Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moving Forward

It's been a few years that I've owned my Yamaha QY100.
In all honesty unless anyone ever creates a perfect copy of any of the QY series as an app or software nothing will ever touch it as a complete music making sequencer.
It's therefore very encouraging that Yamaha have released an iPad app that comes very close. The Yamaha Mobile Music Sequencer (above) is at least an emulation of the QY workflow. There aren't quite as many musical styles although you can top up with in app purchases and hopefully there will be more in the future. But for now what there is will keep a lot of people happy. There's also the option of creating and saving your own styles so the possibilities really are endless if you put in a little effort. The remix function does a lot to add variation to existing and created styles too.
Creating a song is simplicity itself and follows the QY workflow exactly. Individual instrument parts make Sections and Sections work together to make songs. It's really easy to get a basic feel for a track and then to adjust and tweak until the track starts to take shape. A little or a lot of effort will both create decent results.
I can imagine that there will be detractors who will point out that it's a bit of a closed system with tired old patterns. I think your opinion depends on whether you like what is basically a very basic arranger workstation. The QY series was always the front runner for keyboards like Yamaha's Tyros range. They're often seen as a lazy musician's instrument. The simple fact is that their power lies in creating your own styles and patterns and its the same with this new Yamaha app.
If this is what's achievable now then just think what you'll be doing on your tablet in five or ten years time. I can imagine that it'll be just as incredible as what's happening with mobile music now. I'm glad Yamaha are making moves in the right direction and I'm sure others like Korg will be eager to compete in the mobile market with similar apps.
It can only be good for musicians of all abilities.


Anonymous said...

Have you tried using any of the files from your qy100 with this via ifunbox?

MikiStrange said...

Not yet but it's on the list of things to do. I have a few options. I could just MIDI the QY into the iPad and use a Yamaha GM Soundfont in bs-16i. I could use MIDI to control individual channels in other apps and record into Cubasis via Audiobus using the clock out on the QY to keep everything in time. I could also just sample the audio out from the QY.
My favourite option is to send the MIDI from the QY into the Yamaha mobile music sequencer app which would let me copy the styles and save them in the app. From there they could be re-assigned to the apps chord data so that I can use the Yamaha app as a MIDI sequencer to power other apps and record into Cubasis.
It's a bit of a long winded process (as is this reply, sorry) but in time I could build up a QY style library on the iPad.
BTW, the Yamaha mobile music sequencer is basically a QY100 minus the styles and a few parameter tweaks. Well worth the investment if you have some extra cash.

Anonymous said...

I bought the app :) I like it.