Yamaha’s Tenori-On


Hey you guys! First post with new computer! Woohoo!

Today was a pretty intense day. Well, for one, I woke up late for school once again. Well, so far it’s boring. But, the boredom ended there. I turned on my computer and realized that the download of Evergrey’s album Torn – which, don’t worry, I’ll buy as soon as it’s released – was completed. Then I transfered it to my cellphone’s memory card and went to school listening to it. It’s pretty awesome and I love all the songs! I recommend!

After coming back from school – that had no classes whatsoever because of the football semifinals of the Olympic Games – and as the day passed by, I did some researching and reading on the Internet.
I found out one very interesting site, the Piano and Synth Magazine. There I found out some information I was looking for since last week, so, now I’m able to write my review about Yamaha’s Tenori-On!


Imagine if you could make music and watch – not only listen – to it. Well, now it happens on the new Yamaha’s Tenori-On. With a 16×16 matrix of LED switches, creating music with Tenori-On is just simple and intuitive as accessing your iPhone applications.
Tenori-On’s matrix is simultaneously a performance controller and a display, allowing you to really interact with what you’ve already created and what you’re doing at the moment. This interaction trancends from a piano-roll-alike sequencer into a full light-show visualization of what your song is to this instrument.
It’s concept is to create intuitive and performatic music, so, let’s check out its features!

Tenori-On can be operated on six different modes: Score, Random, Draw, Bounce, Push and Solo.
One that graded my attention was the Draw mode. It allows you to press individual LEDs or draw lines or curves on its matrix and Tenori-On will loop it as your music goes on. You can keep on adding more and more loops to your composition (up to 64 simultaneous points) creating totally different sound and light textures.

In addition to the 256 LED switches, Tenori-On has 10 Function buttons, from [L1] to [L5] and [R1] to [R5], that, when being hold, allow you to control many different parameters suchs as changing voices, octaves, applying effects and variations to your music.

Some of the functionalities you’re able to control with those 10 buttons are: changing loop points, loop speed, tempo and transposition.

Yamaha’s Tenori-On

Tenori-On bases it sounds in different layers, so you can control individually each one of them by volume, voice and octave, for instance.
A whole set of layers and it’s parameters, notes and designs are called Blocks and Tenori-On is capable to save and load several Blocks and it’s whole settings.

One of the most interesting things about the Tenori-On is that it has a MIDI Out port, that allows you to control as many MIDI devices as you want. Imagine controlling a SFX sample-based patch on a workstation with this little toy! That would be a really awesome and performatic groove to make a base-rhythm for a synth solo and even beyond that!
It also has a Rear 256 LED display that allows other people watch your light show while you’re performing on it! It’s really wonderful.

Tenori-On’s sound generator is the AWM2, with 32 notes of maximum polyphony. A ten octave range, gate time from 10 to 9990 ms, 9 different types of scales and 253 preset voices – in which, 14 are drum kits. It has 2 effects processors: 10 types of Reverb and 5 Chorus and many other pretty useful and cool stuff!

External References

For your better understanding of what Tenori-On is, I’ll give you some links for videos and it’s official webpage:
Score Mode Video; Random Mode Video; Draw Mode Video; Introduction of Function buttons from [L1] to [L5] Video.
Of course you can find more videos and information about it here: Tenori-On Official webpage.

Jordan Rudess meets Yamaha’s Tenori-On

Yeah, after reading and writing it here, I definately made my mind: I WANT ONE!!!



~ by Breno Ronchini on August 20, 2008.

One Response to “Yamaha’s Tenori-On”

  1. Oh year! Thats it! Its good enough! My cosmic son, Congratulations!

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