Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Many Avenues to Controlling My Mark IV Disklavier

My Mark IV Disklavier,  a real, concert-quality piano that can also play itself is accessed by a physical Pocket Remote Controller (PRC-100), a wireless remote with dedicated buttons and a full-color LCD touch screen or by the Tablet Remote Controller.  Tablet Remote Controller (TRC-100), a 10.4-inch, portable, color, touch-screen control panel is the ultimate luxury item, the TRC provides song control features, play list management, and portable viewing of Karaoke song file lyrics, all with customizable visual environments and graphics.  Both remote controllers use the 802.11b wireless specification to communicate with the piano from anywhere in the home, whether or not there is any line of sight.

In addition to these physical devices, Yamaha introduced the Virtual PRC interface which allows total control from a networked computer.  The Virtual PRC interface was introduced in one of the latest versions of the system software for the Mark IV.   I use an Apple Airport Express connected via ethernet cable to the underside of the Mark IV to connect the Virtual PRC interface to my Mac home network.

I also use an excellent software package written by Kevin Goroway called dkvBrowser.    This software can be found at dkvBrowser Sourceforge.   DkvBrowser is an application that can be used instead of the PDA (PRC-100) or Tablet or Virtual PRC-100 that is normally supplied with a Yamaha Disklavier Mark IV.   It can be downloaded at  There are Mac and PC versions built and ready to run, but it can run on any platform that supports Java and can access the Disklavier either wired or wirelessly.  It is licensed under GNU General Public License and offered as donation ware.  DkvBrowser offers multiple features, too numerous to mention here, but outlined on the sourceforge site.   The biggest features are the ease of transferring midis to your piano via your computer, as well as ease of editing the names of albums and song titles.  

In addition to these physical and virtual devices to control my piano, there is also an app, Yamaha Disklavier Controller App, for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad in the Apple App Store.

I have discussed many of the attributes of the Yamaha Disklavier Controller app and its operation on previous blogs.  I assisted Kevin Goroway in testing his software dkvBrowser with my Mac and Mark IV, as well as documenting his software and providing a downloadable manual in PDF form on the dkvBrowser Sourceforge site.   Yamaha has provided documentation for the Virtual PRC, PRC-100 and Tablet Controller on their site.   There are also two forums online that provide answers and discussions at the dkvBrowser Yahoo Group and Disklavier Yahoo Group forums.  If you own one of the Disklavier pianos, you will find it worthwhile to join these groups and participate with the members who add to discussions and help others with questions.  I will continue to post blogs on occasion, to offer detailed solutions or comments on the Disklavier and its many devices as related to Mac computers and apps.


Mark McKenna said...

Hi GJ, recently had a HD crash on my Mark IV and have a 3rd party IDE/SSd drive on the way. Any expereience with that? I intend to load the 4.0 SW onto it but am concerned that the DK won't recognize the drive.


Granny Joan said...

Mark, hope all goes well with the new hard drive. I have not had to replace my hard drive yet. Posting on the Yahoo Forum may be the best place to address any concerns. Kevin G on the forum is familiar with the system and formatting and would be a good person to send a question. Good luck

Mark McKenna said...

Hi Joan,

The forum has been a great help. One of the members is a tekkie genius and coaching me through a few things. Thanks for your reply. Hope you are well on your treadmill!


Shawn Nielson said...

Hi Joan,
My PRC power supply has died and I am not yet running version 4 but I would like to control my Disklavier with my iPhone. Do you still have the Virtual PRC software for mac? I want to use that to make a boot disk and then upgrade.


Granny Joan said...

Shawn, Just saw this comment. I have a few notes for getting Virtual PRC. I am not sure if this is still working on Mac with some of the latest system software. I am not currently in a place to test, but here goes:

When I clicked on the DNA disk that mounts on my Mac when I run dkvbrowser, I see a file called, "virtualprc.html" When I tried clicking that it automatically opened Opera Browser which had me enter the username, password and then downloaded a file pcstart.php
That did NOT work.

So I figured I should try another browser, so basically I just dragged the "virtualprc.html" file into FireFox. It opened and I entered my username (default is "root") and password is "prcstart" for those who haven't changed this)
It then downloaded an icon to my dock and ran the ol' virtual prc app displaying the virtual remote controller for the Mark IV.

Hope this helps.
Also, be sure to cntrol click on your icon for the virtual prc in your dock and select keep in dock so you have it handy.