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Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

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Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:09 pm

Hi all

This synth was inspired by Martin Vicanek's topic and the discussion that followed on.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3611

This is NOT an emulation of the grandfather of all digital synthesisers, the DX7, but it uses the same scheme of FM, using Phase Modulation, as in the original.

Iv'e provided 6 Operators (Oscillators with envelopes) with broadly the same facilities as the old man. The routing of these, known as the Algorithms, is catered for by hard-wired selection of the original 32 patterns and in addition Algorithm 0 is wired as a 6-stack with overall feedback which was not in the original. This is called the "User" Algorithm. You can view the Algorithms sheet from within the synth using a view button which will help to keep track of what is going on.
There is also a freely wireable Patch Bay for making your own Algorithms from the front panel. This wonderful creation was by Nubeat 7 so many thanks to him. I've configured this for using up to 10 patch cables. The original DX7 had a maximum of 9 connections so all reasonable variations should be catered for.

A few things are better than the original DX7 in my opinion:
-It's 16 bit audio, not like the original's 12 bit.
-Each Operator can connect or not to the polyphonic pitch envelope; the original's Pitch envelope affected all Operators equally.
-The LFO is polyphonic so its delay setting is active for individual notes.
-Each Operator has a range of waveforms and noise and isn't limited to Sine waves like the original. This extends the possibilities considerably.
-The decay and release stages of the Operators' envelopes is exponential (thanks to Martin Vinacek) so is more natural and dynamic.
-Parameters are fully variable and not quantised as they were in the DX7
-There is an effects chain whereas the DX7 had none.

Some points are different:
-The key to amplitude and rate scaling is less sophisticated but I believe is adequate for changing the results across the keyboard so higher notes can be given shorter decay and release times for instance.
-It's orange :lol:

I've made a few presets just to demonstrate a very limited subset of the huge range of possibilities so I hope these will whet your appetite and encourage experimentation. The DX7 had so many presets made by Yamaha and 3rd parties and I do believe that even more is possible with this take on a truly classic synth.
I'd love to hear any presets you come up with...

Have fun and let me know what you think. Please?

Cheers

Spogg

UPDATED 2.6.2020: Now version 1.12 with an extended factory preset bank by Manfred:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8m64vk2fu920h ... 2.zip?dl=0
Last edited by Spogg on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:28 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby BobF » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:13 pm

Hello Spogg,

This is really impressive and just keeps getting better with every release. I know a lot of work goes into something like this, because I have worked hard on some of my modules and they do not even come close to yours. A really great job. Keep up the fantastic work.

As always, BobF.....
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:56 am

BobF wrote:Hello Spogg,

This is really impressive and just keeps getting better with every release. I know a lot of work goes into something like this, because I have worked hard on some of my modules and they do not even come close to yours. A really great job. Keep up the fantastic work.

As always, BobF.....


I do appreciate your comments very much Bob :D

As I write this 145 people have downloaded it but yours is the only comment. I know this is a general issue on this forum but it's still a shame I think.

What I would love to know is
- is it crap/ok-ish/good
- does it work on the downloaders rig?
- could I have done something better and if so what?
- have you made any presets we could share?
- have you made it look better (I'm definitely NOT a graphic designer)?

80% of my pleasure is in creating stuff like this so I'm missing a potential 20% and I need 100% pleasure :lol:

Basically any comment is better than none!

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:34 pm

When I was testing the QX7 plugin before uploading to the Flowstoners website I found a few issues :oops:

These are fixed now and I've uploaded the new version 1.05 to the original post.

Issues:
-MIDI voice number setting didn't work properly: I suspect a file corruption because this worked after I replaced the MIDI prims!
-Occasional clicks when a chord is held and new notes pressed: Each operator had a poly delay for the ADSR which was also causing very high CPU for chords and occasional stuck notes. Since the delay is of little and questionable use in practice, I've removed the delay feature. None of the presets I made are affected. I simply left the knobs invisible so as not to influence previous presets.
-I ran through my presets and changed output volume and MIDI note stealing settings for any that weren't ideal. The new presets are in the zip and the INIT preset is now more sutable for starting a preset.
-Added a reset button in case of stuck notes. Once I had deleted the delays I didn't get one stuck note but you never know!
- There's now a better write-up on http://www.flowstoners.com for this synth and my others!

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby noisenerd » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:17 am

Cool stuff, I'm glad you updated this so it got bumped! I hadn't seen it until now. I've only had a quick look/play around, but this is definitely impressive. I like the presets too, there's some fine examples in there of how FM is good for more than bells & electric pianos. :)

I definitely see myself spending some time with this in the future, if I come up with anything worth sharing preset-wise, I'll do so.
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:35 am

noisenerd wrote:Cool stuff, I'm glad you updated this so it got bumped! I hadn't seen it until now. I've only had a quick look/play around, but this is definitely impressive. I like the presets too, there's some fine examples in there of how FM is good for more than bells & electric pianos. :)

I definitely see myself spending some time with this in the future, if I come up with anything worth sharing preset-wise, I'll do so.


Hey thanks noisenerd!

Most of my stuff is now on flowstoners.com with a few things remaining to be re-tested and uploaded. If you want the fsm files everything I do is called Quilcom, so if you search the forum you'll find it all.
And it would be SO good if you or anyone else wants to contribute presets. Sound design takes me ages so any assistance would be wonderful. Plus, I do know that people visiting Flowstoners will be wanting lots of presets and my modules are a bit lacking in that area. I will amend the write-ups to say "additional presets by..." or something. This will enhance the impression of community and so sell FS better.

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby StereoSpace » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:17 pm

very cool! I`ll make design for this
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:30 pm

StereoSpace wrote:very cool! I`ll make design for this

That would be nice!
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:21 pm

Hi all

I’ve spent some time optimising the QX7 for lower CPU usage, like I did with the Q-50.

The new version 1.08 is in the original post.

I used preset 14 “Connie” with a 7 note held chord to check the overall improvement and took note of the FS CPU meter.
Starting CPU was 12.1%

These are the changes made:

    Replaced the stereo clipper with Martin's
    Replaced LFO in the Chorus with Martin’s optimised sine osc
    Replaced the LFO delay with an optimised one by KG
    Removed the animated knob for the Modwheel LFO and just used MIDI CC prim
    Added an “Off if Zero” for the Static FM LFO level
    Removed the mono to poly module and thus made the LFO and modwheel polyphonic
    Replaced the static filter core with Martin’s SVF and removed the 303 module and options
    Changed the Delay effect to mono since the source is mono
    Added “Off if zero” for all the Operators’ output level knobs
    Updated a few presets to take advantage of the new optimisations but NOT the sounds themselves

The new CPU usage on the same preset is now 10.2% so I’m hoping this will save proportionally the same for lower spec PCs.

In addition I made a new preset 16 “Lowla” which was configured to use as little CPU as possible while still sounding good and using FM. This runs at just 3.7%.

I’m always open to further suggestions and advice as to how I may be able to improve my stuff.
And thanks again to all for offering help and guidance.

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks to Martin Vicanek for his optimised reverb the cpu is now reduced even further. Version 1.09 is in the original post.

Using the "Joanne" preset a 7 note chord has dropped from 5.7% to 5.3% cpu, which is proportionally a significant improvement.

Any further suggestions would be gratefully received.

Cheers

Spogg
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