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  • Products of Interest

Yamaha Reface Vintage Portable Keyboards

Yamaha has released the Reface series of portable keyboard synthesizers, which are based on vintage Yamaha electronic keyboards and pianos. Each synthesizer has the same High Quality (HQ) Mini Keys used in the company’s Motif XF keyboard synthesizer. A 2-W, 3-cm stereo speaker system and specially designed bass reflex port are built in to the chassis of each. They use six AA batteries, which can provide 5 hours of playing time. The keyboards also have a USB port for MIDI connectivity with a computer or mobile device. A mini-jack input is included for connecting external audio devices and computers. The audio output is on dual ¼-in unbalanced line outputs.

The Reface CP is an electric piano with a vintage keyboard sound engine and six different keyboard types. The user can choose between two different 1970s tine electric pianos, a late 1960s reed electric piano, a 1970s struck string Clavinet, a Yamaha CP80 electric grand piano, and a toy piano. The keyboard is capable of 128-note polyphony. A range of effects with direct controls include a drive effect that adds harmonics and distortion. Tremolo, Chorus, and VCM Phaser effects each have adjustable depth and speed parameters. A delay with adjustable time and depth, and a reverb with adjustable depth are also available.

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Figure 1.

Yamaha’s YC combo organ from their vintage Reface series.

The Reface DX model is a synthesizer with a four-operator FM sound engine and continuously variable feedback. It has two programmable effects blocks with seven types of effects available per block: VCM Touch Wah, VCM Flanger, VCM Phaser, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, and Distortion. A multi-touch control interface gives the user direct access to four parameters simultaneously. It also features a built-in phrase looper that can store up to 10 minutes of sound and a continuous controller pedal input for use as a volume control.

The Reface YC is a combo organ (see Figure 1) with a choice of five vintage organ waves: American tone wheel, Yamaha YC-45D, and British, Italian, and Japanese transistor organs. Nine drawbars are provided for altering the sound. There are also controls for percussion, vibrato, and a rotary speaker speed control with fast, slow, stop, and off settings. Distortion and reverb retro organ effects are available. This model also offers the user 128-note polyphony.

Finally, the CS model is an analog modeling synthesizer with an analog physical modeling engine, as well as multiple synthesis and oscillator types. Multi-saw, pulse, ring modulation, FM, and oscillator sync types are available and each has texture and MOD controls, along with flexible LFO and ADSR routing. An on-board effects processor offers a delay, VCM Phaser, VCM Chorus/Flanger, distortion, and off/bypass. Eight-note polyphony is possible, allowing chords and pads to be generated. This model also has the built-in phrase looper and a continuous controller pedal input.

All four models in the Reface series are listed for US$ 799. Contact: Yamaha Corporation of America, 6600 Orangethorpe Ave., Buena Park, California 90620, USA; Web [End Page 89]

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Figure 2.

The Zoom F8 multi-track audio recorder.

Zoom F8 Multi-Track Field Recorder

Zoom’s F8 recorder is a high-resolution multi-track audio field recorder with super low-noise pre-amplifiers (see Figure 2). The recorder has eight locking Neutrik XLR/TRS combination inputs, located on the right- and left-hand side panels. The microphone pre-amplifiers have a low noise floor of −127 dBU EIN, high gain of up to 75 dB, and they can supply phantom power of +24 V and +48 V. A ten-pin connection on the rear panel of the F8 allows the user to connect any Zoom microphone capsule directly to the recorder. There is a dedicated gain control, six-segment LED level meter, record ready, and PFL/solo switch for each input. Sample rates up to 192 kHz, with 24-bit sample depth, are supported. A built-in limiter can be used on all eight channels simultaneously. The...


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