Yamaha have been teasing their new series of synthesisers ‘Reface’ for weeks and finally we are all able to see what Yamaha are bringing to the table this year.
The Reface range consists of four portable keyboards designed for portability with built in speakers and battery power.
The four unique synths are based on classic Yamaha keyboards and are designed for “legendary sound, ultra-mobile design, connected creativity.”
Lets take a look at what each mini keyboard can offer:
Analog modelling synth
Inspired by the legendary Yamaha CS-80 the Reface CS promises the ability to create an incredible range of sounds with it’s five oscillator types (multi saw, pulse, oscillator sync, ring modulation and frequency modulation). Yamaha also boasts that the Reface CS can produce both analogue-style and digital tones as it is powered by an ‘analogue physical modelling’ engine with slider controls and 8-note polyphony. The mini keyboard also features five onboard effects with Delay, VCM Phaser, VCM Chorus/Flanger, Distortion and OFF (effect bypass).
Yamaha’s DX7 was a digital classic in the ’80s spawning numerous software emulations of the keyboard and now, with the Reface DX, Yamaha are bringing it back in physical form. Again the Reface DX isn’t an exact emulation of it’s parent keyboard as Yamaha says it’s capable of making “modern EDM” noises. The DX features 4-operator FM sound engine with a continuously variable feedback on each operator for plenty of sound versatility. There are two programmable effects blocks each with seven effects, those being VCM Touch Wah, VCM Flanger, VCM Phaser, Chorus, Delay, Reverb and Distortion. Yamaha’s Reface DX also has 32 voice memory locations for storing and recalling voices as well as an integrated phrase looper for song ideas and jamming.
Yamaha’s Combo Piano has seen a revitalised popularity in recent years making it the perfect time for the release of the Reface CP, especially for those of us without thousands to spend on a keyboard. The CP emulates six classic ’70s stage pianos with three electric pianos, an electric grand piano, a struck string Clavinet and a toy piano. Five stomp box-style effects are featured in the CP those being Drive(harmonics and distortion), Tremolo (Auto-Pan for Rd) or VCM Wah with adjustable depth and rate, Chorus with adjustable depth and speed, Digital or Analog-Type Delay with adjustable time and depth, and Reverb with adjustable depth. Polyphony is 128 notes and there is an input for a sustain pedal.
Last but not at all least we have the Reface YC based on Yamaha’s first YC combo organ from 1969. Yamaha promise a “complete organ experience” with the YC which includes five vintage organ waves, nine drawbars, a rotary speaker emulation, percussion and reverb/distortion effects. The Reface YC again features 128-not polyphony for “a ton of vintage sound and control that weighs less than a small dog!”
The entire line of Reface mini keyboards come with a 2W 3cm stereo speaker system with specially designed bass reflex port technology for full and rich sound. They can all be used wirelessly using six AA batteries for up to 5 hours of life and can be connected to your computer or iOS via USB. The audio output is a dual 1/42 unbalanced line output providing connection to mixers, audio interfaces, DI boxes and more. Finally the Reface keyboards all have a 3.5mm aux line input that lets you connect mobile devices, tablets and anything else with an auxiliary connection.
Yamaha’s Reface series will be available from September at a RRP of £347/$799 (expected to be closer to $500 street price upon release).
You can find out more from Yamaha’s website here.
Below is a playlist of Yamaha’s featured videos on the new Reface keyboards.