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Saxophone Yamaha MIDI WX5??? I can't see it catching on bigtime

Mr Andersson

New Member
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24
Ok, saw one of these last year on ebay & there's another one(same one?) up there now. Has this been talked about here before? Or has anyone had any experience or thoughts about it, good or bad? I'm certainly not interested cuz traditional saxes will always be best. But hey, what does everyone else think? :cool:
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
This is the sax of the future. You'll be able to "print these out" on your 3-D plastic printer. ;}

The old-fashioned cumbersome saxes that we currently play will be viewed as musical dinosaurs.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I have had one of these kept it a while and then sold it on. It wasn't for me!

First of all they have been banned in the EU, which is the reason why some people might not be familiar with these. The reason for banning it are not very clear but have to do with being electric, powered with batteries but also with and an adapter, and being inserted in the mouth.

The WX5 is the more advanced model but there have been also the WX11 and WX7 with less advanced sound capabilities. You can use the WX5 with any midi generator or interface but you can use it with its sound module the VM-70 (in the states there is a better version available by Patchman). I used it with a Korg synthesiser.

It's fun but it is not a saxophone, the keys are very plasticky and the octave button is complicated to use well.
 

h4yn0nnym0u5e

Member
Subscriber
Messages
244
It's good fun, but of course like any musical instrument may not suit everyone (e.g. milandro...). The octave key system does take some getting used to, but by having two buttons above and two below the "rest" position, you can go up and down by 3 octaves in either direction. It's actually a lot better than the WX11, which has two buttons down and three up, which are more widely spaced and only give you 2 octaves down and three up. Note that none of the WXn controllers has any sounds built-in - they're simply MIDI controllers.

As milandro says, you do really need the VL-70m to get the best out of it, and ideally with the Patchman sounds which I gather (I don't have them) are streets ahead of the stock Yamaha ones. These are available outside the USA, but it's a hefty $350 price tag - I wonder how many they sell?

Although the fingering is like a saxophone (or can be set to be - there's 3 sax modes and one flute), it's not really got enough keys to truly emulate a sax, and hence is probably of limited use for "silent" practice. That's apart from the very different feel, and the rattle of the keys and hiss of air through it!

The prices for the ones on eBay right now look a bit nuts to me, but that probably reflects scarcity - I was quite pleased to get my WX5 for £250 three years ago, and could have had a VL70-m for the same, at the time...

All that said, you'd probably not lose money if you bought wisely now, and then decided it wasn't for you after a year or two. But you're right - it probably won't catch on, especially as EU regulations have prevented its importation.

Cheers

Jonathan
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Yamaha also produced a Breath Controller, so that woodwind and brass players could use their breath control skills on a MIDI keyboard controller. It does allow the use of samples to produce tracks of other not owned or skilled on instruments, enabling experimenting with suitable software.

Like the Akai, it is not a saxophone but a means of controlling other instrument's or synthesised sounds. Most forms of instruments are available as standard or converted with MIDI triggering, including melodeons. Next time you see a Morris Side in action, unless the musician is playing pipe and tabor, it could be electronic sounds you're hearing.>:)

post script:pete, still offering ten nicker for yours, if you want to do a deal.:)
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
First of all they have been banned in the EU, which is the reason why some people might not be familiar with these. The reason for banning it are not very clear but have to do with being electric, powered with batteries but also with and an adapter, and being inserted in the mouth.

.
I thought that was just a web myth, and that Yamaha had simply stopped selling them because sales were so poor.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
You're a hard man, Mr. Thomas.

£12-50 and think of that as a percentage of my sole income, the OAP? >:)

(Now getting desperate.)

Okay I'll throw in an astronomical telescope and tripod?

How about a tenor RPC mp as well? Oh you had one of those.

Have an excellent PPT9*? Oh, you make those.

Okay Life President of the CaSLM?
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
If anyone wants a " real" ( at least as far as mechanics is concerned!) saxophone with very extended midi Capabilities check this out

http://synthophone.info/

not cheap but if you have a donor saxophone the maker might shave off the price of the Yamaha 275 which he uses as a body.
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,048
I have had one of these kept it a while and then sold it on. It wasn't for me!

First of all they have been banned in the EU, which is the reason why some people might not be familiar with these. The reason for banning it are not very clear but have to do with being electric, powered with batteries but also with and an adapter, and being inserted in the mouth.........

.
Milandro - they were banned because the electrics were soldered using lead solder, which is banned in the EU. If you look at a new yamaha instrument in its box, the box will have a statement on it saying "manufactured using lead free solder"
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Thanks Griff, I was told it had to do with the electrics from a Yamaha person but it is a confusing issue, anyway they are not available in the Netherlands yet. Lead is way more an issue in California than it is in Europe though.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,993
If anyone wants a " real" ( at least as far as mechanics is concerned!) saxophone with very extended midi Capabilities check this out

http://synthophone.info/

not cheap but if you have a donor saxophone the maker might shave off the price of the Yamaha 275 which he uses as a body.
I somehow doubt that, unless the donor saxophone happens to be a 275 or other horn with the same exact dimensions, otherwise the amount of customising to get the MIDI sensors might be a larger cost than just going with the production model.

The Synthophone is a saxophone body of course, but does not function as a real saxophone, in that you can only use its MIDi capabilities, not as an acoustic saxophone. So the body is basically cosmetic.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
it doesn't work as a real saxophone in as much as you don't produce a sound by vibrating a reed. BUT for any other purpose the mechanics work like a normal saxophone and it is , as far as I know, the only midi sax with a real saxophone mechanics. Not only cosmetic in that respect!
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
All these EU regs the sooner the thieves strip all the lead off the church roofs the safer for us all eh ,or so you might think,the mind boggles...john
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
actually, if we had anything near as restrictive rules as California we would have to spend most of the times dedicated to innovation in rethinking products. They have passed legislation for any item containing more than 1,5% of lead to be marked as hazardous and have taken precautions against kids sucking on keys and compelled faucets manufacturers to change their brass.
It sometimes sounds like the EU is over-regulating our lives but if you look into it a lot of it is just hypes that the press use to make large block letters titles.
 

Mr Andersson

New Member
Messages
24
Ok "Confused(or just plain stoopid) in Sweden" here...the "synthophone"...what can I say but....hey you'll all like this...amazing,totally intelligent,straight to the point...top notch musical statement here.....are you ready.....here it comes.....

Why?

I guess I might be "square" or "Not kickin" or whatever the word is nowadays for "not cool" but why would anyone want to put a sythescissor, synthesisor, sinthesizer (whatever) into an instrument that has remained relatively unchanged in it's 165 year history AND already makes beautiful and amazing sounds(well in the right hands)?
If you want a synthescissor, here's a clever trick...go out and BUY one!!!

Leave our saxophones alone!! They don't need to be genetically altered into some super crop impervious to all illnesses, they already work just great!!

Here's a great quote from a very intelligent person : "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it"

Ok, "Confused in Sweden" getting down from his soapbox now.:cool:
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Guess it depends on whether the idea of using extremely limited skills to try recording your own or partial own band appeals or not? Using Pete's samples, I can sound like Pete but not as good. His tone/s are far better than mine. Wouldn't know a clarinet if you hit me with it but with a wind controller and Pete's samples, I can play one. It opens doors beyond those that I'm capable of on conventional instruments.

Melodeons, bisonoric button accordions that a Swedish British based factory reintroduced to Britain after WW2, have more conventional reasons. You, the Swedes built D/G two rowers for us and C/F for the rest of Europe. Now if you play melodeon professionally, you need both of those plus Bb/Eb in dry and wet tuned versions plus four reed single rows in Bb, C, D, G and any others you fancy, both with well tempered and true mathematical tunings. If one of the three semi-trailers needed to carry this lot doesn't turn up, you've blown the gig. Much easier to have one MIDI melodeon and the samples self contained or available in easily chosen stage units. So it doesn't matter if you are playing a song or dance from Fart''s Rise to Candlestick or playing Cajun or jazz, you just need one box and some knowledge of switching and Robert is your aunt's husband or partner.

My Akai, Yamaha, Tenor, Flute, Mac Computer, BiaB, samples and in future BB3, means that I have the ability to produce beautiful music. Nota Bene:-Have the ability, not produce it. :)
 
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