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Review Keyboard Arranger

Yamaha Tyros 3 product review

Yamaha Tyros 3: The Arranger Keyboard Rearranged Perpetuating the Tyros line for the third time, Yamaha presents a new, high-technology arranger keyboard that provides a rarely achieved musicality. read more…

User reviews on Keyboard Arranger products

Genos, the magnificent (Yamaha - GENOS)

By Leicam, 23/07/2018
I’ve been the happy owner of this keyboard for a little over a month now. The Genos is now the core of my studio, I write music for events (e.g. soundtracks) as well as for my own pleasure in an Electro/Chill genre.
I quit my previous "100% in-the-box" workflow as I really needed a “real” instrument under my fingers that could quickly render my inspiration on the spur of the moment – plus, I already spend well enough time in front of a computer the rest of the time. The “arranger keyboard” philosophy behind it is interesting as it instantly provides a good basis to compose, improvise, reproduce and rearrange your own creations. While I wanted to leave DAWs and VSTs for composing purposes, needless to say I also required high quality sounds to make the jump, and the Genos gathered all these elements I was after.

Regarding its design and building quality, the Genos is really great. Plastic parts are thick and well-made, knobs and faders are pleasant to use and really bring something in terms of creativity and live playing. The touchscreen makes navigating through the machine easy, making its use even more intuitive. The keyboard’s touch is very pleasant and perfect for all kinds of instruments. The number of audio (2 main, 4 subs) and MIDI (1 in, 2 outs) outputs suit my needs (multitrack recording + controlling my synth through the Genos if need be).

The keyboard instantly brings in a very wide sound palette in all kinds of instruments.
Acoustic sounds are very convincing. Of course, you can always find a VST that will be even more realistic for such or such instrument but as far as I’m concerned the Genos is the first hardware that managed to please me so much through all of its presets.
Regarding synth-type sounds, I can find what I’m after with punchy bass and lead sounds and thick pads – though you’d better look elsewhere if you’re into tweaking oscillos, LFOs, filter and so on! The Genos is to be seen as a “ROMpler”: you pick a preset, put effects behind it if necessary and play! You can tweak the filter, resonance, effects and EQs but this is it. The arpeggio is a real asset to me as I like playing mindblowing, evolutive synth parts, but so far I have to do with the factory arpeggio presets (an update will certainly correct this). They are numerous enough for me but again it won’t suit just anybody.

The drumset and drum machine sounds sound great – at last! Thank the RevoDrums and new electronic kits. I’ve always found arranging keyboards to lack punch in that field, but the Genos is a real gamechanger to me. Plus, if you’re still not convinced, you can create your own kits using the YEM software.

Styles cover all kinds of music genres, from house to club jazz to 60s rock to cha-cha, and so on… They’re great starting points to build tracks. I consider many of them to sound kitsch when taken as is, so I always modify the accompanying sounds, the rhythm patterns and the effects, which allows me to get what I want quite quickly (using StyleCreator + the mixer part).
The included effects are high-quality (reverb, chorus, delay, phaser, flanger…). The GUI is very practical when setting the effects, reminding the universe of computer music, VSTs and so on.
I haven’t used the sequencer so far.

The mixing part (volume, EQ, compressor…) is basic but does the job for both creating and live playing. While I’ve left computer music for composing, it still is a necessary step in finalizing a track (final mixing + mastering).

As for its cons, as far as I’m concerned, I’ll go with the impossibility to apply effects other than reverb and chorus on the aux Ins and multipads, and to combine MIDI and audio multipads. Hopefully, Yamaha will correct this in a future update, especially as it seems far from impossible…

In the end, the Genos is a really great machine for live and studio provided you like the philosophy behind it. No way to do pure synthesis, its sound design features are very minimal, and for in-depth editing it never will rival with a Montage-like workstation either. What you have here is a simple interface which offers instant, ready-to-use beautiful sounds with styles that provide a solid basis over which you can build your tracks – or just play a quick trip after turning the machine on. Playing and writing music with the Genos is a real pleasure, and I find its €4000 price tag legit (I wouldn’t have paid more for it, though).
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To complement my tech sheet entry (Yamaha - ps 55)

By Kane Taylor, 04/03/2019
Pardon my typos. Please see my tech sheet entry. 1973 sounds right. This is a very powerful keyboard, designed to run on two Roland Cube amps.YOU MUST NOT Y THE TWO CHANNELS TOGETHER. It is true stereo and instruments are weighted according to onstage placement of symphonic orchestra. I left mine at someone else's house too long and can't find the Yamaha power supply. I used to run on six D cell batteries but now I can't get all six in, so there may be an old one stuck down inside, don't know yet. If it will run I will be very happy even though I have a newer keyboard. This thing kicks butt onstage and the sampling is largely very nice. As usual, some horn sounds are a bit lacking in quality, but Yamaha was a leader in sampling in that era. Hang on to your original power supply and don't Y the two channels together. Run them separately into your sound board channels or use two amps. You can adjust the dispersion with the knobs left and right. If you can get a new one with the power supply, it's a good bet for the money. Saving arrangements may not be it's forte but it works really well for live performance.
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Holy Grail of the 80s Casiotones (Casio - Casiotone CT-410V)

By Fingal McLafferty, 02/06/2019
Extremely rare keyboard, much harder to find than its little brother the MT-400v (with mini keys + detachable speakers). Was lucky to pick one up locally for a decent price.

Wow I´m blown away by how good this thing sounds!!! It´s alive, organic, with rich, creamy and weighty tones emanating from its humble electronics and onboard speakers.

The full size keys feel lovely and solid (much better than modern basic keyboard keys). The speakers have a decent amount of bass and waaaay too much volume (runs on batteries so this thing is a portable 80´s disco in a box).

What really makes this a unique and special instrument is its analog filter, stereo chorus, "waw" (lfo resonant filter), which can be applied to any of the sections (rhythm, bass+chords, main tone, white noise generator).

I bought it mainly for its rarity as a collectors item but this thing sounds so damn good I´m going to use it live with various afro/brazilian synth/funk projects. Everybody loves the sound, so rich and musical I can´t believe it´s the same electronics as the MT-65 (also a great keyboard, but the MT-410v is truly on a league of its own.)

If you find one and you like funky/unusual/vintage gear, BUY IT. I promise you will thank me for it later.
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News Keyboard Arranger

[MUSIKMESSE] Korg presents Pa4X Oriental series

Published on 04/07/16
Korg has introduced the Pa4X Oriental, an oriental music-oriented series composed of a 61- and a 76-key arranger keyboards.

[NAMM] 3 new Yamaha PSR keyboards

Published on 07/09/15

Feature Articles Keyboard Arranger

Making Sense of Synths

Published on 05/02/12
Making Sense of Synths
By now, everyone was going to be loading soft synths into their laptops, and taking them to the gig instead of keyboards. Oh, and we were also supposed to travel around with personal jet packs and of…

Tips & Tutorials Keyboard Arranger

Be Right On The Button Every Time

Published on 10/27/13

Forums Keyboard Arranger

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