FM-Alive

Software and Support for Classic Yamaha Synthesisers



Frequently Asked Questions


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1. Download/Installation Issues



What does ClickOnce do ?

When you download DX Manager or SY Manager from FM-Alive the download and installation process is managed by ClickOnce.
ClickOnce is a Microsoft technology that installs the application to a pre-determined location on your computer so that it can be automatically updated.
Download managers may interfere with the installation process and should be disabled whilst your download is in progress.

Get more information on ClickOnce here.

Most downloading and installation problems occur because of a misunderstanding about how the ClickOnce installer works. ClickOnce does away completely with the need to unpack zip files and run setup programs. As the name suggests all you have to do to install and run an app on your computer is click a button or link on the download page. This brings up a license agreement and, after clicking on the I Agree button, download, installation and first time run will normally be entirely automatic.

The ClickOnce installer puts program files in a pre-determined location in your user account on your fixed harddrive. You cannot choose an alternative location and if you move the program files from this location, or use a download manager to put the files somewhere else, the application will not work properly. The installer must be able to locate the program files in order to provide automatic updates.

Whilst the program files are installed to a fixed location, you can of course store your patches and other data anywhere you like. Initally the public domain patch library and various other data files are placed in a folder with the following path: Drive:/Users/UserName/FM-Alive/DX Manager/Data.

If you hit a problem during the download or installation process ClickOnce will post a dialog saying " the application can't start, contact the application vendor for assistance". Click on the Details button in this dialog to view the ClickOnce installation log file. This should help pinpoint why the install failed: the usual reasons are either a download manager interfered with the download process (switch it off temporarily), your virus checker quarantined or barred the download (see below), or the program files have been manually moved from the installation folder (DXM/SYM must be installed by ClickOnce).

In any event the log will typically contain error messages like these :

ERROR SUMMARY
Below is a summary of the errors, details of these errors are listed later in the log.
Activation of http://www.fm-alive.com/downloads/dxm/DXManager.Application resulted in exception. Following failure messages were detected
Exception occurred during store operation.
Value does not fall within the expected range.

This indicates a virus checker issue (see below)

If the program files have been moved the log will typically contain this message:

--- Inner Exception ---
System.Net.WebException
- Could not find a part of the path 'Drive:\Some Folder\DXManager_4_0_0_0\DXManager.exe.manifest'.

To rectify the problem first remove any previous installation of DXM or SYM, whichever failed, from the Windows Control Panel>Programs and Features>DXM or SYM>Remove. Then simply re-download the application.

Occasionally ClickOnce's download cache may become corrupted. This can be reset by deleting the C:\Documents and Settings\\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0 folder.

Can I transfer my DXM/SYM installation to another machine?

Yes, just redownload/install the app (DXM or SYM).
If you have registered your copy of DXM or SYM then re-enter your registration details when the dialog appears on program startup.

How do I reinstall DXM/SYM after a hard disk crash?

Just download the program again (DXM or SYM).
If you had registered your copy of DXM or SYM then re-enter your registration details when the dialog appears on program startup.

Norton (or any virus/malware checker) quarantines or prevents the DXM/SYM download. Is there a fix?

Try switching your virus checker off temporarily and then re-download DXM/SYM. You may need to declare the download file as safe to your checker. Occasionally the checker may corrupt ClickOnce's download cache. This can be reset by deleting C:\Documents and Settings\\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0

MIDI Setup Problems

The most common setup issues concern MIDI related problems - how to get DXM or SYM to work with your particular computer, MIDI device and synth.
It can be extremely frustrating when you just can't get your PC to talk to your synth.

Two troubleshooters are available to help you solve MIDI setup problems: one for DX Manager and one for SY Manager.

The troubleshooters solve over 90% of MIDI related problems that occur when using DXM or SYM.
If you have a MIDI setup problem please complete the troubleshooter before contacting FM-Alive support



DX Manager FAQ



Which synths does DXM support ?

DXM fully supports the original MKI DX7, the MKII DX7, and the TX802 tone generator. Most other 6 operator DX/TX series synth will also work with DXM although some have unique features that are not presently supported. As a minimum though voice patch management and editing is nearly always supported.

DXM also supports most 4-Op FM synths including "first generation" models such as the DX21, DX27, DX100 and FB01 and "second generation" models such as the TX81Z and DX11. The DX9 is not supported.

Second generation 4-Op models have additional features such as performances, effects, microtuning etc. These are all supported in DXM as tool editors. In addition the enhanced voice patch parameters of these models is also supported.

DXM also works with some "modern" keyboard synths like the DX200 or software synths like the FM7 that emulate the classic DX7.

How do I buy DXM?

Download DXM from here. When the installation is finished DXM will run automatically. You can then purchase either by clicking on Register Now in the Help menu, or simply close/reload DXM to see a purchase option dialog - in either case click on Buy Now in the dialog.

You will be transferred to Paypal where you can complete the purchase using either your Paypal account or a credit card. On completion of the purchase, DXM will be automatically registered and activated.

Which versions of Windows does DXM work under ?

DXM runs under any Windows operating system from Windows Vista onwards up to and including Windows 10. It requires .Net Framework 4.5 which does not support Windows XP.

DXM5 (version 5.0.0.1) under .Net Framework 4.0 for XP SP3 users can be downloaded here. Get the .net Framework 4.0 here.

Does DXM run on a Mac ?

DXM runs fine on the Mac using a PC emulator such as Parallels Desktop.

Where can I get the original factory patches for my DX7?

The MKI DX7 came with two ROM cartridges which contain 4 banks of 32 patches: Master,Keyboard & Plucked group, Orchestral and Percussive Group and Synth Complex and Effects Group, of which the first contains the patches originally in the DX7's internal memory.

You can download a zip file that contains these four banks as .dat files - use DXM to upload them to your synth.

The MKII DX7 has two internal banks of 32 patches. Download a zip file that contains these two banks in .dxm format - use DXM to upload them to your synth.

Where are the public domain patches that come with DXM?

When DXM is installed the patches are copied to your Local User Application Data folder. A typical path would look like:

c:/users/yourname/appdata/local/fm-alive/dx manager/data

Most of the public domain patches are in the file DXAll which is supplied in two versions. DXAll.dat contains patches in simple alphabetical order whereas DXAll.dxm contains the same patches grouped into various categories. The file DXRT contains about 200 high quality DX patches. There are a number of other files in this folder that can be accessed by the appropriate tool editor.

Does DXM support the MKIIFD's disk drive format?

Yes - DXM supports this format. Just Open the file in the usual way from the File Menu>Open.

Where can I get the DX7 Operating Manuals?

You can download the DX7 manuals in .pdf format from Yamaha. - just enter DX7 in the Model Name search box.

Where can I get the DX7's MIDI specification ?

You can download the DX7II MIDI specification here.

Does DXM support my DX7/DX7II with a E! card installed ?

Sorry, DXM does not support the extra features of E! , but it is compatible - you can upload/download and edit patches in the usual way.

Support for the E! Card was planned for DXM but I have been unable to locate the full MIDI spec. for either the MKI or MKII DX7 cards. If you have the spec. (which must include details of the GMR bulk sysex formats not this) or know where this can be located, contact me with this info. and I will provide a free DXM license ( or refund) in return. I have completed adding MK1 E! support to DXM but still need the full MIDI spec. to test it out.

Does DXM support the PLG150DX plug-in, DX200, FS1R,or Native Instruments FM7 softsynth ?

Yes, but they are not technically supported. Regarding the PLG 150DX plug-in, the DX simulator supplied with the board uses a proprietary sysex format that is not compatible with the traditional DX formats. However DX Manager can be used to upload traditional format patches to the PLG 150DX.

Can I get DXM as a zip file for offline installation ?

DXM is only available for download. Installation is completely automatic using "ClickOnce" which puts the program files in a predetermined location on your computer. This is so the program files can be updated automatically.



SY Manager FAQ



How do I buy SYM?

Download SYM from here. When the installation is finished SYM will run automatically. You can then purchase either by clicking on Register Now in the Help menu, or simply close/reload SYM to see a purchase option dialog - in either case click on Buy Now in the dialog.

You will be transferred to Paypal where you can complete the purchase using either your Paypal account or a credit card. On completion of the purchase SYM will be automatically registered and activated.

Can I get SYM as a zip file for offline installation ?

SYM is only available for download. Installation is completely automatic using "ClickOnce" which puts the program files in a predetermined location on your computer. This is so the program files can be updated automatically.

My SY's Disk Drive is Broken - How do I get my data off floppy disks ?

Good news - its 99% certain your disk drive is NOT broken - more likely its' drive belt has worn or broken. You can easily replace this by unscrewing the bottom plate on your SY - lots of screws but it's not difficult. There are three screws holding the drive in place - remove these and the ribbon cable connector from its' socket on the main chassis. Now you can lift the drive out of the machine - turn it over and remove the four small screws holding the drive guard plate in place. Then remove the single screw holding the plastic drive belt guide in place -voila ! You can now replace the drive belt by threading it round the motor spindle.

Replacement belts are available on E-Bay - the belt dimensions are 9.6" X .025" x .124" - but a rubber band also works as well as temporary fix.

If it's not the belt and your drive has been drinking it's way to terminal alcoholism then you can transfer SY format disk files (*.t01 etc) to SYM. Just open the file in the normal way from SYM's File>Open menu.

SYM can extract voice, multi, pan, microtuning and system setup patches and these are saved in separate files. Note however that SYM does not presently support extraction of any sequencer or sample data from floppy format files.

The reason for this is that, just like the drive itself, the file formats are Yamaha proprietary. The sequencer files are in the now obsolete KSEQ format. If you have any information on this or the related ESEQ format, it would greatly help future development: please contact FM-Alive support.

If you are handy with a soldering iron then it is possible to replace the SY's drive with a standard PC drive, but you will need to make a custom connecting cable. You can download a zip file with the pinout details - thanks to Mike Foo for this information.

I get a message " SY Manager encountered an error whilst checking xxxx.dat - the file may be corrupted " when I try to load patches I got from my SY - what's wrong ?

When you select a file to open as a voice data file in SY Manager, it checks to see that the file really contains valid voice data. If it doesn't or there is anything else in the file you get the above error.

Most commonly the error occurs when downloading patches to the PatchViewer window in SY Manager using the Get All button. This does as it says - it downloads everything your SY has to offer which includes multis, samples (SY99) and waveforms (SY99) in addition to voice data. So when you save the download and then attempt to re-open the file you get the above error.

To avoid getting the corrupt file error message whilst downloading in PatchViewer:

  • Select the voice patches you want to download - click on the first voice, press and hold the shift key and then click on the last voice.
  • Press the Get button.
  • Confirm the download buffer only contains voice patches.
  • Press Save Buffer and choose a file name for the patches.
  • Open the file for editing etc.

How can I transfer my SY floppy disk files to SY Manager ?

Just open a floppy file in SYM in the usual way( File>Open). Note that SYM will only attempt to read .j0x and .t0x format files and no sequencer data will be read.

Will SY Manager work with the SY85, SY55/TG55 or SY22 ?

No. These synths have different features from the SY77/SY99 and their MIDI specifications vary accordingly. SYM does however support the rackmount version of the SY77, the TG77.

Which versions of Windows will SYM run under ?

SYM runs under any Windows operating system from Windows Vista onwards up to and including Windows 10. It requires .Net Framework 4.5 which does not support Windows XP.

SYM under .Net Framework 4.0 for XP SP3 users can be downloaded here, and Framework 4.0 here.

Will SYM run on a Mac?

SYM runs fine on the Mac using a PC emulator such as Parallels Desktop.

How do I load custom samples using SY Manager ?

You can upload samples to your SY using the MIDI/Send File... menu option. The sample must be in Sample Dump Standard (SDS) format which is the only format recognised by the SY.

There are a vast number of sample format converters available on the net which, for example, will convert .wav to .sds.

My floppy disk won't work in the SY's disk drive - what's wrong ?

Assuming your drive is working - the red indicator lights up and there is the usual grinding noise as the drive tries to read your disk before you get the message "Bad Disk" - the most likely reason for this error is that you are using a 1.44MB HD floppy disk.

The SY will only read DS-DD floppies formatted to 720K. It shouldn't matter whether the floppy is formatted on your PC or the SY but if you are still getting the "Bad Disk" or "Illegal File" message then try formatting the disk on your SY first (Utilities/Disk/Format). Note that Windows from XP on doesn't offer a 720K format option, so you have to do the format in DOS or Google for alternatives.

If this doesn't work then your drive belt may be worn - see above

Where can I get user manuals for the SY series ?

For the SY77 here

For the SY99 here

Can I use *.t01 or *j01 files with SY Manager ?

Yes, but with limitations. See this topic

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