Yamaha MU80, Ableton, Launchpad Demo

April 2, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Here is a demo Jordan Passmore recorded that is composed solely of tones from the Yamaha MU80. Ableton is sequencing most parts while he plays one patch manually. The track’s clips are all triggered by me with a Novation Launchpad. No effects were added to the MU-80.

“I feel like a lot of producers dismiss ROMplers like the Yamaha MU80 but I really, really enjoy using these things. They’re limited in a fantastic way; paired up with a solid sequencer (like Ableton) you can arrive to a place in your productions you may never thought existed.”

Yamaha SK-15 Demo

March 22, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Yamaha’s SK-series are combo-keyboards with synthesizer, organ, brass and string sections. The SK-10 was the first of the SK-series, released in 1979 – the SK-20, 30 and 50D followed in 1980, and the SK-15 in 1981, possibly as a replacement for the SK-10. The SK-10 is the only one in the series that does not incorporate a synth section, but has organ, brass and string sections that can all be played together for more interesting combinations. Very sturdy casing, 4-octave and fully polyphonic the features also include a leslie simulator, vibrato, attack and sustain rocker switches, a slider for ‘brilliance’ and a one-octave transpose switch. Not exactly feature-laden, but a lovely string synth sound. Interestingly, they are often referred to as ‘analog’, but in fact do have a digital section. Its organ has one of the early implementations of Yamaha’s FM technology in a very limited form, concurrent with the GS-1/2 development platforms which eventually led to the DX series.

“Just a quick-and-dirty demo of the Yamaha SK-15 Synthesizer. Please excuse my poor playing skills, I was just making stuff up to show off the various sounds the machine is capable of making. This particular machine I stripped down and nearly completely rebuilt, making more than a few changes in the audio pathway.”

Time machine: YAMAHA SK-10 String Machine 1979

March 16, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Synthesizer Demo of the analog synthesizer/string machine YAMAHA SK-10.

The SK-10 was introduced 1979 by Yamaha, Japan. It is the smallest instrument of the Yamaha SK-series.

yamaha_sk20

Yamaha’s SK-series are combo-keyboards with synthesizer, organ, brass and string sections. The SK-10 was the first of the SK-series, released in 1979 – the SK-20, 30 and 50D followed in 1980, and the SK-15 in 1981, possibly as a replacement for the SK-10. The SK-10 is the only one in the series that does not incorporate a synth section, but has organ, brass and string sections that can all be played together for more interesting combinations. Very sturdy casing, 4-octave and fully polyphonic the features also include a leslie simulator, vibrato, attack and sustain rocker switches, a slider for ‘brilliance’ and a one-octave transpose switch. Not exactly feature-laden, but a lovely string synth sound. Interestingly, they are often referred to as ‘analog’, but in fact do have a digital section. Its organ has one of the early implementations of Yamaha’s FM technology in a very limited form, concurrent with the GS-1/2 development platforms which eventually led to the DX series.

The ORGAN SECTION is available in all the SK series synthesizers. It offers a full range of stop levers from 1′ to 16′, percussion levers with adjustable decay, and controls for overall sustain, brilliance and decay. This gives you quite a lot to work with in the way of synthesis. The organ’s sound is FM based and it sounds very B3 like. You can add a Vibrato and a noisy but good Tremolo to it. Its sound is all about the 70′s era rock organ, especially with the Ensemble chorus effect in use. It also has a Leslie-speaker output around back.

The PRESET STRINGS section isn’t very sophisticated and offers very limited editing capabilities. It is the string section though, that is worth aquiring this keyboard for.

All the different sections of the SK synths can be layered and stacked via the slider bars. You use the slider bars as a mixer to set the individual volume for each section. All sections have their own separate audio outs (though a mix out is also available). A great thing for live performances is the split keyboard mode. That way you can have, for example, a very nice, punchy bass sound from the synth section and a lead sound coming from the organ or solo sections. Although it has no patch memory, there are push buttons for instantaneous selection of organ, poly-synth and string preset sounds; there are three presets in each section. It also, has no arpeggiator or sequencer, and lacks MIDI. But it’s cheap, easy to use, has a nice sound, full 61-note keyboard, and classic wooden panels.

Time machine: Yamaha RX8 Drum Machine

February 20, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Yamaha RX8 drum machine. Yamaha launched the RX8 in 1989 as a replacement for the RX7 and to be Yamaha’s first drum machine using 16 bit PCM samples. In the late eighties there were several successful 16 bit drum machines available, the Alesis HR16 and HR16B as well as the Roland R8 and R5 to name a few, but the RX8 was still able to carve out a niche in the market of the time.

“Shaped like a plastic doorstop. Not one of the best drum machines ever but still has its charms. Not as boring as the RX17 and RX21. Clearly a budget drum machine, it boasted 16 bit samples and it would have gone head to head with the Alesis HR16, which had better samples.”

A Quick Run on Yamaha MX61

February 11, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Yamaha MX61 Synthesizer is heavily focused on performance; there isn’t the MOTIF in deept editing and you can only modify the very very main synth parameters of sounds. You can play two different parts in Split or Layer; the remaining 14 parts are available for composing/arranging/performing thru MIDI/USB with bundled Cubase.

Yamaha SY20 Sounddemo – Rare Yamaha Monophonic Analog synthesizer of 1982

February 8, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Yamaha SY20 Sounddemo (springreverb effect)
Copyrights Volker Hein – 2013
More information visit www.tastronauten.de

The SY20 was Yamaha’s last analog synthesizer model before committing to digital FM synthesis with products like the DX-series. It is an all-analog mono-synth that came out in 1982 but was never commercially sold outside of Japan, making it very rare. In fact, it was originally intended to be an “educational” synth to help students learn about synthesis. However, as most of the controls are labeled in Japanese characters, you will already need to be familiar with analog synthesizers (or Japanese) to grasp the SY20.

Despite being a rather simplistic looking mono-synth, the SY20 is a surprisingly refined and expressive synth. There are 20 preset sounds, arranged in two banks of ten. They include all the customary attempts at emulating the acoustic sounds of piano, woodwinds, stringed and brass instruments. The presets can be combined with the manual synthesizer control sections, which are very simply and logically laid out: VCO, VCF, and VCA, and each section can be individually switched on or off. There is an LFO to modulate each of these three sections for pitch, filter and tremolo effects. There is also Portamento and a one-octave Transpose knob that is notched in half-tone steps (it can be used to quickly transpose what you are playing to different keys).

The VCO section offers one oscillator with Square and Saw waveforms. A slider is used to mix between the two waveforms. The oscillator pitch can be set from 2′ to 32′. There is also Pulse-Width modulation and White Noise. The VCF offers three filter modes: low pass, and two band pass modes. The filter sounds really good, though it is not self-oscillating. The typical cutoff and resonance controls are accompanied by ADSR envelope controls for a nice contoured filter effect. The VCA section offers the standard ADSR controls as well.

While the main synthesis sections are all nicely laid out and straight forward, the real expressive potential comes from a few other simple but effective features. The 44-note keyboard supports after touch, which can be sent to the VCF, the VCA and the LFO for adding filter, volume and modulation effects using keyboard pressure. They can be combined in any way and with as much (or little) depth as needed for the desired effect. There are also three global effects: Portamento, Sustain and Brilliance.

The SY20 has a mono audio output, headphone jacks in the front and rear, and a built-in speaker! Unfortunately there is no CV/Gate and the MIDI specification was still a year away from being published, so it can not be hooked up to any sequencing equipment—you’re gonna have to play this one the old-fashioned way.

The SY20 has a lot to offer. It sounds really good—warm, pure, expressive and wholly analog. It is incredibly rare. It is the last analog synthesizer Yamaha designed before going digital. And it is covered mostly in Japanese characters. All these qualities combine to make it an historic and unique piece in any collection and it will definitely get used often, it may even become the “go-to” mono-synth for anybody lucky enough to own one!

Time machine: Synthesizers I YAMAHA AN1x

February 2, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Time for a new time machine session:

A voyage into the heart of the Yamaha AN1x virtual analog synthesizer from the year 1997.
Exploration by Marko Ettlich (RetroSound)

10 voices
2 oscillators per voice saw, square variable pulse width, fm, sync, edge
resonant filter 12/18/24dB/oct low/band/hi pass filter, notch
61 keys (velocity and aftertouch), ribbon controller
arpeggiator, step-sequencer

In my opinion the virtual analog synth with the most analogue sound.

used by Yes, Depeche Mode and many more

The Yamaha CS-50- The Sub-Oscillator (L.F.O.)

January 21, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Here is a demonstration of the sound and functionality of the low frequency oscillator of the Yamaha CS-50.

The Yamaha CS-50 Part 2 – The Filter

January 14, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Here is a demonstration of the sound and functionality of the Yamaha CS-50′s filter section.

The Yamaha CS-50 – The Oscillator

January 8, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Here is part 1 of a series of demonstrative videos regarding the Yamhaha CS-50. This is a demonstration of the oscillator section of the Yamaha CS-50.

yamaha-cs50

The CS-50 was released just one year before its famous big brothers, the CS-60 and CS-80. The CS-50 looks like a scaled-down version of the monstrous CS-80, and it is! This will benefit those who crave the famous classic Yamaha synth sound without the struggle of lugging around the 215 pound CS-80! The CS-50 weighs in at about 100 pounds. The CS-50 is also just 4-voice polyphonic, and lacks the quality weighted 61-note keyboard of the CS-80. The CS-50 has just a 49-note standard keyboard. It does feature pressure (aftertouch) sensitivity route-able to several destinations, however.

The CS-50′s sound is unmistakably related to other classic CS-series synthesizers. At just four voices with one osc. per voice and lacking warm filters (at just 12dB/oct) the CS-50′s sound can be thin. There are 13 preset sounds of various instruments and synth sounds but, unfortunately, no on-board memory storage for your edited presets. At its low street price, the CS-50 makes a great way to get your hands on these classic sounds without going broke! It’s too bad their tuning is just as unstable as the other CS-series synths. It’s housed in a built-in travel-case like the other (big) CS-synths.

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