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Yamaha plug-ins


marino

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I wonder if anybody noticed that the the plug-ins for the Yamaha synths don't start to approach the sound quality of the hardwares they emulate.

Two cases in point: The AN and FM plug-in "synths". When I first played the AN1x a few years ago, I was impressed by its clear and powerful sound; then recently, I messed with a Motif a little bit at a friend's studio, with four plugins installed. We compared the sound quality of the AN plugin with a Waldorf Micro Q and several other modules, and everybody agreed that the AN sounded small and "plastic".

Could have been the presets... Anyway, I thought it was a simple case of my bad memory. But a few days later, after an extensive session on a Virus and another Micro Q, I played an AN1x again, and I was impressed, exacly like the first time! I liked it better than the German guys, and I even bought it!

A couple of other keyboard players told me they have had the same impression.

Look, there's nothing scientific about it, it could have been the different speaker system... But get this: The FM synth plugin on Motif didn't sound like a DX7 to me either. And a friend who is a dealer and a very good programmer confirmed that. He said, "The FM sounds a bit fake". My impression exactly.

The VL... I don't know, I have a VL1, and that's supposed to replicate a VL70m, so it would be unfair to compare their sounds.

Anyway, what's the deal with those plugins? Maybe something to do with the converters, or the way the plugins interact with the host synthesizer? Any clue?

 

Carlo

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Part of the problem maybe the design of these boards needs to be upgraded. Apparently the design hasn't been changed in a number of years and everything else has moved on.

Supposedly the desk top an and dx boxes use the same circuitry as the modules. See if they sound the same?

:confused: Michael

Q:What do you call a truck with nothing in the bed,nothing on the hitch, and room for more than three people in the cab? A:"A car"....
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Carlo:

 

I believe the plug-ins are (partially?) dependant on the host unit for effects. This may be part of the difference. The user needs to undertake some kind of procedure to rout the plug-ins through the host's efx architecture, I think (not sure how this works).

 

Someone with a host board and plug-in could clarify this.

 

Jerry

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Yamaha has come out with some pretty good boards in the last year or so - CS6x, S80, Motif - but I'm avoiding them for the moment, in part because I feel that this expansion option is not yet fully developed. I hope that the Yamaha engineers will address this and update their architecture, as it's an extremely powerful idea that COULD be an asset for a lot of musicians, i.e. one synth, many engines.
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As an S80 owner I will take a stab at this.

 

The plug in boards for Yamaha synths come with sysex files that load the patches. Unless you load these you will be working with the raw wave files that ship with the boards. Shouldn't be too much of a problem for An and DX boards obviously but could for others (many people complain about the piano board because they never loaded the patches and are playing the raw samples). Also, it is true that they need to be routed through the host effects section for chorus and reverb, so unless you have made these assignments the sound will be rather dry.

 

Last, it is my understanding that the boards are somewhat more stripped down than the full version of the instrument (for example the AN board has 5 note poly to the AN1X's 10) so that could account for some of the discrepancy.

 

I wouldn't buy one if I wanted the full vesion of that sound (although other S80 owners rave about the virutal acoustic board) but if I needed a little bit more of whatever synthesis we're talking (or wanted to gig with just one synth) I wouldn't hesitate to get one.

 

-Casey

 

[ 11-29-2001: Message edited by: cg1155 ]

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Thought of another thing -

 

Plug-in boards are subject to the host's master 5 band EQ (at least on the S80/30) so if there is an EQ adjustment it will mess with the sound, and of course if the speakers you're listening through are different and the rooms are different that could do it. It could also be the quality of the DA converters or a million other things that affect the sound. I'd be interested in seeing if the AN200 groovebox has the same sound as the AN1X board since they also share the same engine.

 

-Casey

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