PLG150-PF Professional Piano Board

Volume: Modular Synthesis Plug-in System PLG150-PF
Power User
PLG150-PF Professional Piano Board
The PLG150-PF is a single part plug-in
board. It contains 136 preset Voices and is a part
of the Modular Synthesis Plug-in System. The
board has 16 megabytes of new sampled data
and offers the highest quality Voices available.
The samples here were specifically selected and
painstakingly matched to work in these Voices.
(Please make sure you have loaded the special
Voice data into memory when you are
auditioning this board).
PLG150 series boards can be used in Modular
Synthesis Plug-in System products like the
S30/S80 and CS6 synthesizers and can also be
used in certain XG system products like the
SW1000XG/p and the MU128 and above series of
tone modules. When referring to the manual
always look for the type of product being
described. If you have an S30/S80/CS6 only
refer to sections on the Modular Synthesis
Included with your S/CS synthesizer was a CDROM with XGworks Lite v3.0 Music Sequencing
Software. A special software plug-in module for
XGworks, called “PF EASY EDITOR”, is included
on the diskette that comes with the PLG150-PF.
It can be used to customize some of the PF
settings (actually offsets to the stored data).
Edits made with the PF Easy Editor can be stored
separately or inserted into song data to automate
sound changes.
Checking Installation
Check to make sure your board or boards are
properly installed. Here’s how:
On the host: Press [UTILITY]
Use the MENU feature ([SHIFT]+PAGE) or
the PAGE knob to navigate to the PLG Status
vPLG Status> PLG1:PLG150-AN
Figure 1: Your screen may differ according to what
boards you have plugged into which slots. The
“Expand” parameter will be active only when you have
2 boards of the same type installed and polyphony
expansion is possible. A second PLG150-PF will give
you a maximum of 128 notes of PF polyphony in
Expand poly mode. Because the System is modular,
this polyphony does not take away from the 64-note
polyphony of the mothership host (S30 / S80 / CS6x /
Banks of sounds
Each PLG150 series board comes with special
“Plug-In Voice” data – these files are typically
.mid files that bulk in 64 factory Voices. Load the
Plug-in Voices that come with the PLG150-PF. On
“01PlgV1.mid” or “01PlgV2.mid” depending on
whether your board is in slot 1 or slot 2. Playing
this file to the S30/80-CS6 synth will bulk the
Plug-In Voice data to the 64 PLG locations
associated with the board. They are listed in the
PLG150-PF Owner’s Manual on page 29. You can
back up these files to a SmartMedia card once
you have loaded them. If you receive the TYPE
MISMATCH error message you have played the
wrong numbered file for this PLG. A type
mismatch means the Voice data did not find the
appropriate board in the slot. The PLG150-PF
must be in the unit to be addressed by the
voicing parameters. You cannot use the Voices
separate from the PLG board. The first sound
should be: (A01):001[StrchGndPf ] and
should have a Reverb Send on KN 1 (knob 1). If
you have another name or there is no Reverb
send on KN1, please load the proper file to your
What is a Plug-in Voice and what is a Board
The Plug-in Voices are found from the front
panel of the host S/CS synth under the [PLG1]
and [PLG2] buttons, when you have a PLG board
properly installed. The host can store 64 Plug-in
Voices per board (A01-D16). The PLG150-PF
comes with a disk file that will load 64 Plug-In
Voices to your synth. They integrate the Voice
with the mothership’s controllers and effects but
call on sample data resident on the board, called
the Board Voices. Instead of using ROM
samples from the host, the PLG Voices point to
completed multi-element samples that are
y Power User
resident on the PLG board. The PF Board Voices
are arranged in various banks.
Sixty-four Plug-In Voices can be made
from the 128 preset Voices provided on the
PLG150-PF. Plug-In Voices are Board Voices that
have been integrated into the mothership’s setup
and are stored in either bank [PLG1] or [PLG2],
depending on which one contains your PLG150PF. The board must be physically in the slot with
the proper data loaded in order to play the Plugin Voices. The Modular Synthesis Plug-in System
will let you create your own customized user
controller setups. It is possible to customize the
knobs, pedals, wheels, aftertouch, etc., to help
you with performing each sound. Take your time
and play through these sounds. And when you
are ready to explore deeper come back to this
Let’s look under the hood and see where these
64 Plug-in Voices sounds come from:
Press [VOICE]; then the [PLG] button for
your PLG150-PF board.
Select sound A01 (001); StrchGrdPf
Press [EDIT]
Navigate to the “OSC Assign – Element”
page. Hold [SHIFT] + turn PAGE and select
“Elem: OSC” or you can use KN A to select
ELEM and then use the PAGE Knob to select
OSC Assign. Or the keyboard shortcut: Touch
Program button [9]
It is important to realize that although this page
is called the OSCILLATOR ASSIGN Element page,
you are actually selecting completed multielement AWM2 Voices, not single elements.
These multi-element Voices are on the PLG150PF board. More on this in a moment...
6OSC Assign
4032/000 1[StGrndPSt ]
The PF board has several banks of sounds as
PLG bank = INT 64 locations;
Bank = 032/000 -- 128 preset Board Voices
When using the PF board in an XG scenario,
there are various extension banks, these are:
Bank = PF/XG A 080/000; 080/064 thru 080/105
Bank = PF/XG B 096/000; 096/064 thru 096/099
The two numbers represent MSB/LSB for bank
select – (MSB and LSB Bank Select numbers are
used to facilitate remote changes from a device
like a sequencer).
As you may know, GM divides instruments into
16 categories - 8 sounds in each. Obviously, the
PF board only has sounds in the PF category:
Piano, Bright Piano, Electric Grand Piano, Honky
Tonk Piano, Electric Piano 1 (Rhodes-type),
Electric Piano 2 (DX-type), Harpsichord, and
Clavinet. The Extension banks arrange the
sounds so that they can be used as substitutes in
the GM/XG Voice and program change slots.
They are the same board voices just arranged for
convenience when selecting via the GM/XG voice
map. In other words, even though there are
many banks, the sounds will only occupy the first
8 program changes of the GM program list.
If you are using an S80/30 or CS6x/R, for
example, as the host for the PLG150-PF you need
only concern yourself with the 032/000 bank –
where the 128 sounds are listed from 1-128.
(Hey, how come the brochure says 136 Voices?)
– There are 8 sounds that are used in an XG
module principal bank. They are the 8 basic ‘Pf’
category GM sounds: Grand Piano, Brite Piano,
CP Grand, Honky Tonk, EP1, EP2, Harpsichord
and Clav.
From the OSC Assign page use Knob 2 to recall
the different sounds from the PLG150-PF board.
As you play through these different sounds you
will hear that some of them have effect
processing on them, some are obviously more
than a single element and all are completed
sounds. (Very unlike when we did the same thing
on the PLG150-AN DX, and VL boards – where
the sounds were single element). The other 3
PLG150-series boards each represents a different
synthesis technology: AN – analog physical
modeling, VL – Virtual Acoustic physical
modeling and DX – Frequency Modulation
synthesis. The PF board is based on AWM2
sample playback technology. While with the
other boards we were accessing mathematical
equations or 6-operator tone structures, here we
are accessing completed sample playback
waveforms. An important point is, the other
boards are a single element by the design of the
technology. The PLG150-PF board is different.
In fact, the architecture of the PLG150-PF board
is very similar to the S80/S30/CS6 itself. Both
have up 4 to Elements per Voice, both have a
reverb, chorus and insertion effects and they
both have 64 notes of polyphony. The PF150-PF
is just like a little S80 on a board! But it is
dedicated to just piano category sounds. You are
looking at a little preset synth within your synth.
As you explore the PLG150-PF you will see that
you cannot edit every parameter of the individual
y Power User
elements on the Board from the current PF EASY
EDITOR. The Easy Editor only allows you to
tweak the EQ and some very basic parameters,
like effect amounts. Currently, there is no PF
Expert Editor. You are locked out of extremely in
depth editing on the PLG150-PF board.
Why is there a PLG150-PF board?
In general, the piano, as an instrument, is a hog.
It is. No instrument that can go as high, goes as
low in range. And vice versa. When it comes to
sample playback technology, very few sounds
use up as much memory. Pianos in many synths
suffer from lack of room in the wave ROM. When
a piano has to share the wave memory with five
or six hundred other sounds, it is always a
compromise as to how much memory gets
allocated for the poor piano. Even the S80 with
its 24 megabytes of wave ROM does not have
enough room for the piano fanatics at Yamaha.
The PLG150-PF dedicates 16MB of memory for
just the piano category. Now you are getting into
the kind of dedicated wave ROM that you find in
the Yamaha P-series of professional pianos. The
voicing and architecture of this board are
concentrated on the reproduction of fine pianos.
All the magic and subtleties of the art of
sampling can be brought to bare on the wave
ROM. Phase-locked, multi-strike pianos that
respond to your playing style smoothly and
realistically. The PLG150-PF board has some
unique features like the ‘soundboard simulation’
that is involved only when the sustain pedal is
down. The implementation of the sustenuto pedal
(control change #066) - Sostenuto, you know,
the center pedal on the piano – the PLG150-PF
pianos will respond making serious piano
performance possible. Try this: In [UTILITY] set
the FS (Foot Switch) to number 066 Sostenuto.
Plug a Yamaha FC4 or FC5 pedal in the Foot
Switch jack. You can now play an octave in the
left hand – step on and hold the pedal – this will
latch the ‘dampers’ for those ‘strings’, letting
them ring while you continue to play without
sustain on the subsequent notes. You cannot do
implemented is the soft pedal function. Assign
the FS to control change 67 Soft. Now the pedal
will apply a ‘deadness’ to the ‘strings’.
We also know that digitally sampled-pianos
sound different when combined in different
mixes. Just like a recorded piano in a track has a
different personality depending on if it is mixed
with electric guitars or violins. You can never
have enough quality piano sounds. The voicing of
the PLG150-PF is a large part of what you are
buying when you get a PLG150-PF board. When
you need a specific piano sound for a recording
or for a session, you will appreciate the details of
this board. When used in a Modular Synthesis
System product, you will be able to tweak
parameters that have been set up by the original
programmer. (You cannot fully edit every
parameter of the PLG150-PF Voice). Take a look
at the Voice Lists in the PLG150-PF booklet that
accompanied your board. You will see a chart
(page 24) that indicates what type of Insertion
effect (the effect is resident on the PLG150-PF
board), if any, has been applied to the Board
Voice. This chart also indicates how each effect
was programmed and the number of elements in
the Voice. If an Insertion effect is applied in the
board preset, then and only then, can you edit it.
If the Voice does not have a native insertion
effect applied, you cannot change that on the
board, however, you can apply the processors of
your S80/30/CS6 to create your desired result
(on the COMMON level) as you create a finished
Plug-in Voice.
Step – by – Step: How to create a Plug-in
Voice from a PLG150-PF Board Voice
Let’s use sound Tea (dedicated to the late
Richard Tee, legendary NY session player) to
learn something about how the PF board works
using only on board (S/CS) parameters. Don’t be
afraid to explore when you are paging through
EDIT mode. This Voice features a triple strike
(soft-medium-hard) Fender Rhodes sample set.
This is generated entirely on the PLG150-PF
board. According to the Preset Voice list on page
24 and 25 of the PLG150-PF Owner’s Manual:
The ‘Tea’ sound is number 59 and is a single
element sound (which means only one note of
polyphony is used for each note played. The
Insertion effect that is applied is a 2-Band EQ.
From [VOICE] mode select the [PLG] bank
that contains your PLG150-PF, [PLG1] or
Press [JOB] and select the Initialize function.
Initialize the current Voice position. Press
[ENTER], [INC/YES] to execute.
Press [EDIT]
Select the OSC Assign> page – Use the
MENU feature to select ‘Elem: OSC’; The
MENU can be viewed by holding [SHIFT]
while turning the PAGE knob. The one touch
Shortcut: touch button [9], then use the
PAGE Knob, if necessary.
6OSC Assign
Using Knob C select Bank 032/000; use Knob
1 to select Program Number = 59[Tea
y Power User
Use the PAGE knob to explore the Element
parameter pages; Shortcut: touch buttons
[9], [10], [14], [15] to arrive at a single
page within that area (like bookmarks).
Use the PAGE knob or button [15] to select
the ‘NTV_Param’ (Native parameters) page.
Native Parameters refers to parameters that
address the data on the PLG150-PF board.
You are offsetting data that originates on the
board. Locate the Element Level parameters
– EL1 Level / EL2 Level / EL3 Level/ EL4
Level. Each is set to +00 (you are offsetting
the data from its originally programmed
values) except EL4 is unavailable ‘***’.
vNTV Param
EL1 Level
EL2 Level
vNTV Param
EL3 Level
EL4 Level
You can alternately turn down the levels of
two of the elements (to –64) and isolate each
one in turn. By doing so you will discover
that this sound is made from 3 different
element sounds but the elements are velocity
limited so that they are set to respond when
you strike the key within its range. Only a
single element is ever sounding at a time.
Obviously the original programmer spend
some time getting this crossover just right.
Call up a different Board Voice on the OSC
Assign page and explore its parameters.
Board Voice #30 for example, PnoStPad –
this is a 4-element Board Voice: Stereo
piano/stereo pad.
Try Board Voice #128: PhsDgClv – a one
element Voice that has a Phaser as the
Insertion Effect type; Notice that you can
adjust the LFO speed and depth as NTV
(native) Parameters: INS LFO Frequency and
INS LFO Depth; You can also control the
Feedback and the Wet/Dry balance.
Use the PAGE knob to move through and
view the available parameters.
Experiment with making edits. You can add
S/CS parameters on the COMMON level –
route controllers, add S80 effects: Reverb,
Chorus, and an Insertion. Shortcut to
COMMON parameters: touch Program button
[1] General. Practice navigating the edit
When you press [STORE] your work will be
saved to one of the 64 PLG locations. At this
point it becomes a proper Plug-In Voice.
We learned a few things. The PLG150-PF board is
similar in structure to the S30/S80/CS6 synth.
The Board Voices are 1 to 4 Elements deep and
have their own programming. We also learned
that a sound with 3-elements does not always
mean that you use 3-notes of polyphony when
you strike it – that all depends on how the
elements have been velocity or note limited. We
also have seen that you can only get at a few of
the parameters via the PF EASY EDITOR. We also
observed that as you change the Board Voice
assigned on the OSC Assign page you may see
become available. Each PLF150-PF Board Voice
preset will recall the parameters that are
available for editing. When we select an ‘element’
on the OSC Assign page we are selecting more
than just that the ‘element’ (Board Voice), it
recalls all of its programming, as well. If a
parameter is unavailable you will see “***”
instead of a value. Sometimes a parameter will
have little or no effect on the sound – if, for
example, in the original Voice the volume is set
at maximum, you cannot offset it so that it is
louder than maximum, and so forth.
What if you want to change the effect
assigned? If, for example, we want to add a
Chorus, or Phaser or Distortion to the “Tea” Voice
and it wasn’t originally programmed for this
effect, we can’t. You cannot change the effect
processor algorithm on the PLG150-PF board, but
you can route the sound to the internal effect
processors of the mother. Simply use the
mothership’s Insertion Effects found in the
COMMON Voice parameter area. You have a
Reverb, a Chorus and an Insertion Effect on the
Common level. If it’s not programmed on the
board you can use the mothership’s effects.
Prepared by: Phil Clendeninn
Product Marketing Specialist
Digital Musical Instruments
©Yamaha Corporation of America