Yamaha Intros Genos Digital Workstation Keyboard

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Yamaha today officially announced Genos, which they describe as ‘the most advanced Digital Workstation keyboard ever imagined’.

The keyboard workstation offers twice the sample ROM of the TYROS5; virtual instruments that they say are on a par with the best software instruments; massive audio processing power; and more real-time control than any of their previous workstations. 

Features: 

  • New Sounds
    • Genos features nearly twice the amount of AWM2 sample ROM as the Tyros5 that chronologically preceded it, including new Yamaha CFX and C7 concert grand Voices. Brand new Revo! drum and special FX Voices use more dynamic sampling and round-robin triggering to create startlingly human rhythm parts.
    • Also new are Kino strings, developed with film and TV scoring in mind. Yamaha says that their sound quality is on par with the best software scoring libraries, and they use similar stereo techniques — such as panning different players in the string section to different channels.
    • New brass Voices are also on hand, as are new guitars (acoustic and electric), basses, synth leads and pads, accordions, and more.
    • 256 notes of true stereo polyphony
    • Articulation Element Modeling (AEM) technology automatically chooses the correct instrument articulation (a way an instrument can sound depending on how it is played) in real time according to the player’s keyboard technique: key velocity, tempo, legato versus staccato, and so on.
    • The player can also select specific articulations (bowing techniques, guitar slides, brass fall-offs, and much more) using the three Articulation buttons or connected controllers such as pedals.
  • Audio Quality and Massive Effects Power
    • 32-bit DACs on the main outputs for smooth sound. Also included is a S/PDIF digital output for computer recording, providing better-than-CD-quality resolution at 24 bits.
    • Expanded DSP provides 28 insert effects, which may be stacked and distributed in any way players need — even all 28 on a single Voice. These use the same Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) technology as high-end Yamaha mixing consoles, emulating the sound and behavior of classic compressors, choruses, rotary speakers, reverbs, and much more.
    • Among the new VCM effects in Genos are Real Reverb, numerous classic guitar and bass amp models, stompboxes, and improved rotary speaker for organ and damper resonance for piano.
  • Control and Interface Features
    • Yamaha says that Genos offers more real-time control than any songwriting or performance workstation ever made. The Live Control section provides nine assignable sliders and six assignable knobs. Above these is a crisp OLED strip showing the setting each knob or fader controls at any instant, so the player doesn’t need to delve into the main display in order to make changes on the fly
    • The main display is a brilliant 9” color touchscreen. To its right, six large Gateway Buttons quickly navigate to Genos’ major modes of operation such as Style and Voice selection, Song mode, and more. Below these are six assignable buttons that let the player cue custom actions or changes.
    • Ten registration buttons (with multiple banks) save and recall virtually all Genos panel settings. Registrations can now be organized into Playlists for quick access at gigs that might cover diverse types of music.
    • Multi Pads trigger one-shot musical phrases and hits to spice up performances while the keyboard is busy playing the main instrument Voices. Via the Audio Link function, the Multi Pads can trigger user-created audio files for even more customization.
  • Styles and Recording
    • 550 Styles, across all musical genres from pop to jazz to classical to rock to hip-hop to EDM to regional and world flavors.
    • Each has many selectable variations, intros, fills, and endings, musicians who want utterly original accompaniment can craft their own Styles in the Style Creator — either by editing factory Styles or from scratch, thanks to the full-featured 16-track MIDI recorder that resides under the hood.
    • To develop an original idea, pick a Voice and Style, work out the arrangement, and then record it as a MIDI song. The MIDI Quick recording mode automatically assigns all the keyboard and accompaniment Style parts to the proper channels.
    • A MIDI Multi recording mode is also present for more advanced users who wish to build songs a track at a time. Then, overdub more Voices, add a vocal track right onboard (using the highly realistic and flexible Vocal Harmony features if desired), and record the result as a stereo WAV file.
    • Mix everything to audio — what the player’s fingers are doing, what the Styles are doing, mic input, and even the Multi Pads.

Features:

Voice & Style Demos:

Artist Impressions:

Additional Features and Specifications:

  • FSX semi-weighted premium keyboard action with aftertouch, enhanced touch response for very expressive playing, and high-precision, durable construction.
  • Dual Song Player lets the user crossfade smoothly between two audio Songs (or one audio and one MIDI Song).
  • Play back Songs continuously using Song List function.
  • Arpeggios add 216 motifs and riffs to performances using MegaVoices, going far beyond the abilities of traditional arpeggiators.
  • Vocal Harmony and Synth Vocoder: Apply realistic multi-part harmonies to a vocal coming through the mic input, or use the Synth Vocoder for classic “robot voice” effects.
  • Premium Packs to expand Genos’ capability by adding new Voices, Styles, and more, including even higher-quality content than the factory presets. Yamaha Expansion manager for Mac and PC.
  • Personal Packs to manage Voice, Style, Song, and Registration content efficiently.
  • Huge 1.8 GB of internal, non-volatile Flash memory.
  • WAV, AIFF, SoundFont, and even REX support for creating original Voices and Drum Kits.
  • XLR-1/4” combo mic input with phantom power.
  • Four sub outputs allow routing of different aspects of the performance to different listening destinations, mixer channels, etc.
  • Downloadable Cloud Audio Recorder app (iOS) to record via WiFi and share via SoundCloud.
  • Downloadable SongBook+ app (iOS) for managing scores and lyrics from an iPad.

Pricing and Availability

Genos has a MSRP of $6,799. See the Yamaha site for more info. 

57 thoughts on “Yamaha Intros Genos Digital Workstation Keyboard

  1. $6,799.

    so multi track audio?
    new 8 op fm sounds?

    …um save £4000 and get a MPC X and have a spare $1000 for a controller keyboard and some mics

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  2. I’m concerned that Yamaha does not have a healthy line of consumer-friendly synth products. In fact, it’s dying! They need to look up to Korg and Roland for inspiration!

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    1. If anything this is TOO consumer friendly, and not PRO-friendly.

      Yes, they can point to a couple of techno-phobic songwriters who find it inspiring. That’s fine. It is a hand-holding arranger (as Ether suggests).

      I’d rather they look to Kurzweil for inspiration than to Korg or Roland.

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      1. I got to agree with Jack on this one – It seems like they half heartedly tried to compete with the boutiques with the reface line and when it didn’t really go anywhere, they immediately shelved it- you know if they took a cue from roland and made modern upgraded compact versions of some of their classic synths like the dx7 they would sell- or maybe a modern version of the QY70 (god that would be awesome). Personally I would love a more portable version of the dx200 and an200 that could run on batteries and with an upgraded set of effect and drums/updated sequence and live play functions.

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        1. Workstations and boutique mini’s are completely different markets, serving completely different needs.

          That whole trend of recreating “classics” in miniature digital emulator formats, or new analog formats is fine. But this is an entirely different arena.

          We sometimes ask the questions: “Are workstations still relevant.” and “What does a 21st century workstation do?”

          Yamaha appears to be responding to those questions with this Genos thingy. I don’t particularly like their answer. Workstations, because of their immense versatility can be many things to many different users. This keyboard seems to have reduced the versatility, but increased some of the muscle in some areas.

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        2. Imagine a Minilogue-sized DX7 with a graphical programmer (doesn’t need a huge screen, just enough to show algorithm layout and envelopes), onboard reverb and delay.

          Price it under $500 and you’ll sell so many that Roland Boutique will actually look boutique.

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    2. The Genos borrows the pitch/mod lever from Roland arrangers and the dual sequencers from Korg arrangers. Pro-level arrangers are a bread apart from synth workstations and their features are purposely designed with arranger users in mind. For all intents and purposes the Genos is the next generation of the Yamaha Tyros series – that’s what it should be compared with. The Genos price tag also reflects that it’s in the Tyros market.

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    1. It’s an arranger, not a workstation.

      I use both arrangers and synth/workstations quite extensively in my work so I kinda have a foot in both camps here (I use a variety of synths and workstations in the studio and on stage for live band work and I also use arranger keyboards for one-man-band type gigs where it’s just me on stage or accompanying a singer).

      Unfortunately no matter how you look at it, arrangers and workstations are two very different animals. Sadly Yamaha would appear to be trying to (rather cheekily if I may say so) blur the lines here by telling the arranger keyboard community that this new board will gain them entry in to the pro/synth/workstation club, while at the same time trying to convince the pro/synth/workstation community that it’s a new synth and workstation with fancy and exciting songwriting and arranging features like styles and accompaniments.

      It’s just my 2 cents worth of course, but I feel no amount of adding synth sounds and sequencers to an arranger keyboard will ever make it in to a proper pro workstation…just as no amount of adding arpeggiators and stuff to a synth/workstation will ever make it in to a proper one-man-band style arranger keyboard.

      Bottom line, the Genos or any other arranger keyboard will struggle to do what a proper synth workstation like a Kronos or a Fantom can do…and a Kronos or Fantom workstation will struggle to do what a proper dedicated arranger keyboard can do.

      As I said, two different animals.

      Unfortunately Yamaha seem to have chosen to disappoint both camps with this new board, which is such a shame because it looks like a mighty fine arranger keyboard…

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      1. Thanks , you make perfect sence .
        What I don’t understand is that Yamaha took a lot of critisium for not including a real workstation sequencer in the Montage , and there response has generally been that the Montage is not a workstation and them pointing to the words on the Montage as saying music synthisizer . So what is it about the Genos that makes Yamaha so proudly call it a workstation ?
        Is there a pro sequencer in-ther , if so thats exciting if not it’s very confusing .
        What is Genos some type of Hybrid ?
        Forgive me , my mind can be very analictical some time , in there words I like to know the ” why ” to the way things are .

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      2. “Sadly Yamaha would appear to be trying to (rather cheekily if I may say so) blur the lines”
        They did it first time 20 years ago with EOS B2000 which actually I own and that was their first arranger/ workstation of such price tag imho.

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  3. These demos and testimonials talk about lots of upper level functions that cater to song-writers who want the hand-holding of a consumer arranger- with tons of prefab sounds, arpeggiators and song-bits. In that regard, the sounds seem clean and well-done.

    I liked most of what I heard, and even thought that some of the tougher sounds, the sax and banjo weren’t terrible.

    In all of what I just saw and heard, I didn’t see anyone building sounds from scratch or building songs from scratch. Everything was built from prefab elements.

    No polyphonic aftertouch. That’s ALWAYS a disappointment. No release velocity? (we don’t know, this were not technical demos).

    I think it is fine for Yamaha to make a “serious” workstation that is very user friendly for non-techies. But I think they may have missed a point that you can have different levels of interaction– to satisfy people who need to get deeper into the editing.

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  4. Does it make millennial whoops for you too?
    .. or include a booking on a cruise ship playing golden oldies?
    Does not inspire even a negative response from me..
    MEH M E H !

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  5. So, ever since the software instrument eclipsed and left in the dust the ROMpler by several orders of magnitude, we’ve been waiting (over a decade and counting) to see if the workstation keyboard can evolve hold is own with any sort of serious relevance. As I began to read at the top of this page, I was starting to tingle with excitement that at long last one of the big Japanese giants of the golden age had finally risen to the challenge. Until I got to the PRICE. Sadly, they have not been able to even come close without ending up at a price point that is about triple the cost of a computer-based setup, and still not nearly as powerful. Sorry, do all this for under $2000 and I’ll start to take you seriously again, Yamaha.

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    1. What is lacking in the VI world has more to do with hardware. MIDI controllers are mostly disappointing– especially for players who don’t want to be doing that stupid dance of play– press buttons– play — press buttons— play, etc.

      The keyboards need more pedal inputs to help take some of that button jockeying out of the equation. We need breath controllers (Yamaha discontinued theirs years ago), we need polyphonic aftertouch to be able to control each note independently.

      A workstation provides an opportunity to integrate the hardware and software more tightly. This just has lots of buttons.

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    2. You’re pretty much spot-on re overpricing Lady App-titude.

      Music dealers that I have spoken to over the years always try to justify the prices of arranger keyboards such as the Korg PA series, the Tyros’ (and now the new Genos) by claiming the price reflects the amount of R&D that has gone in to they’re development. I’m sure they are correct to some extent…BUT… I have long suspected that it’s more likely that Yamaha and the other manufacturers of arranger keyboards are simply targeting the home organist type of customer (affectionately known as ‘the pipe n’ slippers brigade’) who for many years have been accustomed to paying many thousands of ££££’s for big ole’ electronic organs

      In my experience home organ players, especially the older generation, tend to reach for their chequebooks mighty quick when you tell them they can still sound like Klaus Wunderlich while only using a single little arranger keyboard that sits unobtrusively in the corner of their living room. It’s an attractive buy for them compared to their old electronic organ which probably cost north of £5,000 back in the day, is the size of a large sideboard, takes up half their living room, and has drums that sound like someone playing old knives and forks.

      Call me cynical…

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      1. I guess if they have done more recording of completely original samples and editing, that can be rather labor intensive, and they appear to have done a very careful job there.

        On one hand, they have to weigh how many units they may expect to move of this particular model, but then they can continue to use those samples in other products moving forward.

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      2. I would like a metallic sound drum machine. Old knives and forks sound more fun than the identikit drum sounds we hear too often today!!

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  6. When someone comes out with a keyboard workstation that actually has more processing power than a Razor or macbook, with more RAM than an average Desktop and has the clarity of most VSTi’s, and has ports for several instruments to be controlled by it, then I’ll be impressed.
    When I saw this Yamaha Genos post and started to read the first thing that came to mind was those entertainers who sing old hits to bingo hall attendees. But then there is the price…hmmm I agree with Lady App-titude here on everything said.

    With a $1000 laptop, $350 DAW and $200 Midi controller keyboard you could easily compete against the Genos and succeed. Saving yourself over $4000!!! and keeping the bingo hall rocking too!

    Yamaha did not think this through at all.

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    1. I”m not disagreeing, but it’s not quite that simple. There are compromises and problems with setting up a rig with a laptop. It’s doable even at your budget limitations.

      Even with a $2000 laptop, and maybe about $1200 in host & VI software/libraries, and a $400 controller, a $200 for a decent audio interface and some number of hours in learning and prep, you’d have a nice rig for less than you’d pay for this.

      But clearly this rig is intended for both technophobes, and people who want a consolidated one-step-shop.

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  7. LOL at price. Who is this for? Who uses workstations when DAWs and computers exist? And those are cheaper and upgradable than this!

    Give me a Montage in a rack instead.

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    1. I’ve tried using my laptop on gigs. I hated it. I still use a Kurzweil workstation for live. Works great!!

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      1. You should try using Mac OS with a good audio interface. Today, there’s no really reason to ignore software.
        This new Yamaha seems great, but the price is outrageous. I understand that this is a Kronos with high-end arranger functionalities, but it’s still pointless.

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        1. I’ve used a Mac in my home studio for decades and I love it. I have a few nice software instruments that are great to work with.

          I just hated using my laptop for live. For the type of work that I do, my Kurzweil just makes everything so easy and good. As workstations go, there are quite a few things I can do quickly and easily with the K2661 that Kontakt just won’t do at all.

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      1. For over six grand, and all the talk of expressiveness and articulation, I think it’s a fair expectation. As is poly-aftertouch.

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  8. 1.8TB SSD will be something like 7 hundred bucks. 7k rompler with “huge” 1.8GB flash. Who will buy this for workstation tv/movie work? It’s aranger, really expensive one, if there is a demand for that we will see.

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  9. Lol at the people whining about price.

    These things always have an audience.

    People running big shows, arranging for deadlines, running worship music, etc. have the budget and would laugh at trying to ‘Hackintosh’ it.

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    1. Weird comparison. But yea, it is kind of a weird price difference.

      I think the kronos is a more fitting comparison.

      At some point, I’d be curious to year a comparision of bread & butter sounds between this and a Kronos. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Genos did well.

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  10. Its a lovely-sounding instrument with impressive specs, but its not $6700 worth of wonderful, to ME, anyway. Its a weird splice for someone who doesn’t really want a serious workstation, but still seeks most of the clout. I’m sure much of the appeal for actual buyers will be the thoughtful inclusion of that ‘iPad’ in the middle. 😛 Mostly being a Mac-based type, I’ll just look on this as the advanced modern version of vintage RMI e-pianos & bleeding-edge 70s/80s mega-synth oddities of which only two proof-of-concept units were ever built.

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  11. It’s not for everyone. But if you’re thinking it’s for wealthy lounge singers only (is that even a thing?), Imagine what Victoria Legrand of Beach House could do with this thing and let it go.

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  12. The price will probably translate to about 10,000 Australian dollars.

    Whether I like it or not is irrelevant, it’s way, WAY out of my price range.

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    1. Oddly 4 of the top Google links I found for the Genos in Aus have the same RRP as the US/this article. Even a store near where I live (ACT) has them going for that much. Surely Yamaha messed up the price conversion. Reckon your prediction will be right once they’re relea- WAIT… THERE’S A GENOS SPECIFIC STAND (L7B) GOING FOR $399.

      Pity I can’t type my pseudonym correctly. *facepalm*

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  13. I still don’t understand why the music industry thinks that 1.8Gb is “Huge”. My camera has 64Gb SD cards, and my phone’s non-volatile flash memory is 128Gb. When working for a London-based music company, we used a standard ARM-based Linux board with an SD card reader and could stream samples in real-time from the card no problem. So for this price I’d expect something significantly better.

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  14. I think that if a cucumber was grown on board the international space station and it was ejected into space when it reached maturity, then it would freeze pretty quickly due to the harsh temperature.

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  15. Pros:
    256 notes of stereo polyphony!
    1.8 GB Flash for user samples
    Build quality & “enhanced touch response”
    Ample buttons, sufficient sliders
    Modern sample library features

    Unknowns:
    Deep editing capability (samples & sounds)
    MIDI sequencing features

    Cons:
    price

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  16. Mind you, Genos appears to be more “Arranger” than “Workstation” !

    Probably worth keeping that in mind when comparing features regarding sound-design, synth-architecture or the sounds itself.

    A Soundfont-Sampler with a 16-Track MIDI-Sequencer, a chord-generator and built-in effects, coupled with a big touchscreen, some sliders and a 76-key keybed with aftertouch, is still a pretty sweet deal.

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  17. They have brought misnomas to a whole new level and it is extremely misleading, too. Yamaha, please seriously check what workstation keyboard means, does, and has been doing at what level of specifications for decades.
    This, unfortunately, is an arranger keyboard… at best.
    When there is (finally) a release of something novel, with more than 9 different synth engines inside + full blown sampler + full blown sequencer + mastering, then possibly could speak of a “new” workstation.
    Until then, please stop calling a sample-based arranger a workstation…

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  18. Basically, Deckards Dream did what Yamaha will not.. If this is what Yamaha is going for..
    They won’t be here this time next year.. This is just to funny to even watch this video.. LOL

    Holly crap they are disconnected.. its like the guy who keeps buying over sized suites.. Go get a tailor !!!!!

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  19. So no information about the Vocal processor of the Tyros 5 is it in the Genos or has it been eliminated? There have not been any singing demonstrations or anyone saying anything about it.
    Somebody was saying when the Tyros 4 went to Tyros 5 that something was removed/eliminated instead of being added. What was that? I am told that some consumers did not upgrade when they found that out.
    Why do consumers have to write up comparisons, why doesn’t Yamaha come out and tell us with a written overview of the equipment, so that the consumer can see what he or she is getting? Comparing it to all their other synth equipment they have put out. This allows us to see differentiation.

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