Yamaha has announced a raft of new keyboards led by the new N1X AvantGrand.The N1X is the latest addition to the AvantGrand range, joining the NU1X, N2 and N3X and in common with the existing models features a real acoustic piano action married to a multi-sample sound set drawing on Yamaha’s flagship CFX concert grand and Bösendorfer pianos; all reproduced through a high-performance speaker system.
Yamaha says the CFX voice has been binaurally sampled for a unique headphone experience when silent practice is required. The four channel N1X speaker system deploys Yamaha’s Spatial Acoustic Sampling (SAS) technology, which transmits slightly varied frequency data to each speaker thus ensuring that the performers enjoy a soundscape: ‘…identical to that of an acoustic grand piano,’ Yamaha claims. Meanwhile, Unique Virtual Resonance Modelling replicates how the components of acoustic piano interact with the players performance including string, damper pedal, and the wooden soundboard resonance.
Adding a traditional grand piano wooden keyboard, and a mechanical system where the hammers of the N1X actually strike virtual strings allows precise interpretation of every touch and note. The N1X is also compatible with Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app for familiar touch screen control and can also be used to play back music wirelessly from smart devices with built-in Bluetooth functionality.
The SRP is £7,524
Also new is the PSR-E360 Portable personal keyboard, which Yamaha says is a new concept in home keyboards, featuring 400 sounds combined with professionally arranged backing accompaniments.
‘Thanks to a touch sensitive keyboard and variety of inspiring educational aids and features the E-360 is perfect for beginners embarking on their first music making journey,’ Yamaha says.
Complementing the wide-ranging sound set which ranges from traditional instrument sounds through to state-of-the-art synth sounds is the fully voiced ‘Backing Band ‘function which automatically follow the players left-hand chord changes. Fully functioning effects including Reverb, Chorus, EQ and Harmony. the SRP will be £214.
At the more funky end of things is the new Sonogenic SHS-500 ‘Keytar’. Worn like a guitar and boasting 37 keys, central to the SHS-500 is Chord Tracker, a new Yamaha developed app which analyses the musical make up of favourite music tracks and sends the chord data to the Keytar over MIDI or Bluetooth. When combined with the SHS-500’s unique JAM function the SHS-500: ‘…will produce the correct chords putting the player ‘In the Band’. The SHS-500 will also produce solo notes. In addition to being great fun to play with your favourite band, these combined functions are highly educational and ideal for beginners’.
For wannabe music producers the instrument is a fully functional controller keyboard controlling via USB or MIDI software based synthesisers and virtual instruments on mobile devices or laptops.
All sounds and performances can be further controlled developed with pitch-bend, modulation, octave shifters and octave shifting. All in real-them via ergonomic controls on the ‘neck’ of the Keytar.
The SRP will be £282.00
Finally, billed as: ‘perfect for ambitious students on a budget’ Yamaha has launched three models in its new Arius Digital Piano range, the YDP-144, YDP-164 and YDP-S54.
All three models feature stereo multi-samples of Yamaha’s CFX concert grand piano and highly authentic hammer-action style piano keyboards.
The least expensive YDP-144 boasts Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard keyboard action which accurately replicates a traditional piano action thus ensuring students get as close to an acoustic piano experience as possible. The YDP-164 and YDP-S54 offer an upgraded Graded Hammer 3 action which enhances the acoustic piano keyboard experience. These two pianos also feature textured synthetic ivory and ebony key surfaces for an even more realistic acoustic feel.
Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app for iOS smart devices (Android support arriving June) is integrated into all new models. This creative application allows YDP players to convert their smart devices into a highly creative and graphic user interface, Yamaha says, where users can select sounds and configure musical set ups with ease. ‘Additionally, Smart Pianist can analyse music files and generate chord charts that scroll in demo as the music player, an invaluable feature for getting closer to favourite music, perfect for creative learning.’