by Chadwick Wood
October 29th, 2018
Behold! The Yamaha TG33 is now supported in Patch Base. It's one of the top-requested editors from the Patch Base voting page, and for good reason: the TG33 has hundreds of parameters to tweak, and the synth itself just has a tiny screen and a couple of rows of buttons to access them from.
The TG33 is an interesting mix of ingredients: each patch on the TG33 is made of up to 4 separate "elements": 2 FM voices, and 2 sample-based (crunchy, character-heavy 12-bit samples) voices. And on the left side of the synth, you get a sweet joystick that you can use to mix the levels of the elements in real-time, which adds a great performance aspect to the TG33. You can record your joystick wiggles as well, and store those as part of the sound, so that every note played reproduces the exact mix of elements that you played. It also includes a simple effects section, with some reverbs and delays and a very idiosyncratic distortion/reverb combo.
The FM parts of the synth offer you 250+ presets of different 2-op FM setups to choose from. But, Patch Base opens things up even further for you, enabling editing of the entire FM section; you can use the presets as good starting points, but then you can tweak the waveforms, the envelopes, the frequency ratios, and more... all of which isn't possible using the controls on the TG33 itself. A few other hidden parameters are uncovered in the Patch Base editor, including a couple of strange alternate tunings (that sound very Aphex to me).
And once you've made some interesting voices from all of that, you can combine up to 16 of them in a multi-timbral setup, meaning the TG33 can play entire tracks live, if you want (it even has drum setups). It has 2 separate pairs of stereo outs, which (via panning) you can also use as 4 separate mono outs (which pairs very nicely with, say, the Elektron Octatrack's 4 separate inputs and an amazing MIDI sequencer, but I digress).
Patch Base can help you with all of that now; make complex voices, arrange them in a multi-part setup, and save them straight to the memory on the TG33, all from inside the app. And as usual, there's a randomizer to give you interesting new ideas for sounds, and copy/paste functionality to copy your envelopes, or even entire elements. It all adds up to make the TG33 a very capable standalone, multi-part synth.
Like all synths that Patch Base supports, the TG33 editor is available as an individual In-App Purchase, or as part of the All Access subscription option as well. Check it out.