Yamaha Reface


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Can anyone tell me if these are actually any good please? They look like toys but seem to be kicking out an incredible sound. I have been looking at trying to get something that can 'do' a Vox Continental and Rhodes Bass piano (to try to do Ray Manzarek) and thought I was going to have to be going for a Nord. Then I came across these little beauties:


Or should I get a Roland VR-09 and try to model the sound using their iPad app?
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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I have no experience with them, but I think the general consensus is that they sound great but you'll probably want to use a good keyboard controller with them so you can play with more than 37 mini keys. They don't have any built-in speakers, so having decent speakers to play them through is also a must-- but if you're planning to gig with them, you'll be playing them through speakers anyway.

As for whether you should just get a Nord or whatever, one possible advantage of getting a reface is that you can sit in your den with one in your lap and play it-- at least, that's part of the marketing shtick. :)
 
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I've tried the Reface units. They sound better than they look -- they are _not_ toys. As SeaGtGruff suggests, a full-size 61-key MIDI keyboard would be a great addition.

My complaint:

. . . They cost too much!

Each one seems reasonable, but one is not enough -- and you can buy a lot of synth power (and ROMpler power) for the cost of 3 or 4 Refaces.

. Charles
 
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Thanks for the feedback. The mini keys are a bit of a concern as I definitely have piano players hands (11" span) so I do wonder if they will feel too cramped for me. The comcern over their price is slightly negated by the fact that I am only really interested in two of the units (YC & CP) as I want to be able to emulate Ray Manzarek's setup (Rhodes Bass Piano & Vox Continental) and these are some of the closest sounding that I have heard. As I was considering trying to save to get a Nord Stage 2 HA88, the price of the Refaces is much better.

However, the two combined would cost approximately the same as a Roland VR-09, which does have a Transister Organ voice, but it's a bit generic and not really one thing or another. I know there is the iPad App available to shape the sound, but as I don't have access to a VR-09 I can't try this out first and see if it's a really handy tool or just a gimick that slightly modifies a sound at best.

I guess the advantage of the Refaces is that I can get them as I can afford them. I'd start off with the YC as it's the main thing I am after.
 

Fred Coulter

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My only comment is that the DX reface is not a DX7 but a DX9. FM synthesis, but with fewer operators, which means less complex sounds.

The DX9 wasn't unplayable, it just wasn't as big as the DX7.
 

happyrat1

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While I do not have any experience with the Reface units, one thing that I've found with similar boutique type mini synths is that their MIDI options can be very limited.

For instance, with the Roland JD-Xi, you have 128 voice polyphony and multitimbral capabilities, BUT, you only have 4 non assignable MIDI channels to work with.

Channel 1 is Fixed on DSP voice 1 and patch banks A and C while Channel 2 is fixed on DSP voice 2 and patch banks B and D and Channel 3 is fixed on Analog Voices and Patch Bank E and Channel 10 is fixed on Drumkits. Furthermore, while individual patches can be tweaked, they must be saved as performances including all of the channels as well as an individual rhythms and drums pattern.

If Roland had spent $100 more on the hardware these limiitations would probably not exist at all, but they chose to meet a specific price point at the cost of configurable memory space.

My advice is to carefully check the manuals and the specs should you decide to buy a boutique synth.

Gary ;)
 

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