Since their invention, synthesizers have played an important part in the musical stage. Unlike other musical devices, they come equipped with a variety of specs that render them ideal for users interested in composing music and getting creative.
Whether you’re at your first synthesizer or you’ve had one before, this model from Yamaha is worth taking into account. Here is more on what made this particular model gain appreciation and popularity.
Rocking over 1000 MOTIF XS sounds, this synthesizer is packed with features that will help you get creative and do so beautifully and without sacrificing portability. Packed with a powerful engine and lots of vintage effects, this unit is built to create a bridge between software and hardware.
There are many things to say about this particular model, yet if we are to pick one main advantage is the enhanced versatility it ensures. The synthesizer makes a good option for stage performances as well as live playback of your favorite MIDI tracks off your digital audio workstation.
To help you create dense sequences and play them without sounds getting cut off, the item boasts 128-note polyphony and is 16-part multitimbral. The many voices available include realistic acoustic piano sounds, drums, and strings as well as 8-element synth sounds for a complete experience.
What’s more, you will also get an entire suite of music production software tools including Steinberg Cubase AI. This translates into 48 audio tracks, 64 MIDI tracks, built-in VST effects as well as notation.
You can thus do complete music productions with just one synthesizer. The item is also compatible with Cubasis LE and is paired with Yamaha’s YC-3B organ emulation and Steinberg Prologue to further up your experience.
The only disadvantage we can think of is the lack of speakers. Even if the synthesizer boasts a remarkable number of nice specs, it does not come with speakers. You will have to use external ones and, in case you don’t have decent units and need to buy a new set, this will add to the final cost.
Speaking of price, the unit might fall a bit on the expensive side. However, this is a moot point. If you have high-end units as a point of comparison in mind, then it might no longer seem too pricey.Buy from Amazon.com for ($549.99)
Main features explained
One of the reasons behind the development of synthesizers was to provide musicians and producers with a convenient way of composing or performing, versatility, and portability. The Yamaha MX49 Music Production Synthesizer seems to tick all the boxes.
Versatility and performance
You might be endowed with creativity, yet if you don’t have the right tools to express it, you might end up leaving it unexplored. With the specs provided by this synthesizer, giving countless sonic shapes to your ideas shouldn’t be a problem. The product is built to meet various preferences and musical genres.
It thus comes with over 1000 MOTIF voices you can choose from. They range from realistic sounds such as acoustic pianos, strings, electric pianos, and drums to 8-element synth sounds. Thanks to the Split and Layer buttons, you can combine two of your favorite voices.
Each of these two buttons comes with an intelligent arpeggiator as well as a part for a drum track to help you perform as an entire band. What’s more, the unit provides you with the possibility to edit sounds and store them onboard.
The 16-part multitimbral product is equipped with 128-note polyphony and is designed to help you create dense sequences and play them without losing any part of them or the sounds getting cut off. This further means that you can employ the synthesizer for stage performances or even live playback of the MIDI tracks you like.
To provide you with this noteworthy pack of specs and to perform beautifully, the synthesizer features Yamaha’s VCM FX engine, a choice that proves to be of great help, especially if you want to engage in more complex performances. The engine also models the vintage effects featured at the circuit level flawlessly.
Music production software suite
If you’re committed to producing music and you need a synthesizer that offers the specs required to do so nicely, this unit shouldn’t disappoint. It was designed with music production in mind and, therefore, is coupled with an entire collection of music production software tools.
The Yamaha MX49 Music Production Synthesizer thus builds a bridge between hardware and software, one the will enable you to explore various sonic realms and create new musical pieces. You will get the Steinberg Cubase AI that is coupled with 48 audio tracks, 64 MIDI tracks, built-in VST effects as well as notation.
You can thus create complete products with just the AI and the MX BK/BU. What’s more, the item is compatible with Cubasis LE, so, if you’re an iOS user, you can enjoy all of the benefits provided by this music production tool.
The nice things about this synthesizer don’t end up here, though. You will also get Yamaha’s YC-3B organ emulation and Virtual Circuitry Modeling effects to further enhance your experience and the different musical directions you can approach with this product.
If you’ve always been an admirer of the vintage effects of the ‘70s, you can spice up your performances with phaser, equalizer, wah, and flanger sounds by taking advantage of the specs offered by this synthesizer from Yamaha. Such additions add to the versatility ensured by this unit and to the various applications it can be employed for.
Controls and ease of operation
You wouldn’t get the best out of the above-mentioned features without a user-friendly menu and control layout, though. To enable you to play with its various specs, the synthesizer gains extra points for its design. Taking a quick look at the unit helps one understand that ease of use was one of the building blocks Yamaha had in mind when developing this model.
The knobs and buttons are solid and durable and enable you to control the various internal sounds, VST instruments, and DAW parameters. Durability is a key factor when it comes to choosing a synthesizer. Besides high-quality performance and sound features, you need a product that won’t break anytime soon, especially if you are a heavy user.
The controls will be used extensively if you’re a full-time music producer or performer. A knob that breaks in the middle of your stage performance is something you most probably want to avoid. Considering the materials used for this unit, such unpleasant events shouldn’t trouble your gigs.
The interface confirms once again that the manufacturer wanted to build a product that can be used even by beginners. You won’t just enjoy the benefits of a simple interface but you will also get a remote template editor that will enable you to control the VSTs you have through the MX. The template editor software allows you to personalize the interface based on your preferences.
Plus, the various advanced integration templates available allow for use with the most popular DAWs. For example, when you use it with Cubase, there’s an AI knob, so you can control all the parameters with the large rotary encoder by simply mousing over it.
Connectivity, portability, and other features
In addition to everything we’ve mentioned so far, the synthesizer offers nice connectivity options. You can simply connect a USB cable to your personal computer and you’ll be able to monitor any sound via the unit’s headphone output. Connect the unit to your external PA equipment or studio monitors and you’ll be able to listen to your favorite DAW tracks.
Thanks to the class-compliant USB audio/MIDI, you can add plug-and-play connectivity to all the advantages of this model. You can use the synthesizer as your MIDI and audio interface for your music studio.
Plus, the item boasts a USB-to-Device port, which means that you can connect USB devices to store MX data to external memory. You can also playback WAV files from a USB stick. In case you’re interested in adding an MP3 player or tablet to your system, just use a mini stereo cable to connect to the AUX input.
To extend your sonic arsenal, you can connect your iOS device to the synthesizer. Thanks to the free FM Essential Synth App, you will get access to 271 Voices from the TX81Z, V50, and DX100.
If you’re often on the road or you travel to various places for gigs, you will appreciate the lightweight and compact design of this synthesizer. Even if you don’t engage in stage performances and you need a synthesizer only for home music production sessions, it is still a nice feature you will benefit from as it won’t require too much storage space.
The product measures 38.6 x 15.2 x 7.2 inches and weighs 12.15 pounds, which means that transporting it won’t be difficult or uncomfortable. What’s more, you can also find it available in bundles including accessories such as a bag to make it easy to carry it from one place to another.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($549.99)