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Yamaha - Wake-Up Call!!!!

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  • #16
    I don't know where Yamaha's going, if anywhere. I know times are tough down in Hamamatsu, but they're barely showing a pulse.
    Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables


    • #17
      Wikipedia says that Korg bought back most of Yamaha's investment in them back in '93, so Yamaha has little or no financial benefit from Korg.
      Some Ramblings from Mr. Gueguen

      Saskatoon At 7 Megapixels

      A Magpie Moment.


      • #18
        Wikipedia says that Korg bought back most of Yamaha's investment in them back in '93, so Yamaha has little or no financial benefit from Korg.

        Thanks for the info... the vibe I get is that Korg and Yamaha have closer links (or did have in the past) but Roland is more of a direct competitor.. I could be wrong ;-)


        • #19
          Having said all of this.. Japan does try to work together overall... it's a cultural thing...


          • #20
            Well, Yamaha has Karma now. That's pretty cool.


            • #21
              Thanks for the education on the acronyms. So if Yamaha had developed or worked on these technologies I guess they did not deem them worthwhile at the time or like many innovations had not fully developed them as others that followed. This has happened many times with various technology leaps.

              I'm just glad I came back and dumped Roland at this point happy with my S90, see my recent posting. Surprised no Roland fans are slammin me, maybe I should keep my head down!


              • #22
                Well, FM was fully developed by Yamaha for sure. I don't think you could keep track of all the Yamaha FM stuff.
                Other manufacturers have been doing it for quite a while too now though.

                Yamaha's AN system is nice and was used in several products -AN1X, AN 200, PLG-AN, EX5, and so on.

                The only real competition for Yamaha's VL system when it came out was the Korg Z1. Physical modeling mainly seems to have gone softsynth till the Kronos came out.

                FDSP was pretty cool, and I think unique. Of those 4, I think it's the one that could have been developed quite a bit further.


                • #23
                  I'm only bashing on Yamaha a little.
                  The economy is crappy, and putting out any board from any company is probably a bit risky in that sense.

                  I want to digress on this because I have read multiple times here that the economy is crappy. I don't disagree that the economy is crappy, but I think we are poised at the start of recovery and the time for working and introducing new technology and products is now and possibly even past slightly if you want to get in early on things.

                  The job market in the USA is crappy, but growth has supposedly started to happen already. Conservative (fiscally) companies like the one for which I work prepared for and felt the blast of the recession first, but also our diversification, excellent balance sheet, worldwide customer base, placement in key industries receiving funds from world governments for economic recovery, etc. have made us one of the first to bounce back. The time for buying 3M stock at a low in order to take advantage of a future recovery is long gone. We *raised* the dividend per share 3% all the way back in Feb 2010. Much of the rest of the stock market has recovered or is trending towards its pre-recession level as well. Looking around my lab and the company in general there have been many new hires as permanent employees and also a pretty large wave of contract engineer employees. Our lab recently pushed three new technologies out to an operating division to go into product introduction phase, along with all the people on the projects (about 15) and rehired new people to fill their shoes but in many cases working on totally new stuff. The net is a gain in number of employees at the company. Also I subscribe to our internal job opening service and there are many every week - like order ten or more technical jobs - so internal mobility for technical employees is back way up again too. The wave of contract employees is a new and disturbing trend, but at least these highly educated people have good and high-paying jobs and a foot in the door. My big question is why do I have the impression that other big companies in the market, e.g. the Dow Jones Industrial companies, are doing okay and in many cases very profitable but are not hiring people and/or rebuilding their base and/or passing profits along to shareholders? Where is the money going? Executives? Bankers? Foreign investors?

                  Anyway I feel very, very fortunate to be able to work for such a good company. Others are not so lucky.

                  ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

                  G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).


                  • #24
                    I agree. From this point forward, a rompler isn't good enough. THANK YOU Korg! Yamaha has been hording it's technologies for years. Same for Roland! Maybe now this will give them some incentive to stop milking it and put all their tech in one board. I'm sure Yamaha is cooking up SOMETHING, it's Obvious the XF is a transitional board.
                    Live Keys Rig:
                    Yamaha XS7-Korg M50-61-QSC K12 Monitor (Korg Kronos 73 will replace M50 once programmed)
                    Guitar Rig:
                    Fender Strats-Gibson Les Paul Classic-Ibanez 3220 TW (Quilt), Mesa Mark IV, RM4-RT2/50, Crate V3112, and a bunch of pedals/modules
                    Bass Rig:
                    Mike Lull M5-Ashdown ABM 500 RC-Bergantino Cabs, A handful of pedals.


                    • #25
                      Well a simple comment on the economy. Gribs you sound like one of the economists or obama trying to present an unconvincing positive spin on the economy. When your out there looking from the outside in and trying to find a job you know otherwise. I am not sure I am even a statistic anymore but have found part time jobs that pay two peanuts and a fish head. Lets see will my powerboat get me over to China?

                      As to the main discussion here. I think keyboard manufacturers are of course motivated by money, yes if they were smart then they would invest in technology now to reap the rewards when the economy does come back but in reality when people aren't buying then they have to no doubt cut corners on R&D and technolgy research. As Jessie Ventura says it all comes down to money or follow the money trail!


                      • #26
                        The economy isn't fantastic, but what's worse is the music industry itself. There's just not much money to be made selling stuff to electronic musicians these days - due in part to the fact that there are WAAAY to many companies out there competing for the same dollar. Yamaha is a big corporation, so they're not going to take the same risks a small time enthusiast type boutique manufacturer like, say, John Bowen can, and they're not going to start worrying what a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny piece of the market wants (and the market for fancy synthesizers really is very, very small). I don't blame them for playing it safe when it comes to synth stuff - after all, there's probably a LOT more money to be made selling motorbikes.
                        Selected Gearlist: Yamaha PSR-760, 3 meter long Hosa stereo cable (jack to phono).


                        • #27
                          Well what probably makes more sense to them is making inexpensive cheap down and dirty inexpensive keyboards that sound pretty damn good for what they are at like $250-$350 or so. There probably is a pretty good market there for parents buying them for teens and getting their kids into music without spending alot.

                          Your right, how many thousands of dollar keyboards are you gonna sell! I am a cabinetmaker among other things and I am toying with the idea of making wooden stands for keyboards.


                          • #28
                            The point that seems lost in all of this discussion is that the Kronos is not just running on a lot of commodity PC hardware, but that Korg is now reaping the benefits of significant R&D investments made with the Oasys PCI, Oasys Keyboard, and VST instruments. Yamaha may have individual technologies that compete in various areas such as virtual analog, FM synthesis, sample playback, etc. but there is no indication that there is any shared hardware components between these implementations. E.g. one technology might use a certain family of DSP chips, another technology might have been developed on other incompatible DSP's, while others might use custom IC's, etc. While Yamaha undoubtedly owns (or has access to) the source code to much of this software, porting all the software to a uniform hardware environment is a significant development process. Korg seems to have made a fairly forward thinking move by investing development resources in x86 based hardware/software implementations at an early stage -- while the sales of Oasys PCI and Oasys keyboard may not have been high, they served a purpose beyond their individual sales numbers by helping to subsidize the lengthy development of this software stack. Now, looking back at the high prices of previous Oasys technology, one can surmise that Korg never anticipated that the Oasys would be selling in high numbers, but instead saw the potential for cost reduction by using commodity computing hardware. I'm not saying the Kronos is unquestionably the best keyboard ever or anything, and one can imagine that Yamaha and Roland have both done some R&D in this direction. The question is how developed are these efforts? Because that is perhaps what will determine if/when Yamaha or Roland respond with a similarly designed product. Based on the development path of the Oasys PCI -> Keyboard -> Kronos, it could be a long time.. but it is impossible to know all the influences such as Korg's internal policies and politics, the speed and cost of available computing resources over the duration of development, etc. If Yamaha or Roland wants to speed the development of a similar project, they might consider licensing software already running on x86 processors, like existing software instruments which could be integrated into complete software stack. Taking the concept further, compatibility with existing VST's could be seen as quite an advantage, although it also carries it's own risks (including quality of implementation, and stability of product with 3rd party code) in addition to any perceived rewards.

                            Anyway, NAMM 2012 should be interesting!


                            • #29

                              .... While Yamaha undoubtedly owns (or has access to) the source code to much of this software, porting all the software to a uniform hardware environment is a significant development process....

                              You make a lot of good points. I'm not a techie, but I'm sure it would take a significant amount of work to incorporate all those technologies on common hardware.
                              The only reason for this thread was that I (and others), think that this is the direction Yamaha should be heading.


                              • #30
                                Mark that Yamaha did not updated their middle and lower contenders, MM6 and MO6, that top Motif line just got integrated just a couple of hundreds waveforms and flash ROM, which indicates that their synthesizer department is busy with something else. Something B.I.G.
                                Mark my words.