Yamaha XG

Yamaha XG (EXtended General MIDI) is an extension to the General MIDI standard, created by Yamaha. It is similar in purpose to the Roland GS standard.

Yamaha ymf744b v
Yamaha YMF744B-V XG chip
Yamaha DB50XG daughterboard 1995
Yamaha DB50XG daughterboard
SW60xg soundcard
Yamaha SW60XG ISA card
A PCI sound card with Yamaha XG YMF724E-V chipset.


Relative to General MIDI, XG gained popularity by increasing the number of available instruments from 128 to over 600, and introduced a large set of standard controllers and parameters that composers could employ to achieve greater subtlety and realism in their compositions. The XG also has a synthesizer that provides a 32 note polyphonic feature which is shared through the supported 16 MIDI channels. XG has a wide range of sounds to form such complex chords and produces a vast variety of lower synthesizer sounds to choose from.


In 1994, Yamaha released the first XG-based product: Yamaha MU80 Tone Generator. In 1995, Yamaha released the first XG-based product for PC users, the DB50XG daughterboard, a Creative Wave Blaster competitor. In 1996, Yamaha released MU10 external module, basically a DB50XG in a case and later the SW60XG ISA PC card. Coupled with their tone-generator, both devices included an on-board 4MB sound bank chip of sampled instruments and became highly desirable among MIDI fans due to their crisp, high-quality sounds similar to the newer models of Roland Sound Canvas. These devices feature an effects processing system with individual stereo reverb and chorus effects on any of 16 channels, and the ability to route any of the channels through an additional 'insertion' effect, and even guitar amp and wah-wah pedal simulations. Yamaha's in-house songwriters often utilized these tools to demonstrate the power of the XG format, notably recreating Jimi Hendrix leads complete with feedback, flamenco guitar with distinct pick/hammered notes and finger slides, growling saxophones, and even a very convincing sitar [1].

Discontinued products

The DB50XG, SW60XG and SW1000XG are all discontinued.

The SW1000XG was popular in the professional music industry, and many of Yamaha's amateur and professional keyboards implement either XG or a subset, known as "XGlite". Many notebooks include the Yamaha YMF7xx chipset which has a scaled-down XG-compatible MIDI synth. The DB60XG, a DB50XG with an analog input, is available only in Japan. [2].

The XG-compatible Yamaha S-YXG50 SoftSynthesizer, which is discontinued, is an entirely software-based MIDI synth. It used a 2 MB or 4 MB wavetable sound set, and was common among non-professional users who needed a cheap, high-quality MIDI synthesizer for purposes such as playing games that rely on MIDI to produce music and sound effects.

Korg compatibility

Korg, due to its close relationship with Yamaha, released three instruments with XG compatibility:

  • the NS5R, which offered XG compatibility through an add-in daughterboard;
  • the NX5R, electronically similar to the NS5R, except that the daughterboard is part of the instrument;
  • the N-series of keyboards and modules, which also offered support for Roland's GS and GM2 standards as well.

Korg was the only manufacturer outside of Yamaha to produce XG-certified instruments.

See also


  • Yamaha Corporation (1996). "Yamaha XG format specifications, v1.26" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  • Get many XG MIDI Files on BlueMan Web Site : XG Creation, French Variety (some with karaoké), International Success, Movies and TV, Jazz, Classic
  • Article on the S-YXG50 Yamaha Software, including XG sound demos files in .WMA format (in French)
  • Yamaha's Product Archive – SW1000XG
  • Theodor Lauppert: Games and General MIDI
  • Yamaha Manual Library
  • Yamaha XG programming
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The last high-end computers to be released under the Dimension line were the 9200 and 9200c (XPS 410 and XPS 210 in the American market, respectively). The E520, E521 and C521 were re-introduced under the Inspiron line under the names Inspiron 530, 531, 530s and 531s, with a revised case design.

General MIDI

General MIDI or GM is a standardized specification for electronic musical instruments that respond to MIDI messages. GM was developed by the American MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) and the Japan MIDI Standards Committee (JMSC) and first published in 1991. The official specification is available in English from the MMA, bound together with the MIDI 1.0 specification, and in Japanese from the Association of Musical Electronic Industry (AMEI).

GM imposes several requirements beyond the more abstract MIDI 1.0 specification. While MIDI 1.0 by itself provides a communications protocol which ensures that different instruments can interoperate at a fundamental level (e.g., that pressing keys on a MIDI keyboard will cause an attached MIDI sound module to play musical notes), GM goes further in two ways: it requires that all GM-compatible instruments meet a certain minimal set of features, such as being able to play at least 24 notes simultaneously (polyphony), and it attaches specific interpretations to many parameters and control messages which were left under-specified in the MIDI 1.0 spec, such as defining instrument sounds for each of the 128 possible program numbers.

GM instruments are required to be able to:

Allow 24 voices to be active simultaneously (including at least 16 melodic and 8 percussive voices)

Respond to note velocity

Support all 16 channels simultaneously (with channel 10 reserved for percussion)

Support polyphony (multiple simultaneous notes) on each channel

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List of Yamaha products

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A walkstation is a portable music synthesizer that can often be programmed with various musical sequences.

Typically walkstations are small battery powered units with small size keys that are ideal for the smaller hands of young children. For example, the MU15 has a keyboard with keys that are approximately 6 mm apart (from one white key to the next adjacent white key). That is approximately four times more closely packed than the keys on a standard piano (standard piano key spacing is approximately 24mm from one white key to the next).

Although not identified as a walkstation, the Yamaha HandySound HS-200 is a similarly sized portable unit that also has a built in speaker.


XG may refer to:

Businesses and organizations:

xG Technology, Inc., a wireless communications company

SunExpress Deutschland (IATA code XG)

Clickair (IATA code XG)Science and technology:

Xg antigen system, a red blood cell surface antigen system discovered in 1962

DARPA XG, a DARPA communication program

Hyundai XG, a Hyundai car model

Yamaha XG, a Yamaha extension to the General MIDI standardOther uses:

Extreme-G, a video game

Yamaha Corporation

Yamaha Corporation (ヤマハ株式会社, Yamaha Kabushiki Gaisha) (; Japanese pronunciation: [jamaha]) is a Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate with a very wide range of products and services, predominantly musical instruments, electronics and power sports equipment. It is one of the constituents of Nikkei 225 and is the world's largest piano manufacturing company. The former motorcycle division became independent from the main company in 1955, forming Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, although Yamaha Corporation is still the largest shareholder.

Yamaha MU-series

The Yamaha MU-series is a line of sound modules built by Yamaha. All sound modules except MU5 support Yamaha XG. The sound modules were commonly used when computers had slower processors. The computer could send MIDI commands to the sound module, acting as an external sound generation device. Later MU sound modules feature A/D inputs that allow direct input from microphones and guitars.

The MU-series product line superseded the company's previous TG-series modules, the TG100 and TG300. Although the majority of Yamaha's MU-series modules were meant for the home user, the company also made rack-mount versions of the MU90 and MU100 called the MU90R and MU100R, respectively, for professional use.

Yamaha PSR-E323

The Yamaha PSR-E323, also known as the YPT-320, is an electronic keyboard manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation in 2009. It is a basic home keyboard intended for learning and personal use.

Yamaha YMF7xx

There have been various families of Yamaha audio controllers labelled as YMF7xx.

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