Yamaha has introduced the MX BK/BU Synthesizer series, offering over 1000 voices from the MOTIF series, plus deep computer and iOS integration in a compact, lightweight keyboard.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
The MX BK/BU series synthesizers feature carefully selected sounds taken from the Yamaha MOTIF XS. That powerful sonic palette is packed into sleek packages (available in 49- and 61-note versions) that fit today’s on-the-go life style. But the MX BK/BU Series aren’t just synthesizers; they are designed to bridge the gap between hardware and software. By adding extensive audio and MIDI USB connectivity, advanced DAW and VST controller features and a suite of powerful music production software, the MX BK/BU integrate hardware reliability with controller flexibility to give you the best of both worlds at a ground breaking level of affordability.
- Over 1000 Sounds from the MOTIF Series – The MX BK/BU series contains more than 1000 Voices derived directly from the Yamaha MOTIF XS music production synthesizer. From realistic acoustic sounds like piano, electric piano, strings and drums to complex 8-element synth sounds, the MX BK/BU puts favorite MOTIF XS Voices at your fingertips. The newly designed category selection makes it easier than ever to find the Voice you need. You can even edit and store your own sounds right onboard.
- Class-compliant, “plug and play” USB audio/MIDI – The MX BK/BU series features class-compliant, “plug and play” USB audio/MIDI with iOS, Mac and PC. Just plug it in and your MX BK/BU synthesizer becomes your audio and MIDI interface for the rest of your music studio. Monitor all the sounds from your computer via the headphone output of the MX BK/BU or listen to your DAW tracks by connecting the MX BK/BU to external studio monitors or PA gear. The audio converters on the MX BK/BU are made for professional music applications so everything on your computer — even games — will sound better when using the MX BK/BU as the output. The MX BK/BU interface is bi-directional for digitally recording your MX BK/BU directly to your computer or iOS device resulting in high-quality audio.
- Plug and Play, “FM Essential” – “FM Essential” is an FM synthesizer app for iPhone and iPad with real-time synth performance and editing. Connect your iOS device to the Yamaha music synthesizer MX BK/BU, and you can do following:
- Play all 271 high-quality Voices consisting of preset sounds from the V50, TX81Z and DX100 Legacy FM PLUS presets and combination Voices specially made for the MX BK/BU series.
- Change Voices of FM Essential and control various parameters via the MX BK/BU onboard controllers.
- Store your changes
- Easy Split /Layer Performance Mode – Performance Mode on the MOTIF has always been the place to find instant inspiration and the MX BK/BU is no different. You can easily combine two Voices to play on the keyboard using the dedicated Split and Layer buttons each with their own intelligent arpeggiator and a dedicated Part for a drum track to create evocative Performances that feel like a whole band is playing. The 128 Performances on the MX BK/BU are all user editable so you can customize them for your style of music.
- 16-Part Multi Timbral and 128-note Polyphony – In addition to Splits and layers, the MX BK/BU features full 16-Part MIDI for creating entire arrangements using DAW software. This also lets you create live performance sets where you can switch between parts without any sound cutoff.. With 128 notes of polyphony there are plenty of notes to play even the densest sequences from your DAW. These features make the MX BK/BU the perfect tone generator solution for live performance and live playback of DAW MIDI tracks.
- Extensive Hands-On Controls for VSTs and DAWs – The MX BK/BU also features solid knobs and durable buttons for controlling internal sounds, DAW parameters and VST instruments. The deceptively simple interface is combined with a remote template editor on your computer so any VST you own or any new VSTs you buy can be easily setup to be controlled by the MX. There are advanced integration templates for use with a variety of DAWs. When used with Cubase, there is even an AI knob so any parameter can be controlled by the large rotary encoder just by mousing over it. It’s never been quicker to take full control of Cubase.
- Complete Suite of Music Production Software Included – The MX BK/BU series is the only hardware synth in its price range to come with a complete suite of music production software tools. The included Steinberg Cubase AI features 48 audio tracks and 64 MIDI tracks, notation, built-in VST effects, so with just the MX BK/BU and AI you can do complete productions. But we didn’t stop there; it comes bundled with Steinberg Prologue and the Yamaha YC-3B organ emulator so you have some compelling VSTs to get started. Plus there are Remote Template editors for setting up controls of VSTs.
- Cubasis LE – In addition to Cubase AI, the MX BK/BU series is compatible with Cubasis LE, a DAW app for iOS. Connect MX BK/BU to your iOS device (requires Lightning to USB Camera Adapter) and unlock USB audio and MIDI recording between MX BK/BU and Cubasis LE.
- Complete Analog and Digital Connectivity – In addition to the USB audio/MIDI port, the MX BK/BU has a USB TO DEVICE port for external data storage to USB flash drive. You can even play back .WAV data from the flash drive. If you want to add a tablet or an MP3 player to your system just connect to the AUX input using a mini stereo cable and you are ready to go.
- Lightweight Design with a Quality Keyboard – While almost all other keyboard controllers use inexpensive OEM keyboards, the MX BK/BU series features an expertly crafted keyboard that only Yamaha — the world’s largest keyboard manufacturer — could produce. Weighing only 3.8kg (MX49 BK/BU) or 4.8kg (MX61 BK/BU), either synthesizer can be carried easily with one hand. MX synthesizers have a compact design so they are easy to carry to the gig and also fit easily into today’s compact home music production studios.
- VCM Effects – MX BK/BU synthesizers come equipped with VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) effects, which simulate vintage effectors at the circuit level. The sounds of the ‘70s are brought back to life, through simulating the hard-to-find vintage sounds of equalizer, flanger, phaser, and wah effects introduced by the keyboard legends of the era.
Yamaha also introduced FM Essentials, a free iOS FM synthesizer:
FM Essentials is a free download from the App Store.
Pricing and availability are TBA. For more info on the MX BK/BU Synthesizer, see the Yamaha site.