Jan 22

One of the biggest surprises for me this Namm is the release of the Yamaha Montage with its new Motion Control Synth engine. Yamaha state that it “sets the next milestone with sophisticated dynamic control, massive sound creation and streamlined workflow from the company that brought you the DX and the Motif”. The Montage is certainly very good-looking synth packed with sounds, so much so that I immediately think this is going to be expensive. There are the usual 3 models with 61, 76 and 88 keys and the cost ranges from approx £2100 to £2800. I really wish they would bring out a rack mounted version of it as I have said before like many other synth enthusiast, I do not have room for another keyboard.

The Motion Control Synthesizer Engine controls two famous Yamaha Sound Engines – Advanced Wave Memory 2 (AWM2) and FM-X. What is really useful is the AWM2 engine is compatible with previous generation Motif libraries, but is exponentially more powerful than the previous Motif XF flagship, with nearly ten times more wave memory, integrated flash, double the effects and twice the polyphony.

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Dec 24

*   A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL   *

merry_xmas_tony_long_music

Thank you for your continued support throughout the year and I am sorry my time has not been fully devoted to the site. I have been very busy improving my skills in the art of recording, mixing and mastering. It seems that as I have increased my skills this year so has my collection of plug-ins and I have been very pleased with the updates that Cakewalk have done to my DAW – Sonar Platinum.

As always as January 2016 fast aproaches, I look forward to NAMM. Already, the possibility of new synth from Yamaha interests me – what have they been doing for the last few years? The same goes for Access. It seems their fantastic synth the Virus has been forgotten about? The world’s financial climate has meant that we are not being flooded with new products and those that are coming our way, seem to be smaller and smaller and very plastic and lightwight – is this really what everyone wants?

Anyway enjoy Christmas Day which in England is only an hour and half away – see you in the new year – Tony x

Sep 13

yamaha-cp4-stage-piano

Well could the new CP4 Yamaha Stage Piano be the best stage piano they have ever made? Although it has the usual Yamaha look and controls it has Forty-Five premium grand pianos including the CFX, CFIII, and the S6. If you throw in 47 Electric Pianos and 341 other voice patches, it is begining to shape up. But at just over £2000 what is it that makes this one stand out from the crowd? How heavy or portable is it?

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Apr 15

WHAT DRUMS DID YOU SEE AT MUSIKMESSE?

There were some excellent kits at Frankfurt Musikmesse 2013, like this awesome Roland and Sonor kit. The noise and excitement as you walked around the Halls as drummers of all levels showed the crowd their capabilities. I was really impressed by a young girl of only eight and half years who showed an incredible ability which included snare drum technique, a very skilled hand a feet co-ordination and an obvious grasp of syncopation that you do not normally see at this age.

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Dec 11

INTRODUCING THE YAMAHA DTX400K ELECTRONIC DRUM KIT

 

If you have always thought that you would like to learn to play the drums in the privacy of your own home but you cannot make too much noise, you may have thought about an electronic kit. The trouble is, when you look at the kits available, they seem to be either too expensive or they don’t really look like they are a full drum kit. I am about to look deep into a new electronic kit from Yamaha – The DTX400K and this may be exactly what you are looking for. It has been said that The DTX 400K is an ideal starter drum kit which is both compact and lightweight in its design. I want to determine its suitability and features for the new drummer starting out.

Whilst Roland are clearly the front runner in the world of Electronic Drums, I have always believed Yamaha do a better job in meeting the needs of the beginner. I have not heard or played the DTX400K but I am reasonably confident that Yamaha will have produced a product that not only sounds good but makes it a fun enough instrument so that you learn whilst enjoying yourself – that has got to be the best way to learn.

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Sep 1

Yamaha have just quietly announced a new series of electronic drums aimed at the beginner – the DTX400 series. There are three new drum kits – the DTX400K, DTX430K and DTX450K. They have attempted to provide a cost-efective kit with the same legacy as all of their othe DTX kits to tempt new players / beginners.

A USB connection enables the player to control VSTi drum sound libraries and record directly to computer software. It’s also possible to import new songs via Yamaha’s Music Soft Downloader. New Apps will also be launched in 2013, designed to work alongside the DTX400 series to present an exciting interactive learning experience. The sounds within the new DTX400 module include stereo recordings of real drums, cymbals, and percussion instruments that respond to playing dynamics for truly musical expression. There are classic sounds from the history of drumming, including some of Yamaha’s best loved acoustic drums. Users can also create their own ‘bespoke’ drum kits from the library of over 165 drums sounds, including 23 snare drums, 21 kick drums and 42 other percussion instruments.

DTX400K will be released in September 2012, with the DTX430K and DTX450K due to arrive at the beginning of 2013.

Jul 23

INTRODUCTION

How do you fancy having a professional Yamaha Motif in a very lightweight and affordable package? Well Yamaha have just released two new synths – the MOX 6 (61 semi-weighted keys) and the MOX 8 (88 note graded hammer action keyboard). The new MOX has 1217 voices as well as 6720 Arpeggiator patterns taken from the Yamaha Motif XS range. The MOX 6 weighs an incredible 7.0 kg (15.4 lbs.), whilst the MOX 8 only 14.8 kg (32.6 lbs.) despite its full size keyboard. The prices are such that there is nothing on the market that provides this much by way of price, portability and professional sounds. This sounds like an idea home studio keyboard workstation synth which has a sequencer but its weight obviously lends itself to the live situation as does some of the new layout and controls. Well it all sounds good but I need to put this through its paces and determine whether this light weight keyboard can stand the rigours of the road. Perhaps only time will tell, but it certainly appears to provide the ideal carrying weight for someone who needs 88 hammer-action keys.

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Jan 4

Christmas in January

It is getting very close to that time of year when over 1500 exhibitors are frantically preparing to announce and show off their hot new music/audio products at the Anaheim Convention Centre in Anaheim, California. To me this show is very much like Christmas, some years I am overwhelmed by the amount of goodies and other years I am disappointed either because I am expecting too much or that I was really hoping that a new product that was going to be just right for me was going to be announced and it has not.

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Nov 11

Yamaha DTX 900 and DTX 950 Electronic Drum Kits

As a drummer (and currently an electronic drummer) I am always interested in what is out there trying to compete with the Roland TD20 kit. Yamaha seem to be getting closer and closer to this with their latest releases  – the DTX900 and DTX 950 kits

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Nov 2

The Yamaha Tenori-On Review

INTRODUCTION
The Yamaha Tenori-On, it has a strange name and is something I wanted to find out about for a while now. When you are being sent a musical instrument which has 256 orange LED’s and is made by Yamaha, you know straight away that it is going to be something very special, unique and visually stunning. As I turned it on and started to play it, I realised that is exactly what it is. It certainly passed my user-friendly test because I was composing a very syncopated melody with dynamics and interest in seconds and it felt a bit like painting with sound. Yamaha are renowned for packing many features into their products, so I need to look a little into what they are. I suppose the quick start guide is a good place to start.

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