What would happen if a Yamaha Montage M and a Yamaha PSR went on vacation together and things got steamy? The answer is possibly a Genos2. Welcome to the world of Arranger Workstations!
Okay. I know what you’re thinking, especially if you are a regular visitor to Planet Gearnews. Why on earth are we covering an Arranger Workstation? Surely the Synth Zone is above such generalistic, stand-alone nonsense? I might have agreed with you at one point in time. However, Yamaha’s Genos2 is their new Arranger Workstation flagship and it packs a meaty punch!
What’s an Arranger Workstation?
If you’re unfamiliar with such instruments, let me give you a bit of background. Arranger Workstations are typically a hybrid of powerful synthesis technologies and sequencing. They are primarily aimed at a very specific market of musicians. In many people’s minds, that market is one that consists of a person performing in a bar, lounge or working men’s clubs. It may even be a duo. Sequin-infested tuxedos, big earrings and cheesy grins. That’s the stereotype, anyway.
The truth is that a much wider range of musicians use these tools, whether it is for gigging, at church or just to satisfy their musical needs at home alone. And Yamaha’s Genos2 is how you do that in style! Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Yamaha Genos2 Specifications
The Genos2 is a 76-note keyboard (FSX, with velocity and aftertouch) and is heavily based on Yamaha’s AWM sample technology that has been around for 30+ years. What’s new with the Genos2 is a dedicated FM engine that replicates the one found in the DX7. Strangely, neither the AWM nor FM engines are listed as AWM2 and FM-X, maybe to reduce cannibalisation of the Montage M market? Either way, these engines deliver a whopping 384-note maximum polyphony.
Do not expect to be able to tweak these sounds like you can in a Montage M. Oh no, we are deep into the land of presets here and this contains 1990 voices, 75 drum and FX kits and 800 Styles. Styles are your one-stop shop for accompaniment. Each style comes with various intros, variations, fills and outros to structure your performance at the touch of a button. Genos2 also promises a wide range of ‘Featured Voices’ with powerful articulations.
Things don’t get any lighter in the FX department. Literally hundreds of choices are available, including, but not limited to, vocal harmonizers, vocoders and a plethora of all the usual reverb, chorus and EQ suspects. The Genos2 works with SMF, GM/XG and SFF formats for maximum compatibility with a gazillion files available online. You can also expand the Genos2’s sounds to the tune of around 3GB.
Genos 2 allows you to record 16 tracks of MIDI as well as audio at 44.1/16bit via its built-in audio interface. Tools such as time stretching and pitch shifting are also available. There’s about 15GB of internal storage and there is a USB port for connecting external drives. Bluetooth and WiFi are fitted as standard and there’s even an HDMI port.
I’m no expert in Arranger Workstations but the Genos2 is a marvel of musical technology. There is so much crammed into this that takes many of the best elements from a number of worlds and puts them into a package where an individual can sound like an entire band. It’s been six years since the last Genos came out so many people will rightly be excited about this new iteration.
The Yamaha Genos2 is available now for €4990.00
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