Synth Forum

Clear all

FM-X and FS1R

10 Posts
9 Users
Posts: 0
Topic starter

Assuming there are marked similarities between FM-X Montage and FS1R, will one day Yamaha provide a patch converter in order to load them into Montage?
To be more clear, there are some FS1R patches that I would love to import into Montage... but I don't know where to start.

Posted : 12/02/2018 11:11 am
Bad Mister
Posts: 12304

Sincere recommendation, take the time to learn FM programming. This way you don't windup waiting for something that just may not ever happen. As far as I know, there is no translation of FS1R sounds to the FM-X engine.

Once you gain a comfort level, you feel better about being able to recreate a particular sound. The FS1R was so far out in front of what the world was ready for when it came out in the late 1990's... We knew that some folks would dig it and that's why it has held its value over the years. Those who got one are loathe to give it up.

The sounds you are after, are they Presets?
I saw in the programmer's notes that several FM-X sounds are closely based on FS1R Voices. Quite naturally, they used it to help explain FM-X to those fairly new to FM programming.

With the thousands and thousands (literally) of FM sounds out there wouldn't it be a good investment to get yourself comfortable with programming FM-X? A good place to start is "MANNY'S FM-Xplorations" here on

The differences between the FS1R (FM) engine and the FM-X engine is the amount of realtime interaction you can have with the engine. Previously it was recall a sound and basically play it, now you can play it, changing it by, morphing it, make it interact with drums/percussion, real time access to multiple parameters simultaneously in ways not available before.

FS1R had 8 voiced Operators used to make musical sounds, and it had 8 unvoiced Operators used to make artful noises, designed to remain basically fixed in pitch. This is how the Yamaha could make FS1R "talk"... when we speak we make vowel sounds (which can have Pitch) and we make artful noises, (consonants) that remain generally fixed in pitch because we can't apply pitch to them. Speech and singing is a combination of pitched and non-pitched sounds. That was the approach of the Formant Shaping synthesis engine. When you sing or speak a word that begins with "s", for example, if you sing the word "sugar", and you sing the word "sweet", that "s" sound will be the same fixed pitch. The 'ess' sound is the unvoiced conmponent that remains fixed in pitch. It's "whispering", when you whisper you are using mostly Formant sounds- they are the noise components that make speech intelligible.

Back in 1999 the software to make sounds for the FS1R cost several times the price of the FS1R hardware... I'm sure that the development of that was manifested in other products, in other directions.

The FM-X does not have the 8 unvoiced Operators - so the Formant Shaping portion of the engine is not in FM-X. From a practical standpoint, the musical (voiced) Operators are far more, well, dare I repeat it, far more musical. And the concept of Motion Control puts FM under realtime control as in none of the previous variations of FM.

Posted : 12/02/2018 12:39 pm
Posts: 0
Eminent Member

Say what you will, BUT -

I've been looking through the FS1R datasheet - the FM presets (not the formant presets) are IDENTICAL to the preset data of the PLG150-DX.
by that I mean sounds like DUKE EP, WINWOOD, COSTAROSA, which I've been using alot on the PLG. Those sounds are 6 op.
FS1R hardly had any pre-programmed 8op presets.

To me, the MONTAGE FM engine is much more powerful than the preset data that came stock on the PLG150-DX hence I don't think you'll gain anything much by converting the FS1R PRESET data to the MONTAGE. maybe some users made interesting 8op voices and those are worthy of conversion, but the preset data is not.

BTW - many of those sounds are on MONTAGE Expanded - a free soundset from Easy Sounds (an amazing one I must say!)

Posted : 12/02/2018 2:20 pm
Posts: 0
Eminent Member

I have an FS1R and I believe Banks A and B are unique to the FS1R, 256 voices out of 1408. The others are hand selected DX7 patches. The FS1R adds the Formant waveform onto the list that FMX contains, and has 8 Unvoiced Operators which can also serve as Sine wave operators for additive synthesis if you get the settings right. They aren't just noise sources. I've developed a patch on the FS1R using the Formants to simulate the voice timbre of Christina Aguilera, something you can't do yet in FMX. You could do it by importing a wave recording into the AWM2 engine, though. Formants are a fun tool, that's why I have an FS1R.

Learning to program FMX is a superb suggestion, I've found FMX to be extremely capable. It has more to do with your skills at programming it than anything else. I can model just about any sound out there with FMX using the different waveforms, but I do cheat and use a spectrum analyzer. Most people don't do that. I'm an Engineer so I tend to do things a bit differently. I've written a manual on how I program FMX if you're interested.

Posted : 14/02/2018 9:43 pm
Michael Trigoboff
Posts: 0
Honorable Member

I'm an Engineer so I tend to do things a bit differently.

Same here, on both counts. πŸ™‚

I've written a manual on how I program FMX if you're interested.

It’s an excellent manual. I learned a lot from it.

Posted : 14/02/2018 10:17 pm
Posts: 0
Eminent Member

Nice article, good to know some of the "science" behind the wave types...... when playing around with the values.

Posted : 15/02/2018 3:31 am
Posts: 7963
Illustrious Member

FS1R is great. FM-X is great. There is some overlap but not enough to convert the FS1R unique features over. Not sure Montage has the resources to ever enable this. "Move on" seems to be prevailing message.

Posted : 15/02/2018 4:46 am
Posts: 0
Active Member

Thor wrote:I've written a manual on how I program FMX if you're interested.

Wow, that's really cool. I also learned a lot. It is maybe easier for engineers like me to follow it than for most, but very cool, anyway... πŸ˜‰ Fun fact: I programmed an FM synthesizer VST plugin a couple of years ago. That was actually pretty easy. Getting good sounds out of it was for me more difficult until I read your tutorial...

Posted : 15/02/2018 7:36 pm
Posts: 0
Eminent Member

Nice, Guys! I'm glad you've found the guide useful. You must be the guys I wrote for!

Posted : 18/02/2018 4:53 am
Posts: 0
Active Member

FS1R owners, there are various software programs (freeware, shareware, and commercial) that will give you editing and librarian capabilities. There are also a couple of programs out there that will enable you to "import" .WAV files (with some limitations) into your FS1R. I've had various versions that would do this since Windows 98 (GASP!).

Check the forums here for links as well as do a simple internet search and you'll find them.

I would never attempt to edit or create sounds from the front panel of a FS1R πŸ˜‰

The Montage has a nice big display to do editing- start with a simple algorithm, one with a "carrier" and a "modulator" (where the operators are "stacked"). Turn off all of the operators except for 2 in a single stack. You'll notice if you change the output level of a carrier (the bottom one), you will get volume changes, if you change the level of a modulator (above the carrier) you will get timbre changes. Then play with the frequency ratios, one at a time and you will learn a lot just by fiddling with 2 operators. I learned that a long time ago.

If you really want to get in deep with FM, there was a book written a long time ago, I think it was called "FM Theory & Applications" written by Dr. John Chowning (the father of FM) and David Bristow. FM-X as well as the FS1Rcan do a lot more than is covered in the book, but it will give you an excellent understanding and background of FM. I have seen used copies on Ebay, Amazon and I think there was even a PDF version floating out there on the internet.

Have fun!


Posted : 16/03/2018 8:40 pm

Β© 2024 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Β Β  Terms of UseΒ |Β Privacy PolicyΒ |Β Contact Us