MATRIXSYNTH: YAMAHA VP1 & VL1 Factory Sound Demos

Saturday, August 07, 2021

YAMAHA VP1 & VL1 Factory Sound Demos

video upload by Simon Le Grec

"YAMAHA VP 1 | 10.000,- USD Synthesizer | Factory Songs (HQ) The first model of synthesizer to feature VA (virtual acoustic) tone generation based on physical modeling, a complete departure from sampling and FM.
A VA tone generator creates sounds by simulating the physical mechanism by which wind, string and other instruments produce sound.
The virtual instruments simulate characteristics such as the shape and materials of music instruments, allowing the creation of tonal changes that respond to the breathing and playing methods used.
The VL1 was created with reed instruments and other wind instruments in mind, and thus is two-note polyphonic."

YAMAHA VL1 | Virtual Acoustic Synthesizer | Factory Songs (HQ)

"The VL-1 was a ground breaking synthesizer with new technology renowned for accurate reproductions of wind instruments. It is a 2-note polyphony instrument that is best used with a breath controller such as the BC-2 or BC-3.

The VL-1 cost around 4000 pounds in 1994, and was out of reach for most musicians. As such it sold in relatively small numbers and are hard to find. They do come onto the second hand market occasionally and demand between $3000 to $5000 (Aust) depending on condition.

There was a VL7 which was essentially half a VL1 though it looked very similar. Then there is the legendary VP1 which was a VL1 with more power, polyphony and keys. It was made in very limited numbers, perhaps less than a handful. That was due to its price tag, rumoured to have been around $25,000 (US). As such it has often been considered more of a prototype than a proper production model.

This instrument suggests quality of build and sound at first sight. It has real wood, which has not been seen since the DX1 (exactly one decade earlier). Then there are the Champaign gold end panels connected by a band across the top front end. A colour very similar to that used on Yamaha’s B500 in 1990. The gold however is flat with slightly rough texture to contrast against the smooth varnished wood and its semi-gloss finish.

Interestingly it only has 49 keys which to the uninformed will instantly cast doubt, especially with only 2-notes polyphony, and no on-board sequencer.

The screen is striking and very clear with its white back light. The front panel is very well organized with good spacing between all buttons. We particularly like the way the patch buttons are perfectly arranged in 3 rows.

The pitch and modulation wheels feel nice and was a successful design that continued to many future generations. The 3 wheels placed on a stage is an innovative design solution to integrate with a curvy end panel. There is also a disk drive discretely tucked under the left side edge

All controllers feel like they would on a Rolls Royce and command respect. This is not a toy or machine to be thrown around on stage or studio. This was built to look and feel like a digital cross between a violin and a saxophone."

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