Yamaha Tyros Keyboards Review – Arranger Workstation Keyboard

Yamaha Tyros Keyboards: One of the most powerful, easy-to-use, and versatile arranger keyboard workstation available in the market. Find reviews of Tyros 4, 3 and 2.



Yamaha Tyros Keyboard


Is it Really Worth It?

Before we proceed further, you can read more on the debate between arrangers and synthesizers, and whether Yamaha or Korg arrangers are better.

If you have spent a lot of time playing professional music, then you would know how important it is for the board to be rugged and handle all the roughness while travelling. Similarly, if you are more into music creation, you may value features that give you more control over the sound.

If your requirements fall in these categories, then you might probably be able to find better options than the Tyros, as the Yamaha arrangers traditionally have been used more for home use. However, in case you decide to use a Tyros for performing, then do get a solid keyboard case to ensure your investment is adequately protected.

If you are primarily into arranging and recording backgrounds, and do not want to spend much time editing the voices, then the Yamaha Tyros is an excellent keyboard as you can use most of the voices and styles right away. That definitely doesn’t mean you cannot create your own sounds. In fact, you can create and save a lot more sounds using flash memory expansion.

The Yamaha TRS 3-piece Speaker System and the Yamaha L7S Keyboard Stand are other accessories that designed specifically for use with the Tyros keyboards.

And as mentioned earlier, a tough case such as the Yamaha Deluxe Keyboard Case is required to safely carry this keyboard around.


Checkout these Videos

Yamaha Tyros4 Introduction




Yamaha Tyros-4 Vocal Harmony




Yamaha Tyros-4 Audio Recording




Yamaha Tyros-3 Demo







This is What Authentic Means

As a beginner, we tend to pick up something that has several features, but not necessarily the best ones, as they can be expensive. That is fine to get started, but in a few months time, you’ll notice that some of the sounds, even though they are good, they don’t seem authentic. And if you happen to hear some of the other instruments live, you would know what authentic means.


Yamaha Tyros Keyboard Review


The earlier keyboards that I bought, I was not really impressed with the sounds of the brass instruments, or even some of the piano sounds.

This can be okay for a beginner, but just imagine that you are playing in a band and are asked to provide the trumpet sound as fill-ins at most places. In case, you own a mediocre keyboard, you will not get the best sound. Sure, the audience may not notice it, depending on where you are performing, but deep within you would know that it is definitely not the best sound.

This all changes with Yamaha’s mega voice technology. Yamaha were anyways known for their acoustic instrument sounds (in their keyboards) but with this technology the orchestral instrument sounds are now as good as it can get, almost.


What’s the Fuss About Mega Voice?

This is not any feature that you need to know about, or need to select in your Tyros keyboard. This is a technology that Yamaha has included in their high end keyboards and pianos.

It is not just about taking the best sampled sounds, it is also about capturing the various nuances and performance intricacies that is associated with every music instrument. For example, in guitar you would also have the noise of the pick, dead notes, etc. In the case of pianos, the feel of the hammer banging the strings, and if its wind instruments, the sounds of the breath, etc!

With this technology, Yamaha gives you all these aspects and makes the sound more realistic than ever before.


And What About Super Articulation?

What does articulation mean? It is playing all those things like staccato, legato, various accents, vibrato, etc., all that makes your sound dynamic, and stops your keyboard playing from sounding monotonous.

This is what the sound engineers of Yamaha have achieved with the Super Articulation voices. First introduced in the Tyros 2, this has only become much better in the current Yamaha Tyros keyboard.


Yamaha Tyros Review


Now you can sound like a real and pro trumpet or guitar player using all the dynamics, that is now possible in the tyros.

Effects & Pitch Bend

You get further control over the way you can make your Tyros sound, using Digital Signal Processors (DSP) and Pitch Bend wheels.

Mixing Console

Want your recordings to sound even better, use the mixing console along with the dozens of DSP effects.

Use the console to mix your arrangements, and to give shape to the overall sound. Using these DSP effects, you can get professional sounding results, all using his instrument.

Pitch bend

The pitch bend wheel is a tool to get bending effects, that most guitarists regularly do while playing.

Most Guitarists love to bend the notes by moving the fingers on the fret while the string is pressed. The same effect can be achieved using pitch bend wheels. You also get modulation wheels to achieve the vibrato effects. You can read more here on how to use pitch bend wheels.

The Tyros provides two wheels on the left side. One is the pitch bend and the other is for
Modulation!

Record feature / Sound Creator

The Tyros is not all about live playing. It also provides you detailed recording abilities.

And because the tyros comes with the most authentic sounds and styles, you really don’t have to edit anything. Just hit the record button, and you can get fully arranged songs, with top notch accompaniment styles, in no time.

Very useful feature for songwriters, as you can save all your ideas almost instantly, and make them sound good too.

But then, you don’t have to use the existing sounds and styles; you can create your own accompaniments, and you can create your own chord sequence (using a handy tool – Chord Step Record songs). And you can get pro sounding songs in minutes.

You get 16 tracks to record your ideas, and you can record anything from a few tracks to even a full orchestra.

LCD Display / Video Output

The big LCD display screen ensures that you can see all your selections all at one place, and helps you to easily operate the Tyros keyboards. You can use it display settings, and even lyrics.

The adjustable angle and contrast makes it quite handy to use in dim light. The availability of the video output means you can easily connect your Tyros to an external display and to share the lyrics with a much wider audience.

Expanding Your Tyros

Want to increase the capabilities of your Tyros? This instrument comes with several features to help you do the same.


Yamaha Tyros Keyboard Review


The built-in USB port helps you to easily communicate with a computer, and lets you use the Tyros as a controller.

Another useful feature is the Internet Direct Connection (IDC), which lets you directly connect your Tyros to the Internet and download useful music resources. With this feature, you can:

  • Download various songs, styles, and instrument voices
  • Download sheet music, song books, and additional software

  • And the best part is that you don’t need a computer in between, it is a direct connection to the Internet.

    USB Network Adapter for Yamaha Tyros keyboard

    Here’s a video that shows how to connect the Yamaha Tyros keyboard to the internet using a USB Network Adapter.



    USB Network Adapter for Yamaha Tyros keyboard




    Wireless USB Adapter
    Planex Wireless Mini-USB Adapter

    Wireless LAN/Gaming Adapter
    Linksys Dual-Band Gaming and Video Adapter




    Tyros 4 Review

    Tyros is Yamaha’s flagship arranger workstation and it is a perfect instrument for someone who wants to use it for playing live or use it for creating quick demos for composing/recording purposes.

    With the Launch of the Yamaha Tyros 4, Yamaha has raised the bar even higher.

    The most important improvement, or the biggest leap, that the Tyros 4 makes over its arranger predecessors is in the vocal category.

    The new scat, gospel, and classic choir sounds rival the most popular software-based sample library that is available today in the market, and these sounds can be played straight via the keyboard.

    The Tyros now has around 1800 sounds, of which the Super Articulation 2 Voices make non-keyboard based instrument sounds (guitars, horns, strings, etc.) sound unbelievably natural – even when played via the 61 keys!

    So assuming if you are singer and if you’re ready to sing along, just plug your mic into the new built-in XLR combo jack – no special cables are required.

    The Tyros 4 also boasts 2-track hard disk audio recording and comes with its own large-capacity hard drive.




    The Yamaha Tyros 4 is extraordinarily expressive and comes with very realistic Voices. The Ergonomic panel layout makes it easy-to-use and helps playability. It offers Greater and wider variety of Voices, Styles, and has several Sophisticated features.

    Most styles in the complete Tyros series were made up with a song in mind, and its often obvious which song you can play with it. That’s the power of T4 and its previous outings. It is easy to play these songs without the need of programming the rhythms yourself but I think if my T4 arrives, I will use the sequencer just as much as the styles.

    Not all professionals work in bands. Lot of them work in studios, are constantly making demos (they need to produce it quickly), and also play live in small settings as solo performers or as backup player to a singer. Yamaha Tyros fits in perfectly there. Definitely not a home keyboard though. However, if you have a look at what professionals use in any band, you won’t find many of them using tyros, no doubt they’re good but not ideal for some pros.

    Yamaha Tyros 4 vs. Tyros 3

    So what’s the difference between the Yamaha Tyros 3 and the Tyros 4?

    The T4 has an improved sound engine and better/newer styles. All the styles taken from the T3 have been revoiced so they obviously sound better. Besides, the Tyros 4 has around 80 new styles.

    In terms of voices, all the voice groups now have SuperArticulation voices, so that is a nice improvement. Users of the ConcertGrand and other piano’s rejoice! Even that is SuperArticulation now. The voices now use better samples and they do sound different from the Tyros 3.

    Another nice addition is the organ voices. Organ Flutes are familiar but the Euro is new and comes with Wersi drawbars. You can use these drawbars for FreePlay.

    The Tyros 4 now has a Vocoder, which is fun to use. You get a different human voices by playing chords (reminds me of the 80′s).

    Video demo of Tyros 3



    Yamaha Tyros vs. Motif

    The Tyros 4 is a great arranger but has limited programming abilities compared to the Motif. So if you are a studio guy and like to create from scratch then you will definitely like the Motif. The Tyros won’t have sampling, no pattern sequencer, no multichannel Firewire audio interface…enough reasons to put-off anybody who is keen to create his own unique sounds.

    On the other hand if you are a performance guy, like simulating a live band, and want the instruments to sound as real as possible, then you will like the Tyros. You have more control over the performance related nuances on the Tyros compared to other keyboards.

    Here’s a video performance that incorporates the Tyros and the Motif:



    Tyros and Motif are the flagship products from the Yamaha brand. If you have been playing keyboards for some time and thinking of an upgrade, you need to understand that the Tyros is an arranger workstation, whereas the Motif is a Synth Workstation.

    The Tyros is a great arranger but has limited programming abilities compared to the Motif. Motif gives you more and better effects, as well as other music creation/editing tools.

    On the other hand, if you are live performer / singer, you’ll mostly prefer an advanced arranger because of their chord recognition feature, top class accompaniments that can be readily used, and the vocal processor which is really useful if you’re a singer or have a singer in your band.

    Most use their Motif XF as a sound generator and do all the recording things with their DAW! Daw is more reliable and gives larger recording, editing capabilities.

    Yamaha Motif is impressive but tyros is “easy to use”! There’s no point buying a top of the line workstation if you don’t like to spend lot of time tweaking things and trying to get that unique sound that nobody else has. It might look impressive initially, but over a period of time, you will end up using a fraction of the features available, unless you do arranging / studio composing work full-time.

    But then there’s also a set of people who think that Yamaha keyboards, in general are not really pro keyboards. They may have some of the best acoustic and orchestral sounds, but when it comes to synth sounds, there are other better ones out there. Irrespective of whether you buy a Tyros or a Motif, if this is going to be your first Yamaha keyboard, you can expect a steep learning curve.

    Important Features

  • 61 key keyboard with Mega Voice Technology
  • Around 300 musical styles, 128 polyphony notes
  • Huge 96MB of Wave ROM along with 1100 voices in all
  • Digital effects include 26 chorus types, five blocks of 183 insertion effects and 34 reverb types
  • The Direct Access button makes it easy to navigate through various functions/ menus and loading the styles/songs is much faster
  • Tyros is backward compatible with PSR 9000 and 9000PRO software
  • Realistic rotary speaker and excellent combination effects, On the whole Tyros is capable of simultaneously producing 12 DSP effects
  • Easy USB connector to connect Yamaha Tyros to your computer
  • Easy file transfer and editing features
  • 16-track Sequencer
  • 2-track Hard Disk Recorder
  • Versatile Vocal Harmony Feature
  • Microphone/Instrument Inputs
  • MIDI A/B in and out ports


  • Yamaha Tyros Keyboard Review


    How Much to Own this Beauty?

    The Yamaha Tyros 4 has been priced higher than its predecessors, but it may not be overpriced after all, considering what all things you can do with this instrument.

    Priced around 4.5k to 5k, this is suitable for those who want to quickly get started, and don’t want to spend a lot of time tweaking things. This is an apt instrument for composing and arranging, if you are short of time.

    But it’s a perfect instrument for performing, as you can quickly perform and even create music in a variety of genres such as – Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Latin, Samba, Classical, Ethnic, etc. All using just one instrument!

    Most of the time, the best prices are offered online, compared to music stores. Here’s a reputed store that you may consider to buy the Yamaha Tyros and related tyros accessories, and many other music instruments / accessories if you want the best prices.

    If you have encountered another store with good prices and good service, please let us know.

    How to Learn to Use Yamaha Tyros Keyboards

    To learning all the bells and whistles available on this keyboard, you can check out the various videos, showing the Yamaha Tyros capabilities, here on this page. Check them out; they cover most of the important features. I don’t think there is any video which takes you through each and every button and every feature of the Tyros. But the Tyros keyboard is easy to use; you should be able to figure out things going through the manuals.



    Accessories for Yamaha Tyros

    Keyboard Case
    You’ll need to decide if you want a soft case or a hard case, though I would be more comfortable with a hard case that is lightweight and adequately padded from inside. You can also opt for a custom case/bag but then it can turn out to be a bit expensive.

    Keyboard Case for Yamaha Tyros Keyboard If you travel a lot, you’ll definitely need on with rollers. The case needs to be well-built, should have extra padding so that the interior fits the tyros like a glove.

    Here are some features of a good keyboard case:

    Thick foam padded interior
    Rugged molded outer shell
    Tough inset wheels for comfortable travel
    Multiple retractable handles (usually three) for convenient transport
    Lockable chrome latches
    Inner access handles for easy retrieval

    Summary

    Though the Tyros 4 is a great arranger workstation, it is an expensive instrument. Nevertheless, if you have been performing using a high end PSR keyboard then the Tyros is definitely the natural extension with its incredible orchestral voices/styles and hardware upgrades such as the vocoder. It also has decent programming abilities and can be used to come up with a quick demo in case you are pitching for composing/recording work. But the USP of the Yamaha Tyros 4 is that it is more focused on simulating a live band where the instruments sound as good as the real thing. Acoustically, the Tyros sounds much better and gives you more control over the nuances compared to other instruments.

    External Links:
    Tyros Official Site