MATRIXSYNTH: Search results for Yamaha Global

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Showing posts sorted by date for query Yamaha Global. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Yamaha CS15 Analogue Synthesizer from 1979 - a forgotten beauty

Published on Feb 21, 2020 Alex Ball

"I've had a dozen requests to cover this synth and I said I'd do it if I was able to get hold of one and I'm glad to say that that happened.

The CS-15 is a two-oscillator analogue monosynth from 1979 that has an awful lot more to it than meets the eye. The signal and control routing is so much more flexible than many other comparable synths from this era that command legendary status and so I'm kind of baffled as to why the CS-15 doesn't seem to be held in the same high regard.

What's so good about it?

Two great sounding oscillators with triangle, sawtooth and pulse and a crazy wide range from clicks to stuff only dogs can hear.

The LFO runs up into the audio range and so the pulse width and oscillator frequency can be modulated at audio rate for cool cross mod and pulse-width distortion FX. This can be done discretely to either oscillator to taste.

The filters - There's two and they're multimode / state variable! Contouring can come from either of the two envelopes and can be positive or negative and you can do audio-rate modulation of the filter because of that LFO mentioned earlier.

The VCAs - There's two (notice a pattern here) and they can have their own envelope contouring and/or be modulated by the LFO (again right into the audio range).

Envelopes - There's (drum roll) two! They're super snappy or long and loose as there's a switch to extend the time period from x1 to x5. They can be triggered by an external signal as well as the keyboard.

Signal Routing - VCO 1, noise or an external signal can run through VCF 1. VCO 1 and VCO 2 can run through VCF 2.

Rear Control - CV and trigger? Yep, there's two of each. You can control the oscillators and envelopes discretely (I don't know of many comparable synths from this era that allow for that that aren't modular).

Anything else? Yes; portamento, glide (positive and negative and discrete for each oscillator), pitch bend and dual or signal filter control in the performance section.

So what's wrong with it?

LFO can't be retriggered with note on or clocked, there's no oscillator sync, the filters sound great but they're 2-pole and don't self-oscillate, there's no global LFO control in the performance section and despite being able to make two entirely different sounds at once, there's only a mono output.

But all in all, it's a very versatile and powerful synth considering its era and the prices have tended to remain less than even the Roland SH-101 which is far more limited. It's certainly much cheaper than an original Pro~One, MS-20 or Odyssey that are held in high regard (I have all of those and love them too btw).

Anyway, I hope this answers the question for those who asked it."

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Mighty CS-80

Published on Feb 18, 2020 GForce Software

"GForce Software’s Dave Spiers and ace CS-80 tech Kent Spong (together with occasional contributions from Ken Freeman and salient comment from Matt Berry) take an in-depth look at one of the most exquisite and iconic polyphonic synthesisers ever made, the Yamaha CS-80.

Opening CS-80 Track: 00:03
History & Overview: 02:17
Mix Panel Controls: 08:02
Global Controls: 15:47
Ribbon Strip: 24:47
Ring Modulator: 27:56
Presets: 31:08
CS-80 Funk Interlude: 38:57
Performance & Effects Panel: 40:35
Summary: 44:20
Selected CS-80 Users: 47:22
Outro CS-80 Track: 50:01
Credits & Kent Spong CS-80 Track: 51:52"

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Unnofficial Volca FM firmware 1.08 Update

Published on Oct 19, 2019 ranzee

Disclaimer: this is an unofficial update. Install at your own risk. Posting this only to let you know it exists. This was sent in via @dashcammusic. You can find the download link and comments at this reddit thread. Also, not sure why the download link would expire tomorrow.

"Volca FM firmware 1.08 [UNOFFICIAL] - velocity on note in, LFO fix, patch transfer, more CCs etc.
TLDR; I hacked the Volca FM firmware, fixed a bunch of really old bugs, added some features.

I have received a lot of feedback from people requesting the "1.05" FW (that added velocity on MIDI in) that I posted this spring. In June, I made a 1.06 version that added a bunch of other stuff as well. Big THANKS to the small group of beta testers that helped me evaluate that :-)
Imagine my surprise when KORG did the september FW drop - I thought the older Volcas were orphaned. But they did release FW for the FM - and still ignored the bugs! It was a bit rich. Now I have grafted my tweaks onto the 1.07 FW - you guys like it super fresh I imagine.
Check the KORG official FW update instructions carefully. 2 files need to go through for this to work as intended. Make sure no other sounds are playing, and use 44.1kHz native sample rate.
I take no responability whatsoever if you manage to mess up your FM. THIS IS ON YOUR OWN RISK.
Get it here: (expires on oct 24th)

Change log (from ORIGINAL KORG fw (1.03, 1.04, 1.07)):

Monday, September 23, 2019

Press Release for Yamaha's Major OS Updates for MONTAGE, MODX and CP Stage Piano

Published on Sep 23, 2019 Yamaha Synths Official

Update: Playlist above added.

Montage OS v3.0 | New Features
Montage OS v3.0 | Pattern Sequencer
Montage OS v3.0 | Global Tuning
Yamaha CP88 OS v1.20 | Sound Demo

Related posts:

Yamaha #Synths1974 Live from Japan | Innovation Road Tour
Yamaha #Synths1974 Live from Japan
MONTAGE OS V3.0 Sound Demos
White Montage + OS V3 Updates from Yamaha Japan
BoBeats: Yamaha MODX 2.0 Update — How to get started with the new sequencer
Yamaha Synth Story & the Montage White & MODX OS v2.0
You can also see the Yamaha Label at the bottom of any related post for more.

High level overview of what's new:

"Yamaha has launched major operating system updates today to three Synthesizer product lines as part of the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of Yamaha Synthesizers: MONTAGE OS v3.0, MODX OS v2.0 and CP OS v1.2, building on feedback from users. Yamaha has added significant features to all three synths:

MONTAGE OS v3.0 and MODX OS v2.0:
Pattern sequencer
Improved synth engine
Wave Folder effect
Hybrid MIDI mode
New Performance content

CP OS v1.2
30 new Voices in the CP Sub section
More assignments and range parameters for the foot controller and mod lever
Quick navigation features like LIVE SET Reset and Quick Enter
MONTAGE OS v3.0 and CP OS v1.2 are available for free download now; MODX OS v2.0 will be available October 25.

And the official press release:

Yamaha Synthesizers Launches Major OS Updates for MONTAGE, MODX and CP Stage Piano

BUENA PARK, Calif. (September 23, 2019) – Yamaha launched major operating system (OS) updates today to three Synthesizer product lines, integrating features, enhancements and content based on feedback from the community of synth artists.

As part of the larger celebration of the 45th anniversary of Yamaha Synthesizers, the company unveiled the enhanced operating systems MONTAGE OS v3.0, MODX OS v2.0 and CP OS v1.2. These new OS versions are designed to help music makers get the most out of their instrument and take inspiration from input submitted to Yamaha by users.

The flagship Yamaha synth MONTAGE gets its sixth free OS update in v3.0, a first for any Yamaha synthesizer, and its more compact counterpart MODX takes on a similar array of added features in its v2.0 OS. The biggest new feature is a pattern sequencer, ideal for creating and playback both linear songs or pattern-based arrangements with real time arrangement control. There’s also an improved synth engine, with Virtual Circuitry Modeling Mini Filter and Mini Boost effects for vintage synth-style sounds. Yamaha has also added a Wave Folder effect for adding complexity creating more experimental sounds as well as a high-speed LFO for even more creative possibilities. Improved MIDI capability with a hybrid MIDI mode makes integrating MONTAGE or MODX with MIDI gear even easier. In addition to these major new features and capabilities, MONTAGE OS v3.0 and MODX OS v2.0 both come with a collection of new Performance content created by Yamaha artists and sound designers.

OS v1.2 for the Yamaha CP stage pianos represents the second major OS upgrade for this product line. Responding to user input, Yamaha has added 30 new Voices to the CP Sub Section. The foot controller and mod lever now have more assignments and range parameters so musicians can have them work within a chosen range. Quick navigation features like LIVE SET Reset and Quick Enter have been added to streamline the CP’s interface even further.
“We constantly receive great feedback from our users,” said Nate Tschetter, product marketing manager, Yamaha Synthesizers. “It’s great to be able to realize that input with three new OS updates. We hope these new enhancements inspire more music-making with MONTAGE, MODX and CP and look forward to helping people get the most out of their instruments.”

Pricing and Availability
Yamaha MONTAGE OS v3.0 and CP OS v1.2 are currently available via free download to all MONTAGE and CP stage piano users. MODX OS v2.0 will be available via free download to all MODX users on October 25. For details see

For more information about Yamaha Synthesizers, visit

Monday, April 22, 2019

Casio VZ-10M Interactive Phase Distortion FM synth ( rack version of VZ-1 )

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

You can find a video demo of the VZ-10m posted here.

"This VZ-10M is identical to the VZ-1 keyboard in functionality in a smaller, rack mountable package. Working great and sounds awesome. A unique feature on this is that in addition to the unbalanced outputs, it also features a TRS and XLR jack for a stereo mix output.

Very Rare! Casio RA-500 RAM CARD for Casio VZ-1, VZ-10M, 8M, PG-380 is included. Each RAM card holds up to 64 VZ-10M patches and 64 VZ-10M operation memories.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Adamski ft. Seal - 'Killer' Deconstruction in Ableton + Adamski Interview

Published on Mar 13, 2019 Point Blank Music School

"For this extra special deconstruction, Ski Oakenfull was joined by Adamski himself to delve into the magic behind his global Seal-featuring hit, 'Killer'. Shown here is also the Roland TR-909 and the Ensoniq SQ-80." And the Yamaha RX120.

The live version featured:

Adamski Feat' Seal Killer - 1990 Top of the pops

And the original:

Adamski & Seal - Killer (Original Video Clip)

Published on May 30, 2007 moonfloated

"This was THE BEST video clip made by Adamski and vocals by Seal !"

Friday, July 27, 2018

Power DX7 Going Global Part 5 - San Francisco, America 4K

Published on Jul 27, 2018 Power DX7

"Now I'm going to another amazing place in America!!

What a beautiful city, San Francisco is!

Best result using 4K TV!

Music created using only Yamaha DX7 MK1 (except drums). It's a re-mix version of 'Soft Dance'.
- Waaah Male Choir
- Soft Square Bass
- Gamelan like bells
- Saw Filter Sweep
- Slow Ice Strings
- Soft, Warm and Silky Pad"

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Yamaha CS5 repair tips/demo/feature review

Published on Jun 14, 2018 sounddoctorin

"Bob Weigel of shows a peculiar manifestation of a bad IG00156 vcf chip in the Yamaha CS5 synthesizer from 1978. Pardon absence of highest frequencies that my camera and audio at 22khz doesn't register but I was hearing those shrill upper notes here and sounded reasonably in tune :-) . I added a description of this issue to my global synth resource pages for synths using this vcf in case others see this failure mode."

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Yamaha CS80 Sustain & Portamento test

Published on May 29, 2018 Michael Geyre

"after some requests regarding the Deckard clone, i've made that short video where i'm testing reactions of Global Sustain 1/2 compared to user presets release
pretty interesting, as it shows:
- when adding global sustain, it adds on both vcf/vca
- sustain 1/2 switch is functionning when you add release on your user preset
- release is a bit longer when using the one on user presets (than global release)
i've been using that instrument for 20 years, i'm still amazed by its sound and expressiveness
Ribbon is active on all notes in sustain 2 mode, only on played (not released) notes in sustain mode 1"

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Yamaha Expands Soundmondo Sound-Sharing Website to Include MONTAGE Content

Published on May 9, 2018 Synthtopia

"At Superbooth 2018, Yamaha's Blake Angelos gave us a quick update on Soundmondo, and its new support for the Montage synthesizer."

And the press release:

BUENA PARK, Calif. (May 3, 2018) – Yamaha is expanding Soundmondo, the groundbreaking social sound-sharing website originally conceived for sharing reface Mobile Mini Keyboard sounds. Soundmondo now supports the MONTAGE Music Synthesizer, broadening its technological and user base to include an immense source of content.

Since launching in 2015, Soundmondo users created over 20,000 free reface sounds online. Now, MONTAGE users have the ability to explore and share new content of their own on a daily basis. To launch this new branch of the network, Yamaha produced 400 MONTAGE Performances, including content from the original DX ROM Cartridges, special content from Yamaha Music Europe and 16 original Performances from legendary synthesizer sound designer Richard Devine. Along with the content, Soundmondo is free for all MONTAGE users.

Soundmondo makes it possible to organize Performances into set lists, add demo audio/video and discover new pieces made by the global music-making community. All content is accessible via Google Chrome or the newly-launched Soundmondo (formerly “reface Soundmondo”) iOS app.

The MONTAGE Music Synthesizer, introduced in 2016 and enhanced with four major OS updates since then, represents a new era in synthesizer technology, offering unprecedented levels of control in sound and workflow.
“Soundmondo is to sound what photo-sharing networks are to images,” says Nate Tschetter, marketing manager, Synthesizers, Yamaha Corporation of America. “It’s a great way to share your sound experiences and get inspiration from others.”

For more information, visit

Monday, February 26, 2018

Introducing ES01 Rack Extension Based on the Yamaha CS-01

Published on Feb 16, 2018 Ekssperimental Sounds Studio

"The ES01 is a faithful recreation of a beloved analog classic. While the hardware which the ES01 is based on was originally marketed as an entry-level synth, it is still a popular tool of many professional artists for its ease of use in getting great sounds, particularly leads and bass lines.

The ES01 is not a 1:1 emulation - it also has additional features like Sub Oscillator, Unison and last but not least, Polyphony. The Touch Data Programmer with its Global Settings and modulation matrix together with the CV connectivity of the Reason Rack gives ES01 massive tweaking possibilities. This all makes the ES01 unique and quite capable of producing many classic analog synth sounds like fat basses, vibrant pads, synthetic arpeggios and leads that cut through the mix.

Ekssperience the sound of the past with the possibilities of the future with the ES01 Analog Synthesizer."

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Yamaha Introduces Montage 2.0 OS Update Featuring MOTIF Compatibility & More

Published on Jan 25, 2018 Yamaha Corporation

"Yamaha MONTAGE OS Version 2.0 Adds MOTIF Compatibility, New Control and Workflow Enhancements

ANAHEIM (January 25, 2018) — Yamaha today released MONTAGE OS version 2.0, the fourth free firmware update to its flagship synthesizer line. Yamaha has continuously updated MONTAGE with new content as well as sound, control and workflow enhancements. Now, MONTAGE OS v2.0 adds full Voice and Performance compatibility with recent MOTIF series instruments, additional control and workflow improvements.

MONTAGE adds full Voice and Performance compatibility with the Yamaha MOTIF XF, MOTIF XS and MOXF music production synthesizers. The MOTIF family dominated the music production synthesizer world for over 15 years. Now, MOTIF users can have confidence that their favorite sounds will load seamlessly into MONTAGE and perform without a hitch.

MONTAGE users have always been able to employ the free FM Converter web app at to convert DX7, DX7II, TX816 and TX802 Voices and Performances to MONTAGE Performances. Coupled with the Advanced Wave Memory 2 sound engine in MONTAGE and compatibility with legacy MOTIF content, musicians now have access to the largest and most established hardware synthesizer sound library in the world — a sonic palette that has been expanding and developing for over 35 years.

User-friendliness is essential in both modern studio and live-gig rigs, and MONTAGE OS v2.0 makes it easier to assign synth parameters to controllers such as the knobs, faders and Super Knob. For example, moving any physical controller now immediately shows destinations on the Controller Overview page. Several other workflow enhancements make it easier for musicians to interact with the vast MONTAGE Motion Control Synthesis.

Additional new features include a global setting for the A/D (external audio) input, which overrides the setting at the Performance level. This is useful for gigs or sessions where the player is using the input for the same purpose across all Performances. MONTAGE OS v2.0 also adds 87 new Performances, further expanding the amazing onboard content.

'With its absolute realism across acoustic and electronic Voice categories, plus the FM-X engine and extensive control and modulation options rivaling modular synths, MONTAGE was already the most powerful and versatile synthesizer in the world when it launched,' said Nate Tschetter, marketing manager, Yamaha Music Production. 'With OS v2.0, MONTAGE advances even further ahead of any other synthesizer in terms of sound, control and workflow.'

Pricing and Availability

Yamaha MONTAGE OS v2.0 is a free update and will be available to all MONTAGE users February 07, 2018.

For more information, visit the Yamaha Booth at the 2018 NAMM Show in the Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Marquis Ballroom, January 25-28, 2018, or"

Monday, November 20, 2017

Waldorf Demos with Saga's Jim Gilmour at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in 1992

Saga - Jim Gilmour Demo - Musikmesse Frankfurt 1993 1992 Published on May 12, 2013 MadSevenFilms

"Jim Gilmour ( Saga keyboardist) in a demo at the Waldorf stand during the musikmesse in Germany.
Humble Stance, Wind Him up, Don't be late, Careful where you step, On the loose,etc ...."

Update: according the swissdoc, these videos are actually from 1992. That would make the appearance of the prototype Wave in 1992, not 1993. This post has been updated to reflect that. Note swissdoc's write-ups are from 1993 as you can see in the datestamps for the links, and I believe the production model Wave was indeed released in 1993.

Here's a blast from the past featuring a bit of Waldorf history in via swissdoc. This may very well be the only Waldorf footage from the event. Check out the non-working prototype of the Waldorf Wave in the background. 1992 was the year it made its first appearance to be released in 1993. Note the Microwave rack was released earlier in 1989. Further below you will find some notes on Musikmesse 1993 (the following year after these videos) from swissdoc, followed by a transcription of the Wave flyer. This is a fascinating look back on synth history. But first, one more video from the 1992 Musikmesse.

Update2 via swissdoc: "In addition, for those who can read and understand German, there is a big series of three articles available for download (email has to be provided) from the German Keyboards magazine. Inside Wave. Amazing level of detail plus in part three an interview with developers and users plus additional interviews with the people behind the Wave."

Update3: The following scans have been added to the bottom of this post:

Saga - Jim Gilmour Scratching the surface - Musikmesse Frankfurt 1993 1992

Published on May 13, 2013 MadSevenFilms

"Jim Gilmour ( Saga keyboardist) in a demo at the Waldorf stand during the musikmesse in Germany.
Scratching the surface"


The following is a Musikmesse 1993 recap via swissdoc aka George Mueller, who attended, from way back in 1993 (you'll find a transcript of the Waldorf Wave flyer text further below). P.S. for a quick look at the gear released at the 1993 Musikmesse see here and here, both from swissdoc.

"Before I go into this Wave stuff, I'd like to tell you a little about the Frankfurt Musik Messe. Those restless gear junkies, skip the next 24 lines.

The Frankfurt International Music Fair was held for the 14th time and was attended by a record number of exhibitors: 1194 from 40 contries. So it's the leading event for the music business.

The Messe Frankfurt has 10 halls of different sizes, three of them are used by the Musik Messe. Hall 9.0 is the most interesting, it's for electronic instruments, 9.1 is for guitars and amps, 9.2 is for stage light, sound and mixers. These halls are middle in size, rows range from A to F, with booth numbers up to 90 each. Hall 8 is for acoustic instruments and publishers; it's funny, all that noise from test-playing violins, flutes and so on. This is the biggest hall, rows from A to P. The monster booth of Yamaha is in the back of this hall with all their synths, FXs and personal keyboards. So it's a long walk to Yamaha. It's a bit risky in this hall, if you enter one booth, browse thru the pages of some book, after talking to the salesman you probably lost your orientation. Hall 10.1 is reserved for grand pianos and uprights. No elctricity allowed there.

It's funny, when you change from 9.0 to 9.1, all those long haired heavy metal guys. One amp or guitar company has a Hard Rock Cafe at their booth, evertime overcrowded with guys drinking cocktails or beer.

So, here we are, the promised report on the TSI shows WAVE MUSIC DEMO and INSIDE THE WAVE.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

GForce Intros RE STRINGS for Reason w/ Billy Currie Interview & Freeman String Symphonizer Overview

Published on Apr 11, 2017 GForce Software

"RE-STRINGS is our Rack Extension version of the award winning VSM and contains a selection of its most popular and iconic String Ensembles including: ARP Quadra, Crumar Multiman, Elka Rhapsody, Eminent 310, Freeman String Symphonizer, Godwin String Orchestra, Hohner K4, Junost 21, Korg Lambda, Korg PE2000, Logan String Melody II, Mellotron Violins, Moog Opus III, Roland VP330, ARP Solina, Technics KN200, Yamaha CE-25 & Yamaha SS-30.

With it's dual layer capability, it's possible to load the classic string ensemble sounds from years gone by or create your own hybrid ensembles.

Legal Notice
All musical instrument manufacturer and product names are trademarks of their respective owners and in no way associated or affiliated with GForce Software Ltd. The trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose sounds and technical data were studied for this instrument. All names of instrument inventors have been included for illustrative and educational purposes only and do not suggest any affiliation or endorsement of GForce Software Ltd."

Billy Currie talks String Synths, VSM & RE-STRINGS

Published on Apr 11, 2017 GForce Software

"During the process of creating patches for RE-STRINGS Rack Extension, we talked with Billy Currie about his use of String Ensemble keyboards over the years and how the Elka Rhapsody and Yamaha SS-30 contributed to some of Ultravox's classic tracks.

Billy also talks about how valuable the VSM and RE-STRINGS libraries are to him and how they've been used in his latest album, Doppel."

Freeman String Symphonizer

Published on Apr 11, 2017 GForce Software

"A brief walkthrough of the Freeman String Symphonizer, invented by Ken Freeman, sounds from which are in both VSM and RE-STRINGS.

The Further Adventures of K.FREEMAN and his Incredible Machine of a Thousand Strings courtesy of I Monster - BRIGHT SPARKS album.

Ken Freeman footage courtesy of BRIGHT SPARKS Documentary"

via Propellerhead

"50% OFF Release Offer! 2 weeks.

The modern, polyphonic string synthesiser was invented in 1970 by Ken Freeman, a British keyboard player and engineer who discovered that if you layered two notes then detuned and slightly modulated one a pleasant ‘chorused’ sound resulted. Over the next 10+ years Ken’s initial discovery spawned an industry that saw the manufacture of more than one hundred ‘string machines’ and multi-keyboards.

Although viewed by some as a one-trick-pony or a poor man’s polysynth, string machines had so much character they’ve graced tracks by artists as diverse as; Lonnie Liston Smith, Air, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Parliament, Herbie Hancock, Camel, Joy Division, Jean-Michel Jarre, Thomas Dolby, Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, Genesis, Toni Tone Tony and countless others.

Product details
Based on our award winning Virtual String Machine (VSM), RE-STRINGS comprises 67 individual sample sets from a plethora of classic analogue string ensembles including the ultra rare (and first) Freeman String Symphonizer, the highly coveted Solina, the eminently desirable Eminent 310, the highly-lauded Logan String Ensemble, plus several other classic (and not so classic) string machines.

Each sample set spans 49 notes (4 octaves), each individually sampled and looped, plus RE-STRINGS contains a 700+ patch library created by respected patch designers including legendary string machine user and keyboard maestro, Billy Currie.

With Dual Layer capabilities - each layer comprising of a Lowpass, Bandpass & Highpass Resonant Filter Section, Two Envelope Generators, Pitch or Filter LFO, Dynamic control including filter aftertouch - if you want to create your own hitherto unrealised hybrid combinations of classic and evocative string ensembles, it’s a cinch. Finally, global vintage style Ensemble & Phaser effects are provided, allowing you to hone your sound to evocative, retro, string ensemble perfection.

RE-STRINGS includes string tones from the following classic instruments ARP Quadra (1978) Crumar Multiman (1975) Elka Rhapsody (1975) Eminent 310 (1972) Freeman String Symphonizer (1973) Godwin Model 749 String Concert (1980) Hohner K4 (1977) Junost 21 (c 1986) Korg Lambda (1979) Korg PE2000 (1976) Logan String Melody II (1977) Mellotron (1963) Moog Opus III (1980) Roland VP330 (1979) Solina String Ensemble (1974) Technics KN200 (1982) Yamaha CE-25 (1983) Yamaha SS30 (1977)"

Monday, November 07, 2016

MD77: Voice Editor for Yamaha SY77/TG77 by Ibo Kai

Available on iTunes

"40% OFF for a limited time!


MD77 is the complete, professional Voice Editor for the Yamaha SY77 and the rack-mountable Yamaha TG77. These 1980's synths by Yamaha combine FM synthesis and sample-based sound production for lush, layered, multitimbral sounds. With direct access to hundreds of parameters, MD77 lets you reach into your TG77/SY77 and tweak to your heart's content.

The layout inside MD77 is by veteran MIDI Designer Pro 2 author Ibo Kai. All of his layouts are beautiful and deep, including full-blown controllers for many popular MIDI targets from Korg, Kawai and Yamaha. Check out his page at to see his other designs for yourself. Each layout is a masterpiece.

Features of MD77:
◎ 13 full iPad screens and over 800 controls allow you to tap the depth of these vintage synths
◎ A Quick Editor page that combines AFM and AWM parameters for maximum utility
◎ A consistent color scheme -- e.g., yellow and orange for Levels and Rates, blue for Volumes -- helps keep you on track
◎ Use MIDI Designer patent-pending touch dials to select voices simply by sliding your finger on the iPad’s touch screen
◎ Save your most used sounds in the Global Presets for instant recall
◎ Requires iOS 9.2 or better, and an iPad 2 air or later is recommended. All graphics are optimized for all Retina screens, including the 12.9" iPad Pro

NOTE: This app cannot read patches from your Yamaha gear, but you can store up to 20 presets created in MD77.

Want to customize further?

MIDI Designer is the engine that powers the MD77 app. Upgrade to MIDI Designer Pro 2 to create your own pages, reorganize, and redesign to make your own YAMAHA layout. Then share it with the vibrant MIDI Designer Community. MIDI Designer is community-powered and this layout is one of our finest demonstrations of the power of you, our users.

MIDI Designer is easy to use, infinitely flexible and customizable, and battle-tested in performance. It's the most-respected MIDI controller platform for iOS."

Monday, October 31, 2016

Yamaha Introduces VOCALOID4 Library CYBER SONGMAN

【CYBER SONGMAN】Official Demo Fighter

Update: video added above, sent my way via Elias.

"Yamaha Corporation announced that is has begun to market 'VOCALOID4 Library CYBER SONGMAN', a new PC-based software that can create natural singing voices in authentic English pronunciation. This new software can be downloaded, beginning today, from the official VOCALOID Shop.

VOCALOID is a technology developed by Yamaha in 2003 to create artificial singing voices just by inputting words and melodies. By installing a Voice Bank, filled with sound bite parts of human voices, and the VOCALOID Editor to input the words, melodies, and singing styles desired, you can instruct the virtual singer of your choice to perform anytime and anywhere.

VOCALOID is continuing to evolve, and is presently available for creating cyber singing voices in Japanese, English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. Voice Bank software is available from Yamaha and other sources within and outside of Japan. Yamaha announced VOCALOID 4, the latest version, in November 2014. This version offers richer, more natural and expressive singing voices than ever before.

A very wide range of songs created with VOCALOID is available from video Internet sites such as YouTube. Especially in Japan, VOCALOID has grown and developed to become a part of the musical culture.

CYBER SONGMAN, which Yamaha is announcing today, is a new Voice Bank developed especially for users in the English-speaking world. CYBER SONGMAN offers a new level of enjoyment in creating songs using virtual singers performing in the English language. This new Voice Bank is based on recorded sound parts taken from the singing of a native speaker from the United States, and the pronunciation is clear and crisp American English that fits in well with almost any musical genre. If users also use the Growl function, it is possible to create the high levels of expressiveness needed, for example, in blues and rock songs.

CYBER SONGMAN was developed for wide global use, and it is offered for sale as a product that can be downloaded even from outside Japan. The price is JPY10,000 (before tax), and sales began today on the dedicated VOCALOID Official Shop. Besides, for VOCALOID beginners, we offer two starter kits on the VOCALOID shop. One consists of CYBER SONGMAN and VOCALOID4 Editor, the other consists of CYBER SONGMAN and VOCALOID4 Editor for Cubase. The both products are offered at discounted price.

*We are also considering offering the new Voice Bank for download on other websites operated by Yamaha.
*This product cannot be used on a stand-alone basis and must be used with VOCALOID4 Editor or VOCALOID4 Editor for Cubase andthe Cubase Series."

Monday, September 05, 2016

MATRIXSYNTH Review and Overview of the Novation UltraNova

Hi everyone, you might remember, back in July I posted some pics of my newly acquired UltraNova, and mentioned that review posts would eventually follow. Well, I’m happy to tell you the first post is here. The UltraNova is one powerful synth, so to make the overall review a bit more consumable, it will be broken up over time. This first section includes an Overview, the Oscillators, and the Mixer sections. When new sections go up, I will be sure to let you know via a new post.

As with most of my reviews, I will say this one goes pretty deep into the synth engine and all editable parameters. If you are the type of person that likes to dissect and explore all of the available parameters on a synth, then this post is for you. I will touch on what each parameter does and will call out any interesting features and limitations as I do so. There are some pretty special parameters on the UltraNova that give you control beyond most other synths. Hopefully this review will give you some insight into what makes the UltraNova special.

Overview & Quick Comparison to Previous Nova Synths

The Novation UltraNova, released back in 2010, is a 20 voice virtual analog & wavetable synth with three oscillators, two ring modulators and one noise source per voice. The UltraNova also features two audio ins that can be assigned to the oscillator section and/or a 12-band vocoder. It’s worth noting that the Novation Nova from 1999 featured a 40-band vocoder, while the Supernova II from 2000 featured a 42-band vocoder. The UltraNova is a monotimbral synth while the 12 voice Nova was six part multitimbral and the Supernova II (24, 36, or 48 voice) was eight part multitimbral. The UltraNova supports up to 5 simultaneous effects per patch. The Nova supported 42 simultaneous effects, while the Supernova II supported up to 56. The Supernova II also supported FM synthesis while the Nova and UltraNova omit it.

The UltraNova, however, is the first Nova synth to feature wavetable synthesis. An interesting side note is that all of the oscillators on the UltraNova are actually stored as wavetables, including the standard waveforms. According to Novation, “The wavetables in the Supernova series are all calculated. The wavetables in the UltraNova, even the standard analogue waves are wavetable oscillators. This change in oscillator generation was first used on the A-Station and K-Station and subsequently in the KS series, X-Station and Xio.” This allows the UltraNova to have some advanced tricks when it comes to the oscillator section, which will be covered in detail below.

I asked Novation about the lack of FM synthesis and they told me, “FM would have been a lovely addition to the UltraNova, but it would have been asking too much of the DSP to be able to run everything the UltraNova can do and also add in FM. The wavetables were a really good way to introduce a new (to Novation) type of synthesis that is able to cater for some of the synth sounds that FM is known for and also to be able to create lush evolving pads.”

The UltraNova features two routable filters per voice with a total of 14 filter types to chose from including 6dB (no resonance), 12dB, 18dB, and 24dB with Lowpass, Bandpass and Hi-pass modes. The Nova and Supernova II lacked a 6dB mode.

As for hardware, although the UltraNova may have fewer knobs per function than its predecessors, it is extremely well laid out and super intuitive to use. Along with both keyboard velocity and aftertouch, the UltraNova has touch sensitive knobs. They literally respond to touch and can be assigned to various parameters. Worth noting, velocity is configurable, however, aftertouch is not. I found the aftertouch to be good, but it does require a little extra force than I prefer; it’s good for not accidentally triggering it, but not so good for subtle, natural performance.

Please note the above comparisons with the Nova and Supernova II were only for quick reference. The UltraNova of course is its own synth with a few tricks up its sleeves that are lacking in the original Nova line, including a level of control over the synth engine often only found in the modular realm. It sounds incredible, and for the price, currently only $599 new, it is an extremely flexible and powerful synth. You get the current top-of-the-line Novation Nova synth engine with new wavetables and more. The UltraNova is both a performance oriented synth as well as a synth programmers dream. It can be configured for easy access to specific parameters for a live situation, or you can dig as deep as you want with a clearly well thought out interface.

That said, let’s dig in.

The following review and overview will essentially go over the signal flow of the UltraNova followed by performance controls including the arpeggiator and the hardware interface. I’ll go into a little detail on what each feature can and cannot do in an attempt to give you a detailed idea of what the synth is capable of. Because my reviews tend to be a bit on the longer side, I will be posting the sections in chunks over time to make it easier on you to consume and for me to compose.

First we start with…

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Korg Volca FM - The Expert Guide by Tony Horgan for iBooks

iTunes: Korg Volca FM - The Expert Guide - Tony Horgan

"The essential guide to the Volca FM, created by the world’s leading Volca expert Tony Horgan. Across 170 pages, this interactive guide explains everything about the Volca FM, with easy-to-follow text, illustrations, photography and audio examples. Make rapid progress with the quick-start guides, then look deeper into the amazing Volca FM. Every control is covered in detail, FM synthesis is demystified, and all the parameters and algorithms are fully discussed and illustrated. Jump between sections using hyperlinks and take it at your own pace. From the author of the universally 5-star rated Korg Volca Beats - The Expert Guide, this is the perfect companion for all Volca FM users.

The full chapter list:
1. About this book
- Hello
- Get in touch
2. Quick-start guides
- How to select a sound
- How to edit a sound
- How to rename a sound
- How to save a sound
- How to select and play a pattern
- How to record a pattern
- How to save a pattern
- How to record a motion sequence
- How to chain patterns
- How to import Yamaha DX7 sounds
- How to clone sounds and patterns
3. What is FM synthesis?
- FM synthesis theory
4. Slider controls
- Transpose slider
- Velocity / Value slider
5. Program edit knobs
- Modulator & Carrier knobs (+ envelopes)
- LFO rate, LFO Pitch Depth
- Program / Param knob
- Algorithm knob
6. Program edit buttons
- Octave / Operator buttons
- Save / Export button
- Edit button
7. The arpeggiator
- About the arpeggiator
- Arp type knob
- Arp type chart
- Arp Div knob
- Arp Division chart
8. Tempo and volume
- Tempo knob
- Volume knob
9. Play, Record, memory & Func buttons
- Play / Active step button
- Record / Erase button
- Memory / Write button
- Func button
10. Keyboard functions
- Understanding the keyboard and LEDs
- Voice mode: Poly, Mono, Unison
- Chorus
- Arp On / Off key
- Tempo division
- Metronome
- Warp Active Step
- Transpose note
- Motion sequence keys
- Clear Active Step
- Clear All
11. Power
- Mains and battery power
- Auto Power Off
12. MIDI In
- MIDI: an overview
- MIDI cables
- Selecting the MIDI channel
- MIDI Control Change messages
- MIDI Control Change numbers
13. Sync In / Sync Out
- What is Sync?
- Changing Sync steps
- Changing Sync polarity
14. Headphone socket and speaker
- Audio connection and speaker
15. Parameters in brief
- Parameter list
- What are parameters?
- How to select and edit parameters
16. Parameters in detail
- Every parameter explained in detail
17. Algorithms
- Algorithms list
- Algorithms explained
- Full-page diagrams of every algorithm
18. System update
- How to update the firmware
19. Global parameters
- All global parameters explained"

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Yamaha TX816, eight DX7 synths in a rack

Note: Auction links are affiliate links for which the site may be compensated.

via this auction

"The TX816 is the big boss of all FM synths. It is a rack with eight TF1 modules which are Yamaha DX7 synthesizers condensed down to a single circuit board. Designed for use with an external controller and patch editor, the TX816 allows you to easily play eight DX7s.

There are 3 levels of Yamaha TX816 expertise. Level 1: how to use the TX816, Level 2: which software claims to emulate it well, and Level 3 why none of them does, but can sound great layered to it. If you are reading this listing, I guess you made your way to Level 3 already, congratulations. It's nice to be between professionals.

Although one can use the TX816 like it's eight seperate DX7s, mixing and panning each module together to layer the sounds into one monsterous 128 voice and 48 operator DX powerhouse is where it truly shines. The TX816 has been used by Kitaro, Chick Corea, Michael Jackson, Europe, and Scritti Politti between others. In the early eighties the unit cost $5,000. Each module also features an indepednent audio out (XLR) and MIDI I/O for a total of eight audio outputs and MIDI I/O's. It also has one global MIDI in/out port with 8-part multitimbrality, but no common stereo or mix output.

The unit I'm selling works, I just played all 8 modules separately to verify. It has two minor issues: the last module flashes a low battery error though it still holds patches (I'm out of TX816 batteries) and the back of the enclosure has a small ding on the left. It doesn't show if the TX816 is mounted in a closed rack. So instead of the $1600 what some people listed their mint unit on eBay, you can have mine for $999 with the one memory error and case ding."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

MIDI Designer Pro 2 for iOS Released

iTunes: MIDI Designer Pro 2 - Confusion Studios LLC

● Completely-redesigned look: Glow. More beautiful, practical and functional with a new Home screen
● IAP with new control types: Image Panels, Pickers and Meters (free DAW plugin from musicIO)
● Preset Packs: share global presets with users of the same layout
● Browse and upload within MDP2 to interact seamlessly with the Community
● Hundreds of smaller new features, bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements for greater flexibility, stability and speed"

"MDP2 (MIDI Designer Pro 2) is the next generation of MIDI Designer Pro, which took the music-making world by storm when it lauched in 2012. This is the full, professional version for iPad and iPhone/iPod touch.

Dream, create and play your perfect MIDI controller with MIDI Designer Pro 2:
● Reviewed and loved by DJ Tech Tools, Recording Magazine, Sound on Sound and Keyboard Magazine
● Winner of Sonic Touch Gold Award for Best App
● Trusted on stage by veteran touring acts like Todd Rundgren and newer projects like POSTYR and Groove Boston
● A studio cornerstone for music producers like Shadow Child and Oliver for tweaking tons of vintage gear
● Used by musicians, VJs and DJs all around the world
● The platform of choice for community- and professionally-sourced layouts for top-flight gear (e.g., Korg, Roland, Moog, Eventide, Yamaha)

If you can dream it, you can create it in MIDI Designer.

● Control all MIDI-enabled hardware and software: synths, effects, DAWs, plug-ins, DJ, VJ & lighting rigs, other iOS apps, robots, cruise ships, rail guns, particle accelerators
● Near-zero latency connections via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Lightning Cable (with musicIO) or any class-compliant MIDI hardw are
● Design your perfect controller using customizable knobs, sliders, XY pads, labels, panels and more
● Use supercontrols and subcontrols for advanced functionality with no scripting, ever
● Choose background color, texture and LED color for up to 8 banks of 6 pages each
● Save, load and share your layouts and pages
● Send/receive all MIDI message types (e.g., sysex, NRPN and 14-bit CC)
● Use MDP2 as a heads-up display for external hardware via the "Pedalboards Feature"
● Explore presets and other features at discover a mature, reliable platform for your controller design and performance

MDP2 is easy to use, infinitely flexible and customizable, and battle-tested in performance. It's the most-respected MIDI controller for iOS

* * * * * dream | create | play * * * * *"


Switched On Make Synthesizer Evolution Vintage Synthesizers Creating Sound Fundlementals of Synthesizer Programming Kraftwerk

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