Synth Site: Yamaha: FS-1R: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.8 out of 5
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Spectralab a professional user from Canada writes:
This machine is a sound designer's dream. And contrary to all the other whinings about the complicated interface and cryptic manual, it's actually not that user un-friendly. It's just the same thing that people probably complained about with the DX-7 - a new (to them, at least) technology that they couldn't grasp immediately. But if you're not new to synthesis, FM in particular, this shouldn't be THAT much of a brain stretch. It does take a few uses to get the hang of where everything is, but once you do, it's pretty straight-forward. 3 edit modes (Part, Performance, Effects) with 4 or 5 sub-modules each. The confusing bit is in Part mode, where there's 8, sometimes 16 variations of each parameter: one for each operator.

Anyway, enough of that. I remember reading someone saying, on this site or elsewhere, that any sound you can imagine can be created with this synth. Well, with the capability to use additive-style harmonic waveforms and formants as ANY OF EIGHT components in an FM algorithm, yeah, the possibilities are there. Add to this a well-implemented digital filter (12/24db LP/HP/BPF/BEF) and those crazy-ass formant sequences (which can be looped, slowed to 10% and or sped up to 500%, reversed, etc.)... not to mention a pretty decent effects section and the best sound quality I've heard on a synth for a while (this side of a Triton, anyway)... my only complaints lie in the implementation of the formant sequences... the ones provided are all well and good, but I wish I didn't need a software editor to make my own. Also, the fact that they can only be applied to one (of up to four) Parts in Performance mode, and one at a time, is kind of lame. To me, the closest equivalent (to those familiar) would be the function generators in E-mu's Morpheus. Now, E-mu gave us two of them - one for each source in a PATCH (equivalent to Yamaha's Part) and this was in the early 90's... so why Yamaha couldn't have been a little more generous with the flexibility of the formant sequences, especially since they're the main feature of the machine, is a mystery to me. But that really is my only complaint...

The unfortunate part is that, while this synth seems to have developed a definite cult-type following, sales were not equivalent to those of more pedestrian synths and they seemed pretty quick to discontinue the unit. So those of us who love the machine may be stuck without any further OS upgrades or possible future editions (I'd be all over an FS2-R if they put one out)...

Oh well, guess we'll just have to live with the quirks of this machine, cos in spite of them, it's still one of the most unique synths ever made. Find one if you can...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-25-2000 at 08:53
Christian a part-time user from Canada writes:
This synth is really something. I bought this synth to use it as a monotimbral sound machine. The sound this synth can make is simply amazing, as long as you want to get your hand dirty. I use soundDiver for that matter. You can also try a very well done shareware for windows ( Like another user said, if a sound cannot be done with it, than it doesn't exist. Of course, it would be nice to have more knobs, but like this shareware programer said : 3000 parameters to control... It complement beautifully my cs6x, I love it. The only down side is the manual, but it is not better than the cs6x... I think Yamaha shouldn't asked their enginers to write their manuals...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-15-2000 at 19:14
clarence a professional user from USA writes:
This is an incredible machine!! The BEST!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-15-2000 at 08:50
JB a professional user from UK writes:
I get the impression that Frank had a go, got confused and decided to slate it. I do agree that it's not the best synth for multi-timbral use but, hell, buy another one if you want more outputs!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-13-2000 at 04:03
syd a part-time user from USA writes:
The interface isn't that bad, but I wouldn't try programming from the the front panel. The sounds are amazing. The effects are more than adequate. If you can find one, there is a lot of bang for the buck on this box. I find it ideal for any synthesizer based music. The sounds really can evolve over time. It can sound like a DX-7 if you want it to. However, the formant sequences can create wonderful midi clock locked textures. I find some of the sounds to be very aggressive, and the basses this thing can create are intense.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-12-2000 at 12:18
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