MATRIXSYNTH: Yamaha QX1 - The Mothership Sequencer From 1984

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Yamaha QX1 - The Mothership Sequencer From 1984


video by Espen Kraft

"With a price tag of nearly $3000 in 1984, this was the mothership of sequencers. The first MIDI sequencer from Yamaha. Totally overengineered and prop full of features.

Internally it has a PPQ of 384, absolutely unheard of in 1984, note ny note editing and with a 5¼" floppy drive for saved data, a totally pro sequencer.
What you must be aware of though, is that the QX1 was meant and MADE to be used with the TX816 rack. Some strange quirks like not being able to pass the incoming MIDI data to its MIDI out ports, only to the THRU port means that if you want to use this with other midi gear, you have to use a massive MIDI merger or patch bay and it will still be cumbersome. Today this almost unusable for anyone not wanting to pray at the alter of selv hurting, as the workflow of the QX1 is also insane, arcane and so utterly cumbersome that half of the time on this machine is waiting. Waiting for it to compute your commands, and only if you input the right commands, in the right order. One wrong press of a button and it will erase your last recording, with no undo.
Luckily it has some redeeming qualities as well, as we shall see.
I find this utterly fascinating, inspiring and a true DeLorean time machine!"

Scritti Politti track.

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