Yamaha Reface – All You need to Know
The Yamaha Reface mobile mini keyboards caused a bit of an online ruckus a month back as internet channels got wind of the new range to be released by Yamaha. A teaser video emerged online even before an official product page had been published. You can watch it at the end of this feature.
What is Yamaha Reface?
The Yamaha Reface range seems to be the company’s answer to Korg’s Volca series and Roland’s Aira range. Size wise they fit in between the aforementioned; not as small as the Volca and not quite as substantial as Roland’s Aira, the main common denominators are that they’re clearly aimed at the affordable end of the market, are definitely intended for musicians and producers on the move and like Aira and Volca, have based the range on vintage gear.
Yamaha Reface consists of four keyboard models and each instrument is offers a different set of dynamics and features drawing from Yamaha’s highly regarded vintage technology.
Yamaha Reface CS
When you see Yamaha Reface CS, think of the CS-80 and that typical 70’s analog synth sound. The 8-note polyphony allows for complex chords and pads but can also operate in mono mode for bass and lead sounds.
The onboard effects processor serves up five types; Delay, VCM Phaser, VCM Chorus/Flanger and Distortion
Yamaha Reface CP
The CP is and electric piano and boasts a Vintage Keyboard Sound Engine and six detailed vintage keyboard types.
These piano sound patches include two Rhodes piano types – an early 70’s and a late 70’s electric piano, a Wurlitzer, Clavinet, Toy piano and the Yamaha CP80 electric grand which will certainly make Yamaha piano fans happy, since many regard Yamaha’s electric piano to be superior to other brands.
Yamaha Reface DX
As the name suggests the Reface DX is based on the iconic FM synth, the DX7. The 4-operator FM sound engine offers expressive additive synthesis and dynamics and has two programmable FX blocks with no less than seven effect types per block.
The effects are VCM Touch Wah, VCM Flanger, VCM Phaser, Chorus, Delay, Reverb and Distortion. The multi-touch control interface gives you direct access to four parameters simultaneously.
Yamaha Reface YC
The Reface YC is a combo organ and is based on Yamaha’s classic combo organs. The five different organ patches include an American tonewheel organ, a British transistor organ, an Italian transistor organ, a Japanese transistor organ and the Yamaha YC-45D.
The organ has 228-note polyphony and two retro organ effects; Distortion and Reverb.
All the controls needed to play an organ are there such as Drawbars, Percussion, Vibrato and Rotary Speaker speed control with four values: fast, slow, stop and off.
Yamaha Reface – Common Features across the range
All the Yamaha Reface keyboards come with 2W 3cm stereo speakers so you can pretty much jam on them anywhere, anytime.
USB offers both power to the unit when connected to a computer as well as USB connectivity. Alternatively you can also use six ‘AA’ batteries for a truly portable experience/performance, which is also necessary when connecting your Yamaha Reface to a smartphone or tablet.
The keyboard of course is not full size. They are mini keys but Yamaha say they have the same FAS action as their flagship Motif XF series which enhances fast, accurate and natural playing.
Reface Capture is an iOS app that enables your iPhone or iPad to serve as your preset library.
It’s a smart move by the company considering there are no screens on the actual keyboards, so your tablet or smartphone becomes your library browser screen. You can even organise your presets into setlists which is great for live performance.
Soundmondo is a sound sharing community platform where you can share patches, discover new sounds and network with others on ideas. The interface allows one to share presets directly from your phone. Using Chrome’s new Web Midi Feature if you plug your Reface keyboard in via midi, the Soundmondo site will recognise it instantly. You can then use the browser interface to create your own presets and load these into the Capture app on your iPad/iPhone.
The Yamaha Reface range is expected to be available via Yamaha Music South Africa in September.
Keep a watch out on IDM Mag social platforms, we’ll let you know when they arrive and will certainly be testing them out.
Here’s the global Yamaha Reface product page for further info.
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