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  FB-01 Synthesizer Module At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1986  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 3.2/5 |  Read reviews (25)
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Richard Wintle writes:
A good choice for a cheap multitimbral module. 8-way multitimbral operation with any number of voices (up to 8) on each part, over up to 8 different midi channels. Overall output level is rather low. Each voice can be routed to left, right or both outputs. I don't believe there is any other reason for the stereo outputs since there are no onboard effects. I've certainly never noticed any stereo panning or other effects within any patches.

The synth will allow modulation to respond to wheel, after- touch, pedal controller or breath controller. Microtonal tunings are apparently possible via computer, although I have no clue how to do this. Sysex dumps, etc. are supported. Note that there is no way to program this unit without some kind of sysex editor, so your 96 user spots may be useless. There are 240 presets, however. Lots of electric pianos and organs, other keyboards, strings, brass, basses, some leads, a few percussion, some guitars, some SFX, etc.

Display is an orange LED, visible from pretty much any angle except below. 8 front panel buttons lead you through a list of functions that are summarised on top of the unit. The FB01 itself is not rack-mountable, but follows the Yamaha tradition of sitting on top of something else (it's about half a rack unit wide).

In general, I'm happy with mine. I only paid $50 Canadian (used) in 1992 (I think). It was easy to work out how to use the unit (with no manuals) and I've had no problem with sysex loads. It could certainly use more audio outputs for the multitimbral operation, and more performance memories would be nice. The gongs, bells, metallic leads and electric pianos are nice, organs are good, basses and guitars are borderline, and strings are awful. Brass is ok at best. However, for the bucks, the bang is large, especially if you need multitimbrality (as I did) for little money.

Comments About the Sounds:
The factory-presets sucks, but with an computer editor you can create very good basses. Listen at old CAT RAPES DOG and old CHILDREN WITHIN (DX-100, which is same sound engine).

(Thanks to Richard Wintle for this info.)

Links for the Yamaha FB-01 Synthesizer Module
 More Synth Gear  Best US prices on many current models
Yamaha FB-01 Review
Yamaha FB-01 Review
You can hear the FB01 on the track "outpost".
The Patch King The Worlds Largest 3rd Party Synth & Sampler Developers. Thousands of New Sounds for over 100 Synths & Samplers on Floppy, CD-ROM or Zip Disks.
bollich's FB-01 Some german information
FB01 Sound Editor A free and open sourced editor for the FB01 synth.

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