‘Reface Robot’ Tweaks All The Synth Parameters At The Same Time

At Superbooth 17, we talked with Yuji Yamada, who was showing his ‘Reface Robot’ – a robotic synth-tweaking machine that can change all the parameters on a Yamaha Reface synth at the same time.

The Reface Robot consists of two main components: robotic arms that move the sliders on the Reface keyboard; and a separate controller section. The controller has three rows of knobs – with a set of knobs for each of the keyboard’s controls:

  • The top knob controls selects between manual control or automatic LFO-control of the keyboard’s sliders;
  • The middle knob controls the LFO speed; and
  • The bottom row controls the position of the keyboard’s slider in manual mode and the amplitude of the modulation in automatic mode.

The results are glitchy and strange – which seems to be what Yamada was going for. Like circuit-benders, Yamada is ‘misusing’ a keyboard to make it create results that the original designer didn’t anticipate.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

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9 thoughts on “‘Reface Robot’ Tweaks All The Synth Parameters At The Same Time

  1. Respect.

    It’s like a 3-shape synced LFO with depth for every parameter.

    I think there are probably few synths where this would work well. Sounds like the reface is one of them. Huge kudos for this contraption!!

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  2. I can understand the point of something like this for an analog synth without midi, but can’t we use midi cc’s instead of an expensive robot contraption? Does the yamaha reface in 2017 lack a proper midi implementation?

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    1. I have spent some time manipulating all the knobs on the Reface CP in Reaper and it’s a blast. But I appreciate people doing things the hard way. It’s cool.

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