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Yamaha TX81Z/TX802 Programming Guide
for Wind Control
by Bruce Ronkin
Although now nearly obsolete, many wind controller players own a TX81Z tone gene
rator. It was the unit that Yamaha recommended for wind synthesis when they rel
eased their WX7 wind controller over a decade ago. The Yamaha TX802, a more pow
erful tone generator, was also recommended by Yamaha for wind synthesizer use.
On the TX81Z enter edit mode and adjust the following parameters of your patch:
Adjust "P Bend RANGE = X." X refers to a number you will supply. In this case it
is your pitch bend range described in semitones. I recommend 2 as a good start
ing point.
Adjust "BC Pitch = X." This refers to Pitch Modulation. If it is set to a value
other than zero, vibrato will be controlled by breath pressure. Usually set th
is to zero.
Adjust "BC Amplitude = X." If Amplitude Modulation is set to a value other than
zero, tremolo will be controlled by breath pressure. Usually set this to zero.
(Vibrato means that the pitch pulsates; tremolo means that the volume pulsates)
Adjust "BC EG Bias = X." Set this to 99 and it will allow breath pressure to con
trol volume and timbre.
Adjust "BC P. Bias = X." If Pitch Bias Range is set to a value other than zero,
pitch bend will be controlled by breath pressure. Usually set this to zero.
Adjust "EBS X X X X." This sets the degree of sensitivity by which volume and ti
mbre will be breath controlled. Experiment with different values here but I rec
ommend starting with all sevens and working down if necessary. All four numbers
will not necessarily be the same.
While it is not in the scope of these instructions I should just mention (at the
risk of confusing you further) that the TX81Z uses "4-operator FM synthesis." E
ach of the four numbers in the EBS setting applies to one of the four operators.
Operators don't always have the same function so don't be surprised if you pre
fer setting the four EBS numbers to different levels.
Adjust "KVS = X X X X." Usually set these to zero because Key Velocity Sensitivi
ty will be controlled by the breath. But this is a generalization and you shoul
d experiment with other numbers for certain effects--especially if you are desig
ning percussion sounds.
Finally, to allow proper breath control operation go to the Utility settings and
set "A. TOUCH -> BC: off."
This might all seem rather complicated but reading the manual will help you unde
rstand the concepts behind these settings.
Most of these same adjustments apply to the Yamaha TX802, another older but popu
lar tone generator. The settings are the same as the TX81Z but they are located
in a slightly different area. Adjust pitch bend on the pitch bend screen. Adj
ust the "BC" parameters on the "Breath ctrl" screen. Instead of EBS adjust the
AMS (Amplitude Modulation Sensitivity) on the OP (operator) screens and finally
instead of KVS adjust the "Velocity" settings on the same OP screens.