Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Yamaha SY77 is a 16 voice multitimbral music workstation first produced by Yamaha Corporation in 1989. The SY77 is a synthesizer whose architecture combines AFM (Advanced Frequency Modulation) synthesis, AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory 2) for ROM-borne sample-based synthesis, and the combination of these two methods christened Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis (RCM).

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Stathis
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Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Stathis » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:08 am

Hello everyone

The last days I 'm further exploring my sy77 , and I really enjoy it. I am impressed about what all these old FM synth can do. Thinking of the concept that some simple fm patches in modern machines with really nice sound,could also be "translated" into old machines like SY77, the excitment would be much greater.
More specifically, while I was watching one video with a montage presentation , at a time ,a patch was playing named "american garage"; really good sounding and realistic jazz clean guitar. By the way the video and the patch I am talking about is the one below,on 15:40 :



And just like Blake, the fact that the patch was one part fm ,blew my mind. At the same time I though that , I have to make the same patch in my sy77, with a condition that the patch do not require that extremely powerfull sound engine. Of course because of an FM newbie, the patch didn't made in the sy. I've tried to gather some information from the patch librarian , but as soon as I will hit "edit" to that specific patch, the software informs me that I have to connect the montage with it, and of course I do not own montage.

So I hope you got my point, I want to ask for your help, answering first if something like that it is possible. I believe that if a patch created for montage has up to 6 operators with simple(not extremelly complex) EG settings and the waves are these that also sy77 supports, then the "translattion" for that specific patch to the sy77 would be achievable.

Second, is there any way to gather the information needed to reproduce these kind of patches , from the internet?

Thanks in advance

Stathis
Last edited by Stathis on Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Derek » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:48 am

Hi,

It is possible to translate between FM patches on different machines within certain constraints, but there is no easy answer to give you until you know the details of the specific patch.

Envelopes may have different ranges. E.g. DX7 envelops had a more restricted range than the SY but that is a simple linear scaling. The critical thing is the algorithm, how the operators are wired together, and is the same algorithm available on both machines? You would also need to figure that you are thinking of going from 8 operator FM on the Montage back to 6 operator on the SY, so you are losing two operators (assuming all 8 are in use). It may be that a few operators in the 8 op algorithm are not adding much, and you will still get the overall character in a 6 operator patch. or you may be ale to spread the algorithm across several SY voices and combine them in an SY multi.

The other thing, on the Montage is that it is 8 operator FM per performance part. How many FM parts are there in the Performance contributing to your sound? Montage allows 16 parts (8 under some circumstances) in any combination of AWM and FM-X. The SY supports up to 4 elements but the combinations you can have are restricted. You may be able to overcome that by creating several Voices on the SY (equivalent to Montage Parts) and combine them in a Multi.

The issue then on the AWM side is that the Montage AWM Wave ROM is shiny and pristine, lots of detail and many Gigabytes of memory. The samples in the SY range are limited and grungy, no velocity layering, so the best you can do is find an AWM sample of the same "character" as what is used on the Montage - e.g. a string sound.

Finally if the effects are a large part of the character of the voice, then that could have a profound impact the final conversion as the Montage has more effects units, more effects types, and a much cleaner sound than the SY77.

BTW: I am not knocking the SY77. It remains a fantastic machine, and of course was built around the technology and limitations of the day (hence very small Wave ROM, about 4MB or 8MB if memory serves me correctly). I have a TG77 and SY99 myself.
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Stathis » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:03 pm

Thanks Derek

Yes , all these do make sense. I don't have that much expectations, making the sy sound similar to montage. But I think that if an FM patch require the same specifications on both machines(like these you mentioned above), then you can get a result in the old machine close to the original. As for the effects , I don't really care because I have an external effect unit and I could design there the effects in a similar way to the patch.
Specifically, the patch "american garage" has only 1 part pure fm , and I think that it doesn't require all this powerfull engine, because of its simplicity. I believe it could be designed in sy synths, but I can't gather the information I need in order to redesign it. The only way I can imagine, is visiting a store, find some fm patches which meets the criteria , make some notes and then start the job . But that sounds not so convenient.
I was wondering If there was another way of "reading" patches of the montage from a pc , or another way of gathering the required information for the patch? I've already tried the librarian but I cannot gather these information because of the connectivity requirement.

As for the algorithms you mentioned above, before purchasing the sy ,I read that you can design your own algorithms, isn't it? Now , as for the EGs , yes, I've read that montage has even faster ones, but I think that in a large percentage that sy EGs could make the job.
Anyway, the only way to realise it, is to test it, don't you think so?

Thanks again
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by tux » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:00 pm

So you would need one or more screenshots (as many as necessary to display all parameters) of a Montage editor with that specific patch open ("american garage").
Maybe somebody with a Montage can do that for you?
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Stathis » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:25 pm

If there is the only way, yes it would be convenient. Ideally, I wish I could make the librarian work without connecting the devive with it. In that way, I could find out some patches in the editor that I incidentally could hear from some videos (like happened with the one above), without forcing every time someone to spend his time to send me some screenshots. But for this time, If someone could, it would be really appreciated.
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Derek » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:16 pm

The SY does have a “hidden” wire your algorithm feature, but that is not accessible via the UI (and I’ve never tried it), but you still cannot change the laws of physics about the architecture differences between the two synths.
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Stathis » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:33 pm

Good. I took a look in this thread, I hope I am not going to do something like that in the near future :lol:
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Sonus » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:28 am

Here's a converted DX7 Guitar 1 patch with SY77 Jazz Guitar effects.
Years ago we've spent countless hours comparing all parameters.
It's never 100% but this one is close to the original patch.

UTILITY - MIDI - Channel Set - Bulk Protect Off ...
SY77-DX7-GTR1.zip
(1.93 MiB) Downloaded 27 times
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by Stathis » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:02 pm

Thanks Sonus! Nice sounding guitar, I've made a variation of this patch , including the first element of the sy77 internal patch "Folk 1 Gtr" , which is actually the attack when hitting the strings, and the second element is the sound "dx7 guitar" as itself. I ' ve added and a little bit of chorus, and I think it's not that bad . I' m also attaching the file, if someone wants to test it.
Attachments
SY77-DX7-GTR2.syx
(832 Bytes) Downloaded 10 times
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Re: Yamaha SY, FM backwards compatible patches

Unread post by DrSynth » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:16 am

Great to see the Montage is (indirectly, in your example...) getting people back into FM !

So, some irony here -- Blake actually mis-spoke in that video -- "American Garage" is a single element AWM2 sound, not FM. Still it inspired you to go out and recreate it on your SY, and made yourself a nice sound in the process.

The real time controllability and effects in the Montage/MODX are at a totally different level than the SY's, but the core synthesis versatility of multi waveforms, phase control, three feedback loops, a lot of flexible algorithm patching (even without going into the 'free algorithm edit' mode), looping envelopes, and samples as modulators, etc. still makes the SY77/99 engine my favorite of all of Yamaha's FM implementations,

Lots of power in FM -- check this out from the Yamaha booth at NAMM 2019 (whole interview is cool, for the FM example scroll to the 11:30 mark):
https://www.facebook.com/yamahasynths/v ... 148627660/

Manny
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