Monday, August 10, 2015

Status update (1 Dec)

Finally...I did reach the point where all tests are pasted correctly.  Some time was lost due to further optimizations & simplifications of the advanced tuning features.

Soon I will prepare the demo version, generating and testing the WIN and MAC distribution kits. I hope this goes well.  Next, I will invest time in video tutorials and documentation.

IMPORTANT: People who subscribe(d) to my mailing list before end of 2015 will received a nice discount on the commercial (full) version. 

So, drop me a mail before 2015 ends.    

the VL Wizard….

Status update (12 Nov)

I had some delay due to trouble with the MAC upgrade to El I'm close towards finishing a pre-release of the commercial version of the VL-Wiz.  I'm busy doing exception and stress testing, everything stays stable.... A few weeks to go......counting down can start......

Improvements: simplified the usage and navigation, increased the stability, easier setup, better support for XG-VL, easier use and switch between multi-VL voices, simplified the tuning module etc...

O, yes....Recently I became proud owner of a VL1.   I'm very pleased with it as because it allows me to better understand how Yamaha designed the VL70m. I did some initial tests to compare the VL1 with the VL70m and S90 with 3 PLGVL's.  To be honest, I think my S90 setup is able to reach the qualities of the VL1 and go beyond, particularly because the effect engine of the S90 is pretty powerful and it contains 3 VL voices instead of 2.....The only main difference on the VL1 is its sampling clock that is 48khz, gives the voice a bit more headroom and the extra modifier = Impulse Expander, which gives that metallic edge to a voice...the other good thing about the VL1 is the ability to store up to 128 user voices and load a voice super fast.....the VL1 also gives me a better view on how to use the UNISON, POLY and MONO combinations of the VL voices.....

Now I need to maintain my focus on finishing the VL-Wiz for the VL70m/PLGVL....not easy having the wonderful VL1 in house ;-)

keeping you informed

also check out a little Youtub video made by a friend in Japan....during the video he did use Beta2 version...

Status update (6 sept)

I'm happy to inform you that I released the BETA 3.  This is the last beta I will release..

Next will be a commercial version.  People who donated (sponsored) this project will receive a considerable reduction on the purchase price.  Donations are still possible...

Interested in checking out the Beta 3?  simply drop me an e-mail vl70m(@)

So, what is added?
- Multipart support,  sending and editing voices across multiple VL70m & PLG VL’s. 
- Snippets, a way to quickly (re)-store a chunk of settings (eg. EQ’s, part settings etc.)
- Midi learn, a way to map midi controllers to parameters
- Midi Phrase, a way to play a midi phrase while editing 
- Midi Reset (panic)
- Loading & Sending VL70m effects from another voices without touching the element voice. 
- Optimised sysex engine allowing to set interval time between sysex messages 
- Possibility to send an initialisation file containing sysex data. Simply add the required sysex strings (hex format) into this file to tell your synth(s) what to do with it’s PLGVL cards.
- Possibility to send a pre & post sysex file each time a voice is loaded.
- Ability to select multiple MIDI-IN and MIDI-Out ports
- Ability to select and monitor the MIDI IN and OUT channels
- Ability to force (send) Poly mode & part settings using the ASSIGN button ..this based on the settings you defined.
- Considerable amount of bug fixes

- Color Schemes

up to the commercial version....

Status update (31 Aug)

Almost there.... it is not easy to stay focussed on finishing the development when you have all that VL power in front of you...anyway, I resolved several technical issues related to the complexity of handling multiple VL-Voices. My confidence is growing each day and I think that the next Beta release (3) is almost ready and highly configurable...below a screenshot of the settings window.

Now you can tell the VL-Wizard to listen to multiple MIDI In ports and send Voice data to Multiple MIDI out ports. This allows you to interact with several VL cards stored in different synths and use multiple controllers (keyboard, WX5, EWI, BC3, TecControl...). Additionally you can set the MIDI in channel and the MIDI out channel. So you can daisy chain VL devices let them all Transmit on the same MIDI Channel and let them all Receive on a different Midi channel. Doing this helps to avoid midi-loopback issues.

Further in this example you can see 3 VL cards (slots) being configured.  Each contain the same voice EBsPckTS.  You do not need to load 3 times a voice because I did include the "ALL" button which is sending the VL same voice data to all the activated voice slots (device ID's) in one single action. If you want to go wild you can decided to load for each slot a different voice and switch everything to Mono instead of Poly. This gives you layered, very rich, expressive and unique sounds. You can then modify, tune each layer individually...

Another handy feature is the ASSIGN button. Clicking this does send the configuration for each voice slot to your VL synth(s)...with other words "force the VL-cards to operate into poly mode"..

Further below you see that you can use external files to initialize your synth during the startup of the VL-Wizard.  You can also use a Pre and Post sysex file to be send before and after loading a voice..or you can use a text file and enter the sysex and controller data (Hex format) yourself...for example, this is what is included in my initVLSYS.txt file. A sysex string to force my S90 into Voice mode and then I select PlugIn slot1 by sending the Bank / Program controller data. This way my S90 is switched into VL mode..

F0 43 10 6B 0A 00 01 00 F7
BF 00 3F
BF 20 18
CF 00
BF 00 21
BF 20 00
CF 00

You can now set the type to "VL70m" or "Config". The type "VL70m" will tell the VL-Wizard to send the full set of VL70m sysex tables to that voice slot. While the Type "Config" does allow you to send only specified tables. In this example I only the element voice data (table 9).

This "Config" type is included to allow a maximum of configuration flexibility to get your VL setup up and running (eg. people owning a EX5 with PLGVL cards).

Voila, this was a little update for those who own multiple VL cards ;-).....


Status update(10 Aug)

Many of you are wondering why I’m not releasing yet a final version of the VL-Wizard. Well, I’m a perfectionist and want to  keep future support issues up to the real minimum.  
When officially releasing (read: promoting and pushing) the VL-Wizard I want to be sure that it is rock-solid, easy to use and many great features.

Since a while I’m stress-testing the capability to manage (edit voices) for up to 8 VL-devices.  This means following VL-power;
-          ability to layer up to 8 VL voices or put them in Poly mode or a combination of both.
-          ability to use a mixed setup of different VL70m +PLG100VL+PLG150VL units.  And a combination of units in XG-VL and Native mode.

How it works;
-          You can set for each VL-unit:  the Device-ID, XG-Part Number, Poly-part number, midi interface, Native or XG-VL mode
-          You can set;
o   midi-in channel and midi-out channel
o   interval time between voice dumps (bulk sysex)
o   delay time between single sysex messages
-          Additionally I will include the capability to transmit user defined pre-and post sysex messages (this to allow advanced users to force their Yamaha synth into VL-mode)

Keeping you informed


Saturday, June 27, 2015


Hereby some additional examples of POLY VL (using midi playback phrases to trigger the guitar VL Voices)

Hi all

Hereby a sound demo on VL Multi Part (Cinematic Brass section). Hmmm, not a really master piece, just an should give you a feel on the real power of the Yamaha VL Technology when using the VL-Wizard.

Setup: 3 x PLGVL cards in a Yamaha S90 Synth + 1 x VL70m + WX5 windcontroller.
All recording in one single shot using the WX5 controller, no mastering, no additional effects, no extra manipulation...straight VL-sounds input from the PLGVL's+VL70m

So, yes, I'm making good progress enhancing the VL-Wizard to handle multipart setup. It will support up to 8 VL cards...

Again a big thanks to all people giving me donating / sponsoring this project...thanks to them I could buy 3 PLGVL cards..

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Some good news.  I'm owning now a wonderful Yamaha S90-keyboard. Such keyboards have 3 PLG slots and can be found on the second hands market for around 500 Euro.  The other solution would have been to buy a 2nd hands MU2000.

Soon I will stuff 3 PLG100VL cards into the S90 slots so I can develop VL-Wizard features for MultiPart VL support.

PLG100VL cards have the same features as the PLG150VL cards except that they have no custom slot storage.  On average a PLG100VL is about 100Euro cheaper versus the PLG150VL card found on the second hands market.  Currently you can still get them between 120-160 Euro while the PLG150VL hits easily around 250Euro.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Given my other duties it is difficult to make a statement when the VL-Wizard will be fully released, but I start seeing the end of the tunnel now. Also more and more people start encouraging me to go to the finish of this marathon. I really appreciate this.....

Below you find the screenshots (subject to changes) of the new Beta 2, currently under evaluation by a limited testing team. Their feedback is valued a lot and will be used to finalise the VL-Wizard and make it commercially available. 

Golden Principles
I'm from the principle that it is better to take the time and do it right. Developing the Wizard I've kept in mind following;
- guidelines at your fingertips
- hear immediately the impact of your sound design
- remove as much as possible technical barriers
- all-in-one
- visualise as much as possible the VL-architecture
- make it visually attractive 
- make VL-sound design fun and a re-discovery 

My hopes
- releasing such editor stimulates you again to build and share VL-Voices
- show Yamaha that there is still a hard-core VL-community
- and ofcourse get some financial return on this so I can buy more VL hardware

Interested to join the test team or sponsor this project?
- drop me an e-mail VL70m (at) 

Next steps
- improve & fix bugs based on input of testers
- create usage manual (not to confuse with a VL-sound design manual)

Extra info
- All parameter editing is done real-time. So you change the parameter , play and hear the difference.
- Several tooltips are included to explain the purpose of VL-parameters.
- The parameters and functional behaviour are all based on reverse engineering of the original VL-Expert Editor (this with approval of Yamaha).
- An extensive voice library of about 900 VL-voices will be included, these are voices found on the internet, extracted from the Yamaha VL Editors, converted from VL1m. These voices are included as a start basis and have not been improved with the VL-Wizard.
- Factory and Windlist voices can be send to the VL-Wizard using the standard VL70m-Current Voice Dumpout.
- The editor does function also with VL70m units that have been upgraded with the Windlist or Turbochip EPROM. 
- Multipart mode is not supported (yet). 
- Nothing is included, derived or copied from PatchMan. Editing of Turbochip voices is not possible.
- The VL-Wizard is not compatible with the VL1-m. Maybe this is a future improvement, if I can get hold of (and afford) a VL1m.

1- The Voice Tag editor and VL-Wizard menu window
- edit the Tag data, comments and image of the loaded VL-Voice
- menu buttons to go to the different editor modules
- CC controller feedback + Note information
- information on sysex data sent

2- The VL-Voice Browser
- Add, delete and search voices
- Rebuild the Voice Library
- Import .ALL libraries (.ALL .LIB  VL70m format)
- Select voice templates (similar as with the Visual Editor of Yamaha)
- Quick preview on voice information before loading the voice

3- The Instrument Editor
- Contains all advanced parameters to edit the each setting of the VL-Element voice 
- Entirely based on the reverse engineering of the original VL-Expert editor from Yamaha.
- Does change its labels and modelling behaviour (signal routing) based on the selected voice algorithm
- Full integration with the Key Scale editor

4- Advanced Key Scale - Break Point editor
- Fully integrated with the advanced Instrument editor. This means that you can change min/max levels in both windows
- multiple ways to edit the key scaling (graphical by moving the dots or sliders and also numeric)

5- Common Parameter Editor
- Edits all parameters that are not part of the VL-Element data. This is done to allow the possibility to enhance the VL-Wizard for multi-part editing.
- Important: System Parameters are not part of the loaded voice. 

6- Advanced Tuning Editor
- Individual tuning of the 128 Notes (using derivative and length mode). Either manually or automatic tuning
- Scale editing
- audio feedback + sensitive frequency analyser
- Pitch and Pipe Length editing
- The tuning buffer of the voice is updated real-time and can be restored in case of tuning errors.

7- Effects Editor
- Editing of all 4 effect blocks of the VL70m

- Visual overview of the two routing modes (insert vs system)