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Converting Yamaha SY85 files....WTF?
Old 10th November 2009
  #1
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Converting Yamaha SY85 files....WTF?

So I finally bought a floppy drive to read the old Yamaha SY85 disks and most of them the drive did not read but I managed to pull about 20 files off the few that did. I renamed them to .mid but in Cubase nothing gets imported. Does anyone have any info on how to convert the original SY85 format to midi because renaming them doesn't seem to do the trick.

So I got 20 files that I might be able to do nothing with......is that possible? Would I absolutely need someone with the SY85 to properly get the midi info from?

What needs to be done? I tried downloading some SY77/99 DX/SY file system, but I think that's if you have the SY85 connected because it's searching for midi devices. It's called FM-Alive (SY Manager and DX manager)

The SY85 files originally have the extension Song.G07 and stuff like that.
Old 10th November 2009
  #2
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Bump...???
Old 10th November 2009
  #3
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Yoozer's Avatar
Welcome to the phenomenon of proprietary file formats!

Renaming won't help because these files aren't MIDI files at all; get an actual SY85 and handle export on that, then flip it for the same amount - or spend a year figuring out the file structure and building your own application.
Old 10th November 2009
  #4
This is a proprietary undocumented format, so no chance to read or convert it with other tools. Sometimes there is a chance that somebody has reversed engineered the file format but as I know there is nothing available for the SY.

I have the same problem with a SY99 where the drive is broken. There is AFAIK no chance to convert the SY all format to something more usable. For me the only solution is to buy a replacement drive and load the files with the SY.

Yes, this is the bad with closed source formats. Yamaha is not friendly enough after this long time to open this format or provide a tool that the users can convert this proprietary format.
Old 10th November 2009
  #5
you could record the midi data a track at a time with midi cables into your DAW.
Old 25th February 2010
  #6
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It's funny because while making any SY85 song, you think you'd just save the songs on the system as 1 file...but you're not going to save it as standard midi because then it's not going to remember what sounds you've used on the keyboard as far as I know.

If I had made backups and saved every song as standard midi.... THEN I'd probably be able to use my old songs on Cubase, giving them the remakes I want to do currently. But... of course I couldn't tell the future.

Does anyone have a working SY85 that could try a test for me? I'll email you some SY85 songs and you can save them into standard midi and I could see if that would work...just as a test.
Old 26th February 2010
  #7
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I don't believe the SY85 can save as a MIDI file. It can export to another Yamaha format (ESEQ? NSEQ? Can't remember...) so if you have something like a QX3 (who doesn't?) you can open the files there.

I might be able to help. Let me see what I can find out.
Old 26th February 2010
  #8
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How are you going to find out? You got the SY85 on hand by any chance?

I just read part of the manual online and it clearly states saving to PC and renaming the file from .X01 or something like that to .MID.

The files that I have on disk however are not .X01, they are G01, so I used the format that the PC cannot use...

I read that the SY85 saves in both 0 and 1 Midi formats, then it's own format as well. One version saves 1 midi file, all in one...to play in a general midi function using standard sounds...then one with all seperate tracks...then the final SY85 format with all SEQ information/Midi/Sounds.

That's my guess from what I've read earlier in the day.... I could go back and see, but without the actual hardware, I cannot test anything, but hopefully someone will be able to help me on this situation.

If it's 100% impossible to create a song on the SY85 and use the MIDI information from it...then at least I want to know so I can put the issue to rest. According to the PDF online though....it "should" be possible. It does mention a computer and renaming files...so.... let the SY85 owners do their thing.
Old 26th February 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaproject View Post
How are you going to find out? You got the SY85 on hand by any chance?

I just read part of the manual online and it clearly states saving to PC and renaming the file from .X01 or something like that to .MID.

The files that I have on disk however are not .X01, they are G01, so I used the format that the PC cannot use...

I read that the SY85 saves in both 0 and 1 Midi formats, then it's own format as well. One version saves 1 midi file, all in one...to play in a general midi function using standard sounds...then one with all seperate tracks...then the final SY85 format with all SEQ information/Midi/Sounds.

That's my guess from what I've read earlier in the day.... I could go back and see, but without the actual hardware, I cannot test anything, but hopefully someone will be able to help me on this situation.

If it's 100% impossible to create a song on the SY85 and use the MIDI information from it...then at least I want to know so I can put the issue to rest. According to the PDF online though....it "should" be possible. It does mention a computer and renaming files...so.... let the SY85 owners do their thing.
Check this out:

Quote:
Export data in MIDIX (.syx), standard MIDI file (.mid) and text formats
Or check out pages 225-226 of the manual here. Looks like you go "Disk->Other" to save as an SMF.
Old 26th February 2010
  #10
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Well.... ok... now that I know it's possible. I just need someone to take either the file...via email...or I could mail you the actual SY85 disks and see if you could help out a former SY85 owner in need of serious help. I guess PM me if you want or email me through the profile page.

I don't think the sound quest tools works... I may have tried it before, but of course I'm talking about the files without the SY85. I wish it could load up the files and simply convert them to SMF. That would be sweet.
Old 7th April 2010
  #11
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OK...I really need someone with the Yamaha SY85...surely someone has one....I need someone willing to just experiment for me using one of my songs....ANYONE....ANYONE?
Old 7th April 2010
  #12
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Yoozer's Avatar
It would've been cheaper if you just would've bought the thing on eBay 3 months ago.

Start a new topic called ATTENTION: SY-85 OWNERS. Do the same on Harmony Central and/or Vintage Synth, too. That'll get you more replies.
Old 7th April 2010
  #13
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Why would it be cheaper to buy it myself?

If I find a nice enough person...it's free. I actually did find someone....but I don't know if it's going to work or not yet. I found him on youtube actually and he owns the Sy85 still and seems really good with it.
Old 7th April 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaproject View Post
I found him on youtube .
good idea.!
Old 6th May 2010
  #15
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trying to get disks to be read on sy85

HI im trying to help my friend with her sy85. I don’t know about these as never owned one. She's not used it for a year or two and now we cant get any of the disks of her arragements (not in midi format) to load (we tried about 6 of them, they have all been stored carefully in cool/dry conditions and they seem to be ok in that cant see any damage and they rotate manually ie not seized up). She's trying to load them in the usual way insert the disk, push the bottom right hand side combination of the mode button keys - marked disk. The screen comes up right away with *new* (rather then the file names she expected) and there seems to be little noise from the disk. Pushing the lhs button marked (load) didn’t do anything.
I Would assume from this that it’s the drive not working and that its unlikely that the disks were all bad.
Ive heard that they should be readable on a pc as they are stored in 720 k msdos format, is this right? When we tried several on 2 different pcs they reported that they were unformated. It seems (I hope!) unlikely that all the disks could be damaged or do we need to make some changes on the pc make them readable?
Has anyone had similar problems? Shes got lots of good stuff stored on the disks so we keen to at least get it onto the pc so can remake the disks if needs be. does anyone know of a data recovery program for these disks?.
Thanks dave.
Old 6th May 2010
  #16
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Well, I have alot of disks myself but no SY85... and I managed to get 3 disks worth of songs from my compositions to my PC thru a floppy drive. If they won't even work on that floppy, they might be damaged, not sure.

There was many more disks I have that didn't transfer to my PC...but I was hoping that they might work on a SY85...but seeing as they may not work at all...yikes... That would suck if I bought one used and they didn't work....that would really make it a waste of time.
Old 5th June 2010
  #17
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I have an SY85 if you'd like me to try them.
Send me a PM if you're interested
Old 18th July 2010
  #18
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I was just trying to archive my old SY85 disks. What I found was that newer computers (either floppy drives or operating systems. not sure which) don't like those disks. I got the same errors. I happen to have a very old laptop with a very old floppy drive and it read all the disks I have and was able to transfer them for archiving. I am unable to format 720K disks on my newer Win7 system so I am doing it all on the old laptop. I have reformatted all the old disks and I am going to try and load the material back on to the SY and save it back out as MIDI. I have no idea how to do this but there seems to be enough information on the web so that I should be able to figure it out. Good luck.
Old 18th July 2010
  #19
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Just wanted to let you guys know that puncher is an awesome dude and has helped me alot with tons of my old material.

In response to the guy archiving his SY85 files....

Here is the wierd thing....a few diskettes worked and those are the files I was able to send to Puncher for him to 8-track out for me into mp3s...then I remastered those and added new sounds.

However, there are many other diskettes that my USB floppy couldn't read at all...but I don't know why.... Why did only 3 diskettes work when I have like at least 10 with SY85 files on them....makes no sense to me...but are you saying it's possible that the USB drive may just not see them but the Yamaha SY85 might?

I was about to mail him my diskettes just to see if he could see all of my older material...other than that, if they are damaged, then I could drop the hopes of ever remastered every song...and just be happy I got about 20 songs back and 6 remastered ones.

Not every song did I need to remaster...only the ones I really liked. The rest are still on CD.
Old 20th July 2010
  #20
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Jon Silva's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaproject View Post
Here is the wierd thing....a few diskettes worked and those are the files I was able to send to Puncher for him to 8-track out for me into mp3s...then I remastered those and added new sounds.
Although I have an SY85 right in front of me, I don't have the manuals at hand. Iirc, the floppy drive is a DD one (double density, 720k capacity). HD (1.4MB) floppies can be used but only if formatted as DD.

Hard to say from here but maybe your USB drive cannot handle DD floppies properly (or HD floppies formatted to DD for that matter). You could investigate what kind of floppies are working, load the contents of the other disks into the SY's memory and save a whole backup (DISK All) onto those working floppies.
Old 20th July 2010
  #21
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Muser's Avatar
with this kind of thing it often helps to have a really old laptop with floppy and preferably even an old OS such as 95 or even DOS on it. if the laptop is at that particular transition stage where it will read the larger disk as well. all the better. all the old tools for those OS's are getting harder and harder to find though. It can be a real project.

and this is just for reading the disks and handling them nevermind then getting the data you want in the way you want it.

a laptop that was current with the keyboard would be best I guess. if you can find references to the software that could do the job in the past and then cross reference the dates and minimum requirements of the software THEN you can target the right Laptop.

this is the only thing I can think of. I have had to do something similar but not for an SY.

The disk formatting will be proprietary - basically it's a variant of DOS usually, optimized in order to save on memory costs at the time. This is another reason for finding an old laptop with the right tool that doesn't reject the floppy.

you never know, even an old apple laptop may well work for it. they sometime played better with odd formats. a 520 or 170
might even do it.. but it's really dependent on the actual available software for an SY I would say. that and the fact that it reads DD disks.

also, you sometimes got raw floppy disk duplication software so, those could make a bit by bit exact copy. if something like that wouldn't work it would be more likely that an SY would also not be able to read the disk.. a process of elimination etc.
Old 20th July 2010
  #22
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaproject View Post
Just wanted to let you guys know that puncher is an awesome dude and has helped me alot with tons of my old material.
Haha. Finally!

I admire your persistence thumbsup Although it would've been less time-consuming to just buy the thing yourself heh
Old 20th July 2010
  #23
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Yes....less time consuming , but not possible.

It's also not easy to get someone with a perfectly good SY85 floppy drive. Punchers is being sketchy at the moment he said.

This would have been possible a few years ago but not recently, no funds.

Now my Cubase mixing drive might be taking a dump...I'm not sure but it's reading and writing very slow. MY IDE drive is working faster than my SATA drives. It may be something with the mobo...I can't seem to track down the problem. Is it the HD or Mobo..?? I'm trying to back stuff up to external the last few days.
Old 20th July 2010
  #24
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SY85 floppies

You can still format DD floppies in xP, Vista and Win 7 although not in the normal way. You have to format from a "Command Prompt" window - see

HERE

worked for me in Win 7 although my SY drive is still hit and miss reading certain files but continually retrying does work sometimes.

Oh and thanks for the kind words Alphaproject
Old 20th July 2010
  #25
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No problem.... I may send you the lot of diskettes....just gonna take the plunge I think.
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