The best place to begin your journey into the world of the Yamaha synthesizer is playing the sounds.
Now, by this I don’t just mean play a few notes; play a couple of chords and then move on to the next Voice.
By “playing the sounds” I mean taking each Voice (what we call the basic sounds in Yamaha synths) and exploring what every controller does and how each Voice was programmed to be an expressive individual instrument. I like to approach every Voice as if it is a unique instrument, whether it is an emulation of a real instrument, or something uniquely crafted in the synthesizer itself.
If I’m playing a Voice that is meant to sound like an acoustic guitar, I want to use every controller option that I can that allows me to be as expressive with this sound so that I can evoke the expressiveness of some type of guitar playing. Aftertouch, assignable knobs, assignable function buttons, foot switches and foot controllers all allow the performer to tweak the sounds and add nuances and performance effects that go beyond just playing the keys. And, there’s always more than one way to do things.
Customizing these personal preferences/parameters to your liking is why you are using a synthesizer as your choice of instrument for musical expression.
This is what it means to play a synthesizer.
I will use this space on yamahasynth.com to point out some obvious, some not so obvious features of the Voices in our synthesizers, in order to make it easy and establish a beginning point for those who need that type of “jump start”. Some of the simplest features can go unnoticed.
I can almost always count on showing some of the more common preset Motif Voices to someone who has owned an instrument for years and still getting an astonished reaction of, “I didn’t know it did that!”
Please check here for my latest pointers regarding playing Yamaha synthesizers. As establishing this site progresses I’ll elaborate more on Yamaha synths, performance and recording techniques, and using Yamaha synthesizers with computers and i OS devices.
Feel free to post questions on the Forum, and look for more in depth application oriented articles from all of us on this site.
Welcome to www.yamahasynth.com!
Tony “Tones” Escueta