y: S80 - FAQ
Is the S80 General MIDI compatible?
For those who want GM compatibility, Yamaha offers two solutions. Yamaha has a bank of
sounds that make the S80, “pseudo” GM compliant. These sounds will be available from any
Yamaha dealer and can be downloadable from the Yamaha Internet site.
For the “ultimate” in GM and XG compatibility, purchasing the XG Plug-in board (PLG100-XG)
is the way to go! This Plug-in board offers over 400 professional quality sampled voices and
12 drum kits, as well as 32 notes of its own polyphony allowing you to use the S80’s 64 note
polyphony elsewhere. It increases the multi-timbral capabilities of the S80 by an additional 16
parts. XG sounds work in Performance mode and can be layered or split with Internal sounds
among the 16 MIDI channels. It also fully supports the XG MIDI specifications, so you can use
it to play back GM/XG Standard MIDI files from and external sequencer, or the S80’s internal
playback sequencer.
What's the difference between the S80 and the competition?
Some significant differences are:
‰ The S80 has 4 complete piano samples; 2 stereo samples and 2 mono samples.
Competing units have 2 complete piano samples.
‰ The S80 has more sample ROM (24 Megabytes) than the competition (16 or 18
‰ The S80 has Modular Synthesis Plug-in expansion to increase the capabilities of their
respective instruments. Not just expansion cards with additional ROM voices that DON”T
add a new technology OR add their own polyphony to the instrument like the S80 does.
‰ Filters are what identify the unique tonal qualities of a synthesizer. With the S80’s tone
generator being based upon the EX synthesizers AWM2 chip, it has incredible resonant
filters (64 of them!), with 12 filter types to choose from. The competition does not have
resonant filters.
‰ The S80 lets you conveniently store your voices and performance setups on ultra thin and
compact SmartMediaTM cards. Giving you a much larger storage capacity than a floppy disk
(up to 32 megabytes), SmartMediaTM can also be used as an external memory bank for
instant access to a wider selection of sounds. The card can also be used to play back MIDI
file sequences.
‰ The S80 is the only unit that has an A-to-D (analog-to-digital) input for microphone or line
input that can utilize the effect processing on board the keyboard.
Other companies have expansion boards so what's the big deal about Modular
Synthesis Plug-in cards?
Some other synthesizer companies’ expansion boards simply contain more sample data or
ROM for your keyboard to add to its database of samples. Through the Modular Synthesis
Plug-in cards you are literally “adding” another instrument to the S80. Each board has its own
POLYPHONY (the amount depends upon which Plug-in boards you add). Placing a board in
each of the plug-in slots adds two more parts to sequence and/or layer with, in addition to the
original 16-part multi-timbral S80.
Yamaha offers alternate technologies including: FM (PLG150-DX) synthesis; Acoustic (PLG150VL) and Analog (PLG150-AN) Physical Modeling. You can work with the cutting edge synthesis
technologies and go where other synthesizers can never go.
Adding the PLG100-XG will add an additional 16 Parts, enabling the S80 to be 32-part multitimbral. These can be used to layer with the Internal sounds or can be used exclusively to give
the S80 complete GM/XG compatibility. Each Plug-in board ADDS a whole new synthesizer
technology and ADDS its own Polyphony.
The S80 is a 16-MIDI channel system, how do PART and MIDI channel assignments
This becomes very important in understanding how the expansion boards work with the S80
System. The S80 is a 16 MIDI channel system when used in PERFORMANCE mode. When you
add PLG150 Series boards to slot 1 and 2, they become editable Parts just like the others.
Your Performance will now have access to two additional parts. Each PART can be used to
select and program a Voice. The PLG slots are called PartP1 and PartP2. You can select a
voice, set its volume, pan position, send it to reverb and chorus, transpose it, note and
velocity limit it, etc., set the layer switch and/or assign it a MIDI channel. There are still just
16 MIDI channels in the system. Therefore, the PLG Voice will share a MIDI channel with an
S80 AWM2 Voice. The PLG slots default to MIDI channels 16 [PLG1] and 15 [PLG2]. However,
you can reassign any Part to any MIDI channel or deactivate it (Receive channel = off). You
can layer sounds with the PLG voices or you can set note limits, and transpose ranges so that
the two voices never conflict with each other. Any MIDI Jedi can work wonders with this
arrangement. But even better - this allows you combine a PLG150 Plug-in Voice from each
board with 2 AWM2 Voices in a Performance. You can create your own Performance Layers –
you activate PARTS by setting the LAYER SWITCH = ON for each Part, up to a maximum of
four Parts. (When a Part has its Layer Switch set to ON it ignores the Receive Channel setting
and receives on the Performance’s Layer Channel.)
The PLG100-XG board is a bit different. When you add this multi-timbral board it will add
parts 17-32 and therefore is only accessible via a Performance. When this board is used to
playback an XG or GM sequence – the XG Voices will be the only 16 parts sounding (internal
S80 sounds will be turned off). However, you can choose to access internal S80 sounds along
with, or in place of, the GM/XG voices. You select this in UTLITY via the INTERNAL PART
parameter (only visible when a PLG100-XG board is installed).
When selecting to utilize both sets of sounds, the 32 Parts share MIDI channels. That is the
default condition. For example, Part 1 and Part 17 both share MIDI channel 1, Part 2 and Part
18 both share MIDI channel 2, and so on. Get this: Part 16, Part 32 and PartP1 all share MIDI
channel 16. However, any Part can be reassigned to any MIDI channel (or turned OFF) and
can be zoned (note limited) and range shifted, as necessary. The thing to recognize is a PART
has a MIDI channel and several Parts can share the same MIDI channel. And there are only 16
MIDI channels in the system. For more information see Power User Tutorial on the PLG100XG.
Can you put new samples in the S80?
New sampled sounds can only be added via a Plug-in board that is based on AWM2
technology. For the serious piano player, the PLG150-PF is loaded with piano and keyboard
voices – it is an additional 16Mb of samples dedicated to acoustic and electric piano sounds.
Each PF board has its own 64-note polyphony. Two piano boards can be used together,
effectively doubling piano polyphony to 128 notes. Leaving the 64 notes of the S80 for your
sequencing. The PLG100-XG (also based on sampled technology) gives you 480 sampled
voices and 12 drum kits, as well its own 32 notes of polyphony and 3 effect processors.
Are the piano sounds on the PLG150-PF board better than the ones in the Internal
This is subjective. The piano that sounds right to you is the one that you will want to play. One
of the design concepts behind the S80 was to give the player more quality piano sounds, this
way the player can choose the appropriate piano sound for the musical environment. You may
prefer one of the internal sounds – it’s a free country. The objective fact here is that the more
room the piano samples have, the finer and more refined we can be with the voicing. The
PLG150-PF is a meticulously programmed project and contains 16MB of piano and electric
piano data. The full resources of the chips on the PF board are working to make this a special
set of Voices. This means the waves have more room - the entire wave ROM of the S80 is
24MB. Here you have an additional 16MB just dedicated to pianos. As you play through the
PLG150-PF sounds you start to appreciate the details:
The multi-strike piano waveforms and the soundboard simulation that occurs when the
sustain pedal is down
Pianos approaching the level of the Yamaha P series Professional pianos
‘Stretch’ tuned pianos to make the sound sing and work better live.
The implementation of sustenuto (cc66) and soft pedal (cc67) controls
The glorious ‘plunk’ of the Yamaha CP80 Electric Grand that was the sound of a generation
The meticulous programming of the various Electric Piano voices; each classic piece from
the reedy Wurli to the FenderRhodes to DX7 tines, is represented and mimicked with
incredible accuracy.
The detail in the different Rhodes sounds from different decades, artists and musical
styles. You could hunt down some vintage axes and spend time and money refurbishing
them and not get as good as they get here.
Artful use of a effects on the Rhodes to give it that finished studio quality. Smooth but
with plenty of bark when it is hit.
The architecture of the PLG150-PF board is similar to the architecture of the S80. In other
words, it is not only based on the same AWM2 technology but it shares the same 4-element,
64-note poly structure. It’s like a little S80 on a card – except this little S80 has been
dedicated to doing Piano related sounds. If you like the sounds in the S80 you are going to
love the detail here. When you audition the board make sure the provided Voice data has been
loaded in. Each PLG150 series Board comes with Voice data in the form of a .mid file. The
editing on the PLG150-PF has been done with great care. That is what you are buying as much
as the additional sampled data – the voicing. The effects that you hear on the PLG150-PF
board are generated on the board itself. The PLG150-PF comes with a PF EASY EDITOR for
tweaking Voices on the board.
Does the S80 have a sequencer?
The S80 has no “on-board” sequence recording but it does have a “playback-sequencer” that
is capable of playing back any song saved as a Standard MIDI file Type 0. The sequencer
requires a SmartMedia Card in the slot. It plays song files directly from the card. The Yamaha
sequencing software XGworks 3.0 Lite (Windows) comes included with the S80, so that an
external sequencing resource is packaged with the keyboard.
Included with your S80 is a computer program called Card Filer – for both Windows and Mac.
This program will allow you to move files from your computer directly to a SmartMedia card in
the S80 slot. This software can also convert Type 1 files to Type 0 files – in case you get a file
that is Type 1. By storing your MIDI files onto a SmartMediaTM card, you can build up a chain
of up to 100 songs, any of which can be accessed from the S80 front panel. In addition, songs
can include keyboard setups and performances, and can even be programmed for chained
playback. This is extremely useful for performing with sequences in a “live” setting. Leave the
computer home and use just the SmartMedia card (and your S80) on stage.
I understand the S80 comes with a Yamaha software sequencer for Windows called
XGworks 3.0 Lite, but I want to use it with Cubase, Cakewalk or Logic. Can I do that
and why would I want the XGworks package that comes with it if I plan on using the
S80 with another sequencer?
The S80 will work with any computer-based MIDI software sequencers. Software such as
Cubase, Logic, or Cakewalk, will certainly operate with this unit. The advantage of checking
out Yamaha’s XGworks 3.0 Lite, is that this software enables you to launch a Voice Editor for
the S80, allowing you to edit the AWM2 Voices of the S80 from the computer (Voices, not
Performances). XGworks 3.0 Lite also includes editors for all of the supported Plug-in boards
of the Modular Synthesis Plug-in System. The software enables you to custom-edit sounds
(PLG150 series) and bulk data to the Plug-in boards. Basically, the XGworks is there to act as
a front end for the Voice editors. Technologies like acoustic and analog physical modeling and
frequency modulation (FM) can be explored in depth. XGworks is your gateway to explore
sound design with some cutting edge technology. And it includes an instrument
definition/mixer map for the PLG100-XG, of course, called XG Editor. Even though your S80 is
not a GM/XG compatible synth out of the box this software was included because it can be
used to launch the Voice editors in Windows.
How do I get information on XG and XGworks?
You can get into this very easily if you are online. Visit the site at www.yamaha-xg.com and
visit the Creators’ Square for tips on how to get started via a great graphic-filled guide. You
will be up and running in no time. The full version XGworks v3.0 lets you start by recording
a melody. You record a melody via microphone on to an audio track. You can sing, hum or
scat the melody. The VOICE TO SCORE R feature will immediately create the notation. You can
then correct or fine- tune your results because it also creates a MIDI file directly from your
vocal input – pitch to MIDI. You can select an instrument sound to playback the new melody.
You can further correct your idea. The software can then analyze your melody and suggest a
few possible chord progressions with the AUTO ARRANGER feature. You select from hundreds
of style combinations and musical sections (like fills and grooves). Again you can tweak the
software’s input and cut and paste the data. Once you have a general outline of the song
structure you can have the software EXPAND BACKING – which will create MIDI events on the
various tracks. It will create your backing tracks linearly on up to 8 tracks so that you can go
in and replace or fix up any of the data – even print out a score. Its like the brains from the
QY products combined with a powerful sequencer program.
You can go from a scatted melody to full arrangement in a few minutes once you get into this
software. The more you know what you want, the better the software assists you. The full
version of XGworks v3 is an integrated Audio/MIDI package that can support 12 tracks of
audio and 100 MIDI tracks. It has built in maps for all XG products. The PLG150 Professional
Series boards have extension banks that can be accessed from the XG program change
protocol. The program is the best value in fully integrated Audio/MIDI Sequencing, period.
I am having a difficult time finding the drums sounds in the S80. Where are they?
You can locate the drum sounds two ways.
‰ While holding down [PRE1], press [PRE2], and then push switches “1-8” to audition the 8
Preset drum voices. While holding down [INT], press [EXT] and then push switches [1],
[2] to select the two Internal drum voices and [3], [4] for the two User kits on the
optional SmartMedia card.
‰ While in Voice Mode, turn the [PAGE] knob to enter the Voice Search mode. Turn [KN 1]
(under “Ctgry” on the display) until you see the category prefix “Dr” Drums, and then
push the [ENTER] switch. You can then audition the drum voices using the [DEC/NO],
[INC/YES] switches or DATA knob.
I heard that SmartMedia cards were hard to get, where can I find them?
The S80 uses 3.3volt, SmartMediaTM cards – the industry standard for digital cameras. There
are several resources for 3.3volt SmartMediaTM cards including: any business that sells
accessories for digital cameras, mail-order resources and companies that specialize in
computer-type memory. Check the Internet. The 3.3volt SmartMediaTM cards (in sizes of 4, 8,
16 & 32 megabytes) are easy to find and are relatively inexpensive when you consider how
much data they hold. Typical price: Spring ’00 = between $64-$80 for 32MB! SmartMedia
cards replace the disk drive in the S80 – they hold a whole lot more data and are 4 times
faster than a floppy. What size should you get? If you buy a large enough one, you will never
need to buy another. The typical song file is between 50K and 100K; even long songs rarely
exceed 150K of memory. Your mileage may vary. With that as a rule of thumb, even if your
songs tend to be 100k in length you get 40 songs on a 4MB card. “ALL” files are 449K and the
‘extbank’ file that the S80 automatically writes is only 176K. Therefore a 4MB card can hold 8
ALL files and the ‘extbank’ file. Depending on how you work make a guess. 16 MB should do
the trick for most people. Be sure to use the Card guard on the back of the unit to prevent the
card from being ‘lost’. They are small enough to carry in your wallet.
How can I get data on to the SmartMedia Cards?
There are several ways to get data to your SmartMediaTM card. Data, such as Voice Data can
simply be saved from the S80 directly to the SmartMediaTM card while inserted in the slot.
A program called Card Filer comes included with the S80 (WIN and MAC). This program
enables you to move voice data and MIDI song files back and forth from your computer to the
SmartMediaTM card and vice-versa, while the SmartMediaTM card is in the S80. You would
need to connect your computer to the S80 via S80’s Serial Port or in-and-out to an external
MIDI interface.
Alternatively, you may use any type of SmartMediaTM card adapter (such as a Flash Path
floppy disk adapter or PCMCIA card adapter) that allows you to move data from your
computer to the SmartMediaTM card. After the data is transferred from the computer to the
card, the SmartMediaTM card can be inserted into the S80. These types of adapters are only
necessary when you cannot MIDI your computer directly to the S80.
What are the different S80 file types?
(.s2a) ALL– saves all INT and EXT Voices and Performances (and the Master Keyboard
setups), and all INT and EXT Drum Voices. In addition, it saves the S80 PLG1 and PLG2
Voices. PLG Voices will require that the PLG board they are associated with be physically in the
S80. The PLG Voices will not work if they do not find the correct board. If at some later time
you move or swap the boards, simply call up the .s2a file but instead of loading it all directly,
select ‘voice’ as the TYPE and you will be able to extract the Voice data you want and point it
at the appropriate slot.
The ALL data file is the most flexible when it comes to reload options. You can choose to load
all or any individual Voice or Performance. You can re-direct INT sounds to the EXT bank and
vice versa, EXT sounds can be loaded to the INT bank. And, as mentioned, you can store and
retrieve PLG Bank Voices with the ALL file, as well. PLG Voices can be redirected to their
appropriate slots. You can make an auto load ALL file by, literally, naming it: “autoload.s2a”
This file will automatically load your INT, EXT, PLG1 and PLG2 Voices as well as your song
chain and Performances/Master Keyboard setups when you power up. Only one file by this
name can be stored in the root directory of the SmartMedia card.
(.s2b) Plugin– saves custom Board Voice data that can be edited via the provided PLG Voice
Editors. (‘ALL’ data files do not save custom Board Voices – these are saved in a separate type
of file, which is a plug-in bulk file - the ‘b’ in .s2b). Certain of the PLG150 Professional series
boards have user RAM locations. The RAM locations are volatile and this bulk file type is used
to back up the RAM voice data. ((These Board Voices work in a similar manner to wave data in
the EX, in that you save the wave data separate from the Voice data)). You can create an
auto load file by naming it: “autold1.s2b” for slot 1, or “autold2.s2b” for slot 2. When you
power up, the S80 will automatically load your custom board elements. Saving data in this
format is only necessary when you have made custom elements via the PLG Voice Editor
(.s2c) Chain– this file type refers to your song Chain. Note that it does not contain the song
data itself, just the list of files, their tempos, the Performance that they use and set list
commands. The song data (.mid) files can be placed in the root directory of the card. The
Chain (.s2c) file does not include the .mid file, just the instructions on how and when it is to
(.s2e) External – it is best not to mess with this file. It is automatically created by the S80
and represents any data that you store to the [EXT] bank. Here is why it exists: The kind of
memory that is the INT bank (battery backed RAM) is very expensive. The EXT bank kind of
memory (volatile) is a lot less expensive. Taking advantage of the SmartMedia Card’s ability to
automatically load the EXT bank on power up gives you an additional 128 Voice and 64
Performance locations. It is like a ‘virtual’ bank. When the card is in the slot you can write to it
and be assured that your latest edits will return when you power up next time.
This is a file type that the S80 makes by itself. If you start moving and copying .s2e files – be
very careful. You run the risk of losing some of your own custom sounds. Remember the S80
will create an EXT bank automatically and it is possible to have it write over some of your
precious work. As soon as a card is inserted in the S80 slot it will automatically save and/or
load a file named “extbank.s2e”. Only one such file can exist on the SmartMedia card.
Here’s how you can get into potential trouble:
If you copy an extbank.s2e card to your SmartMedia card, it will replace the one that
already exists on the card.
You can forget to backup your current S80 EXT bank and when you insert another
SmartMedia card the new card’s data will load into the EXT bank. Your current work will be
gone, overwritten.
If no extbank.s2e exists on a card, the S80 will just write the current S80 EXT bank to the
card when you insert it.
(Use the ‘ALL’ file type to backup your INT, EXT Voices/Performances, and PLG Voices. Use
the ‘ALL-VOICE’ file type to back up just the INT and EXT Voices – this is a highly efficient way
of backing up your EXT bank Voices. It is highly recommended that you do not attempt to
manipulate the .s2e file type.
How the EXT bank works: You computer savvy people know how this works – the
[EXT] bank is a RAM bank, a volatile RAM bank – meaning it loses its memory at
power down. You can write to the [EXT] bank as long as you have a SmartMedia card
in the slot. If you remove the SmartMedia card, yes, the sounds are still in the EXT
bank and are playable. But the Voices are in RAM (they are backed up on the card). If
you remove the card the Voices are in limbo now. (Limbo means they are in danger –
not permanently backed up). If you power down - the EXT bank is emptied.
The SmartMedia card is like a floppy disk, but a floppy disk that can automatically load
itself into RAM when inserted. You are working on a word processor and you put a
floppy disk in the drive (ok, so it doesn’t auto load) but… you manually load your
document in – it loads into RAM, volatile RAM. Your word processor program may be
set to auto save every 10 minutes. Your document will still be there and readable if
you remove the floppy disk, right? – of course. But your document is not backed up
since you last removed the disk. The document is in limbo. If you were to power down
now the document would disappear – RAM would be emptied.
Always backup your EXT voices with an ALL (.s2a) or ALL_Voice (.s2v) type
file. Forget you even know about .s2e files (“…these are not the ‘Droids you are
looking for…”).
(.s2v) Voice – this is a Voice file. From this file type you can load all Voices or an individual
Voice. Voice files save/load the INT and EXT banks. (This is also a file type that can be opened
by the S80 Voice Editor program). You can load any Voice to any location with this file type.
Spend a few minutes moving the cursor around in the load screen – check out all your options.
You will see that you can direct any Voice on the card to any location in the S80 INT / EXT or
point all [EXT] Voices on the card to all INT locations in the S80, etc. This file format is the
recommended way to save and load sounds to and from your EXT bank. This file type does not
save Performances.
Tip: Create a (.s2a) ALL file that you constantly work on. Name it something like WIP.s2a
(work in progress). When you update something and you like it, simply resave the file. This
way it is a record of your latest work. Once you have sorted out your favorite PLG boards and
your favorite Voices and Performances create auto load files and keep them in the root
directory of the SmartMedia card. Then simply RENAME your work in progress file:
Autoload.s2a – This will load your INT, EXT, PLG1 and PLG2 Voices, your INT and EXT
Performances/Master Keyboard setups and song Chain.
When you have really dug in and have made your own PLG150 series sounds with the editors
you can bulk that data back to the board automatically by naming the .s2b bulk files:
Autold1.s2b – this file will load any custom RAM Voice data for the PLG board in slot 1
Autold2.s2b – this file will load any custom RAM Voice data for the PLG board in slot 2
If at anytime you send the wrong Voice data to a PLG board you will receive a TYPE
MISMATCH error message when you attempt to call up the sound. This error means the Voice
data in that PLG bank did not find the correct board in the slot. Point the data at the other
slot. The cool thing is as you become a power user the S80 will assist you and load your
Voices, your Performances and your custom data automatically on power up. You can carry
your SmartMedia card to your friend’s house and power his S80 up with your card in the slot
and it becomes your S80…momentarily, of course.
Do not change the extensions of any of the file types.
How does the PLG board expand the polyphony?
Each PLG board is a separate synthesizer. It does not increase or decrease the 64-note
polyphony of the Internal AWM2 sounds in the S80, it simply adds its own polyphony. Think of
each board as a separate entity – a separate synth with separate polyphony.
PLG150-AN – 5 notes
PLG150-DX – 16 notes
PLG150-PF – 64 notes
PLG150-VL – monophonic
PLG100-XG – 32 notes
PLG100-VH – does not apply (effect processor)
Two PLG150 boards of the same type can be piggybacked to double the polyphony of that
particular technology. Two PLG150-AN boards will give you 10 notes of analog physical
modeling, two DX boards will give you 32 notes of FM synthesis and two PF boards will give a
128-note piano. (Yikes, that’s 40 more than the real thing). Two VL boards will let you play 2
horns simultaneously or play a single sound with 2 notes of polyphony.
You cannot piggyback the PLG100 series boards.
For further information on each PLG board see the Yamaha Power User PLG150 Series
Tutorials. Each board has a different set of rules.
Are there any restrictions concerning what slots the boards go in?
The PLG150 series (Professional Series) are single part boards and can be put in any slot of
the S80.
The PLG100 series have the following restrictions:
PLG100-VH – must be inserted in slot 1 because slot 1 is connected to the A/D (analog to
digital) input. And since the VH board is an effect processor board for microphone input its
S80 routing is found via slot 1. (The VH board cannot be used with the S30 because it has
no A/D input)
PLG100-XG – must be inserted in slot 2. It is used in Performance mode only because it
is a multi-timbral synth board. (Here is your moment of Zen: Although the S30 has only
one slot, it is a slot 2).
Are the PLG100-XG sounds as powerful as the S80 sounds?
No, of course not. GM/XG by definition has voices that are purposefully thinner (less elements
layered). To conform to the actual GM spec, you can only have mostly single element Voices –
there are only a few 2-element sounds in the official GM set. This is because GM is designed
specifically for the kind of heavy ensemble playing that is common in sequenced music. You
can program your own GM-conforming sound set picking your favorite sounds or you can mix
and match sounds from the Internal S80 set. Use the pseudo-GM set provided by Yamaha
Corp America as your guide. There are 2 Performance templates included in that Voice set:
“FOR GM” - setup to respond to GM program changes with a drum kit on MIDI Ch 10; and
“FOR STYLES” – designed to work with XGworks CHORD & STYLE feature – drums on MIDI
Channels 9-10.
A piano (001) was placed on all normal parts and voice values are all set to default. This way
when a GM/XG file starts the Voices will react properly. To create the Preformances we
initialized an EXT Performance and turned Bank Select OFF for each PART and stored our 128
GM-conforming sound list to the EXT Voice locations. We were very creative with some of the
Voices (had to be) and we paid absolutely no attention to the rules about layering. We then
put a drum kit on channel 10 and turned program change off on PART 10 and PARTS 9 & 10
for the For Styles (which uses a Percussion and a Drum track). Not perfect but not too bad
The myth of a so-called ‘professional’ GM sound set will, nevertheless, live on… Professional
General MIDI is like Military Intelligence and Jumbo Shrimp…or an almost perfect loop… What
is that?
So why would you get a PLG100-XG board? – because it gives you complete compatibility with
GM and XG sound files. You will be able to download XG files from the Internet and hear them
back exactly as the programmer intended them. With all the effect processing and routing that
the original programmer worked out. (The pseudo-GM set does not respond to any effect
selections, etc). The PLG100-XG is principally for playback of SMFs (Standard MIDI Files) in
the GM and XG format. There are thousands of song files made in this format. A conservative
estimate is that over 30,000,000 XG products are out there (scary thought, huh), even more if
you count all GM products – Most of them in computer systems around the globe. If you ever
thought about authoring music for web pages you might want to explore the immense
possibilities XG opens up. Log on to www.xgcentral.com or visit www.yamaha-xg.com and see
and hear what others around the world are doing with it. If you have a PLG100-XG board
installed – Go log on to xgcentral. Download the XG files and transfer them to your
SmartMedia card via the Card Filer software. You will find many XG files on the ‘Net.
I’m using the PLG100-XG board and want to know what happens if there is no GM or
XG reset at the top of the SMF?
Maybe, chaos happens. Without the reset command it is not really a GM or XG file. There will
be no instructions as to who the data is intended for and you will inherit whatever setup
currently exists. Any good (professional GM :-) file will have the RESET command as the very
first event. One of the rules of GM and XG is that you follow that rule: Thou shall start all GM
files with a GM Reset command followed by 50ms of no data. Thou shall follow the GM Reset
with an XG ON message and then leave 50ms blank. After this short time you can input your
Program change and other setup information.
The reason for resets is that it zeros out all controllers and effects. Without resets the
potential for danger is great. If the previous song faded out, for example, that could be a bad
thing because you would inherit levels all set to 0. Resets and the SETUP BAR are very
important concepts when using GM/XG. Instruments setups are not stored in RAM (the
PLG100-XG setups are not memorized by the S80 Performance) but the setup data is stored in
the Setup Bar of the song (via Control Change and System Exclusive messages). This data is
created and inserted automatically by software like XGworks Lite v3.0.
How do I stop the arpeggiator without having to go into EDIT mode every time?
You can assign one of the controllers to stop the arpeggiator. Here are some examples:
Voice Mode: You can assign the FS (Foot Switch) globally to controller number 90. This is
done in [UTLITY] on the CTRL Other page. When the FS is set to 90 you can toggle the
arpeggiator switch off and on by stepping off/on the pedal. It works like this: You step on it
and hold it to activate arpeggiator, release it - you stop the arpeggiator. [You must re-trigger
the chord to re-start the arpeggiator]. Controller assignment here is global.
Performance Mode: The first INT Performance (A01)001: AGE2000NEW is a good
example of a controller being assigned to stop the arpeggiator. It has a drum kit playing an
arpeggiated drum groove in the base range – below B1. Turn KN2 counterclockwise (left of 12
o’clock) to stop the arpeggiator. When you turn it back to 12 you can retrigger a note to begin
the arpeggiator again. Here’s how that was assigned: In [PERFORM] edit on the CTL Assign1
page KN2 is set to control number 90. This is a switch controller that will stop arpeggiator. If
you reassign FC (Foot Controller) to control number 90 you can stop and start the arpeggiator
with an optional FC7 pedal plugged in the Foot Control jack. Each Performance can be
individually programmed.
Alternatively, you have a slider for each Voice in a Performance. On the factory sounds the
slider is set to control change 007 (Volume). You can simply pull down the slider for the
arpeggiated Voice. Try it. Use slider 2 to kill the drum arpeggio.
How many Master Keyboard setups do I get and how does it work?
There are 128 Internal Master Keyboard setups possible (64 EXT*, if you have the optional
SmartMedia card). The Master Keyboard function works from Performance mode, only.
Each Performance is associated with its own Master keyboard setup. A Performance, which can
house 16 AWM2 sounds and potentially 2 PLG sounds, can have 4 Voices layered for real time
play – each of the Voices will have its Layer Switch ON – this is accomplished on a single MIDI
channel (called the Layer Channel). Master Keyboard mode lets you transmit on up to 4
separate MIDI channels, simultaneously.
Each Performance can have a unique Master Keyboard function stored with it.
*The LAYER SWITCH = ON overrides the MIDI channel assignment for a Part. Up to 4
Voices in a Performance can have the switch active at one time. If you attempt to
activate a fifth Part it will appear in parenthesis: (on). This means it is unavailable. All
active Voices in a Performance Layer are on the Layer Channel. If you are sending
data into an S80 from an external device (sequencer or other controller) the Layer
Channel can be set per Performance under COMMON parameters. When the LAYER
Switch is OFF for a PART it can receive on the assigned MIDI channel number.
When in Master Keyboard Mode both the [MASTER KEYBOARD] and [PERFORM] LEDs will be
illuminated. As you recall Master Keyboard/Performances you can send a different Bank Select
and Program change message to 4 separate MIDI channels using the 4-Zone feature. You can
also use the Master Keyboard mode to recall specific Splits or Layers that are complex and
multi-MIDI-channeled configurations. Those that perform live will particularly appreciate this
feature because they can instantly associate two complex setups on a single Performance
location – one when just [PERFORM] is lit and another when both [MASTER KEYBOARD] +
[PERFORM] are lit. And you have 128 of these because each Performance stores its own
Master Keyboard setup (or can). If you have the optional SmartMedia card you can have
access to an additional 64. A MASTER KEYBOARD setup can hold a Split or a Layer or a 4-zone
setup that can be recalled from a Performance.
As an example, the factory programmers included one: INT 128(H16) Master KB It is set up
so that when you first call it up in normal PERFORMANCE mode you only hear a fingered bass
sound across the entire keyboard. The Performance is stored with just the Finger Bass voice
active. However, when you activate the [Master Keyboard] button you will find that the S80 is
now set to play four separate zones. It is transmitting to MIDI channels 1-4 – Part 1-4 of its
parent Performance (of course, you can select any Parts via any 4 MIDI channels). What this
illustrates is that a performance can have a Master Keyboard setup that can be activated on
demand. How often do you open the song on a piano sound and then need that
piano/string/pad thing on the chorus? Now, extend your thinking out via MIDI to other sound
modules. The Master Keyboard 4-Zone Mode will recall certain setup data for your external
MIDI gear, as well.
Press [EDIT]. You can view the different zones by turning KN A clockwise to see Zone1 – Zone
4 or you can press buttons [A], [B], [C], and [D] to directly access the zones 1-4. The PAGE
knob will let you see the various editable parameters for each Zone. You will see that Zone 1
is set to transmit on MIDI channel 1, Zone 2 on MIDI channel 2, Zone 3 on MIDI channel 3
and Zone 4 on MIDI channel 4. All zones are set to transmit to the internal tone generator
(TG=ON) and out via MIDI (MIDI=ON). They programmed 4 independent zones but you can
set the Note Limits so that zones overlap in any manner you find necessary.
Here are the 3 different Master Keyboard functions: SPLIT, LAYER and 4-ZONE: You select the
function from [MASTER KEYBOARD]/[PERFORM] mode. Press [EDIT]. On the “GEN M.Kbd
Common” page set the MODE. Touch the [PRE 1] button as a shortcut to the GEN area then
use the PAGE knob to find the M.Kbd MODE screen. Select the MODE: If the Mode is in
parenthesis like: (4 ZONE) - this means the MASTER KEYBOARD light is out.
SPLIT: This lets you send on 2 MIDI channels with a discreet split point. The two sections are
called LOWER and UPPER. When activated you can address any two slots of the current
Performance. For example, (see example Performance setup below), your Performance could
have the following setup:
1: Upright Bass
2: Stereo Grand Piano
3: Background Strings
4: Soprano Sax
5: Smooth Saw
6: DX 100 Bass
Note Range
LAYER Switch ON; Note Limit C-2 ~ B2
LAYER Switch ON; Note Limit C3 ~ G8
LAYER Switch ON; Note Limit C3 ~ G8
Receive Channel 4; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Receive Channel 4; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Receive Channel 6; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Two possible setups:
[PERFORM] LED is lit: Your basic Performance could be speaking to the Acoustic Bass, Stereo
Grand Piano, and Background String Voices via the normal Performance Layer feature (LAYER
Switch = ON). Notice that the Upright Bass is set from B2 down and the Piano / String layers
are set from C3 up. The Performance (normal) is a complex split/layer (all on one channel).
[Master Keyboard] LED is lit: setup could recall a SPLIT that transmits UPPER on Channel 4
(Sax and Smooth Saw) and LOWER Channel 6 (DX 100 Bass). You can address the PLG150
Series Plug-in Voices the same way, if a PLG150 board is installed – simply activate the Layer
Switch parameter for PartP1 and/or PartP2. The SPLIT Master Keyboard setup lets you set
your own split point, G#3, which will be stored with the MASTER KB setup and is independent
of the other split point. Almost any thing is possible.
LAYER: This mode lets you send on two MIDI channels: UPPER and LOWER across the entire
MIDI range. When this Master Keyboard function is activated you can address any two slots of
the current Performance. For example (see Performances Voices below), your basic
Performance could be the Stereo Grand Piano on the Layer Channel. And when you press
[MASTER KEYBOARD] you can instantly transmit on any two MIDI channels (see an example
below). If your LAYER Master Keyboard setup were set to transmit on Channels 2 and 6 you
would get the Background Strings layered with the Smooth Pad whenever you activated the
[MASTER KEYBOARD] button. If you had preset the channels to 1 and 6 you would get the
Piano and Smooth Pad. Etc. And nothing says you can’t stack as many Parts on a MIDI
channel as you need. You can address the PLG150 Series Plug-in Voices the same way, if a
PLG150 board is installed – simply activate the Layer Switch parameter for PartP1 and/or
PartP2. Use normal caution to avoid hung notes – do not attempt to switch MIDI channels
while still holding notes down – this will leave the Note-ON without a Note-OFF. (Here’s
another moment of Zen: If a note is turned on for a MIDI channel and there is no note off to
stop it, will it ever stop sounding…)
1: Stereo Grand Piano
2: Background Strings
3: Finger Bass
4: Tenor Sax
5: Tri Lead
6: Smooth Pad
Note Range
LAYER Switch ON; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Receive Channel 2; Note Limit C3 ~ G8
Receive Channel 3; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Receive Channel 4; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Receive Channel 5; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
Receive Channel 6; Note Limit C-2 ~ G8
4-ZONE: This mode lets the user program up to 4 independent zones and adds the ability to
send Bank Select and Program Change messages out via MIDI. Additionally, you to activate
and deactivate controllers for a zone. 4-Zone setups can be splits, layers, or combination splits
and layers. While a Performance addresses up to 4 Parts on a single channel called the Layer
Channel, the MASTER KEYBOARD function will address up to 4 S80 Parts via their MIDI
Receive channel. In the Performance associated with each Master Keyboard setup you can put
Voices on as many PARTs as you wish and assign them to respond to a specific receive
channel. This way when you activate the Master Keyboard LED, you are speaking to the
sounds on those assigned MIDI channels. Of course, you can decide to transmit out via MIDI
or just to the internal sounds (TG) or both, per Zone. Each zone has an assignable slider. You
can go from one complex setup to another simply by activating or deactivating the Master
Keyboard LED.
When working with Performances and Master Keyboard setups, you may find it convenient to
work with the programming the Performance in its normal state, first, and then go to work on
the Master Keyboard setup, second. Be certain to store your work and remember that the
Performance can be radically different depending on whether [MASTER KEYBOARD] is lit or not
lit. The S80 will keep track of how you have things in each.
How do I return the factory INT Voices to memory?
Here are two quick ways:
Press [UTILITY] and then press [JOB], followed by [ENTER] and [YES] to execute a factory
set reload
Press the [SEQ PLAY] button and answer YES to the SEQ DEMO prompt. This will
effectively reload the factory sounds.
I’m in serious trouble, what is the hard reset?
Hold down [VOICE] + [PERFORM] + [STORE] and power up the unit. You will be given a
selection of options. Select [CARD] to rest the unit.
I’ve created my own AUTOLOAD.s2a file but I don’t want it to automatically load this
time. How can I prevent it from automatically loading?
Hold down the [EXIT] button while the unit powers up and goes through its diagnostics. Let go
after it checks for the plug in boards.
Prepared by: Phil Clendeninn
Product Marketing Specialist
Digital Musical Instruments
Yamaha Corporation of America