Yamaha Intros Sonogenic SHS-500 Keytar


At the 2019 NAMM Show, Yamaha has announced the Sonogenic SHS-500 keytar.

The Sonogenic SHS-500 is designed to be a beginner keyboard that can grow with the user.

Central to the SHS-500 experience is a Yamaha app called Chord Tracker, which can analyze the music library residing on a smartphone or tablet and then send chord data directly to the instrument via wireless MIDI over Bluetooth. With the JAM mode enabled, keys on the SHS-500 will trigger only chord notes that go along with a song.

For the more experienced musician, the SHS-500 offers Bluetooth MIDi support. Via Bluetooth MIDI, it can control software-based synths and virtual instruments hosted on a laptop computer or mobile smart device, allowing the performer to roam freely, both indoors and out.

USB audio streaming and MIDI make it a full-featured controller and on-the-go audio interface in one.

Pricing and Availability

The Yamaha Sonogenic SHS-500 is expected to ship during January 2019, at an MSRP of $499. See the Yamaha site for details.

31 thoughts on “Yamaha Intros Sonogenic SHS-500 Keytar

  1. A lot of people are going to make fun of this, but the truth is, alot of people can’t play keyboard. I actually own an SHS 200 with the self promise that I’m going to learn how to play better and hook it up to my Synthesizer via midi but like many others, I’ve just never done it. I like the idea of this product, especially directed at you people who want to play along to non complex pop music. The app analysing notes and chords seems helpful. All in all I hope this instrument has an impact so some synth kid like myself can actually play his instruments better instead of just programming midi.

    1. yep, I jumped through a bunch of hoops to get one of those, looks like they ripped out the Hatsune Miku and replaced her with this chord intelligence business. It doesn’t fundamentally offend me, if I needed a keytar controller I might buy one of these and ignore the sounds and the chord and note business. Its already up for pre-order at $299 which isn’t horrible.

      1. why do these companies keep doing this – the volca drum launches at $169 – but preorders open at $149, the Elektron sample $450 but presaleing at $399, this now supposed to be $500 but presale @ $299…. honestly putting the big price tag up first just immediately turns off buyers. I think the only accurate price so far is the volca modular which stayed @ $199

  2. Is there a NAMM 2019 competition for the worst product video? Or is there another reason for making such atrocious demos? I am beyond certain that there is not a single person ever born to this world that would find this demo video attractive.

  3. 30 sounds, no midi port…$499 are yamaha INSANE?..it’s a toy so $199 max really!

    edit it does have midi just not a normal port…same svhs din as the reface i think.

    HS-500 has MIDI (mini-DIN) terminal to allow you to connect with an external digital instrument, such as a synthesizer, and control the other instrument via MIDI. Connect to your smart device using Bluetooth MIDI, or a computer via USB for 2-way audio and MIDI.

  4. i really don’t understand this product, they are marketing it as a fun for kids and families toy but it is $500. either make it cheap or market as a pro instrument

  5. I like it. They took notice of the climbing prices of those shs-10 fm keytars on ebay (though a quick look now confirms that many are trying to quickly unload theirs for lower prices.) Full three octaves with mini-Din midi. An actual playable instrument with pitch shift and modulation controls. Like others, I’m not sold on the price. Not when you can get a reface and the keytar attachment for 350. We’ll have to see what happens to the street price.

    1. Exactly how I feel to be honest. I’ve always loved the form factor of the VKB-100 (the SHS-500’s vocaloid counterpart) and thought that it would be nice if Yamaha re-purposed it with something like Soundmondo, along with it’s Reface line. However at this point, it seems infinitely better to just buy a Reface with a keytar attachment. That’s what I decided to do with the Reface CS, and that route just seems overall way more versatile as far as portable keyboards go. Yamaha seems like they completely missed the bullet here. Unfortunate.

  6. Just like the Reface keyboards, an interesting idea but the final product is overpriced and under-featured, and really cannot compete against better, less expensive products already on the market. I own Yamaha gear but they haven’t made anything that’s made me want to take out my wallet in years.

    Plus, the video defies description.

    1. it is sad because the last thing that i think i bought from them was the dx200 that still sits in my setup. with the way gear is moving, a low priced portable fm machine, successor to the qy etc could do well in the market right now.

  7. Good grief – music making for idiots which don’t feel ashamed to be compared with a dog when “playing”. Yamaha did this already some years ago with a function in their entry line of “entertainer” keyboards, where you could just slap your hands on the keys anywhere and the accompaniment still played something in tune. Completely useless.Reminds me of that “Beamz Laser Harp”….

  8. Yamaha, I love you. This video is so out of touch it’s basically a Tim and Eric sketch, and nobody under the age of 45 is going to watch that and think “I should buy that!” but it doesn’t matter because the boomer grandparents of younger millennials who can’t tell the difference between EDM and IBS are going to be buying these for their grandkids to prove they’re not old. Yamaha, you’ve done it again! Never change!

    1. As a baby boomer parent, I disagree with your characterization! No grandkids, but my own kids have great instruments from Yamaha and othe makers. However they are either pro-level trumpets or saxes. I have gone to several edm shows and have been doing electronic music since the 70s. I do agee that the video was hilarious however.

    1. well they have a DOG playing the keytar instead of a CAT. That’s pretty much 100 uncoolness points right there. Everyone knows that dogs are drummers.

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