Initially sold for ¥55,000
Following the trend releasing small clones of famous old hardware synthesizers, Yamaha unveiled in 2015 a line of "boutique" mini synthesizers called "Reface". The idea was to reimagine the interface of some of the most notable Yamaha products in a small package. The Reface YC is inspired by Yamaha's YC line of organs, the Reface CP by the CP line of electric pianos, the Reface CS mimics the sounds of the CS80 and finally the Reface DX aims to deliver a new experience of FM synthesis.
Since the introduction of the original DX7, Yamaha has tried hard to make FM more accessible and easy to use. The Reface DX is a four operator synthesizer with 12 algorithms, the main change compared to other 4-op tone generators is the ability to set a new kind of feedback for each operator. The feedback setting can either transform the operator from a sine wave to a sawtooth wave or to a square wave, giving more flexibility to algorithms and integrating a similar concept to multiwaveform FM synthesizers such as the DX11.
A multitouch panel allows live changes to each of the four operators. The virtual data entry sliders can be used to modify the frequency, the output level or the feedback of the operator, EG rates and levels, LFO settings and so on. Eight effects are also available such as distortion, chorus, flanger, delay, reverb, etc.
Finally, the Phrase Looper can be used to record and play loop phrases. With this feature, you can overdub to record multiple phrases on top of one another, or you can choose loop playback to repeat the recorded phrases over and over.
By reducing the FM synthesis to the bones, Yamaha has broken the compatibility with thousands of older patches available for the old DX hardware: a huge misstep considering even the FS1R could import DX7 patches 15 years after its release. The portability is allegedly a welcomed feature, but maybe an used DX100 is a better choice.
- FM tone generator featuring a new feedback process
- Carefully designed FM section makes FM synthesis easy, even for the beginner
- Two slots each holding one of seven powerful, versatile effects
- Phrase Looper for new forms of musical expression
- Built-in speakers and support for batteries so that you can easily make music anywhere, anytime.