We started off with the electronic keyboards and saw the Yamaha P-255. This is Yamaha’s most popular digital piano. It can be taken to play at gigs, but also feel right in the living room. It has a very nice keyboard feel – something that an accomplished pianist wouldn’t find foreign at all. It comes in black and white versions. The white version looked quite striking I must confess.
You can record, store and import backing track files on a USB flash drive. Continuing on a theme that I’m seeing with a lot of other vendors – integration with iOS devices is a stand-out feature of this instrument.
Small Format Analog Mixers
Yamaha has been getting a good reputation in the analog mixer market. The “D-Pre” preamps have been getting a lot of good buzz – being clean and having a lot of headroom. The MG series offers the home studio owner or gigging musician an affordable option that leverages the research Yamaha has put into their larger console mixing boards.
There are a number of models ranging from the 6-channel MG06 to the 20 channel MG20. You can find these mixers with “X” and “U” qualifiers after the model numbers indicating that they have onboard Effects (X) and/or USB connectivity (U) options.
Yamaha and Steinberg have been developing some fantastic apps that are available on the iOS store – all to integrate with and expose deep features of their product line. Check out the number of apps (there are free ones in there!) they have to offer:
We got to look at the DTX drum kit. The physical kit and the brain unit hasn’t changed much, but, consistent with a theme I’m seeing, integration with iOS devices is where drummers will start to get easy access to many of the features of the DTX system that might have been buried in the past.
The kit, combined with the screen of an iPad lets the drummer not only select and customize their kit, but also adjust adjust minute details such as relative levels, tuning and decay. The iOS device can store and play the MIDI files thru the DTX system.
This looks like it’s a really fun package.