Does hardware matter anymore?
That’s the question raised by Yamaha TNR-i – a software version of the Yamaha Tenori On synthesizer.
The iOS version of the Tenori On, according to Yamaha, a ‘faithful duplication of the TENORI-ON concept and its design and interface, which were developed under the supervision of Toshio Iwai.’
But the TNR-i is priced at a fraction of the hardware – £11.99, or about $20. The Tenori On Orange sells for about $700.
There are a lots of benefits to dedicated hardware. But for a lot of users, a $500 iPad with a $20 app is going to be a compelling alternative.
Check out the demo and the specs and let us know what you think. Does dedicated hardware matter for a synth like the Tenori On? And when does hardware make more sense than software?
Yamaha TNR-i Overview
TNR-i can produce 16 types of sounds at the same time (16 layers), and it can remember up to 16 song patterns produced using those sounds (16 blocks). By switching between song patterns in real time, you can produce a rich variety of musical expressions.
There are six different types of performance modes that you can select for each layer. You can make elaborate music by combining different modes.
- In score mode, the most fundamental of the modes, you can arrange sounds horizontally (temporally) and vertically (by pitch).
- In random mode, the sounds that you arrange are not just played in order—the melody and rhythm constantly change as twists are added.
- In draw mode, you can perform music by tracing your finger across the buttons as if drawing a picture.
- In bounce mode, the glowing lights are like bouncing balls that produce sound when they fall.
- In push mode, you can continuously change the sound as you perform.
- In solo mode, you can adjust the speed of repetition and the pitch.
If you are connected to a network, you can also participate in TNR-i sessions with distant players. Up to four people can connect to each other over a network. You can also jam wirelessly with hardware Tenori-On synths.
Note: Yamaha TNR-i is currently available in the UK App Store.