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dave_bass5

Yamaha Reface DX anyone?

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In a previous life i was a keyboard player, and have owned a DX7, DX21 and DX100. Never really got to grips with programming them from scratch, but loved what they did. This was of course in the 90’s. My heart was won over by a Roland D50 though, and then Korg.

Anyway, ive been watching some Yamaha Reface DX videos and really fancy one. Just for playing around with at home, although maybe with the band if i can figure out how to. We do have a keys player, 

Does anyone use one, or any of the Reface range? Just wondering what these are like to play, what with the small keys. I’m just looking to do one hand stuff, so 8 notes is fine. 

 

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Oh my, used to Richard around on my mate's DX7 years ago.   I very nearly parted cash for an M1 when I was 18, trying out that and the D-50 at the time...

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Posted (edited)
On 03/06/2020 at 20:30, Trav said:

Oh my, used to Richard around on my mate's DX7 years ago.   I very nearly parted cash for an M1 when I was 18, trying out that and the D-50 at the time...

I used to have a DX27, but I remember always wanting a Jupiter 8. I eventually got a used from from Digital Village for next to nothing. Traded it in for a used DX7 a year or so later. It has a grounding issue so hummed. Then I managed to get a D50. Loved it but needed some cash so i sold it.and got a M1EX cheap. When i stopped playing keys I sold that and got a Korg something or other. Had a few others the years, and still have a Korg N5. 

These Reface’s look very cool, and cheap. just ordered the DX anyway. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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Even up until recently I still search on eBay for used M1s...  🤣

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I don't think you'll regret it. I've got a Reface YC (the drawbar organ one). It's really solidly built, extremely portable, and sounds fantastic! , I've been very very tempted recently to pick up a CP (electric piano) as well.
The mini keys feel fine to me, but that's what I'm used to - I've never played a full-sized keyboard. 🤷‍♂️
One-handed stuff is exactly what you need in most band contexts anyway. We all know that the keys player shouldn't be intruding on the bassist's frequency range... 😁

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Cheers. The YC will be next on my list. I was very tempted to get the CS but it’s lack of storage seems a big omission. 
I haven’t really played key much over the past 10 years anyway, but do tend to mess about in Garage band on my iPad. The Reface keyboard will be a big step up from playing on a glass one lol. 
My keyboard player only uses my Korg N5, so I might let him use the DX as well, with strict instructions not to use his left hand. 
 

Band just rejected my suggestion of doing the theme from Top Gun 😂

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9 minutes ago, Trav said:

Even up until recently I still search on eBay for used M1s...  🤣

My N5 has a lot of the M1 sounds in it. These go for around £230. Not quite the same thing though. 

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One of my students has a CP and it is lush beyond. I keep having to stop myself from buying one, and my keyboard skills are legendary.

 

 

 

 

But not in a good way.

  • Haha 3

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Probably nowhere near as bad as mine these days. I was always more of a synth player rather than a keyboard player. I could do the pads, brass, filling out stuff, but never any good at piano and organ. That’s why I gave up. As we were doing more and more covers it was just beyond my ability. 

Very hard decision as to which one to buy, but the DX seemed the best all round for me. 

Arriving Friday. Can’t wait to hear those tubular bells again lol. 

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I got a Reface CP in the GAK sale and I use it a lot. The preset Rhodes and Wurlitzer sounds are excellent. Would have bought the YC and CS as well but my pockets weren’t deep enough!

Once you get used to the mini keys they’re great. And they can be hooked up to a midi keyboard if you want to use their sounds with a full sized keyboard. I see them a lot in studios and at gigs, they definitely seem to be popular. 

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Posted (edited)

I really want the others, but I’ll see how i get on with the DX (arriving today). Ive always loved organ sound so that would be next. I have a feeling the DX will cover me for that and piano to start with though.Ive had mini keys before and thought they were ok. Did the job at home. 

This sort of came about as my Roland controller doesnt work, and my son likes to tinker around on it. I was just going to get another keyboard controller but then saw these. 

Need to get some piano lessons in now. Off to YouTube today. 

Edited by dave_bass5

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Posted (edited)

I love my DX (didn't see this thread before now), it is the perfect machine for carrying around, and the keyboard is fantastic, considering it is minikeys.

I really wanted the Reface YC organ, as we were doing a lot of organ things, so I wandered into PMT to check it out*, and there was the whole reface range, the organ was great, but then when I got to the DX, wow. Also it was going through decent speakers and it was such a big sound, like a better DX - none of that hissy 14 bit DAC on the original DXs, this is crystal clear. Amazingly flexible.

Not so bad to program, but you can also go to the yamaha website and just preview the patches and save what you want.

I now use live to play several songs live. I now have a tray as the tape wasn't really working well!

 

* due to PMTs idea of not putting prices on anything, I assumed they would be expensive there, so checked teh internet when I got home, and found out they were one of the cheapest. Shame really, had I known that I would have bought it there and then, but as it was I scored a nearly new sh one cheap.

IMG_6151.thumb.jpg.db7038bead967305183ab4cabbcc8124.jpg

Edited by Woodinblack
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Posted (edited)

Cool set up. Yes, these are surprisingly cheap. Just got my DX for £248 which i thought was reasonable. 

Although i have a keyboard player in the band he will only be using my Korg N5, which is ok, but when i heard the YC I almost brought it for him. Seems to knock the socks off the Korg’s organs. As much as i love what the DX can do, when i heard the YC it made me grin. I’d love to get one, and I’d let him use it, but the DX just seems the best all rounder for home recoding. I am thinking about possibly using the DX myself live, if i can figure out how and when. 

Can you get the ‘famous’ DX Brass on the DX? By that I mean is there a preset for it, rather than create it. I know about Soundmondo so ill be looking at that once i get all hooked up to my ipad. 

EDIT: Just noticed there is a FM Brass patch. Oh dear......😂

Edited by dave_bass5

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41 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Cool set up. Yes, these are surprisingly cheap. Just got my DX for £248 which i thought was reasonable. 

I now have a tray on my microphone stand with it.

41 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Although i have a keyboard player in the band he will only be using my Korg N5, which is ok, but when i heard the YC I almost brought it for him. Seems to knock the socks off the Korg’s organs. As much as i love what the DX can do, when i heard the YC it made me grin. I’d love to get one, and I’d let him use it, but the DX just seems the best all rounder for home recoding. I am thinking about possibly using the DX myself live, if i can figure out how and when. 

Considering the Reface range is getting on a bit now, it is a shame that they haven't made a reface plus, maybe something only a tiny bit larger, that contains all 4 of the refaces, because I would be all over that. The DX is certainly the versatile one, which is why I got it. I also got a cheap YC on ebay with the view to repairing it but it was too far gone, dead processor. The hardware in them is very similar, so it should be possible to make a multiple one.

Also there were rumours of a Reface VL - but that never happened. Considering how rare the VL synths are (no, not the VL-Tone!), and expensive / old / unreliable to use now, that would have been a killer thing, although not that many VL1s (or VL7s) were bought (they were hugely expensive).

A lot of people complained they were expensive for what they were, but didn't really look past the mini keys.

41 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Can you get the ‘famous’ DX Brass on the DX? By that I mean is there a preset for it, rather than create it. I know about Soundmondo so ill be looking at that once i get all hooked up to my ipad.

You can get pretty well everything. Its very versatile. Although it only has 4 operators to the DX7s 6, its operators do more, so it works out very similar.

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I have just got sucked into Reface video land on YT.

If they slapped them all into a 5 octave keyboard I would be all over it like a bad rash, and as I noted before, my skills are LAME.

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10 minutes ago, owen said:

I have just got sucked into Reface video land on YT.

If they slapped them all into a 5 octave keyboard I would be all over it like a bad rash, and as I noted before, my skills are LAME.

See that would actually be less good. There are a lot of 5 octave things like that around, but they are nowhere near as good as the pick up and play, side of the sofa, top of the gigbag sort of thing that this is.

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To have independent access to all the parameters would be just what I need. It would suit the way my brain works.

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Posted (edited)

If they did an all in one full sized version I’d go back to playing keys lol.

Just been playing with my new DX. Love it. The keyboard is surprisingly easy to play. No issues there (other than hitting the right notes due to not knowing where they should be).

The quality is better than i thought. Nice weight to it and it feels sturdy. 

Sounds are good through the small speakers. Not tried  headphones yet. Must admit i find a lot of them quite samey. Been going through Soundmondo and found a few favs, inc a nice non DX sounding piano, and a patch called JP Strings. This is just what i was looking for. 

Anyone know how to save these as a list of fav etc. I kept hitting the little blue icon thinking they were getting added to a list, but i think all i did was re post them. Ive saved a few to the DX but with so many patches on the web I’d like to find my favs quickly. I noticed a set list feature. Guessing that will do once ive figured it out. 

Only omission for me is the lack of a Mod wheel. I’d much rather have that than the pitch bend. I’m not a solo type of player. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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18 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

The quality is better than i thought. Nice weight to it and it feels sturdy. 

Sounds are good through the small speakers. Not tried  headphones yet.

The sound quality is great considering the size of  the speakers isn't it?

Headphones are good too.

 

18 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Anyone know how to save these as a list of fav etc. I kept hitting the little blue icon thinking they were getting added to a list, but i think all i did was re post them. Ive saved a few to the DX but with so many patches on the web I’d like to find my favs quickly. I noticed a set list feature. Guessing that will do once ive figured it out.

You can do it as I have a few, although the patches on mine have been pretty static for a while, so I haven't looked

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Yeah, speakers are fine for just playing around. I did find one patch that when I played a chord the speakers could not handle it and they cut out. Lowering the volume was fine. 
ill have a look at the app when I get back home. I think I was trying to do to much on the fly. I can see me using it a lot as a controller in GB though. Surprised how well that worked with just a USB cable. 

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18 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

 I can see me using it a lot as a controller in GB though. Surprised how well that worked with just a USB cable. 

Oh I love it just as an ideas pad thing, as well as how small it is at a practice. I am not short of controllers of all kinds though, such as the roli, linstrument, Ewi, my piano and an old m-audio midi-air, which is pretty handy.

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Yeah, I think I’ll be tinkering on it a lot, even if I don’t record much.  
 

I just wish I could get Babe by Styx out of my head. Since turning the DX on that’s all I can hear lol. 

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1 hour ago, dave_bass5 said:

Yeah, I think I’ll be tinkering on it a lot, even if I don’t record much.  
 

I just wish I could get Babe by Styx out of my head. Since turning the DX on that’s all I can hear lol. 

The problem I always find going through presets, there will be something you select that means you immediately have to play something - the one for me was that there was a 'Don't stop believing' patch. That was annoying!

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53 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

The problem I always find going through presets, there will be something you select that means you immediately have to play something - the one for me was that there was a 'Don't stop believing' patch. That was annoying!

Haha, was that the split bass/piano one. Must admit i tried to play it but not sure i got what the patch was supposed to be doing. 

Ive gone through loads, but i was looking for more Roland type strings and brass, which i found. So later i might actually start to play something. 

The lack of a Mod wheel is starting to bug me a bit. Not a deal breaker, but i do keep going to the pitch bend to bring it in, or pushing down harder on the keys. Of course neither work like that. Just need to get used to it. Its mainly for the organs. 

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Well a few weeks on and ive Harold used my DX. Since getting the MODX all my time has been spent with that. I do love the DX for sitting on the bed and working things out though. Only issue is I’m never going to use any of the ‘DX’ sounds. All ive used is a piano and Organ. 

I was thinking of trying to swap it for a CS now, as I’m using those sort of tones quite a bit on the MODX. Thought about swapping for a CP but I’m not really in to that sort of piano (i know there is a hidden acoustic one), and i love the tones of the YC, but I prefer something that can do both.

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