How to Connect Your YDS-150 or YDS-120 to Your DAW

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Want to use your Yamaha Digital Sax as a MIDI controller? Here’s how you can connect your YDS-150 or YDS-120 to your DAW.

YDS digital saxophones can connect with most major DAWs, allowing you to play your favorite VST instruments and plugins like a saxophone.

Note: If you want to record audio using the YDS’ built-in sounds, follow these steps for recording the Yamaha digital sax using an instrument cable and audio interface.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Your YDS-150 or YDS-120 digital saxophone
  • 1 Micro-USB cable to your host computer
  • Your DAW of choice

Step 1: Connect Your YDS Saxophone to Your Computer

Connect the YDS digital saxophone to your computer using a Micro USB cable. There is a Micro USB port on the side of the instrument by the left-hand table keys.

Step 2: Turn On the YDS Digital Saxophone

Once it’s turned on, your computer should automatically recognize the instrument.

Step 3: Connect the YDS Sax to Your DAW (If Necessary)

Most DAWs should automatically recognize the digital sax as a MIDI controller. If not, go into your DAW’s settings and manually add the instrument.

From there, you should be able to use the YDS-150 or YDS-120 just like any other MIDI controller.

Screenshot of a MIDI device list in Cakewalk by Bandlab
The Digital Saxophone as seen in the Cakewalk by Bandlab MIDI device list.

Change MIDI Output Settings in the YDS Controller App

One of the best things about Yamaha Digital Saxophones are the customization settings. You can program additional output settings using the YDS Controller app for iOS and Android.

If you haven’t yet, you’ll need to update your YDS-150 to the latest firmware settings.

Once it’s been updated, you can program each of the digital sax’s sensors to different MIDI and CC parameters. This option is incredibly handy for controlling complex instruments and sample libraries.

Here are some of the sensor outputs you can modify:

  • Velocity sensitivity
  • Breath sensor
  • Analog control stick
  • Motion sensor (YDS-150 only)

Further Reading

If you want to know more about the Yamaha digital saxophones, you can check out these resources:

About the Author
Jack Barton
Jack's been playing saxophone, clarinet, and other instruments for over 20 years. He spent most of his professional career working in music retail, where he's had hands-on experience with countless wind instruments and other music products.