The imminent launch onto the UK market of the D1500 Digital Delay from Yamaha (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) heralds a major breakthrough by this pioneering Japanese company. Their R1000 Digital Reverb launched about a year ago, almost overnight improved the sound of thousands of home demo recordings, simply because it brought 'studio quality' effects (and a very important one, to boot) within reach of the home user.
The Yamaha D1500 will, I'm sure, have a similar impact on the market and its resultant recordings, for what makes it 'special' and more than "just another digital delay" is its compatibility with MIDI - the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A world first!
Through the power of MIDI, the D1500 lets you select any one of its 16 fully programmable memories remotely when linked to a suitable MIDI-equipped keyboard or computer.
For example, you can arrange things so that specific 'voice patches' on your keyboard each have their own programmed delay effect (set up by the user and stored in the D1500's memories). Whenever you call up a particular voice on the keyboard, the D1500 will automatically switch over to the delay effect you'd previously programmed that specific voice to have.
The live performance benefits of such a system are very obvious: no more fiddling around in the dark changing your delay settings in between numbers, it's all done for you at the push of a button, when you call up your keyboard sounds.
In the home studio we'll also feel the benefit. For example, when recording keyboard parts for a complete song, you'll be able to preprogramme the necessary delay effects you want on each keyboard sound, then record all the keyboard bits on a single tape track (thus saving tracks and removing the need for tricky drop-in overdubs).
I suppose if you wanted to take things to extremes, you could even store the same voice patch in each of your MIDI keyboard's memories, assign a different delay to each memory (so you have the same keyboard sound but with 16 different effects available), then (courtesy of MIDI and the D1500) flip through them ad nauseum whilst playing and recording the keyboard track in one go.
Just think of it... repeat echo to kick off with, followed by a dash of chorus quickly changing to ADT for three notes, back to an even longer repeat echo for the verse and a smattering of flanging etc. etc. ad infinitum! Don't laugh, there's bound to be somebody who'll do it. Just keep a very close ear on the singles charts over the next couple of months...
Finally, advance warning of the best recording event of the year - The Hands On Show (10th-11th November).
Full information on the event appears elsewhere in this issue, but for now let me point out that Turnkey (the organisers) are offering a special 50% reduction to HSR readers who register in advance for the excellent seminars that are taking place. Having attended those held last year, I strongly advise you to take up this kind offer if you don't want to be disappointed, as all seminars are likely to be packed out on the day. They are all highly educational and give you the opportunity to ask the recording experts exactly what you want.
There's a coupon on pages 13/14 for you to cut out and post off (not forgetting the £1 remittance) to reserve your seat. Admission to the Show itself is free, however, entry to the seminars will cost £2 on the day - but you probably won't be able to get in! So don't take any chances, register in advance now and guarantee yourself a place. See you all there!