Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

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Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by Derek » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:54 am

A reply by Bad Mister in this post on Yamahasynth confirms my suspicions....
In the meantime, we have this forum where you can ask questions and hopefully, receive informative answers. On the FM scale from simple to complex, the FM-X engine in the Montage very much resembles the 8 Voiced Operators in the FS1R engine. For those not familiar with this late 1990s rack module, it featured 8 Voiced (musical) and 8 Unvoiced (noise) Operators that combined to make a formant engine... which was close to being able to "speak", as in create understandable words... A combination of fixed frequency sounds (noise components) for consonants, and musical tones for the vowel sounds. Well, take the musical side of the FS1R (sorry no formant synthesis here), with the 8 Voiced Operators, and the 88 Algorithms and combine that with the Motion Control engine and you have what's new about FM-X.That and the increased speed of envelopes, filters, effects, etc., etc.
It still begs the question why drop the formant side as that was capable of very interesting effects; not just speech.
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by AJay » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:50 pm

Yep it's a little bit disappointing to omit it. Especially when you consider how rare the FS1r is as well as the poly/multi limits, real time control surface and the rack interface i.e. best program it from an editor. Could've been very much more hands on and easier to use on the Montage, not to mention reaching a bigger user base than the FS1r did, due to people having an unfair (IMHO) negative bias against FM in general.
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by javelin276 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:33 pm

I've written a manual on how to program FM and FM-X using my FS1R if anyone is interested. There are lots of examples in it on how to create a patch from scratch to match a real instrument recording (or any other recording). Personally, I think the FS1R is superb synth now that there are a couple of software programming interfaces out there. You can download my FM manual from here: http://www.JavelinArt.com

In FM-X the RES1 and RES2 waveforms are extremely useful in creating instrument patches. Coupled with regular FM, there aren't very many sounds you can't duplicate. It's a shame they left out Formants, though. I'll never sell my FS1R for that reason. I'm just starting to get my head around Formant Sequences.
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:32 am

Thank you for sharing this! :)
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by Derek » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:26 am

Yes, thanks for sharing, at a quick look it looks like you have put a lot of effort into this. :)

At I quick glance, I didn't see any reference to the mighty SY77/99 and TG77 which surpassed the capabilities of the DX7. Although one issue is the AFM implementation is much deeper and there is no direct mapping between the DX7 patch and an SY patch. You need conversion programs to do that (or your own paper mappings).

The FS1r is indeed a might synth. I have had mine for 10 years now and will never sell it, but I'll be honest and say I have never gotten into programming it due to the tortuous interface via the front panel and the fact that I have loads more synths that are easier to program. But if ever I am doing a song and want a subtle layer or movement where the sound is quite unique, then the FS1r is usually a good source.

You mention in the guide that the FS1r can import DX7 patches, this is true, but it only reads EDIT BUFFER SYSEX; it does not read bulk dumps. My fs.factory librarian will do bulk conversion of patches from any DX file, including DX7II patches (where it will map performances as well).

Like you, I don't understand why Yamaha dropped Formants from FM-X when the rest of the engine is so obviously derived from the FS1r, but it means the FS1r remains unique.

Finally your guide is also equally applicable to the Korg Kronos and its MOD-7 engine, which is a patchable FM synth. Yes, you can freely use patch cords between the operators to create your own algorithms, and the operators support different wave forms! And it imports DX7 SYSEX as well. I'll post a link to your guide on Korg Forums if you wish.
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by javelin276 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:33 pm

Thanks Derek, I appreciate the feedback.
I've never had access to an SY/TG 77/99 so I'm not familiar with that brand of AFM. I'll take a look, you've got me curious now.

I haven't used the DX7 batch import feature in fs.factory yet, I haven't had time. I'm really glad it's in there! I'll get into it next week.

Your FS1R is easy to program now, there are two software interfaces that bypass the front panel entirely. I use the freeware one. Try these two links:
http://synth-voice.sakura.ne.jp/fs1r_ed ... glish.html FS1R FM Editor
https://niff.home.xs4all.nl/fs1r/ FS1R Fseq Editor

On the Korgs, sure, go ahead and post a link. I put the manual out there to help people with FM.
Constructable algorithms would be handy, but I've found I really only use a few of the DX ones most of the time anyway. I tend to use a small set of algorithms over and over. I'm not sure what the Yamaha engineers were thinking when they put together all of the preset algorithms. I wish they'd share their thoughts on what they thought all the different algorithms would be used for.

In truth, I wrote the manual to force myself into becoming a better patch programmer. Grin! I've found I learn a TON when I try to teach someone else something.

I noticed you have an EX5 in your links, I thought about buying one a few weeks ago. Since I have an MU-2000 with the VL and AN cards in it I figured I have all of the EX5's features covered more or less, so I opted to purchase a newer keyboard. I just received a Motif-XF6 a few days ago. It's nice! I love the key action and the quality of the AWM2 patches in it. It isn't programmable like an FM synth, though. I opted for the Motif rather than a Montage since I have an FS1R which has FM-X basically covered. I don't like paying full price either, so I opted for the outgoing model. I tend to go for the top-of-the-line very last model with the most features, capability, and full benefit of all of the years of debugging that went into it.

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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by Derek » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:50 pm

Ah, you need to check the SY series out then! :) They are very powerful, and the first integrated AWM/FM machine. AFM (Advanced FM) gives you more algorithms, other wave shapes in the operators, multiple and selectable feedback loops, control over the input gain of carriers/modulators, looping envelopes, RCM (a means of using the AWM engine to modulate the AFM engine), and of course the FM output can be put through one of Yamaha's most organic sounding filters. For a 90s digital workstation, the SY can sound very analog. It has to heard to be believed. I started with an SY77 but migrated to an SY99 but also got a TG77 to retain the SY77 character. The SY77 has a more "lo-fi" sound than the SY99 due to the Wave ROM, but particularly the effects units.

Re the EX5, you are correct that if you have the VL and AN engines as PLG, does it give you any more? As you probably know, Yamaha's development history is littered with technology that only appeared in one synth only, like the FS1r. To date the EX5 is the only Yamaha synth with "Formulated Digital Signal Processing" or FDSP. This is an add on to the AWM engine, It clobbers polyphony down to 16 notes, but it gives a velocity and note independent effects processor. Imagine hearing phasing and flanging operating independently on different notes and how hard you hit them!
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by javelin276 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:33 pm

I took a quick look at the SY77 manual and AFM. Interesting combination of AFM and AWM, where the AWM can be used to modulate the AFM side. Not sure how to use that capability, though. When I construct a patch with FM I'm usually targeting a specific sound so I need more control over the waveforms. I like FM-X on my FS1R for that reason. If you are going for a more analog sound the mixture of AWM and AFM should work quite well.

AFM has 16 different waveforms (besides the 112 AWM ones) which look much like the waveforms on my DX11. I've found those hard to use in an FM patch when I'm targeting a specific sound. It's more hit or miss than calculated usage for me. I think I'll stick with my FS1R. I like to create more acoustic sounding patches than the techno ones, just a personal preference. I think the new Montage gives you the ability to mix FM and AWM2 in the same patch, but probably not modulation. Maybe I need to check that point out. I hadn't thought of that option.
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by javelin276 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:44 pm

OK, I found the answer to my question. In the Montage the AWM2 and FM-X engines are separate. You can't use AWM2 to modulate FM-X like the SY77/99 could. You can layer the two engines in the same patch, but can't use one to modulate the other.
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by Derek » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:26 am

Yes, that was one comment (what, no RCM?) that I had on the Montage as well. Yamaha's general response was that RCM was too unpredictable that few people mastered it. I must confess I have not played with it much, and I am more of an FM tweaker rather than somebody who understands it deeply (like Clyde, who doesn't visit the forums much right now, is). But, for example, when I delved into some of the SY99 preset pianos, they use an AWM piano waveform as a modulator, which must be imparting piano type characteristics onto the sound. I think the SY99 showed off RCM better than the SY77 presets as it came out later, so the programmers had probably had a little more time to explore it.

Hey. I like your comment that I already have FM-X in my FS1r (and then some!) :D
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by EXer » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:31 pm

Has someone ever obtained something else than noise by using a sample (other than a simple waveform) as an FM modulator ?

N.B. I don't have a Yamaha synth with RCM, but I have tried on my Waldorf Blofeld (yes, the Blofeld has FM : you can use any oscillator as a source to modulate the frequency of any oscillator).
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Re: Yes, FM-X is based on the FS1r

Unread post by javelin276 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:07 pm

Using a recorded sample as a modulator would be difficult to control, you would tend to get so many harmonics it would come out as noise like you mentioned. Maybe try a flute sound as a modulator? The flute only has a couple of strong harmonics and may not exponentially explode the harmonics into oblivion. It also depends on how widely spaced the harmonics are that you modulate with the sample. Wider would be better. Maybe modulate a 1:6 FM pair (or higher) with the third operator on top as the sample.

I've tried out using Formants on the FS1R as modulators, but it didn't do anything very useful or different from using the ALL1 waveform. I need to test out using a Formant as the carrier and modulate it to see if that does anything useful.
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