The Royal SHAMisen 85 BPM - 4/4 R&B/World Woodwind/Reed
hand diagram
This energetic R&B Performance has an Eastern flavor, featuring a bouncing raga style drum groove with open/muted triangles and claps, a solid kick accentuating bass synth pattern, a raspy saw-wave synth stab that plays off of a panning gated-synth pad that alternates a bar of activity with a bar of silence, and a pitch bending shamisen phrase (hence the title). The Fill button triggers a shamisen glissando that pans across the stereo spectrum and cuts off everything but the bass, restarting all modules at the end of the fill.

The LH/KARMA area provides a resonant synth pad with filter sweep, while the RH provides two different sounds for soloing: a chiffy pan flute ethnic lead or a greasy lounge organ with rotary speaker speed on Mod Wheel (note that it is reversed so that mod wheel off = fast). You can switch between them with A.Sw2, which is not stored in the scenes so that you can toggle it at any time. A.Sw1 raises the octave of the RH lead sounds, so you can access the higher ranges, especially on a 61-note model.
Left Hand: Resonant synth pad with sweep
Right Hand: Chiffy pan flute (A.Sw2 = off)
Lounge organ w/rotary speaker (A.Sw2 = on)
Split Points: * B2/C3
Motif Arps/Special Notes
  • Two Motif arps can be added as additional elements: Pads 9 to 12 trigger a cool wah-wah guitar riff, while Pads 13 to 16 trigger a raspy octave synth riff with portamento - both of which have ascending scale steps based on the last-played chord and can be layered on top of each other.
  • Set Master Slider 8 "Phase Cycle Length" all the way down for a continuous Gated Synth pattern (no bars of silence).
  • When the fill is used as an intro to lead into the Performance, it operates in the reverse direction (up/down) as the fill while the Performance is running, due to the use of the Performance Editor > Fill/Stop > Intro Uses End Of Fill checkbox.
  • Most of the Tone 1 knobs have been dedicated to the Shamisen and the Shamisen Fill, with some interesting tonal variations possible.
Pads 1-8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chord Progression: A Min E Min B Min F# Min G Sus4 D Sus2 F Maj E Sus4
Pads 9-16 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Arp1: Wah Gtr, Arp2: Octaves Arp1 (root) Arp1 (2nd) Arp1 (3rd) Arp1 (4th) Arp2 (root) Arp2 (2nd) Arp2 (3rd) Arp2 (4th)
Exclusive: Ex1, Scene Change Ex2, Scene Change
KARMA Module 1 2 3
Instrument: Drums Bass Synth
GE: 04/060 03/052 03/004
GE Name: RnB Groove 1 RnB Bass 1A Bass Stab
Category: Drum Bass Pattern Bass Pattern
RTC Model: DP1 - Drum/Perc 1 GV1 - Gated Vel/Pat 1 GV1 - Gated Vel/Pat 1
KARMA Module 4 5 6
Instrument: Gated Synth Shamisen Fill-Riff
GE: 03/103 01/083 01/069
GE Name: Gated Thang 5 Pad Movement 2 Fill-Koto Gliss
Category: Gated Arpeggio Arpeggio
RTC Model: GC1 - Gated CCs 1 CL1 - Comp/Lead 1 CL1 - Comp/Lead 1
RT Controls Modules Name Function
1 2 3 4 5 6
Switch 1: x           Rhythm Multiplier [1] Multiplies the rhythm of the Drums by 200% (half-time)
Switch 2:   x         Rhythm Multiplier [2] Multiplies the rhythm of the Bass by 200% (half-time)
Switch 3:     x       Rhythm Multiplier [3] Multiplies the rhythm of the Synth by 200% (half-time)
Switch 4:       x     Rhythm Multiplier [4] Multiplies the rhythm of the Gated Synth by 200% (half-time)
Switch 5:         x   Rhythm Multiplier [5] Multiplies the rhythm of the Shamisen by 200% (half-time)
Switch 6:   x         Octave [2] Transposes the octave of the Bass
Switch 7:     x       Octave [3] Transposes the octave of the Synth
Switch 8:       x     Octave [4] Transposes the octave of the Gated Synth
Slider 1: x x x x x x Rhythm Swing % Varies the swing feel for all six Modules
Slider 2: x x     x   Rhythm Complexity Varies the rhythmic activity of the Drums, Bass and Shamisen
Slider 3:   x x x x   Duration Control Varies the length of notes for the Bass, Synth, Gated Synth and Shamisen
Slider 4:   x x x     Velocity Accents Varies the velocity levels of certain notes for the Bass, Synth and Gated Synth
Slider 5: x           Alternate Drum Map Selects one of many alternate mappings for the Drums
Slider 6: x           Percussion Pattern Selects one of many percussion patterns for the Drums
Slider 7:     x       Velocity Randomize[3] Varies the randomization of velocities on the Synth, causing more or less activity
Slider 8:       x     Phrase Cycle Length [4] Doubles the length of the phrase for the Gated Synth, introducing bars of silence
Wheels Function
Pitch Bend on the RH lead sounds
Mod (CC01) Vibrato on the RH lead pan flute; rotary speaker speed control (reversed) on the RH lead organ (A.Sw2 changes lead sound)
Tone 1 Knobs Modules Keyboard IFX/ MFX Controller CC# Function
1 2 3 4 5 6 LH RH
Knob 1:         x x       Filter Cutoff 74 Controls filter cutoff on the Shamisen and Fill
Knob 2:         x x       Resonance 71 Controls resonance on the Shamisen and Fill
Knob 3:         x x       AEG Attack 73 Controls amplitude EG attack time on the Shamisen and Fill
Knob 4:         x x       AEG Decay 75 Controls amplitude EG decay time on the Shamisen and Fill
Knob 5:         x x       AEG Sustain 31* Controls amplitude EG sustain level on the Shamisen and Fill
Knob 6:         x x       AEG Release 72 Controls amplitude EG release time on the Shamisen and Fill
Knob 7: x               x Assign 1 16 Controls the amount of reverb on the Drums, and adds delay to the clap
Knob 8:               x x Assign 2 17 Controls the amount of delay on the RH lead sounds
For an explanation of how these parameters relate to different Yamaha Models, see the Tone 1 Knobs Reference. *AEG Sustain is SysEx for XS/XF (no CC).
Other Controllers Modules Keyboard IFX/ MFX CC# Function
1 2 3 4 5 6 LH RH
A. Switch 1:               x   86 Transposes the RH lead sound up an octave
A. Switch 2:               x   87 Changes the RH lead sound from a chiffy pan flute to a greasy lounge organ
Ribbon:     x x           22 Controls filter cutoff and resonance on the Synth in the left direction, and on the Gated Synth in the right direction
Damper:             x     64 Latches the LH synth pad
Scenes (Master) Description
Scene 1 (simplest) - pitch-bending percussion, single bass note every 8 beats, arpeggiated synth, sparse gated synth chords and shamisen notes; bending 8th note downwards shamisen fill
Scene 2 (simpler) - tamb and triangles percussion variation, single bass note every 4 beats, bending L/R gated synth, synth plays a single note stab phrase up an octave, simpler shamisen phrase; low repeated plucked note shamisen fill
Scene 3 (simpler) - kick and hi-hats, dotted-eighth bass, angular shamisen riff, low synth stabs, gated synth with open bars, syncopated downwards bending shamisen fill
Scene 4 (simpler) - drum groove with conga pattern, bass starts to groove, dotted 8th synth notes, upwards 8th note decaying shamisen, sparse L/R gated chords; downwards bending triplet 8ths fill
Scene 5 (startup) - the basic full groove, claps, upwards shamisen 16th-note triplets fill
Scene 6 (busier) - activity picks up on all parts, snare instead of claps, tambourine and perc, bass does a busier groove, synth stabs up an octave, L/R faster gated chords; downward shamisen 16th-note triplets fill
Scene 7 (busier) - drums move to the snare and ride, congas, syncopated bass variation, higher shamisen variation, synth stab down low again, gated synth up an octave; upwards syncopated shamisen fill
Scene 8 (busiest/breakdown) - arpeggiated pitch-bend on the drums and perc, bass opens up space, synth stabs add bending, bending stabs on the gated synth; cascading downwards shamisen fill