Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

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Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by tosss » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:28 am

Hi,
not only a Tyros....also a Motif, Triton, Fantom etc.

Ok, we learnd in the 80th, that not only a Korg Poly 61 is called a synthesizer, also a Korg M1 ist called so. But is a workstation a synthesizer? In the 80th I said "yes", it is. Ok, nice new possibilities, but it´s a great synth. But what today? My little english knowledge can´t express what I want to say.

That are musical entertainments, but are they really synthesizer?

Can I have your opinion about that?

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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Zamise » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:38 am

Yes they are sythesizers, I don't see why they wouldn't be synthesizers. They do do a lot more than a simple synth, but they are still synthesizers too.
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Box » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:51 am

Here ya go:
A synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument that uses sound generating elements (such as oscillators or the like) to create audio waveforms. These waveforms are then combined with others and/or manipulated in specific ways to "synthesize" a unique sound character. Over the years many, many different types of synthesis architectures have been developed and used. Of those a relatively small number have become popular and seen widespread usage. Many modern synths provide digital control over analog parameters, such as frequency, amplitude, filtering and so on to create different timbres. Some generate these waveforms digitally.
A workstation is generally any type of equipment and/or workspace set up for specific sets of tasks. The term often refers to a general-purpose computer designed to be used by one person at a time and which offers higher performance than normally found in a personal computer, especially with respect to graphics, processing power and the ability to carry out several tasks at the same time. In music workstations are sometimes built around keyboard type products as well. Generally the idea is to give a keyboard "all-in-one" capabilities for composition, recording, sound design and performance. This is distinct from a synthesizer, which might only contain a sound-generating engine with a keyboard controller attached, and an Arranger, which usually has limited sound design abilities but often has built-in musical sequences that "automatically" generate introductions, accompaniments, and fills. The general requirements for a keyboard workstation are that it include:

* Controller(s) - the keyboard itself, plus additional knobs, faders, switches, ribbons, etc.
* Synthesizer Engine - capable of creating, editing, playing back and storing sounds
* Drum Sounds - whether part of the Synthesizer Engine or separately accessible
* Sequencer - MIDI, and increasingly, audio
* Effects Processing - which can range from simple global effects to complex channel-specific processing

Some well-known workstations include the Korg Triton, Kurzweil K2600, Roland Fantom, and Yamaha Motif, all available in different configurations. Some of these workstations go farther to include CD burners, computer interfaces and expansion cards to add new sounds or effects. Songwriters often like workstations because they can compose, arrange and mix without disturbing their creative flow - they never need to leave the keyboard to deal with computers, hard disk recorders or other equipment. All workstations allow multitimbral playback and MIDI sequencing on multiple channels. In live performance, keyboard players can create massive stacks of sounds (often called Combinations, Performances, Multis or Setups) to play across the entire keyboard, or they can divide the keyboard into zones, each of which will play different sounds. Players can also load and play sequenced material to enhance their live playing, use the workstation's controllers to modulate the sounds they are playing live and make effects changes on the fly without having to rely on an outboard processor or mixing board. With the advent of hard disk recording and computer-based audio systems, another definition of workstation has arisen: the Digital Audio Workstation. See the Word for the Day definition of DAW to learn more.
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Post by crystalmsc » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:39 am

tosss wrote:But is a workstation a synthesizer?
yes they are. Some are super synthesizer, just not as analog sounding :)
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by salwa » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:17 am

I'd say that every Casio toy keyboard is synthesiser, because it, well, synthesises sound.
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Synthigraphie » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:21 pm

salwa wrote:I'd say that every Casio toy keyboard is synthesiser, because it, well, synthesises sound.
I disagree. Because according to this definition a microwave would be a synthesiszer (ding !).

A synthesizer creates a sound, not only reproduces a sound recorded in a chip in a Casio toy keyboard.

A keyboard like Yamaha PSR is not a synthesizer cause you can't create new sounds. Tyros is a keyboard isn't it ? Not a workstation (which is a synth).

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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Gianni » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:09 pm

Workstations are sinthesizers.

Tyros is a sinthesizer.

Tyros is not a workstation.

Casio toys.... not really sinthesizers, more like preset machines.

Any keyboard with synthesis abilities is considered a synthesizer.

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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by nvbrkr » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:35 pm

It's not a synthesizer because most people who play those things also make their living from music. :wink:

No but seriously speaking. Don't those things even have VAs built into them these days? It's a workstation / arranger keyboard hybrid, but probably a pretty stupid investment if you don't make your living playing in a schlager cover band or something, it would be far much more sensible to get several different boards for the price of that thing.

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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by salwa » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:48 pm

Synthigraphie wrote:
salwa wrote:I'd say that every Casio toy keyboard is synthesiser, because it, well, synthesises sound.
I disagree. Because according to this definition a microwave would be a synthesiszer (ding !).

A synthesizer creates a sound, not only reproduces a sound recorded in a chip in a Casio toy keyboard.

A keyboard like Yamaha PSR is not a synthesizer cause you can't create new sounds. Tyros is a keyboard isn't it ? Not a workstation (which is a synth).
Now I have to disagree. Not being able to create new sound isn't something, that makes Casios non-synths. What about preset synths like Yamaha SY-1? Of course we are talking about synthesisers in broad sense - as a musical instruments which create sound electronicaly (no strings, no sond box etc.), which are called electrophones I think. It's only us here, who call "synts" only those programable machines. Also, keep in mind, that every toy keyboard is a synth according to Box's definition (see post above).
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Box » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:44 am

salwa wrote:Also, keep in mind, that every toy keyboard is a synth according to Box's definition (see post above).
Well that's Sweetwater's definition. In my opinion to be a synthesizer the sound source is generated in real time be it oscillators or DSP chips, not sample playback. That and of course that you can edit various settings such as filter and envelope. But in a way ROMplers and samplers are "synthesizers" in that even though the sound source is played back and not generated in real time you still have synthesizer functions such as filter and envelopes. It really depends on who you ask.
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Zamise » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:46 am

Synthigraphie wrote:
salwa wrote:I'd say that every Casio toy keyboard is synthesiser, because it, well, synthesises sound.
I disagree. Because according to this definition a microwave would be a synthesiszer (ding !).

A synthesizer creates a sound, not only reproduces a sound recorded in a chip in a Casio toy keyboard.

A keyboard like Yamaha PSR is not a synthesizer cause you can't create new sounds. Tyros is a keyboard isn't it ? Not a workstation (which is a synth).
Microwaves go *beep* now days, the ones that go *ding* have an actual bell in them. Don't they? The beep could be synthesized, but yeah got to be carefull with the faulty syllogisms.
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by knolan » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:08 am

Without trying to be too purist about it - I'd argue that Tyros is not a synthesizer for two reasons that are important to how we probably characterise 'traditional' synthesizers -

1. A synthesizer allows for a sound to be developed from the ground up, from the elements of oscillators, filters and amplifiers. Even in the FM/DX range, while missing a traditional filter, FM provided the same role. In this regard, although all instruments have limitations; traditional synthesizers provide for a staggering range in nuance that is utterly controllable by the user. Tyros does not provide such scope.

2. The second point is related - and it is this - the intended use of the instrument. Whereas on Yamaha's Tyros website they promote it for song writers all the way to hobbyists wishing to be exposed to the wide musical world; they carefully avoid the sorts of rhetoric used even as far back as the CS range - such as "the only limit is your imagination..." - where they mean that the vast range of open-ended possibilities suggested by a traditional synthesizer (however much a subset of all sound sources needed for a final piece), allow for the imagination to build new ideas from the ground up, and for them to be expressible in truly vast and unique ways. Hence, real synthesizers and also workstations, while providing deep capabilities in sound design and control; rarely put all the pieces together within the presets characterising well known music genres. So while traditional workstations and synthesizers are more difficult to control and require more of the artist to build entire works, in not providing all the pieces of the jigsaw the artist is forces to be more individual and creative. A Motif is far less ready to allow for the quick production of a ready made country track than a tyros; but anybody who goes to the bother of doing it on the Motif will have to actually think about each part, and that will be by definition far more 'synthesized' by the artists - whether it be the creation of the voices or tapping in a drum pattern.

Admittedly the lines are blurring these days when you look at the likes of OASYS. Never the less, the intention in using Tyros is not to synthesize sounds or create music from the ground up - rather, Tyros is about convenience, about NOT having to build from an individualistic standpoint and is therefore not in the same category of instruments as traditional synthesizers and workstations. The production values or the 'sweetness' of the Tyros voices has nothing to do with it, IMO.

On a purely human level – I believe that any musician who has only ever engaged preset home keyboards like Tyros and who has not actually spent time learning something like a prophet 5 or Juno 106; cannot know the difference. Spending quality time playing on such synthesizers leads the mind into a creative ‘zone’ that can yield remarkable results and is the hallmark of all the great music of the past thirty years or so that used ‘synthesizers’ in a substantial way. It’s why both Vangelis and Stevie Wonder can both play a CS80 yet both sound utterly unique. I do not believe they could achieve the same level of uniqueness and creativity on a Tyros.

None of this negates the true quality and desirability of Tyros 3 - it's extremely formidable.

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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Thetimeplease » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:20 am

Box wrote:
salwa wrote:Also, keep in mind, that every toy keyboard is a synth according to Box's definition (see post above).
Well that's Sweetwater's definition. In my opinion to be a synthesizer the sound source is generated in real time be it oscillators or DSP chips, not sample playback. That and of course that you can edit various settings such as filter and envelope. But in a way ROMplers and samplers are "synthesizers" in that even though the sound source is played back and not generated in real time you still have synthesizer functions such as filter and envelopes. It really depends on who you ask.
In my opinion (not that it counts for much :)) I'd have to go with the latter definition. Otherwise you'd leave too much gear (e.g. the Korg DWs and DSSes of this world) which have everything you'd want from a great synthesizer (VCAs, VCOs, flexibility of parameter editing etc) out in the cold.
Last edited by Thetimeplease on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by stikygum » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:49 am

I think we need to distinguish between true synths using basic waveforms as the base and synths using predetermined sampled waveforms (basically anything not using sampled sounds).

But then you look at hybrid synthesis like Waldorf Microwave and Ensoniq Transwaves, it starts to blur. Still these synths are not true synths IMO. They're hybrids and that's why they are so unique.

The Tyros is mainly an Arranger workstation. Have not looked into it much, but I bet it's a rompler.
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Re: Is a Yamaha Tyros a synthesizer?

Post by Zamise » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:35 am

Nooo, romplers are still synths too, and I promise you if you disregaured this fact, me or hopefully some other rompler expert will come here in defence of such a negative and wrong stament and completly defeat your a*s if I do not do it. Romplers, in fact are even better or superior as far as synths go and their waveforms that they use for tone generation, which substitute as ossilators, do not necessarly have to be simple, nor complex on a rompler, less processing power and more polyphoney. OSCs and Tone Generators are only a small yet important part of what makes a synthesizer a synthesizer.

The Tyros has a synth engine and is editable, just not as much so by its regular users as the so called "traditional" synthesizer.

I kind of like the term preset synthesizer. Its almost oxymorinic, but I think just because users can't sculpt sounds on it doesn't mean the synthesizer itself or the devlopers isn't or havn't done a lot of sound sculpting work for them.

If you tape down all the knobs on a Prophet does it not still synthesize (bleed) for you?
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