Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Ghost of Crow
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:05 pm

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Ghost of Crow » Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:56 am

tom Cadillac wrote:Well why not? Ist they're a bigger multicorp - bikes ets... with perhaps no real interest in synthesizers apoart from adding them to their musical instrument roster. Sure every manufacturer wants to succeed, but at least Korg and Roland give us amazing innovative stuff to buy (K pads, V synth etc)

Then there's the DX7 and the legal attack on casio to stop them using similar tech.
Then the fs1r - and their insulting attitude towards users.
Any other major crimes?

Why won't they actually make a dedicated fm synthsis synth that is user friendly. Its probably too late now, but what a loss. And so we have endless copies of analogue and no exploration of the most exciting form of digital synthsis. [-X
At least they can spell. [-X [-X
Have you ever driven an R1 bike? Or an Rd 500Lc in the old days?? NAW.
I would give my left bollock, or right to be honest, for a Motif the noo. Yes I have used other synths.
Sorted. Shut the topic. :roll:
"Her face is sans feature, but she wears a dali brooch"

Report this post

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3874
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:36 am

Until the introduction of the newest Motif model, you could add both VA and FM synthesis to the Motif. I think that is what is keeping the prices on old Motifs from nose-diving too sharply.

knolan
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 498
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:42 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by knolan » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:47 am

I'm a big Yamaha fan and have acquired many of their classic synths in recent years; and can testify to their stunning legacy.

When you list:
EX42, GX1, CS80 (and entire CS range), CP80, GS1, DX1 & 7, SY77 & 99, VL1, EX5

you really are looking at arguably the most consistent, impressive and innovative lineage of synthesizer and keyboard development by any company in history. Today, Yamaha are a pale reflection of this legacy.

I suspect something happened with the EX5 that scared them away from synths. With the EX5 they took a battering from the Internet on its low DSP capabilities and I believe it caused them to run scared from synths; while also striking gold with the Motif as a "bread and butter" gigging workstation. Financially they are better off; but it deeply saddens me that THE company with the clout and ability to drive the innovation listed above has abandoned the cause today. I simply do not know how the President of Yamaha lives with himself, given how much 'honour' seems to be integral to the ethos of such Japanese companies.

That said, Yamaha have sustained astounding developments in related areas:

- Digital Mixers, Disklavier, Clavinova and Graded Hammer Action, Silent Series, Unquestionable professionalism in Tyros and Motif and the Electrone Stagea - all of these are substantial developments - just not on pure synthesis. Interestingly, Yamaha is also a distributer for Arturia's CS80V

I've argued for more than five years (and also wrote to Peter Peck in Yamaha UK before Korg's OASYS appeared) for Yamaha to bring their current technologies together to produce an astounding synthesizer that provided the spontaneity of control found on the CS80, with a graded hammer action keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch and with expandable DSP cards (based on their O series digital mixers) allowing for expandability or the addition of their legacy synthesizer technologies (in far more spontaneous and capable ways that their current expansion cards).

But of course it’s probably not financially feasible - I'm also a Korg OASYS owner and as stunning as that is it only sold about 3000 units in total.

It's just a great pity that, at a time when we could produce, say, a CS80 devoid of the inconsistencies and problems of the original; they don't bother. What was the point of all of this technical innovation over recent decades if it’s not used to produce improved versions of what were after all stunning original instruments/concepts. The interface and performance power of the CS80 is still unsurpassed; and I for one am shocked that nobody is even attempting to duplicate the likes of that instrument along updated with the benefits from modern technology) and at a good cost point.

I own (and love) buckets of soft sythns- including Arturia's CS80 V (and I haven't installed V2 of CS80V yet but believe it’s a major improvement - they put a lot of time into improving the filters and overall accuracy of sound) - but I can tell you, I have never, ever, experienced the feeling from those that I get when I sit infornt of a pristine condition CS80, even if it did take over 10 years and quite a lot of money to have it restored to better than original factory condition by Kent Spong and Richard Lawson.

The bottom line for me is – Yamaha, more than any other music company, had the ability to produce stunning new synthesizers and keyboards for more than two decades. Today they are barren (and embarrassing) in this regard (just look at the new KX series for example), and I dearly wish they would apply their unique resources to a new generation of synthesizers which interface to computers and all of that; and which provide hitherto unimaginable tactile control over sound synthesis and performance.
Last edited by knolan on Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
stikygum
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 681
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:21 pm
Location: SOS - Substance over Style

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by stikygum » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:51 am

The Tenori On was an excellent idea and shows that they are still thinking creatively in the synth market. Yamaha can still be innovative when they want to be and show that they can be. I think it's just a slower process. Guess the RS7000 didn't take like they wanted, but I thought if they would've put that in a MV8K type box interface, with all the glorious midi effects, that would've been killer. They need to come out with something with more midi effects. Ultimate glitch box. I heard a year or two ago they were asking the on the internet for people to submit their ideas for what they'd like to see made. That in itself (if that was true) shows they're looking for ways to suit and tailor to their customers. They don't need to try to make something work, and then have it dive bomb, which is why they seem to either go for the win or go for the innovation when the time is ready.

Man I wish they'd make a PM synth like the VL again.

(That was a sweet bike back there 8) )
"MTV's gaudy overexuberance contributed to the trivialization of the one thing it had been initiated to support, music" - Rik Millhouse

Ghost of Crow
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:05 pm

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Ghost of Crow » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:56 am

At least they aint Honda.
Too drunk tae explain why but ye should know why anyway.
Be f**k thankful there isnawe a Honda synth.
"Her face is sans feature, but she wears a dali brooch"

Report this post

User avatar
Automatic Gainsay
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3962
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:22 am
Real name: Marc Doty
Gear: Minimoog, 2600, CS-15, CS-50, MiniBrute, MicroBrute, S2, Korg MS-20 Mini, 3 Volcas, Pro 2, Leipzig, Pianet T, Wurli 7300, Wurli 145-A, ASR-10, e6400.
Band: Godfrey's Cordial
Location: Tacoma
Contact:

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:26 am

Don't complain about Yamaha.
Pretty much ALL synth companies responded to what YOU wanted. And if not you, the version of you that happened before you. They are companies, and wanted to make money. You, or someone like you, or a person or a bunch of people way louder than you, yelled a bunch of s**t that they heeded.
In result, they made more money, got bigger, and made more money.
If Yamaha sucks, the average of people are to blame.
‎"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." -Charles Babbage
"Unity and Mediocrity are forever in bed together." -Zane W.
http://www.youtube.com/automaticgainsay

maindeglorie
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 613
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:17 am
Gear: Voyager Select,Little Phatty,ARP Solus,Omni II,Yamaha CS-40M,Prophet 5,Prophet 08,OB-Xa,MaxiKorg,Nord Lead 3,Nord Wave,Eurorack modular, etc.
Location: Pennsylvania (NEPA)

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by maindeglorie » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:23 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Don't complain about Yamaha.
Pretty much ALL synth companies responded to what YOU wanted. And if not you, the version of you that happened before you. They are companies, and wanted to make money. You, or someone like you, or a person or a bunch of people way louder than you, yelled a bunch of s**t that they heeded.
In result, they made more money, got bigger, and made more money.
If Yamaha sucks, the average of people are to blame.
So... It's Automatic Gainsay who wanted the CS-1x??? 8)

felis
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 8:44 pm

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by felis » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:32 am

knolan wrote:

I suspect something happened with the EX5 that scared them away from synths. With the EX5 they took a battering from the Internet on its low DSP capabilities and I believe it caused them to run scared from synths; while also striking gold with the Motif as a "bread and butter" gigging workstation....


This^^^^^^


I still have my EX5R. It was the last synth Yamaha made that had to have the chips (4 of them) replaced for an OS upgrade. They replaced a lot of them.
Then they came up with the idea of the plug-in boards, which was probably how it should have been done in the first place.
Once you get out of a strict program mode and into a multi, you can't take 2 steps without seeing the 'DSP Resources Full' message - woefully underpowered. And it was very expensive too.

I think that sometime in the future, they'll test the waters again, but they'll do it much more carefully next time.
Introducing new products is always a bit risky, but I imagine that in the current economic situation, it must be downright scary.

User avatar
cornutt
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:03 am
Gear: 6th
Location: Rocket City USA
Contact:

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by cornutt » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:45 am

b3groover wrote:Yamaha doesn't own FM. Their licensing of the technology ran out years ago.
Well, they never had a patent on FM per se. What they had a patent on (bought from Chowning) was the "shortcut" FM computation algorithm that the DX7 and its derivatives used. The shortcut algorithm was really a form of phase modulation, and that's what Casio got tripped up on -- they thought they had an original idea in simulating FM via PM, not realizing that they had duplicated Chowning's work.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

User avatar
Mr Rich
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 10:04 pm
Gear: Excessive.
Location: Ireland

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Mr Rich » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:05 am

The battery is my FS1R is flat.

I blame Yamaha...
Mr Rich
(Eventually tired of Clint.)

User avatar
tekkentool
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3218
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:51 am
Real name: Steve
Gear: Lasers (ส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้ ωส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้)
Band: none currently
Location: Sydney, australia.(I moved)

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by tekkentool » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:49 am

b3groover wrote:Yamaha doesn't own FM. Their licensing of the technology ran out years ago.

I still think they are a great company, they've just moved into other areas. Their acoustic instruments are all top-notch. Drums, pianos, woodwinds. I tune pianos for a living and my favorite pianos to tune are Yamahas. They are extremely stable and well-made and hold a tuning very well.

Yamaha was very smart to buy Steinberg. The future of synthesis is in software. Music production / DAWs are a big market. Yamaha is bringing Steinberg into the hardware A/D D/A interface market with some really great designs.

I recently snatched up a used FS1R. I am willing to wager it will turn out to be the last great hardware synthesizer that Yamaha produces.
they make legendary basses too!

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5317
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by madtheory » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:32 am

Mr Rich wrote:The battery is my FS1R is flat.

I blame Yamaha...
Those corporate bastards. They just want to charge you for a new battery every two years. The FS1r is a scam.

User avatar
Sir Ruff
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:55 pm
Gear: Two persimmon modulators and a frequency adjudicator.
Band: Ruff in the jungle
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:02 pm

My post has nothing to do with FM specifically, but I will say that yamaha have always had a very interesting and different (perhaps "japanese"?) approach to synths compared to virtually every other synth manufacturer short of Korg.

When you look at the bulk of the CS-series, and more specifically weirdos like the CS30, and later efforts like the fs1r, you sense that they were really doing their own thing, making synths for perhaps a different market than roland or I guess most western makers... they are more like lab equipment in some ways than "players" synths and have features no one really ever picked up on...

it's ironic then that the dx7 was one of, if not THE player synth of all time (aside from the minimoog), but still had a totally non musician-friendly design.

I guess what I'm saying is thatrather than being "enemies" of synthesis, yamaha are actually "friends" of synthesists-those who really want to get into sound design and new sounds-and are perhaps less concerned (until recently) with creating something that the layperson can use (compared to Roland who, for the most part, seem to aim for the lowest common denominator in their approach)
Do you even post on vse bro?

User avatar
tom Cadillac
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:49 am
Gear: FS1R, EPS, JP8000, Kaos pad, Ineko, SP606, Mopho, MP7 and so on....
Band: Bipolarbass
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by tom Cadillac » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:17 pm

I'v just had my fs1r battery replaced - and had to get the original factory patches loaded back up too - one bass patch on it is my standard bass patch and the organs are fabulous and obviously that's just scratching the surface. So I suppose I should be grateful. Also I'v found that the vector stick on old wavestations inferfaces well - even letting you control the filter in some patches.

Recently I saw a newish sound module for sale here that had been made specifically for the Japanese market. I was put off by the Japanese only manual, though it looked interesting. So maybe they are following their own Japanese path with some products.

I'm glad to hear that Casio was not just a legal victim. I hate the thought of the bigger company supressing their innovations.

Belated apologies for the typo - only just spotted it. :oops:

I don't really feel the hardware market is totally depressed. I hope the guys at Yamaha are watching Korg sweep up with clever new stuff and try and bring out something radical to get their cut of the market. I really do believe that with some stuff its a case of - "build it and they will come".
"On the following day , the sorcery undespairingly continued: I changed my series, chose other sequences, cut other lengths, spliced different progressions, and hoped afresh for a miracle in sound." (Stockhausen)

User avatar
Dano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 2:03 pm
Location: Springfield, IL USA

Re: Yamaha - enemies of synthsis!

Post by Dano » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:33 pm

One thing I'll add praising past Yamaha synths is the Yamaha AN virtual analog synths. The AN1X was one of the earliest hardware VAs that I can think of after the Nord Lead I but I'd still say that to my ear the AN synths are among the most organic-sounding I've heard. (...although the limited interface on my AN200 leaves a lot to be desired!)

Post Reply