July 23, 1999 - The PSR640 and the PSR740 from Yamaha Corporation of America, Pro Audio & Combo Division, Portable Keyboards, offer features and performance characteristics that cross over between hobbyists and professional users. The price point is affordable for the casual user, but the performance is more than enough for the most discerning professional. One look at the radical new design and ergonomicswill tell you that this is something very new.
"Incredible power and innovation best describe these keyboards," states Jim Presley, marketing manager, Portable Keyboards. "These new models represent a departure from their predecessors. There are more than incremental improvements. The PSR640 and 740 look and perform like a separate, professional line of keyboards, with little family resemblance to the models below."
The most obvious innovation is the incorporation of dual-screen displays. The lower screen takes care of such housekeeping issues as function status, track levels and more. The upper display is a bit-mapped, graphic display that presents information not previously available on low-tech displays. It offers such information as graphic representations of functions, including computer-like folders showing song, style and function lists; animated help screens; song lyrics; and more.
New, stunning, sound quality is attributed to Yamaha's Advanced Wave Memory (AWM) tone generation, Yamaha's XG MIDI compatibility, a newly designed bass-reflex sound system with two-way stereo speakers and enhanced, multi-effect DSP. In addition, Yamaha's exclusive "Sweet Voices" have been added from the legendary PSR8000, resulting in wonderful trumpet and flute sounds.
In the case of the PSR740, a flute organ has been added, complete with graphic drawbars in the upper display that can be individually manipulated. This classic jazz and rock-organ sound is further enhanced by programmable tremolo in the DSP.
Innovations in the PSR740 continue with a microphone input for vocals, which links up with an internal vocal harmonizer, enabling users to literally sing harmony with themselves in real time. If remembering the words is a problem, both the 740 and 640 have another innovation called "LY"(Lyrics) that will scroll the words across the upper display in time to the music, adding the functions of a comprehensive karaoke system.
Want to enhance your voice a bit? How about adding reverb using the built-in multi-effect processor? You can even change the gender of your voice! Yamaha is world famous for its DSP technology.
The To Host port enables the direct connection to the serial port of a PC or Macintosh without the need of a MIDI interface card or box. A simple cable from the keyboard to the serial port is all the hardware needed. This opens a whole world of musical, educational and creative possibilities to the more than 30 million U.S. households with personal computers. This is especially important for laptop users, a growing segment of the total computer market for whom the addition of cards may not be an option.. Much attention has been paid to ease of use, with a larger, icon-based, backlit display. All user interfaces have been completely redesigned, taking the PSR8000 to a new level of user friendliness.
Yamaha's Auto Accompaniment is world renowned for its natural, musically correct and easy-to-play styles. These functions have been enhanced with four variations per style and two intros and endings.
"The stunning performance characteristics and capabilities of the PSR740 and PSR640, in one complete package, are going to make professionals rethink the way they make music," Presley says. "The amazing innovations of these keyboards will make those who only listen rethink why they're not making the music themselves."