The latest generation of Yamaha’s flagship arranger workstation keyboard has arrived, expanding on the capabilities of its predecessor with a huge selection of new sounds and features. The Genos2 offers an extended soundset, FM technology derived from the DX7, new Ambient Drums sounds, enhanced controls and more.
Sounds & Effects
The new instrument comes equipped with over 1900 Voices and 75 Drum and SFX kits, offering a vast collection of sounds that can cover any genre, and it has also gained 200 new Styles, bringing to the total count to 800. The existing piano sounds have been reprocessed to offer improved sound quality — the CFX grand piano now has more dynamic layers and double the sample length of its predecessor — whilst new Character Grand and U1 Upright models extend the Genos2’s tonal range.
Synthesis capabilities have been improved, too, with a dual engine offering DX7-style FM in addition to the original AWM (Advanced Wave Memory) technology-based sounds. A range of iconic presets provide the classic sounds of Yamaha’s iconic DX7 along with new, modern FM sounds, all of which are integrated into the instrument’s Styles and One Touch Settings. A new Ambient Drums feature delivers everything from dry, close-miked kits to more distant, ambient-sounding drums, offering an enhanced level of control over the Genos2’s rhythm section sound.
There is also now a global dynamics control that makes it possible to adjust the playing level of all Styles, including User Styles. Thanks to the feature, users are able to control the playing level of all virtual backing parts using a single fader, with continuous control ranging from a soft pianissimo to hard fortissimo. Steinberg’s REVelation Reverb makes an appearance, too, offering a high-quality reverb effect that can be used on Voices, Styles, MIDI Songs, Multi-Pads and the microphone input.
Controls & Performance
Yamaha have revised the physical design of the instrument, adding LEDs to the Live Control surface to indicate their current position, and a new Catch function helps to reduce the risk of parameters being altered accidentally during a performance. The displays are brighter, ensuring that they are easier to read regardless of the playing environment, and the user interface has been redesigned and now includes a new searching and sorting system for Playlist records.
Vocal Harmony presets offer a selection of automatic backing options for vocalists, and the instrument is kitted out with a Synth Vocoder for manipulating synthesised sounds with the microphone input signal. There’s a new panel button to provide quick access to chord sequence recording and playback, and a Chord Looper function allows users to store unlimited banks that can each contain up to eight chord progressions. Another new addition comes in the form of a HDMI port, which can be used to output lyrics or a score on an external display.
There’s a healthy selection of connectivity options, including a pair of independent MIDI inputs and outputs on five-pin DIN sockets, along with USB ports for connectivity with flash drives and a host computer (there’s a built-in USB audio interface). A row of quarter-inch TRS sockets provide a main stereo output along with auxiliary stereo outputs and a stereo input, as well as three assignable footswitch connections, whilst the microphone input is provided on an XLR/TRS combo socket. Power is delivered via an external 12V PSU.
Pricing & Availability
The Genos2 is available now, priced at $5699.99£4999 including VAT.