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Tenori-On –


tenorion small Tenori On

The new Tenori-On from Yamaha is billed as a ‘digital music instrument for the 21st century’ and actually that description is spot on. If you were asked back in the ‘70s what kind of new musical instrument we’d be playing in 200x, you’d probably come up with a synthesizer type, flashing light, cold sounding techno machine similar to this. It’s not horrible, it’s just so cliched. Why couldn’t they have come up with something wooden, thunky and ever so rich in tone and expressiveness, instead of a glorified piano-roll sequencer with LED disease? Ah well. £599.00 in the UK only for the moment. Take a look at the videos for an idea of how it sounds. [Via Metafilter]

  The TENORI-ON 16 x 16 LED button matrix is simultaneously a performance input controller and display. By operating and interacting with the LED buttons and the light they produce you gain access to the TENORI-ON’s numerous performance capabilities. The TENORI-ON provides six different performance and sound/light modes for broad performance versatility, and these modes can be combined and used simultaneously for rich, complex musical expression.

 Tenori On

Red – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Rick

    This is just like Fleetwood Mac got Atari to build them a custom music machine that was going to revolutionize music back in the early 90s. They used it for a concert tour and then it went nowhere…

  • Harukio

    If you actually look at it a bit more it does play more than one type of note (it calls them “voices”). 263 to be precise. Some of them include: “Marimba, Flute, Stomp, Harp” and a range of drumsets midi sounds. So just because they seem to be obsessed with this somewhat cold and etheral sound in each of the demonstration videos, it isn’t the only sound they can make.
    (The whole list of sounds is in the PDF of the Manual).

  • http://www.thummer.com Jim Plamondon

    You asked “Why couldnít they have come up with something …ever so rich in tone and expressiveness, instead of a glorified piano-roll sequencer with LED disease?”

    If that’s what you want, check out the Thummer (www.thummer.com). Still in development, it is expected to offer unmatched expressive power, simplicity, theoretical depth, and an affordable price.

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