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
- Super Articulation Sound Technology Extended
- Vocal Sounds Expanded
- Arranger Functionality Improved
- Keyboard Sizes 61-keys, 76-keys, 88-keys
- 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.
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.
We’ll keep this page updated whenever we hear more interesting rumours, or actual news from Yamaha.
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.