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Compositional devices

clay saunders wrote:


I reciently had a ASR-x on loan and although I found it to have great soud,
I found it rather difficult to use as a compositional device. Is It just me?
Any suggestions on a more intuitive approach to composition on the ASRX?

    In the mean time I am considering what to buy (around 1200 dollars) for
compostional use. Ease of use, sound quality, and versatility (re: live
application) are what Im looking for. Any suggestions of things I should
look at and their pro's and con's?

After considering similar issues, and for a lot less money ($600-650) , I'm going for a Yamaha RM1x (on order).  The sequencer on this is unique and powerful coupled with other midi gear.  There is an  PDF manual at http://www.yamaha.co.uk/eurohome/library/rm1x/rm1xe1.pdf

The drums are supposed to be great, the other sounds so-so, but the brains in the sequencer look excellent.

A review from a like-minded user, with similar gear as I,  influenced my decision. I don't think he'd mind being quoted:

         More Opinions on Yamaha RM1x
         Mon, 19 Apr 1999 21:21:42 -0500
         Neil Goldstein 


You said you like to work with and without logic... This is the box for you.
The rm1x has an incredible, not to mention unique, sequencer. It is modeled
after and has many features of Yamaha's qy700 which is about twice as much.
The unique part is how it handles patterns and playback. You can assign any
portion of a song to one of 16 pads and play them back in any order or
fashion (have fun with the assignable realtime knobs) at the push of a
button. The rm1x sends and receives MMC and responds to MTC - so it also
integrates perfectly with logic (with logic and MTC you are also able to get
past the fact that the rm1x only has two outs - so once locked into time
code you can dump one or two channels at a time into your multitrack of
choice - mine being protools:).

The sounds... Well most of the synth parts are from the cs1x. They're
alright and I mainly use them for soft background swooshes, noises, and
pads. The synth engine has 32 voices and the sequencer can handle another 32
at a time on top of that - I'm yet to run out voices. The drum parts are
great. Yamaha boasts 46 kits in this box! Actually the break down is 21 sets
(with a ridiculous amount of sounds per set), 1 kit of all bass kick, 1 kit
of all toms, 1 kit of all snares, 1 kit of sound effects, then the first 21
kits are brought back that sound until you let go of the pad (control these
with a velocity sensitive set of keys and you basically have control of
attack and decay like an analog beat box). The internal effects unit has a
couple different eq's, distortion, etc. that really compliment the drum
sounds. Worth buying the box just for the drums (and the power it has to
sequence them).

I'm mainly into synth pop, so the rm1x does a lot of rhythm accompaniment to
acoustic instruments. It also does a lot of controlling my nord lead (love
that red beauty). The sequencer handles and remembers every tweak of the
nord's knobs so it should work great with your jp8080. A friend of has
coupled his rm1x with his a3000 sampler with impressive results. My next
purchase is the microwave XT (maybe a virus), we'll see how it handles up to
44 cc's in one song...

Well, I've written you a nice little novel and I don't even work for Yamaha.
If you buy one and have any questions feel free to ask. One last thing;
People often compare the new mc-505 to the rm1x. Really not much of a
comparison. The 505 does have a better sound engine (but lacks the power and
diverse drums of the rm1x) but the rm1x has so much more to offer on the
sequencing and song creation side of the spectrum.

That's all.

Thanks for responding,


Neil Goldstein
Portland, Oregon USA