MATRIXSYNTH: Yamaha Tenori-On Review on Sonic State

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yamaha Tenori-On Review on Sonic State


  1. Great review. This guy saved me money!

  2. Wow, looks like the midi implementation is even more basic than I had thought. I can't see this being real useful with such basic midi. I agree with Doktor Future. I'm glad I saw this video and some of the bigger shortcomings of this unit. It made me decide to not get one of these and save some money instead.

  3. These video reviews that Nick has been doing are really great.

    The Yamaha spin in the comments is laid on a bit thick for me. It's a musical game/toy really, like a high tech several generations on descendant of Milton Bradley's Simon. Which is cool unto itself, but really isn't a whole new approach to anything or especially groundbreaking.

  4. Very detailed review. Makes a lot of things clearer. Definitely doesn't seem like it really lives up to the 'hype'.

    Groundbreaking, it apparently is not.

  5. First up, thanks Matrix for posting this, I was really excited at getting the world exclusive and this helped it reach more people.

    Its difficult to say whether it would be something for you, I guess I reviewed it from a more traditional standpoint, I mean, I'm not an experimental musician. But I would like to say that I would've liked to spend more time with the unit as I suspect that once you get out of the traditional mindset, you can get a whole bunch more from it.

    Sure, from a spec point of view, it can be seen as a little disapointing, but I know that I was really only applying my old-school ways to it.

    The real-time side of things as Peter said in the comments is actually a major plus and perhaps that didn't come across strongly in the video. I also think that it will encourage you to work in a totally new way, which is of course going to be challenging.

  6. The Tenori-On is a wonderfully-designed physical control surface tragically imprisoned inside a closed system.

    Let's hope some enterprising goon hacks the firmware and the hardware to open up access. Perhaps there is some vestigial developer connection remaining on the PCB.

  7. Getting mine next week :) I could not care about better sampling or better midi, most of my gear is pre midi and I have enough samplers, as long as it outputs midi notes I'm good to go, as I can edit in my sequencer anyway. I will use it as a scratchpad which I believe is its intended use, sitting on my sofa playing with it. The other thing is Yamaha will likely release an OS update to include a software editor and more features.

  8. If it was priced more competitively with the MPC 500 (which isn't as sexy, but is highly functional), it might be worth it just as a little all-in-one mobile music setup that you can pop into a bookbag and take with you.

    But I think it is priced way too high.

    When these start selling for $500, you can bet I will get one though!

  9. They really went to some length to deny USB access.

    Consider the dance one has to perform to load samples. Using a computer, drag the samples to the cells with the software. Transfer the sample data to the card. Eject the card. Place card in Tenori On, map the samples or do whatever magic is depicted in the video. Whoops. Screwed up. Start from step one again...

    Wouldn't it make more sense to plug in a USB cable and load the samples directly onto the Tenori On? Honestly.

  10. Gosh, I'm disappointed after viewing this. Hopefully future revisions will improve this instrument. As Stretta said, it's a great control interface imprisoned in a tragically closed and system.

  11. "Let's hope some enterprising goon hacks the firmware and the hardware to open up access. Perhaps there is some vestigial developer connection remaining on the PCB."

    This is highly unlikely to happen, yet is a possibility.

    May you live long and prosper.

  12. £599 is really not a lot of money!

    But I do feel sorry for US customers (or lack thereof) because the dollar is so weak. I think this thing will sink due to lack of sales then they won't mass produce and it will become a cult item. I also really like what I have heard of the soundset - very Star Trek! We all have millions of everyday sounds, so I'm glad there aren't 808 samples and 303 basses and "trance lead 26" etc etc.

    When you consider this is essentially a Monome 256 with an OS I don't think people should moan.

  13. If a monome 256 included some lame beep boop bop software that defined all that it is and all it would ever be, then yes.

  14. again 1200 usd can get some nice sought after vintage gear or apparently a new toy. does this guy check back? i guess not, he obviously doesn't check reality either.


    Hmm, not so different, except that it is tied to a computer. I reckon it would not be too hard to write software for the Tenori On to do exactly what the Monome does, but the Tenori On can still be used standalone and has more controls.

    Looks to me like the Monome is overpriced.viglxaha

  16. "When you consider this is essentially a Monome 256 with an OS I don't think people should moan."

    The monome has an infinite number of OS'es. Someone will emulate the tenori-on's functionality with it, no doubt.

    The lack of midi features is a total turn off. I don't think it would have been hard for them to add an interface for velocity and (per step) CC, unless these are compromises due to hardware limitations...

  17. Looks like a toy to me.

    I'm sure I'd have fun with it, but not 1200 bucks worth.

    I like the idea of being able to compose and perform so quickly. It reminds me very very much of layout of the Nanoloop 2.x interface, except with handy buttons.

    I hope they make a second generation with more options and full midi implementation. I'd like to use it as a sequencer.



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