How to Get MIDI to Work on My Yamaha PSR-260

By Jason Savage ; Updated September 15, 2017

Yamaha's PortaTone PSR-260 is a portable synthesizer keyboard originally released in 2000. Intended for less experienced players and students, it comes with a comprehensive suite of built-in learning tools, as well as basic MIDI functionality. The PSR-260 can exchange MIDI data with almost any device compatible with standard MIDI, making it possible to use the PSR-260 to either control, or be controlled by, another MIDI device.

Turn the PSR-260 off before connecting it to any other device. The power switch is located in the upper left corner of the instrument's main front panel. Generally, powering off audio devices prior to making connections between them is a good precaution against unexpected feedback or other potential issues.

Turn off the third-party MIDI device to which you will connect the PSR-260. If the device is powered by a USB cord attached to your computer, disconnect the USB cable from your computer before making any connections.

Connect one end of a standard MIDI cable to the "MIDI In" port on the back of the PSR-260. Make sure the connector is firmly seated in the port. The plastic ring at the base of the connector should be flush against the edge of the port.

Connect the other end of the cable to the "MIDI Out" port on the third-party MIDI device.

Connect the second MIDI cable to the PSR-260's "MIDI Out" port and connect the other end of the cable to the "MIDI In" port on the third-party MIDI device.

Turn on the PSR-260 and the third-party MIDI device. In most cases, turning the devices on in this order will work. However, check the documentation for the third-party MIDI device for any information about the order in which it should be turned on relative to connected devices. Rarely, the device may need to be turned on first and allowed to boot up before turning on the PSR-260.

Ensure that the PSR-260 is sending and receiving MIDI data. If you are sending MIDI data to the PSR-260 from the third-party device, make sure the device is set to send on MIDI channel 1. The PSR-260 will be set to MIDI channel 1 by default when turned on. For instance, if the device is a sequencer, set it to MIDI channel 1 and play any sequence. You will hear the PSR-260 play the sequence. If you are using the PSR-260 to send MIDI data -- for example, to a third-party synthesizer or drum machine -- play some keys on the PSR-260. You will hear the third-party device play back the notes pressed.

Tip

According to Yamaha, MIDI cables "15 meters or longer" should be avoided because of potential latency issues.

Warning

Because the PSR-260 is an older device, it may encounter problems when interfacing with devices of more recent manufacture. This is due to incompatibilities in the devices' respective "system exclusive" (SYSEX) programming. Unfortunately, incompatibilities of this kind are usually unresolvable.

About the Author

Jason Savage has been a freelance writer since 2005. He has authored technical and procedural documents for a variety of clients, while his journalism and fiction have appeared in "Monday Magazine," "The Pedestal" and other publications. Savage holds B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in music.