Yamaha FB-01

Yamaha FB-01 Image

The FB-01 is simply an inexpensive, 8 part multitimbral digital FM synth module. It's only a 4-operator synth which is less than, say a DX-7. This simply means its sounds are not quite as good. You will need an external MIDI system exclusive editor to edit the patches. This can be accomplished by a dedicated editor program like Unisyn, or by creating SysEx control messages within your sequencing program. The FB-01 has a lot of organ, piano, brass, bass, guitar, percussion, and lead sounds. Basically this is a good source of typical FM-sounds at a low price. It is used by Hardfloor and Moog Cookbook.

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52 Visitor comments
February 24, 2012 @ 2:18 pm
I haven't connected my FB-01 to a editor yet, however I cannot agree with the requirement of an editor in order to make this a "useful" instrument, as suggested in some posts below.
The default patches are excellent (and plenty to choose from), the pianos are electrifying, personally better than the 6-OP counterparts. When connected to a DSP, it's sound comes to its own right.
Also if you want to create more rich sounds, it's always possible to layer them, using it's own UI, but accepting lower polyphony.
Great instrument!
February 17, 2012 @ 4:51 am
When used with a software editor you can get some amazing sounds from this. You just need to take the time to dig in a bit. There is a newer Windows version editor but the FB-01 editor running in the Atari Steem emulator is still more fun to use and is better laid out - you can stack different sounds easily in the newest Editor though. A real gem of a synth.. gritty sounding too in a good way.. For the price you can get them they are an absolute bargain if you take the time to learn to use an editor..

I wouldn't mind having a read of that guide though! Get it posted please!
February 5, 2012 @ 1:46 am
OK, I'll post the link to the FB-01 Guide here as soon as its finished!
February 2, 2012 @ 7:41 pm
I'd be quite interested in such a guide, having just gotten my FB-01 for ~US$25 (not including shipping).

Overall I say it's a great value FM synth, especially for those trying to make authentic-sounding FM chiptunes (the YM2164 here is closely related to the YM2151, commonly used in arcade machines and Japanese computers). Presets aren't that great, but with proper editing via editors (I use both FB-01 Editor in Windows and Vagform in Mac), its potency goes a lot further.
January 26, 2012 @ 2:24 pm
I'm in the process of compilling data for a FB-01 FAQ/guide, it will cover the basics to get started and several sections on sound design, technical stuff and tips from experience that you won't find in any manual. Anyone interested in a guide like that?
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Rated 3.46 (426 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 Voices
  • Oscillators - Digital 4-operator FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 8 Part multi-timbral
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 240 presets, 96 user
  • Control - MIDI (8 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1986 - 1987
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Additional information provided by Jeff Bergman.

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