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Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:31 pm
by paugui
Some days ago I start digging for info about the Yamaha VL1 and I have to say that I thought it sounds really nice.
There is even a demo in youtube that compares the sax on one to the sax on a Motif and the VL1 clearly wins.



This makes me wonder why Yamaha isn't making a new VP1, as it would be great to have something similar to the VL1 but available to the masses and polyphonic.
Given that DSP power is much cheaper now (and much more powerful), this seems possible to me and probably they wouldn't have to spend that much time to create one as they should definitely use the VL1 as a base.
So why doesn't Yamaha do that?

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:51 pm
by Ashe37
Because Yamaha has given up on synthesis. They used to make a VL expansion card for the Motif (along with the AN and DX cards) but they killed the expansion card capability in the new Motifs and are gradually running out of stock on the old cards.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:33 pm
by meatballfulton
Saying "Yamaha has given up on synthesis" might be better worded as "the mass market has given up on synthesis". Most users could care less what the technology is under the hood, they just want cool sounds.

VL synthesis just never took off. Yamaha has offered it in a number of products (VL-1, VL-7, EX5, PLG150-VL) and continues to sell the VL-70M module. Korg tried the technology with the Prophecy and Z-1 but those were also flops.

I own the PLG card and while it's interesting it's not at all intuitive to program it.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:58 pm
by CS_TBL
What sinks the ship is the fact that you have to be a wood/brass player to get something out of it. How many non-wood/brass players are going to try their luck with this when they could use ready made samples of the real thing? Not with all the small details you'll find in a real performance (tho some libs are somewhat getting there), but often you don't need this in the first place.

I mean, I have the easy solution myself, a VL70 and a simple BC, not the reed-model controller you often see, just a simple thing which looks like the air supply mouth piece of a scuba diver. I just don't see myself using this while facing a deadline or when I'm otherwise 'on the jazz' (as Hannibal of The A-Team would say), the time I'd need to spend on recordings to edit out all the errors just because I'm not a wood/brass player.. I could as well just use a sample library and be done with it. And the core sound of such libraries is probably even better than this technique of (face it) almost two decades old.

They've made a physical model of an instrument, but what they've forgotten to add (for all non-wood/brass players) was a physical model of a wood/brass player!

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:34 pm
by paugui
I think there is much more to Physical Modeling than just modeling acoustic wood/brass sounds.

The only synth I have at the moment that can do Physical Modeling is my Alesis Fusion and I have to say its Physical Modeling engine can achieve amazing sounds and I don't mean just nice acoustic emulations.
It can do some really nice leads with a good synthetic vibe, as well as some really nice pads.

I think the biggest interest of Physical Modeling is that you can create sounds from musical instruments that don't even exist, you can go much further than samples.
And better, you have the possibility to modulate quite some parameters, which makes it possible to have a sound that is not static as with samples.
That is my main interest on Physical Modeling, to use it for quite interesting synthetic sounds.

It definitely seems more complicated than a VA to work with.
You have a much higher number of parameters and they are not as intuitive to use than a regular VCO/VCF/VCA synth, but I think their wide sound spectrum is worth the effort of exploring one of those beasts.


About the statement before that musicians only want cool sounds, I think that is true for the majority of people that are into keyboards. But usually, that people is also mainly into presets, not programming their own sounds.
Considering this, a VL engine would suit them much better than a Motif engine, at least for wood/brass instruments as shown on the video I put on my first post.


I think if Yamaha could do a new VL1 but polyphonic (a VP1), for a good price, I'm sure they could have quite some success.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:13 pm
by meatballfulton
paugui wrote:It definitely seems more complicated than a VA to work with.
You have a much higher number of parameters and they are not as intuitive to use than a regular VCO/VCF/VCA synth.
Which pretty much sealed it's doom!!!!

This was also a problem with Yamaha FM for many users which is why it withered away once sample ROM became cheap enough to make the M1 and D50 possible.

The FM/formant synthesis of the FS1R was also not a market success.

Nowadays cutting-edge synthesis has moved into software and will probably remain there, like it or not.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:17 pm
by balma
Is a shame, since Yamaha was one of my fav brands. Truly professional instruments. The case has been discussed widely on the "Yamaha enemy of synthsis" thread.

you can get VL technology on the EX5 too, you have a nice oportunity to create unique sounds there, since you can combine VL sounds with the VA, the samples and the rompler. Also have the change to get the wind controller.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:29 pm
by memory cords
I have played many Yamaha digital synths over the years and I've always felt that the interface was non-intuitive.

I used to own an AN1x and it sounded really good, but compared to it's competitors at the time (Nord Lead, Roland JP-8000, Korg MS2000) it was unnecessarily time consuming to program.

I'm not saying that it was difficult to understand, just that it took much longer than it should have to sculpt the sounds into what I wanted.

The Clavia Nord's interface and the JP-8000's interface were/are so good. You don't even need to read the manuals to understand the full functionality because it's so logically laid out. For Yamaha stuff I have to consult the manuals often because many features and functions aren't intuitive.

Not criticizing the sound though... the AN technology and the DX technology sound great and are very versatile.

As for the VL, I guess there's just not enough demand. Yamaha seems to be focusing all their energy on their Motif XS range at the moment. It's really disappointing that they've removed the expansion capabilities from the XS range. A Motif ES with an added AN board, DX board and VL board is a seriously powerful workstation.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:52 pm
by aeon
paugui wrote:I think the biggest interest of Physical Modeling is that you can create sounds from musical instruments that don't even exist, you can go much further than samples. And better, you have the possibility to modulate quite some parameters, which makes it possible to have a sound that is not static as with samples. That is my main interest on Physical Modeling, to use it for quite interesting synthetic sounds. It definitely seems more complicated than a VA to work with. You have a much higher number of parameters and they are not as intuitive to use than a regular VCO/VCF/VCA synth, but I think their wide sound spectrum is worth the effort of exploring one of those beasts.
I agree with this - the polyphonic physical modeling of my Korg OASYS PCI is perhaps its greatest strength in terms of synthesis.

That said, the complexity and nonintuitive nature of the programming as it concerns physical modeling synthesis means that it is largely ignored or enjoyed only when an intuitive UI (with cut-down programming options) is offered.


cheers,
Ian

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:16 pm
by balma
The most intuitive instrument from Yamaha, was the RM1x. More easy to program than any of its competitors, the command stations, the MC series and the electribes. Is so easy to program, however is not a studio but a live instrument. Is very simple when talking about patch synthesis.

the VL technology is quite complicated, specially, when programmed on a EX5.

You must see that the more complex the synthesis, the harder to make an intuitive interface to operate it, since there are more values to set, more parameters. Almost any complex patch on a Yamaha synth, will request you a time investment, but it has its rewards.

I have used the VL technology since 7 years ago. For example, on the VL, there are parameters for the wind instruments, that emulate the strength you use when blowing on a flute's mouth, or the tremolos adding for moving a finger very fast.

Those types of paramenters are almost impossible, or too hard to program, on a rompler.

you can grab the preset patches wich are HIGH QUALITY, or you can dig, and press "PATCH EDIT". Now, be prepared to browse multiple screens, to scroll down (actually Yamaha's menus would have a long scroll bar at the right, on a computer screen....) and setting parameters, that try to emulate acoustic instruments.

Wanna do things faster? BUY the wind controller.


VL technology excels on acoustic emulations. Hard to find another better option to emulate a beatiful flute solo on another synth for the similar price.

On the EX5, you must use the same hardware, for managing the rompler, the sampler, the VA, the VL and the FDSP effects.

But on that synth, you can create the most beatiful and organic patches, and you could hold to it for the rest of your life, it has no limit, since the key, is the combination of multiple technologies in only one board.

But be prepared to invest your time on it if you want to get something good from it.


[-X Don't mess with Yamaha synthesis if you don't have enough time to do it....

je je just kidding

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:52 am
by stikygum
I don't know if I'd agree the RM1X is easier than those on your list, but it is a fun box to use. You can be really creative with sequencing and not just program 16ths like most sequencers. But it didn't have an x0x use of the white keys, so you always had to go into record to enter notes, which I didn't like. Great midi effects.

I think PM came out at the wrong time. The whole VA buzz was around the same time and that was very straight-forward to understand. I think now there is more info on synthesis and how it works with the internet, so more know about synthesis and could probably get to grips with PM more now than before. Though I will say VL synths sound really good, but they still intimidate me just from hearing owners experiences. It's engine sounds so deep.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:28 pm
by meatballfulton
memory cords wrote:It's really disappointing that they've removed the expansion capabilities from the XS range. A Motif ES with an added AN board, DX board and VL board is a seriously powerful workstation.
Yamaha simply wasn't seeing PLG sales in the same numbers as ES sales, so decided to drop PLG support in the XS.
stikygum wrote:Though I will say VL synths sound really good, but they still intimidate me just from hearing owners experiences. It's engine sounds so deep.
For the PLG150-VL it's not the number of parameters, it's trying to figure out how they affect the final sound!

First you choose a driver from single reed (sax, clarinet), double reed (oboe, bassoon), lip reed (brass), jet reed (flutes), bow or pluck. Next choose a pipe/strings option from conical (large and small, saxes, oboes), straight (single or double ended, flutes, clarinets) flare (brass) or string. Finally a variation parameter which lets you choose some standard instrument models (alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, cello, etc.) based on your previous choices or you open an edit window to create a customized instrument.

It's in the Edit window where things get hairy. You can choose a guitar pickup type (WTF???), Mouthpiece, BreathNoiseAmp ,FlowRate, Beatin’, Slit/Friction and Reed Aperture characteristics, a simplistic LPF , a resonator (body resonance of violin, viola, cello, bass or piano), a very basic EG, settings for breath control and finally some tweaks (yes that's what Yamaha calls it) like brightness, thickness, distance (ambience), etc.

You need to experiment to learn how things like friction (how strongly the bow grabs a string) and reed aperture (reed stiffness) impact the timbre. It really is physically modeling a sound, so creating synthetic timbres needs a different mindset. Knowing the physics of vibrations in pipes and strings is far more important than knowing how filters and EGs work.

I wasn't really interested in the VL board, but got mine cheap in a package deal with some other PLG boards so I've installed it and messed around with it a little bit. The real-time breath control makes this a real "player's synth".

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:48 pm
by balma
stikygum wrote: Though I will say VL synths sound really good, but they still intimidate me just from hearing owners experiences. It's engine sounds so deep.
But as I mentioned before, it has its rewards... I highly recommend VL to those ones who wants to go deep into emulating acoustics if they have the time and the willing to go into it.

The VL technology, requests you to be a performer of the VL. As simple as that. As getting into a new instrument, you will need to:
-Get familiarized with a huge, new list of parameters that you won't find on any synthesizer. Wind instruments have a setup of parameters, apart from the string instruments. This is a engine 100% dedicated to emulate in the digital world, the behavior of real clasic instruments.

-Virtuosity at the moment of the performing. I felt very frustrated the first days I adquired the wind controller, I didn't got the electronic flute, but just a mic where you blow, simulating the breath on a flute. Spit on it!

But after some weeks of practice, you get familiarized, to play the keys, and blowing to control the sound. Is simple marvelous.

VL is a truly professional performing technology. Yamaha doesn't relesae a new moedel, since the old VL is already very good, and there are not so much people claiming for an update to it. We are becoming a bunch of lazy producers..... :ugeek:


And Memory Cords, there's already a workstation, with AN, VL technologies incorporated. Is the EX5 extended synthesis workstation, and it kicks Motif's a*s.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:57 am
by tallowwaters
CS_TBL wrote:What sinks the ship is the fact that you have to be a wood/brass player to get something out of it. How many non-wood/brass players are going to try their luck with this when they could use ready made samples of the real thing? Not with all the small details you'll find in a real performance (tho some libs are somewhat getting there), but often you don't need this in the first place.

I mean, I have the easy solution myself, a VL70 and a simple BC, not the reed-model controller you often see, just a simple thing which looks like the air supply mouth piece of a scuba diver. I just don't see myself using this while facing a deadline or when I'm otherwise 'on the jazz' (as Hannibal of The A-Team would say), the time I'd need to spend on recordings to edit out all the errors just because I'm not a wood/brass player.. I could as well just use a sample library and be done with it. And the core sound of such libraries is probably even better than this technique of (face it) almost two decades old.

They've made a physical model of an instrument, but what they've forgotten to add (for all non-wood/brass players) was a physical model of a wood/brass player!
Well, maybe somebody could use it to, uh, you know, do something new and interesting with, as opposed to just making uber accurate ocarina sounds.

Re: Why doesn't Yamaha creates a new VP1?

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:02 am
by paugui
tallowwaters wrote:
CS_TBL wrote:What sinks the ship is the fact that you have to be a wood/brass player to get something out of it. How many non-wood/brass players are going to try their luck with this when they could use ready made samples of the real thing? Not with all the small details you'll find in a real performance (tho some libs are somewhat getting there), but often you don't need this in the first place.

I mean, I have the easy solution myself, a VL70 and a simple BC, not the reed-model controller you often see, just a simple thing which looks like the air supply mouth piece of a scuba diver. I just don't see myself using this while facing a deadline or when I'm otherwise 'on the jazz' (as Hannibal of The A-Team would say), the time I'd need to spend on recordings to edit out all the errors just because I'm not a wood/brass player.. I could as well just use a sample library and be done with it. And the core sound of such libraries is probably even better than this technique of (face it) almost two decades old.

They've made a physical model of an instrument, but what they've forgotten to add (for all non-wood/brass players) was a physical model of a wood/brass player!
Well, maybe somebody could use it to, uh, you know, do something new and interesting with, as opposed to just making uber accurate ocarina sounds.
That's exactly my point.
If we use it to do something new, it is possible to obtain really interesting sounds.
Even a concept like the Technics WSA1 (which had samples as the basis of their sounds and resonators to shape the sound), could be quite interesting.
And the expressivity you get with physical modeling is amazing, which I think make it worth to be explored.


But even for real sounds, if you create a simple interface just to change the most basic parameters and create a new mode to perform a higher level of edition (I think the V-Synth GT has something like this), could make one really useful.
I find it a bit hard to believe that most people that buy workstations do lots of editing on them (I think most of them probably use presets and edit them slightly), which would make a physical modeling synth as useful as one of those.
To be true it would be even more useful, cause you would be able to get sounds with a much higher level of expression.
With a system of two edition levels I'm sure they could compete with a workstation easily (provided that there is enough DSP power now to make one with a nice amount of polyphony and still a good price).