Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

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Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:48 am

Hey, all. I'm in need of a hardware MIDI sequencer. I have a few synths and a drum machine I want to sync to a MIDI Sequencer. I think It would be a very nice, easy, quick and portable setup for me. I'm looking at the RMX-1(x). I like what I see in the manuals and on the internet. The only things that bug me are these:

1. Can I use this as a DEDICATED sequencer, and RARELY use the Syth engine/Drums? I'm not a big fan of the Yamaha MIDI drums and synth sounds. I would like to sequence a KORG EMX-1 Drum machine, KORG R3, and Possibly my Yamaha MM6 (If LSB and MSB bank operation is easy) in a nice and simple old-school MIDI studio.

2. Is this thing Easy to operate? My main concern is the accessing of LSB/MSB voices in my MM6. Would I have to mess around with this a lot in order to use the MM6, or is it an Easy-to use Sequencer, for a (sorta) beginner at Sequencing MIDI messages into songs?

And, I guess as a side note: Is this thing worth all $250-$300 paid for on eBay/etc?

Thanks for any help/comments! :)
-Alex

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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by cartesia » Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:18 am

RM1X is pretty simple to get started, but at the same time, it can get complex...
You don't need to use the built in sounds of course!

I'd say it's worth it, unlesss you want to pay a bit more to get an e-mu command station or yamaha RS7000 (the rs7000 is basically the same sequencer but with some improvements for using it live - being able to switch a few more modes without stopping I think.. etc)

The only bad thing is the floppy drive, but its not that big a deal.

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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by balma » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:04 pm

E-mu command station....

they are pretty affordable these days on Ebay. Goes very , very far away from the RM1X on sequencing functions.
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:25 pm

Thanks for the replies!
Hmm... How many notes can the EMU store? The RS7000? I could be making some long songs, and want to be able to work with as a many as possible. The RMX1 has 100,000 notes, I think...

Basically looking for something with a lot of memory, preferably also with a means of storing data externally via a floppy disk, flash drive, SmartMedia, etc...

Is the RS7000 more of a dedicated sequencer? How about the EMU Command Station? Like I said, I'm looking for a dedicated MIDI sequencer with LOTS of memory, and provisions to store data on a floppy disk, flash drive, etc, etc...

I'll look into the RS7000, and the EMU Command Station. Thanks!
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by balma » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:02 pm

As a sequencer, EMU command station can:

-Record, overdub edit, grid, etc, almost any edition function during the fly. You don't have to stop the sequencer in order to enter the edition screens of a lot of parameters. Can jump to almost everything while playing.

-sent a max of 30 tracks externally (using multitrack compressing A and B together functions) and play 14 local tracks, everything simultaneously. A total of 48 tracks per pattern.

-can transmit or play locally, 16 arpeggios at the same time.

-can change the pattern length while playing....(1 to 32 measures)

-can trasmit knob tweaks internally and externally at the same time. You can record on a single track, knob movements for 16 external tracks at the same time.

-you can compress the 16 tracks, into a single track, in order to release the other tracks for more recording.

-can record 300.000 notes.

-has 1024 positions for the patterns.

On song mode:

you can create a song chaining patterns. After that, you can record notes, knobs, WHATEVER, and layer it over the data stored on the patterns, without having to change the patterns. You can choose if the song will follow pattern events, or only song events, or both at the same time. Song will recall pattern's tweaks and song tweaks at the same time.

you can mix on the fly, the tracks of all the 1024 patterns into the current pattern playing. So if you are on pattern 20, you can bring any track from the pattern 21 into the current one, or can create from scratch a new pattern from other patterns' tracks, without stopping the sequencer.


It can control two midi devices at the same time.

the EMU's sequencer is really, really deep, intuitive and handy.

Well, I play live a lot, haven't found something similar on the market for hardware sequencer.


About the sound, both are romplers, but, command station's patches are more twekeable, and better for my taste.
I used the RM1X during certain time as my main sequencer.

The command station belongs to the Proteus family. There are around 30 different ROMS for it. Is totally customizable, thousands of sounds can be loaded into it. And the variety of waves available is simple astonishing.
You can layer 12 waves into a single patch using the Link mode. Can create your own tuning tables note by note, can create 100 user arppegios, with 4 roms, you can have access to around 1200 arps...

Can't even touch the EMU on that area. I noticed some cuts when changing patterns on the RMX1, the engine is a litte bit slow.... wow! forgot that. EMU saving functions, does not stop the sequencer, and you won't find any

"saving data, please wait"....

on the EMU. Everything is saved inmediatly.

Well. that was a good description, but there are even more features on it
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:14 pm

Hey, thanks for the info! Question, though. This is the MP-7 we're talking about, right? The Purple one? If so, I have one other question. There are two MIDI outs, A and B. Is one a THRU? :?
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by balma » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:30 pm

MIDI_Thru_Kid wrote:Hey, thanks for the info! Question, though. This is the MP-7 we're talking about, right? The Purple one? If so, I have one other question. There are two MIDI outs, A and B. Is one a THRU? :?
he he, connect MIDI to line in and then send it to MIDI A

The command station is the best affordable option for sequencing hardware. Truly you give a great value to your money there.


But if you have enough $$$ for investing on sequencing features, go to Analog Heaven for a ZEIT......

Now that's the s**t on sequencing.....
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:38 pm

Hmm... You know what the Yamaha RM1x looks like a MUCH better package for my needs.
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by druzz » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:50 am

take a look at roland mc-50 if all you want is midi sequencing .

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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:24 pm

I think I will! Thanks! :)
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by Villi » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:18 pm

I seem to recall hearing that there is some kind of bug on the RM1X where the sequencer sends unwanted patch change messages or something? I'm sure an owner could elaborate or disconfirm that.
Thanks for the replies!
Hmm... How many notes can the EMU store? The RS7000? I could be making some long songs, and want to be able to work with as a many as possible. The RMX1 has 100,000 notes, I think...

Basically looking for something with a lot of memory, preferably also with a means of storing data externally via a floppy disk, flash drive, SmartMedia, etc...

Is the RS7000 more of a dedicated sequencer? How about the EMU Command Station? Like I said, I'm looking for a dedicated MIDI sequencer with LOTS of memory, and provisions to store data on a floppy disk, flash drive, etc, etc...

I'll look into the RS7000, and the EMU Command Station. Thanks!
I use the RS7000. The sequencer is very similar to the RM1X but with some additions. I'm not that familiar with the RM, but google found me this post on differences between the sequencers:
NO Proper XOX sequening with full monitor of other tracks whilst recording.
NO seemless punch in/out record modes from step to realtime too XOX with full track switching on the fly and monitoring of all tracks simultaneous as you step and xox record.
No proper implementation of XOX for odd time signatures like on the RS7K.
Absolutely ZERO realtime loop remix facilties for any midi data what so ever.
You will get the midi channel reset bug on the RM1X that was eliminated from the RS7K.
No burning of time signature too TG for burning of time sig data into individual phrases.
Way fewer freely assignable CC knobs for your outboard gear and no SCENES for recall of any tweaks and patch specific settings for out board on each track.
Significantly reduced handson midi play effects and processing.
No Arpeggiator.
Do you want me to go on here ?

I got rid of the RM1X for good reason and the RS7K is a huge improvement on the sequencing front especially with XOX, Grid, Step recording.
The RM1X has zero input quantize functions also so you have to stop the seq, select a track and quantize post recording data.
Stop to switch on any recording mode.
If you XOX program on one track you hear nothing playing on the accompanied tracks.
Which means you tend to XOX on one midi channel on the RM1X then perform a divide drum job to get the same results which is a PITA to be honest ...etc etc etc.
As I said no realtime loop remix.
Your missing some 17 freeley assignable knobs, have no scene recall, no hands on midi play effects control, no arp, no recycling of midi data and so on and so forth.
As for the RS, I'm not sure what you mean by dedicated sequencer. The sequencer is as powerful as any , but it's also a sampler and a synth. The note capacity is 200000 notes. You can store and load midi data and samples on smartmedia cards or over scsi.

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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by MIDI_Thru_Kid » Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:01 am

Wow, I had no idea that the RM1X had this many issues/bugs! Dang! By a dedicated sequencer, I mean to use ONLY the Sequencer Block, and Totally IGNORE/NOT USE the synth/drum blocks. I would probably have some sort of use for the synthesizer/drum blocks, but I want to use MAINLY the Sequencer part.

Ok, so the RS7000 is a much more flexible sequencer, with more note capacity, etc. I noticed there is in fact an UNDO/Redo feature on the RM1X, is this the same with the RS7K? Does it have synth/drum voices, too? How many Tracks?

Sorry for All of these questions, I just want to avoid buying poor equipment... LOL I like the idea of owning all Yamaha/Korg equipment, BTW
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by cartesia » Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:32 am

Absolutely ZERO realtime loop remix facilties for any midi data what so ever.
.... you sure? I thought that was the default assignment of the knobs at the top-right of the rm1x

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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by harness » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:09 am

The rm1x has realtime loop remix, but not as robust as the rs7000. The rs7000 has 16 tracks per pattern, 26 patterns, and stores 5 mute scenes. The midi fx and grid groove control are great. It has synth/drum voices based on Yamaha's AWM2 engine. There is a vast array of drums/percussion, and the synths are more suited to pads or bass. You can get decent leads if you work with the resampling. It also has a ReCycle like feature, which used in conjunction with the loop remix is amazing for sample mangling. Learning the ins an out of it is worth the price alone imo. Also the job list lets you mix/append/split phrases or patterns which make sequencing out a song quick. 1 bar turns into 2 to 4 to 8 to 16, etc QUICK.

replace/overdub/step/grid record modes. 2 octave keyboard and 2 velocity sensitive pads is like having a keyboard/x0x box/mpc styles all in one. Its my desert island piece

Only a couple hundred more than the rm1x in the used market.
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Re: Need a Hardware MIDI Sequencer, Looking at the Yamaha RMX-1

Post by Villi » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:40 am

cartesia wrote:
Absolutely ZERO realtime loop remix facilties for any midi data what so ever.
.... you sure? I thought that was the default assignment of the knobs at the top-right of the rm1x
That's the Play FX, the Real Time Loop Remix feature cuts up a midi pattern and rearranges it for variations (in real-time).

That list I quoted still doesn't seem entirely accurate though. It claims the RM1X don't have an arpeggiator, yet looking at a pic of the front panel, there's an "arpeggio settings" menu item. Or is that something else?
Wow, I had no idea that the RM1X had this many issues/bugs! Dang! By a dedicated sequencer, I mean to use ONLY the Sequencer Block, and Totally IGNORE/NOT USE the synth/drum blocks. I would probably have some sort of use for the synthesizer/drum blocks, but I want to use MAINLY the Sequencer part.

Ok, so the RS7000 is a much more flexible sequencer, with more note capacity, etc. I noticed there is in fact an UNDO/Redo feature on the RM1X, is this the same with the RS7K? Does it have synth/drum voices, too? How many Tracks?

Sorry for All of these questions, I just want to avoid buying poor equipment... LOL I like the idea of owning all Yamaha/Korg equipment, BTW
The RS7k has one undo/redo (eg. you can undo one action, and then redo it). I imagine it's the same as on the RM1X.

The RS has 16 midi tracks and 16 synth/drum parts (All the midi tracks can be assigned to the synth, the midi outs or both). The synth/drums is based on the AWM2 sample playback engine. It's very useful, and quite editable (even a very decent amount of front-panel control). Also, anything you sample is run through the same synth engine. The one lmitation of the synth engine is that you can't save patches independantly of your patterns (songs). I often hear the RM1X built in synth described as dated and limited, the RS7k is no such thing, other than acoustic-emulation type patches (which is not the focus of the wave ROM, your MM6 is probably better for that).

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