VL Editing

(A work in progress)


This section starts with an introductory sketch of things to learn to get started editing a VL synth, using the Yamaha manuals as a guide for much of it, then progresses into more involved editing and guiding principles for successful VL editing. The focus is on editing the VL1-m Version 2 from the front panel. A VL1 or VL7 will be very similar. Using one of the new computer editors is quite a bit different, and that will be covered in another section later. If your computer is not near your VL synth and you want to use some of this info, simply print the Web page.

Editing Basics

To begin with, you need to get comfortable paddling around in the VL menus. By spending some time playing around in the edit screens, you will gain a familiarity and comfort level with the overall layout. Walking through the tutorials provided by Yamaha is a good first step. This would include the exercises in the Getting Started manual and the 'experiments' in the Version 2 addendum. Pay particular attention to steps 22 & 23 on page 60 of the addendum and realize that any changes that you make editing can easily be canceled as described. In fact, unless you poke the STORE button, you lose all of your edits as soon as you move to the next voice and back (except as noted under UTIL/RECALL). Even if you press STORE, your new voice isn't saved to floppy unless you go into UTIL/DISK and save to disk. You can also toggle in and out of your changes by pressing the EDIT button again and again. Pressing the EDIT button a second time will temporarily undo all of your edits since the last STORE, so often it is easier to compare sounds by turning the data dial on an appropriate field instead.

Assuming that you have one or more source disks to load from, I recommend that you take a junk disk and format it in UTIL/DISK. Put a label on it and keep it in the VL1 while you are editing. All of the voices that you last loaded will be in the VL1's memory (and saved when you power down), but as you edit voices that you want to save, you can put them on a floppy for posterity.

Initially I recommend that you spend more time in certain areas and stay away from others. In particular, make sure that you understand:

  • Pretty much everything in UTIL mode under SYSTEM.
  • In PLAY mode, how to bip in and out of Dir (F8). Within DIR, how to motor with the arrow keys and especially how to hold down INC and press DEC to increment a whole bank, and vice versa. Since comparable instruments are normally one bank apart, this is useful.
  • Under PLAY in the CS (QED) screen, how to control CS1 or CS2 with something from your keyboard or a foot pedal or such.
  • In PLAY, how to use the Monitor screen to see where you are at with various breath pressures, if some controllers are working, etc.
  • In EDIT mode, each item on the top screen.
  • In EDIT COM, you can play around usefully in the EFFECT section, especially in the Modulation and Reverb screens. Under EDIT /COM/MISC, I would check out the Element Pitch, Level & Pan, and Continuous Slider screens.
  • In element editing, go into /E1/MISC/BREATH NOISE, and select the Noise type and Level. Also check /E1/MISC/AMPLITUDE.
  • You may want to mess around with some of the CTRL screens in Element editing.
  • Under /E1/MISC I would stay away from Setting and Mixing at first. Also in Element editing I would stay away from the entire Modifier section in the beginning.

If you are handy with all of the areas mentioned above, you should be off to a flying start in VL editing.