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No matter what's bothering you - MIDI, musical know-alls or the neighbour's dog - MT's advice bureau is open. Save £££'s on solicitor's fees! Write to Grief, MT, (Contact Details).

QI've recently started using a Yamaha TG300 sound module with Emagic's Notator Logic sequencing software for the Mac. The problem I have is that I can select sounds in different banks from the TG300's front panel but not over MIDI from the sequencer. I know how to send bank selects and program changes from Notator Logic, and I can call up different programs without any problem - but not different banks.

This is really annoying, because I want to use some of the TG300's Preset sounds multitimbrally, but I can't call up the right bank (bank 80) from Notator Logic. Help me out on this one and I'll buy MT forever!
Matthew Jackson

AHope you can afford a lifelong subscription Matthew, because the answer is coming up! Basically, there are two things you need to do: ensure that Notator Logic transmits Bank Select commands in the right format, and find a way to get it to send Bank Select numbers beyond its default range of 0-62.

To get at bank 80 you need to be in GM-B mode on the TG300; if you haven't already done so, select 'Multi/Single' in the 300's Util menu and highlight 'GM-B'. Now, although Yamaha don't say as much, GM-B is effectively Roland's GS Format - which it just so happens uses a different way of specifying the Bank Select command from that defined in the MIDI spec! GS Format uses a single MIDI controller code, controller 0, specifying a bank select range of 0-127, while the MIDI spec uses two controllers, 0 and 32, for an over-the-top total of 16,384 banks, with controller 32 covering the 0-127 range!

Notator Logic can transmit Bank Select commands in both formats, but defaults to that specified by the MIDI spec. To select the GS way you must call up Logic's Environment window, create a Multi Instrument, doubleclick on its icon, and then select 'Control 0' for the Bank Message parameter in the resulting window.

Figure 1: Transformer settings

To get around the problem of how to transmit Bank Select numbers higher than 62, you'll need to create a Transformer Object in the Environment window. Double-click on this Object and a window will pop up giving you the Transformer parameters. Set them as indicated in Figure 1. These settings tell Notator Logic to Transform controller 0 commands received on any MIDI channel by adding 65 to their data value. But why 65? Well, if you wanted to select bank 127 (which is specified by GS Format as an MT32-compatible bank) you would need to add 65 to 62 (Logic's maximum Bank Select number). You can also limit Logic's Transform operation to a specific MIDI channel or a range of channels by setting the Cha Condition parameter accordingly.

Figure 2: Configuring the Environment

So, with your Transform in place and the appropriate type of bank message selected, the next thing you need to do is configure your Environment properly. Figure 2 shows you the proper arrangement: the Multi Instrument's output is routed to the Transformer, and the Transformer's output is then routed to the Modem Port (presuming that this is the port your MIDI interface is connected to).

For the sake of clarity it's worth setting up a dedicated Environment Layer for these Objects, with the Modem Port defined as a Global Object so that it appears in all Layers.

Figure 3: The Instrument window

You'll need to assign the Multi Instrument (or a Sub Instrument of the Multi) to any sequencer tracks which are intended for playback on the TG300 - and, of course, make sure that you've ticked the Program box to enable patch- and bank-number transmission! Figure 3 gives an example of how the Instrument box should look: here, the selected TG300 patch is number 4 in bank 80 (15 + 65), which is Rock Org. If the TG300 still isn't responding, make sure that its Receive Bank Select parameter is set to 'on' (often it's the most obvious things that can trip you up!).

Incidentally, the GM-A and GM-B Voice Lists in the TG300's Sound List & MIDI Data booklet are incomplete: both miss out bank 64, which contains RAM versions of the module's 32 Preset sounds. To use Presets which you've edited yourself you'll need to call up this bank; bank 80, on the other hand, contains the ROM (ie. unedited) versions of the Presets. Finally, to call up bank 64 you'll need to set the Transformer Object's Add value to 64 rather than 65, and select a bank number of 0 in the Instrument window.

QI've recently been playing with a Yamaha SY35 and I have the impression that it only differs from the SY22 in terms of polyphony (32 notes vs 16) and multitimbrality (16 parts vs 8). Do both instruments share the same AWM and FM element banks and if so, is it possible to exchange voices via SysEx? In other words, can I load a SY35 presets into the SY22 internal memory and have the same result as in the SY35?
Henri Sizaret
Schwelbeck, Germany

PS: Can we have an 'A-Z of Digital', too?

ATo an extent, yes. The AWM samples in the two instruments are similar but not exactly the same. The SY3S has more and, according to Yamaha, they have been tweaked and upgraded. The drums are among the most noticeably different.

You can transfer voices via SysEx, but you must make sure that the samples are the same in both instruments. In other words, if you transfer a voice from the SY35 which uses a sample the SY22 does not have then obviously the resulting voice is going to be different. The SY3S also has a superior DSP chip which can have a marked difference on the sound.

There is no difference in polyphony - or multitimbrality. The instruments are both 16-note polyphonic and 8-part multitimbral. The polyphony is split between the AWM and FM voices so it's more a case of 8 AWM voices plus 8 FM voices (if you see what I mean). I'm sure you do.

As for the 'A-Z of Digital', leave it a few years 'til people are waxing lyrical about the joys of menu-driven programming and those classic FM panpipe sounds and we'll see what we can do...

QMuch as I appreciate your excellent A-Z of Analogue series and feel sure my query would be answered by the time you get to the Yamaha section, it does mean I'd have to wait an awful long time, so perhaps you could answer it for me now.

Basically, a friend of mine has an old Yamaha monosynth called a CS30 which has a really neat 8-step analogue sequencer built in. I'd like to buy one too, but am a bit confused by the model numbers. I believe there were two versions - the CS30 and the CS30L. Was the CS30L the one with the sequencer? Also, how much could I expect to pay for one of these machines?

At a conservative estimate, it'll be sometime next year before your reach 'Y' in the 'A-Z of Analogue' (there's Moog, Korg, Roland and Sequential Circuits to get through yet!) and I'm desparate to get hold of one.
Jason Hughes

AIf no one minds, I'll answer this one - if only because the Yamaha CS30 was, in fact, the first synth I ever owned (if you don't count the home-made jobbies I cobbled together out of Practical Electronics circuits).

The CS30 was a great little machine, introduced at a time when synths were becoming much more playable as instruments (like the Arp Quadra), but still capable of generating all manor of sound effects (like the VSC3). It straddled both these areas well.

As I recall, the CS30 was the model with the onboard sequencer, the CS30L was the one without. Mine was a CS30 and I well remember some of the excellent effects I could produce with the sequencer. As regards cost; well they do seem to be rather thin on the ground, but I've spoken to a couple of dealers who have sold models in the last twelve months (both with sequencers) and they seem to be changing hands for around £150-£180 depending on condition. Your best bet would be to place a wanted ad in our readers ads section and see if that turns up anything, or contact the vintage synths dealers such as Music Control ((Contact Details)), Analogue Systems ((Contact Details)) or The Keyboard Corporation ((Contact Details)).

Alternatively, if anyone out there has a CS30 with sequencer, drop us a line at the editorial address or call us ((Contact Details)) an we'll pass the message on. But this is strictly a one-off, for old time sake. Anyone else looking for gear will have to use 'Warehouse', I'm afraid.

The answers to all your problems in the future will be found in THE MIX. Write to THE MIX at the same address - (Contact Details).

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Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Music Technology - May 1994

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