Siri plays the Yamaha Disklavier piano using AirPlay

We’ve all seen some cool things that Siri can do, but this has to be the best so far. The guys at Yamaha got Siri to play piano.

Here’s how my friend at Yamaha explained it to me:

Take a standard MIDI songfile and convert it to an audio file (while maintaining the MIDI data). The songfile is then sent wirelessly via WiFi to an Apple Airport Express (which is mounted underneath a Yamaha Disklavier reproducing piano. The audio output of the Airport Express is then connected to the analog MIDI inputs of the Disklavier, using a standard audio cable.Then, you simply ask Siri to play your favorite song from your iTunes library, and Siri responds immediately, by making the Disklavier’s keys and pedal move up and down, recreating the performance, including full orchestration.


  • http://piano.detwiler.us/ piano manhandler

    Cool. Is it a “standard” feature that works other set-ups, or was the Disklavier tweaked just for Siri? It would be nice to control it from other hardware, like a desktop.

  • Steve Hoge

    “audio output of the Airport Express is then connected to the analog MIDI inputs of the Disklavier”

    Huh?  What the heck is an “analog MIDI input”? This thing is doing pitch-detection and conversion to MIDI in real time?

  • Thirdwaver

    “Take a standard MIDI songfile and convert it to an audio file (while maintaining the MIDI data).”

    How is this done?

    • http://twitter.com/CoxswainLovalot Will Gore

      change .midi to .mp3

      • Thirdwaver

        I will try that when I get home!  Thanks!

    • Steven Fisher

      I think iTunes can do this (or, at least, could in a past version; I haven’t done it recently).

  • Tenglish

    What does this do to the companies that make the special CD’s that play in the player piano devices. Put them out of business? Also will this work with other systems such as QRS and PianoDisc? Any issues with ASCAP & BMI (artist protection groups)?

  • Rodney McKay

    Siri is NOT playing the song, it’s just initiating the play of a MIDI file (much as it can any file in your music library). Extremely deceptive narration in the video.

  • andy stha

    Siri actually commands, which converts audio file to a MIDI, piano reads MIDI. thus, play it..   perfect.

    android users will be dreaming…

  • Abinlbc

    Does this only work with Yamaha pianos?

  • Onyxcab

    I tried to change the midi to mp3 but it still does not work

    • Kevin

      I’m in the same boat. The files download with the extension .mid. When I try to rename to .mp3 a prompt asks if I’m sure. After yes is clicked and the file is either dragged and dropped into iTunes or imported nothing happens. Any ideas?

  • meadowlane

    Can same be done with Yamaha PSR e433 keyboard?