Yamaha released the SY77 keyboard -- and the TG77 rack-mount -- in 1989. They coined the term "Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis" to describe the sound engine. It's an FM-synthesis and sample-based hybrid that creates amazingly rich, layered and multitimbral sounds.
This Platinum layout is well-thought-out, well-designed, well-executed and brilliant on every level. Master Layout Author Ibo Kai, winner of the Rainer Award for layout-design excellence, goes deep with this layout. He not only shows a particular vision of the TG77 through the layout, but he also provides a particular workflow. And that's EXACTLY what great editor design is about.
We're so fortunate to have Ibo Kai and his many contributions. Some of this others include brilliant editors for the Kawai K1, Yamaha Reface DX, and the Korg 707. Big ups, Ibo Kai!
Master Layout Designer Ibo Kai brings us his Complete Editor, a Platinum Layout, for the Yamaha reface DX.
Yamaha released the Reface Mobile Mini Keyboards at Summer NAMM of 2015, including the exciting reface DX. DX is synonymous with FM synthesis since the 1980s. The reface DX itself is a modern version of the DX100, which is one of the most underrated synths of the 1980s. Like the DX100, the reface DX focuses on portability. Some things are the same as the DX100, and some, like the built-in speaker.
This editor is the basis for the related performance editor, and includes five pages, including: "Quick Access" Parameters, Operator Controls, Common Parameters, and 2 FX Units, Master Settings, and Util. Like all of Ibo Kai's layouts, it's beautiful, functional, and takes the reface DX to a whole new level.
A full sound editor for the Kawai K1 by Master Layout Author Ibo Kai!!! The Kawai K1 (and K1m for desktop, and K1r rack-mountable) was released in 1988 and is still a well-loved, 16-voice polyphonic sample-based PCM synthesis. Vintage Synth Explorer says, "The K1 is one of Kawai's most economic digital synthesizers in the K-series. The K1 has 256 digital samples of waveforms, 50 of which are from acoustic instruments. You combine up to four wave shapes to create very new and unique sounds. The K1 is capable of very good acoustic recreation, excellent unique synth sounds or at times, completely noisy walls of complex sound." Lots of hurdles were overcome to create this masterpiece, including... errors in the MIDI spec. We are very lucky to have this amazing layout, and aside from how comprehensive it is... it looks great!
The Yamaha DX21 was one of a new, three-strong range of 4-operator FM synths to appear in 1986. The layout author says, "The Yamaha DX21 was the first synth I ever laid my hands on, when I was a young boy (it wasn't my own one, unfortunately). Just recently I found a used unit in really mint condition in my neighborhood and I decided to buy it, mostly for nostalgia. Of course I didn't bother to program sounds on the synth itself, but instead made this layout for far quicker and easier editing."
Ibo Kai's revamp of his own layout, now for MIDI Designer Pro 2! What's different aside from the awesome look with Glow? It's 33% more compact thanks to Picker controls!
Here's the blurb from the other version: A full sound editor for the Kawai K1 by Master Layout Author Ibo Kai!!! The Kawai K1 (and K1m for desktop, and K1r rack-mountable) was released in 1988 and is still a well-loved, 16-voice polyphonic sample-based PCM synthesis. Vintage Synth Explorer says, "The K1 is one of Kawai's most economic digital synthesizers in the K-series. The K1 has 256 digital samples of waveforms, 50 of which are from acoustic instruments. You combine up to four wave shapes to create very new and unique sounds. The K1 is capable of very good acoustic recreation, excellent unique synth sounds or at times, completely noisy walls of complex sound." Lots of hurdles were overcome to create this masterpiece, including... errors in the MIDI spec. We are very lucky to have this amazing layout!
Another functional and beautiful layout from Master Layout Designer Ibo Kai: this one is for the MonoPoly VST Synth from Korg's Legacy Collection. This layout requires you to use the included CMAP for the MonoPoly.
Another tiny masterpiece from Ibo Kai! "This layout resembles the Kawai Macro Control Box, a piece of hardware, that adds certain sound control to a K5000W or K5000R, both of which lack those knobs (which were present in the K5000S only). This is purely MIDI CC and I added the Channel selector as well." The Macro Control is a Unicorn in music tech: it's very useful if you own a K5000 or a K5000R, but almost impossible to find. Enjoy this virtual version thanks to Ibo Kai!
The Korg 707, released in 1987, has been referred to as a "Multitimbral Yamaha DX27," but the unlike the DX27 the 707 is a keytar: guitar strap buttons, a 49-keyboard, and optional battery power bring FM synthesis to a new way of working. But like all of that 80s tech, the front panel is awkward. That's where Ibo Kai's layout comes in. It's the ridiculously high quality we've come to expect of this Master Layout Designer. He writes that it's "for sound programming. All SINGLE parameters are covered. Only the naming and write process has to be done on the synth itself." As usual, the layout looks great: amazing attention to aesthetics and workflow. And it's in Version 1.5. [As always, be sure to check the release notes on the QA site]
This is an original instrument from Master Layout Author Ibo Kai. Inspired by the Linnstrument and Eigenharp, Xpressive Keys allows the player to play a key and then modify the pitch (slightly) by moving off-axis in the X-dimension. Moving off-center in the Y-dimension allows the user to change the Modulation (usually to alter the sound character). The layout is made to be modified easily by other users in Design Mode: "when you go to Design mode, 2 further controls will pop up at the top left, below the name. Here you can change the function of vertical and horizontal movements on the keys. This will change the whole keyboard (because the keys are all supercontrols of these)"... it's a brilliant and original entry, and opens the door to further riffs on this layout.
Ever wished you could program your DX synthesizer as easy as an analog one?
My first MD layout was an voice editor for the Korg 707, a synthesizer that did exactly this: making FM synthes…
Rainer Award Winner Ibo Kai decided to make a PERFORMANCE layout for the Yamaha Reface DX, and we're ecstatic to have it! All of his layouts are beautiful and well-conceived. This is a one-page layout but it packs a lot of punch. As the author says it: "While I think [Yamaha] created a great UI for programming FM voices, which is lightyears ahead of the old DX synths, plus you can play a loop and change a couple of parameters on the fly, I found I wanted some even more direct access to live-tweaking several things in parallel."
"This layout is pretty simple, just one page shows all the available functions. It is mainly what you find in the 'FM' keypad of the synth: frequencies, levels and feedback settings separately per operator plus the algorithm select."
So this gives you a new way to work with your Reface DX. Exciting stuff, enjoy!
As the author tells it:
This is a layout for live control of the Kawai K1r.
As the rack version of the K1 lacks the vector stick, which you find on the keyboard and the desktop module (in both cases it does neither send nor receive MIDI control), I was looking for a way to get this function from MIDI Designer.
And I got it to work in this layout. The advantage here to the actual vector stick on the K1 is, that this is MIDI sysex, so you can reord it in your sequencer!
I also added 2 knobs to control the amplitude modulation, one for sources 1+2, another for 3+4. For both you can switch it on, off and to reverse mode.
Hot on the heels of his MonoPoly VST release (and borrowing elements from it), prolific master layout designer Ibo Kai releases this simpler controller for the Korg Polysix VST (from the KORG Legacy Collection Special Bundle). The Polysix VST is a 32-voice, digital remake of this analog synth released in 1981, and this layout will let you access all exposed parameters. The layout is simple as the VST allows for limited control, but it's well-made and useful. Enjoy!
To avoid the complicated procedure for system settings in Reface CS (switch off, press + hold a certain key - remember which key to use for which function -, switch on again) I made this layout for qu…
I made another version of the Reface CS editor for my iPhone. The layout is slightly different due to the small screen. Also I skipped the second page, the sound controls would´t really make sense in…