Yamaha AN1x

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Yamaha AN1x, produced by Yamaha Corporation from 1997 to 1998, is a DSP-based analog modeling synthesizer and while it was marketed as "Analog physical modeling control synthesizer", it doesn't employ actual physical modeling synthesis. In order to keep manufacturing costs down, Yamaha decided to build the synthesizer in the same casing as the otherwise entirely unrelated CS1x and CS2x, which has led to some confusion.

Control synthesizer

Yamaha referred to the AN1x as "control synthesizer". This was due to each patch in the AN1x having 20 "control sets", which were assignments of the user-adjustable controls and MIDI control change messages to a number of numerical parameters of the sound engine. User controls includes keyboard pitch, velocity and channel aftertouch, modulation wheel, a pressure-sensitive ribbon controller, connectors for two expression pedals, a foot switch jack and the parameter edit knobs when in assign-mode. The underlying philosophy of this arrangement is that the performer doesn't have to alter the actual sound editing parameters when performing but can instead use assignable controls, when their parameter range is scaled properly, for more predictable action.

Scenes

The synthesizer also allows two individual parameters scenes, which may be two completely different sounding patches. The user can quickly switch between the two scenes, interpolate, or "morph", between them and layer them. This arrangement also allows limited multitimbrality when in split keyboard mode, as both scenes receive MIDI input on separate channels.

Voice architecture

In monotimbral mode the AN1x has 10-note maximum polyphony, though the actual polyphony depends on scene settings and unison. Scene layering halves polyphony, unison uses five notes per note played, thus in layered unison mode the synthesizer is monophonic, though capable of 10x unison with careful programming. Using keyboard split assigns five voices to each scene, which may also be unisoned into two monophonic voices. Unison is also possible in poly mode - it uses two notes per note played.

The voice architecture is a typical twin oscillator multi-mode filter design with separate pitch, filter and amplitude envelopes and two LFOs. Available waveforms include saw and PWM-capable square, saw2 (which behaves in a different way than basic saw when used with PWM) and saw/square mix waves. Additional waveforms (Inner1-3) are available for OSC1 when in oscillator sync mode.

To the typical twin oscillator synthesis AN1x added a non-resonant high-pass filter in series with the resonant multimode filter, basic wave shaping, VCA feedback, frequency modulation that can be used simultaneously with either hard or soft oscillator sync modes. A multieffect, reverb and delay units were also built in.

The AN1x also features both an arpeggiator that can receive and output via MIDI and step sequencer. The step sequencer can be used to send control data such as filter cutoff value or notes to the synth's own tone generator or to MIDI output. Furthermore, the notes may be fixed or transposed via the synth's own keyboard or MIDI input. Both arpeggiator and step sequencer sync to MIDI timecode.

Usage

The AN1x has been used by several artists, including Jean Michel Jarre, History Of Guns, Velvet Acid Christ, Nitin Sawhney, Phish and Igor Khoroshev of YES Gabriel of Saint John and the Revelations.

External links