra information with respect to the owners manual.
  • Owner's manual this is the same as the CVP-509/5/3/1 included printed owners manual. Useful to download if need to search for something.
  • Reference manual. This is a complement of the printed owner's manual. It has extra information, is more concise and some information is easier to find. Must have, must download !

Support site

  • Yamaha online member. Doesn't seem to do much, i.e. let's your register your instrument (for what purpose) and then it provides a (localized) link to the above website and show links tailored for your instrument(s).


  • USB-MIDI Drivers. Make sure to select the appropriate one for you system ... Most Windows versions are supported plus MacOsX
    • Note: The Win 7 64 bit driver isn't on the included CD. The downloaded version worked in my setup (see above) - Daniel K. Schneider 11:42, 16 September 2011 (CEST).

Vendors and cheap alternatives

You can find the CVP-509 both in local stores and in online stores.

In principle, it is better to buy locally, since you support people who let you try out instruments and repairs are much easier.

Lists of local distributors can be found on the official http://yamaha.com website. You will have to enter a country number, a product category and a zip code.

Prices are hugely different both across countries and within countries. According to various Forum messages you may get as much as 20% off the list price and (as it is often the case), you'd pay much less in the U.S.A (this is partly due to the underevaluated dollar).

  • Read my wikilog entry for a recommendation where to buy in Switzerland (20% off list price) !

If you are looking for (comparatively) very cheap alternatives, try:

  • CASIO Celviano AP-620 or the quite similar portable PX330 version. The AP-620 has better amplification. Of course, these Casios are far from the CVP-509, but they do have a very good price/quality ratio. I couldn't find a local store, but Amazon sells them for about 800 EUR.
  • The Yamaha "Portable Grand" DGX-640 (vendor site). It doesn't have MIDI connectors but USB to HOST (i.e. a kind of MIDI channel) and USB to Device for USB sticks. Price: CHF 800.- with a good discount, plus something for a good stand and three pedals.

I don't know which one is better. Probably both have advantages over each other.

For an overview of digital pianos, read the digital piano article. We made a rough inventory before we decided to acquire the CVP-509. If you don't need an arranger piano or just an arranger keyboard (less and unweighted keys) your choice is much bigger ....

- Daniel K. Schneider 19:01, 14 September 2011 (CEST).

User forums and FAQs


There exist many utilities that allow to inspect and modify Yamaha-specific file formats, in particular style files.


Midi files for download


On some sites you can find files that specifically target the Clavinova CVP series, i.e. it uses Yamaha voices, in particular:

Style files

from Yamaha

  • Extra style files can be bought from yamaha. There exist different variants for different keyboard models. For the CVP-5099: T3 and XT3 are recommended. Also possible: XT2, XT, XA, XG, GM
  • There are also some free models (not tested)


Not tested so far ! Daniel K. Schneider 00:07, 14 September 2011 (CEST)