Yamaha RY9

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Yamaha RY9 Drum Machine

The RY9 is yet another drum machine from Yamaha - in theory one might ask why we need yet another one. But this little box has as few tricks up it's sleeve. Only the size of a VHS tape,there are 50 AWM tones and backing arrangements as well as drum kits in this box. As if that is not enough,there is a pitch to MIDI converter which triggers MIDI instruments from a MIC or Guitar.

There are 16 kits of which 4 are user programmable.Yamaha's usual exemplary quality samples are apparent and the kits cover all ranges from Rock to HipHop to Jazz. All are capable of accent and tuning.User kits can be programmed

There are 50 AWM tones which seemingly cannot be triggered from MIDI IN but only via EXT in using the pitch to MIDI converter. Nice phasing synths and bouncy basses as well as the usual array of orchestral sounds.

The MODE button enters SYSTEM mode in combination with one of the drum buttons,this enables altering the channel for the drums and which channel program changes happen on as well as internal or external synch of the clock. The RY9 dumps internal memory using SYSx to a PC. Each drum can have a user table note selected to make the drums compatible with other equipment or if you are sequencing notes.
The rear panel sports MIDI IN and OUT as well as two jack sockets for the audio signals and one for the EXT signal Input. The 9v socket and switch are here too. On the right side is a volume slider and 3.5 headphone socket so you can play on the go.
Manufacturer Reset:

All RY8/RY9 settings may be reset to their initial factory settings at any time. 
CAUTION: Initiating the Factory Set operation will clear all User Patterns, Songs and Drum Kits.  Be sure to save any important User Data to an external MIDI data storage device. A computer with sequencing software such as Cubase by Steinberg is the usual choice.
Starting with the Power OFF:
1. Hold down the [-1] and [+1] buttons simultaneously, then switch the power ON.
2. The words "FACTORY SET" will appear momentarily on the LCD, and the RY9 will continue to boot normally.

Good points: Though it tends to drift off pitch,the pitch to MIDI converter is a novel add-on,and is why I wanted hold of this unit. It is the nearest thing to having a guitar synth,and the converter is rather better, though supporting only one mode,than the Breakaway 2000,another device that does this. The drums themselves are what you'd expect from Yamaha,very good samples of the real thing. The tiny box and battery power means you can take this anywhere in your (large) pocket.
A nifty little box of tricks.

Niggles: The one thing that disappointed me with this unit is the inability to trigger the internal tones from MIDI IN,which is rather bizarre. I have had a phone call from Yamaha about this and so far their view is that the tones cannot be triggered by MIDI - only the drums. A bit bonkers.
Note that PDF dox can be found at templarseries.atspace.com/synths.html
Expect to pay: If you have paid less than £40 you have a bargain,these tend to go upwards of £40,though oddly RY8s tend to be cheaper than RY9s but I know not why!

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