The Yamaha synthesizer site has come to life, again. The site has resources for current Yamaha synthesizer products, blogs and a forum. One the forums is seeking input for future Yamaha synthesizer products. Here is my post to that forum. It’s kind of terse, but the Yamaha marketing people already have so many long messages to read through and analyze! On to the re-post…
Thanks for listening to our feedback! To keep things short and specific, I’ve listed the likes and areas for improvement in my two current Yamaha keyboards. I understand that Tyros/PSR is made by a different product division.
My first Yamaha keyboard was a pre-MIDI CE-20, so I’ve been into electronic instruments for quite a while…
MOX6: 95% performance, 5% production
- + Great voices and performances in contemporary genres
- + Deep editing everywhere
- + 16 voices/performances/etc. available with one button push
- + Ability to add new waveforms (MOXF)
Opportunities for improvement:
- – Workflow
- – Needs drawbar mode and improved rotary speaker effect
- – SMF must be scrubbed clean in order to import without issue or error
PSR-S950: 70% production, 30% performance
- + Super Articulation sounds great and is intuitive to play live
- + INFO button displays performance tips for voices including articulations
- + Drawbar mode
- + Reliably imports and plays SMF regardless of meta-events, etc.
- + Immediate one-man-band playability; high fun factor
Opportunities for improvement:
- – Voice editing is superficial
- – Needs more contemporary content (my genres: funk, jazz, rock/pop)
- – Effects lag synthesizer products (need VCM)
- – Needs B-3 chorus/vibrato sim and improved rotary speaker effect
- – Convert WAV to MP3
- – New waveforms only through expansion pack; No expansion pack editor
Production vs. performance: MOX6 is my go-to ax for playing out. S950 is now mostly used to produce backing tracks/styles. S950 production/performance mix will shift toward performance.
Workflow: DAWs have many established, immediately visible UI metaphors (e.g., piano roll, staff view, waveform view). MOX6 has rows and rows of buttons with few cues about how to use them.
Superarticulation: Real-time note analysis triggers articulations. Don’t have to think about which button to push (MOX XA). SA 2 voices are terrific. I’ve been reading the Yamaha patents on AEM and realize that SA 2 is non-trivial.
Immediacy: People want immediate results. Turn a knob, get a response. That’s one reason why people are knocked out by SA/SA2. Nothing kills a buzz like waiting for your computer to boot or fixing a driver problem.
Content: MOX players want more arpeggios; S950 players want more styles. This is a fundamental human need. Need to be able to create or import own phrases/content. Be able to play and sync both audio and MIDI clips. Import and convert PSR styles to arpeggios?
Updates: Need to provide updates for mid-range products, too. Competitor is making “updatable OS” a sales point. Example: Update MOX to control element level through knobs (now a standard MOXF feature).
Community: Community is very important. Share riffs, voices, whatever. Community builds excitement and loyalty. Yamaha must participate. (Yamaha is already perceived as too aloof.) Publish specs for file formats and let open source development loose. Provide an open garden and let thousands of flowers bloom.