Genos teaser video three

Yamaha Genos™ teaser video number three: Alex Christensen & The Berlin Orchestra – Infinity

Treat yourself to the video first before reading. There is a spoiler ahead!

Another track with orchestra and the occasional driving four on the floor. The video follows up with the visual and musical themes established in the second teaser video.

Very good production values, of course!

The first commenter was kind enough to leave bookmarks for the Genos:

Was anything missed? Be sure to go over this video frame by frame. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first snippet is the Style Control section. If you’re a Yamaha Tyros or PSR S-series player, no surprises here. We see the now well-known sliders and “cooling tower” knobs for real-time control. Was the finger hitting the MAIN D section button an important hit point in the music? Didn’t seem that way to me. [Please click images to enlarge.]

The big pan. This will be dissected in so many ways over the next week until the fourth teaser video drops. We do see Voice and Part selection buttons, One Touch Setting (OTS) buttons, Multi Pad Control buttons, six assignable buttons (A-F), six lighted navigation buttons, data wheel, INC, DEC and EXIT buttons — all to the right of a rather nice looking wide-screen touch panel. Can’t really tell if the panel tilts. The USB port for your jump drive also makes an appearance.

The lighted navigation buttons were a bit of a surprise. Leaked images did not show the button legends. I can just make out HOME, STYLE and VOICE in the teaser video. My guess is that these buttons are an alternative, fast way into the menu structure — very important for visually impaired musicians. I’ll let younger eyes or those with CIA image enhancement software make out the other legends (MENU? PLAY LIST? SET?)

The big pan got one enormous belly laugh: “USB device is disconnected.” The display shows a style selection page and what’s that? A pop-up alert box! All this money on a video and they disconnect the jump drive?

Five tabbed pages of Dance styles. About fifty dance styles? The exact number is not really significant at this stage.

What’s up with the saxophone? I hear horns. That better be Cubase!

The third video deepens the mystery created in the second teaser video. What is the exact relationship between the sounds that we hear and the Yamaha Genos digital workstation? There are quite a few repetitious musical phrases (ostinato). Did the Genos produce those sounds or were those sounds sampled as the basis for new audio styles which combine with MIDI? The same question could be asked about the melody lines. Are we hearing the Genos or were the musicians and their instruments sampled and turned into Genos voices? Stay tuned. (No pun intended.) The answer to all of these questions may be “Yes.”

That’s it for this week except for unbridled speculation. The Genos will be shown in New York City to select Yamaha dealers on September 22nd. Martin Harris will be one of the demonstrators. The fourth teaser video will be released on September 29th. Genos will finally (finally!) be announced on October 2nd.

Oh, that unverified image? It’s probably the real deal.

Update

At 02:23, we catch a glimpse of the Yamaha Genos™ in the lower right hand corner of the frame.

My European and sleepless North American colleagues on the PSR Tutorial Forum have worked out the six assignable button legends: HOME, MENU, STYLE, VOICE, SONG, and PLAYLIST. Someone should get a free Genos from Yamaha for working this out!

Copyright © 2017 Paul J. Drongowski

GENOS unverified image

The following unverified image has appeared on the Web. It seems to have been taken at a presentation.

Physical features are similar to other leaked images of GENOS™ and the teaser videos (one and two). The keyboard in this unverified image very much looks like a prototype — or at best, pre-production — model. Remember, sound developers need functional mock-ups for their work and even dealer demo units will not be available until October.

A huge warning. We are now in a phase when images and “specifications” are ricochetting around the Web. The Internet echo chamber is ringing like a bell! Plus, we have a number of individuals who are desperate and are trying to draw attention to their sites (advertising revenue, ca-ching) and Youtube videos (ca-ching). This site is independent and I do not receive money from advertising.

Beware while awaiting Yamaha’s official announcement on October 2nd! We still have two more teaser videos to survive on September 22nd and 29th.

It’s a matter of timing

I want to expand on some remarks that I made in the Genos section of the PSR Tutorial Forum. The GENOS section, by the way, is currently accessible only to forum members. Please join; it’s a great community!

A few posters noted that a well-known UK retailer had viewed a “prototype model” of the new, and yet to be announced Yamaha GENOS™ digital workstation.

With respect to the term “prototype model”, here’s a few things to consider based on the history of the Montage launch.

Montage prototypes went to sound developers in roughly the January 2015 timeframe — one year before public announcement.

Media people were shown Montage prototypes in December 2015 — one to two months before public announcement. When these folks wrote and published their stories, they explicitly mentioned that they saw and heard a prototype model. That’s accurate and fair to Yamaha.

Montage was announced at the 2016 Winter NAMM, January 21-24, 2016.

One of the sound developers stated that the Montage sound set was not finalized as of January 2016 even though Yamaha demonstrated the Montage at NAMM. Other key features were still in development, too. Even to this day, Yamaha acknowledge that Montage is a work in progress. (Thanks for the updates and enhancements, Yamaha!)

Montage finally shipped to customers in May 2016, at least three months after announcement.

Folks, it’s not that strange to show dealers a “prototype model” under non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Dealers and journalists are expected to be fair-minded adults who understand the process of product roll-out and who make allowances for bug fixes, changes to features, and so forth to be made before final delivery to customers.

October 2nd may be called the “launch date,” but it’s really the public announcement date. It’s a “launch date” in the sense of “the launch of a public, dealer- and media-based advertising and promotional campaign.” As a manufacturer, you want to be truthful and direct with your customers, but you need to have your sales engine (i.e., dealers and media) primed and ready on the launch date. Hence, the need to show prototype models under NDA and/or media embargo. (You can bet that the GENOS print ads have already been placed or are about to be placed.)

Public dealer demo events seem to be scheduled for the November timeframe. This gives Yamaha time to get finished demo units to dealers. Consumers should note if the demonstrations are performed only by select personnel or if “the little people” (us!) are allowed to actually play the GENOS. Also important to customers, the GENOS announcement likely will give an estimated shipping date, just like the Montage announcement,

Please carefully regard legal disclaimers like:

  • The colors and finishes shown may vary from those on the actual products.
  • Specifications and descriptions in this ownerโ€™s manual are for information purposes only. Yamaha Corp. reserves the right to change or modify products or specifications at any time without prior notice. Since specifications, equipment or options may not be the same in every locale, please check with your Yamaha dealer.

Yamaha do their best — and do it very well — but things can and do change.

A world-wide product launch is not easy to pull off. There are a lot of moving parts.

The real deal?

Which brings me back to the subject of teaser videos and leaked images.

Ideally, on launch date, you want all of your advertising and promotional materials ready to go. In the case of print media, a late snap of a pre- or early-production model will often do. (See disclaimers above.)

However, the first teaser video and the second teaser clearly were not dashed off in a weekend. Production time and deadlines may be such that visuals cannot be produced from even pre-production models. In that case, producers must rely on “conceptual art” or mock-ups for inspiration. Therefore, one should not put too much stock into the size of the display (or whatever) in a teaser video.

Then there is the now widespread, split-image picture of the GENOS. One half of the image is in the studio and the other half is on stage. Yamaha have used similar visual composition in advertisements for other keyboards. The graininess of the image casts shade on it. Perhaps this image is a mock-up for a future print advertisement or brochure yet to be produced? Since the provenance of this image is somewhat questionable (at least to me), I still won’t publish it here.

Best of luck to our friends at Yamaha — pj

Copyright © 2017 Paul J. Drongowski

This is the place(ment)

Alex Christensen & the Berlin Orchestra, Classical remake of “Snap! Rhythm Is a Dancer.”

Now that’s what a big production budget and product placement will buy you!

Wot? It’s not an ad for Yamaha headphones?

This is the second teaser video for the new Yamaha GENOS™ Digital Workstation.

I found three video clips showing the GENOS. If you found more, congratulations! You have less of a life than I do. ๐Ÿ™‚ [Please click images to enlarge.]

At least we know where the “Direct Access” button is.

A nice, clean, flat user interface. Too bad recent research shows that users navigate a flat interface 22% slower than an interface with shadows, etc.

Yep, looks like the knobs adjust parameters and the display shows the current value.

The second video does not reveal much more than the first “pixie dust” teaser video. However, you can rest assured that Yamaha means and sanctions these video snippets. Yes, it has sliders, knobs, a color touch panel, and a parameter display above the knobs.

The main editorial question, however, is what role did the Yamaha GENOS™ play in the actual musical production of Mr. Christensen’s album? Or, vice versa?

Back to the crass business of marketing, Yamaha clearly want to reach a younger customer base without offending the old folks. (I am an old folk, by the way.) That’s perfectly fine by me as the Yamaha innovation engine needs fuel from many sources. If indeed the GENOS has styles combining MIDI and audio phrases, the development cost of that content alone must be staggering. (Do not think GENOS will come cheaply.)

We await more. Always more.

Related posts:

Original material Copyright © 2017 Paul J. Drongowski

A hoax image?

An unverified image of the Genos™ surfaced on the Web overnight. I will not publish this image here until I’m sure of its veracity.

If this image is genuine, it confirms features seen in the teaser video. Although the image depicts familiar PSR/Tyros features (e.g., style/section control buttons, registration buttons, One Touch Setting buttons, and multi-pad buttons), it has many new features over the current Tyros:

  • Color touch panel
  • Six control knobs
  • Display above the knobs (showing parameters?)
  • Nine drawbars
  • Six assignable buttons

The Tyros voice select buttons (far right just above the keyboard) indicate RIGHT1, RIGHT2, RIGHT3 and LEFT voices — typical for Tyros. A USB host port is above and to right of the voice select section. That’s a lot of unused real estate between the six assignable buttons and the USB bay by the way.

Current PSR/Tyros models provide a matrix of style selection buttons and a matrix of voice selection buttons. The image does not show these button groups. This would imply that all voice and style selection is made through the touch panel.

The Montage user interface supports user actions through both the touch panel and physical front panel buttons. This “duality” accommodates musicians with certain perceptual disabilities; Yamaha were lauded for this accommodation. Judging from this image, the Genos would not support this kind of “duality.”

The lower left corner of the keyboard does not appear to have pitch bend or modulation wheels. It looks more like a joystick.

The keyboard has 76 keys. Given the layout of the panel buttons, the space used by the panel buttons, etc. would preclude a 61-key version. This would be a break with current Tyros and Montage product lines that always provide a 61-key model.

Well, folks, there’s the image. A well done hoax? I’d like to believe, but I strongly recommend waiting for Yamaha’s verification on this one. We’ll know for sure, soon. Three more teaser videos are due over the next few weeks.

Copyright © 2017 Paul J. Drongowski

Genos is coming soon

Well, it’s official. Yamaha have created a special web site for Genos™ related announcements. The first posting is the teaser video which was accidentally released over the weekend. New videos will appear on September 15, 22 and 29. Dealer previews are scheduled during the last two weeks of September. Of course, we’re all dying to see the manuals and the data list PDF!

There’s one key graphic in the Yamaha annual report with the goal: Develop Products with Distinctive Individuality: Add original value to excellent basic functions and develop products others cannot imitate.

That’s a direct quote.

So, please review my summaries of recent Yamaha patents:

This is Yamaha staking out its claim in synth and arranger technology. Patents are expensive and Yamaha do not seek patent protection frivolously.

Hey, hey, serious stuff, but exciting!

Yamaha have filed several patents on styles and style playback using both MIDI data and digital audio. Not just audio drums, but pitched, melodic instrument parts.

When you hear a cello in the demo, that may very well be a recording of a real human being playing a real cello.

The playback engine tracks left hand chords. With respect to audio parts, the engine selects the most appropriate audio phrase from its library of audio recordings according to chord type. Time-stretching (etc.) adjusts for tempo and pitch-shifting adjusts for transposition. Thus, the recorded audio phrase is pitch- and tempo-matched against the musical clock and MIDI. Sounds easy, but try to do it right and do it in real-time!

I’m making a leap from patent filings to product, but my gut feeling as an engineer is strong about this one. (Feel the force, Luke.)

Or, we’ll all have a good laugh.

Copyright © 2017 Paul J. Drongowski