NAMM 2021 Highlights
Here are some of the exciting new product announcements from Yamaha.
NAMM may have been a virtual event this year, but there was no shortage of product announcements from hundreds of music manufacturers. These were some of the hottest new offerings from Yamaha:
Clavinova CLP-700 Series
The CLP-700 Series is the latest generation of award-winning Clavinova digital pianos. New at NAMM are the CLP-725 and CLP-775 models, which complete the CLP-700 Series lineup, along with the previously released CLP-735, CLP-745, CLP-765GP, CLP-785 and CLP-795GP. All combine a no-compromise piano playing experience with the conveniences of digital, such as being able to practice quietly and never needing tuning. And all offer numerous improvements in realism and playability, as well as, on CLP-735 models and higher, historical Voices that perfectly reproduce the fortepiano, an ancestor of the modern piano. These allow players to practice using the same tones that legendary composers heard as they crafted their music, bringing a new depth of authenticity to classical repertoire.
CLP-700 Series Clavinova models also feature the sounds of two of today’s best-loved concert grand pianos — the Yamaha CFX and Bösendorfer Imperial. Their improved GrandTouch™ and GrandTouch-S™ keyboard actions respond like a real grand piano, and the synthetic ebony and ivory key surfaces are textured to help finger grip and wick away moisture. In addition, exclusive Real Grand Expression 2 (RGE2) technology converts the slightest variations in touch into limitless dynamic and harmonic nuances. All models are compatible with the free Yamaha Smart Pianist app, allowing access to all control functions from a connected iOS® or Android™ device, and Bluetooth® wireless audio connectivity (on CLP-745 models and higher) lets players stream songs from a mobile device or computer and play along with them through the Clavinova’s built-in high-fidelity speaker system.
DTX6 Series Electronic Drum Kits
The newly-released Yamaha DTX6 Series electronic drum kits provide the perfect solution for quiet practice, rehearsal, recording and education. There are three models to choose from — the DTX6K-X, DTX6K2-X and DTX6K3-X — all equipped with kick drum, snare drum, tom and cymbal pads, as well as a DTX-PRO module loaded with hundreds of professionally-sampled sounds and effects recorded around the world in renowned studios.
The list of features is awesome. A unique Kit Modifier offers limitless possibilities to create your desired sound by simply turning Ambience, Compression and Effects knobs. Lightning-fast triggering speed ensures an incredibly dynamic and expressive playing experience. With the use of the free Yamaha Rec’n’Share app, you can take videos of your performance and share them without leaving the drum throne. There’s even a series of built-in training tools designed to allow players of every level to develop their drumming skills. DTX6 Series electronic drum kits are the perfect way to practice and learn to play drums … and without the loud volume levels that come from playing an acoustic drum set.
THR30IIA Desktop Amp
The THR30IIA is the latest addition to the Yamaha THR-II family of desktop amplifiers known for their superb sound, innovative features and retro-modern look … only this compact 30-watt amp is designed specifically for use with acoustic-electric guitars. It incorporates a professional-quality Yamaha D-PRE microphone preamp, with dedicated modes for nylon-string guitars and a multipurpose flat setting, as well as three authentic-sounding microphone models — dynamic, tube and condenser, plus three-band equalization and onboard effects such as compression, chorus, delay and reverb.
But there’s much more: A built-in rechargeable battery lets you play anywhere your music takes you, and the integrated wireless receiver, when used with an optional Line 6® Relay® G10T transmitter, provides a fully cable-free performance. Dual 1/4″ instrument and XLR combo mic inputs are provided, making the THR30IIA the perfect onstage companion for singing guitarists. There’s a USB port for direct recording and playback, along with bundled Steinberg DAW software, plus compatibility with the free Yamaha Rec’n’Share app (available for iOS and Android) allows you to record audio and video along with songs from your music library, then easily share performances online. In addition, Bluetooth support enables wireless playback from paired devices through the amp’s built-in high-quality dual 3.5″ speakers, with a Stereo Imager function that can be used to widen the soundstage.
DGX-670 Digital Piano
The DGX-670 Portable Grand digital piano offers a full 88-note keyboard with exceptional playability, superb sound and visual appeal, making it ideal for beginners and accomplished pianists alike. Its “Graded Hammer Standard” keyboard action gives the low keys a heavier response and the high keys a lighter response — delivering the precise touch piano teachers recommend for building proper finger technique for playing acoustic pianos.
Included high-quality samples of the flagship Yamaha 9-foot CFX concert grand piano ensure authentic tone across the entire dynamic range, plus there are hundreds of other built-in sounds, including non-keyboard instruments and drums. To make playing fun and interactive, the DGX-670 is compatible with “You Are the Artist” digital sheet music featuring songs by iconic artists such as Adele, The Beatles, Coldplay and Elton John — all accompanied by inspiring backing tracks, with selected songs appearing as notes and lyrics on the DGX-670’s full-color LCD screen. You can slow down the tempo if you want to practice at a more comfortable speed, and a “guide” mode will even pause the music until you play the correct note or notes, so you’re never rushing to catch up. You can also plug a microphone directly into the keyboard so you can sing your favorite songs, complete with digital effects, while playing along. In addition, Bluetooth compatibility allows you to play your favorite music wirelessly through the onboard 10-watt dual speaker system.
YC73 and YC88 Keyboards
The new Yamaha YC73 and YC88 are all about versatility. They combine great-feeling new keyboard actions with soulful sounds and drawbar control, and are equally at home both onstage and in the studio. The YC73 features 73 weighted keys and is ideal for keyboardists who divide their playing between organ, piano, electric piano, clavi, synth and other staple keyboard sounds. The YC88 provides 88 weighted Natural Wood keys with synthetic ebony and ivory key tops and triple-sensor action, and is meant for musicians who prioritize the touch and response of an acoustic piano. Both models add several options to the traditional organ semi-weighted “waterfall” action, as well as integrated USB audio and MIDI capabilities.
The YC73 and YC88 employ exclusive Yamaha Virtual Circuit Modeling (VCM) technology to capture not only the sound of classic organs, but their behavior down to the component level. VCM also reproduces the distinctive rotary speaker effect, which most keyboardists consider inseparable from the organ sound itself. In true vintage fashion, nine drawbars shape the sound by controlling individual footages, and essentials like percussion and vibrato/chorus enhance the tone. The player can also customize things like key click, “leakage” and rotary speaker speed, and the keyboard can be split between upper and lower organ registrations. In addition, there are authentic acoustic and electric pianos, strings and brass, analog-style synth sounds, classic digital FM sounds like DX7 electric pianos, leads, basses and much more, as well as two dedicated effects processors, plus configurable envelope and filter controls for real-time manipulation and interaction with the sounds you’re playing.
YDS-150 Digital Saxophone
The Yamaha YDS-150 Digital Saxophone allows anyone to play the saxophone anytime, anywhere. Though it has a lot in common with acoustic saxophones, it offers numerous exciting innovations such as silent practice capability and 73 preset voices that include both standard sax sounds and non-saxophone sounds. And with the use of a free smartphone app, you can control everything from pitch transposition to key response — even create custom sounds.
Best of all, any beginner or pro can pick up the YDS-150 and make a great sound right away. It feels just like an acoustic sax since it uses a similar key layout, mouthpiece, ligature and a synthetic reed. And like an acoustic sax, it even has a brass bell that provides the player with physical feedback similar to that of an acoustic instrument.
RIVAGE PM3 and PM5 Digital Mixing Consoles
The new RIVAGE PM3 and PM5 digital mixing consoles deliver maximized functionality and control in a compact footprint. By pairing CS-R3 and CS-R5 control surfaces with DSP-RX and DSP-RX-EX DSP engines respectively, they add new levels of versatility and scalability to the Yamaha RIVAGE PM series.
The PM3’s CS-R3 control surface packs the full RIVAGE PM series functionality and performance into the compact console’s 45-inch width, while the PM5’s CS-R5 control surface offers three large touchscreens and a condensed selected channel section for smooth, intuitive operation. The DSP-RX engine in the PM3 provides 120 inputs, 48 mix buses and 24 matrices as well as 384 internal slots for plug-ins, while the DSP-RX-EX engine in the PM5 has 288 inputs, 72 mix buses and 36 matrices, along with 512 internal slots. Additional features include stage racks with Rupert Neve Designs transformer and Silk emulation, and the ability to upgrade existing Dante-based systems to 96kHz for unprecedented sound quality and flexibility.
Cubase 11 DAW Software
Steinberg Cubase 11 is the latest update to the award-winning Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software used by renowned producers and composers the world over. There are three different editions available — Pro, Artist, and Elements — each with the same core technologies but with dedicated tools tailored to the scope and scale of individual music production requirements.
The Pro edition offers marker, chord and other track types in the key editor and makes printing stems a much easier task, with control over the full signal path. The Frequency EQ plug-in now offers several different dynamic response options, and the Score Editor now includes the Notation fonts from Dorico and a unique overlay editor. In addition, both the Pro and Artist editions offer SuperVision, a fully customizable, multimeter audio analyzer with up to nine module slots for level, spectral, phase and waveform analysis, as well as Imager — a new multiband plug-in that contributes to a cleaner mix — and SpectraLayers One, a compact version of the acclaimed SpectraLayers Pro 7. All three editions of Cubase 11 come with fresh new content: Six sound and loop sets created by hip-hop producer Beat Butcha, Hollywood sound designer Robert Dudzic and Black Octopus Sound, covering a wide range of music styles that will help to quickly jump-start any music production project.
YVN Model 3 Violins
The Yamaha YVN Model 3 Violin family is comprised of the award-winning original YVN Model 3, as well as three-quarter and one-half size violins that offer the same exceptional playing experience to young students with smaller hands. Each provides beginners with a durable, well-crafted starter instrument, complete with a bow and a sturdy carrying case.
YVN Model 3 violins are constructed with the tight tolerances normally associated with much more expensive, luthier-built models. Among their innovations is a proprietary graduated spruce top that offers exceptional tone and resonance for a student violin, as well as a new laser cutting technique that uses resin to create handsome inlaid purfling. Educators will find them to be reliable instruments that require fewer trips to the repair shop, with computer-aided designs that make them easier to service than traditional string instruments. Each piece is as precise as the one before it, making it both faster and more cost-effective to keep the violin at peak performance — an important consideration in school programs. In fact, the uniformity of YVN Model 3 violins means that teachers can replace the instrument’s bridge themselves in just minutes, and the overall construction is so consistent, it can literally be heard from instrument to instrument, allowing educators to create a cohesive ensemble sound.
At NAMM, Yamaha announced that its YV-3030MS vibraphone will soon be replacing the company’s popular YV-1605 model. The new instrument offers exceptional performance suitable for a broad spectrum of users, from the beginning percussion student to intermediate players in high school orchestras.Main features include a gas spring height adjustment mechanism that makes it easier to set the instrument to the ideal height for players of any stature, as well as a revised vibe damper system, quieter motor noise, a compact controller, increased caster size for greater mobility, and a new bar material that produces a softer tone. In addition, an optional variable-speed driver unit includes a pause memory feature found only on higher-end Yamaha vibraphones. When engaged, the fans always stop at the memorized position when paused for non-vibrato playing, ensuring that consistent volume is maintained even when the driver is stopped and started multiple times. With its improved handling, improved sound and added features, the YV-3030MS is sure to become a mainstay of schools everywhere.
See you at next year’s NAMM — and remember, if you can’t make the show in person, you can always catch the highlights here!
For more information about these and other great Yamaha music products, click here.