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Unlocking the Yamaha E70

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  • #16
    E70

    I was wondering if the Pedal synth could not be used in some way as a
    25-note solo keyboard? Making for a kind of EX-1 .... or, if we
    can find old Yamaha SY-1 synths ... then ....use some coupling switches
    to add mono synth ...... and then .... we take over the world !

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Unlocking the Yamaha E70

      [quote user="FlametopFred"]

      Do you think it would be possible
      to have a PDF scan of that PAS guide?
      </p>

      [/quote]</p>

      </p>

      Hi Fred!</p>

      You've got a lot of ideas for the E70! I love the idea of aftertouch (my holy grail for the E70), and thought about turning the touch vibrato into some kind of aftertouch sensing system, but I don't think it will be possible, because according to the PAS service guide, the touch vibrato might be part of the digital side of the organ. So, speaking yet again of the PAS guide, I did promise you this a while back, and I've finally started scanning. It comes in 2 parts, and I've made a pdf of the first part. The juicy info is on the way in Part 2... So, let the tweaking begin! Here's the first part. [] </p>

      http://www.sendspace.com/file/x23cvd</p>

      Cheers</p>

      Frank
      </p>
      Hammond C3 & Leslie 122, Yamaha E70, Lowrey MX1

      Comment


      • #18
        Yamaha E70 Service Manual Schematics



        I'm having a very good read of the E-70 schematics and finding a lot of really cool stuff.</p>

        I
        think that it will be quite feasible to add more features to the
        synth. And I think my idea will work: taking the Pre-Set Drawer
        and using #6 as the bank of sliders that will in turn access one of the
        voices (probably the Harp) to set up as the "Panel" voice where
        everything is variable. That would give us one set of true CS-80
        synth capability. Heh. </p>

        Just looking at the TPR2 Circuit, we can access: VCA Sustain, VCF Attack, VCF Initial, Resonance, HPF, LPF and so on.</p>

        The
        other part I am looking at is the resistors for the Transposition
        sliders. I will compare to my CS-80 Schematics and find the value
        that they used for the 5 1/3 setting. That will give us the 5th
        interval to add into our sound. I may look at that for just one
        side of the 2 voices for now.</p>

        </p>

        </p>

        Cool stuff in the manual. Lots of reading. But I think some careful, gingerly executed modifications can be done.</p>

        One
        of the first projects, actually, the VERY FIRST project will be tapping
        into the Audio Outputs and adding seperate outs. That will let me
        get to know the inside of the E-70 and how everything is bolted
        together and connected. But I am very excited.</p>

        </p>

        Cheers</p>

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Yamaha E70 Service Manual Schematics

          [quote user="FlametopFred"]

          I
          think that it will be quite feasible to add more features to the
          synth. And I think my idea will work: taking the Pre-Set Drawer
          and using #6 as the bank of sliders that will in turn access one of the
          voices (probably the Harp) to set up as the "Panel" voice where
          everything is variable. That would give us one set of true CS-80
          synth capability. Heh. </p>

          Just looking at the TPR2 Circuit, we can access: VCA Sustain, VCF Attack, VCF Initial, Resonance, HPF, LPF and so on.</p>

          [/quote]</p>

          It's a nice idea! But I believe the general problem with modifying a preset is getting the full range of control voltages, as well as waveform selection. If you select a preset, you're stuck with its waveform, and at this end we think waveform selection is done in the digital domain. Components would also have to be changed on the TPR board in question to set the control voltages for that preset for maximum range, and surely the controls in the drawer would all have to be rewired? Would that be possible at all?
          </p>

          [quote user="FlametopFred"] </p>

          The
          other part I am looking at is the resistors for the Transposition
          sliders. I will compare to my CS-80 Schematics and find the value
          that they used for the 5 1/3 setting. That will give us the 5th
          interval to add into our sound. I may look at that for just one
          side of the 2 voices for now.</p>

          [/quote]</p>

          Mmm, I like this...[]</p>

          Btw, part 2 of the PAS manual is coming along well - 80 pages done, 41 to go..... I also forgot to mention that I used OCR (optical character recognition) while compiling the pdfs, so they are text searchable!
          </p>

          Cheers</p>

          Frank
          </p>
          Hammond C3 & Leslie 122, Yamaha E70, Lowrey MX1

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Unlocking the Yamaha E70



            Here it is - part 2 of the PAS service guide!
            </p>

            http://www.sendspace.com/file/asr11b </p>

            Enjoy!</p>

            Frank
            </p>
            Hammond C3 & Leslie 122, Yamaha E70, Lowrey MX1

            Comment


            • #21
              Please pass me the PAS



              Many, many thanks for copying the PAS guide ! This is huge !

              </p>

              A lot of interesting stuff in the booklet ~ which is also a
              little confusing of course (as all Yamaha manuals ans guidebooks
              are). In the E-70 Service Manual there are many typos, which have
              the potential to be taken the wrong way. Mather board = Mother
              board. Crick Control = Click Control. These are just a
              couple.</p>

              I still have the CS-80 Service Manual and have been
              reading that too, to get an idea of how things work. Regarding
              the waveform selection, I still think there is a way to do that, or a
              way around it. If not, then once the Harp voice is modified, may
              consider modifying one of the other voices that use a different
              wave. The CS-80 never had a great range of wave shapes. I
              think (from memory) just square and saw. It was the filter on the
              CS-80 that gave all the variety of wave shapes. I would have to
              look again, but it seems like Pulse Width was a more important feature
              than wave shape. I do forget though.</p>

              Maybe the Sine Wave can come from the organ (flute) tones.
              I would have to look again at theE-70 manual. I think Sine is
              there somewhere. Maybe the bass tones can be used for LFO.
              The bass is monophonic. And low. Almost low enough.

              </p>

              In preparation of all this, I have been listening to and
              reviewing all my old CS-80 recordings. Mostly to familiarize
              myself with the sound again, and the specific features of the console
              ... the control and mod stuff. Like, for example, on the E-70,
              the Repeat Slider is useful to recreate VCA modulation. What I
              would like to do there is have Repeat (VCA Mod) follow the AD or
              ADSR. Right now it has no Release or Decay.</p>

              The E-70 has digital control, but there are many discrete boards and components.</p>

              And I am crazy.</p>

              Sure,
              it's probably a lot simpler just to buy a CS-80 ! ! But I am curious as
              to how far the E-70 can be taken because the building blocks are there.
              And it's something to do, a project with some fun potential.</p>

              </p>

              Comment


              • #22
                E70 Schematics



                Components would also have to be changed on the TPR
                board in question to set the control voltages for that preset for
                maximum range, and surely the controls in the drawer would all have to
                be rewired? Would that be possible at all?
                </p>

                I
                am thinking of basically gutting the Preset Drawer, to use as a control
                panel for accessing the TPR board. At first I was thinking I'd need to
                buy a bunch of sliders, and wire those into the console. Then it
                occured to me that the Drawer is already there, already a panel.
                There are other models (E-50, E-45) that could be stripped in the
                future, if one wanted to keep the presets. I don't use the
                presets. They are nice, but I just don't use.</p>

                The
                advantage of the Preset Drawer as a control panel is that there seems
                to be enough sliders there to start adding more control.</p>

                I need to consult with a local tech person.</p>

                Comment


                • #23
                  E70 mod



                  But I believe the general problem with modifying a preset is
                  getting the full range of control voltages, as well as waveform
                  selection. If you select a preset, you're stuck with its
                  waveform, and at this end we think waveform selection is done in the
                  digital domain. Components would also have to be changed on the
                  TPR board in question to set the control voltages for that preset for
                  maximum range
                  </p>

                  Myself, I would probably try adding
                  variable control first, before changing components to get full
                  voltage. To see if it can be done, and how easily. I also
                  want to see how hard it is to add another LFO wave shape to the
                  Vibrato. Square would be nice contrast to the Sine wave already
                  there.</p>

                  Anyway, I am still thinking. First project for me is
                  the separate audio outputs. I need that most urgently for
                  recording, to send the drums to one track, the bass to another and the
                  orchestra sounds to a third track, etc. From there, then can add
                  outboard effects to individual sounds. Plus I think the sound
                  could be cleaned up overall by adding a Mackie mixer instead of the
                  Yamaha MA circuit board.</p>

                  </p>

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    E70 mod



                    the 2nd project I want to try is tapping into the Wah pedal (which
                    controls the filter) and either add an LFO to that, or connect to a
                    proper sweep pedal.</p>

                    </p>

                    How about you guys? What
                    will be your first project, and how is it going? Any pictures of
                    your mods or work ? I will document what I do, in case helpful to
                    anyone.</p>

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: E70 mod

                      [quote user="FlametopFred"]

                      How about you guys? What
                      will be your first project, and how is it going? Any pictures of
                      your mods or work ? I will document what I do, in case helpful to
                      anyone.</p>

                      [/quote]</p>

                      Here's a summary of what we're thinking at the moment (subject to change of course!): </p>

                      Build a synth panel to sit in front of the music stand. This will contain 3 sets of VCA/VCF controls and be connected to the relevant TPR boards (TPR1 for the upper keyboard, TPR3 for lower and TPR4 for pedals). Between these 3 TPR boards, all waveforms should be accessible via the presets, with only a couple of limitations - TPR1 presets do not include "sawtooth plus asymmetrical rectangular wave", TPR3 presets do not include square wave, and TPR4 presets are also missing "sawtooth plus asymmetrical rectangular wave". </p>

                      There will be a preset/manual switch for each synth section on the synth panel. This will switch between the existing control voltages from the TPR boards and the new board(s) that we will also have to build, which will supply a new set of voltages, which will then be adjustable from the controls on the synth panel. </p>

                      This is all hypothetical stuff! Plus it only covers waveform selection and VCA/VCF control. I have no ideas when it comes to implementing LFO/modulation or other possibilities. I look forward to hearing more thoughts from you on that end, especially when you've had a bit of time with the PAS manual. I had a head full of possibilities until I read through it, and one by one they started disappearing! As I understand it, all frequency/pitch information is generated digitally, and envelope shaping and filtering are analogue. So, my question was - how to tap into the digital side? My tech friend suggested we not even attempt it.
                      </p>

                      Cheers</p>

                      Frank
                      </p>
                      Hammond C3 & Leslie 122, Yamaha E70, Lowrey MX1

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        E70 mod depth



                        Here's a summary of what we're thinking at the moment (subject to change of course!):
                        </p>

                        You guys have been seriously thinking ! !</p>

                        Build a synth panel to sit in front of the music stand.
                        </p>

                        That's a cool idea . . . . I have taken the music stand off, and a DX-7 sits there.

                        </p>

                        This will contain 3 sets of VCA/VCF controls and be
                        connected to the relevant TPR boards (TPR1 for the upper keyboard, TPR3
                        for lower and TPR4 for pedals).
                        </p>

                        Wow. That is ambitious ... but probably the way to go. Are you leaving the keyboard setup the same?

                        </p>

                        Between these 3 TPR boards, all waveforms should be
                        accessible via the presets, with only a couple of limitations - TPR1
                        presets do not include "sawtooth plus asymmetrical rectangular wave",
                        TPR3 presets do not include square wave, and TPR4 presets are also
                        missing "sawtooth plus asymmetrical rectangular wave".
                        </p>

                        So you guys are thinking of making three separate synths? </p>

                        There
                        will be a preset/manual switch for each synth section on the synth
                        panel. This will switch between the existing control voltages
                        from the TPR boards and the new board(s) that we will also have to
                        build, which will supply a new set of voltages, which will then be
                        adjustable from the controls on the synth panel.
                        </p>

                        Yeah, that's good too. I'm trying to incorporate that ability as well, though not super critical.</p>

                        This
                        is all hypothetical stuff! Plus it only covers waveform selection
                        and VCA/VCF control. I have no ideas when it comes to
                        implementing LFO/modulation or other possibilities. I look
                        forward to hearing more thoughts from you on that end, especially when
                        you've had a bit of time with the PAS manual. I had a head full
                        of possibilities until I read through it, and one by one they started
                        disappearing! As I understand it, all frequency/pitch information
                        is generated digitally, and envelope shaping and filtering are
                        analogue. So, my question was - how to tap into the digital
                        side? My tech friend suggested we not even attempt it.
                        </p>

                        For
                        the LFO, a separate, new LFO will have to be built (probably a couple
                        of those) that will then tap into places where LFO's should go.
                        For example, the Vibrato is one place where an LFO "could" go. Or
                        mostly I was thinking to start with, put an LFO on the Filters.</p>

                        Regarding
                        the digital, I am prepared to circumvent the digital if it can be done
                        without harming routing or control of something. That's the big
                        question I guess.</p>

                        Remember, the CS-80 itself is
                        mostly a "Pre-Set" keyboard. It did have the 6 user-friendly
                        panels for programming sounds. But mostly I would work off one of
                        the preset sounds (like Funky or Harpsichord) and mess around with the
                        Filter and LFO. Which are already there on the E-70 in the form
                        of the Brilliance controls, and the Vibrato and the Wah pedal (side to
                        side). I was surprised when I first started playing it, how
                        very close I could get to CS-80 sounds. So I want so explore in
                        that direction, gently taping into the VCF and VCA. If they are
                        voltage controlled, with a Digital Overlord, then I think a lot is
                        possible if not by sneaky means.</p>

                        I like that we are approaching this from two different angles.</p>

                        Mostly
                        I would like there to be more variance between the two channels of
                        sound ~ Upper Keyboard and Lower Keyboard, when combined. Pitch
                        would be one ... and I might even take out the Transposition Stops and
                        simply put a tuning Pot in there for Channel II - the Lower Keyboard
                        sounds. The other question is maybe putting a filter on the Organ
                        (Flute) Sounds. Right now that is where I get my 5th from.</p>

                        </p>

                        This is cool stuff though. Way cool. Thanks for all the feedback and exchange of ideas.</p>

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          E70 mod depth



                          At a certain point ... I was thinking too that this might make more sense:</p>

                          - remove the upper keyboard manual</p>

                          - install a 61-note midi keyboard or controller</p>

                          - add midi-to-analog control of the Orchestra Sounds, with a Midi-to-CV box (like the Kenton).</p>

                          In
                          other words, long range goal could be to replace the E-70 digital
                          control with MIDI control. Which might be a speedier way to
                          install aftertouch and that kind of think. Which is one step
                          closer to complete total insanity . ... anyway ... I am
                          mostly still thinking.</p>

                          </p>

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: E70 mod depth

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]

                            This will contain 3 sets of VCA/VCF controls and be
                            connected to the relevant TPR boards (TPR1 for the upper keyboard, TPR3
                            for lower and TPR4 for pedals).
                            </p>

                            Wow. That is ambitious ... but probably the way to go. Are you leaving the keyboard setup the same?[/quote]</p>

                            Yep, that's the plan. I spent some time with my friend reading through the PAS manual, and my initial idea was just to modify a preset for each keyboard which would involve setting the control voltages on the relevant TPR board to their maximum allowable range by changing the necessary components. It was he who suggested starting from scratch, and building a new board to generate a fresh set of voltages which could then be tweaked using the panel controls. We're still thinking though! It's a big undertaking, and he's the electronic engineer...
                            </p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"] </p>

                            Between these 3 TPR boards, all waveforms should be
                            accessible via the presets, with only a couple of limitations - TPR1
                            presets do not include "sawtooth plus asymmetrical rectangular wave",
                            TPR3 presets do not include square wave, and TPR4 presets are also
                            missing "sawtooth plus asymmetrical rectangular wave".
                            </p>

                            So you guys are thinking of making three separate synths? [/quote]</p>

                            Well, not exactly 'making' - more like harnessing what's already there. Picture a Minimoog-type panel with lots of knobs, controlling the 3 existing synth engines.
                            </p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]
                            </p>

                            There
                            will be a preset/manual switch for each synth section on the synth
                            panel. This will switch between the existing control voltages
                            from the TPR boards and the new board(s) that we will also have to
                            build, which will supply a new set of voltages, which will then be
                            adjustable from the controls on the synth panel.
                            </p>

                            Yeah, that's good too. I'm trying to incorporate that ability as well, though not super critical. [/quote]</p>

                            We're only thinking of this approach because my friend thinks it would be the easiest way to implement manual control. Going in and hacking away at the existing guts of the E70 would simply be too risky. We're really just talking about cutting the VCA/VCF control voltage lines from the TPR boards, rerouting them to our new panel and creating a new set of voltages at that point, and then hanging a bunch of pots off them on the panel.
                            </p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]</p>

                            For
                            the LFO, a separate, new LFO will have to be built (probably a couple
                            of those) that will then tap into places where LFO's should go.
                            For example, the Vibrato is one place where an LFO "could" go. Or
                            mostly I was thinking to start with, put an LFO on the Filters.</p>

                            Regarding
                            the digital, I am prepared to circumvent the digital if it can be done
                            without harming routing or control of something. That's the big
                            question I guess. [/quote]</p>

                            I think you're straight into digital as soon as you start talking about anything to do with pitch or modulation on the E70.[]
                            </p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]
                            </p>

                            I was surprised when I first started playing it, how
                            very close I could get to CS-80 sounds.[/quote]</p>

                            Me too! I got into Blade Runner territory very quickly with the volume pedal wah effect! </p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]

                            </p>

                            So I want so explore in
                            that direction, gently taping into the VCF and VCA. If they are
                            voltage controlled, with a Digital Overlord, then I think a lot is
                            possible if not by sneaky means.[/quote]</p>

                            Yes indeed. The VCF and VCA are the most accessible functions, as we see it. The Digital Overlord is the problem!
                            </p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]</p>

                            Mostly
                            I would like there to be more variance between the two channels of
                            sound ~ Upper Keyboard and Lower Keyboard, when combined. Pitch
                            would be one ... and I might even take out the Transposition Stops and
                            simply put a tuning Pot in there for Channel II - the Lower Keyboard
                            sounds. The other question is maybe putting a filter on the Organ
                            (Flute) Sounds. Right now that is where I get my 5th from.[/quote]</p>

                            I think you might come unstuck there unfortunately. The transposition sliders are processed - you guessed it - digitally.... Have a look at p71-p73 of the PAS manual for the info.</p>

                            [quote user="FlametopFred"]</p>

                            This is cool stuff though. Way cool. Thanks for all the feedback and exchange of ideas.</p>

                            [/quote]</p>

                            Absolutely! I hope that we can come up with a workable plan that might suit both (or more) of us!</p>

                            Cheers</p>

                            Frank
                            </p>
                            Hammond C3 & Leslie 122, Yamaha E70, Lowrey MX1

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: E70 mod depth

                              [quote user="FlametopFred"]

                              At a certain point ... I was thinking too that this might make more sense:</p>

                              - remove the upper keyboard manual</p>

                              - install a 61-note midi keyboard or controller</p>

                              - add midi-to-analog control of the Orchestra Sounds, with a Midi-to-CV box (like the Kenton).</p>

                              In
                              other words, long range goal could be to replace the E-70 digital
                              control with MIDI control. Which might be a speedier way to
                              install aftertouch and that kind of think. Which is one step
                              closer to complete total insanity . ... anyway ... I am
                              mostly still thinking.</p>

                              </p>

                              [/quote]</p>

                              Some thoughts: </p>

                              If you remove the upper keyboard, you lose the really cool touch vibrato, which, btw, seems to be polyphonic! I thought about somehow hijacking the touch vibrato circuit to modify it into some kind of aftertouch, but according to the PAS manual, the touch information from the keyboard is turned into digital pitch data, which is incorporated into the data stream at the frequency generation level, way before any point at which it could be intercepted. Stumped again!</p>

                              Speaking of MIDI, there's a page where a guy has come up with a MIDI interface for the D85/E45: </p>

                              http://www.carlopetrini.it/YAMAHAE45/index_e.html</p>

                              Frank
                              </p>
                              Hammond C3 & Leslie 122, Yamaha E70, Lowrey MX1

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                E70 in the deep end of depth



                                Yep, that's the plan. I spent some time with my friend
                                reading through the PAS manual, and my initial idea was just to modify
                                a preset for each keyboard which would involve setting the control
                                voltages on the relevant TPR board to their maximum allowable range by
                                changing the necessary components. It was he who suggested
                                starting from scratch, and building a new board to generate a fresh set
                                of voltages which could then be tweaked using the panel controls. We're
                                still thinking though! It's a big undertaking, and he's the
                                electronic engineer...
                                </p>

                                </p>

                                I have been reading
                                the PAS manual all weekend (thank you so much for scanning and making
                                into a PDF). It is one of those Yamaha documents with lots of
                                pretty looking graphs and text that can be confusing. In general
                                terms, sometimes what they talk about is contradicted 10 pages later
                                .... which may be a translation-to-English issue. But it does
                                explain a few things, and really gives great insight about what the
                                Engineers were thinking (and maybe smoking).</p>

                                Your plan may be the way to go. It simplifies things.

                                </p>

                                Well, not exactly 'making' - more like harnessing
                                what's already there. Picture a Minimoog-type panel with lots of
                                knobs, controlling the 3 existing synth engines.
                                </p>

                                Harnessing is a good way to describe it.</p>

                                btw
                                ~ maybe your friend can help me on this ... locally there is a Yamaha
                                SY-1 that I can purchase for a couple hundred dollars. I was
                                thinking that if I can work out how to couple it, would add to the
                                Upper Keyboard.</p>

                                the other question I have for your friend has to
                                do with Power Supply and Voltages. Would the current E-70 Power
                                Supply be enough to run what you are proposing, or will there have to
                                be another Power Supply ?</p>

                                Going in and hacking away at the existing guts of the E70 would simply be too risky.
                                </p>

                                It can be. But I have done that in the past (or at least my Tech Support person has).</p>

                                I
                                think you're straight into digital as soon as you start talking about
                                anything to do with pitch or modulation on the E70.
                                </p>

                                Maybe
                                ... but I think (I think) that there are points in the schematics where
                                you can tap into the control voltages. Both for the Filter (like
                                where the Wah Pedal is) and the Transposition. In the Schematics
                                I found there are distinct resistors used for the various stops (16' 8'
                                4' 2') all I need to do is figure out the resistor that is required for
                                the 5 1/3 setting....or perhaps rmove one set of those resistors and
                                put in a variable resistor (pot) .... which would allow tuning and
                                detuning of one channel. I think.</p>

                                Yes
                                indeed. The VCF and VCA are the most accessible functions, as we
                                see it. The Digital Overlord is the problem!
                                </p>

                                .. the
                                problem and also the genius of how the E-70 (and CS-80) works. It
                                makes sense to me ... that Yamaha Engineers used a blend of organ
                                technology with synthesizer technology ... which I have always felt was
                                the unique thing about the CS-80 in the first place.</p>

                                think
                                you might come unstuck there unfortunately. The transposition
                                sliders are processed - you guessed it - digitally.... Have a
                                look at p71-p73 of the PAS manual for the info.
                                </p>

                                I think
                                that is one of those instances of the PAS Manual being confusing, or
                                misleading in it's translation. If I read the Schematics right, I
                                have found the resistor values for the Transposition ... yes, part of
                                the Transposition does come from (inititially) the Digital
                                Overlord. But not all. Because the E-70 (and PAS) is a
                                hybrid of Digital Control over Analog components, there are points where
                                there are resistors or pots.</p>

                                In the PAS manual, the way it
                                gets explained kind of leans heavily on the Digital Control, which
                                there is A LOT .... more than I imagined for 1977.</p>

                                A lot of what
                                they talk about in the PAS manual was not even mentioned in marketing
                                during the 1970s. Computers were evil back then! It was
                                only later on @ 1983 that computers became a good thing.</p>

                                </p>

                                Interesting
                                in that we both (three, including your engineer) have two different
                                concepts on this ~ how to modify. I am very curious and excited
                                to see how your approach works.</p>

                                Make sure you guys take
                                lots of digital photos .. when you go inside the E-70 and do
                                things. I will do the same, and try to keep a good diary.</p>

                                </p>

                                Comment

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