Yamaha TG100 AWM General MIDI Synth Introduction
The Yamaha TG100 was Yamaha's foray into the small, computer side, General MIDI synth, aimed at gamers and hobby musicians (this was before Yamaha introduced their XG line). Of course, Roland had a lock on this, somewhat small market already going back to the MT-32 and CM/GS line.
Around the time of the TG100's release, Roland introduced the SC-55 Sound Canvas. While the TG100 was based around 12 bit PCM samples, the Sound Canvas was pushing all 16 bit samples. The resulting sound difference made a lot of people skip over the TG100 and go straight to the SC-55.
All that being said, there is still room in my setup for the TG100. I occasionally use it for General MIDI playback in a game here and there. The TG100's sound quality is actually decent for the market and price point it was trying to hit. It just got outgunned by Roland and the mass of wavetable sound cards that hit the market soon after.
It had the standard features of a “computer side” GM synth of the time, such as the ability to directly connect to a Mac or PC via a built-in 8 pin mini-DIN serial port. This meant that the user did not have to purchase a separate MIDI interface. The TG100 also had an audio input port. These were used to route sound from your computer's internal sound card through to the MIDI music of an external GM synth. This was primarily used with games that had some in-game digitized sounds that would play through your sound card, but that also supported General MIDI music. This way you could play your game and have the external synth play the GM music, but still be able to hear any digitized sounds that the game designers had included.
Additional Yamaha TG100 Pics
Yamaha TG100 Tech Specs
|Synth Type / Synthesis Branding||AWM Advanced Wave Memory (not Waveform Modulation as is sometimes written)|
|Waveform Data||140 12 bit PCM samples|
|Waveform ROM||2 Mb|
|FM Chip||none whatsoever, this is AWM only, if you add FM to AWM Yamaha calls that DASS (Dual Architectural Synthesis System)|
|Stock Patches||192 factory patches plus 10 drum kits with space for 64 user patches|
|Low Frequency Oscillator||one, semi-editable|
|Filter||None at all, what do you expect at this price point?|
|Portamento||yes, via MIDI sysex, like semi-portamento|
|Timbrality||16 Part Multitimbral|
|Built-In Effects||six different kinds of reverb and two kinds of delays|
|LCD||1x16 LCD screen|
|Production Years||1991 to UNKNOWN|
How to Reset the Yamaha TG100 to Factory Default Settings
With the TG100 turned on hold down theand buttons simultaneously Press repeatedly until you see “Init All: Sure?” on the LCD screen. Now press the button to initialize the TG100.
Yamaha TG100 FYI
- The TG100 has a kool little mode where it operates as a MIDI note velocity meter. When put in Velocity Meter mode, it will display a bar graph on the little LCD indicating the MIDI velocity level of the incoming notes (press and simultaneously and press again until you see “VeloMeter: auto” then use the and buttons to switch between the three modes).
- In 1993 Yamaha released the CBX-T3 which was essentially a slightly cheaper TG100 without an LCD screen. While it could be argued that the TG100 was meant for musicians, the beige, vertical standing CBX-T3 was definitely marketed to the General MIDI game crowd. For some odd reason, some CBX-T3 units have green LEDs and others have amber, strange.
- Like the Korg AG-10 and the various Roland units such as the SC-7, the TG100 has an 8 pin mini-DIN connector on its rear panel for a direct connection to a Mac or a PC without the need for a dedicated MIDI interface.
- The TG100 (and CBX-T3) has a “C/M” mode that claims to be semi compatible with the Roland CM and MT-32 line of synths.
Yamaha TG100 Documentation
Please feel free to visit our Yamaha TG100 warehouse page containing manuals for the TG100 and the CBX-T3.
Yamaha TG100 AC Adapter Information
|Original AC Adapter Model||Yamaha PA-1505|
|Output Voltage||15 Volts DC|
|Max. Current Draw||500mA|
|Pin Configuration||Center Positive|
|DC Power In Connector Outer Diameter||5.5mm|
|DC Power In Connector Interior Diameter||2.1mm|
|Note||Like many of Yamaha's 15V units, the TG100 will function just fine with considerably less voltage, 12V for example works with no problems.|
A Few Yamaha TG100 Links
- Deep Synthesis page on the TG100 (unfortunately the Deep Synthesis site is no longer online).
- A page dedicated to the CBX-T3 (an economy version of the, already somewhat economic TG100).
YouTube Vid Pitting the TG100 Against the SC-55
This video compares the Yamaha TG100 and the Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas with several of the classic DOS games of the time such as Doom, Descent and Duke Nukem 3D. NOTE: unfortunately there is no actual video in this “video”, just the music comparisons. The Roland music plays first directly followed by the Yamaha version.