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Yamaha P-255 digital piano revealed

January 24, 2014

Yamaha P-255

Yamaha P-255

Yamaha has updated its Yamaha P Series of digital pianos with the P-255. Yamaha suggests it has a more authentic piano sound and feel than before. It’s highly portable and can also be used with matching stand and three-pedal accessory, making it great for both on-the-move and in the home. In addition, an optional iPad app can be used to graphically alter the instrument’s settings.

The P-255 has three functions not found together on any other P Series instrument before:

  • Key-off samples: This feature reproduces the slight change in sound at the instant you remove your fingers from the keys. What’s more, different key-off sounds are produced for staccato and legato playing.
  • Sustain sampling: The resonance of the soundboard and strings heard when the damper pedal is used has been sampled in order to recreate this acoustic effect. The P-255 responds to how deep you depress the pedal.
  • String resonance: When the hammer of a grand piano strikes its string, the other strings will also resonate. The P-255 can reproduce this effect using its String Resonance feature.

Additionally, the P-255 uses the Pure CF Sound Engine for its samples.

The instrument has synthetic ivory key tops for a more authentic playing experience and with moisture absorption properties.

Its built-in circular speakers vibrate in a natural manner to produce a well-balanced tone. In particular, lower notes are richer than digital pianos featuring oval speakers. The P-255 also features tweeters, for improving higher note reproduction, and dual 15W amplifiers.

The Sound Boost button can be used to increase the volume and presence of the sound. Coupled with this, three EQ sliders allow more fine-tuning of different frequency ranges.

The P-255 also features rhythm tracks (ten in total), a range of other non-piano sounds including organs, a string section, basses and a wide variety of other instruments, variable touch response setting, direct-to-USB audio recording, and 256 note polyphony.

The free P-255 Controller App for iPhone or iPad lets you can control a wide range functions with an easy-to-use, touch-screen interface. This visual approach to configuring the P-255 makes it easy to try out functions that you may not have considered using before. Graphically choose which Voices to layer, adjust the split point, manage songs you record to a USB device and more, all with the touch of a finger. You can also use the app to store your favorite settings and recall them instantly whenever needed. Explore the settings and sounds of the P-255 even before yours arrives at home.

Full Specifications

Size/Weight

Dimensions Width 1,333mm (52-1/2”)
Height 148mm (5-13/16”)
Depth 351mm (13-13/16”)
Weight Weight 17.3kg (38lbs., 2oz)

Control Interface

Keyboard Number of Keys 88
Type Graded Hammer (GH) Keyboard with Synthetic Ivory Keytops
Touch Sensitivity Soft, Medium, Hard, Fixed
Display Type LED
Size 7-Segment
Panel Language English

Voices

Tone Generation Piano Sound Pure CF Sound Engine
Stereo Sustain Samples Yes
Key-off Samples Yes
String Resonance Yes
Damper Resonance Yes
Polyphony Number of Polyphony (Max.) 256
Preset Number of Voices 24 ( Grand Piano: 4, E.Piano: 4, Organ: 4, CLV/VIB: 4, Others: 8 )

Effects

Types Reverb 4 types ( Room, Hall1, Hall2, Stage )
Chorus Yes
Phaser Yes
Rotary Speaker Yes
Tremolo / Auto Pan Yes
Equalizer 3 bands
SOUND BOOST 3 types
Functions Dual/Layers Yes
Split Yes

Rhythm

Preset Number of Rhythm 10
Functions Start/Stop, Intro/Ending

Songs

Preset Number of Preset Songs 24 Voice Demo Songs, 50 Piano Preset Songs
Recording Number of Songs 10
Number of Tracks 2
Data Capacity approx. 1.5 MB (approx. 550KB/Song)
Compatible Data Format Playback SMF (Format 0, Format 1)
Recording SMF (Format 0)
Other Functions Part Cancel, A-B Repeat, Start/Stop with pedal, Changin Voice & tempo after recording

Songs (Audio)

Recording Time 80 minutes/Song
Compatible Data Format Recording .wav (44.1 kHz sample rate, 16-bit resolution, stereo)
Playback .wav (44.1 kHz sample rate, 16-bit resolution, stereo)
Functions

Overall Controls Metronome Yes
Tempo Range 5 – 500
Transpose -12 to 0, 0 to +12
Tuning 414.8 – 440 – 466.8 Hz
Scale Type 7 types

Storage and Connectivity

Storage Internal Memory approx. 1 MB
External Drives USB Flash Memory (optional)
Connectivity DC IN DC IN 16V
Headphones x 2
Sustain Pedal Yes
Pedal Unit Yes
MIDI In/Out
AUX IN Yes
AUX OUT [L/L+R][R]
USB TO DEVICE Yes
USB TO HOST Yes

Amplifiers and Speakers

Amplifiers 15W x 2
Speakers (10cm + 2.5cm) x 2

Power Supply

Power Supply AC Power Adaptor (PA-300C or an equivalent recommended by Yamaha)
Power Consumption 15W (when using the PA-300C)
Auto Power Off Function Yes

Accessories

Included Accessories Music Rest Yes
Pedal/Footswitch FC4

Pricing and availability to be confirmed.

Yamaha Disklavier Education Network (DEN) launches

January 17, 2014

Just before NAMM13, Yamaha launched the Disklavier Network and now, just before NAMM14 the company has announced its Disklavier Education Network First Audition Programme.

The Disklavier concept is now 25 years old, and is used in many music schools and other educational establishments in order to allow students to practice and the instrument reproduce accurate, note-for-note performances.

The press release states, “The initial focus of the new website is on the world’s first online college piano audition program that replicates an in-person performance, which runs from early January through mid February. Working in partnership with 17 community colleges and universities along with 27 audition sites, Yamaha is now offering young pianists the opportunity to record video-synchronized auditions on Disklavier PRO reproducing pianos that are shared with college admissions and scholarship committees over the Internet. At their convenience, audition committees will be able to access these time-shifted performances via the cloud, watching the students play on a large screen while their own piano reproduces these performances as though the student was in the room.”

Read more via Digital Journal.

YamahaDEN.com

Yamaha Tyros 5 61 and 76-key models announced

November 15, 2013

Visit our dedicated Tyros5 microsite for the latest information.

Yamaha Tyros5-76 We’ve been building to this moment for months, and now Yamaha has finally announced the successor to its Tyros 4 arranger workstation. Isn’t it just the way that a major announcement was made the day I went on holiday? Hmmm. Still, better late than never, here’s the deal.

Yamaha will offer two Tyros5 models — a 61-key (4 octave) version and a larger 76-key (just over 6 octave) one.

More than 300 new voices have been added to the models, including “S.Art2 Voice” — high-quality sounds that re-create the feeling of an actual instrument when performing.

Ensemble performances allow the player to maintain a set number of instruments regardless of how many notes are being played. In the past, a Voice like Brass Quartet would use a sample of four players, which sounded great. However, if you played two notes you’d get eight players, which could sound great but isn’t the most realistic. Tyros5 Ensemble Voices always get the same number of players because Tyros5 has the musical knowledge of a professional music arranger. Play two notes with a Brass Quartet Ensemble Voice, and Tyros5 will send the trumpets to the top notes and the trombones to the lower notes.

The Tyros5 features Vintage, Home, Euro, Concert, and Theatre organ Voices, all superbly reproduced with stunning samples that allow the Tyros5 to shine in any situation that an organist might encounter. With features such as a comprehensive set of realistic organ-style controls, adjustable effects, and intuitive operation that allows you to alter the sound in real time while you play, Organ World is sure to meet the demands of the most demanding performer.

There are forty new percussion-bases styles. Audio Styles add natural feel, ambience, and warmth to drum and percussion parts, offering greater expressive potential. Audio Styles also benefit from Yamaha’s Time Stretch Technology, which allows the audio to follow your tempo changes without changing pitch, so everything stays in perfect sync.

Not only does the Tyros5 have new and high-quality effect types, including Real Distortion and Real Reverb, it provides beautifully designed panel displays, with highly intuitive controls – just like actual effect devices. These also include VCM (Virtual Circuit Modeling) effects that use the same technology as the professional-level processing on Yamaha’s high-end mixers.

The Tyros5 is capable of playing back and recording audio files (including performances using Audio Styles), and also possesses a range of audio manipulation features you can use to create “karaoke” style “minus one” tracks in the key and tempo of your choice.

Exact pricing and availability is to be confirmed.

Tyros5-61 Specifications

Size/Weight

DimensionsWidth1140mm
Height142mm
Depth450mm
WeightWeight14.0g

Control Interface

KeyboardNumber of Keys61
TypeOrgan (FSX), Initial Touch/Aftertouch
Touch ResponseHard1, Hard2, Medium, Soft1, Soft2
Other ControllersPitch BendYes
ModulationYes
Sliders9 (including 1 assignable), Cross Fader
Art. Switches2
DisplayTypeTFT VGA 7.5 inch LCD
Size640 x 480 dots
ColorColor
LanguageEnglish, German, French, Spanish, Italian
PanelLanguageEnglish

Voices

Tone GenerationTone Generating TechnologyAWM Stereo Sampling
PolyphonyNumber of Polyphony (Max.)128
PresetNumber of Voices1279 Voices + 480 XG Voices + 37 Drum/SFX Kits
Featured VoicesEnsemble 55 S.Art2! 44 / S.Art! 288 MegaVoice 54 / Live! 138 Cool! 81 / Sweet! 37 / Organ World 40
CustomOptional Wave CapacityMAX 1,024MB (Optional)
SamplingCustom Voice
Voice EditYes
Sound Creator/Voice SetYes
CompatibilityXGYes
GSYes
GMYes
GM2Yes
ExpandabilityExpansion VoiceYes *Wave Capacity: depends on the optional Flash Memory Expansion Module (FL1024M, FL512M)
PartRight 1, Right 2, Right 3, Left

Effects

TypesReverb52 Presets + 3 User
Chorus106 Presets + 3 User
DSPDSP1: 322 Presets + 3 User, DSP2-9: 322 Presets + 10 User
Master Compressor5 Presets + 5 User settings
Master EQ5 Presets + 2 User settings
OthersMic effects: Noise Gate x 1, Compressor x 1, 3Band EQ x 1
Vocal HarmonyNumber of PresetsVocal Harmony: 44, Synth Vocoder: 10
Number of User Settings60 * The number is the total of Vocal Harmony and Synth Vocoder.
Vocal Effect23

Accompaniment Styles

PresetNumber of Preset Styles539
Featured Styles40 + Audio, 7 FreePlay, 441 Pro, 51 Session
FingeringSingle Finger, Fingered, Fingered On Bass, Multi Finger, AI Fingered, Full Keyboard, AI Full Keyboard
Style ControlINTRO x 3, MAIN VARIATION x 4, FILL x 4, BREAK, ENDING x 3
Other FeaturesMusic Finder2,500 Records
One Touch Setting (OTS)4 for each Style
ExpandabilityExpansion StyleYes
Expansion Audio StyleYes Audio Capacity: approx. 124MB
CompatibilityStyle File Format, Style File Format GE

Songs

PresetNumber of Preset Songs5 Sample Songs
RecordingNumber of SongsUnlimited (depends on the drive capacity)
Number of Tracks16
Data Capacityapprox. 300 KB/Song
Recording FunctionQuick Recording, Multi Recording, Step Recording
Compatible Data FormatPlaybackSMF (Format 0 & 1), XF
RecordingSMF (Format 0)

Functions

RegistrationNumber of Buttons8
ControlRegistration Sequence, Freeze
Lesson/GuideLesson/GuideFollow Lights, Any Key, Karao-Key, Your Tempo
Performance Assistant Technology (PAT)Yes
Demo/HelpDemonstrationYes
Overall ControlsMetronomeYes
Tempo Range5 – 500, Tap Tempo
Transpose-12 – 0 – +12
Tuning414.8 – 440 – 466.8 Hz
Octave ButtonYes
Scale Type9 Presets
MiscellaneousDirect AccessYes
Text Display FunctionYes
Wallpaper CustomizationYes
VoicesHarmony/EchoYes
Panel SustainYes
Mono/PolyYes
Voice InformationYes
StylesStyle CreatorYes
Style RecommenderYes
OTS InformationYes
SongsSong CreatorYes
Score Display FunctionYes
Lyrics Display FunctionYes
Multi PadsMulti Pad CreatorYes
Audio Recorder/PlayerRecording Time (max.)80 minutes/Song
Recording.wav (WAV format: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo)
Playback.wav (WAV format: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo), .mp3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3: 44.1/48.0 kHz sample rate, 64–320 kbps and variable bit rate, mono/stereo)
Time StretchYes
Pitch ShiftYes
Vocal CancelYes
Multi – Recording.aud (Tyros5 original: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo)
Multi – Playback.aud (Tyros5 original: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo)

Storage and Connectivity

StorageInternal Memoryapprox. 6.7MB
Hard Disk Drive500GB
External DrivesUSB Flash Memory (via USB to DEVICE)
ConnectivityHeadphonesYes
FOOT PEDAL1 (SUSTAIN), 2 (ARTICULATION 1), 3 (VOLUME), Function Assignable
MicrophoneYes (Combo Jack)
MIDIMIDI A (IN/OUT), MIDI B (IN/OUT)
AUX INL/L+R, R
LINE OUTMAIN (L/L+R, R), SUB OUT (1,2), SUB OUT (3,4 / AUX OUT)
RGB OUTYes
USB TO DEVICEUSB 2.0 x 2 (Front/Back)
USB TO HOSTUSB 2.0 x 1

Accessories

Included AccessoriesOwner’s Manual, Online Member Product Registration, AC Power Cord, Music Rest, two Music Rest Brackets, USB Wireless LAN Adaptor * May not be included depending on your particular area. Please check with your Yamaha dealer.

Multi Pads

PresetNumber of Multi Pad Banks190 banks x 4 Pads
AudioAudio LinkYes

Tyros5-76 Specifications

Specs

Size/Weight

DimensionsWidth1347mm
Height142mm
Depth450mm
WeightWeight16.0g

Control Interface

KeyboardNumber of Keys76
TypeOrgan (FSX), Initial Touch/Aftertouch
Touch ResponseHard1, Hard2, Medium, Soft1, Soft2
Other ControllersPitch BendYes
ModulationYestd>
Sliders9 (including 1 assignable), Cross Fader
Art. Switches2
DisplayTypeTFT VGA 7.5 inch LCD
Size640 x 480 dots
ColorColor
LanguageEnglish, German, French, Spanish, Italian
PanelLanguageEnglish

Voices

Tone GenerationTone Generating TechnologyAWM Stereo Sampling
PolyphonyNumber of Polyphony (Max.)128
PresetNumber of Voices1279 Voices + 480 XG Voices + 37 Drum/SFX Kits
Featured VoicesEnsemble 55 S.Art2! 44 / S.Art! 288 MegaVoice 54 / Live! 138 Cool! 81 / Sweet! 37 / Organ World 40
CustomOptional Wave CapacityMAX 1,024MB (Optional)
SamplingCustom Voice
Voice EditYes
Sound Creator/Voice SetYes
CompatibilityXGYes
GSYes
GMYes
GM2Yes
ExpandabilityExpansion VoiceYes *Wave Capacity: depends on the optional Flash Memory Expansion Module (FL1024M, FL512M)
PartRight 1, Right 2, Right 3, Left

Effects

TypesReverb52 Presets + 3 User
Chorus106 Presets + 3 User
DSPDSP1: 322 Presets + 3 User, DSP2-9: 322 Presets + 10 User
Master Compressor5 Presets + 5 User settings
Master EQ5 Presets + 2 User settings
OthersMic effects: Noise Gate x 1, Compressor x 1, 3Band EQ x 1
Vocal HarmonyNumber of PresetsVocal Harmony: 44, Synth Vocoder: 10
Number of User Settings60 * The number is the total of Vocal Harmony and Synth Vocoder.
Vocal Effect23

Accompaniment Styles

PresetNumber of Preset Styles539
Featured Styles40 + Audio, 7 FreePlay, 441 Pro, 51 Session
FingeringSingle Finger, Fingered, Fingered On Bass, Multi Finger, AI Fingered, Full Keyboard, AI Full Keyboard
Style ControlINTRO x 3, MAIN VARIATION x 4, FILL x 4, BREAK, ENDING x 3
Other FeaturesMusic Finder2,500 Records
One Touch Setting (OTS)4 for each Style
ExpandabilityExpansion StyleYes
Expansion Audio StyleYes Audio Capacity: approx. 124MB
CompatibilityStyle File Format, Style File Format GE

Songs

PresetNumber of Preset Songs5 Sample Songs
RecordingNumber of SongsUnlimited (depends on the drive capacity)
Number of Tracks16
Data Capacityapprox. 300 KB/Song
Recording FunctionQuick Recording, Multi Recording, Step Recording
Compatible Data FormatPlaybackSMF (Format 0 & 1), XF
RecordingSMF (Format 0)

Functions

RegistrationNumber of Buttons8
ControlRegistration Sequence, Freeze
Lesson/GuideLesson/GuideFollow Lights, Any Key, Karao-Key, Your Tempo
Performance Assistant Technology (PAT)Yes
Demo/HelpDemonstrationYes
Overall ControlsMetronomeYes
Tempo Range5 – 500, Tap Tempo
Transpose-12 – 0 – +12
Tuning414.8 – 440 – 466.8 Hz
Octave ButtonYes
Scale Type9 Presets
MiscellaneousDirect AccessYes
Text Display FunctionYes
Wallpaper CustomizationYes
VoicesHarmony/EchoYes
Panel SustainYes
Mono/PolyYes
Voice InformationYes
StylesStyle CreatorYes
Style RecommenderYes
OTS InformationYes
SongsSong CreatorYes
Score Display FunctionYes
Lyrics Display FunctionYes
Multi PadsMulti Pad CreatorYes
Audio Recorder/PlayerRecording Time (max.)80 minutes/Song
Recording.wav (WAV format: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo)
Playback.wav (WAV format: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo), .mp3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3: 44.1/48.0 kHz sample rate, 64–320 kbps and variable bit rate, mono/stereo)
Time StretchYes
Pitch ShiftYes
Vocal CancelYes
Multi – Recording.aud (Tyros5 original: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo)
Multi – Playback.aud (Tyros5 original: 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bit resolution, stereo)

Storage and Connectivity

StorageInternal Memoryapprox. 6.7MB
Hard Disk Drive500GB
External DrivesUSB Flash Memory (via USB to DEVICE)
ConnectivityHeadphonesYes
FOOT PEDAL1 (SUSTAIN), 2 (ARTICULATION 1), 3 (VOLUME), Function Assignable
MicrophoneYes (Combo Jack)
MIDIMIDI A (IN/OUT), MIDI B (IN/OUT)
AUX INL/L+R, R
LINE OUTMAIN (L/L+R, R), SUB OUT (1,2), SUB OUT (3,4 / AUX OUT)
RGB OUTYes
USB TO DEVICEUSB 2.0 x 2 (Front/Back)
USB TO HOSTUSB 2.0 x 1

Accessories

Included AccessoriesOwner’s Manual, Online Member Product Registration, AC Power Cord, Music Rest, two Music Rest Brackets, USB Wireless LAN Adaptor * May not be included depending on your particular area. Please check with your Yamaha dealer.

Multi Pads

PresetNumber of Multi Pad Banks190 banks x 4 Pads
AudioAudio LinkYes

Visit our dedicated Tyros5 microsite for the latest information.

Sixth Yamaha International Piano Series lineup confirmed

July 29, 2013

Yamaha has announced a number of pianists who will perform at its sixth International Piano Series to be held at The Malvern Theatres in Worcestershire, England.

The series commences on 18th October with John Lill performing works by Haydn, Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms. The Malvern recital is to form a key part of John Lill’s 70th Birthday celebrations, and to bring John closer to the audience the Theatre will be erecting a large screen to show close-up hands and keyboard video of the entire performance.

Next up, on 12th December, will be Sunwook Kim with a programme of Schumann and Beethoven. Stephen Hough follows on 20th February, performing Bruckner, Brahms, Chopin and Wagner, as well as one of his own compositions. The series concludes on 21st March with a pianistic tour de force as the award-winning Benjamin Grosvenor performs works by Mendelssohn, Ravel and Schubert.

Tickets for each concert range in price from £14-£21, with a special price of £65 for all four.

The links above lead to information about each concert. Below is information as we currently have it:

john-lill

John Lill

Date: 18 October 2013
Times: 7.45pm
Price: £21 £17 £14 All Four Yamaha Recitals £65 (phone/in-person bookings only)
Venue: Forum Theatre
Genre: Concerts

Yamaha International Piano Series 2013-14

Haydn: Sonata No 52 in Eb
Beethoven: Sonata in D minor Op 31 No 2 ‘Tempest’
Brahms: Two Rhapsodies, Op 79
Schumann: ‘Carnival Jest from Vienna’, Op 26

This year’s Yamaha International Piano Series opens with a recital by John Lill. As a technical innovation to open the series, John Lill’s performance will be displayed on screens within the auditorium. This will enable audience members to view the concert from various different angles, including a shot from a camera directly above the keyboard.

sunwook-kim

Sunwook Kim

Date: 12 December 2013
Times:7.45pm
Price: £21 £17 £14 All Four Yamaha Recitals £65 (Phone and in-person bookings only)
Venue: Forum Theatre
Genre: Concerts

Yamaha International Piano Series 2013-14

Former winner of the Leeds Piano Competition Sunwook Kim makes a first visit to Malvern.

Schumann: Arabesque Op.18
Schumann: Kreisleriana
Beethoven: Sonata No.29 in B Flat ‘Hammerklavier’

stephen-hough

Stephen Hough

Date: 20 February 2014
Times: 7.45pm
Price: £21 £17 £14 All Four Yamaha Concerts for £65 (phone or in-person bookings only)
Venue: Forum Theatre
Genre: Concerts

Yamaha International Piano Series 2013-14

A welcome return for Stephen Hough after his previous sell out recitals in Malvern

Schoenberg: Six Little Pieces, Op. 19
Richard Strauss: Träumerei
Wagner: Albumblatt
Bruckner: Erinnerungen
Brahms: Seven Fantasias, Op. 116
Hough: Piano Sonata No. 2 (notturno luminoso)
Chopin: Four Ballades

benjamin-grosvenor

Benjamin Grosvenor

Date: 21 March 2014
Times: 7.45pm
Price: £21 £17 £14 All Four Yamaha Concerts for £65 (phone or in-person bookings only)
Venue: Forum Theatre
Genre: Concerts

Yamaha International Piano Series 2013-14

Benjamin Grosvenor last performed in Malvern on his 18th brithday. Now 21, the intervening years have seen his career go from strength to strength.

Mendelssohn: Andante & Rondo capriccioso Op.14
Schubert: Impromptu in G flat Op.90 No.3
Schumann: Humoreske Op.20
Mompou: Paisajas
Medtner: 2 Fairy Tales
Ravel: Valses nobles et Sentimentales
Gounod/Liszt: Valse de Faust

Yamaha Tyros5: Fact and fiction

July 28, 2013

UPDATE: The Tyros5 was announced on November 11, 2013. Check out the announcement and visit our dedicated Tyros5 microsite.

Yamaha Tyros5-76
Yamaha Tyros5-61

Over a decade has passed since Yamaha launched its first Tyros arranger keyboard. Since then, it has released the Tyros 2, Tyros 3 and Tyros 4. With almost three years having passed since the Tyros 4 launched, it’s unsurprising to see a lot of speculation about when a Tyros 5 might surface.

Speculation: Tyros5 Release Date

Yamaha Presentation speculation: Various forum postings suggest there has been a major Yamaha trade/dealer event in Palma de Mallorca today (24 October). We cannot verify this at present.

Release date rumour: The 24 October 2013 launch date rumour was false. We’ve heard new speculation about Monday 18 November 2013.

Let’s look at those release dates:

  • Tyros 1: October 2002
  • Tyros 2: October 2005
  • Tyros 3: September 2008
  • Tyros 4: September 2010

That’s three years from one to two; three years from two to three; and two years from three to four. Yet the two year mark since Tyros4 has already passed, so might we be looking at a Tyros5 come September 2013?

Speculation: Tyros5 Specification

If a Tyros5 is released, what features might it have? Looking at the Tyros comparison chart (doesn’t include the original Tyros) might give us some clues as to what Yamaha would put in a Tyros5, given that it tends to improve upon rather than radically change specifications within a particular keyboard series.

Number of Keys: All Tyros keyboards have had 61 keys (5 octaves) so we can assume Yamaha is happy with this fairly compact size — there are plenty of other Yamaha workstations with bigger keyboard range for those who want it.

Polyphony: The polyphony has remained constant at 128 from the first Tyros through Tyros 4. With many other keyboards and synths still being released with that much polyphony, I can foresee Yamaha sticking with this figure, though of course 192 or 256 would be great.

Synth Basics: What is Polyphony?

Aftertouch/Touch Response: Yamaha would be crazy not to add aftertouch to the Tyros5, given its presence in all previous models. Given the physical keyboard has remained the same, it would be strange not to include it. Obviously touch response is a necessity, rarely missing from any but the cheapest keyboards.

Controllers: All previous models had the near-ubiquitous pitch and modulation wheels plus multi pads. The Tyros 4 introduced nine data sliders and two articulation switches, not found on previous models, so I’d expect to see at least this on a Tyros 5. I’d be surprised to see any new standard controllers added to the unit, given its size.

Sound System: Yamaha’s AWM Stereo Sampling system has served it well, receiving various upgrades along the way and present in many of its keyboards and digital pianos. This surely stays in the Tyros5.

Number of Voices: The number of on-board voices has steadily increased with each Tyros generation, and we’re now used to seeing keyboards coming with thousands of voices ready to go. With Tyros being marketed primarily as an arranger/music production workstation rather than a synth, I’d expect more dynamic voices to be on any new Tyros, probably with more ways of controlling them and perhaps tweaking their sound. That said, once you hit a couple of thousand distinct voices, each of which can be aurally shaped both during performance and in basic structure, does the average user really need any more? I’d expect around 1,500 factory preset voices to be in a Tyros5, with more emphasis on the feature voices (Articulation, Cool, Live, etc.)

Voice Sampling: The Tyros4 came with 1GB of custom voice sampling space, which was optional on previous models. A gigabyte is a reasonable amount of space, particularly as many people will use the Tyros with computer software and storage. I reckon Yamaha will stick with 1GB, with the possibility of an upgrade to 2GB, or storage on a USB drive.

Effects: The number of onboard effects increased gradually with each Tyros upgrade. I don’t think Yamaha needs to add much more from that present on the Tyros4.

Accompaniments: Yamaha may well add to the number of accompaniments, but with 500 present on the Tyros4, perhaps just a styling update is in order.

Vocal Harmony: The Tyros4 vocal harmony engine was a notable improvement over the Tyros3. If Yamaha has made any more improvements to this system, I’d expect to see them here, otherwise more of the same.

Functions such as layering and keyboard split are fairly standard and don’t need an update.

Storage: As with most technology devices, I’d expect more RAM and a bigger hard drive — say 500GB. It really depends how many users Yamaha thinks will be using the Tyros5 as a standalone device.

Speculation: Tyros5 best rumours

Here’s a roundup of the best guesses/wish lists/rumours we’ve seen to date:

Yamaha Tyros 5 Things We’d Like to See

  1. Super Articulation Sound Technology Extended
  2. Vocal Sounds Expanded
  3. Arranger Functionality Improved
  4. Keyboard Sizes 61-keys, 76-keys, 88-keys
  5. Available in Black

From Dawsons Music UK

Tyros 5 New Tech?

The PSR Tutorial Forum has a thread with some interesting ideas for new tech including:

  • “Audio Style” technology
  • Recording of all parts onto hard drive
  • Use of SSD instead of HDD
  • Improved transitioning between voices
  • Better drum kits
  • New DSP effects
  • More modern beats
  • Better sampling and mixing of samples with stock sounds
  • Tempo-synced time stretch on sample playback
  • Better portamento and legato options on voice creator
  • Improved CPU performance
  • Smaller footprint
  • 76-key version

From PSR Tutorial Forum

I’ve also seen some people suggesting that an absence of stock in certain online and offline retailers is a sign of a new Tyros coming soon. However, others have noted that many retailers won’t take on expensive, top of line models on the off chance they sell, particularly in the current economic climate. Therefore, this can probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Tyros Tipsters

The Tyros Tipsters share their hopes for features in the Tyros 5 in this video, although they’re of the opinion that the Tyros 4 is already very good, and it will be hard for Yamaha to improve upon it.

Updates

We’ll keep this page updated whenever we hear more interesting rumours, or actual news from Yamaha.

Buzz

Here’s how Google Trends is tracking searches for Tyros 5, compared with Tyros 2, Tyros 3 and Tyros 4 which naturally peaked at their release dates.

Over To You

What features would you like to see on the Tyros5? Do you think it will ever be released? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Yamaha upright piano gets green makeover

July 27, 2013

Before and After shots.

Before and After shots.

No sooner do we feature a silver painted Baldwin piano when along comes this rather fetching/interesting (you decide) green Yamaha acoustic piano.

You can judge for yourself whether the makeover, again using chalk paint, is a good idea. Personally, I can never tire of the original wooden grains of an original piano — even if it’s a bit battered it can often be rejuvenated and made to look good.

Still, Monica didn’t feel the “old-fashioned” oak of this Yamaha suited the decor of the rest of the home, but as she loved listening to her husband playing the piano, and the kids enjoying running and dancing around to the music, she decided a makeover was a better option than scrapping it.

The paint is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the colour is Antibes Green.

Monica says, “I hear so many people say, ‘but you can’t paint it – it’s REAL wood!’ and I want to go on the record saying, ‘It can be REAL wood and still be REALLY ugly!’ Don’t be afraid to paint!”

I guess I prefer the natural look, but each to their own. If I had to choose between these two, though, I think I’d plump for the silver. Maybe that’s because my digital piano is silver with a wood grain trim.

What do you think?

From East Coast Creative

Yamaha describes FM Synthesis like stepping on a cat’s tail

July 24, 2013

I love looking through old (i.e. 1980s) synthesizer and keyboard manuals. I am sure no matter how excited Yamaha’s employees are about a particular model, they must get a bit bored sometimes when writing manuals. The cure? Inject some humour into the proceedings.

Take the mid-1980s B200 digital synthesizer. This pretty detailed manual includes an appendix which explains FM Synthesis, which lies at the core of the machine.

First off, it tries to educate the reader on “interesting sounds versus boring sounds”, suggesting that the early bleeps and buzzes of electronic music is simple to create but boring for a human to listen to (I think some might disagree, but each to their own). It then explains the FM Synthesis as “an easy yet powerful way to create the complex sounds that make real instruments sound so good.”

Then we come to the explanation of vibrato:

“You can probably guess that the greater the modulation, the more complex the resulting sound will be. (The harder you step on a cat’s tail, the louder it complains!)”

Well, what do you think of that? More importantly, were any cats harmed in the creation of this manual?

Yamaha B200 Cat Tail

If you’re interested, you can download the entire manual in two parts here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

Yamaha offers Upgrade Bonus PartEx programme for pianists and institutions

July 23, 2013

Yamaha GC2-SH silent grand piano

Trade in your Yamaha grand piano for a newer model.

Yamaha has announced its new summer programme allowing both individual pianists and educational institutions the ability to either part-exchange or restore existing Yamaha acoustic and digital pianos, allowing them to get hold of new models or add value to current ones.

The Upgrade Bonus programme runs from August 2013 to January 2014 and will offer either a guaranteed price or a budget for instrument restoration.

Eligible instruments include entry-level and silent acoustic uprights, grand pianos, Disklaviers, plus all AvantGrand and NU1 hybrid digital piano.

Yamaha HandySound mini keyboard with built-in games [Vintage]

July 23, 2013

Today we are blessed with a plethora of software, apps and keyboards with built-in music theory/practice features, but back in the 1980s that wasn’t the case.

Yamaha decided to build in some basic musical games on its mini HandySound keyboards, which were manufactured in the early ’80s.

yamaha-handysound-hs-501

According to the manual there were three playable games on the HandySound HS-501.

The first is like “Simon Says”. Players read the notes displayed on the treble clef staff and play the right notes in order.

The second game is “Keyboard Poker”. The description is a bit vague but it consists of “a musical note moving up and down the staff display, and you stop it in mid-flight by pressing any key”. OK then.

The third game is “Keyboard Invader”, which appears to be modelled on Space Invaders and again seems to be a note matching type of game.

If anyone has played these and can give a better description, please leave a comment below.

The keyboard, sporting 25 mini-sized keys, was a massive 4-note polyphonic, and could belt out five different sounds: piano, organ, violin, clarinet and harpsichord. All with the usual cheesiness of cheap ’80s keyboards, no doubt.

Take a look at some of the manual screenshots. The whole manual can be downloaded here

Yamaha iOS apps for music playing, arranging, organising, recording, editing [NAMM13]

January 25, 2013

A major feature at this year’s NAMM show is that of interaction between digital keyboards / pianos and mobile devices, in particular Apple’s line of iPad, iPhone and iPod products.

Yamaha is debuting a range of new apps for iOS-based devices, seeking to help musicians get the most from their Yamaha products.

MusicSoft Manager for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that enables users to manage and move content between the instrument’s internal memory, any attached storage device, computer, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or Dropbox. MusicSoft Manager is free from the App Store and works with the Yamaha DTX400K, DTX430K, DTX450K, PSRS750, PSRS950, Tyros4, CVP601 and wirelessly with the CVP605 and CVP609. It is available immediately in 28 countries including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Repertoire Finder app allows players to browse songs on an easy-to-use interface complete with album artwork. Once a tune is found, users can see different banks of registration for playing that song and have them sent directly to their instrument. This feature is excellent for the user that doesn’t know much about combining Voices, setting effects or choosing Styles and perfect for the musician that wants to use the same settings as a specific artist. Users can also create and share their own registrations. It will be available in February 2013 in the App Store for free download.

My Music Recorder is a simple MIDI, audio and video recorder designed to track and share your keyboard performances on entry-level keyboards. My Music Recorder is free from the App Store, and is slated for release in April 2013.

Sound Controller allows musicians to control and manipulate instrument Voices on their portable keyboards. Sound Controller will be available in April 2013 for free in the App Store.

Each of these apps require an optional interface like Yamaha’s i-MX1 or i-UX1, unless otherwise stated.

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