Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by tekkentool » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:37 am

Zamise wrote:Get this:

RS14000 is coming soon!... In my dreams.

They've had some severely under appreciated synths and groove gear in the years past. Its probably hard to wait 5 or 10 years for the market to realize it so they've moved on to what has worked for them more immediately, and not us synth gurus. Might be more due to the hard economic times than anything, and their willingness to take risks on concept type synths and experimental gear. They have become conservative in this area.

I think their focus has been on the Motif line, software, shitty-cheap music gear, dumb controllers and an oddball bubble light sequencer thing. If they ever get a knob or slider setup nearer to the RS7000s for their Motifs then they might have something that will once again interest me.

Come on Yamaha! I'm waiting.
+1!. i'd love to get my hands on a DX200 and an AN-200.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by killedaway » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:50 pm

tim gueguen wrote:They would have seen no need to stick something "primitive" like a low pass filter into their high tech design.
silly such-and-suches. my DX200's filter opens and closes in their general direction.
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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by tekkentool » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:51 pm

i think the reason is just most likely price.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by 23 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:09 am

I think a large part of the reason Yamaha has calmed down is because their last efforts bombed, some DRASTICALLY.

You had the Yamaha EX, which in that regard, effects that ran on a PER VOICE basis, direct combinations of sample based and VA archs, topped off with physical modelling abilities yep....Yamaha can say they beat Roland and their V(GT) to the punch there by YEARS.

You then had the FS1R. Essentially a 16OP FM beast from h**l. From a sound design stand point, one of the most in depth synths EVER produced in regard to timbral capabilities.


In one case, I think Yamaha was to far ahead of the gun. The EX, though impressive and hitting into new ground, simply suffered from a poor implementation of concept. The cost of really bringing the thing to life the way one would think it worked (based off a read off of spec) was NOT AT ALL how it worked in practice. (i.e. you sort of ended up with a monosynth if you did the sample/va combo deal).

In the case of the FS1R, the market interested in such a thing was simply so niche it was negatable (from a sales stand point). Simply put, if there was one lesson I think Yamaha learned, it was that the synth market was not filled with people screaming "DEPTH DEPTH DEPTH" and not at all afraid to enter into a 1000+ parameter world.

What did do them well though?
Well you had really simplistic things (synth arch wise) like their RM1X and RS7000, and you still had their workstations (which generally speaking were fairly light on the architecture depth side as well).
They beefed up the depth of their workstations some, allowed some additional synthesis capabilities to be placed on via card (answering cries for VA stuff, but doing so in a cheap to produce manner), and away they went.

Is the market place telling them that an interest has come back for them to seriously do R&D into new synthesis technologies?
No, not really.
The "Groove" market tapered off (largely in favor of "groove" like software coupled with controllers I think), it's not like things like V-Synths screamed off the shelves despite their critical acclaim, etc. etc.
So they're doing what works.

It's disappointing to witness when one considers some of the past work Yamaha has done in the commercial synthesizer domain.
But it's also understandable.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by 23 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:25 am

On an additional note, regarding reasons to not include things like a low pass filter on an FM synth.
To be honest, I'm just not sure the reasons to do such would have been entirely clear.

Reason being that not only were essentially the same results of a low pass filter already possible, but the nature of FM programming (arguably) begs for the programmer to take use of this.

I can say that I myself have come to like the idea of a filter in play, but this is more so for reasons of laziness really (not necessity). Things can simply get to a point where rather then deal with changing the relationship (index) between various modulators to carriers, if I know the end result I want is akin to how a low pass filter would effect the whole sum of what's being output, I'll just use the filter as a shortcut. But again, this out of necessity as much as laziness and convenience. Generally speaking however, I can't say that I end up using things like low pass filters with FM. (the same can be said for band pass filters, and to a lesser extent, high pass filters)
If anything, I could see a much more practical use to things like vocal formant filters (and even those wouldn't always be necessary, as one can begin to create vocal formants of various sorts with just a single op)

When I began digging into programming in FM (which is just really totally different then subtractive), it took me awhile to wrap my head around it. Once I'd gotten more comfortable though, I have to confess, generally speaking thoughts of filters just stopped entering my mind for the most part.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by tekkentool » Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:31 pm

yeah, i totally agree. i think it was all too niche, i doubt any human can actually take total advantage of an fs1r's capabilities.

the Vl-1 was WAY too niche, being so expensive it would only apply to professionals who are used to editing sounds, yet it was essentially a preset keyboard. technological achievement, yeah. recipe for success no, i think yamaha was trying to do the dx7 all over again with the VL1.

The dx7 was originally thought to be only useful for instrument emulation, the Vl1 was probably trying to do the same again with a huge advance in technology, the only difference was now the people had another method to get real-world sounds out of a synth that wasn't preset limited and didn't just sound like one instrument at a time.

if yamaha found financial suicide when they tried to make cool synths again, i don't blame them for not trying to do it again. they're a company.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:13 pm

The FS1r wasn't so bad, it all depends on how smart you are with FM. For people who bought it just to have a truckload o' FM voices in their setup, it's probably more of a preset machine than anything else. If you know your way through FM, then the FS1r is not that complex.. it's just that the tiny display and the small buttons are a bit minimalistic.

As for Yamaha: I simply think they're facing the situation where things go software when it comes to complex sound design, and when it comes to the stage, then most people won't need the most complex synthesis method ever. They just need good conventional sounds, out of the box.
The local music shop here is thinning out, I heard. All the consumer keyboards and consumer epianos seem gone.

My general impression is that the hardware market is a dead stick as far as ordinary consumers and consumer-equipment are concerned. The pro-performers will settle for whatever there already is, and I don't think their technical needs are very high. The pro-studios (composers, producers) will migrate to software gradually. (yes yes, not you, you will all stay with hardware, spare me the essay :D)

There was some journalism-related news last week in NL. There were plans/ideas to let internet users pay a little amount of money to the government, money which will be put into ailing newspapers: "news makers must be payed", who see their readers migrate to news websites. Isn't that simply the same discussion? Fact is that internet has digitized our society. There used to be a time when people could sell things, but some of those free now. Wikipedia rendered expensive encyclopedia books useless, news websites can replace printed news media, text editors rendered typewriters useless, CD albums are a bit balancing on the edge: most people wouldn't mind MP3, others want uncompressed audio. Anyway, things get replaced by computers gradually. Isn't it strange that ordinary folks prefer to spend a few hundreds on a softsynth (or even use a free one!) instead of buying similar hardware which costs much more? RolKorYam aren't blind either, they're ordinary companies who have to follow the same economic rules everyone has to follow. I heard some while ago that Technics stops or has stopped making keyboards, while they were rather successful with those in the late 80's and in the 90's.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by tekkentool » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:07 pm

yeah, for studio use even workstations are being supplemented by stuff like sampletank 2 or omnisphere, which offer so much ROM in comparison it's insane. i think it's something like 42 GB's in omnisphere

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by 23 » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:09 am

CS_TBL wrote:The FS1r wasn't so bad, it all depends on how smart you are with FM. For people who bought it just to have a truckload o' FM voices in their setup, it's probably more of a preset machine than anything else. If you know your way through FM, then the FS1r is not that complex.. it's just that the tiny display and the small buttons are a bit minimalistic.
I agree with everything you said but your FS assessment. Mainly for just two reasons.
A. Most people never really dug into FM programming.
B. Even from an FM standpoint, the FS can get really into the unpredictable/be ready to deal with experimentation real fast.

For those that didn't mind FM programming, I don't know how the FS1R, to this day, can't be a dream machine. (but that's a niche group)
But for those that weren't fans of FM programming to begin with (a majority), I think the FS1R very well may be the ultimate nightmare. (and understandably so)

I mean 8 ops, and any single op is essentially an equal to a cascaded op....With the FS, a mere 2 cascading ops by themselves there by becomes a world of complexity (that would require the majority of ops, if not all, being in use in most FM synths). Once you start breaking away from mere sine waves being used in a simple formulation (that's an equal to a darn complex formulation in any other FM synth)....well, you really quickly can start heading into where no man has been before. At that, were talking about the FS on a really really basic level here....just a simple mere 2 cascading ops (which again, ends up equal to 4 or more cascading ops in other FM synths)

Either way, that thing was ingeniously designed. Unfortunately, just not something with wide commercial appeal due to it's depth. Whole lot of interesting potential sonic territory to explore with that thing. Really is hard to fathom it's limits.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by cornutt » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:19 pm

Well, there's another factor: I had forgotten, and just got reminded, that Yamaha owns 51% of Korg. So it kind of looks like they are content to leave the synth market to the Korg guys at this point.
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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:53 pm

cornutt wrote:Well, there's another factor: I had forgotten, and just got reminded, that Yamaha owns 51% of Korg. So it kind of looks like they are content to leave the synth market to the Korg guys at this point.
Owned- past tense. According to several sources, Korg re-acquired a controlling share of their stock in 1993.

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by cornutt » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:34 pm

Ashe37 wrote:
cornutt wrote:Well, there's another factor: I had forgotten, and just got reminded, that Yamaha owns 51% of Korg. So it kind of looks like they are content to leave the synth market to the Korg guys at this point.
Owned- past tense. According to several sources, Korg re-acquired a controlling share of their stock in 1993.
Oh, the article I read must have had it backwards. It said that Yamaha acquired it in 1993. Maybe I read it wrong.
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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by pflosi » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:57 pm

IMO, none of the three big (yamaha, roland, korg) makes interesting synths anymore...

they stopped when the M1, DX7 and D50 came out ;)

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by 23 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:07 pm

pflosi wrote:IMO, none of the three big (yamaha, roland, korg) makes interesting synths anymore...

they stopped when the M1, DX7 and D50 came out ;)
I'm baffled how anyone can say the V's aren't interesting.
I mean really, when notably in the realm of hardware, what else out there is even remotely likely them (past or present)?

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Re: Yamaha are not really making any synths anymore

Post by D-Collector » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:42 pm

pflosi wrote:IMO, none of the three big (yamaha, roland, korg) makes interesting synths anymore...

they stopped when the M1, DX7 and D50 came out ;)
I would say Yamaha SY-series and Roland JD-800. Don't know Korg that well.

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