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In the autumn last year Yamaha, released a cool range of retro mini synths called “reface”. Mini-keyed and portable there are four synths, each specialising in an iconic Yamaha sound. The CS focuses on virtual analogue, the CP on electric piano, the YC on organ and the DX on, well of course that would be FM synthesis. At the time they promised a revolutionary way of sharing sounds and ideas between users online and that is now ready to be released. Bearing the slightly strange name “Soundmondo”, the website utilises the emerging Web MIDI API that’s available in Google Chrome to allow web-based synths and sound generators to respond to MIDI input from a user’s MIDI keyboard. In this instance, Yamaha uses the technology to search for and connect to any reface synth attached to your system and lets them save and share sounds.

Back in the day I had a DX100 and I had two options for sharing sounds with another user – I could back it up to a proper old fashioned cassette deck or I could scribble all the parameters down on a patch sheet. Soundmondo is a marbellous new take on this idea. Along with patch saving, it also creates a visual representation of the parameters – essentially what looks like a photo of the control panel showing you exactly where all the settings should be. With the reface DX this isn’t possible, as most of the parameters are internal and so instead you have a full online editor.

There’s a ton of sounds up there already, all tagged and categorised, and of course the resource will grow as more people connect their reface units to it. If you don’t have a reface then there’s not a lot you can do on the website but for reface users this is an amazing resource of sound design and experimentation – every synth should have one. As it’s on Google Chrome, it’s compatible with Mac, PC and Android and requires no drivers or setup, which is all pretty genius.

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