Yamaha RM1x Owner`s manual

Volume: RM1x
Power User
RM1x Quick Start Guide
It is the purpose of this short guide to introduce
you to the basic skills necessary to immediately
start to create your own remixes using the RM1x.
The RM1x is a creative tool and therefore no
single guide or manual will be able to fully
explore all the possibilities. How you finally wind
up using the RM1x will depend greatly on your
own imagination and music.
What is a Sequence Remixer? Within this one
device you have a MIDI synthesizer tone
generator, a professional sequencer program,
and a real-time MIDI controller surface. As a tone
generator the RM1x features a 16-part multitimbral, 32-note polyphonic, synthesizer. The
tone generator section features a powerful sound
set designed specifically for today’s danceoriented music genres with 654 sounds, 46 drum
kits, 3 fully editable on-board effect processors, a
real-time controllable LPF per part, editable
voicing parameters, all with real-time access via
the knobs. The sequencer section features a high
resolution (480 ppqn), 20 Song, 20 Pattern
Chain, and 110 Pattern Styles. Maximum
memory is 110,000 notes. Pattern Styles are
divided into 60 Presets and 50 User. Think of a
Pattern Style as a set of 16 Patterns all within a
particular ‘style’ of music. Each Pattern Style has
16 musical sections. Each Section is itself a
Pattern. Each individual recording is called a
“Phrase”. When you record a bass line or a kick
drum part it is stored in a Phrase. Up to 16
Phrases can be combined to make up a Pattern
Section. The sequencer offers you a complete
array of editing jobs, many featuring real-time,
non-destructive access to the results via the
front panel knobs. The RM1x also is a
sophisticated MIDI controller. It can send its
magic out via MIDI. Each function is MIDI
transmittable so you are not limited by the sound
set of the built-in synthesizer. In addition, the
RM1x floppy disk drive adds the benefit that no
matter what sequencer program originally
created the data, you can perform your remix in
the RM1x. It reads both type 0 and type 1
Standard Midi Files. You can then use the RM1x’s
many features to remake the tracks. Data can be
freely moved back and forth from Song mode
(linear tracks) to the looped-based Pattern tracks
(maximum loop length = 256 measures). This
allows you to “import” data from any SMF songs.
Perhaps you really like a drum pattern you
created 4 years ago that you found on an old
diskette. Even if you created it using a computer
sequencer… doesn’t matter… you can save the
data as a SMF then load it into the RM1x. You
can define and grab data from linear tracks and
use it in constructing your original beats.
Basic Skills: Pattern Mode
The first RM1x skills you need to learn concern
the Pattern mode functions. Section mode (realtime rearrange), the Mute mode (change the
active instruments), and Track selection (realtime and/or stand-by editing).
Make all appropriate connections to a great
sound system. A system with a sub-woofer is
highly recommended for full effect (lighting, fog
optional). Set the PA’s EQ to flat – you will
control the EQ from the RM1x Sequence Remixer.
Remove any effect processing from the external
sound system – you will control all effects from
the RM1x.
Fig 1: The Main Pattern mode screen
Current Section
[A] - [P]
Section mode tutorial
Select [PATTERN] mode, if not already
selected, and choose a Preset Style (P01P60) via display knob #1 or the cursor
arrows along with [YES/+1], [NO/-1]
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buttons. Holding [SHIFT] while changing
values moves rapidly through the numbers.
Press and illuminate the LED for the
[SECTION] mode (when active it flashes).
Press the [PLAY] button
Try changing sections by pressing a white
key [A]-[P].
You can set how quickly the RM1x responds
to Section changes. Press [STOP], then press
the [UTILITY] button. Use display knob #3
to select either 1/16 or 1 measure resolution
for Pattern Quantize. (See diagram below).
A Pattern Quantize setting of 1/16 resolution
requires fairly good timing and can be used to
great effect on certain types of music. Try
triggering sections with a rapid-fire, stutterstep action. This is great on fast Drum & Bass
or aggressive Jungle patterns.
The 1 measure resolution setting will change
sections at the start (top) of the next
measure and is appropriate setting for certain
styles of music, like slo’ grooves. It requires
less precision.
Mute mode tutorial
Now let’s explore the [MUTE] mode, you can, at
anytime, press the [SECTION] button to return
and change sections.
Figure 2: Utility System. Use the [Å] [Æ] Display
arrows to see additional Utility screens
Screen number
Arrow means use
Display [Æ] arrow to
see additional screens
In general, the selected Pattern Style contains up
to 16 tracks per lettered section [A] thru [P]. You
can view track activity via the bar graphs in the
main Pattern screen display. Later you can
construct your own original Patterns and Phrases.
Take note of the upper right-hand corner of the
screen for the measure count. This will show the
current measure and the total length of the
current Section, i.e., 001 of 008, 002 of 008 and
so on. You will find some sections as short as 1
measure. These are intended as fill-ins but there
are no strict rules. Pattern Section changes
allows you to rearrange the performance in real
time. Sections can be user defined as Verse,
Chorus, Interlude, Intro, Fill in, Ending or any
such designation that fits your kind of
Press [MUTE] so that its LED is flashing.
Tracks with activity will have a red LED
above them. You can mute (silence) an
active track by pressing its associated white
key. Its LED will flash. When in Mute mode
the white buttons are now referred to as
Tracks 1 through 16.
The white keys are laid out so that you can
quickly mute several parts. Kick drum tracks
can usually be found on tracks 1 and 2,
snare/clap type parts on 3 and 4, hihat/shaker type parts on tracks 5 and 6,
other percussion on 7 and 8. Instrument
parts are typically found on tracks 9-16. With
the bass line normally on track 9.
While in MUTE mode 9 of the 10 black keys
recall stored mute configurations: the lowest
black key (F#)/(ALL) mutes all tracks;
lowest G# mutes tracks 1~8; lowest A#
mutes 9~16; C# brings all the tracks
back. The 5 upper black keys are user Mute
Memory locations (described below).
USER MUTE MEMORY: When you have the
instruments you want muted you can store
this with the RM1x’s Mute Memory function.
The 5 highest black keys can store/recall
mutes when the RM1x is in MUTE mode.
[SHIFT] + [MUTE MEMORY] key will store a
Mute, simply touching a MUTE MEMORY key
(while in MUTE mode) will recall the setting.
Store Mute – hold [SHIFT] + [MUTE MEMORY]
key - Upper 5 black keys are designated
Recall Mute –touch a [MUTE MEMORY] key
while in MUTE mode
Solo a track – hold [SHIFT] + [MUTE] then
touch the key corresponding to the track [1]-[16]
Figure 3: Pattern screen 1 with reverse video “M”
signifying muted tracks. A muted track’s LED flashes.
Hold [SHIFT] + [MUTE] to activate the Solo feature.
The soloed track’s LED flashes. An inverse video “s”
signifies solo. To exit solo mode hit [MUTE]. If you
wish to isolate several tracks, simply MUTE ALL tracks
and then activate only the ones you wish to hear.
If neither the [MUTE] nor the [SECTION] button
LEDs are flashing you are in normal play mode.
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The RM1x keyboard is active on the track last
selected (highlighted in the screen). Here the red
LED above each track will show when activity
occurs on that track. At anytime, in any of the 3
modes discussed thus far, you can select and edit
a track via the knobs. You can change the octave
via the [OCT+], [OCT-] buttons. You can activate
the arpeggiator from this normal mode. In fact,
arpeggiator settings can be made or changed at
anytime via the front panel [Arpeggio] section.
Track Selection
The preset Pattern Styles have the drums
mapped to tracks 1-8 and the music tracks on 916. (You can conform to this template for your
own music, or not, it’s your choice). Use a
consistent track assignment within a Style,
however, it will make editing and adding Play
Effects to them easy and convenient. Whether or
not you follow the default template you will want
to come up with some consistent track layout
from Section to Section. This way you always
know what track has your bass sound and any
processing you have done will remain consistent
on the bass. The RM1x control knobs are active
for the selected track or tracks. Tracks are
selected by touching [TRACK] + [1]…[16]
together. The selected track will be indicated in
the screen by an inverse video box around its
number and its track LED will illuminate. You can
select ALL tracks, tracks 1-8, or tracks 9-16 for
simultaneous editing by holding down the
selection buttons while moving the knobs. For
example, to close the filter on all tracks
simultaneously, hold [TRACK] + [ALL] with your
left hand while turning the CUTOFF knob with
your right hand. (Cool)!
Figure 4: Shows the 2 Pattern screens with track 1
selected / User Style U08 / User phrase 001
The second screen, PATCH, shows the individual
Phrases that are ‘patched’ to make the Pattern Style.
The screen # is indicated in the upper left portion of
the screen next to “PATT”.
Note: On the front panel of the RM1x you will see
the various function buttons on the right side.
Next to each button is a dot or dots, signifying
how many screens lie beneath that button. You
reach the screens by hitting that button that
number of times. The middle 2 rows are
accessible during playback. [PATTERN] has 2
dots – therefore 2 screens, [DISK] has 4 dots –
therefore 4 screens.
Control Knobs
Located in the upper right corner of the front
panel are the 8 control knobs. These knobs are
assignable. The parameter assigned can be
determined by the condition of the A/B KNOB
LED. When the LED is lit you read the function
listed and highlighted with white. The top row of
knobs control PLAY EFFECTS: Beat/Time Stretch,
Clock Shift, Gate Time, and Velocity. The bottom
row knobs control the
parameters: Cutoff, Resonance, EG Decay, and
Pitch Bend. When the A/B KNOB LED is not
illuminated the same 8 knobs control the
following PLAY EFFECTS: MIDI Delay, Octaver,
Harmonize 1, and Harmonize 2. The bottom row
knobs control the following VOICE parameters:
Variation send, Reverb send, Chorus send, and
Part volume.
The control knobs can also be reassigned to
function as MIDI controls for virtually any MIDI
control change number. They can be used as
volume pots, pan pots, and/or individual effect
sends to the 3 on-board processors. This is
accomplished at any time by pressing the
[SETUP] button, twice (see below). On this
screen you can assign the knobs, as necessary,
to control 1-8 when A is selected and 9-16 when
B is selected via the Knob A/B switch and
indicated by its LED. You have great flexibility in
assigning parameters to knobs via this Setup
Figure 5: Setup screen- by changing the Template you
can reassign the 8 control knobs to Volume, Pan, or
effect sends for each channel Whether setting up for a
Remix or performing a ‘live’ session you can change
this assignment, as necessary, during playback.
A word on Control Knob twisting: you will feel a
center détente at the 12 o’clock position on each
control knob. Depending on the selected and
assigned function, this center value might be
different. For the primary functions (A): Time
Stretch, Clock Shift, Gate Time, Velocity, Cutoff,
Resonance, EG Decay and Pitch Bend the 12
o’clock position represents normal, because you
can increase or decrease the value from the
current value. For the following secondary
functions (B is selected, LED out): MIDI Delay,
Variation send, Reverb send, Chorus send, and
Part Volume the knobs behave from minimum to
maximum (7 o’clock as minimum through 5
o’clock maximum position) like a typical volume
knob. However, the Octaver, Harmonize 1, and
Harmonize 2 add parallel parts either above
and/or below the original pitch (12 o’clock
The Play Effects, are so named because the
effect the playback of data. The upper 4 knobs
are the PLAY EFFECTS: Time Stretch, Clock Shift,
Gate Time, Velocity, or MIDI Delay, Octaver,
Harmonize 1, and Harmonize 2. They all alter the
data non-destructively during playback.** The
bottom 4 knobs are VOICE: Cutoff (74),
Resonance (71), EG Decay (75), Pitch Bend (PB)
or Variation send (94), Reverb send (91), Chorus
send (93) and Part Volume (07). They alter the
data non-destructively, as well. Changes are
recorded directly into tracks as standard control
change messages (number in parenthesis).
**Play Effect data can be made permanent either by
using the Normalize Play Effect edit Job or placing the
track in OVERDUB record.
The Play Effects Defined
Beat Stretch: Takes the playback of a track and
multiplies or divides the playback speed (without
effecting pitch – it is MIDI data, after all). 100% =
normal playback; 25% is 4 times as fast – it plays in
25% of the time through to 400% takes 4 times as
long to play - ¼ speed. This function is best used in
Pattern mode.
Clock Shift: will take the playback of a track and
offset its timing +/-, in 120 tick (1/16th note)
increments. The knob at 12 o’clock position is normal
timing. By turning the knob clockwise you delay the
track in increments 120, 240, 360 or 480 clock pulses
– a 1/16th, 1/8th, a dotted 1/8th or a full beat. Turning
the knob counterclockwise from 12 o’clock you offset
the track ahead of the beat by an equal amount.
Gate Time: refers to the duration of a played note. If
a note was held for a whole note value you can
increase or decrease the amount of time the note plays
by moving the knob clockwise (increase) or
counterclockwise (decrease) from the normal position
at 12 o’clock.
Velocity: will take the recorded velocity of a track and
offset it above or below the 12 o’clock position. You
cannot, however, exceed a velocity of 127 nor reduce
it to a velocity lower than 0.
MIDI Delay: will generate new note-ons for an ‘in’
tempo effect. Repeat values include triplet values.
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Control works minimum (7 o’clock) to maximum (5
o’clock). The delay parameters can be set in the Edit
Octaver: adds a note at octave intervals above or
below normal voicing at 12 o’clock.
Harmonize 1: adds a parallel note at the interval set
by the knob above or below normal pitch a 12 o’clock.
Harmonize 2: works the same as Harmonize 1
The Voice Knobs Defined
Cutoff: Filter cutoff frequency (control message 74)
normal setting is 12 o’clock. Clockwise opens filter,
counterclockwise closes (lowers cutoff) filter. The RM1x
features a Low Pass Filter.
Resonance: Filter resonance (control message 71)
places a loudness peak at the cutoff frequency
emphasizing a range centered around that frequency.
Normal is 12 o’clock. Clockwise increases peak while
counterclockwise decrease peak.
EG Decay: Envelope Generator Decay (control
message 75) controls the portion of the envelope
directly after the attack portion. Normal setting is at 12
o’clock. Great for changing the envelope of drums
sounds and music instrument parts.
Pitch Bend: Changes the pitch in increments of 128
units through to a maximum of 8192 and down
through a minimum of –8191; this is the resolution of
the Pitch Bend parameter in MIDI. The actual distance
in pitch of maximum to minimum will depend on the PB
Range of the current Voice. This can be set under the
Voice Edit parameters.
Variation send: send control (message 94) to
variation effect
Chorus send: send control (message 93) to chorus
Reverb send: send control (message 91) to reverb
Part Volume: send control (message 07) for individual
Figure 6: Shows the main Voice mixer screen. Press
[VOICE]. The knobs directly below the screen select
Bank (MSB/LSB), Program, Pan position and Volume,
Figure 7: Shows the second Voice screen with the
Effect sends. Press [VOICE] a second time to see
sends. Select a track and use the four knobs to make
appropriate settings.
Creating your own Patterns: PATCH
Press the [PATTERN] button a second time to
arrive at the Pattern 2 or PATCH screen. This is
where you can combine Phrases into your own
unique Pattern Styles. Knob 1 selects the Phrase
Category: Preset (over 7000 phrases from the
Preset Pattern Styles – refer to the Owner’s
Manual and List Book for more information on the
Preset phrases) or User (256 phrases per User
Pattern). Knob 2 selects the Phrase number.
Knob 3 allows you to transpose the selected part
by half steps. Knob 4 sets the BPM and time
Figure 8: PATCH page is the second Pattern mode
screen. Here you can construct individual phrases into
Pattern Sections. When you put a User Pattern into
record you are recording a User Phrase – the RM1x will
automatically select the next, lowest numbered User
Phrase (US xxx). A maximum of 256 User Phrases per
Pattern Style. Phrases can be a maximum length of
256 measures. Presets and User Phrases can be used
simultaneously in a Pattern Section.
If you are going to record your own data in a
Pattern select a User Pattern (U01 – U50). Each
has room for a maximum of 16 tracks. There is
no need to assign a phrase to a track if you wish
to create original data. When you select a new
track and press the [REC] button the RM1x will
automatically place the lowest numbered blank
Phrase on that track. It is recommended that
when you record your own original data that you
enter RECORD from the Pattern 1 screen. This is
where you can determine the record type (realtime Replace or Overdub, Step or Grid). You can
write up to 256 original Phrases per Pattern Style
because there are 16 tracks per Section and 16
Sections per Pattern Style. Phrases can be
copied, cut, pasted, appended, split and event
edited, as necessary. Phrases can be captured
from linear Song data using a RM1x Job called
‘GET PHRASE’. Phrases can be placed on linear
tracks using the Job called ‘PUT PHRASE’.
Pump-Up the Bass
The RM1x has a +/-24dB low boost/cut. Located
in the edit matrix under the [SETUP] button. You
can select a frequency (display knob 3) and
boost or cut (display knob 4). Be careful of your
speakers +24 is a lot!
Record Modes
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Data can be created via an external MIDI
controller keyboard or generated right on-board
the RM1x. You have several different record
methods. To select the record type: press [REC]
from the main Pattern (1) or main Song screen.
Use the display knob to select Record type, time
signature, etc. (REPL) Replace record is suitable
when you are recording linear Song tracks and
wish to write over existing material. (OVER)
Overdub record is suitable for recording in either
Song or Pattern mode when you want to add
additional material to existing material. Punch
record let’s you set a punch-in and punch-out
point for automated record functions. Step
record let’s you enter note data without the
pressure of playing to the metronome. This is
appropriate when entering data from a score or
creating difficult/impossible runs and fills. Grid
record combines Step and Overdub methods
because it lets you record without pressure of the
metronome yet let’s you hear the data you input.
Grid record works one measure at a time (each
of the 16 white keys represents a subdivision of
the beat) and let’s you see and hear your data
during entry.
Pattern Edit Jobs
The RM1x is a professional sequencer and
features edit parameters where the region can be
defined down to the measure, beat and clock
pulse. Although too numerous to detail each in
this article (please check out your Owner’s
Manual for details), let’s take a look at some of
automatically replaces notes with precise Pitch
Bend values. This makes a phrase playback with
a smooth glissando. Create Roll, as the name
implies, will create note-on data for drum rolls.
You can set the distance between note-on events
and can control the velocity value increase or
automatically place the note event data
appearing on the same clock pulse in order from
lowest note to highest or vice versa. This greatly
eases the task of editing data and is useful in
creating realistic guitar-like strums when used in
conjunction with Chord Separate. This job let’s
you define the number of clock pulse between
notes of a chord. If, for example, you have a 5note chord on beat 1 and you set Chord Separate
to a value 012, the five-note chord will be reprogrammed with 12 ticks between note-ons. By
setting the direction of the chord with the Chord
Sort job you can specify up and/or down strokes
for your strums. Get Phrase and Put Phrase
jobs allow you to move data back and forth
between Song and Pattern. This opens the door
to importing data from Standard MIDI File songs
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in the construction of your original patterns. The
RM1x reads SMF type 0 and type 1. The Divide
Drum Track job takes a drum pattern recorded
on a single track and breaks it down by parts
(kick, snare, hh/cym, perc and others) to tracks
1-8. This is useful when you want to re-voice
your drum track with a snare from one kit with a
kick from another. By dividing the drums to
separate tracks you can increase your real-time
control during the mixing process. Normalize
Play Effects makes the otherwise nondestructive Play Effect edits permanent (actually
changing the recorded data). After executing this
job the Play Effect values are reset (because
their data is now a part of the recorded data).
Alternatively, you can “print” the Play Effects into
the track by placing the track in OVERDUB record
and playing it through once. The Play Effects will
automatically be reset when the STOP button is
pushed. Take your time, learn the RM1x a little
bit at a time. There is an UNDO feature that
takes the worry out of experimenting. Even if you
are an experienced Midi user with a fancy
computer sequencer, you will find the RM1x a
powerful production tool and, of course, an
invaluable real time performance device – unlike
the computer, the RM1x is very at home on stage
at the gig.
Phil Clendeninn
Product Marketing Specialist
Digital Musical Instruments
©Yamaha Corporation of America