Well, we’ve seen it with the likes of Korg in their MS-20 Mini, Arturia with the MiniBrute and Novation with the Bass Station II. It certainly seems to be something that is going to stick around for a while, so it makes sense that eventually Yamaha would get on board with the revisiting of analogue synths. Over the last few weeks, there have been plenty of rumours abound as to whether Yamaha were actually releasing a range of classic synthesizers that embodied the spirit of the most popular synthesizers of yesteryear. Well, I can now confirm that this is in fact the case, and we will soon be getting our hands on four ‘new’ synthesizers from Yamaha, the likes of which we won’t have seen before.
Facing The Future
With a few teaser videos let loose a number of weeks back, we were all introduced to the concept of the Reface range of reborn synthesizers from Yamaha. Of course, at this stage we had yet to see what these keyboards were all about and were left in the dark as to whether they even existed.
Now, Yamaha have unveiled the face of their new synthesizer range and launched the Reface site to show us all just what we are in for. In short, it’s a line-up of four models harking back to four great engines belonging to Yamaha from over the years.
Now, before you all get too nostalgic and think you are in for an onslaught of classic styled re-issues of synths from the past, settle down a little. Yamaha has always been a forward thinking company and with the Reface range they are still looking to the future even whilst saluting the past. So, it appears that we have four very new instruments based on the engines of four great tools of yesteryear.
Compact And Colourful
Like so many of Yamaha’s instruments from the past, these new units don’t lack anything in the colour department. The YC model especially stands out with a red casing and coloured switches, while the CS gets a new, clean white case that suggests an elegance perhaps not known of the older models. Of course, the DX stays true to its namesake and has been presented in a dirty mushroom coloured case that almost has it looking just like a shrunken version of the original and the CP screams stage piano, but in a very compact form.
What I am getting from early reports is that these keyboards are getting a lot of good reviews from those who have used them so far. They are very much designed to be a compact and portable option that allows you to delve into the sounds of classic Yamaha keyboards quickly and easily.
It seems that Yamaha have strived to get the workflow as fluid as possible with these units, enabling them to be integrated into larger setups, or simply used as a portable song writing and practice tool as well.
For me, the CS and DX models are the two models that I am most keen to get my hands on. The ease of crafting a sound on the CS without having all the controls of the older models seems so appealing. It will become a doorway to creativity for a lot of users, I am sure, as will the DX as it appears to allow users to get into the classic DX sounds and edit them more easily. I know how painful it could be getting the sound you wanted out of my old DX7 in a hurry. It seemed like I was forever pressing buttons and scrolling through menus when really all I want to do was make music. It looks like this is the direction Yamaha wants to take a whole new generation of music producers by allowing them to make something new easily without the headache of trying to tackle the interface.
I think you all need to keep your eyes open for the release for the Reface range from Yamaha later this year. These are sure to be the next big thing in little keyboards.