Our review of the Yamaha Reface series now turns to the YC…
And so to the organ, the fetching red reface keyboard. It’s certainly the most distinctive looking of the four – and coloured to look like at least two of the electric organ types it is emulating – but arguably has the narrowest appeal sonically, concentrating as it does on just the organ sound, albeit five classics. I love a great organ sound though, so I’m looking forward trying it.
Yamaha has been as reticent in naming these sounds as it did with the waveforms on the piano, presumably at the risk of breaching some kind of copyright, so it’s got me nervous now. So the five sounds you get are H (presumably named after an ex Top Gear UK presenter’s surname); V (think 80s band starting with Ultra…); F (ok, look it’s a bloody Farfisa, ok); A (Acetone); and Y which I’m safe to say is Yamaha. The difference as you step through them is very clear and they actually get more raspy, a little more synthy as you reach the Yamaha which returns the sound to a more mellow organ sound.
Not that the initial sound matters too much as reface YC includes nine drawbars to further alter the sound, acting a little like an EQ, the further right you draw down the higher the tones brought in. It’s a great little section in which you can really shape tones to be what you want. Again it would have been great to have on-board locations to save the results.
There’s a Rotary Speed section at the very left to emulate the Leslie speaker sound – a kind of ‘wow’ or ‘wah’ –similar in some ways to a slower tremolo. This is core to a true electric organ sound and offers a great, authentic feel.
Other effects include either a vibrato or chorus (plus a depth fader) and a Percussion switch to increase the mechanical attack effect when a note is pressed, alongside a fader to increase its envelope. Finally on the effects front you get a Reverb and Distortion, both of which add a couple of dramatic aspects if you haven’t tweaked and turned enough by this point.
a: Rotary Effect – Here you can simulate the wah sound of a rotary speaker, spinning fast or slow.
b: Tone Select – Five organ waves to choose from representing classic sounds from Hammond, Farfisa, Yamaha and more. There. We’ve said it.
c: Drawbars – Nine drawbars increase the tones across four octaves as you push each fader down, so start more bassy left and end more trebley (right).
d: More Effects – Switch between vibrato or chorus (green) plus a slider for depth, or push two sliders up to increase distortion and reverb (yellow)
e: Percussion – The red buttons increase the note percussive effect so when you hit a note the attack time is adjusted to result in a more percussive opening hit.
Again, in terms of what reface sets out to do – play, tweak, experiment with your sound, anywhere – I have to say that YC succeeds as well as CP. It is instant and has loads you can do. You can’t quite stretch the sounds beyond their originals as you can with CP, but YC offers a huge range of sounds within its electric organ remit, and will appeal to anyone after anything from classic and mellow to gritty and dirty.