VOGONS


First post, by mattw

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hi All,

I wonder if someone here knows the difference between Yamaha SOL2 "Blue" and "Purple" colored CD. They have respectively codes "X4422A0" and "X4422B0" and both are copyrighted the same "2001-2003" year, i.e. it's not like the one is newer than the other, they are issued the same year. I am attaching pictures.

The 2nd CD shipped with both is "X4423A0", i.e. the 2nd CD is always the same. So, there are 2 distributions (X4422A0+X4423A0) and (X4422B0+X4423A0) and basically what I am asking if someone knows the exact difference between the two.

Thanks!

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    SOL2 "Purple" CD, code: X4422B0
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Reply 1 of 34, by SuperDeadite

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iirc blue was the version that came as part of the Hello! Music! Audio bundles. While purple was the stand alone boxed retail release. SOL2 offered basically nothing over the original SOL to begin with.

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, McFly

Reply 2 of 34, by mattw

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SuperDeadite wrote on 2021-02-04, 01:33:

iirc blue was the version that came as part of the Hello! Music! Audio bundles. While purple was the stand alone boxed retail release.

it could be so, but is there any difference in the features? I doubt they made the effort to release different CDs with the exact same data on them and just changed the color for fun.

SuperDeadite wrote on 2021-02-04, 01:33:

SOL2 offered basically nothing over the original SOL to begin with.

at least in my case SOL2 makes really huge difference over SOL, because it adds VST 2.0 support and that's why Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi SoftSynth is exclusively distributed together with SOL2.

I am mainly interested in S-YXG50 VST, because it was fully (or almost fully) hacked and allows to make custom GM/XG/GS soft-synths based on it with high-resolution sound banks, up to 16-bit/96kHz resolution. There is no other GM/XG/GS SoftSynth, at least that I know of, which could be "convinced" to use 16-bit sounds.

Reply 4 of 34, by mattw

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-05, 20:48:

MIDI files, etc.

at least the Demo MIDI files are the same, because that's the 2nd CD and it's the same for both distributions ("X4423A0").

BTW, I want to make a note that the information here:

https://og.kervella.org/y/readme.html

and more specifically:

....S-YXG50. It is based on the trial version from the Yamaha SOL2 package. The full version of this VSTi had never been released, because Yamaha had decided to discontinue support of all its software synthesizers in 2003.

is not correct, because I can confirm that at least the "Purple" 1st CD ("X4422B0") has full version of the Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi: the DLL shows version "1.0.0", while the Trial version shows "1.0.0t" - attaching picture as a proof of that. So, indeed, full Retail version of Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi DLL was released, not only trial.

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    Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi Trial DLL
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    Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi Retail DLL
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Reply 5 of 34, by yawetaG

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mattw wrote on 2021-02-06, 08:38:
BTW, I want to make a note that the information here: […]
Show full quote

BTW, I want to make a note that the information here:

https://og.kervella.org/y/readme.html

and more specifically:

....S-YXG50. It is based on the trial version from the Yamaha SOL2 package. The full version of this VSTi had never been released, because Yamaha had decided to discontinue support of all its software synthesizers in 2003.

is not correct, because I can confirm that at least the "Purple" 1st CD ("X4422B0") has full version of the Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi: the DLL shows version "1.0.0", while the Trial version shows "1.0.0t" - attaching picture as a proof of that. So, indeed, full Retail version of Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi DLL was released, not only trial.

IIRC, my XGWorks 4.0 CD-ROM from a Hello Music package had only trial versions of the softsynths, whereas my retail XGWorks ST box appears to have the full version of the VSTi (can't check right now because my main Windows 98 system that had it installed suffered a HD failure some time back...)

Reply 6 of 34, by mattw

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-06, 09:27:

IIRC, my XGWorks 4.0 CD-ROM from a Hello Music package had only trial versions of the softsynths, whereas my retail XGWorks ST box appears to have the full version of the VSTi (can't check right now because my main Windows 98 system that had it installed suffered a HD failure some time back...)

that's interesting and good to know. so, it seems maybe the VSTi is not included only with SOL2 (it's not included with SOL1 - that's for sure). I will wait you to confirm from your setup about XGWorks ST and XGWorks 4.0.

What's interesting about the VSTi is that its 4MB bank has broken drum sets and because of that sounds worse than the 2MB bank. Also, VST banks have some sounds that are inferior to the bank that is inside the drivers for YMF-724 sound cards. In fact that was the initial reason why so much useful hacking was done on S-YXG50, i.e. first result of that hacking was "YMF-724 SoftSynth", which is basically hacked S-YXG50 with sound bank extracted from YMF-724 sound cards drivers. It seems YMF-724 family of chips (YMF-744, YMF-754, etc) sounds better than the S-YXG50 SoftSynth only because their drivers include better sound bank, not because of their hardware is superior. I am very "deaf", but even I can clearly distinguish "YMF-724 SoftSynth" based on hacked S-YXG50 compared to S-YXG50.

[EDIT] I attached picture of the "YMF-724 SoftSynth" based on hacked S-YXG50 in case someone don't know it and thus don't understand what I am talking about.

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    "YMF-724 SoftSynth" based on hacked S-YXG50
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Reply 7 of 34, by mattw

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OK, I found the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") and thus I can (finally) answer my own question, there are only 4 real differences I can identify and they all seems irrelevant:

1. the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") contains older version V2.0.5 (from 06/05/2002) of the "Yamaha UW500 USB Audio Driver", the one on the "Purple" CD ("X4422B0") is V2.1.5 (from 08/24/2003). That difference is absolutely irrelevant, because well, if you need it, you can always download almost any version of that driver you like, including much newer ones.

2. the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") contains older version V2.0.0 of SOL2, the one on the "Purple" CD ("X4422B0") is V2.0.3. It seems to me as irrelevant, because all SOL2 2.0.x versions can be updated to the latest V2.0.9 available for download on the Yamaha website:

https://jp.yamaha.com/support/updates/sl209_al.html

3. the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") contains older version V2.0.1 of Device/Instrument Map Database , the one on the "Purple" CD ("X4422B0") is V2.0.2. Again, it seems to me as irrelevant, because the latest update to V2.0.4 is available for download on the Yamaha website:

https://jp.yamaha.com/support/updates/db204_al.html

4. the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") contains "Idecs Hyper Groove " MIDI demo files - that is not included on the "Purple" CD ("X4422B0"), instead there are only 3 demo MP3 files included and no MIDI files at all. So, that's real difference, but nothing significant.

Few other notes: Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi SoftSynth files are identical, even the Serial numbers are different between the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") and "Purple" CD ("X4422B0"). Also, while SOL2 has protection and requires installation from the CD (there is file "0protect.pro" on the CD that I guess is related to that protection), the VSTi installation files are OK to be copied to the hard-drive and installed from there separately and as stand-alone application. That is actually very convenient for our purpose or at least for my purpose, i.e. mainly using the Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi SoftSynth from the whole SOL2 distribution.

Bottom line, both SOL2 distributions are practically the same when you use the updates from Yamaha website to the latest versions. Only difference is "Idecs Hyper Groove " Demo MIDI files (30 MIDI files in total), included only on the "Blue" CD ("X4422A0") and NOT included on the "Purple" CD ("X4422B0").

Reply 8 of 34, by mattw

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mattw wrote on 2021-02-06, 20:54:

Also, while SOL2 has protection and requires installation from the CD (there is file "0protect.pro" on the CD that I guess is related to that protection), the VSTi installation files are OK to be copied to the hard-drive and installed from there separately and as stand-alone application. That is actually very convenient for our purpose or at least for my purpose, i.e. mainly using the Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi SoftSynth from the whole SOL2 distribution.

I did new clean installation and I need to correct myself: Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi installation runs from the hard-drive, but no actual files are installed, even it looks like the installation is working. So, it uses the CD-protection as well. The only way for successful installation is from the CD. So, I guess I need to figure out what the installer puts in the Windows Registry in order to make it easy for installation, i.e. just copy the DLL and put what is needed in the Registry manually.

Last edited by mattw on 2021-02-06, 23:27. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 9 of 34, by yawetaG

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Ah, so the VSTi is like the PLG board editors: standalone mode and plugin mode.

Idecs Hyper Groove was a range of MIDI file floppies and CD-ROMs with MIDI phrase samples (basically pre-made sequences you could use in your sequencer). Based on the quality of the demos the whole product line seemed like a waste of money...
Looks like Yamaha had the right idea of just putting it on the main SOL CD-ROM instead of wasting a 650 Mb CD-ROM for 30 Mb of files like in some other products that include the Hyper Groove Demos.

Reply 10 of 34, by mattw

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-06, 23:26:

Ah, so the VSTi is like the PLG board editors: standalone mode and plugin mode.

I am not sure we're talking for the same things. I mean the VSTi, as far as the installer is run from the CD can be installed alone, not part of the whole big SOL2 installation - that's what I mean by standalone. So, it's still VST and it needs VST-host to run. So, the whole SofthSynth is only 3 files:

S-YXG50.DLL : the VST itself
sxgbin41.tbl : encrypted instrument definitions, parameters, etc.
Sxgwave4.tbl : 4MB encrypted wavetable

So, my next goal is to make it install with manually copy the files and import what is necessary to the Windows Registry manually - that way avoid need from CD installation.

Reply 11 of 34, by mattw

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Manual installation turned out to be ultra simple. You need to do first full installation one time in order to get the value of the Windows Registry Key where your Serial number is encoded during the installation process, but that's really small effort to make for the ability afterwards to be able to make as many manual installation of Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi in "clean" (where no any installation of SOL2 was done previously) Windows as you like.

So, here are the steps:

1. copy the 3 files "S-YXG50.DLL", "sxgbin41.tbl" and "Sxgwave4.tbl" to folder of your choice - in my case that's "C:\S-YXG50", see the attached picture. (you can take those files from the Windows where you did the full installation)

2. open Notepad, copy and paste the lines below and save it as "s-yxg50.reg" (not as "s-yxg50.reg.txt"!), see the other attached picture.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\dicp]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\dicp\d2w1]
"1.0"="put_your_encoded_sn_here"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\S-YXG50]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\S-YXG50\1.0.0]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\VST]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\VST\S-YXG50]
"Version"="1.0.0"
"UserName"="x"
"Company"="x"
"Path"="C:\\S-YXG50"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\YAMAHA\VST\S-YXG50\VstPath]
"path1"="C:\\S-YXG50"

2.1. line8: you need to acquire the value from Windows environment where you did full installation of SOL2, just open RegEdit and go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-->SOFTWARE-->YAMAHA-->dicp-->d2w1

then copy the value and edit that line of your "s-yxg50.reg" file accordingly with your encoded (by the full installation process) serial number

2.2. line20 (and line23) you edit according to your choice of installation folder or just use "C:\S-YXG50" as i did.

3. That's it, double click your "s-yxg50.reg" and confirm you're OK to be imported to your Windows Registry. I am attaching sample REG file in "s-yxg50.zip", you can use it as a template to edit it with your serial number - it doesn't include any serial number (please, one more time, note the installation encodes the serial number, so you need to take the encoded value from Windows where you did full installation as mentioned in step 2.1 above)

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    step 1
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Reply 12 of 34, by yawetaG

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Can you tell me if the installation .INI file for SOL has a languages section, and whether changing the default value there allows SOL to be installed in another language?

mattw wrote on 2021-02-06, 23:35:
yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-06, 23:26:

Ah, so the VSTi is like the PLG board editors: standalone mode and plugin mode.

I am not sure we're talking for the same things. I mean the VSTi, as far as the installer is run from the CD can be installed alone, not part of the whole big SOL2 installation - that's what I mean by standalone.

That's precisely what you can do with the PLG board editors too. 😀 You don't need to have XGWorks/SOL to run them.

(am I the only one who think "SOL" sounds like some kind of artificial satellite in a SF movie?)

Reply 13 of 34, by mattw

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-08, 07:57:

Can you tell me if the installation .INI file for SOL has a languages section, and whether changing the default value there allows SOL to be installed in another language?

I don't know - I think it's Japanese only.

yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-08, 07:57:

That's precisely what you can do with the PLG board editors too. 😀 You don't need to have XGWorks/SOL to run them.

I made tremendous progress with S-YXG50 VST Retails version yesterday - it will take me days to fully document it here, that's why for the time being I will just list it:

* there are several Hidden/Debug Options, including ability to select Soundbank file - that is done via creating INI file called "syxgvst.ini" with the appropriate options inside it - That's very easy to figure out if you read the Assembler code of the DLL

* I wrote C code that can decrypt the Yamaha Sound Bank(s), similarly how I made such code for VSC:
Re: About Roland Virtual Sound Canvas 3
So, now the Encryption/Scrambling Algorithm of Yamaha is known - the C code makes it very clear.

* Patch the VST DLL to use Unencrypted Sound Bank - that makes it very easy for experimentation and creating your own Sound banks

and so on and so on. However, I kind of doubt many people here will be interested (based on my previous experience), even that the potential is almost unlimited, because the S-YXG50 SoftSynth Engine is very close and high-quality copy of their AWM2 engine in their hardware devices. S-YXG50 VST contrary to Roland VSC for example - supports 16-bit sound up to 96kHz sample-rate, which is high-resolution. So, such banks can be created and used. It also supports GS emulation, which means Sound bank with the original SC ROM sounds can be made, just to name few really exciting possibilities. VSC AFAIK is 8-bit only and thus SC ROM sounds cannot really be used. So, S-YXG50 VST is probably the best GM1/GM2/XG/GS emulator available, especially with its ability to "mod" the Soundbanks.

Reply 14 of 34, by mattw

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OK, I think for the (very few) people that might be interested in experimenting with Retail version of Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi from SOL2 I am going to write what I found so far in form of several guides and include in each of them the necessary source code - that way in the future someone could find mistakes in my findings or even better improve them. So, let's start...

Guide 0 : Manual setup of Yamaha S-YXG50 VSTi from SOL2 as standalone VST - no need of any (previous) installation of SOL2

0. that could be considered improvement of what I documented here:

Re: Yamaha Sequence Object Linking (SOL) 2

because it doesn't require any previous installation of SOL2 and doesn't require any Imports in the Windows Registry. So, it achieves that with patching the VST DLL - the source code in C language that is doing the patching is attached in "syxg50g0.c"

1. make some temporally folder for files extraction, for example "c:\tmpvst"
2. from SOL2 CD copy the following 3 files to "c:\tmpvst":

<SOL_CD>\VST_\Syxg_\data1.cab
<SOL_CD>\VST_\Syxg_\data1.hdr
<SOL_CD>\VST_\Syxg_\data2.cab

3. get from Internet any tool that can extract InstallShield 6.x cab files - I prefer to use "i6comp" (filename "i6cmp13b.zip")
4. copy "i6comp" files to "c:\tmpvst":

i6comp.exe
ZD51145.DLL

5. Open Command Prompt and run the following commands:

C:\>cd tmpvst

C:\tmpvst>i6comp.exe x data1.cab

6. copy folder "C:\tmpvst\S-YXG50" for example to C:\
7. copy "C:\tmpvst\S-YXG50.DLL" to "C:\S-YXG50" folder from step 6.
8. patch "C:\S-YXG50\S-YXG50.DLL" using the attached source code "syxg50g0.c"
9. now your standalone installation of the VST is in folder "C:\S-YXG50" and ready to use

That's it, what otherwise could be considered painful process, because SOL2 is in Japanese, as well SOL2 installers check for the original CDs and refuse to install otherwise could be done with very few steps and only 7 bytes change in the VST DLL as per the source code in the attached "syxg50g0.c".

Now, after we have way to make an easy installation, next guide, i.e. Guide 1, will be about what I've already mentioned, i.e. about the Hidden/Debug Options, then in Guide 2, I am going to release the Soundbank decryption/descrambler tool source code. Guide 3, I believe will be about how to "teach" the VST DLL to use decrypted/descrambled Soundbank - after all that's what allows to experiement with the SoftSynth. I will try to keep the pace and make one guide every few days...

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Reply 15 of 34, by yawetaG

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mattw wrote on 2021-02-08, 21:08:

and so on and so on. However, I kind of doubt many people here will be interested (based on my previous experience), even that the potential is almost unlimited, because the S-YXG50 SoftSynth Engine is very close and high-quality copy of their AWM2 engine in their hardware devices. S-YXG50 VST contrary to Roland VSC for example - supports 16-bit sound up to 96kHz sample-rate, which is high-resolution. So, such banks can be created and used. It also supports GS emulation, which means Sound bank with the original SC ROM sounds can be made, just to name few really exciting possibilities. VSC AFAIK is 8-bit only and thus SC ROM sounds cannot really be used. So, S-YXG50 VST is probably the best GM1/GM2/XG/GS emulator available, especially with its ability to "mod" the Soundbanks.

AWM2 as used in most of Yamaha's XG modules is actually a limited version of AWM2. Their more professional models have more editing options, down to element level (the basic waveforms that make up a patch). The only non-high-end modules that have almost full AWM2 edit are their wavetable boards (DB-50XG, DB-60XG) and the MU10, AFAIK, but they need to be switched to a specific mode via sysex (they are actually based on the QS300 synth minus the sequencer and with only half the elements), and TG300 (actually proto-XG with element edit).
There are a few editors available that make editing the wavetable boards and MU10 easy, but all of them are shareware and the original authors are not to be found. Most of these are very hard to find because the sites they were available on can only be found via the Internet Archive.

I've attached the Beggar's guide to sysex for the DB50XG (1 file contains a Windows help file, the other a Word 97 file).

I've also attached XGGold (supposedly the best XG editor that is not XGWorks, unfortunately it's shareware with a time limit), and XGEdit (manual in next post).

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    10 downloads
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Reply 16 of 34, by yawetaG

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XGEdit manual attached.

If you want other software, ask first, because I've got most interesting downloads sitting on my hard disk. 😀

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Reply 17 of 34, by mattw

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-09, 21:59:

If you want other software, ask first, because I've got most interesting downloads sitting on my hard disk. 😀

thank you for sharing, I am by no any means expert on any Synth, even less on XG and thus I have no idea what software is useful. I am more interesting in preserving those old synths with proper emulators, as I enjoy listening to them. That's exactly the case with S-YXG50 VST, which as VST works on any modern computer and it's quite capable. And by that I mean not capable by default, but capable with its ability to be modified. All Yamaha hardware devices that use AWM2 - their ROMs can be converted to S-YXG50 Sound bank - in fact few years ago that was done with MU50 ROM for example and their is highly modified S-YXG50 VST with MU50 wavetable.

So, that's why here I am going to release few simple patches, tools, etc that can allow everyone further interested to take it to a next level making custom emulators based on S-YXG50 VST. As I mentioned I already made tool that can decrypt the sound bank and patch that allows S-YXG50 VST to use unencrypted sound bank - that alone allows basically replacement of the sound bank with custom ones.

Reply 18 of 34, by yawetaG

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mattw wrote on 2021-02-09, 22:15:
yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-09, 21:59:

If you want other software, ask first, because I've got most interesting downloads sitting on my hard disk. 😀

thank you for sharing, I am by no any means expert on any Synth, even less on XG and thus I have no idea what software is useful. I am more interesting in preserving those old synths with proper emulators, as I enjoy listening to them. That's exactly the case with S-YXG50 VST, which as VST works on any modern computer and it's quite capable. And by that I mean not capable by default, but capable with its ability to be modified. All Yamaha hardware devices that use AWM2 - their ROMs can be converted to S-YXG50 Sound bank - in fact few years ago that was done with MU50 ROM for example and their is highly modified S-YXG50 VST with MU50 wavetable.

So, that's why here I am going to release few simple patches, tools, etc that can allow everyone further interested to take it to a next level making custom emulators based on S-YXG50 VST. As I mentioned I already made tool that can decrypt the sound bank and patch that allows S-YXG50 VST to use unencrypted sound bank - that alone allows basically replacement of the sound bank with custom ones.

That's useful for emulation of MU modules, but I'm not sure whether it will really work with other AWM2 synths, because those do not use XG (except for their GM bank maybe) and have many more* parameters available than in XG. Furthermore, the S-YXG50 likely has a limit of 2 elements per patch, like the wavetable boards, MU10, and TG300, so 4 or 8-element patches as found in the TG500, CS6, S80 etc., and Motif range won't work properly or at all.

* In fact, just looking at my Motif ES Rack (second Motif generation) manual and seeing the amount of parameters that can be edited made me wonder how long it would take to make a custom patch...especially seeing those parameters can often be set separately for each element used. Some presets really show off what it's capable of, and it would be hard to replicate that on a MU module because the MU modules lack certain features of the Motif (e.g. arpeggiator). Although supposedly some presets (less edit options) and especially the effects section on MU128/1000/2000 is lifted straight off the first Motif generation...

Reply 19 of 34, by mattw

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-02-10, 07:25:

but I'm not sure whether it will really work with other AWM2 synths, because those do not use XG (except for their GM bank maybe) and have many more* parameters available than in XG.

you're very knowledgeable about those matters and I agree, even my lack of knowledge makes my point of view totally different. So, I agree with you, because there are let's call it "old" AWM2 engine and "new" AWM2 engine with Yamaha VST-es as well. So, Yamaha S-YXG50 VST covers the "old" AWM2 engine (I don't know in terms of hardware devices which is the last device with that engine). However, Yamaha made VST with the "new" AWM2 engine as well - that's "Yamaha S-YXG2600". So, S-YXG2600 VST is part of Yamaha MidRadio Player 7.x and the VST DLL itself is called "SGP2.DLL" - it's protected to prevent run it as Standalone VST and outside their MidiPlayer, but that protection is very easy to remove (only 1 byte patch) - I am working on it, but I still cannot figure out the Soundbank encryption algorithm for S-YXG2600 - it's very close to the algorithm used by Yamaha S-YXG50 VST, but yet I am still failing to properly decrypt the S-YXG2600 Soundbank. Anyway, I do believe any hardware module that cannot be emulated by S-YXG50 is covered by S-YXG2600. It seems Yamaha use those for internal testing, that's why there are so many hidden or disabled features, that's why it's necessary to read the assembler code, try to make sense of it and do patches to the VST DLLs. None of those are particularity exciting without hacking them.