Yamaha are promising over 75 new products at NAMM, most of them are as-yet unconfirmed. However, one we do know about that is likely to be of keen interest to SOS readers is the new YC61 Stage Keyboard, a hardware drawbar-driven, organ-focused keyboard based on Virtual Circuitry Modelling (VCM) technology, with a 61-note waterfall keyboard and a modelled rotary speaker.
A clear call-back to the YC range of 1970s Yamaha Combo organs in a rugged, lightweight package (around 7kg), the YC61 offers control over classic drawbar organ features such as drawbar leakage, key click, and note percussion. As the form suggests, most of the basic sounds are organ-oriented, but apparently other classic keyboard sounds are included, amongst them sampled acoustic and electric pianos, strings, brass and analogue synth tones. There's also built-in processing including delay, chorus and distortion.
The keyboard is clearly aimed at live use, with plenty of top-panel LED-backlit real-time tone-shaping and effects controls lit up by LEDs, and of course those semi-transparent drawbars, which allow the segmented, colour-adjustable LED backlighting to shine through, giving instant visual feedback of the drawbar positions even on the darkest stages (see above and below). But we reckon this one might prove quite popular in studios too...!
The new YC61 is expected to ship in late Spring and will retail for $2499 in the USA£2015 in the UK. There'll be a review in SOS as soon as possible.