2015 Summer NAMM Show: Yamaha today officially introduced its new reface Mobile Mini Keyboards line, inspired by four of the company’s classic keyboard lines.
Here’s what Yamaha has to say about the new keyboards:
The series offers great sound, built-in speakers, 37 keys with professional-grade HQ-Mini action (derived from the flagship Motif XF) and battery-powered portability for making music on the go. But more than mere travel companions, these versatile keyboards connect with external speakers, smartphones, tablets, MIDI devices and computers for use on stage and in the studio.
According to the company, the reface line ‘reimagines the interface of four classic Yamaha instruments’.
The line includes four new keyboards:
- reface YC reimagines the YC Yamaha Combo organs, introduced in the late 1960s and used by Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream and others. The YC offers all the expression of drawbars, rotary speaker, percussion and effects. It includes five retro organ sounds — ranging from tonewheel to transistor to the original Yamaha Combo organ — and 128-note polyphony. reface CP redesigns the Combo Piano, launched in 1975 and ubiquitous on stages during that era. The sound enhanced the work of Keane, U2, Genesis, Billy Joel and more.
- reface CP features six electric piano sounds including tine, reed, clav, toy and CP80 plus direct control of six different 1970s-style effects built into its retro-chic design. It also includes a sustain pedal input with a half-damper response and 128-note polyphony.
- reface CS rekindles the legacy of the CS-series Control Synthesizers, introduced in 1976 and played by Vangelis, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson among others. Offering 8-note polyphony, reface CS uses virtual analog synth technology and five flexible oscillator modules to create a wide variety of complex sounds from analog to digital.
- reface DX draws its inspiration from the iconic DX7, which debuted in 1983 and became the first commercially successful electronic keyboard used extensively by a multitude of bands throughout the decade and beyond. With the press of a button, the reface DX changes from retro-80s tones to cutting-edge modern sounds perfect for EDM. A new Multi-Touch Control interface makes it easy to customize your sound with the powerful FM (frequency modulation) synthesis engine. The instrument includes 8-note polyphony, 32 Voice Memories and a backlit display. reface features a “one to one” control scheme, meaning the panel controls perfectly match the tone generator for direct sound creation and musical inspiration.
Here’s a series of preview videos, via keyboardmag1:
“reface offers high-quality touch, tone, interface and superior design at an affordable price,” says Yamaha marketing manager Nate Tschetter. “These inspiring, horizon-expanding instruments are fun to play and let keyboard players take their music anywhere.”
The Reface keyboard line was inspired by the form factor of the Yamaha CS-01, a mini synth that featured a built-in speaker. The new keyboards use a similar form factor, but have sound engines designed to recall four different Yamaha keyboard lines.
Other features include an iOS patch library app, Yamaha Reface Capture, and SoundMondo, a web-MIDI patch librarian and social patch sharing site.
Pricing and Availability
The reface YC, CP, CS and DX mobile mini keyboards (MSRP: $799, with the street price expected to be closer to $500) will ship in September 2015. See the YamahaSynth site for more info.