10 thoughts on “Dream Movement – (Yamaha Reface CS Synth Jam)

  1. How can it be that Yamaha gave this no velocity, let alone aftertouch or ribbon, when it descends from one of the most expressive synths of all time?

    1. >> How can it be that Yamaha gave this no velocity, let alone aftertouch or ribbon, when it descends from one of the most expressive synths of all time?

      Easy: it IS a descendant & a miniaturized budget synth as well. Downstream versions are always missing various elements to nudge you towards the pricier kit. Also, the market could never handle a full CS-80 with the mass of maintenance issues that come with it. Lotta weight, LOTTA tuning issues and a lotta fussy analog guts. I got to play the real thing and its hard to imagine a synth that could offer the same “wow” experience without being $10k in 2019 dollars. I love the CS-80, but if you want a more practical poly-AT & ribbon synth, look at the Hydrasynth. Its only four octaves wide, but the sound is a winner. One more point: you can’t get the exact analog warmth of the original casually, but you can come REALLY close. I love me some Vangelis, but that “Blade Runner” sound is still two sawtooth waves detuned and effected. Food for thought.

    2. It’s not really a descendant of the CS-80.

      The form factor is more inspired by the CS-01, Yamaha’s answer to the SH-101. Except it’s not very close to the CS-01 either… it’s kind of its own thing.

      It’s a quirky synth but good if you can find it at a decent price (prices seem to vary a lot). Honestly, I don’t miss velocity on it. It’s good at string machine stuff, leads, weird drone chords And it sounds MUCH better through an Elektron Analog Drive.

  2. BTW, nice music, Graham. Effects count for a lot in SynthLand, but the base Reface sound can clearly make the cut. Modest gear can easily rock with a reverb and some capable hands n’ ears at the wheel. If Yamaha releases a Reface II line with 20% more oomph, I’m there. I’m not wild for mini-keys, but a controller with its own sound engine helps a lot.

    1. Imho reface has the ‘best’ minikeys. ~80% the size and 80% the capability.

      Also, very nice performance. Evocative dreamscapes. Solid product.

  3. Here’s my wish list for a future Reface CS MK2

    Must haves:
    – Full size keys
    – Larger sized faders

    Would be nice if it had proper MIDI sockets, presets and a sequencer as bonus.

    Priced the same and it could well be one of the best portable synths for decades!

    For now I find the Reface CS completely missing its potential. It’s frustrating as it can sound amazing.

    This obsession for mini keys really has to stop.

  4. Champ I agree the obsession with mini keys has to stop. As in I wish people would stop complaining. I’ll give you two reasons. My hands are easily less than 80% the size of someone like Rick Wakeman. I remember trying to play an Elton John song from sheet music and I just could not make the stretch. So for me these “mini keys” make things I could never play on “normal” keys possible. Imagine if all athletes had to run in “normal” sized shoes. It ludicrous.

    If there are people out there with large hands, and sausage fingers, that find 80% sized keyboards difficult to play – welcome to our world, the one where key size had been a barrier to playing for many people like me with smaller hands.

    So thank god for all the synth and keyboard companies who are offering real choices. Too often in our field people seem to think there is only one ideal way of doing something. There seems to be zero tolerance for anything that doesn’t conform to their idea of normal. There is so much variety, so much choice now. Let’s stop telling people what they can and cannot have. There’s something out there for everyone.

    The second reason is there are very few mini keyboard instruments that don’t have midi. So if you want full sized keys, if this is important I’m guessing you probably have at least one keyboard with midi already. So connect it up. that way you get your full sized keys and I get my 80% keys which makes us equal.

    And just one last point. I’ve seen dozens of videos of very very talented keyboard players playing so called mini keys giving virtuoso performances, so if they are happy, why is it such a big thing to, dare I say it, lesser players?

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