[sdiy] Fantasia patch for DX11/TX81Z/V50

John Ames commodorejohn at gmail.com
Thu Feb 6 15:14:22 CET 2020

Just for kicks the other day, I got to trying to roll up a patch on my
Yamaha V50 recreating the immortal "Fantasia" preset from the Roland
D50. There's a handful of different mimicries out there in the
assorted public-domain banks, but a lot of them sound terrible, and
even the ones that sound nice are only loose imitations - but the D-50
soundbank for DX7-II years ago proved that FM can do surprisingly
close approximations of some of its characteristic sounds, it's just a
matter of careful planning and analysis. The subtractive pad tone was
dead easy; the bell part took a lot more finagling to get it anything
close to right, and in the end it mostly came down to trial-and-error
comparison against the genuine article.

(I'm very curious about what I ended up at - operator ratios of
5.2:8.2 C:M - because that works out to a ratio of 26:41, which is
super prime-y for what on the D-50 is just a simple cyclic "spectrum"
waveform with the fundamental removed, but damned if it didn't sound a
whole lot closer to right than the more obvious setting of 5:8. But
since there doesn't seem to be a dump of the D-50's PCM ROM out there
as far as I can tell, it's a mystery to me...)

It's definitely not perfect - the chime part loses something in the
lower range for reasons I'm not clear on, and without the D-50's lush
effects it's noticeably thinner. But I'm happy with how close I got to
the overall timbre(s), and when you layer it up a few times over and
detune a bit (or just run it through an outboard chorus,) it gets a
lot closer :)

SysEx attached - it's a single-voice V50 transmit dump, which should
also be compatible with the DX11 and TX81Z.

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