Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Virtual Acoustic physical modeling synthesis mathematically simulates the sound and characteristics of acoustic instruments in real-time. This forum covers the VL1, VL7 and VL-70 as well as the PLG100-VL and PLG150-VL plug in boards.

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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by Saul » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:34 am

I think Chris summed that up very nicely. This is an excellent piece of work and it shines a light on instruments like the VP1 that people may not have come across before. ((i)) ((i)) ((i))
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by javelin276 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:28 pm

This last week I worked on the ResoMetal VP1 patch. I'm able to match the sound pretty closely now at different notes on the keyboard, but the VP1 patch changes quite dramatically from the low end to the high end. The low end has a very strong plucked bass piano-like tone to it, the upper end sounds more like an Asian bell tone, with a blending of the two in the middle register. I took the patch apart in a spectrum analyzer and entered the frequency values of the dominant peaks into a spreadsheet to see if I could quantify the changes. The two tones are totally different in timbre and different in the way they change as you play up and down the keyboard. The only conclusion I can come to is that the VP1 is blending the two tones together, it has enough settings in one programming element to create two totally unrelated timbres. Prior to this I thought the changes were accomplished by altering the settings within one timbre setup, but that's not the case. In order to match the ResoMetal VP1 patch it's going to require two FS1R patches to do it. I also figured out how to match the geometric harmonic series well enough with several FM pairs that you can't really tell the difference. I'm getting there. It just takes time to figure out solutions that work.
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by DanFor » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:29 am

I have found this thread and have something to say to it :-)

Between 1992-2002 I have cooperated with Yamaha Europe Export Division as a Product Specialist and Demonstrator. In 1993 I was one of the first musicians in the world to play VL1, which became my favorite instrument (I still have and use 2 VL1 and 2 VL1m, besides more VL cards and engines in my other instruments).

I was at the very first demonstration of VP1 in Frankfurt during Music Fair, and was totally caught by it.

In September 1997 I had a chance to work with VP1 for three long evenings at Yamaha Europe HQ in Rellingen. Fortunately I could rent DAT recorder and recorded 56 improvisations with factory presets. Later I published it on Double CD "VP1 Impressions" - AFAIK it is the only published music done exclusively on VP1.

Later Yamaha Europe offered this instrument to me for very nice price of 10000 DM, but I couldn't afford it and there was no chance to lend money.... which I will regret until the end of my life...

In 2014 I was contacted by one German who wrote me he has exactly this piece of VP1 on which I have recorded my improvisations. When I couldn't buy it, it was bought by my Austrian college demonstrator with more healthy bank account, and he sold it to this German.

He has written me some interesting details I didn't know about VP1, and we exchange some materials - as I had from Yamaha some normally unavailable documents and software.

I attach a selection from our correspondence from 2014 for all who could be interested in. I have also some pictures of interface and connector on VP1.

If somebody wants to buy my "VP1 Impressions", don't hesitate to contact me. You can listen to some of them on my Soundclick web page:
www.soundclick.com/forrotronics

Best regards!

Daniel Forro

P.S.: "---" - text by my German friend, "DF" - my text

----------------------
--- When I bought the VP-1, the seller gave me an old Apple Power PC from the year 1996 with OS 7 wich he used to run the VP1 editor. It was very difficult to get the connection between editor and VP1 running, and I had to find out that you need to deactivate Apple Talk on the Power PC and you have to hook in the VP1 as if it were a printer. Aditionally, there is a manual for the editor on the computer but I can not open it since it is a PDF file and the computer does not have the software to open it. Nobody in any Apple store in Austria or southern Germany could help me to open this file or print out the manual (usuallly because they are not interested if you don`t come to their store to buy an I Phone or a new computer). Anyway, I want to try to run a VL-1 editor on this Apple computer, but I will need a MIDI interface to connect it with the synthesizer. The connection to the VP-1 is not through MIDI, but a broad connector and a special eletronic interface. At least I know that it would not be possible to run the VP1 editor on a modern Apple computer, so I will try to keep this Power PC running as long as I can.

---------
--- I noticed in the text for your CD booklet with the VP1 improvisations that the synthesis technology Yamaha used in the VP1 is not Karplus Strong. Is this correct? I always thought it was. And I am amazed that in the VP1 several samples are used for sound excitation. In all electronic books, I have read that excitation is achieved with little bts of white noise, and you are writing that there are several different samples like percussion or strings…I wonder whether it would be possible to get in touch with Mr. Kunimoto who was the chief engineer for VP1 and VL1 development, although he is no longer with Yamaha. There would be so much interesting information available if I could talk to the people involved.

--------

--- I believe that today there must be 8 to 10 VP-1 keyboards around. There is one VP-1 in the Ginza showroom in Tokyo, where Yamaha has its most memorable keyboard instruments exposed (including a GX-1 and also a CP-80, there is a video on Youtube). Supposedly, a Japanese recording studio owns one VP-1. A furter instrument was owned by a famous Japanese keyboardist and producer called Tetsuya Komuro, who performed on stage with his VP-1 (just playing preset sounds, together with a Waldorf Wave, Memorymoog, two Roland JD800 and many more). I think Mr Komuro went through some troubled times and sold his VP-1.

DF --- I have just asked my wife, she knows about him. He was very famous and very rich in 90ies, but then he did some dirty tricks, had a lot of debts, bankrupted and disappeared.

--- It was offered for sale some 4-5 years ago in Japan.

DF --- I didn't know... but anyway probably it was still expensive.

--- Today, it is owned by Yasunari Takehashi, who has placed some VP-1 preset soundfiles on the internet (Soundcloud).

DF --- I don't know him, never heard about him. Will listen to his demos....

--- That makes three instrunemts in Japan. I am not aware that any VP-1 was ever shipped to Australia, although this was always a good market with wealthy customers who could afford expensive instruments.
In Europe, I am aware of three instruments. One was displayed for sale in the Music Store Köln for a long time, but it was not before many years later that it found a buyer for less than half the price. I guess that this instrument was the commercial test run for Yamaha, and the sales failure may have been one of the reasons for discontinuation of the VP-1. This VP-1 today is still owned by this private buyer in Germany. A second VP-1 was sold to a music producer in Lucerne, Switzerland, who had won the Eurovision Song Contest with the very young Celine Dion in the mid 80ies.

DF --- I knew about these two instruments...

--- One instrument was sold to a Viennese keyboard player in 1997, who, just like you, worked as a Yamaha Product Specialist and Demonstrator for some years (He knows Gert Drögenmüller from Yamaha very well). It was him who offered me that VP1.
He also had previously worked with Austrian pop musician Falco, and is a trained violonist and is one of the founders of the renowned Artis string quartet. Today, he is a music producer and owns an amazing studio in the province of Upper Austria (near Freistadt, which is very close to Brno and Jihlava). He told me that he played the VP-1 live during a mass service on the Vienna Heldenplatz on a visit of Pope John Paul II in Vienna in 1998. He also owns an amazing HX-1 organ/synthesizer. I suppose that the VP-1 he was offered for sale by Yamaha in the end of 1997 is exactly the instrument you played your improvisations on. You can find some pictures of it on the greatsynthesizers.com website (search under `pictures`). I bought this instrument in 2009.

DF --- Congratulations! I have no words :-)

--- Another VP-1 was sold to german producer, Reinhold Heil, who formerly was keyboard player in the german pop band Spliff (prominently playing the hottest synth of the time, the DX-7), and later with german singer Nena. Mr Heil also made a nice audio feature on the VP-1 for the German Keys magazine in 1996, which is legendary among german synthesizer enthusiasts. Later, Mr. Heil moved to the US and today he is a renowned music producer in Santa Barbara. He was one of the producers of the sound track for the movie Cloud Atlas, but I am not aware whether he used the VP-1 in it. For the 40 year-aniversary of Yamaha synthesizer development, a celebration was held in California in August 2014, and Yamaha borrowed Mr. Heil`s VP-1 for display on this meeting.

DF --- I know him, we usually met at Frankfurt Messe where I have worked at Yamaha stand, I have seen his demonstrations, and I think it was him who did the first VP1 demonstration I have seen in Germany (in some Hamburg or Frankfurt hotel I think...). If I remember well I didn't like too much his performance on VP1 because it was boring concerning music, style and keyboard technique...

--- A further VP-1, I believe this was a prototype, was sent to the US by Yamaha upon request of Michael Jackson when he was producing his record Bad. This VP-1 was played by Michael Boddicker, who also programmed some of the sound patches for Yamaha. There was also another American keyboarder who had this VP-1 for one month in order to program sound patches for Yamaha, but I forgot his name. This instrument today is supposedly also located in California, and I believe that it is owned by Scott Kinsey, who also did productions on the VP-1 together with the great Joe Zawinul (who did not play, but produce this music).
So far as for my research on the VP-1 world population….

------------
DF:
So I have read thoroughly VP1 manual now, and found to my surprise big limitations in its MIDI implementation.

There's no SysEx data transmitting, and it receives only Remote Switch SysEx commands.

I'm pretty surprised and disappointed by this, somehow I believed all the time there's similar huge SysEx implementation minimally like VL1...

That means - I'm not really sure what the truth is now. There are more possibilities:

- maybe Yamaha those times didn't publish SysEx format. I know such cases - my PSR9000 Pro has much more SysEx commands not described in the manual, I had to find them by experiments, and do reverse engineering. The same case was with TX802 module, SysEx implementation was not published in English Owner's Manual so I did reverse engineering on the base of DX7 II implementation and after lot of experiments I have found everything. Also Korg didn't publish SysEx implementation for PA80 arranger keyboard, I still have to work on finding it.

- so I don't know if that VP1 Editor for Mac I have sent to you works, and HOW it works - by MIDI? If yes, and really transmits some MIDI SysEx data, then it means such remote editing is possible. It would be also possible to analyze all commands and recognize what they do. Maybe by some experimenting (I'm pretty good in such) it would be even possible to find more control codes, even some hidden or secret, and be able to control parameters of modeling algorithm.

- maybe there were more versions of VP1 OS, and later versions have better MIDI implementation. If we can find Service Manual, there should be written how to enter diagnostics mode, and how to find OS version number. Or such secret combination can be found by experimenting - pressing two or three buttons (or keys on the keyboard) together and power on the instrument. It's laborious but possible to find all secret codes - I did this with more instruments successfully.
That's quite possible, but I doubt a little bit about this - there were only few pieces of the instrument, and research and production were soon stopped so maybe there's only one OS version. VL1 had later Version 2, with improved parameters and different MIDI implementation. I still remember floppy disk data for version 1, inside voice data there were lot of remarks in English, and lot of empty unused bytes. Data for Version 2 looks totally differently.

- in the manual there's no description of some special wide connector, BUT - in the picture of VP1 back panel there is something near MIDI connectors which looks like a connector, or cover of connector, if it's not just some description plate or sticker... It is not explained what it is. So I see you are right when you talk about the special interface and editor.

Concerning the manual you can't read on your old computer, could you send it to me? Cryptography of all kind is my big hobby since childhood, I can try to analyze data and decipher what it is.

Another thing how to edit the instrument would be to analyze voice data on the disk, decipher its format and meaning, and try to experiment with changing some data in the file. If this is the only way how to get new data and models into the instrument, then there's a big chance to learn how to do it directly in these disk data voice file.

There must be a way. I don't believe that remote editing is not possible. All this started to be very interesting. If I have instrument here, maybe I can find something.

-----------
--- Thank you for the interesting Yamaha documents about the VP1 release. I have been searching the internet all over after information about the VP since 2001, and I never came across these documents. I`m very happy that you like to share all this information.

DF --- It was info I have got from Yamaha when I have been working for them as Product Specialist, so probably not targeted for the public. Now I'm not sure if it was official preliminary and promotional information for the public, like Press Release.
And the other is a review from Keys magazine. As you can see the number of short excitation transient samples was mentioned there.

--- As I told you, I`ve got this PDF file on the Mac Power PC which runs the VP1 editor: However, I can not open the file since the machine does not have the software. I can store the PDF file on a floppy disk, but I haven`t succeeded to open it on any other of my computers due to format incompatibility. Neither can I store it on an USB stick since the Mac has no USB port….I`m quite sure that this file is the VP1 editor reference manual, since it is stored in the same folder as the editor itself. I could send you the file on a floppy with Mac format if you are interested.

DF --- That would be good, I can try to decipher it with all my knowledge, in the worse case I can go to the basic level of data on the disk with the help of Hex editor and copy data as screen images, and then type them. At least ASCII text can be copied this way, unfortunately pictures not. But this is the worse case.
Still I believe you can read the floppy somewhere and make at least an image of it. I'm sure such software exists for the Mac or Windows. Even in the old DOS I had a special software which allowed to read any disk format not normally readable.

--- I am sending you some pictures that I made recently showing the connector port and the interface needed to run the VP-1 with the editor (it will take several emails to send you all the relevant pictures). The interface needs a power connection, and it receives a broad ribbon cable from the VP1, whereas it sends a single cable to the printer input of the Power Mac. The editor runs well, but unfortunately the old Mac has some issues due to its age. So, I am trying to find an used but functional Power Mac as backup from the internet.

DF --- That's really interesting. The interface doesn't look as something quite non-standard or even Yamaha specific, so parallel port is probably standard and this interface just converts it to serial necessary for old Mac. Could you please send me more info about this interface? The text on it is all we can see, or is there more text, or some other info? How many pins are on the connectors at both sides? I see some of wires at the side of VP1 are not connected...
That can mean that probably with enough knowledge (your Swiss friend?) it would be possible to convert VP1 connector to another format and use modern computer - but still there's old software editor which can address only serial port.... But with some effort and reverse engineering, if data protocol and commands sent to VP1 from the editor can be decoded, totally new editor can be created.
I think also you don't need to find only Power Mac, you can use any desktop PPC Mac until G4 - they can boot OS 9 natively. Many of them have serial port as a standard, and if not it's possible to find a special card which replaces internal modem. This is what I use for making music - I have old G4 MDD (Mirrored Drive Door) computers equipped with such serial card (I use serial port for my old Opcode Serial/MIDI interfaces). It's even possible to configure computer in such a way that it can control this serial card even under OSX!

--- I have also got a copy of the technical VP1 manual, and all the diagnostic routines in the VP-1 are explained in Japanese and also in English. I am not very familiar with the use of SysEx, but I am quite sure that any information about the VP1 functionality can be found in the manual.

DF --- This would be extremely interesting for me, and if I have it I'm sure lot of your questions could be easily answered. I can say after so may years of my work with MIDI I became an expert and especially SysEx is my greatest hobby. BTW I have published about 10 books about electronic musical synthesizers, computers in music, studio work and MIDI, and hundreds of expert articles and equipment reviews and tests for Czech music magazines, my nickname was "Dr. MIDI" :-)
Do you have it as PDF file, or could you scan or xerocopy it? I would be very happy to have this material. I'm sure there's also some explanation about parallel port, it's data format etc.
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by javelin276 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:26 am

Hi Daniel, I have a question for you... How in the world do I find your VP1 selections on that website when they're buried deep in 590 music selections? There isn't a search function that I could find. I don't have an hour to hunt through all 590 pieces. Is there an easier way to hear them?
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by DanFor » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:02 pm

Sorry for delay in my answer, I don't visit here often, today by chance yes after long time. I answer sometimes in some of many yahoogroups where I'm member. I don't use other social media, no time. Life is too short.

Two stereo layers of music segments done as a live improvisation on rare virtual acoustic synthesizer Yamaha VP1 were connected, crossfaded or combined into this result:

Virtual Music 1/97
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=5804243

All following pieces are live improvisations always with one factory patch only. I have used foot controller for morphing scenes, and all other real time controllers on the panel:

VP1 Impression 24 (Mystery of 11th House) live impro
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=4531659

VP1 Impression 26 (Arcanum)
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=4531638

VP1 Impression 31 (Quinta Essentia)
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=4531576

VP1 Impression 35 (Medium Coeli)
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=4531563

VP1 Impression 38 (Winter Solstice)
https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=4531550

Greetings from Japan!

Daniel Forro
daniforr at gmail dot com
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by javelin276 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:23 am

That works much better! Thanks! The VP1 is so unique and so rare there isn't much available to listen to.
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by Resyn » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:11 pm

Has anyone here gotten hold of any of the files mentioned here, such as VP1-related pdf’s, the VP1 editor for Mac OS 9 (or 7/8) etc?
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by DanFor » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:25 pm

Yes, I have it all. Except VP1 itself :(
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by DrSynth » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:20 am

Daniel,

I know you don't necessarily come by here often, so I also sent you emails -- I desperately could use a copy of those VP1 documents and softwares!

I'm trying to help Reinhold resolve some issues with his VP1 here in Los Angeles.

RE: editing software for VP1 -- when I worked on the early prototype in Japan, and Dave Polich worked on the late prototype unit here in the US for the Preset voicing, the software we used was running on a Sun SparcStation, not the Mac OS. The connection IIRC was SCSI, however it may have been a standard parallel cable as well... so long ago, I Don't remember which!

BTW - The VP1 Dave programmed on was that same unit you mentioned above passing through Michael Boddikers hands with Michael Jackson. The story I heard way back when was that when Yamaha needed it back it was pretty difficult and took a _really_ long time to get them to return that VP1. It's unknown if that VP1 was shipped back to Japan, or like many prototypes that do not meet US electrical safety testing - are sadly crushed and destroyed!

Thanks in advance!

Manny
FM Rig of DOOM!! Yamaha Montage 7, SY99's x9, TG77's x4, Reface DX, FS1r, DX200, DX7II FD E!, DX7II FD, TX802
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Re: Yamaha VP1 Harmonics

Unread post by DrSynth » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:01 am

Followup on the history of the US Prototype VP1 Unit -- the Boddicker / MJ unit that Dave Polich used for some preset voicing. This unit circulated for quite a while, actually spending two stints with Scott Kinsey, along with some time with Nate Tschetter of Yamaha.

Scott mentioned to me that he was the last one to have it, and it was indeed destroyed upon its return. :( 8O

RE: the VP1 Editor. Reinhold confirmed when he purchased his VP1 included was a handmade MIDI to a multi-pin Parallel/SCSI type cable. The reason to for the minimal documentation for Sysex is essentially the VP1 never really implemented it over rMIDI -- sysex has to go through the multi-pin interface.

I've got the VP1 editor MacOS software (thanks Daniel!) up and running on a vintage Macintosh. It is not a full editor like the VL1 Expert Editor. It is a computer based editor for all the front panel accessable performance parameters. So there appears to be two editors -- the development editor on SPARC for editing the model configuration itself (never publicly released), and the Mac Performance editor for the front panel parameters.

In the next few weeks I should be getting togther with Reinhold to see how it all works when conncted up to the VP1, and I'll post an update with how it all turns out.

Manny
FM Rig of DOOM!! Yamaha Montage 7, SY99's x9, TG77's x4, Reface DX, FS1r, DX200, DX7II FD E!, DX7II FD, TX802
Yamaha VL1v2, VL70m, AN200
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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