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Saxophones Yamaha Digital saxophone - or is it?

randulo

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In that case it's DEFINITELY not a sax ...
While Yamaha call it a Digital Saxophone, no one in the music business thinks of this as a saxophone. It is many things, and some of them may be helpful to learn, to practice silently or to use the MIDI output to notate melodies, or to play it as a synthesizer, which it is. The difference in this instrument is that it (supposedly) has fingering feel identical to the saxophone. I can tell you from experience that the WX5, for example has the fingering of a saxophone (mostly) but in no way feels like a sax under the fingers.

This is an electronic instrument. I look forward to trying it and reporting back to you all, as a NOT very experienced saxophonist. In this case, it's an advantage that I haven't been playing for years.

It comes out just at a time when you probably are best not looking at the news!
 

Pete Effamy

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Years ago I had a Yamaha WX11. I bought it because it was much cheaper than the Akai EWI. In my opinion it was a inferior concept that the Akai. From what I've seen of it so far it doesn't seem to be a heavy-hitter at all. There are some terrific (finger!) synths about, and why not produce a great (wind) synth for those of us who have rubbish keyboard skills.
For me, the Lyricon and EWI have been the only great wind synths to come on the market over the years.
 

randulo

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Years ago I had a Yamaha WX11.
Back to civilisation, are we?
I wouldn't call the WX5 (which I have) rubbish. It isn't a saxophone, though. The killer would be an actual saxophone that makes no noise, has incorporated sounds, can be played with a speaker, amp or earphones, is programmable, has a mouthpiece that senses lip tension (which the YDS150 does not, apparently) and costs less than an intermediate sax. Until that happens (it would about the time self-driving vehicles become ubiquitous, but there's no market for it), this is it. The other possibility is that Yamaha brings out another model with the missing lip sensor. We'll see!
 

Vetinari

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Back to the Synthophone. If Yamaha could take that system and with their resources get quantity for sale up and cost down and add their own synthesizer into it so that an external synth was not required, may be something really useable would emerge.
 

randulo

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so that an external synth was not required,
Exactly, this is the problem with controllers like the WX series, you have to drag around a sound module. Not a problem if you only play it at home. If potential sales were that of the guitars, this probably would already exist.
 

randulo

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Not a great demo from my point of view, but maybe I'm not their target.

I really could do without the unbearably loud drum track, which presumably is nothing to do with the Yamaha Digital Saxophone, and then listeners could hear more of what the device itself sounds like.

Rhys
Mostly agree. I think I can see and hear how it will be. (Again, I have a WX-5). Remember, the big difference, no lip control, only volume. The players I know who use electronic wind instruments actually rarely use the sax sounds, because they know what a saxophone can and should sound like! The Japanese flute does sound fun... for a minute. I'm sure there are other sounds around flute and harmonica, and the sounds one might create. BUT, this is a synthesizer with a saxophone "keyboard".
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I think I'll wait for the one shaped like an alto, rather than a soprano.
 

Janosax

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Too bad there is no pitch bend via MPC. I had a WX5, it’s not that easy to play well that kind of instrument, as you don’t have real physical return, it’s a bit odd for your body (like a cat wearing socks I suppose!!). At least WX5 had a reed pitch sensor. Here is a recording made 12 years ago, with a laptop and Reason software as a sound module for WX5, it can be a creative tool and pitch control is a must have to put life to sounds. More extreme pitch control here was made with WX5 thumb wheel, new Yamaha controller has a button for that purpose which can be useful but not as controllable of course:

https://soundcloud.com/user-970258578%2Fsaxrelax View: https://soundcloud.com/user-970258578/saxrelax?ref=clipboard
 

Filip

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I couldn't resist the urge to preorder one...
Rather than adventurous, I'm really desperate to find ways to extend my practice hours (lockdown with children does not help at all). I hope I won't be let down once I receive it.
I do not expect it to replace my saxophone practice at all, just add extra practice time when I cannot be loud at home.

I will have to find out what the YDS-150 can do for me. I will share my impressions here when I receive it.
Saxmute? Currently waiting for mine to arrive...
 

saxyjt

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Too bad there is no pitch bend via MPC. I had a WX5, it’s not that easy to play well that kind of instrument, as you don’t have real physical return, it’s a bit odd for your body (like a cat wearing socks I suppose!!).

I love the analogy.

Saxmute? Currently waiting for mine to arrive...

It's just that the saxmute doesn't have the easy to carry advantage. For me it's a biggy as this might give me an opportunity to keep practicing while on business trips.

When you're away from home it's complicated to play the real thing. But it would be a nice break from a day's work...
 

randulo

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Too bad there is no pitch bend via MPC. I had a WX5, it’s not that easy to play well that kind of instrument, as you don’t have real physical return, it’s a bit odd for your body (like a cat wearing socks I suppose!!). At least WX5 had a reed pitch sensor. Here is a recording made 12 years ago, with a laptop and Reason software as a sound module for WX5, it can be a creative tool and pitch control is a must have to put life to sounds. More extreme pitch control here was made with WX5 thumb wheel, new Yamaha controller has a button for that purpose which can be useful but not as controllable of course:
Yes, all too true. The WX5 has decent control via the mouthpiece and special reed. I assume Yamaha will eventually come out with a version that has this? However, in the interim, the expressiveness is definitely limited on the YDS-150.
 

Wonko

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It's just that the saxmute doesn't have the easy to carry advantage. For me it's a biggy as this might give me an opportunity to keep practicing while on business trips.

When you're away from home it's complicated to play the real thing. But it would be a nice break from a day's work...
I think that playing such a wind controller is no substitute for real practice (For me practicing is focussed on getting a good embouchure and developing my breath support).
But I can see that it would be a nice thing to have when you want to doodle around with a sax-like thing when traveling or in places where you can't make too much noise.
I might consider getting one of these for that purpose, but I would not have much use for it since I don't travel all that much, and it's rather expensive for such occasional use.
 
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