YC OS v1.3 brings new IdeaScale requested sounds and features to the YC Series Stage keyboards. As always, YC OS v1.3 is free. You can get it right here. Let’s take a look at what’s new.
YC OS v1.2brought significant improvements to the Organ Section and Rotary Speaker. With YC OS v1.3, the focus is on the Keys Section with three new piano Voices and a total of 32 new FM Voices. Let’s take a closer look.
Hamburg Grand: First up is one of my favorites from the CP Series, the expressive Hamburg Grand. This beautiful 9’ German concert grand piano is expressive, dark and woody, yet it can deliver a satisfying punch when played at higher velocities. It’s a perfect choice for solo piano performances, especially ballads and jazz standards. Check out two versions of the same short passage. The first example is the Hamburg Grand and the second is the CFX. Note the differences in tone between the two:
With the addition of the Hamburg Grand in YC OS v1.3, here are the YC series grand pianos.
CFX: The expressive and present flagship Yamaha 9’ concert grand. Great for virtually any style of music: jazz, classical, rock, pop, country...you name it!
S700: A wonderful handmade 7’6” Yamaha grand piano with a darker sound. A good choice for solo and jazz.
C7: The legendary Yamaha C7, a bright and expressive piano found recording studios everywhere. This is a great piano for rock, pop, gospel or country.
Nashville C3: The character-rich grand piano from a Nashville recording studio. A great piano for classic country, Americana and folk.
Live CF3: A bright and present Yamaha CF3 concert grand. This piano is a favorite in worship music and a solid choice for pop.
Hamburg Grand: A dark and expressive 9’ German concert grand. A wonderful piano for jazz and classical.
Felt Piano: New to YC OS v1.3 is the U1 Felt Piano. This wonderfully intimate piano is a favorite of musicians searching for a moody, ethereal piano tone. The Felt Piano is a specific U1 upright sound created by adding additional layers of felt between the hammers and the strings. This creates a soft, delicate and intimate sound. Felt Pianos are popular, and you’ll hear them in film scores, ambient musical styles and jazz. The audio demo below uses Reverse Reverb and Tempo Delay at end, two cool effects you can use with the Felt Piano. Check it out:
CP80 Stage: The legendary CP80 was a staple of the 70s and 80s. After conducting a character keyboard survey on the YamahaSynth IdeaScale we found that the CP80 was among the most requested sounds. The YC Series had two versions of this classic instrument from the beginning, but users requested a different sound with more expressiveness and bite. Yamaha Synth Space LA happens to have a character rich CP80, and our sound designers sampled this instrument. Check it out below, along with a close up of the panel knobs and switches:
(In case you were wondering, the keyboard on top is limited edition 1987 DX7II Centennial. This ultra-rare synth celebrates the 100th anniversary of Yamaha. The 76-note keyboard features glow in the dark keys!)
If you haven’t played a CP80 you might be surprised by the expressiveness and dynamic range. That quality was perfectly captured in the all new CP80 Stage voice added in YC OS v1.3. Note the VCM Max90 phaser effect I bring in and out in the audio example below:
New FM Voices: You’ll find 32 all new FM Voices in YC OS v1.3. Our London R&D team combed through thousands of FM voices created over the past 40 years and chose both classic and modern FM sounds. You’ll find classic DX7 basses, brass and EPs along with modern FM sounds heard in today’s music.
New User Requested Features
Vibrato and Chorus Effect for FM Organs: When you need solid emulations of vintage 60s combo organs look no further than the F2 and F3 Organ Types. IdeaScale users requested the addition of accurate Vibrato and Chorus effects for these organ types.
We are happy to report that YC OS v1.3 improves on these classic sounds by adding appropriate Vibrato and Chorus effects. Check out the difference below featuring both organs. The first example is the F2 organ. For the first four measures Vibrato/Chorus is OFF. At measure 5 Vibrato/Chorus is ON with Vibrato 2 selected. That changes each few measures to Vibrato 3, then chorus 1, 2 and 3, and back to Vibrato. The second example is the F3 organ:
Part Pan Settings: Another IdesScale request! Here’s the scenario: You want to route the Keys A section out via the right output to a keyboard amp, and you want to route a bass sound in Keys B Section out the left output to a bass amp. With OS v1.3 you can do that! You can now freely adjust pan for each Part separately for greater stereo mix flexibility:
Part Pan was a feature requested by IdeaScale users.
A/B Parameter Link: A/B Parameter link is great for controlling layered sounds. Simply press and hold the Keys A/B button and you’ll get control of Volume, Tone, Filter/EG and Effect settings for both Parts simultaneously. You can assign the same effects for both Parts simultaneously, too.
Rotary Speed Hold: Yet another IdeaScale request. Before OS v1.3 Rotary Speaker speed settings were saved in the Live Set. This new setting allows you to keep the Rotary Speaker speed setting when changing Live Sets. It’s a great feature for organ focused players:
Studio Rotary Speaker Type Default: All organ Live Set sounds using the Rotary Speaker effect now default to the Studio type introduced in OS v1.2. When creating a new Organ sound, it saves you the step of selecting it.
Once again, YC OS v1.3 is free for all YC owners. Get it here!
Yamaha Synthesizer Product Specialist Blake Angelos has over thirty years of experience with music hardware and software. An expert in music technology, Blake has conducted numerous clinics, master classes and presentations throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. In his role as Product Specialist for the Synthesizer Department Blake appears in many product videos and artist interviews, writes many articles for YamahaSynth.com and co-hosts a regular Podcast called “Behind the Synth”.
Before his work with Yamaha, he taught music theory and jazz studies courses at Arizona State University; managed a technology-focused music store in Seattle and was a production supervisor at Microsoft, where he led a team that developed groundbreaking interactive music content for the Microsoft Network. Blake holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University. Blake currently resides in Bellingham, Washington with his family, and between his travels around the world for Yamaha, he performs as much as possible with several jazz and creative music groups in Bellingham, Seattle and other places in the Pacific Northwest.