Yamaha

QY-10

Sequencer, Synthesizer

Main Details
Maker Yamaha Company
Function
Form Factor Desktop
Signal Path Digital Hardware (including Analog Connections)
Notes Released by Yamaha in 1990, the QY10 was the first device offering the facilities of a music workstation in a portable package. In response to its design, the music technology press coined the term "walkstation", a portmanteau of the words "Walkman" and "workstation".

The eight tracks of the sequencer are thus divided into two groups: four standard sequencer tracks and four tracks dedicated to pattern playback. The latter are typically programmed as one "backing track" which stores a sequence of pattern numbers and chord changes.

The QY10's tone generator is a sample-based synthesizer using Yamaha's 12-bit Advanced Wave Memory synthesis technology. The tone generator is eight part multi-timbral (i.e. eight instruments may sound at once) and 28 note polyphonic (i.e. 28 notes may sound at once), which provides adequate support for sequences written on the unit. In other respects, however, the tone generator is quite limited. Only 30 instruments and one drum kit with 26 sounds are available. Furthermore, instruments can only be centered or panned completely left or right. These limitations can be understood in the context of the QY10's primary role as a composition tool, rather than as a musical instrument.

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