Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Welcome to the new era from the company that brought you the DX and the Motif. Montage sets the next milestone with sophisticated dynamic control, massive sound creation and streamlined workflow.

Moderators: Derek, parametric, Saul

User avatar Czech Republic
AFMlover
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:58 am

Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by AFMlover » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:03 am

Hi, I am considering migrating from the wonderful but aging Yamaha SY99 to Yamaha Montage 7.

Now the big question for me is: Will Montage by able to load the AFM and AWM sounds that I created on my SY99?
I am mainly after AFM. But some sounds depend on the samples in SY99 ROM too.

I understand that the FX unit is different so I know the sounds will sound different. Apart from that, will the sounds change when produced by Montage?

If Montage 7 cannot load SY99 sounds, is there any paid of free software that can do the conversion?

Thanks a lot in advance!
User avatar Wales
Derek
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4749
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by Derek » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:59 pm

Hi,

Unfortunately AFM is quite different to FM-X. Yamaha have an importer for the DX7, but not the FS1r (strange as FM-X is based on the voiced operators of the FS1r) nor the SY range.

I am not aware of any conversion software. I have written quite a few converters in my time (including DX7 to SY) and it is not an easy task when the architectures are not the same.

Solution keep both. :) I have a Montage 7 and SY99 and TG77 (amongst others) and the SY99 still sounds gorgeous.
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
User avatar Czech Republic
AFMlover
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:58 am

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by AFMlover » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:28 am

Thanks for the reply. Well I would keep both, but I have no room for two synths here. So if I bought Montage, SY99 would need to go. I sense it will die soon anyway. It's been used very heavily. :(

The only solution that I think will be working for me is to sample all the good SY99 sounds and use them in a software sampler in my DAW.

Or I will try to "manually" approximate my favorite SY99 sounds as closely as possible on Montage. But how much close it will be, that's the big question and worry now. Montage 7 isn't really a cheap item.
User avatar Wales
Derek
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4749
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:22 pm

Hi,

Shame you cannot keep both. I have room for four keyboards, but no more! So I have an SY99 and AN1x in front of my DAW monitors/recording position, and to the side is my gig rig of the Montage 7 and a Korg Kronos.

It is very hard to say how close you could get, without doing a deep analysis of the AFM/FM-X differences, but here are a few key differences that I can see from a glance, which would mean it could be quite difficult good representation in FM-X for some AFM patches if you have AFM patches using these features.
  • Operator rate scaling. AFM uses four keyboard based breakpoints and levels, FM-X uses the DX7 (and FS1r) model of a single breakpoint and then positive/negative linear/log curves. Note I have gone the other way in my DX7 to SY converter in sy.factory, and I think that the rate scaling implementation differences are the key reason why a number of converted patches had the right character of the original, but I couldn't get them to be a 100% match.
  • AFM has sixteen operator wave shapes, FM-X has seven.
  • AFM has looping envelopes. FM-X does not.
  • AFM has three operator feedback loops that you program as you wish in terms of the feedback source and destination operators. FM-X has one fixed feedback loop. So you could only program one feedback loop in FM-X, and if none of the originals actually map to the fixed feedback loop on FM-X then you lose all feedback loops.
  • AFM allows you to set the operator input levels (as well as output levels). FM-X does not let you do this (I think).
  • Realtime Convolution and Modulation (RCM) is present on in AFM, but not in FM-X. Whilst this was not a heavilly used feature due to its unpredictability, it would be significant for any patch that uses it.
  • Not sure if it was ever used for any sounds, but you can create you own algorithms in AFM (a "hidden feature").
AFM was called Advanced FM for a reason! :)

Note, I am only an FM tweaker, not a deep expert, like somebody like Manny on this forum. Therefore, I may be wrong on any or all of the above, and I am happy to be corrected if I have anything wrong. :)

FM-X is much closer to the FS1r implementation of FM. I guess this was chosen as the basis of development for FM-X as you can do a pretty much perfect map of DX7 sounds onto the FS1r FM engine, and then Yamaha can play on the DX7 heritage and compatibility. Whilst the SY series is very powerful (far more so than the DX7), it never had the mass popularity or public awareness of the DX series, as it was competing against synths like the M1 as he stellar success at the time, and at a time when I think people had tired a little of FM being everywhere. Of course those of us in the know, appreciate the power of the SY range.

And then other questions to consider, which would require some detailed analysis
  • Can you find a match between all AFM algorithms to FM-X algorithms?
  • Can you find a match between the SY effects, including effects routing, to the Montage?
  • Can you find a match between SY AWM samples and Montage? If not, this is probably the easiest aspect to deal with, if you sample the raw AWM2 waveforms into the Montage. The SY had minuscule sample ROM compared to the Montage! Don't forget any custom samples or additional Card ROMs!
  • Is there a good match between the SY element filter and Montage part filter
So, as you can see, the challenge is that even at a cursory glance, the FM implementations are very different, so I would not put the probability of success of getting the majority of FM patches ported across as pretty high, and I doubt it is worth the effort of anybody looking at it.

With Montage you do get free access to Sample Robot, which would allow you to sample the SY99 into the Montage, or there is the odd VST version of the SY77, e.g. UVI Digital Sensations, but the trouble with sampling an FM synth is you will lose all the dynamics of the operator interactions.
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
User avatar France
EXer
Member
Member
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by EXer » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:16 pm

Derek wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:22 pm
FM-X is much closer to the FS1r implementation of FM. I guess this was chosen as the basis of development for FM-X as you can do a pretty much perfect map of DX7 sounds onto the FS1r FM engine, and then Yamaha can play on the DX7 heritage and compatibility.
Yet Yamaha totally f.cked up the built-in conversion:

• you can send a DX7 patch (.syx file) to a FS1R directly and the FS1R will convert it automatically, seamlessly and transparently

• in order to use a DX7 patch on FM-X you have to resort to an on-line web based converter, which is a big shame; what if you don't have a web connexion or when the on-line convertor is no more supported by Yam? Image
EX5 EX5 EX5R FS1R TX81Z TX81Z TX7 A4000
EX5Tech Member #101
User avatar Wales
Derek
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4749
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:25 pm

Yamaha do have a habit of taking an idea and managing to do something daft when implementing it. ;)

The FS1r DX7 import is a case in point. It will only accept DX7 Edit Buffer files, i.e. single voices, not packed 32 voice bulk dumps. So in fs.factory, I wrote a bulk voice importer, that opens a packed voice file and sends each vocie to the DX7 one at a time and reads the converted result back.

It is daft that the Montage DX7 importer is only available as an online tool...
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
User avatar Czech Republic
AFMlover
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:58 am

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by AFMlover » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:05 am

Derek, thank you so much for such an informative, detailed and insightful post!

And reading all of that, I think sampling my fav SY99 sounds is going to be the solution for me.
User avatar Wales
Derek
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4749
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:00 am
Contact:

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by Derek » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:38 am

No problem, it was something I was musing about myself, but hadn't gotten around to thinking about it in detail. So at least that is done now! :D

If you wish to sample your SY99, then ensure you get the free Montage edition of Sample Robot, as that will do all of the hard work for you once it is setup and it will create Montage data files directly.
Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.co.uk
User avatar Czech Republic
AFMlover
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:58 am

Re: Importing Yamaha SY99 sounds to Yamaha Montage 7

Unread post by AFMlover » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:50 am

Yeah, I will definitely use an automated solution for the sampling -- that's why we have computers! Thanks for all the tips again!
Post Reply

Return to “Yamaha Montage Forum”