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My Knob is Bigger than Your Knob!


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#1 Renoised

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 22:40

Said the YAMAHA YS200 to the lesser-endowed synthesizers!



The YS200 is one of the lesser-known YAMAHA FM synths, and that's a pity cause it's by far one of the best FM synths out there (the best IMHO), here's why:

- Biggest knob of any synthesizer known to mankind, so has no problem attracting lady synthesizers.
- Makes simplified FM programming as easy as editing envelopes, LFO's, and timbre, with dedicated buttons for each.
- Has an aftertouch keybed, velocity, twin wheels, and breath input.
- It's an FM synth with a built-in delay, reverb, and distortion effects processor (something the DX7 lacks).
- It's an FM synth with a built-in multi-track sequencer, a powerful one (something the DX7 lacks).

- It's an FM synth with selectable waveforms for the operators (something the DX7 lacks).
- It's an FM synth that looks so fucking ugly, it's beauitiful in an industrial kinda way (whoever designed it clearly has kick-ass design skills).


yamaha_ys200_03.jpg

 

The above image is taken from a website about it, which you can find here:
http://www.deepsonic...amaha_ys200.php

 

 

The YS200 is also available without the sequencer in the form of the YS100, but the sound engine is the same, and both have the same fantastic-sounding DAC:

 

You might be wondering why I posted this, well it's simple really, I have always thought it odd that during this FM revival, one of the best FM machines around gets completely ignored.  This is actually one of two machines I have but have never mentioned before (I'll reveal the other next month in a new thread).  The reason I don't use this machine is I hate having to lean over one keyboard to get at the other.  If I were to use this machine again, it's specification (especially due to having a powerful sequencer on-board), would mean the QY700 and the SX-P30 would effectively be duplication of functionality.

In other words, if I were to use it again, the only gear I'd need for a complete setup would be this for synth and sequencer, the A3000 for sampler and mastering, and the MT8X for recording.  That would be a complete hardware studio right there (one perfect for creating 80s music).

These are getting quite rare now, mainly because those that have them have started holding onto them.  The reasons for that will vary, but read that list above and it doesn't take a genius to understand why.  One final thing I would like to point out about this machine is that Yamaha were kinda careless when they wrote the manual for it.  You'll notice that people often complain that the editing was a bit limited.  This is actually not true at all, its just done different cause the whole point of the OS on this machine was to make FM easy to program.  The problem is the manual fails to point out two very important things.  The first is that detailed editing functions can be got at simply by starting the edit with any sound that features the specific options you require.  Another thing they failed to point out is that edits you make on this machine are 'accumulative'.  I'll try to explain this as best I can.  People think that when you reach the highest value of a parameter on this thing, that they have reached the actual limit of the parameter itself, but they haven't.  What you do is re-enter the parameter you're editing and the value will reset to zero while leaving the curent edit in place, meaning that you can push the parameter up or down from zero to whatever value you want again.  You can repeat this process up to a value, if I recall, that is ten times what you think you can on the first "accumulation".  Programming this thing compared to a DX7 is a dream come true, and once you understand those two things I just pointed out, you can get the sound you want quite easy, even using basic synthesis type parameters to do it.  Having a built-in reverb running on the same clock as the FM synthesis itself, is also something not to be sniffed at.  There's something about it you just don't get when you put it through a separate reverb running on a different clock.  This machine also has the most fantastic-sounding DACs, and don't forget, it's a 4-OP engine that has a nice trick up it's sleeve due to having multiple waveforms available to the operators, not just a sinewave.  I remember I created the most incredible, dynamic, distorted guitar on this thing, best one I ever heard from any synth even if I do say so myself!

So anyway, this was a geeky, show-offy kinda post looking at a lesser-known machine, part one of two, the second of which will reveal a super-rare machine to geek-out over next month!




 


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#2 El°HYM

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 23:01

This has some fantastic sounds inside....an #renoise instrument for the community?

 

...Maybe not, as there is no sample of this thing online, would have been dope though!


Edited by El°HYM, 02 February 2018 - 23:44.


#3 random

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 00:27

It was on wishlist too, ugly but sometimes cheap, good keyboard feeling and yes a sequencer
dx100 and korg 707 are interesting too.
would like to know why the old parts sound so good, compared to new gear

got a evolution evs-1 (rare and cheap, 50 Eu second hand) best dirty FM synth for my ears, sadly unfortunately only with atari (emulator) editor operable
In addition, i do not really understand fm-synthesis

good tools for learning are in my opinion
http://www.taktech.o...akm/WebFMSynth/
it sounds boring but very easy handling

http://www.adlibtracker.net/
there are songs to download for this tracker, can see how fm works


Edited by random, 03 February 2018 - 00:29.


#4 Renoised

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:21

@El°HYM, Do you mean you want a sample pack of the YS200 for Renoise?
It's in the loft right now and needed a new back-up battery when I put it up there, but I'm acheing to bring it back down anyway, so I might make a few if I do.

@Random, Can't speak for other models, but I'm convinced the YS200 sounds extra-nice due to it having a reverb running on the same clock as the FM synthesis, and it having really nice DACs.  And thanks for pointing out Adlib Tracker II, never seen that before and a tracker based around FM is just awesome.

 

Will definitely be spending some time looking into that tomorrow  :walkman: 

I wonder if it loads 4-OP sounds from the YAMAHA FM synths, do you know?

 


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#5 random

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 03:08

i can not imagine that, synthesizer works with sysex, think thats a another construction site
the tracker is actually meant only for dos
sdl is the dos emulation for Windows

previously at the dos time there were yamaha opl-2, opl-3 fm sound cards, wavetable came later
ram was expensive and with fm was able to put a gm midi soundset to the card with little memory

 

I had been looking for a long time if there is information at rhe www as the fm-gm drum sounds were made, but unfortunately found nothing


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#6 Renoised

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:34

That's a bummer, but what about Reverb and Delay, does it have stuff like that?

With it being a self-contained thing it would feel a bit dry if it were pure FM and no way to add effects.  I know delay can be made manually, but that's not really the case with reverb, so I hope it has reverb, and stuff like chorus and distortion.  Anyway, going to try it out later, looks very cool, I wish Renoise had a default FM synth built-in to the interface that could load the Yamaha patches.  That way Renoise could be based around both Samples and FM rather than just samples!

 


Edited by Renoised, 03 February 2018 - 12:36.

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#7 El°HYM

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:47

Basically the more pleasing, gritty sound is in due to its 12Bit DACs & Me loves that sound!

 

http://www.synthark....maha/YS100.html



#8 Renoised

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 14:11

You're looking at the YS100 there, not the YS200 (there's no sequencer on the YS100), but yes, both sound exactly the same.

Those specs are very misleading in much the same way the manual is misleading.  Despite what it says in those specs, there is indeed a way to select the algorithm, adjust the LFO rate, and choose the LFO waveform, right on the machine, no sysex editor needed.  All you have to do when you first get your hands on it, is create a set of initialised patches, where the only difference between them is the algorithm it uses.  Same with LFO choice, it's not preset at all, cause all you would do is create a set of initialised patches containing each waveform.  All it means is that you have to decide what LFO shape and algorithm you want before you start creating a sound.  That's a small inconvenince, and the benefit is you get to design FM sounds using a very easy system.

The LFO depth is not fixed at all, can indeed be modulated, and adjusted in intensity, just as you'd expect - so very misleading specs there.

There's no mention of the "4-NOS" function either.  This allows you to directly input the waveform used for each operator independently, and more than that, allows you to increment the four numbers simultaneously, backwards or froward in a rotary fashion.  This means you can rotate between very subdued or radically changing tones in a single button press.

For example, you could punch in:
1423
2462

Any combination of operator waveform mumber you wish, but then you can "rotate" so that:
1423 becomes 2534 by pressing the + button once.
2462 becomes 1351 by pressing the - button once, and 0240 by pressing it twice.

From there you might decide that only operator three needs changing, and manually input something like:
0200 or 0260

From there you might decide to take the rotary route again, so you can go back to incrementing an decrementing in fours if you wish.  This is something the YS200 does to make getting at complex sounds easier than the way it's programmed on a DX7.  And the really cool thing about this system is that once you learn to understand which instrument gives you the best starting point, you can customise it to your liking pretty damn quick, whereas doing the same thing on a DX7 would take a lot more work.  You can program it like a DX7 if you want, and it will indeed memorise all parameters, but if you want to program it that way, then yes, you'd need an editor.

I've never found myself wanting to program it the classic way, but a lot of people will want to simply because they don't realise that stuff I pointed out in this, and the original post.  The point is, if you want on organ for example, and it's not quite what you want to start with, the sytem is designed to make it easy to adjust to become the exact organ you want.  Same with a Harpsichord, Electric Piano, or whatever else, the point is you can get the sound you want very quickly even though it's an FM machine.


Edited by Renoised, 03 February 2018 - 14:39.

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#9 El°HYM

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 15:46

That #knob looks like #flat earth from space....looking ffw 2 hear them samples  :walkman:



#10 Renoised

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 16:29

Patience, my good man, patience ^_^

 


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#11 Renoised

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 21:04

Ah man, that Adlib Tracker II looks like it requires specific soundcards to work to it's fullest.
I have an ISA-format AWE64-Gold in the loft, but can't be bothered right now.

Looks fun but will have to wait.

 



#12 El°HYM

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 22:52

Me is so patient, I could make a full evolving drone pad using wavetable synthesis in my head, juz by sitting there & thinking long enuff About iT!  :ph34r:

Patience, my good man, patience ^_^

 



#13 Renoised

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 23:29

:lol:



#14 Renoised

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 00:09

Wow, I just discovered my AWE64-Gold soundcard is worth around £350 :blink:

I know it's a good soundcard, it was top-of-the-range, but man, that's over double the price I paid for it.  Just been looking into what could be causing it, and soon discovered a few more of those weird trackers.  Apparently there's a whole ecosystem of followers who use trackers that run on bare-bones computers without an OS, and Adlib Tracker II is just one of them.

Now that is interesting, cause one of the reasons I paid the premium for this card was it's E-MU designed hardware and Soundfont engine.  I actually had no idea about the hardware FM engine it has, or if I did I must have forgot about it or not taken much notice at the time.  I know this card has hardware Chorus and Reverb on it because it was designed to be 100% Soundfont compatible hardware, so that could mean some of those weird trackers they've designed for these cards have Reverb ability.  I tell ya, if there is a tracker out there that works without an OS, makes use of the FM, Soundfont, and hardware Reverb and Chorus on this thing, I'll be all over it like a rash cause I even read these things do audio recording!

 



#15 random

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 02:27

It not works without dos
the sound cards, old pc s with isa ports are today popular by gamer, there want to play old dos games so authentically as possible
at the past i had a maestro 32, similar to awe32, as far as i'm aware, the effects only work on the wavetable

here is a list which old laptops have olp-3 inside
https://chipmusic.or...f-opl3-laptops/
yes, would like to have, but more useful would be an editor with guru (never seen on action) at renoise for our fm-synthesizers
midi error do it, shows here his dx 100 editor
http://forum.renoise...28-guru/page-14
or simply the dexed vst (it load/export dx7 patches) in combination with yamaha tx7 or dx7 (both sadly today expensive) and renoise

https://asb2m10.github.io/dexed/

but as already written i would first have to understand more exactly how fm works :P


Edited by random, 04 February 2018 - 02:33.


#16 lettuce

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 06:15

@random :

 

Personally I think its better to use vsti to recreate the opl3 sound.

Here is a video of a nice and free one ( vOPM ) :

 

 

I was going to learn adlibtracker2. It looks like a seriously cool FM tracker.

It is a nice old program which has made a comeback and has been updated recently.

The documentation is great, it renders to .wav.  Its runs in windows 10. The OPL emulation is great.

It has a cool completely keyboard controlled control scheme.

 

Everything about it is cool except that the timing is not BPM.

So unless all the things you want to sample from adlibtracker2 are at 120BPM the timing will drift.

I think 120BPM is the only solid BPM timing you can get out of adlibtracker 2.

 

There is a formula for converting adlibtracker2 'speed' into BPM, but I am not convinced that using that formula results in accurate BPM.

 

That kind of FMchip can make some crazy trippy sounds and percussion as well as 'ultra-cheese'.


Edited by lettuce, 04 February 2018 - 06:24.

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#17 El°HYM

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:31

Looks promising, yet also kind of #complicated learning curve...maybe worth it, though:



#18 Renoised

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 17:20

After seeing that VSTi I realise why those trackers don't load the standard FM 4-OP patches.
Shame though, would have been very cool to have YS200 patches in a tracker in FM form!

 



#19 lettuce

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 18:57

@Elohym :

 

4 operator FM is quite complex, but you dont have to understand how FM works to use it. Just play with the sliders.

 

The theory behind FM synthesis is crazy and involves intense mathematical shit like sideband frequencies and whatever


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#20 random

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 20:41

thnx lettuce

have not tried yet but vopm looks very Interesting

 

manual patches converters and tipps:

https://www.kvraudio...uct/vopm-by-sam

 

@Elohym

the fm basics are relatively easy to understand
The hard part is to get an idea of how sound is shaped


Edited by random, 05 February 2018 - 20:45.

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#21 lettuce

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 21:57

Thanks for the links to vOPM patches from sega genesis games.

 

These ones :

 

http://truechiptilld...-genesis-games/

 

Some notes on VOPM parameters :

 

AMS Amplitude-Modulation Sensitivity

AR Attack Rate

C1/C2 Carrier 1, Carrier 2

D1L Decay Level 1

D1R/D2R Decay Rate 1, Decay Rate 2

DT1 Fine Detuning

DT2 Coarse Detuning

FL Feedback Level

FRQ LFO Frequency

KS Key Scaling

M1/M2 Modulator 1, Modulator 2

MUL Multiplier

NFRQ Noise Frequency

OP Operator

PMS Pitch-Modulation Sensitivity

RR Release Rate

TL Total Level (operator level)

 

Unofficial manual :

 

http://tanalin.com/e...ty/vopm-manual/


Edited by lettuce, 05 February 2018 - 23:47.


#22 lettuce

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 23:57

Each .opm from each game has a few different instruments inside.

You have to load them with the import button, then save the ones you like to your tone folder one by one.

They save as .fxb


Edited by lettuce, 06 February 2018 - 00:24.

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#23 El°HYM

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:46

...sound like sum E=MC² shizzle, kewl!  :walkman:

 

@Elohym :

 

4 operator FM is quite complex, but you dont have to understand how FM works to use it. Just play with the sliders.

 

The theory behind FM synthesis is crazy and involves intense mathematical shit like sideband frequencies and whatever

 

 

thnx lettuce

have not tried yet but vopm looks very Interesting

 

manual patches converters and tipps:

https://www.kvraudio...uct/vopm-by-sam

 

@Elohym

the fm basics are relatively easy to understand
The hard part is to get an idea of how sound is shaped


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