Sega Genesis F-Mdrive User Guide

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FM-DRIVE 2612 VST

USER MANUAL 1.2

BY

Aly James

©2013 ALYJAMESLAB

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FM-DRIVE 2612 VST ......................................................................................................................

1

INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................................

3

INSTALLATION...............................................................................................................................

6

CONTROL PANELS .........................................................................................................................

9

THE YAMAHA YM2612 FM CHIP ....................................................................................................

11

OPERATOR CORE..........................................................................................................................

12

ENVELOPE GENERATORS ..............................................................................................................

14

ALGORITHMS...............................................................................................................................

20

LFO .............................................................................................................................................

23

SOUND MODELS ..........................................................................................................................

25

NORMAL/SPECIAL MODE..............................................................................................................

30

CSM MODE ..................................................................................................................................

32

D.A.C...........................................................................................................................................

35

TFI IMPORT / EXPORT...................................................................................................................

37

CIRCUIT BENDING........................................................................................................................

40

MIDI AUTOMATION......................................................................................................................

41

GENMDM ....................................................................................................................................

42

PARAMETERS LIST........................................................................................................................

43

FM SYNTHESIS .............................................................................................................................

46

APPENDIX....................................................................................................................................

47

LINKS...........................................................................................................................................

52

DISCLAIMER & LICENCE AGREEMENT ............................................................................................

54

INTRODUCTION

My name is Aly James;

French steam funky musician, composer and creator of strange musical DIY devices and software.

Normally I am more inclined to make some guitar & bass oriented devices but I am also a fan of the SEGA GENESIS/MEGADRIVE sound, it was my first console and it opens up my imagination and lot.

I was not very used to tracker music making or MML programming, which is why I needed an YM2612 Vst Instrument, for personal use. Also I needed a way to control the real hardware via MIDI.

I learn a lot from documentations and hardware tests and from all the nice people who documented the YM2612 on the web. You know who you are.

It turns out to be quite nice so I decided to make it public in exchange for a small donation for the large amount of work I put into this.

This emulation uses a totally new core that I started from scratch a few months ago and was almost fine-tuned by ear so minors differences with the hardware could appears sometimes.

The goal was on one hand to reproduce the hardware distortion “ladder effect” of the Sega Megadrive model 1and the features of the YM2612 chip and on the other hand to expand further the original capabilities and create a high resolution processing mode for perfect sound quality.

I needed a toy to have best of both world and an inspiring FMsynth.

I tested the not well known CSM"illegal mode" usage, designing custom ROMS to investigatefurther and finally include a way in FMDRIVE 2612 to use CSM for modern music production.

All and all the SEGA MEGADRIVE EXTENDED emulation turns out to be a fantastic FM synth suitable for chip music and Sega nostalgic pleasure and also a powerful tool for modern music production.

The product has been crafted through the SYNTHEDIT engine using the very last version, custom C++ coding and third party licensed code. It may be ported to OSX at some point in the future.

Thanks to all the nice people that started to use FMDrive and support my projects.

A special thanks to Sebastian Tomczak who designed the GENMDM midi hardware interface and provide great sources of inspiration and to Yuzo Koshiro for his FM music and support on FMDrive.

Credits can be accessed on the FMDrive GUI panel.

Mainly,

FMDRIVE can act either as the YM2612 CH1, 2, 3(with special mode or CSM) 4, 5 or 6 (FM or DAC).

It can be either polyphonic (up to 6 voices) or mono like the real chip and can act as 6 YM2612 channels at once with the same patch when in poly mode...

However you have to load 6 instances of the VST to have the YM2612 six channels original setup.

This particular implementation allows getting over the original six channels limit if ones need it.

Like 15 instances of FMDrive for example for a massive FM wall of sound!

However you can still have a lot of control on only one instance, as everything can be MIDI automated in a DAW, you can have a maximum of control over the chip, for example you can change the algorithm and others registers via MIDI CC on the same instance and same MIDI track. Every registers can be automated or recorded via the GUI and his will change the sound.

Basic MIDI implementation:

MIDI IN:

FMDrive receive MIDI CH1 as main source for notes and key on/off. However when in SPECIAL MODE FMDrive can optionally receive

MIDI CH 11, 12, 13 to control operators key on/off and frequency separately and MIDI CH 14 to control CSM timer period by note (this is explained in detail later).

MIDI OUT:

FMDrive can send MIDI CC data over any MIDI channels.

For example if you assign MIDI CC#15 to the LFO speed register, when it is changed, FMDrive will also send CC#15 DATA over the chosen MIDI Channel allowing to control another instance of FMDrive or another Vsti.

Imagine that on another FMDrive instance you assign the same MIDI CC#15 to the Frequency of an operator in SPECIAL MODE…Then, when the LFO change on the first instance, the second instance will change the Frequency of the operator following the LFO speed change! Now imagine what it is capable of…

INSTALLATION

COMPATIBILITY

FMDRIVE is a Windows 32Bit VST Instrument for use with MIDI capable DAWs. RUN on 32/64 Bit Systems.

If you want to use it with a 64bit DAW you can use JBridge.

INSTALL VST

21.

3. Decompress the downloaded archive file

Copy the entire Folder AJLAB to your VST PLUGINS folder

Load it in your DAW

INSTALL STANDALONE

21.

3.

Decompress the downloaded archive file

Copy the entire Folder FMDRIVE where you want

Simply RUN FMDRIVE.exe

State of FMDRIVE 2612 current features

WIN 32 VST runs on 32/64Bit Systems and it is multicore compatible

HIGH QUALITY GUI

(Different panels for controls etc...)

INSTANT UPDATE FOR ALL CONTROLS

FULL MIDI AUTOMATION

With midi learn (right click to assign MIDI)

POLY & MONO MODE with Glide Control

DIRECT OUTPUT OR MD1 Headphone Out filtering

TWO AUDIO MODELS: HQ and MD1

(Crystal clear and high resolution processing) and MD1 (emulate distortion and low resolution of

MD1YM2612model) classic features

4 OP FM SYNTHESIS

PARAMETRIC Envelope Generator

SSG EG

LFO AM & PM

CH3 SPECIAL MODE

(Different frequencies for each OP) also different key on off by External Midi channels

CSM MODE

(Kind of early vocal synthesis)

CH6 DAC MODE

(4 slots to load any PCM WAV files/ auto converted to mono 8/4bit 22/11/8Khz) with selectable start/end points, loop and pitch control.

YM2612 extended switchable features

OVERDRIVE LADDER EFFECT CONTROL

(Works only in MD1 MODE, adjust to taste)

RATE RATIO CONTROL

(Change the global EG RATE/SPEED from *0.1 to *4 for rapid tweaking/adjustment of the envelopes)

GRAPHIC EG

Up to 8 stages /8 stage shapes/custom loop point (aka custom SSG) and sustain point.

CUSTOM LFO RATE (for low modulation...)

6 LFO SHAPE

Including noise

ATTACK & RELEASE Time for the LFO

DT2 PARAMETER from YM2151

UNSYNC PMS

(Different settings for each OP)

OP FILTER aka PHASE MODULATION FILTERING

(Reduce the modulation at high frequencies according to the amount of filtering)

GLOBAL FM SAMPLE RATE CONTROL

(Skip audio samples)

POLYPHONIC REDUCER

(Kind of increasing the FMbit crushing audio effect according to the number of voice/keys played..)

DAC CUSTOM GRAPHIC WAVEFORM (14 bytes)

DRAW MODE or LFSR

(Random bytes generated, clock divider, sync with host tempo)

CSM Timer A Control by MIDI notes

(Shortest period limit is 1.13636ms note A5)

LOADS & SAVE TFI PATCHES

(Manual or auto load for fast selection)

LOAD & SAVE FULL PATCH & BANKS in FXB/FXP

CONTROLS THE REAL MEGADRIVE HARDWARE VIA MIDI

(Needed Little Scale GENMDMMidi Device)

CONTROL PANELS

FMDRIVE GUI INTERFACE stores the different parameters on different panels

The central visual interface can be opened or closed clicking on the led next to power on. These are:

1 VU METER (only when the central panel is closed)

1 TL panel (allows control over each operator volume, M1feedback, global velocity sensitivity, velocity enablefor each operator and number of polyphonic voices, fixed frequencies for SPECIAL MODE and Model1Overdrive Ladder effect level)

4 Operators panels (one for each operator, access via left white buttons or clicking on the operator name on the envelopegenerators display)

1 DAC panel (with one sub panel for the DAC custom waveform)

1 LFO panel

1 TFI control panel for loading and saving (allows browsing for tfi patches via internal browser or windows explorer)

1 Tweak control panel (for circuit bending and additionalcontrol)

Right click on a knob, button or slider will open a midi learn assign menu. Ctrl click + move allow fine tuning.

THE YAMAHA YM2612 FM CHIP

The YM2612, aka OPN2, is a six-channel sound chip developed by Yamaha. It belongs to Yamaha's OPN family of FM synthesis chips used in several game and computer systems.

It was most notably used in the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis game console.

The YM2612 has the following features:

Six concurrent FM Channel (Voice)

Four operators per channel

Two interval timers

A sine-wave low frequency oscillator

Analogue stereo output (most other contemporary Yamaha FM chips require a separate external digital-to-analog converter chip)

For channel three, operator frequencies can be set independently, making dissonant harmonics possible. (Normally, they would have a simple relation relative to a common base frequency.)

For channel six 8Bit PCM samples can be played instead of FM sound

Per-channel programmable stereo sound (Left, Right, or both Left and Right)

The particular implementation of the DAC produces some noticeableartifacts on the Sega Megadrive sound output, similar to distortion, the sound can clip at high levels and the sine wave output start to change at low volume, mixed with a squared signal.

The chip was also stripped of its predecessor’s (YM2608) SSG component, although its vestigial SSG envelope generator is still functional.

OPERATOR CORE

Each Operator is switchable Mask on/off to receive note on/off commands. Doing this also disable the envelope generator saving system memory resources when not in use.

LIST OF PARAMETERS:

TL: Operator general volume (on MD1 Mode TL below 0X67 (104) will produce no audible output.

KS: Key Scaling/ change the timing of the EG according to the pitch of the notes, the higher the pitch the shorter is the envelope. KS affects AR, DR, D2R and RR in the same way. KS is the degree to which the envelope becomes narrower as the frequency becomes higher.

MUL: Frequency Multiplier/ *0.5 to *15 where 1 is the actual ROOT frequency, 0 is an octave below. This follows harmonic relation to the root frequency.

DT1: Fine detune/ following this table (frequency is a small number) small detuning can create movement on the sound.

DT1

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

FREQUENCY DETUNE

0

1

2

3

0

-1

-2

-3

DT2: Coarse detune/ Large frequency detune (modeled after YM2151 chip)

DT2

0

1

2

3

F-DETUNE HZ

0

19.4

21.58

23.77

AM: Enable LFO Amplitude Modulation (AMS) for that Operator. Relevant only if both the LFO is enabled and AMS (amplitude modulation sensitivity) is non-zero.

PMS: Pitch Modulation Sensitivity

AM

EFFECT ON VOLUME

PMS

EFFECT ON PITCH

0

No effect

0

No effect

1

Enable AMS

1

Displacement of ± 3.4%*

 

 

2

Displacement of ± 6.7%*

 

 

3

Displacement of ± 10%*

 

 

4

Displacement of ± 14%*

 

 

5

Displacement of ± 20%*

 

 

6

Displacement of ± 40%*

 

 

7

Displacement of ± 80%*

 

 

 

 

* % of a halftone.

ENVELOPE

GENERATORS

PARAMETRIC ENVELOPES

The typo used for naming the envelope stages varies with documentations, FMDRIVE uses:

AR, DR, SL, D2R and RR for Attack, First Decay, Sustain Level, Secondary Decay and Release.

The sound starts when the key is depressed, a process called ‘key on’. The sound has an attack, a strong primary decay, followed by a slow secondary decay. The sound continues this secondary decay until the key is released, a process called ‘key off’. The sound then begins a rapid final decay, representing for example a piano note after the key has been released and the damper has come down on the strings.

The envelope is represented by the above amplitudes and angles, and a few supplementary registers. Used in the above diagram are:

TL

 

Total level, the highest amplitude of the waveform.

 

 

 

AR

 

Attack rate, the angle of initial amplitude increase. This can be made very steep if desired. The

 

 

problem with slow attack rates is that if the notes are short, the release (called ‘key off’) occurs

 

 

before the note has reached a reasonable level.

 

 

 

DR

 

The angle of initial amplitudedecrease.

 

 

 

SL

 

The amplitude at which the slower amplitudedecreasestarts.

D2R The angle of secondary amplitudedecrease. This willcontinueindefinitely unless ‘key off’ occurs.

RR The final angle of amplitude decrease, after ‘key off’.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON EG BEHAVIOR:

The Volume value is an ATTENUATION VALUE (ex TL = 127 means that the attenuation is MAX so volume is = MIN, TL = 0 means that there is no attenuation so volume = MAX)

IF AR = 0, The YM2612 consider the Attack stage as Infinite, so no sound would be produced. Setting AR to 0 in PARAMETRIC EG will also disable GRAPHIC EG output regardless of the graphic settings.

IF DR = 0, DR stage is off and the Envelope switch directly to D2R stage, however if SL is non-zero D2R will have no effect and the envelope will sustain at TL volume, whatever value SL is.

IF D2R = 0 = off, the envelope will sustain at SL volume.

USING HIGH Release Time (close to 0) is more CPU hungry in poly mode; avoid using high release time when not needed.

GRAPHIC representation of the envelope helps to understand the behavior. It can be changed with a small knob at the top to a solid or a line view.

SSG ENVELOPES MODE

When activated SSG mode will loop the envelope from AR to D2R (included) following 8 defined shapes and behavior. The envelope timeis also shorter than normal and will never reach MIN volume except when HELD. If an Attack stage is set, AR is > 31 or 30, the behavior of the SSG is changed. (Graphic representation of the envelope on the SSG panel will show the effect.)

CLICK TO ACTIVATE AND CHANGE SSG SHAPES

SSG envelopes are combination of these following behaviors:

NORMAL: the envelope plays normally

INV: The envelope is inverted

HELD: The envelope is held at Max attenuation value

INVERTED HELD: The envelope is held at Max volume

ALT: The envelope alternates between NORMAL & INV ant each pass

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