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KQ Dixie new AU FM synth

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Comments

  • It’s totally a rabbit hole experience just loading up random folders of 32 voices - many of which are discreetly labeled something like “ANALOG11” or “bank052”, and hitting a bunch of keys to see what they sound like. Yeah, there’s probably hundreds of variations of a piano or flute sound, but the artificial sounds (many of which are meant to emulate analog synthesizers of that time) are pretty interesting. I’ve really come to love FM bass sounds - such an interesting mix of deep, mean sounds with plucky/percussive ones.

    If you want to “bookmark” just a few voices that you really like, one trick/workaround is to save them as a “new” AU patch with just one voice. For example, I did that with “Solid Bass”, which is a pretty famous one, but I can never remember where the heck I found it every time I need to go look for it again. (It was in one of the three Steve Sims folders, 2001 I think).

  • This may be common knowledge but going through the presets shows me that FM synths dominated soundtracks for video games throughout the late 80s and early 90s

  • edited January 2018

    Whilst browsing through the many syx patches of the DX7 on Dixie I noticed a lot of sounds that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop used when scoring Dr Who in the 1980s.

    The BBC Radiophonic Workshop were apparently one of Yamaha's first customers according to one of the Workshop members who emailed me a few years ago. He went into detail and told me that he and Brian Hodgson visited Dr John Chowning at Stanford University in California and tried one of the Prototype DX7s and were instantly impressed. They ordered six of them.

    I, myself own the original Yamaha DX7 and the mark 2 model.

  • @yowza said:
    I haven't seen this mentioned here and may be common knowledge already but if you search the web there is a pdf floating around of the book "FM Theory and Practice By Musicians for Musicians", a Yamaha book from 1986 written by the man who invented FM synthesis trying to explain FM theory with examples and patches. Seems really good so far. It is recommended to have an "X" synth on hand to try out and hear the patches that are explained in the book so I can use it with KQ Dixie to try and understand FM theory.

    Good call!

  • edited January 2018

    With digital synthesisers which have digital control systems, there must be a certain definite and countable amount of possible patches

    in very strict mathematic way you need multiply all variable values which can affect sound ( eg 6 ops x 32 routing types x 99 max valu of lfo x 99 max lfo>pich mod amount of op1 x .... )

    you get gigantic number, possibly way bigger that number of seconds from big bang :-)

    then you neefdsubstract at. least 20% (my rough estimation) or value combinations where synth, due to for example extreme settings of envelopes, doesn't produce any sound.. then maybe another 20% (from the remaining number) to get out patches which are soo similiar that in musical point of view can be take as same)

    i'm pretty sure you still end with at leadt hundred of millions :)

    i'm 100% sure no matter how big patch pack is, there is still possible to create patch which is NOT in that pack :-)

    FM synthsesis is endless source of inspiration, my suggestion is forget all patches and just expetiment, even if you don't know what you're doung just slowly tweak parameters and listen carefully what it does with sound...

  • edited January 2018

    If anybody finds the UI controls too small (like me), the good old DXi might be an alternative - if you can live with FM'ish 4-operator sounds and missing DX7 compatibility.

    @u0421793 said:

    With digital synthesisers which have digital control systems, there must be a certain definite and countable amount of possible patches, and no more than that (whatever that number is). If the number of existing patches of a synth is more than that aforementioned number, there must therefore be definite verifiable duplicates in there. I wonder how many duplicate patches there are under different names (and by extension, I wonder how many duplicate patches there are with exactly the same name).

    If you don't have your sunday job yet and know a little about scripting, you can take one of these collections that have every patch as a single file and use the command line utility "dd" to extract the pure parameters part of every file, then compare them by only the parameters that make up the sound (ignoring the patch name, settings etc.) and find the duplicates exactly.
    What I did years ago is a bit different: I used grep to find patches by "keyword" (like "pno", "piano", "grand", "honky" etc) to avoid browsing through 1000s of sounds and somewhat narrow the choice for auditioning.
    You'll never find all matching ones this way but who cares when the choice is aplenty ;)

    If you want a more elegant solution, you can check
    http://tedfelix.com/yamaha-dx7/index.html
    which links to dx7dump on
    https://sourceforge.net/u/tedfelix/dx7dump

    This one allows you to extract all parameters as human-readable, descriptive text so you can compare by whichever parameters you like :)

    The auto-generated output would look like this:

    Filename: rom-ted-faves.syx
    Voice #: 1
    Name: HARPSICH 1
    Algorithm: 5
    Feedback: 1
    LFO
    Wave: Square
    Speed: 35
    Delay: 0
    Pitch Mod Depth: 0
    AM Depth: 0
    Sync: Off
    Pitch Modulation Sensitivity: 0
    Oscillator Key Sync: On
    ...

  • I’ve been lost in this synth since it suddenly came out. Nothing else on the iPad seems to matter It just took over :o

  • @realdavidai said:
    I’ve been lost in this synth since it suddenly came out. Nothing else on the iPad seems to matter It just took over :o

    Completely agree. It may be dated, but the DX7 had both musicality and versatility. It rewards listening, too. I can happily listen to an epiano maj7 chord tailing away into silence (what this says about me, I don't know....)

  • I haven’t partaken of this vast mine of patches, but out of interest, what percentage of them sound like a sitar? More than 72%?

  • @u0421793 said:
    I haven’t partaken of this vast mine of patches, but out of interest, what percentage of them sound like a sitar? More than 72%?

  • Has anyone figured out the way save a sound from one of the zip archive banks into an empty bank (aside from the save au preset route)?

  • While doing a similar exercise for my Volca FM, I remember coming across a lot more 80's brass sounds than sitar sounds.

  • I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

  • @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    Agreed. Need to be able to create an empty bank and drag and drop or c/p patches into it from other banks including from inside zips. Otherwise this app is brilliant.

  • @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    I wasn’t using the app in standalone and found a patch I wanted to use in BM3. I was happy to find that when I opened it as an AU in BM3 the same patch was still selected

  • @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    A hundred times.

  • @JohnnyGoodyear said:

    @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    A hundred times.

    There was a time when I could remember where things were. Alas...

  • @Masanga - That’s just a legacy issue from how/why these patches were developed. FM synthesis was intimidating and unwieldy compared to analog synthesis. Professional sound houses would create these banks or “carts”, often with a particular sound in mind. But the hardware worked with banks of only 32 voices. Those weren’t meant to be comprehensive. So you’d have a “Bass” cartridge or a “Harp” one, and then maybe 32 variations of that sound. It anticipated you would have a particular sound in mind, and then would find it using the appropriate cart. That’s why the .syx files you find online look like that.

    I guess i’d agree with @Samu that a “favorites” system like Magellan would be nice. You could simple click on a star icon next to any voice, and then it would appear in a “Favorites” folder for easy reference. It would be nice if that folder was further sortable into folders, like “bass”, “keys”, and “effects”. But it’s not at all unworkable for the time being. I believe Cubasis allows you to store presets for individual patches when you best KQ Dixie there as an AU.

  • edited January 2018

    @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

  • @Trueyorky said:

    @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    I like your strategy. I like it a lot.

  • @Purpan said:

    @realdavidai said:
    I’ve been lost in this synth since it suddenly came out. Nothing else on the iPad seems to matter It just took over :o

    Completely agree. It may be dated, but the DX7 had both musicality and versatility. It rewards listening, too. I can happily listen to an epiano maj7 chord tailing away into silence (what this says about me, I don't know....)

    I’d go with a maj9 :)

  • @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

  • @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    I guess I’m missing something then. Any help appreciated.

  • @anickt said:

    @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    I guess I’m missing something then. Any help appreciated.

    Never mind - got it!

  • @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    Ok I figured it out. I hope I can explain clearly.

    Navigate to the patch that you want to save and load it. This part gets tricky. Navigate to the AU syx file you want to save to say Favorites.syx, make sure the patch is still loaded on the left side and make sure the Favorites syx contents are visible on the right side. Tap on the patch name on the left and a small window opens with the patch name in the upper left and the Fave syx contents below. Select the Store button at the top of the new window and then touch a slot and it will load the patch into that slot. At this point you must resave the Favorites bank where you just copied the new patch or it won’t include the patch you just copied over.

  • edited January 2018

    @yowza said:

    @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    Ok I figured it out. I hope I can explain clearly.

    Navigate to the patch that you want to save and load it. This part gets tricky. Navigate to the AU syx file you want to save to say Favorites.syx, make sure the patch is still loaded on the left side and make sure the Favorites syx contents are visible on the right side. Tap on the patch name on the left and a small window opens with the patch name in the upper left and the Fave syx contents below. Select the Store button at the top of the new window and then touch a slot and it will load the patch into that slot. At this point you must resave the Favorites bank where you just copied the new patch or it won’t include the patch you just copied over.

    Thanks for that - perfect. I was doing it wrong! All’s good now!

  • @realdavidai said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    @Samu said:
    I do hope a future update will bring better bank/patch management and make it easier to copy a patch from one bank to a slot in another bank. It's one thing to find a good patch but a pain to remember what bank they came from :)

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    I like your strategy. I like it a lot.

    Cheers, enjoy :)

  • @yowza said:

    @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    Ok I figured it out. I hope I can explain clearly.

    Navigate to the patch that you want to save and load it. This part gets tricky. Navigate to the AU syx file you want to save to say Favorites.syx, make sure the patch is still loaded on the left side and make sure the Favorites syx contents are visible on the right side. Tap on the patch name on the left and a small window opens with the patch name in the upper left and the Fave syx contents below. Select the Store button at the top of the new window and then touch a slot and it will load the patch into that slot. At this point you must resave the Favorites bank where you just copied the new patch or it won’t include the patch you just copied over.

    Good. I think I have it now :) The only remaining puzzle is how/where do you crate a new folder so you can start filling it with your treasures?

  • @JohnnyGoodyear said:

    @yowza said:

    @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    Ok I figured it out. I hope I can explain clearly.

    Navigate to the patch that you want to save and load it. This part gets tricky. Navigate to the AU syx file you want to save to say Favorites.syx, make sure the patch is still loaded on the left side and make sure the Favorites syx contents are visible on the right side. Tap on the patch name on the left and a small window opens with the patch name in the upper left and the Fave syx contents below. Select the Store button at the top of the new window and then touch a slot and it will load the patch into that slot. At this point you must resave the Favorites bank where you just copied the new patch or it won’t include the patch you just copied over.

    Good. I think I have it now :) The only remaining puzzle is how/where do you crate a new folder so you can start filling it with your treasures?

    Highlight an existing bank and click store new, enter new name and save. That gives you a copy bank to play with :)

  • @Trueyorky said:

    @JohnnyGoodyear said:

    @yowza said:

    @yowza said:

    @Trueyorky said:

    I have an AU bank with 32 init slots. Then as I browse patches in the zip files and come across one I want for quick access - with that patch loaded I select my AU bank and store the patch in to one of the slots. Banks can be copied, duplicated, renamed and deleted. It works.

    Would someone please be so kind to spell out how to do this in a “For Dummies” (for me) type of way?
    All I’m able to do is copy full banks back and forth.

    Thanks!!

    Ok I figured it out. I hope I can explain clearly.

    Navigate to the patch that you want to save and load it. This part gets tricky. Navigate to the AU syx file you want to save to say Favorites.syx, make sure the patch is still loaded on the left side and make sure the Favorites syx contents are visible on the right side. Tap on the patch name on the left and a small window opens with the patch name in the upper left and the Fave syx contents below. Select the Store button at the top of the new window and then touch a slot and it will load the patch into that slot. At this point you must resave the Favorites bank where you just copied the new patch or it won’t include the patch you just copied over.

    Good. I think I have it now :) The only remaining puzzle is how/where do you crate a new folder so you can start filling it with your treasures?

    Highlight an existing bank and click store new, enter new name and save. That gives you a copy bank to play with :)

    Thank you your Grace..

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