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The Yamaha GX-1 - it is alive
Old 30th October 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The Yamaha GX-1 - it is alive

Back at Riksmixningsverket: https://www.facebook.com/rmvstudio/v...type=2&theater

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The classic sounds of the Yamaha GX-1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPoHXRFuzZo
Parts of a composite sound of the Yamaha GX-1 main manuals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SBi-CF7KS4
Filters of the Yamaha GX-1 main manuals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYnUvU4TPU
Various modulators of the Yamaha GX-1 main manuals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWugwDdwAzo
Random detune and reverb of the Yamaha GX-1 main manuals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSpS4aGe4Uw
Knee controller of the Yamaha GX-1 main manuals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrO80vlBpQY
Pitch bend and upper manual portamento of the Yamaha GX-1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMAl_eJK5Nw
Octave and brilliance switches of the the Yamaha GX-1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLOr9gV3O9I
Expression pedal and foot switch of the Yamaha GX-1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRDQ_bYu8mo
Various sounds of the Yamaha GX-1 solo manual: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIFyjkOqpck
Oscillator and filters of the Yamaha GX-1 solo manual: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH8lZ9GB6ww
Various modulators of the Yamaha GX-1 solo manual: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Jnz58rqtc

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Comparison between the Yamaha GX-1, the Yamaha CS-80 and the Arturia Origin:

GX-1 Horns: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...-horns/s-vEETU
CS-80 Horns: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80brass-gx1
Origin Horns: https://soundcloud.com/paul-schillin...origin/s-ZozX4

GX-1 Strings: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...trings/s-v09Vf
CS-80 Strings: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80stringsgx1
Origin Strings: https://soundcloud.com/paul-schillin...origin/s-vhU6V

GX-1 Filters: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...ilters/s-Qzysv
CS-80 Filters: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80filter
Origin Filters: https://soundcloud.com/paul-schillin...1sweep/s-ZnEtG

---

Note that the distortion in the clips is added by the YouTube and Soundcloud encoding...

Last edited by Ulf Soderlund; 9th February 2016 at 08:43 AM.. Reason: Updated links
Old 30th October 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Holy krava - you gotta post more video than a snippet! Please, pretty please
Old 31st October 2015
  #3
Old 31st October 2015 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf Soderlund ➑️
[faints]
Old 31st October 2015
  #5
Gear Addict
 
plasmasynth's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Whoa.

Careful not to set a Reface on top of it, all that plastic will melt pretty quickly.
Old 31st October 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Rogue Ai's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
It already has a row of mini keys no need for a reface...
Old 31st October 2015 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasmasynth ➑️
Whoa.

Careful not to set a Reface on top of it, all that plastic will melt pretty quickly.
Well, the GX-1 does require some 600W of absolute clean power so...

The top of the GX-1 is made of reinforced fiberglass
Old 1st November 2015 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Ai ➑️
It already has a row of mini keys no need for a reface...
Both yes and no - the keys are full width but slightly shorter so that you can reach the ribbon bar while playing. The solo keyboard is also velocity, aftertouch and vibrato sensitive - not present on the reface (even though some demos show people wiggling their fingers as if vibrato was possible...)
Old 2nd November 2015
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
The best sounding and most expressive synthesizer ever made. By far.
Old 2nd November 2015
  #10
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What a piece of crap. What you really need to be cool these days is a case of Miller Lite Lime, a rooftop party and a DJ with a super anachronistic mustache. They might let you into that party with a Reface.
Old 2nd November 2015 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➑️
What a piece of crap. What you really need to be cool these days is a case of Miller Lite Lime, a rooftop party and a DJ with a super anachronistic mustache. They might let you into that party with a Reface.
While doing research during the restoration of this machine i was in contact with, among others, Yamaha HQ Japan. Judging from the answers they provided to my questions, it was evident that the current staff were somewhat "reface-oriented"...
Old 2nd November 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I don't suppose there's anything available about the actual restoration, that would indeed be fascinating.

By the way, I suspect that you have just "pwned" Gearslutz....
Old 2nd November 2015 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redleo ➑️
I don't suppose there's anything available about the actual restoration, that would indeed be fascinating.

By the way, I suspect that you have just "pwned" Gearslutz....
Judging by the interest so far, it is safe to say that there will be some sort of a documentary about this unique instrument and the history surrounding it. However, when and in what form is ultimately up to the owner to decide.
Old 2nd November 2015
  #14
Lives for gear
 
genetic92's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
sweet baby jezus and his unborn child
Old 2nd November 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
In the meantime, i will try to answer any questions you may have regarding this instrument.
Old 2nd November 2015
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Is it complete with the huge, window-shattering speakers? How do they sound?
Old 2nd November 2015 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeQuarkStar ➑️
Is it complete with the huge, window-shattering speakers? How do they sound?
The Yamaha TX-II speakers are not used in the recording studio due to their size - they are in storage. The GX-1 does not originally have any "normal" audio outputs, so this machine has now been retrofitted with an audio output card that provides the 8 outputs as normal balanced XLRs. The main left and right monitor outputs (center not used) are fed to a pair of Genelec 8240s, while the separated Upper, Lower, Solo, Pedal and Rhythm are fed to the Neve 8068.

Picture: http://www.99musik.se/attachment.php...3&d=1446240332

Last edited by Ulf Soderlund; 2nd November 2015 at 10:33 PM.. Reason: Picture
Old 3rd November 2015
  #18
Lives for gear
 
StepLogik's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Beautiful sounding instrument! Looks like the restoration went really well. The thing looks brand new.


This video is going to drive up eBay prices. I guarantee these will hit the $500 mark by the end of week.
Old 3rd November 2015 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
LiveFromKyoto's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This is amazing. It's like seeing a unicorn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf Soderlund ➑️
Judging by the interest so far, it is safe to say that there will be some sort of a documentary about this unique instrument and the history surrounding it. However, when and in what form is ultimately up to the owner to decide.
Tell Benny I'll pre-order the 4 hour extended cut box set.
Old 3rd November 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
 
abruzzi's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
So, I gotta ask, my understanding is the sounds are programmed into a cartridge using a special, unobtainium machine. Are you just working with factory rom cartridges or are you looking into being able to program it?
Old 3rd November 2015 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by abruzzi ➑️
So, I gotta ask, my understanding is the sounds are programmed into a cartridge using a special, unobtainium machine. Are you just working with factory rom cartridges or are you looking into being able to program it?
The sounds are stored on cartridges - they are basically just small boxes with trim potentiometers for each sound parameter.

You can read more about this in the Yamaha GX-1 user manual:

http://www.synthfool.com/docs/Yamaha...s%20Manual.pdf

The machine is programmable, although the process is somewhat slow. All the sounds you hear in the demos are custom made i.e. the string patch was once made by John Paul Jones and the sound featured on "Does Your Mother Know" was made by Benny Andersson.

Due to the electromechanical properties of the cartridges, all the classic sounds are still there some +35 years later - no batteries draining, no hard drives crashing
Old 3rd November 2015 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf Soderlund ➑️
In the meantime, i will try to answer any questions you may have regarding this instrument.
Could you please tell us something about the rumour that the Yamaha SY-1/SY-2 are technically cut-down preset lead voices of the GX-1? And if correct: Which part of the GX-1?
Maybe you have even heard the two in comparison and could share your observations.
Thanks a lot!

Cheers,
Bert
Old 3rd November 2015 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feinstrom ➑️
Could you please tell us something about the rumour that the Yamaha SY-1/SY-2 are technically cut-down preset lead voices of the GX-1? And if correct: Which part of the GX-1?
Maybe you have even heard the two in comparison and could share your observations.
Thanks a lot!

Cheers,
Bert
The GX-1 is basically 36 more or less identical monophonic synths (voice cards) arranged in various logical groups combined into 4 physical ranks. Each rank is controlled by various inputs such as keyboards, levers, modulation generators etc. The Solo rank consists of a single voice card. The Upper rank consists of 2 layered 8-voice synths, Upper I and Upper II, using a total of 16 voice cards. The 2 synths of the Upper rank can have completely different sound settings and can be detuned against each other. The Lower rank is similar in fashion to the Upper rank. The Pedal rank consists of 3 layered 1-voice synths, Pedal I, Pedal II and Pedal II', using a total of 3 voice cards. The 3 synths of the Pedal rank can be detuned against each other, while only the I & II parts can have different sound settings.

All major functions of the voice cards, such as the VCOs, Wave Shapers, the various VCFs and the various EGs are provided by epoxy-resin filled and pre-calibrated sub modules. Some of those modules (VCO-III, VCF-HPF, VCF-LPF, VCF-EG and VCA-EG) are shared with other Yamaha equipment from that era (Yamaha CSY-1, CSY-2, SY-1 and SY-2). Prior to the restoration, a Yamaha CSY-1 and a Yamaha SY-1 were acquired as donor machines. Other modules such as the wave shaper (W.S.C) and the bandpass filter (VCF-BPF) are unique to the GX-1 and can not be obtained by other means than finding voice cards from another GX-1.

So in short, yes, the (C)SY-1/2 are scaled down versions of the solo manual of the GX-1 but missing things like the ring modulator, the VCF-BPF for the sawtooth, the second VCF-HPF for the pulse, the W.S.C etc. The solo keyboard of the GX-1 does also provide velocity, aftertouch and sideways modulation that can be applied to a vast number of parameters.
Old 3rd November 2015 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Thank you very much fo this quick and very informative reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf Soderlund ➑️
So in short, yes, the (C)SY-1/2 are scaled down versions of the solo manual of the GX-1 but missing things like the ring modulator
Ah, that might explain why a friend of mine has so much fun running his SY-1 trough a ring modulator (he might have a sixth sense for synth history)!
I love my SY-2 without any added effects (apart from the usual overdose of reverb and delay) - that filter section just breathes life into the machine.
On my SY-2 the filter overdrives in a very organic way when I crank up the resonance faders - not sure if that's a common thing or due to miscalibration on my unit, but I definitely won't touch that!

To be honest: I also love my Reface CS, but for completely other reasons, and I would never try to compare it to the old Yamaha classics.

Cheers,
Bert
Old 3rd November 2015
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Interesting to note is that the filter order in the (C)SY-1/2s is LPF>HPF, while in the GX-1 and CS-n0 it is HPF>LPF. Another difference is that the sine wave is fed thru the filters in the GX-1, while it is added after the filters in the CS-n0.
Old 5th November 2015
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
And in the beginning there was...

Benny Andersson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4swpxuHVTs&t=0m3s

John Paul Jones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B_kjHTWT1g&t=115m12s

Keith Emerson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK92hdp6u18&t=1m37s

...music
Old 5th November 2015 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
patrickdafunk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulf Soderlund ➑️
The GX-1 is basically 36 more or less identical monophonic synths (voice cards) arranged in various logical groups combined into 4 physical ranks. Each rank is controlled by various inputs such as keyboards, levers, modulation generators etc. The Solo rank consists of a single voice card. The Upper rank consists of 2 layered 8-voice synths, Upper I and Upper II, using a total of 16 voice cards. The 2 synths of the Upper rank can have completely different sound settings and can be detuned against each other. The Lower rank is similar in fashion to the Upper rank. The Pedal rank consists of 3 layered 1-voice synths, Pedal I, Pedal II and Pedal II', using a total of 3 voice cards. The 3 synths of the Pedal rank can be detuned against each other, while only the I & II parts can have different sound settings.

All major functions of the voice cards, such as the VCOs, Wave Shapers, the various VCFs and the various EGs are provided by epoxy-resin filled and pre-calibrated sub modules. Some of those modules (VCO-III, VCF-HPF, VCF-LPF, VCF-EG and VCA-EG) are shared with other Yamaha equipment from that era (Yamaha CSY-1, CSY-2, SY-1 and SY-2). Prior to the restoration, a Yamaha CSY-1 and a Yamaha SY-1 were acquired as donor machines. Other modules such as the wave shaper (W.S.C) and the bandpass filter (VCF-BPF) are unique to the GX-1 and can not be obtained by other means than finding voice cards from another GX-1.

So in short, yes, the (C)SY-1/2 are scaled down versions of the solo manual of the GX-1 but missing things like the ring modulator, the VCF-BPF for the sawtooth, the second VCF-HPF for the pulse, the W.S.C etc. The solo keyboard of the GX-1 does also provide velocity, aftertouch and sideways modulation that can be applied to a vast number of parameters.
Great. How does the GX-1 compare technically / soundwise to the CS50,CS60,CS80 range?
Many thanks
Old 5th November 2015 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Ulf Soderlund's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk ➑️
Great. How does the GX-1 compare technically / soundwise to the CS50,CS60,CS80 range?
Many thanks
Well, we did this comparison between the GX-1 and the CS-80 some time ago:

Horns:

GX-1: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...-horns/s-vEETU

CS-80: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80brass-gx1


Strings:

GX-1: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...trings/s-v09Vf

CS-80: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80stringsgx1


HornPad:

GX-1: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...rn-pad/s-8SUOZ

CS-80: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80gx1horns2


Filters:

GX-1: https://soundcloud.com/ulf-soderlund...ilters/s-Qzysv

CS-80: https://soundcloud.com/mrfirechild/cs80filter


Note that Soundcloud does funny things to the sound quality...
Old 5th November 2015 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
patrickdafunk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
very valuable, thank you kindly!
Old 5th November 2015
  #30
Deleted User
Guest
Very enjoyable to read this. A rare glimpse into one of ye Olde ubersynths it feels like

A short docu would be great indeed, the story of restoring and exploring one of these beasts.

Kul att den Γ€r i Sverige
πŸ“ Reply

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