Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

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adamstan
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Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:13 am

It's finally here. It has arrived on Saturday. Damn, this thing is really huge! It barely fit through the door.

It's working, but unfortunately it has one dead IG00155 VCF (on lower LPF card) :( This caused voice #3 on lower keyboard to be silent. It turned out, that not the whole chip is fried - it's first op-amp works, so it passes the signal unchanged to its HP output. So I swapped it with chip from HPF board, and now the voice ~works - although of course it sounds different than the rest as it doesn't have HPF. Looks like I need to get IG00155 - but they're so expensive :evil:

I'm going to do several mods to this keyboard:
  • extending LFO speed control range (easy - just desolder one resistor)
  • adding separate LFO speed control for lower manual
  • adding couplers (as in E-70, circuitry is same, they just removed switches)
  • adding "attack pitch-bend" (as above)
  • adding flute envelope control - attack time and curve (there is already control for release time).
  • adding missing Wave ROMs on VMS board and rewiring the whole thing to obtain dual-oscillator synth sounds (the boards are same as in E-70, they're just not fully populated / connected different way using jumper wires)
  • making external programmer (like in GX-1) connected in place of one of the presets to edit synth sounds (filters, envelope and waveform settings)
I decided to go for external programmer as I don't want to destroy front panel. It will contain all additional controls.

And here's E-50 sitting in my living room.
Image

Some recordings:

Last edited by adamstan on Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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0000
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by 0000 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:35 am

there are so many great old organs about

shame they are so massize

i have a hammond (the first model post tonewheel me thinks)
an early roland one under a different name (fogotten)
could have bought many more at yard/garage sales

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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:48 am

Vibrato speed mod is done. Now the range is from ~1.5Hz to ~15Hz (before it was from 5 to 7). Other mods will take much longer, as I have to design neccessary circuits.

BTW - this thing has really weird tuning. It doesn't have equal temperament - it just tries to ;-) What's more, designers decided to detune each keyboard against the others (I suppose they've done it to prevent voices from being phase-locked). Here's tuning table from PAS manual, which shows each key detune (in cents):
electone detune.gif
It is most audible, when you set pedal orchestra voice to 8' or 4' and play it together with chords on upper manual. It simply sounds out of tune! Weird! And it's the same for all 70's PASS Electones, mighty E-70 or EX-1 included, as they share same oscillator design.

So Yamaha decided to use digital oscillators, because they don't go out of tune. However, instead, they just STAY OUT OF TUNE ALL THE TIME :lol:
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by StepLogik » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:36 am

Wow, that is completely bizarre!

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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:54 am

Yeah. Fixing this would require replacing frequency-ROM circuits which feed increment value to phase counters - not trivial, because they are Yamaha proprietary devices, with 18-bit input and 14-bit output, and whole logic works with 0V (L) and 15V(H) levels. So replacement would be quite large daughterboard ;-) I think that I'll leave it as it is - it has certain charm to it after all ;-)
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by dr funk » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:31 pm

adamstan wrote:It is most audible, when you set pedal orchestra voice to 8' or 4' and play it together with chords on upper manual. It simply sounds out of tune! Weird! And it's the same for all 70's PASS Electones, mighty E-70 or EX-1 included, as they share same oscillator design.
Interesting! I just tried this on my E70 and there is indeed some detuning between upper manual and pedals set to 4' - is this what you're referring to? It doesn't sound 'bad', more like a celeste effect.

Your vibrato mod sounds like a great idea! What resistor did you remove?

Btw, congrats on your E50! Welcome to the 'E' club... :mrgreen:

Cheers
Frank

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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:20 pm

I just tried this on my E70 and there is indeed some detuning between upper manual and pedals set to 4' - is this what you're referring to? It doesn't sound 'bad', more like a celeste effect.
Yes. It somewhat like a celeste - when playing in unison, and with upper orchestra set to lower pitches (16', 8') this gives quite nice sound. But due to different detuning for different notes, some chords may sound bad. Try playing D-major chord on upper manual with orchestra set to 2' and some flutes - - and middle d on 4' pedals. There is some serious beating between chord notes and and bass - a little bit too much for nice organ sound. It sounds like an organ that needs some tuning ;-) Maybe I'll post the mp3 later.

Your vibrato mod sounds like a great idea! What resistor did you remove?


The 2k2 one in the red circle - it forms voltage divider together with the 33k one before it, thus limiting CV range. I replaced it with 15k. When you remove it completely, the range becomes waaay too wide to be usable.
vibmod.GIF
vibmod.GIF (5.81 KiB) Viewed 2806 times
After replacing the resistor, you may want to adjust trimpots. 2k sets lowest frequency, while 100k sets range.
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:30 am

What do you think about idea of replacing "orchestra" digital oscillators with VCO's (with the ability to sync to digital section=switching to "DCO" mode)?
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by dr funk » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:04 am

Do you still need that IG00155 VCF?

I spotted one on eBay along with a CS lever, and remembered that you were looking for one.

Cheers
Frank

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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by dr funk » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:05 am

adamstan wrote:What do you think about idea of replacing "orchestra" digital oscillators with VCO's (with the ability to sync to digital section=switching to "DCO" mode)?
Sounds really interesting! What's involved in making it happen?

Cheers
Frank

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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:00 am

What's involved in making it happen?
Designing board with 30 VCO's on it, and connecting them. There's Key CV available already - it's used to tune VCF (look for the "key voltage memory" on schematics). I'm thinking about it, because I feel that antialiasing used in oscillators is a little bit too heavy, and 2' sawtooth sounds too mellow for me.

As for sync - that'd require connecting appropriate output line from wave-counter in place of wave-memory output (or setting it permanently to square wave mode), and then taking sync pulses from VMS board outputs.
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:09 pm

In the meantime - here are some recordings.

First is classical organ sounds demo.


Second one is featuring some synth-like sounds.

Both played live, recorded directly from headphones output. Reverb is internal - I've just tweaked pickup preamp gain, so now when reverb level is set to max, dry-wet mix is around 50%.
Last edited by adamstan on Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:49 am

I've done another mod to my E50.

Yamaha decided, that sine wave is too boring for drawbars, so each "flute" sound is made of fundamental, and 1st overtone mixed in at around -10dB. It makes no sense to me - if I want these overtones, I'll just engage next drawbar - so I removed some resistors from "FWM" and "IF" boards, and now each flute is sine.

[I can't post schematics now, as I write from work, and tinypic is blocked]

I've also designed a plug-in replacement for keyboard scanner circuit with added MIDI output, but I haven't built it yet.

When time and money permits, I want to replace presets boards with proper patch memory, and maybe do this VCO thing mentioned earlier.
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by adamstan » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:21 am

I've just reuploaded demo recordings to soundcloud and edited earlier post.

I have one question to E-70 owners (drfunk?). What is range of pitch control knob located in preset drawer?
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Re: Yamaha E50 has arrived :-)

Post by dr funk » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:40 pm

Just spotted this thread - good to see you're working on the E50 again!
adamstan wrote:I have one question to E-70 owners (drfunk?). What is range of pitch control knob located in preset drawer?
Not much! I just tested my E70 with an A440 8' flute, and the pitch range is 3.7 cents down and 47.2 cents up.
adamstan wrote:I've also designed a plug-in replacement for keyboard scanner circuit with added MIDI output, but I haven't built it yet.
Interesting! Using the E50 as a MIDI controller? Would it be possible for your new scanner to also provide a MIDI input to the E50 (and my E70)? I would jump at that! Especially if it was combined with this:
adamstan wrote:When time and money permits, I want to replace presets boards with proper patch memory, and maybe do this VCO thing mentioned earlier.
Your VCO idea would really take these organs to a whole new level, and if your scanner/MIDI implementation could translate poly pressure from an external MIDI controller (such as my Rhodes Chroma :D ) to CVs for the E50/70, then you would be getting quite close to CS80 functionality! The E70 dual voice architecture is almost identical to the CS80, AFAIK.

I think it's been mentioned before, either here or on the organ forum, but have you seen this page?

Frank

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