The classic electronic instruments of the past are fast-becoming the big mass market play electronic instruments of the present. Case in point: Yamaha.
Today, the Japanese maker accidentally leaked its entire Reface line on a Korean site. UK-based synthjam on Instagram caught it and tipped us off – apparently whilst my fellow former Colonials were off celebrating with a BBQ or something.
And it’s pretty obvious what these instruments are. They appear to be compact keyboards (so perhaps not full-sized keys, despite what I saw in the video). And there are four models already:
1. An YC combo organ, with drawbars.
2. A CP stage electric piano.
3. A DX synth.
4. A CS synth.
(These categories were revealed in a previous teaser.) The CS has some basic synth controls, though nothing we haven’t seen lately; it’s an odd choice in that it’s closer to the AN (as synthjam points out).
The CP is moderately interesting, though; it could be a fun toy to have around. I think the winner here may prove to be the DX. It has an LCD built-in, we don’t have a lot of FM hardware synths, and the programming interface looks like the original (actually, with a little more feedback).
Yamaha says the 9th of July is the reveal. Even that is curious: it reveals just how much the American market matters, if a Japanese maker is showing up with a keyboard at the usually-moribund summer NAMM in Nashville.
But I suspect this will cause some fuss on the Internets, because these are more mass-market, compact devices than they are full-blown synths. Then again, having little keyboards with built-in speakers makes it feel like the 80s all over again, and maybe it’s about time some of the mass market folks got some synth love. I just hope they have MIDI – the ad shot makes it look like they have enough height. And before you get dismissive, the sound sounds great – though, really, it should; there’s no reason you can’t replicate these instruments digitally.
The teaser videos:
See you later this week, then, synth fans.