Yamaha is introducing a trio of top-flight synthesizer workstations at the Winter NAMM Expo which are sure to be eagerly received by anyone in the music industry who wants to ride the cutting edge of sound production. The company is introducing the flagship EX5 Synthesizer Workstation as well as its slightly smaller brother, the EX7. The EX5 is also being introduced as the EX5R rackmount version. Using brand new voice technologies such as FDSP which enable the production of unique sounds never heard before, these units position Yamaha as a formidable player in the high-end workstation market.
The flagship EX5 features a full-sized 76-note keyboard and 128-note polyphony, while the EX7 offers a 61-note keyboard and 64-note polyphony. All units offer 512 voices (256 preset and 256 user) and 16MB of built-in Wave ROM. The EX5 has a MSRP of $2,695, the EX7 of $2,195, and the EX5R of $2,195 All units will begin shipping this Spring.
"The EX5 is Yamaha's most versatile and powerful synthesizer ever," states Avery Burdette, product manager, Digital Musical Instruments Department. "It out specs, out performs, and out features any other product on the market-at a better price!"
"The price/performance ratio is a key benefit with these new products," continues Burdette. "Yamaha is positioning these units as formidable entries into the high-end workstation market. Features and specifications this extensive have never been available at these prices."
Key to the special capabilities of the EX5 are the use of no less than five different types of tone generation technologies-AWM2, VL, AN, FDSP and Sampling. FDSP (Formulated Digital Sound Processing) is a brand-new innovative approach involving a polyphonic sound synthesis processor that operates on individual synthesizer voices and can process the synthesizer voices simultaneously yet independently.
"FDSP is a new form of synthesis which can model different physical characteristics of physical instruments as well as different types of synthesis and includes a new type of polyphonic signal processing," says Burdette. "This approach has never been done before. There are 10 different algorithms that range from synthesis type effects such as pulse width modulation and FM to DSP-based pick-up simulators and ring modulation, and brand new, innovative effects that are just too radical too describe."
The EX5 is definitely a multi-faceted high-end workstation. "This will do it all," remarks Burdette. "The EX has analog, VL, sample playback, and the ability to sample itself. It's technologically versatile, with analog physical modeling and virtual acoustic physical modeling for the lead and bass sounds that add new realism to the 128-note polyphonic sample playback engine."
The EX5 boasts Yamaha's biggest, best and most powerful arpeggiator, with 50 preset and 50 user types and 17 different modes. Also included is a new pattern sequencer which includes 50 user patterns and capabilities of unique playback modes never available before, and a 16-track song sequencer. All three offer 1/480 per beat resolution.
Some of the unique features of the EX series workstations include a flash memory option (8MB), analog and digital output board (alternately installable), and a SCSI option.
One of the most versatile functions of the EX5 is its stereo sampling capability (mono sampling on EX7). "If you can't locate a sound using VL (Virtual Acoustic modeling) or FDSP," says Burdette, "you can sample any sound you want up to 64MB. The workstation is extremely open-ended and flexible."
Controller capabilities included are pitch bend and modulation wheels, foot pedal, six assignable control knobs, assignable ribbon and breath controller, scene control switches, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive-and many, many more.