Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-02 @ 13:18

yawetaG wrote:I only meant that the reason TG-300B mode doesn't sound like an actual TG-300 module set to GM mode, is that it's based on another synth than the TG-300, namely the QS-300.

But that's the point. It's not meant to sound like that anyway, as it only states GM mode - or more like "compatible with xyz" mode.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-10-02 @ 14:06

I prefer my EMU SoundEngine for the non Roland/Yamaha sound.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-02 @ 15:22

That's not easy to get, unfortunately. Might get one some day too, as I like the EMU sound.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-10-02 @ 15:24

Kodai wrote:A number of years back, I got an MU2000 module. It was original and not upgraded with the EX firmware. Its TG300B mode sounded very different compared to my actual TG300. It sounded much better to be honest. Superior samples and TOS link out, made it sound fantastic. Then I did the EX firmware update on it. This gave the unit the Roland GS sound map so you could use it instead of needing a Sound Canvas. Unfortunately it did this by replacing the TG300B mode. I didn't know that would happen (as the upgrade is not easy or well documented), and now I can't compare the two anymore. The GS mode on the MU2000 sounds different than a real sound canvas, because its still using Yamaha's samples. It still sounds great, just different. I still say its the best Yamaha sound module in their entire lineup. Just consider what you will lose if you upgrade to the EX firmware. The TG300B mode really did sound fantastic.


Interesting. I always assumed the "GS" update the EX firmware supplies was just a name change for the TG300B mode, as Yamaha finally had legal permission to use the GS name. MY 2000EX was from the later factory made batch, meaning I have never heard the non-EX version. If anyone wants to test this, the MU500 is probably the safest bet.
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-10-02 @ 15:28

yawetaG wrote:
Shponglefan wrote:Personally, if you are looking for something outside the usual Roland and Yamaha stuff, I'd recommend the Korg AG-10. It's a bit low-fi like the Gmega, but overall has better balanced instruments in my experience.


Ahahahaha. According to my own research, the Korg AG-10 is basically a somewhat simplified headless Korg M-1 synthesizer lacking the sequencer. It has the full MIDI specification and can be used to produce your own music. :cool:


Well I wouldn't exactly consider a hardware M-1 to be a high-fidelity instrument either. This was especially apparent when Korg released the VST version of it, but using higher quality samples than the original M-1. Just listening to side-by-side comparisons the difference in sound quality was palpable.
MIDI module collection: Edirol SC-D70, SD-90 | Kawai GMega | Korg AG-10, NS5R, Triton Rack | Roland MT-32, CM-32L, CM-64, CM-500, SC-55, SC-88, SC-88 Pro, JV-1010, XV-5080 | Yamaha MU-80, MU-2000EX
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-10-02 @ 15:29

derSammler wrote:
Shponglefan wrote:The Descent intro and the tom drums is a good example of the latter. It's sounds almost cartoonish on the GMega, while other modules (i.e. Yamaha) it can sound epic.

True, but such cases exist for every module. I have midi files that sound epic on the GMega but like crap on the MU50 - and also others where it's vice versa.


That's true, it is dependent on individual songs. Do you have any specific examples you find sound better on the Gmega? I'd like to try them out.
MIDI module collection: Edirol SC-D70, SD-90 | Kawai GMega | Korg AG-10, NS5R, Triton Rack | Roland MT-32, CM-32L, CM-64, CM-500, SC-55, SC-88, SC-88 Pro, JV-1010, XV-5080 | Yamaha MU-80, MU-2000EX
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-02 @ 15:42

The attached one, for example. Doesn't sound right on my MU50.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-02 @ 15:50

This one, too. Drums are much better with the GMega, but that's probably subjective. Also, effects are missing on the MU.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-02 @ 17:39

This one rules on both. Best midi song ever. :blush:
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-02 @ 18:31

This one is just completely wrong on the MU50. The GMega does better, but still not fully correct.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-10-03 @ 00:07

derSammler wrote:This one is just completely wrong on the MU50. The GMega does better, but still not fully correct.


I've been listening to that track with my MU2000 (GS mode) and GMega, and I gotta say I prefer the MU2000. Even though I can kinda get how it sounds a bit 'wrong' on the Yamaha, overall sound quality is better and other than the main lead being a touch loud it has more clarity and presence compared to the GMega.

While the instrumentation on the GMega sounds a bit better, the overall quality/clarity is more muddied to me.
MIDI module collection: Edirol SC-D70, SD-90 | Kawai GMega | Korg AG-10, NS5R, Triton Rack | Roland MT-32, CM-32L, CM-64, CM-500, SC-55, SC-88, SC-88 Pro, JV-1010, XV-5080 | Yamaha MU-80, MU-2000EX
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Kodai » 2017-10-03 @ 02:10

SuperDeadite wrote:
Interesting. I always assumed the "GS" update the EX firmware supplies was just a name change for the TG300B mode, as Yamaha finally had legal permission to use the GS name. MY 2000EX was from the later factory made batch, meaning I have never heard the non-EX version. If anyone wants to test this, the MU500 is probably the safest bet.


As I found out the hard way, it is an instrument remap and replacement for its 300B mode. I really enjoyed that mode and wished I had known that the update was going to wipe it out. It was still worth it, but again it would have been nice to know beforehand. Its also not worth getting a second MU2000 without the EX firmware just for its 300B mode. But hearing it via TOS is really cool, lol.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Cloudschatze » 2017-10-03 @ 02:35

Kodai wrote:
SuperDeadite wrote:I always assumed the "GS" update the EX firmware supplies was just a name change for the TG300B mode, as Yamaha finally had legal permission to use the GS name.

As I found out the hard way, it is an instrument remap and replacement for its 300B mode.

Yamaha's own documentation describes the update from TG300B mode to GS mode as just a name change. Either Yamaha's documentation is incorrect, or there's some misrecollection on your part. Per my own recollection, having owned an MU2000 briefly, and having performed the EX update, I'm inclined to believe the documentation. It would be nice to get to the truth of the matter, as it's not the first time this discrepancy has come up.

Also, I find General MIDI playback between the TG100 and TG300 to be drastically different. Can you provide an example, gameplay or otherwise, where they sound the same?
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-03 @ 08:09

@Shponglefan: I guess the MU2000 can not be compared to the MU50/80. I only have the later, so I can't compare the GMega to a MU2000.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Kodai » 2017-10-03 @ 09:52

Cloud, I mainly listened to a folder of MIDI's to test out howmy modules sound. I keep songs that were made for specific modules in separate, module named folders, and GM MIDI's in the primary folder. I just cue up the first song out if each folder on each module when I get it and see if it sounds god awful (which happens a lot), or good. I got a GM midi a long time ago of Sonic Green Hills Zone and it sounds great on both TG units, and it sounded fantastic on TG300B mode with the original MU2000. After the EX update the entire melody was tainted with wrong instruments, and what sounds like some skipping. There were a few others I tried that also had these issues, and that's when I figured that there must have been a remapping involved.

I will say that its GS mode can sound better that a sound canvas with quite a few SC MIDI's. I that may be because it has superior drum and guitar samples (clearly my opinion/bias). In fact I liked their drums so much I bought that PLG150 drum card.

I'm surprised you got rid of your MU2000. Then again you pretty much have your own sound studio, so I guess its a bit out of date and limited for your needs.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-10-03 @ 15:05

TG300B Mode was never meant to be used for GM though. It was meant specifically for Roland GS compatibility. If an MU unit is in TG300B/GS mode and a GM Reset comes in, the MU will switch itself to back to XG/GM/GM2 Mode. If I want to play a MIDI that contains a GM Reset message in GS mode on my MU, I have to edit it manually and delete the GM Reset (or add a GS Reset after the GM Reset).

I would guess that the "GM Midi" you were using didn't contain a proper GM Reset, but instead relied on the default power-on settings of the SC-55.
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-03 @ 15:15

That doesn't make sense. GS is a Roland thing. What has the TG300B to do with GS? Yamaha had XG. Set the MU to XG and play a GM song. The unit will automatically switch to TG300B mode (=GM).
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-10-03 @ 15:41

It makes perfect sense. Yamaha knew that GS was popular, so they included a GS compatible sound map mode for the TG300, and called it "B Mode" because they couldn't legally use the GS name and logo. They kept calling it TG300B on all their units until they had a truce with Roland and could legally use the GS name.

Korg did the same thing. The NS5R only has the GM logo on its front but it understands XG and GS sysex and has sound map options for both of them.

A MIDI file that contains a real GM Reset message will always reset my MU2000 into its default XG mode. It only switches to TG300B/GS when a GS Reset comes in.

Most "GM" game MIDIs were very poorly programmed and have no proper Reset message within them.
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby Cloudschatze » 2017-10-03 @ 16:22

Kodai wrote:I'm surprised you got rid of your MU2000.

I'd love another MU2000, if the opportunity ever came up. I've been content with just the MU100, but even it sees pretty limited use. The real problem is in having too much equipment to effectively spread the focus around, and an ever-decreasing amount of free time in which to do so.

SuperDeadite wrote:If I want to play a MIDI that contains a GM Reset message in GS mode on my MU, I have to edit it manually and delete the GM Reset (or add a GS Reset after the GM Reset).

Depending on how (in)frequently this situation comes up, another option would be to temporarily set "RcvSysOn =off" in the System settings, switch to GS mode manually, and then perform a manual GSReset through the Init menu prior to playback of each sequence.
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Re: Opinions on Yamaha TG100 and Kawai GMega

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-10-03 @ 16:39

Sadly the RcvSysOn option is a bit disappointing because it turns them all off.
The Korg NS5R does this much better as it has separate ignore options for GM, XG, and GS.
And in the crazy Japanese PC world that I adore, there actually are reasons to need such features.
X68000 Castlevania for example has different sound options for FM/LA/GS/GM.
But, the "secret" GM option is sadly flawed.
When selected the game sends a GM Reset, then plays the normal GS MIDI, meaning a GS Reset is still sent.
So the GM option only works on modules that can accept the GM and ignore the GS like the Korg, or units
like the Akai SG01k that do not understand GS sysex at all.

I would love to play Castlevania using my PLG150-DR, but this flaw prevents that.
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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