Enrolled in the Old School

2 months ago
2 Min Read
337 Words

I have reached a stage in life where the objects and activities of my youth can be considered Old School, and a recent rummage in the attic uncovered this beauty.


The Yamaha QY700. Released in 1996, this 32 channel MIDI sequencer is the big momma of "auto-accompaniment" devices, a type of product first developed by Roland in the early 1980s with their now infamous TB303 and TR drum machine instruments. Perhaps the engineers predicted a discordant time ahead for human contact and interaction....

The look and feel of the QY700 is decidedly "retro", with the 3.5" disk drive, chunky buttons and grey/cream colour scheme evoking images of stuffy low rent office spaces circa 1987, all sexism, big glasses, and even bigger hair. The wonderful monochrome 8-bit art of the FX section is a joy.

QY700 FX.jpg

So how does it sound? The QY700 has thousands of "phrases" which can playback on its own internal synthesis engine, or be sent out via MIDI to external devices. The phrases cover all the most common genres of music, from Breakbeat to Zydeco (refresh your memory here 😉), and you can, of course, record your own phrases, which can then be assembled into patterns, which can in turn be chained together to form songs.

With that in mind, here is my homework from 1999, fashionably late, and filled with the creativity and inexperience of youth. I have tidied up the mix a little using some multiband mid/side compression, but all the sequencing, sounds and effects are from the QY700. I believe the speech sample is the Beastie Boys, possibly triggered from an EMU E5000 Ultra, but that is a story for another day....






I love that Yamaha sequencer, brings back memories, good ones

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Yes, many happy hours spent trying to work the damn thing out!

Animated GIF-downsized.gif

You rock, I love the nostalgia, THE LINKS, people give it a nod
you care about communities and are positive........now I should drop the axe gif? bwahhaahahaaha :) looking forward to spending A LOT OF TIME on the first edition of "Profiles of a Proof of Brainer", coming out next week, much wow

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Nice one battleaxe! This is the stick up boys brains posting and I am glad you like it! He is still getting the hang of Hive!

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nice one bro, I never heard that song! Sweet...you were like well posh though I only had a QY70 growing up! Eat !PIZZA drink !BEER and have some !LUV Well done for getting a post done, you will get the hang of it.



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I probably don't need it, but I like the idea of having some of that old gear to play around with. I have an old Casio keyboard, but I don't play too well. I used to have a Yamaha SHS-10 keytar that I flogged ages ago, but I see those go for crazy money now considering it was not that great. It had Last Christmas as a demo tune. The retro gear market can be strange.




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