Dual Boss RC-505 Loop Stations

I am testing a dual Boss RC-505 Loop station setup in this video. I have a Roland TR-8 as Master connected to a Yamaha MJC8 Midi Patch Bay. Everything is on Midi Channel 1. Two outputs are connected one each to a Boss RC-505 Loop machine. No external effects are used in the video other than a Boss DM-2 Analog Delay on a couple of the Polysix tracks. One RC-505 is connected to the Korg Polysix Analog Synth. The other RC-505 is connected to a Yamaha V50 Synthesizer.

I created the loops right before recording the video and forgot to record that part….laugh. I’ll do something again shortly showing the recording process. Both RC-505 Loop Stations are in sync controlled by the TR-8. You CANNOT sync this by chaining them as the RC-505 is not capable of sending the appropriate midi start command. In the video you see me toggling various loops on an off to add dynamics to the song which is completely improvised and done on the first take. Patches for the Korg Polysix and Yamaha V-50 are custom made.

One Boss RC-505 is sitting on the Yamaha V50 which you can see. The other is under the Korg Polysix sitting on my Roland Fantom X6. The mix is running through a Roland M-12E 12 Channel mixer which is awesome. I just bought a second one here in Japan. It makes my life so much easier running all my synth gear through them. The mix is going direct into my iPhone via a Fostex ios recording device.

I am playing a fun patch I created on the Korg Polysix. I love the modulation that the Korg Polysix can do.

Oh yeah, I’m sporting a pink Midi Designer T-shirt under my jacket there.

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Yamaha V50 Distorted Sync Patch

I was repairing a copper trace that went flaky on my Korg Polysix this morning. I managed to get it working again and while warming up the Polysix, I recorded this jam using a custom “Distorted Sync” patch for the Yamaha V50. The arp in the back ground is from the Korg Polysix. I have the arp set to octave chord memory with a touch of VCA modulation. Video was recorded live. I just jumped in and started playing off the top of my head.

Someone asked me about effects recently. I usually use a Boss DM-2 Analog Delay on most everything when I do quick videos. I also currently have a Sony DPS-V55 Mult-effects processor adding for reverb or slight modulation. I try to run dry as much as possible though because on stage, too much effect processing really doesn’t sound great at the places I play. I only add when needed you might say. I love the Boss DM-2 though. I also tend to shift effects around quite a bit simply because I have too many and am trying to properly check each one out. I recently picked up an old Boss GT-5 which has analog distortion in it which I really like. I can’t stand the digital distortion “Fizz” in the newer GT units such as the GT-10. I don’t know how people cope with that annoying “Fizz”. Presto! It’s gone on the GT-5!

Enjoy the video and a glimpse into my music room…laugh! Yes, I do have all the gear I say I do on my blog.

Yamaha V50 YSEDITOR with Steem Atari ST Emulator

Yamaha V50 YSEDITOR Librarian
Yamaha V50 YSEDITOR Librarian on Steem

Today I had some great success in using the YSEDITOR version 3.35 for Yamaha V50 running on Steem version 3.2 Emulation. Steem is an ST Emulator which recreates the Atari ST computer in software on a PC. My OS is Windows 7 32 bit and I run the YSEDITOR inside the Steem ST Emulator. This was my first time running both applications on the Windows 7 platform and with reading the readme text info, I was able to figure out how to get everything running.

I much prefer using the Sound Quest editor for the Yamaha V50 as it’s a little easier to edit with in my opinion. However, as a librarian, it’s got a problem with loading and saving banks to the Yamaha V50. It loads individual voices and performances just great, but cannot load entire I-IV banks at all. The editor is also better with Midi Sound Quest because it’s visually nice being color, but also you get realtime updates with your sound edits. You also don’t have to run either Steem Emulation or the YSEDITOR which requires Atari.

Initially to get the YSEDITOR formatted voice banks into the V50, I had to find something different for that and the YSEDITOR for the V50 worked very well. As you can see by the screenshot I am able to load and save banks of 100 voices or performances very easily. There are also several banks of voices that come with the software editor which I have now converted to Midi Sound Quest format. It was particularly nice to get the TX81Z Rom library for the V50 which has the famous “LatelyBass” voice. A couple of the other libraries has “Shimmer” one and two which are very good.

It took me a couple of hours “trial and error” to get the correct setup that worked well with the Yamaha V50. Getting the YSEDITOR, Steem Atari Emulator, and the Yamaha V50 all in sync and working together did have some minor hiccups. Once I got my settings down, I was then able to proceed transferring and working with the voices in a stable manner. Again, my goal with the YSEDITOR was simply to access the large library of voices in the Atari format so that I could transfer them over to Midi Quest. When done, I’ll probably only work with MidiQuest editing voices, performances, and creating my own custom banks.

The developer of YSEDITOR offers no support for using the editor with Steem ST Emulator which I understand so you’re on your won when using these two together, but they do both work just fine. I wanted to mention that the YSEDITOR does work with STEEM very well on Windows 7 32bit platform connected to a Yamaha V50. For all I know, I am the only one using the Yamaha V50 so I’d much rather field questions if anyone should have any…laugh. Info about the Yamaha V50 or anyone using it is hard to find. So feel free to email or comment with any questions regarding the YSEDITOR and it’s use with Steem and the Yamaha V50. Once setup correctly it’s very stable and a very powerful editor for the Yamaha V50. There’s loads of voices in that format with sounds that are pretty cool.

Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer

Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer
Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer

Today I bought a used Yamaha V50 Digital Synthesizer for $50 in near mint condition. I had heard these synths were pretty hard to find so when I saw it in the store it peaked my interest. What’s amazing is that this synth was released in 1989 if correct, and the condition was fantastic. The Yamaha V50 had all the Demo and Voice disks still packaged in a nice plastic case with the words “Yamaha V50” on it. All of the buttons, disk drive, LCD screen, and keys were in perfect working order. I then fired it up and browsed through some of the sounds. Before long I knew I had to have this. The sheer enjoyment of playing the synth was incredible.

A long time ago I saw a couple of videos on Youtube which I’ll post here that originally put the Yamaha V50 on my radar screen. When I saw the synth in the store, I pretty much was set on buying it. I actually couldn’t believe the condition for that price. I also heard that in Europe for example, the Yamaha V-50 was highly sought after, but I’m not sure if that’s true. If you check on Youtube there are quite a few people using for some really different sounds. To me, it’s got great stuff for that cool 80’s and 90’s dance, rock, or funky electronic sound.

Later that evening I sat down with the online manual to see what I could create out of the Yamaha V-50 and I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to play. First I should mention that with a keyboard this old, it’s important in my opinion that one kind of knows how to play the piano when using this synth. It’s more of a manual style synth with little “auto” functionality, however, the Yamaha V-50 was very well thought out as I’ll explain.

The functionality the Yamaha V-50 matches quite a few of the newer keyboards of today. For example, I hit the Rhythm key and right away I was able to call up a drum pattern. While it was playing I could adjust the effects and turn down the reverb which you MUST do with this synth. The Yamaha V-50 has some serious reverb cranked up on all it’s presets, so you need to dial that crap down right away.

After I had the drums grooving, I then was able to tap into “Performance Mode” while the drums kept playing and find a performance patch that I liked. Performances can be layered, split, have applied effects, etc. while the drums are playing. I thought it was extremely cool to call up drums, performances, and effects all LIVE without stopping anything or pushing a zillion buttons.

Instantly, I was able to get a jam going and then was able to make modifications to the sounds. Once I had my ideas set, I could stop everything and then start recording real time with the built in sequencer. Simply brilliant and easy!! Again, if you know how to play the keys well and you have worked with sequencers, the Yamaha V-50 is a “creative” breeze to work with.

Referring to the Youtube videos again, you will notice that the guy from Yamaha just sits there and goes through a fast and simple process of creating a song or groove. In my opinion, this is exactly what the Yamaha V-50 is all about. It’s creating a song from beginning to end all in an evening and having fun while doing it.

How about the sounds? The FM sounds are actually quite good provided you again dial down the reverbs. They are definitely overkill on this synth. I think the pads, strings, basses, and metallic sounds are brilliant. They really cut through the mix as they say. The choirs, brass, flutes, and other dreamy sounds are classic FM/DX sounding and are very nice in my opinion. The Yamaha V50’s sounds can also be layered for a fatter sound or in creating some cool atmospheric sounds. Plus you can create splits or overlap certain areas of the keyboard.

It’s an incredibly versatile synth that has stuff I wish some of the newer synths had. Of course the sounds are late 80’s and 90’s sounding so beware if that’s not your thing. In that case, you can simply create your own original sounds.

With out a doubt, the Yamaha V-50 is probably the most fun I’ve had in creating music. It’s what an idea scratch pad should be in a synthesizer which not many modern synths do.

I remember a guy telling me once how old keyboards were so difficult to program and work with. That same guy then turned around and said he didn’t know how he was going to learn all the cool stuff his new Korg M3 had with all the manuals. To me, that sounded the same.

Whether your synth is old or new, you have to put time into learning the product. I am so glad I bought the Yamaha V-50. It’s by far the most fun I’ve had in getting my ideas down fast on a synth.