Yamaha V50

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The Yamaha V50 was a digital music workstation introduced in 1989. It combined a sequencer, rhythm machine, a FM synthesis - based sound module and a MIDI keyboard.

The sequencer

The internal sequencer had 8 tracks, with an approximate capability of 16000 notes shared between maximum of 8 songs at a time.

The rhythm machine

The rhythm machine had 61 PCM samples, with polyphony of 8 samples. The rhythm machine contained 100 preset short rhythm patterns and allowed user to create 100 additional patterns, known as "internal patterns". The patterns could be assembled into larger rhythm songs.

The sound module

The FM synthesis provided by the sound module was based on 4 operators that could be chained by selecting one of the 8 available algorithms. Each operator could generate one of the 8 available waveforms. Additionally, in each of the algorithms, operator 4 could be set to modulate itself with a configurable about of feedback. The sound unit is basically a slightly upgraded variant of the Yamaha TX81Z module, with increased polyphony and other minor tweaks.

The synthesis unit had 16-note polyphony and 8-instrument multitimbral capability. The unit contained 100 preset instruments stored on ROM and additional 100 user-configurable sounds. Multiple sounds could be layered into so-called performances to provide more interesting sounds than one instrument could provide alone. One common way to use this feature was to include several instances of the same instrument in the same performance while detuning each of them slightly to create a more lively sound.

The keyboard

The keyboard in V50 consisted of 61 keys, covering 5 octaves. It supported velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. The MIDI transmit channel of the keyboard was configurable. Wheels for pitch bending and modulation control were provided on the left side of the keys...

Other features

The V50 had both a double density 3.5" floppy drive and a memory card slot for storing and retrieving user- or third-party - created content.

The unit had also a built-in effect unit with 31 different effects such as various types of reverb and delay. Most of the effects had configurable parameters. The unit was capable of only one effect at a time, shared both by the rhythm machine and the FM synthesis unit. The ratio of the processed and unprocessed sound in the output could be configured. The processing could also be toggled off for individual channels.

External links