The Yamaha TQ5 is probably one of the most underrated and cheap synthesizers today. Manufactured in 1988, where it was clearly targeted to the consumer market with barely any parameters to edit at the device, it's actually an TX81z in a box with nearly all of its functionality available via MIDI. The desktop unit was designed by Hartmut Esslinger's company Frog Design that was also responsible for many legendary industry designs back then for Apple, Wega and Texas Instruments to name just a few.
In theory (I have not tested this) this layout should also work with other Yamaha FM synthesizers (e.g. TX81z), since the MIDI specification is largely compatible between these two synths.
- Declared stable build
- Minor UI changes for iPads with Home Indicator
- Added a Voice Program Changer on all pages including Memory Type selector (Preset, User, Card)
- Complete feedback from TQ5 to the MD layout. Connect the TQ5 MIDI output to MD to keep all controls in sync with their actual values. If you change the Voice on the TQ5 (either via the above mentioned Program Changer in the layout, or directly on the TQ5), the layout will immediately update all controls to their actual values (implemented via a Stream Byter plugin, which translates sysex bulk dumps from the TQ5 to individual parameter changes). A similar feedback sync is implemented for FX Preset changes (see below Common page).
- Added a complete new Init Voice button, which allows to set all voice parameters to their default values.
- Increased the size of the Ratio (fine) control for better usability.
- Feedback control now sits correctly at the OP 4 group.
- Inverted the range of all EG sliders to follow the more traditional approach of standard ADSRs of subtractive synthesizers. In other words: If you want a short attack time move the Attack Rate slider to the bottom position, if you want a longer attack time, move the slider up. The sliders still show their original Attack Rate values.
Algorithm / Keyboard Page
- Added Easy EG stepper controls
- Moved MIDI Channel control to Common page
- Added Split Mode, which works similar to the Multi Mode. The layout allows to create even more split zones than possible directly on the TQ5 and to access the same additional parameters as in Multi Mode (e.g. Detune, Output, etc.).
- The Max Notes controls are now capped to the appropriate maximum values allowed (require the MIDI Out of the TQ5 to be connected to MD).
- Major layout changes to better illustrate the signal flow of the modulation routings of the TQ5
- Changing the FX preset will now also update the corresponding Time and Balance controls
- The FX Time control is now capped to the appropriate maximum values allowed for any given FX preset (both new features require the MIDI Out of the TQ5 to be connected to MD).
- Added the Note Shift control (Global)
- Moved the global MIDI channel control from the Algorithm / Keyboard page to here
- Added a Clear button to completely erase the current voice name.
I decided to keep the version number still < 1.0 because of the complexity of the Stream Byter based parameter sync. While this works great with me, I still want to wait for feedback by others before marking this version as stable 1.0.
0.9 (first version)
The MIDI implementation of the TQ5 is largely compatible to other Yamaha FM synthesizers of that time (e.g. DX21, TX81z). Thus, I started with the existing TX81z layout by Michael Raleigh (which in turn was based on the layout by Ibo Kai for the DX21). In contrast to the before-mentioned layouts, the following changes have been done:
- Added Fixed Frequency parameters for each Operator (in addition to the already existing Ratio Frequency)
- Added EG Shift for OP2, OP3 and OP4 (OP1 does not support the EG Shift)
Algorithm / Keyboard Page
- Changed the design of the Algorithm select matrix
- Added a simple one-octave MIDI Keyboard with Sustain button, Pitch Bend, Mod Wheel, Breath and Aftertouch controller (a great help when editing the appropriate controls on the Common page).
- New "Multi" page to control the Multi Mode Job of the TQ5 (this is an unique feature of the TQ5)
- Added Pitch Sens and Amp Sens to control the overall sensitivity for all sources contributing to pitch and amp modulation (i.e. LFO, Mod Wheel, Breath Control, Aftertouch)
- Added a Master Tuning control
- Added Effect section that allows to select one of the nine Effects of the TQ5 and control their FX time and balance parameters
- Added all available parameters to control how the TQ5 responds to Channel Aftertouch messages
- Removed Portamento, Foot Control and Sustain Enable controls, since the TQ5 does not (or not properly) respond to those.
- Minor usability improvements to the Voice Name input.