Yamaha Unveils SoftSynthesizer Poly-VL; Polyphonic Sound from Virtual Acoustic Synthesis Takes Advantage of the Latest Capabilities of the Pentium III Processor

Yamaha Unveils SoftSynthesizer Poly-VL; Polyphonic Sound from Virtual Acoustic Synthesis Takes Advantage of the Latest Capabilities of the Pentium III Processor

HAMAMATSU CITY, Shizuoka–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 17, 1999–Yamaha Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments, today announced the development of the SoftSynthesizer Poly-VL which further enhances Yamaha’s SoftSynthesizer software for creating polyphonic sound with a Virtual Acoustic (VA) synthesizer. The Poly-VL, a plug-in module for the SoftSynthesizer S-YXG100, is designed to take advantage of the performance of Intel’s Pentium(R) III processor. As a result, it can reproduce music approaching the realism of a live music performance.

“We are delighted with this development,” said Yamaha Corp. President Kazukiyo Ishimura. “Thanks to the power of Intel’s new Pentium III processor, everybody can now enjoy music in their own homes as if it is performed by real musical instruments. We will start introducing this software to all major computer manufacturers to bundle it on their new computers.”

Yamaha SoftSynthesizer embodies software technology that enables the playback of MIDI(a) data even without dedicated hardware such as an external tone generator or a sound card. At present, Yamaha has shipped over eight million units of its acclaimed SoftSynthesizer S-YXG50 for preinstallation on computers made by manufacturers worldwide.

WaveTable synthesis is widely used in musical instruments and software synthesizers, and this technology is based on playback of pre-sampled waveforms. On the other hand, Virtual Acoustic synthesis utilizes a model that builds a virtual instrument and then creates sound by simulating the behavior of sound generation in a real musical instrument. Because VA recreates the sound generating mechanism of a musical instrument itself, users can create sounds that replicate both the timbre and expression of real instruments much more closely than is possible with an ordinary synthesizer. New and unusual combinations can even be created, such as a timbre that simulates a flute with brass mouthpiece being played with a cello bow.

The new Poly-VL utilizes the power of the Pentium III processor to generate eight-voice polyphony with VA synthesis, allowing users to recreate — for example — the sound of a brass ensemble of up to eight voices, including saxes, trombones, and trumpets. The percussion and keyboard sounds that are generated using Wave Table synthesis and orchestral timbre generated with VA synthesis results in a powerfully expressive music performance.

“Intel is pleased to see that Yamaha’s SoftSynthesizer Poly-VL software takes advantage of the performance of the Pentium III processor platform to deliver a more realistic musical experience for PC users,” said Stan Mo Director of Tools and Technologies, Intel’s Content Group. “The availability of high-quality music synthesis on the Pentium III processor platform benefits our developers and translates into more exciting and compelling user experiences.”

Yamaha’s VA synthesis technology is currently used in Yamaha’s SoftSynthesizer, musical instruments, tone generators and sound cards.

The extensive floating point calculations required for SoftSynthesizer to generate sound in real time mean that an extremely powerful CPU would be needed to process the voluminous data. Consequently, until now VA synthesis by a PC had been limited to the production of only a single voice at a time.

Utilizing the performance afforded by the Pentium III processor, Yamaha was able to optimize the performance of the newest generation SoftSynthesizer, the S-YXG100. The increased speed rendered floating point calculations enabled Yamaha to improve the Poly-VL to the point where it now can reproduce up to eight polyphonic voices in VA synthesis.

Note (a): Musical Instruments Digital Interface (MIDI) data MIDI, Musical Instrument Digital Interface, has been widely used by electronic musical instruments and personal computers since 1983. Standard MIDI File, often referred as SMF or MIDI File, is an industry standard that describes the music performance information in digital data. MIDI files are widely used by professional and amateur musicians. Also, many commercial MIDI files have been sold for entertainment, practice and Karaoke applications.

Note to Editors: SoftSynthesizer is a trademark of Yamaha Corporation. All other company and product names appearing in this document are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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