New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

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.

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New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by DrSynth » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:54 am

For those interested in some advanced FM programming concepts applied to emulative synthesis, there's a new article series at YamahaSynth.com. The first article (there will be a total of five) here:

https://www.yamahasynth.com/modx-catego ... -and-stuff

Includes a LIve Set of Performances to download & companion videos on YouTube

Manny

PS - as this is offical Yamaha material, I hope posting this does't run afoul of Forum rules as a "shameless plug..." :)
FM Rig of DOOM!! Yamaha Montage 7, SY99's x8 , TG77's x4, Reface DX,FS1r, DX200, DX7II FD E!, DX7II FD, TX802
Yamaha VL1v2 & VL70m
Kurzweil K2000, Korg Wavestation EX, Kawai K1, Sequential Pro One, Arp Odyssey
What's a Roland ...?
YouTube FM Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXY8GT ... R0TSw/feed
SoundCloud FM Examples: https://soundcloud.com/manny-fernandez-4856421
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by Derek » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:37 am

Hi, Manny

Thanks for sharing. I mean to find the time to go through these, as I have only ever been an FM "tweaker of existing patches" it's about time I learnt it properly, and the UI of the Montage/MODX should make that easier. :)
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Derek Cook

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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by jnm2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:45 pm

Wonderful.

Thanks.
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by javelin276 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:49 pm

I like Manny's articles, he's probably the best FM programmer there is. But he does everything by ear... That's not a skill you can pick up easily, it takes years of practice to get proficient by ear.

I figured out a different method to get the basic timbre right, a visual method using a Spectrum Analyzer. You can pick up the visual method in just a couple of days, allowing you to match the timbre of recorded sounds very quickly. Add to that Manny's tricks to make special effects sounds, like the thunk of the hammer striking a piano key, and his skill at using Effects on the Montage, and you can get really good at FM really fast. You can download my free FM programming guide using the link below, and yes, it does cover FM-X. FM-X is fantastic!

http://javelinart.com/fm-synth-programming.html
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by DrSynth » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:06 am

Thanks for the compliment, Thor!

I took at look at your Programming Guide, nice work. I got a DX7 about 3 months after it came out in the US, promptly went to the University Library to pull all of Chowning's research and went hardcore into immersing myself it it for a good year. That was what - 35 years ago!! Jeez, I'm old :) Your approach is eminently usable for those starting out.

In looking at your guide, I realize that I started doing programming in a similar way that you describe. Limted access to spectrograms / FFT's etc -- no softwares to pull up on a laptop, meant I had to get stuff from journals, books and articles (!). By the time those tools to analyze became widely availble on Macs and PC's to do yourself, I'd already trained my ears from all the sounds I'd done.

I'm glad you like the FS1R Piano :) ... that was a fun unit to develop. We had tools in MAX for analysis & FSEQ creation that worked but were pretty rough. I get a laugh that some the preset FSEQ's are of me (attempting) singing. Coincidentally my current article series sort of takes that FS1r piano and expands it to Montage. Shame we lost the formants and noise in FM-X, though.

Personally, from a versatility standpoint I prefer the SY99 engine, as three patchable feedback loops,operator phase, 6 stage looping envelopes, & Samples as modulators gives a wider palette than FM-X. After the FS1r came out, I pushed for a SY99 with formant and noise operators and multimode filters as next gen FM.

But after the FS1r, and the modeling VL1 and VP1, by then Yamaha saw the market wanted really good ROMplers vs really good synths, and started the path (EX5, CS6x, S90, etc) finally resulted in the Motif. EX5 was another quirky box -- FDSP had interesting potential. Since I'm a hardcore synthesis guy, I thought the ROMpler shift was a shame... I quite enjoyed those modeling synths, the VL1 especially.

Manny
FM Rig of DOOM!! Yamaha Montage 7, SY99's x8 , TG77's x4, Reface DX,FS1r, DX200, DX7II FD E!, DX7II FD, TX802
Yamaha VL1v2 & VL70m
Kurzweil K2000, Korg Wavestation EX, Kawai K1, Sequential Pro One, Arp Odyssey
What's a Roland ...?
YouTube FM Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXY8GT ... R0TSw/feed
SoundCloud FM Examples: https://soundcloud.com/manny-fernandez-4856421
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by javelin276 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:17 am

Hi Manny! Yes, your piano patches are the best FM pianos around! Piano players are funny animals, though. Really picky. They hear things in the sound that I can't even begin to pick up on, which is why my Motif-XF has 22 different acoustic pianos in it. The Montage probably has even more. It's a testament to the capability of FM though, that you CAN create a nice piano patch. FM can replicate almost anything.

It's interesting to hear that the FS1R factory fseq's were developed in MAX. The tool you guys used was never released, though. The fseq's aren't a very good portfolio for your singing, are they. Grin. I didn't really care for the factory fseq's, so I went ahead and programmed my own editor. It's also available on my website, JavelinArt.com. Mine works pretty good on pitched sounds, voices especially, and can do whispered sentences using the unvoiced operators. I'm working on another tool now to make the FS1R sing in English, using one fseq with the main 44 English phonemes in it. It's about halfway done. I think Yamaha was headed in that general direction with Formants, but couldn't quite pull it off because the MIDI interface was too slow, and fseq's were too short. I really wish they had engineered an upgrade to add USB to the FS1R, it came out a year or two later and would have made a myriad of things possible.

I haven't used an SY99. It sounds really capable, especially using samples as modulators, but I really like the resonant waveforms in FM-X over the ones in the SY99. You have 8 SY99's and 4 TG77's? Holy Cow. My ideal synth would be a grown up EX5, i.e. a Montage with the VL1, AN1X, FDSP, Formants & noise Operators, all in one package! I have all but FDSP in separate synths already so I'm not suffering any.

I'll be reading your FM-X articles as they come out! I see several of them right now.
Thor
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by parametric » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:19 pm

javelin276 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:17 am
It's interesting to hear that the FS1R factory fseq's were developed in MAX.
Just butting-in here momentarily, but is the "MAX" you mention, in fact MAX/MSP/Jitter, produced by the

curiously named "Cycling '74"?

I used to "support" it at the Uni, when I was working, but only inasmuch as keeping it updated and

compatible with the current MacOS . . .

I would guess there is little it CAN'T do - if you know what your doing.

It was often used in performance situations, allowing a solo performer to interact

(change, modify and vary) in REAL TIME with the backing track that was being performed LIVE on the Mac.

An expensive program with a TORTUOUS challenge/response authorisation/protection procedure,

it was much liked, as it's capabilities seemed only limited by your imagination . . . :o

parametric
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by javelin276 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:14 pm

Yes, MAX/MSP. It was originally developed at IRCAM back in the late 1980's by Miller Puckette, who is now a music professor at the University of California, San Diego. His partner took it commercial and it became MAX/MSP/Jitter, currently $400 a copy. There is an open source version called Pure Data which you can download for free from UCSD, but it lacks some of the nicer features of the commercial version like the visual interface.

A friend of mine is using MAX to test Formant algorithms, which we are comparing to my FS1R. We've located an algorithm that is very close, even when we modulate a Formant with a Formant. It opens up the possibility of emulating the Formant Shaping part of the FS1R along with the FM part.
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by DrSynth » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:32 pm

Yes, it was MAX by Cycling '74. I also used it to generate 'formant noise' variations for the VL1 version 2 enhancements.

Re: Yamaha and vocal synthesis -- though they did abandon it in the MIDI keyboard/synth market, IIRC FS1r's technology path somehow led to "perfecting" it in Vocaloid as a DAW plug-in.

More SY series trivia:

One of the original goals of RCM synthesis (i.e samples as FM Modulators) was as a true resynthesis system -- in the early SY OS, the Algorithm Input Page (Menu 233) had different data displayed -- currently that displays either AWM, another OP #, or OPa (if 2 or more OPs are input, in a bracnhed algorighm). Way back when in early development when you had AWM turned on as an input to an operator, if didn't show AWM, it was OPh (may have been OpH or OPH, I'm getting old) the H indicating Hilbert Transform. There was going to be waves in the AWM ROM that were analyzed/processed by the transform math that could be used as Modulators into specific FM algoithm structures to re-synthesis the original sound. Unfortunately, it was abandoned for reasons unknown.

This is tied into why there is individual Operator Phase parameter and the +/- velocity sensitivity and the 'infamous" hidden "Free Algorithm Edit" mode to create your own Algorithms that is still present in SY77/99

The largely unexplored area of RCM on the SY was one of the reasons I've wanted access a full 8MB of user sample data with the Magic Memory Board that was just released. Because precise frequency control is mandatory in FM, I need enough memory for all 99 user waves - basically one for every individual key - to separately tune to the AFM Ops.

My next project (when I have time!) is playing around with actual re-synthesis with RCM on the SY, which I've wanted to do for a very long time. Yes I have too much FM gear - don't judge! The SY's/TG's were acquired for this purpose, re: polyphony and layering - an old tech verion of the 8 Part, 128 note poly Montage FM-X abilities !!

Manny
FM Rig of DOOM!! Yamaha Montage 7, SY99's x8 , TG77's x4, Reface DX,FS1r, DX200, DX7II FD E!, DX7II FD, TX802
Yamaha VL1v2 & VL70m
Kurzweil K2000, Korg Wavestation EX, Kawai K1, Sequential Pro One, Arp Odyssey
What's a Roland ...?
YouTube FM Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXY8GT ... R0TSw/feed
SoundCloud FM Examples: https://soundcloud.com/manny-fernandez-4856421
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by parametric » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:15 am

Thanks for that Javelin and Manny . . . .

I'm sure our resident Prof. at the Uni. spent time at IRCAM. We did have an "account" with them -

so I could get updates easily for the collection of Apps we used . . . .

Names escape me now after all this time, but they were all to do with Sound Design . . .

He worked at Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) too, and indeed we used two of their GRMTools

bundles in all our composition suites.

I did have an "Evaluation Copy" of Vocaloid way back in 2009.

I managed to get some intelligible "soprano" out of it, but you had to fiddle with phonetic spelling for

words to get them to sound right . . .

Fundamentally it seemed to work, but I think more work was needed, as it was still far from convincing (to me).

I read somewhere that it had become more directed towards Japanese Manga use, so I wonder if it has been

re-orientated and improved in the meantime?

parametric
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by javelin276 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:31 am

Hi Parametric, I don't think Vocaloid ever made it out of the Manga arena. Looking at the available voices for it, they're all Japanese Manga, and mostly young girl voices. There is also free clone program called Utau which is just as high quality as Vocaloid, with user programmable voice capability. Both programs are phonetic based just like you mentioned, with upwards of 200+ phonemes to remember. It can be very convincing in the right hands. Listen to this example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laVQlFgVSmk
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:42 am

javelin276 wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:31 am
Hi Parametric, I don't think Vocaloid ever made it out of the Manga arena.
I think a problem is that the main Vocaloid website does not help itself in terms of selling the concept across a spectrum of genres - unless they think they know their target audience very well. All the samples of "western voices" I have heard, whilst looking into it, are all with the wretched "hard autotune" effect, which I detest with a vengeance. Cher has a lot to answer for! :evil: I'd much prefer to hear samples with no processing - unless of course this is still an artefact of Vocaloid - but I don't think so.

I started looking at Vocaloid whilst on the Zero G website purchasing EVI for Chrisrmas (this is stunning, but sample based). They also develop and sell Vocaloid add ons.

https://zero-g.co.uk/collections/vocaloid

Don't let the Manga drawing of the first one put you off listening to it, listen to the demos (they all have "listen options" that open a small player with a few tracks)

The first one, "Avanna" - if you go for the second demo then there is quite a passable Enya fascmile. Although to my ears, there is still processing that I would turn off (assuming you can). If I still cannot find the right singer for one of my projects I want to get going this year, then by next December, I might take a punt on this one.

The next two are very modern, but I reckon if you can get some of the effects off (like autotune), they would be quite usable.

And the "operatic ones" are probably the most authentic in terms of being able to hear the voices with far less processing. If you read the reviews, apparently you can use them for other genres.

Worth a listen anyway.

Back OT: Fascinating background, Manny. It must have been great to have been involved with such developments.

Whilst not as much as you, it is quite surprising when you do an FM muster in the studio (but have been guilty of not delving past tweaking patches to get what I want). When I look at my FM list, and I think the right historical order
  • 1998 DX7II - the DX7 I always promised myself (I was penniless in 1983 and went away from music until 1998!) Sold when I could do bulk import into my FS1r via fs.factory and I had to make room for the SY77 that came later
  • 2005 Nord G2 Engine - fully patchable FM, which you can of course mix with all the other G2 modules
  • 2006 FS1r - saw one going for a bargain price that you wouldn't see them going for now.....
  • 2007 SY77 - Sold when I got a TG77 to allow me to make room for an SY99, but I wanted to keep the SY77 sound character as well
  • 2012 TG77
  • 2012 SY99
  • 2014 Korg Kronos - MOD7 which has Patchable FM
  • 2017 Montage
So eight in total, two sold on, but that is still 6 sources of FM in the studio!

That is still a lot of FM :D
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Derek Cook

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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by parametric » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:45 pm

Having seen the Box - Vocaloid2 Prima was the one I had.

I managed to hack together a couple of lines from "Lift thine eyes" from "Elijah", a trio for SSA,

but got stuck over a particular phonetic that I couldn't resolve . . .

I kinda wonder if any more development has happened - or is this just old SW they're still selling?

at 42 bucks, my wallet is open, but then I notice that it's NOT 64bit compatible/supported -

and interest seems to have stopped at 32bit Windows7, although even THAT is declared "not officially supported"

. . .(whatever that actually MEANS). Shame . . .but too many imponderables for me to go there.

Pity, 'cause it sounds pretty decent.

The other products, as you say Derek, are too Autotune-sanitised for me.

In its place, the Cher effect can be creative, but unfortunately its been overused to all hell, as most

supermarket "Muzac" will attest to - to "respectabilise" crappy work.

Sadly, we have become so used to hearing correction on vocals, we start to believe that this is normal?

parametric
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by Derek » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:51 pm

Nah, I still utterly detest autotuned singing. It is far too unnatural to my ears, and I listen to a shit load of excellent singers who will never be famous in this day and age, but who can really sing compared to what passes as to some really lame singing with the autotune effect on. My opinion of course! I know there are also some excellent vocalists who use the autotune effect, but I just cannot listen to them. It really grates that much on my ears.

I did read a story n sound on sound many years back where a young lady had sent a demo in to a record company, and they said "great voice, but shame about the autotune", and her response was "what autotune?". She had learnt to sing by mimicry of what she was hearing

I hadn't looked at the system specs. Shame. That might be worth an enquiry to Zero G.
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Re: New FM-X Programming Articles at www.YamahaSynth.com

Unread post by parametric » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:30 am

In actual fact, the so-called Cher-effect is caused by WRONG SETTINGS in AutoTune.

When used properly, it is seamless and undetectable when the required adjustments are slight . . . .

As you can imagine, if the vocal is wildly OUT, then the correction may become more noticeable, but still

without the Cher effect . . .

I can normally sing in tune (I should hope? :lol: ), but, as I get older, the highs get more of a struggle,

and coffee, cigs and tiredness can also have an effect, so I have used ReaTune on occasions to put the gloss

back where necessary. :roll:

Reatune comes with Reaper and is simple to use . . . .





parametric
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

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BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/vie ... =22&t=9217

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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