Latest Yamaha Reface Teaser Namechecks 4 Classic Keyboard Lines

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Yamaha today revealed the latest teaser for their upcoming Reface keyboard line, embedded below, which namechecks four classic Yamaha keyboard lines: 

In the video, Yamaha briefly flashes the names of four of their classic keyboard lines:

  • Yamaha CS analog synthesizers;
  • Yamaha DX digital FM synthesizers;
  • Yamaha CP stage pianos; and
  • Yamaha YC combo organs.

This matches a collection of images, embedded above, that Yamaha has shared on Facebook, with the #yamahareface tag.

Based on this teaser and the earlier Yamaha Reface teaser videos, it appears that the Yamaha Reface is going to be a portable keyboard or keyboard line, based on four of their most successful Yamaha keyboard families of the past.

Check out the video and share your thoughts on the Yamaha Reface in the comments!

72 thoughts on “Latest Yamaha Reface Teaser Namechecks 4 Classic Keyboard Lines

    1. People are assuming there’ll be four instruments, I don’t now where you’re getting this from. It could easily be four legacies, one instrument.

      1. Because there’s a blurred photo from the Yamaha site doing the rounds that shows 4 different synths. Red, brown, black and white. There’s also a blurred image from the vid showing the White synth has sliders Vs the CS80 style switches we’ve seen on the red one.

        1. What we REALLY NEED to see is more APP Developers porting their software to GOOGE CHROME – there are MANY WINDOWS and MAC MIDI, WAV, AUDIO Apps but few for Chrome, though there is a large market of users.

  1. Hmmmn. This smells of the Korg Kronos’ multi-engine thing. I’m not sure I’m excited about that.

    Of course, I shall reserve judgement until there are sound demos available…

    1. This doesn’t have that smell at all! I would be happy if if it was a workstation.

      But this smells more like the MicroKorg, that you have to buy 4 times.

  2. Okay, the teaser videos have done their job, people are very curious. Now show us what you’ve got. Another round of these videos is just going to get annoying.

    1. Given that this is all obviously part of a campaign that was no doubt planned, produced, and executed by a huge team of people, they probably aren’t looking for your guidance.

    2. Given that this video series is timed for NAMM and they’ve dated and per announced when each of the 4 videos was coming out, I don’t know what you’re complaining about.

  3. all these videos and so forth are giving me the opposite of excitement

    im already not interested in this thing and i dont even know what it is

    wow we’ve come a long way

    1. Man, I love the YC series organs. To me, they sound like a mix of the best sounds of the more popular Vox and Farfisa combos.

      1. Lately I’ve had an itch for combos. The Reface buzz has me searching for YC series demos – and I really like what I hear. I’ve been pricing generic vintage combo organs, and even considering a Roland Saturn SA-09, but I think I’ll wait to see exactly what the Reface series is all about.

        1. I found a Roland VK-09 here in Toronto a few years ago and bought it fairly cheaply. It is an oddity that I grew to like, but after having it for a few months it developed a strange drawbar leakage effect (certain drawbars produce noise when I’m not playing anything, bad enough to make it unusable). The reality of divide-down combo organs is that they use a zillion parts that you can’t get any more, but they have so much personality they’re almost irresistible.

          I also bought an Elka Rhapsody 490 (divide down strings) and an RMI Elektra-Piano (divide down percussive keys) in he past few months, and I love them. I wonder when they will start acting up.

  4. Aw, enough of all this. Just release a new CS80 for a price that makes God laugh and give it modernized stable tuning so everyone can bitch about how its not the true vintage design. I can easily see “portable” meaning “crammed with software models in a dance-focused format.” These days, a synth could come with 44 D jugs and half the crowd still wouldn’t like it, so I’ll just parrot “hate those mini-keys” now and get it out of the way. C’mon Yamaha, make a liar of me. 😛

      1. Since 18 people liked my comment and 9 did not, it speaks directly to my observation that half the crowd won’t like it. Oscar Wilde said “When the critics are in disarray, the artist is in accord with himself.” Because Internet.
        I’ve been lucky enough to have demoed almost all of the classics. I have numerous Yamaha sounds in my sample library, so I naturally like the idea of having them kept accessible. The only grousing point is a natural one: after you’ve laid hands to a real CS-80, you’re spoiled in a unique way known to only a chosen few. Few current keyboards can match the feel of a real CS-80. If you have a little piano-worthy muscle, it engages you like something almost otherworldly. We all know where the financial curve is for better/worse keybeds; you can have the high end if you want to spend the bucks. I don’t expect S-class keys on the Reface, but if they keep the sounds true and perhaps even more easily manipulated, that’ll be a win.

    1. I like the Plug Out ring more. The ring that Yamaha has, is sounding more like a gimmick of buying plastic faceplates or something not as practical.

  5. I’m pie in the sky hoping that it is a keybed with removable small modules (that can be used ‘standalone’, kind of Volca sized) that are mini versions of those instruments.

    1. That’s actually a really good idea. I would gladly pay for a SynthStation-style keyboard that could house a Volca. If Yamaha (or any other company for that matter) jumped on something like that, I think they’d have a winner. Better yet, let’s get all the classic synth manufacturers (Korg, Roland, Yamaha, etc.) to make modules for something like that so people can choose whatever they want. It could be like the synthesizer equivalent of a video game console..

  6. Considering Yamaha has been designing everything from grand pianos to guitars to motorcycles to bulldozers to 350,000 ton container ships over the past hundred years, they might actually come up with a Roland-like chameleon keyboard that makes everyone happy and disappoints no one.

      1. A container ship sized CS80 would probably be used by Disaster Area to detonate a star in their latest concert, according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  7. think they can at least come up with a better color scheme than the aira series?

    no?

    me neither…

    yamaha has not come out with a desirable synthesizer since the late 80s, why start now?

    1. I’m really hoping for a tasteful Aquamarine Blue with alternate purple and tangerine stripes.

      Or maybe a collectors edition Hawaiian print model.

  8. So judging from Victoria Theodore’s reaction it’s probably still a bad idea for me to dress up as a YC20 and go Trick-or-treat at her house next Halloween, right? :/

      1. Well it ain’t gonna be cheaper than the dx7s are now. Can’t walk into a pawn shop without seeing one. Bloody hate them.

        1. Exactly. DX synths are pretty cheap everywhere.

          Once you have one you realize how dated and un-versatile the damn things actually are. Add to that, you have to dive into programming them to get anything that wasn’t on every album in the 80s already. Or get a massive patch library.

          The FM7 software, or whatever other soft instrument you choose, is definitely the way to go for ease of editing and use.

          DX synths are all digital so there’s no debate over software not being warm enough or whatever.

          1. Unversatile? Do you have any idea what you’re talking about?
            Say what you want about FM synthesis or the DX series, in the hands of somebody who actually knows what they are doing you can get an insane pallette of sounds beyond perhaps any other synthesis method. Yes, you have to ‘dive in’ to programming to get useful sounds for your own music, but the DX series (and the SY77/99) is capable of outstandingly realistic mallets, percussion and some of the best electric piano sound’s you’ll hear.

            As for the digital / warmth debate, you are ignoring the DAC conversion process which has a massive effect on the tone, so obvious you can hear it between the different DX models, with the DX21 in particular having a nasty raw character. FM7/8 is great and makes FM synthesis more accessible than ever before but it captures almost none of the intrinsic character of the original machines, which is why they are still highly desirable instruments for some.

    1. No. Take that horrible old relic out of my sight…and other senses.

      It’s FS1R or gtfo for me. And even that has to be reinvented for me to get excited.

  9. I would like a new REAL Synth, with a new synth engine, and fresh, unique, prototype, characteristic sounds that inspires me.
    Open my ears to a new acoustic horizons and drive my mind to a new ways of inspiration.
    Enough with old VA, Modeling or Sample playback synth engines.
    Everthing else would be simply a bubblegums.

      1. Weirdly enough, many of us don’t speak Merkin as our native language. We slip up every once in a while. Usually when discussing chewing gum or handguns.

  10. it is small (so it is digital), it quotes vintage and even acoustic (so it is digital), it gets heavy marketing (so it is mainstream).

    how many would buy a pocket CS-80, how many would buy an all-in-one-promise-me-everything-machine like the mininova or JDXi? what kind of synth apps has yamaha published so far?

  11. My YC-25d is red and sounds SO great. And I’d love to get my hands on the CS-80 technology. A small red weighty keyboard based on “original architecture” is really promising. Unless it’s VA. then… I dunno.

  12. waiting for a “real” synth …….. and tadaaaaa !!!
    virtual analog ;
    mini keys ,
    no polyaftertouch ,
    lack of knobs ,
    external supply power …
    yolo …
    copycat from korg micro series and roland plug out/aira pfff
    yamaha “rREDFACE”

  13. “It’s red!”
    I am a great fan of transistor organs and have been thinking about a Hammond Sk-1 for some time. However, I always wanted a YC-45, so I am hoping for something along those lines.

  14. Yeah, this hype campaign is starting to get annoying now. Just give us the full scoop already. Stop showing me random people saying, “Wow, it makes a sound when I depress a key. Incredible.”

    1. I agree! Realy, who are they? I suppose they are great PRO players.
      Good!!! But what?…
      If the Reface is a new Synth, where are all those great “classic” synth pionners/players & sound designers like (JMJ, Vangelis, Klaus Schulze, Vince Clark, Alan Wilder, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Geoff Downes, Tony Banks, Nick Rhodes), and many-many others to advertise it?
      After all promo videos, I suspect that Reface will be only another one semi synth/Rompler, only for players.
      Is not bad that,… But only that ?

  15. Because people have been screaming all over the forums for a remake of the DX-7; because everyone loves to play electric piano on a short keyboard with mini-keys; because organ is HOT… right?; because pretty much no one who will buy a Reface will have actually ever played a CS-80, 60 or 50, so adding ring modulation will be all that is needed to create the ‘fresh’ sound; because colour is now more important than sound; because portability trumps big array of controls; because price is more important than quality; because it’s all about re-branding of known assets (see Hollywood movies) as opposed to true originality, risk-taking; because it’s about making music creation easy, really easy, so easy that work/exploration/practice is shunned, even though it yields the richest results; because of all this and more, we will get Refaced!

  16. I know I’m dreaming, but I’d really like to see that DX Reface being able to take in DX7 SysEx programs directly… with the vast amount of free DX7 patches out there, that would be a huge inspiration for anyone not willing to undertake the complexity of FM synthesis…. top that with some digital FX and it would be what I’m after…. and if they wanted to top that even more, then fire each of the 8 to 16 voices thru it’s own analog filter and VCA, and you’d have a true Winner of a hybrid synth!

    1. OK, a couple things:

      First, the myriad of DX7 patches out there basically all fall into one of two categories: “1983” and “Whoops”. Nowadays, few of those sounds (other than maybe bass patches) will inspire much out of anybody.

      Second, FM synthesis isn’t that complicated. It is the tedious DX user interface that makes it difficult, because it becomes so easy to lose track of which operators are doing what while you program. It is also difficult to visualize the rate/level envelopes and the keyboard scaling. Put it all into a graphic editor and it’s not hard to create FM sounds from scratch.

  17. I’m hoping for a Yamaha FS1R with an expanded oscillator section that includes oscillators modeled after the CP stage pianos and YC combo organs, and waveforms from the CS-80, in addition to (analogue or digital) filters modeled after the CS-80, multitimbrality, multiple assignable outputs, and A LOT of knobs for ease of use. By limiting or emphasizing certain functions you could effectively have a reasonable approximation of a Yamaha FS1R, CS-80, CP stage piano or YC combo organ, or an instrument that falls somewhere inbetween them.

    Is that too much to ask for?

  18. I think a digital synth modeled carefully on the sound of the CS-80, with all its capabilities and a well designed CS-80-ish UI could be a really good synth. However, I don’t think that’s what this is, and I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it from Yamaha. I wonder who the original designer of the CS-80 was and whether they’re alive and would be interested in working for Korg.

  19. One thing I know: when they pull the wrapper off this thing, a lot of us are going to have our pipe dreams shattered.

    “Hey look! It’s an app with samples of the CS-01”

  20. Let’s hope it’s easier to change sounds via midi on this thing than my cs2x. Trying to work out how to use bank select in midi kills any sudden inspiration. It’s about time thing got easier doing this kind of thing!

  21. oh my ,look i dont won’t a dx7 ,you all have access to a free soft dx7 if you want it and cs80.
    and more to the point why do i want to sound like the generic dance tunes we get?????
    i have no moog just because you all think you need one,not true i can get deeper and harder
    with lesser known stuff.

    and to the people slating the roland jdxi ,with just the jdxi and a laptop i could make most of you look silly with your room full of synths..yamaha you will be judged by the mighty jdxi

  22. Already I can see that some folks are not happy with the size or feature set (as much as we know about those) but for me these are a very exciting prospect. The CS and DX are genuinely appealing, if they have looper/sequencers and MIDI sync connections that invite play then I’m even more for them… there is still plenty of choice in the upper bits of the market if you can get in (Catfish gotta eat)

    I often think I wouldn’t mind a Moog or Oberheim and maybe one day that’s what I’ll get but there is a lot to be enjoyed at the entry level/low to average disposable income tier of equipment these days… sure the feature sets are basic (no more basic than a high end boutique monosynth perhaps) but that’s what effects and resampling are for…

    Unrelated note, as a Volca Sample owner it would be lovely to see Korg or similar do a mini mixer for all these gadgets… four or six minijack ins with the “DJ EQ” and reverb from this unit…

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