Perpetuating the Tyros line for the third time, Yamaha presents a new, high-technology arranger keyboard that provides a rarely achieved musicality. Like its predecessors, the Tyros 3 is fitted inside a PVC housing with gray aluminum finish on the top and black finish on the bottom.
The connectivity of Tyros 3 is quite impressive and it shows that you have a top-range product in your hands.
The Music Finder function allows you to find accompaniments within a database of 1850 presets, some of which recall well-known songs–these styles are no MIDI files but comprehensive settings for the whole device (styles and sounds) in a given music genre). Used as an arranger, the Tyros 3 can play up to three right-hand voices, one left-hand voice, eight style presets and four pad riffs simultaneously for a total of 128 voices of polyphony. The nylon acoustic, steel acoustic and electric guitar presets are on the same outstanding level. Unlike Korg arrangers that integrate a powerful synth with access to every single synthesis parameter, the Tyros 3 doesn't allow detailed editing directly from the user interface.
Each style includes three intros, four variations, four fill-ins, one break and three endings. But clearly the most daring part is the management of complex chords with harmonization rules that can be set for each track depending on the chord variations played.
The Tyros 3 includes a 16-track sequencer with 16 MIDI channels and 300 kb capacity per song (over 100,000 notes).
The direct-to-disc function allows you to record one stereo track via the audio inputs or to import a file from an external USB storage device.
The Tyros 3 allows you to open the voice mixer whenever you want, so you can control and see a graphic representation of all used channels.
As a last remark we should mention that the Tyros 3 can manage different microtonal scales quite smoothly and they are fully editable graphically.
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Those gadgets became educational tools for children and then for adults looking for strong musical sensations.
Considering its price range, I would have preferred a brushed aluminum housing that made it look more classy without adding much weight. It starts with the phones and USB-To-Device connectors located on the front left and right side respectively. The internal 80GB hard drive is empty, as well as the two slots underneath the cover that can fit two identical 64 - 512 MB, 168-pin DIMM memory modules. Yamaha wisely provided transpose controls (two to transpose in semitone steps and two to transpose in octave steps), which are very simple but useful for live applications (octave transposition is dedicated to the right hand in accompaniment mode and to the whole keyboard in Full mode). When the left-hand part is disabled, the Tyros 3 plays up to three sound layers on the whole keyboard (with or without accompaniment). A style includes up to 15 rhythm sections with eight channels over 32 bars with a limit of 120 kb per style.
Quite often you'll find yourself missing dedicated DSPs to process several parts of an accompaniment simultaneously.
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Today, they are powerful production workstations with a large ROM, sample memories, DTD, USB port, etc. Even if it is not made for that, do consider getting a carry case because the part underneath the keys tends to bend if you push on it. There's a browser included in the Tyros 3 OS, and you can use the 16 function buttons to control it. But the Tyros 3 avoids this by providing plenty of convenient functions that make user's life easier. In order to recreate the different guitar playing techniques, the Tyros 3 includes multisample layers called MegaVoices whose sound changes according to the playing velocity. Thus, you can only access the main synthesis parameters through direct editing: volume, dynamic response, portamento, wheel action on some parameters (filter, amplitude, three LFO destinations), pressure, filter cutoff, resonance, volume ADR, vibrato, reverb and chorus send, DSP selection (preset number and real-time parameter modulation), 2-band EQ and harmony-type selection (added as soon as the harmonizer is activated). To make things easier, you can make variation changes with the AUTO FILL IN function so that the progression is perfect and musical. To program a style you have three programming options: real-time with overdub, step-by-step, or style assembly. You can have displayed simultaneously two channels of your choice (G key, F key), guitar chords and lyrics on the same score.
Once you finished the multitrack recording, you can save it into the internal memory, the hard drive or via USB. The Tyros 3 defies this tradition with no less than nine dedicated DSPs, a global chorus and reverb, plus master compressor and EQ.

You get plenty of presets so you don't have to edit everything from scratch: 42 reverb presets, 106 chorus presets (with reverb, delay, flanger, Leslie) and no less than 272 presets for each one of the nine DSP. It is really easy to import a new song and rearrange all songs–with up to 500 files per list!
Its indisputable musicality is the instrument's most outstanding quality–leaving the competition far behind, especially when it come to the new SA2 sounds and their unique expressiveness. To make your first post there is a fee of just ?1 and after that you can post straight away.
Some manufacturers equip them with technologies developed originally for their workstations, which results in the latter being not so predominant anymore.
It is surrounded by buttons for selecting sounds and styles, navigating within the different menu pages and direct editing of parameters. Lastly, on both ends of the rear panel are connectors for the manufacturer's optional Tyros 2 TRS-MS02 sound system that includes two satellites and one powered subwoofer. On the CD-ROM you'll find the voice editor and the user's manuals but no sounds, nor samples or additional styles. You can even program three different split points to create four sections: chord, left-hand, right-hand 1-2, and right-hand 3. This allows you to create realistic rhythms in an accompaniment channel without having to use several software solutions. While you're playing, the four programmable pads are very convenient to trigger a percussion, an effect or a riff (from the 123 internal memories or from the user memories) synchronized to tempo (as loop or single pass). It's an alternative to some arrangers that provide only fixed variations for major, minor and seventh chords, which forces you to program three or four times more variations without having the possibility to harmonize every chord type.
You've got everything you need to have fun: reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, distortion, amp simulation, rotary speaker, enhancer, lo-fi and many effect combinations. The lists can then be saved in the internal (or an external) memory to be recalled anytime. The styles also gained more sound realism thanks to the new drum samples and the generous FX section. And you also have here the direct-to-disc section (more on this later) and the system menus.
So this actually allows you to download every single free file there is: long live liberty! Now, let's listen to some factory presets among the 1500 available sounds in GM2 or XG standard. It's perfect to play the styles provided but very difficult to use for your own programming. Last but not least, the Tyros 3 gives you the possibility to import stereo samples (WAV or AIFF) and to control their layout on the keyboard.
We prefer Yamaha's approach that uses harmony rules based on a single major chord, making the use of complex combinations faster and much more musical. You can also harmonize anything that comes into the mic input, especially your own voice, depending on the chords you play to control the arranger.
The 61-note keyboard has an exceptional quality but unfortunately there's no 88-key version available.
Ketron's Audia is a comprehensive audio loop machine with real-time pitch shifting and time stretching functions. It's the best light keyboard we have ever tested: straight response, perfect balance and full control. The fact that it's not touch screen is not a problem at all, on the contrary that will help you keep it cleaner. It goes without saying that the main goal of the manufacturer is for us to buy sound or style banks online.
Navigating through the different categories, we also got to appreciate the quality sounds of the bass presets, the drum kits (with new dynamic stereo samples), the accordions (essential in an arranger!) and the strings. It can import all bit rate resolutions (but converts them into 16 bits) and different sampling rates (96, 88, 48, 44, 32, 22 and 11 kHz). Styles have been improved compared to older models because they benefit from the extended sound range (e.g. In order to increase the feeling, you can edit the groove with standard swing functions and with a very interesting Push function that causes beats to be delayed or anticipated in order to add some "imprecision" to the tempo. There's also an option to play back all songs within a folder either continuously or randomly, like a playlist.
There are no less than 60 vocal harmony types available in several music styles (country, jazz, classical, vocoder, etc.) as well as ten user memories. In spite of its impressive number of settings, the Tyros 3 is highly ergonomic and easy to use, making it the ideal solution for professional stage applications.
The Tyros 3 is not fancy and Yamaha decided to improve every possible function of the original concept: sound realism, harmonization, FX processor and user interface.
Below the display, you'll find eight pairs of function buttons (to edit values in the menu pages) and nine very-much-appreciated sliders that not only allow you to edit faster with the integrated mixer (more on this later), but are crucial for the modeled drawbar organ presets. When you go to the Yamaha arrangers' website, you expect to find plenty of new resources for your favorite toy, but you should be ready to empty your credit card as well, given that the current free goodies are limited to a few choir sound banks.
With its two 20-watt satellites plus 40-watt subwoofer and its well-balanced response, this compact sound system provides a quite good sound quality for private applications (in your home studio or living room).

The user interface is very pleasant and full of color: folders with tabs for sounds and styles, a mixer for the different tracks, colored drawbars for modeled organs, etc. Among the presets you'll also find a rather good-sounding vibraphone, wood instruments and a harpsichord. You'll need software tools–provided for free by the manufacturer–to do the conversion and it may require several steps to achieve your goal, but it's doable. And a learn function allows you to "enslave" song playback to the notes you play or sing (song playback pauses as long as you play the wrong note or sing out of tune). In case you choose the latter, event filters allow you to do the job without losing time with jam-packed lists. Last but not least, the master compressor has five presets and five memories (type, threshold, ratio and gain controls), just like the master EQ.
People who like to mess around with sounds and styles will not be disappointed either, and the Tyros 3 is also a nice studio tool.
Yamaha has been constantly improving the layout of the different control sections since the first Tyros came out. As soon as you select one of these presets, the display shows a graphic representation of some Hammond B3-like drawbars, that you can control with the sliders in real-time for live applications. The Tyros 3 actually uses the dynamic stereo multisampling technology from the last Clavinova models.
The only real disappointment are the classical and jazz choirs, whose sound is outdated and won't be easy to work with.
The Tyros 3 offers lots of flexibility for tempo management: when you change the style, the new style either syncs to the current tempo or changes to its initial default tempo. A noteworthy disadvantage of the sequencer is that it is conceived for an arranger, in other words, it is based on a right-hand melody and an automatic harmonized accompaniment following a chord progression. However, we regret that the sound synthesis was "outsourced" to a software (considering the size of the display), and that the sequencer is based around the arranger. On the positive side, it's quite convenient to have the possibility to download a lot of MIDI files and karaoke songs directly to your Tyros 3 and manage them easily.
The result is a realistic, wide and dynamic sound over the whole keyboard range–it is, to our ears, the best piano sound among keyboards, sample players or workstations! The sampled organs sound good, except for a quite annoying, much too loud and sharp-sounding sample on certain notes of a B3 preset. Two buttons allow you to edit the value directly–a rotary control would have been much more convenient and faster, however a dedicated "Tap Tempo" button gives you the possibility to enter the desired tempo immediately. The all-plastic assembly and the few accessories provided are also disappointing, considering the price of the product.
In order to simulate organ drawbars, the Tyros 3 uses a modeling technology with real-time adjustment of the nine sliders (see frame below).
You can also create percussion kits either by starting from an existing kit (replacing some of the samples) or from scratch. Several harmonization rules allow you to define the intervals for each harmonized note of the different chord variations (see below). Finally, do notice the right-hand harmonization function which depends on the chords played with the left hand.
We also regret that it is impossible to transfer some data directly between arranger tracks and sequencer tracks. Synthesized sounds aren't at a loss and offer quite convincing simulations of classic synths, thanks to several bass, lead, pad and polysynth presets, including some taken directly from the Motif Series. Unlike the normal mode, samples are assigned one by one and key by key in a single layer and have additional volume, pan and FX send settings.If you want to dive deep into synthesis and have full access to all synthesis parameters, you'll have to use the Voice Editor for PC and Mac provided on the CD-ROM. This amazingly powerful function has 26 different playing styles and is saved within each preset. The brass sections and solo brass instruments sound wonderful too, especially the new delightfully expressive and wet jazz sax. As a summary, the Tyros 3 provides the most pleasant sound set among all sample players we have heard to this day.
It uses the new "Super Articulation 2" technology specifically developed for the Tyros 3: by automatically analyzing your playing, or manually via the two dedicated buttons on the left side of the keyboard, it allows you to play different sample versions for a same note, not only according to the velocity but also according to note intervals and repetitions.
We cannot give you any information regarding the size of the PCM memory used because Yamaha Japan didn't provide us the data. Each element includes a multisample with pitch and velocity ranges, two 6 or 12-pole multimode resonant filters (low-pass, band-pass, high-pass or band-rejection with 4-segment keyboard split), one LFO and three multisegment envelopes. You will also find a clarinet, a trumpet, a harmonica and a bagpipe with the same expressiveness, thanks to the same technology.
There's no real reason to complain considering that you can start from an existing kit and change everything you want, especially the sample assignation (mentioned above), via a crystal clear graphic interface.

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