Synth Site: Yamaha: EX-5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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DTC a part-time user from UK writes:
This is a great synth, if you can overcome the performance mode limitations (my main gripe!) it's capable of some excellent sounds.

For instance, we've got a track that we'd recorded a lot of audio parts for from the EX5. We need to play it live so I've had to overcome the fact that the track uses 4 AN voices (only 1 allowed in perf. mode), and several insert effects (only 1 allowed when using AN voices). I put three of the AN voices on one channel with the insert turned on and simply sent program changes when the voice changed. The other AN voice I used a SuperNova for a substitute sound. It can often be a case of man vs machine, but you can get what you want if you make the effort.

The AN voices are excellent (I'm buying an AN1X s/h to give me more of them!), the sampler is fine if you use a PC for editing and buy the Flash Ram and the FDSP voices can produce even stranger sounds or spice up lifeless voices. Not used VL much, not being a natural voices type of band, but they sound fine and realistic to my ears.

If anyone fancies a listen to tracks made using an EX5, have a listem at:

The tracks are around 50% EX5 (the other 50% from the Novation SuperNova)


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-15-2000 at 08:25
Yong jin , Kim a professional user from South Korea writes:
Previous i played TR-rack,JV880/1080/2080,TS-10....etc many PCM instrument, BUT THIS BOARD's sound is VERY HIGH COLORED-QUALITY!!!

SCSI problem is NOT big black-hole. Instead of original FDD ,SCSI ZIP/JAZ drive will give you nice solution.

Let's see the EX-5's extraordinary sounds.

1.guitar BEAT TRITON!! FUCK THE JV-BOARDS! EX guitar and 18 string will electric shock in your pituitary grand. 2.E.P NON-discusion part. It's BEST in world.(In my opinion, better than SY-99's FM E.P)

3.DRUM Did you hear JAZZ kit? PERPECTION. and DRUM FX is fantastic!!!


5.AN IT is most stable $ thick analogue sound. DO you know? AN is coated by FDSP/AWM. FANTASTIC SOUNDS generated by your finger tip!!

6.FDSP Formulated Digital Sound Processor(FDSP) is like VL characterastic. IT'S EXPRESSION TOP-HIGH QUALITY!!!

7.BASS TOP.(do you remember? DX-7's bass? Traditoinally, yamaha's bass is top-quality.)

8.STRING LIKE ROLAND JV STRING. GOOD. and do you know? VL makes very REAL-STRING SOUND. TRI IT!!(preset NOT contain VL based string.)

9.A.P(acoustic piano) some weak, some great. JAZZ grand is great, but grand is weak in bottom line. but DO YOU KNOW? Taditionally YAMAHA'S acoustic grand is thin but fresh and clear.

10.BELL GREAT than TRINITY BELL sounds. -------------------------------------------------- EX-5 will be best choice and long-lifetime instrument like previous SY-99.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-27-2000 at 15:06
sean starkenburg a professional user from fort lauderdale, USA writes:
WazZzappPpp!!! I havent had my ex5-r for very long but it's almost made my jp8080 obsolete already... the jp8080 is great for some things but the ex5r seems much more well rounded and of course has far more voices and very high quality multi-effects.I actually bought a tr-rack (trinity)first and the sounds were so weak and faggoty that i couldn't wait to take it back for something better... I mean maybe alot of the limp-wristed liberace-impersonators that visit this site might like the trinity (puke)but if you have any taste/talent at all and wanna write kickin' dance trax or any kind of music with substance the ex-5 is the mutha' of all synths at this point in time. I traded my kurzweil k2500s in for the ex5r and a roland a33 controller kboard and am far happier now... the kurzweil was a dinosaur and it's sounds were so dull sounding in comparison (partly due to horrible effects)and only good for strings and piano... THAT'S IT!!! if you want a kurzweil... buy a new blue k2600 or nothing. (comes with kdfx.. much better) ohhh-- and dont listen to the outdated shit on the homepage for these reviews about midi timing coz it's all fixed with the latest operating system... the ex-5 is a masterpiece.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-01-2000 at 11:59
Jimmy a professional user from Nashville, TN writes:
I hope this will get in your list (my first did not)...

The Ex-5, while a little complex to get around, is an extreme sound design machine, although the sampling storage is kind of a pain. The scsi speed is very slow and you must store samples in bulk (not individually). The synthesis structure is beautiful. The board does an incredible job of incorporating the various forms of synthesis. Yes, as mentioned by many others, the sequencing problems have been there, but in other areas the synth is quite extraordinary. Beautiful sounds...Get passed the presets....Extraordinary SOUNDS!!!! Look at the total features of the board and honestly I see more creative flux available in the yamaha than in the Triton...Up front (user interface) yes the triton wins, but the yamaha just has the sound! An incredible palette of opportunity. I can't give it a perfect score overall, because of the storage and sequence issues, but in the sound design realm this is an beautiful board!!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-08-2000 at 03:08
JD a part-time user from USA writes:
Got an EX5 for Xmas (wife bought it for wife, eh?). Thought I'd throw my two cents in, even though I don't know much about this beast.

What lovely, lucious, buttery sounds! I own some good axes (K2500, Prophecy, QS-8, O1/W, M3R, JV880) and have owned a pile of others. For some reason, this board sounds "warmer" and "thicker" than the JV and Triton class cruisers. (Although I do like the shimmery-quality of the JV sounds).

If you crank out anything "jazz" or "jazzy" you could buy this board alone for the "EX Guitar" and "Benson" patches....I've heard a lot of great guitar fakes on synths, from lovely crystal 12-strings to roaring power guitars and jangly Strats, but I've never heard, until know, a board capable of a medium-hollowbody sort of sound that is absolutely organic and alive.

Other high points: Yup, the modeled saxes are wild, but they will take a hell of a lot of practice to really make sound good (I got the "breathalyzer" as a stocking stuffer). The B3 patches are really cool, too. No, I mean it! Really alive! Different than a sampler's B3 patches, particularly the low-key sort of Jimmy Smith patches. The basses are really good, too, but no better than what some other instruments I have can do. I agree that the Rhodes patches are top-notch. They even have this wierd psycho-acoustic tendency to sound slightly out of tune. I dig the harmonicas too.

One more high point: this thing can make some wonderful, dripping, ambient pad stuff. The programmers made a nice and devlishly clever use of making pads that sound neat when sustained on a single note or chord, but are actually playable as moving lines as well. Holds up quite well to my 2500 and Prophecy for this type of sound.

Low points: Pianos have a nice delicate sound, but are weak (particularly in the bottom) if you are counting on this as a piano-substitute. I'm not too impressed with the drums. The general layout/user interface/ logic is not as intuitive as a Kurzweil, a Korg or an Alesis, but no worse than a Roland. I am not offended by, but not overwhelmed by, the strings and orchestral stuff...My K2500 blow it away in this area. The self-looped patches are foreign to me, and I don't use them. I am not into much "analogish/vintage synth" stuff so I can't really comment on whether it rocks or not in those areas.

The thing responds fine to MIDI timing (at least mine does), but I have not used it's sequencing or sampling capabilities. I have not heavily taxed it's DSP.

The keyboard is a joy to play - it was wierd at first, it has sort of a short vertical throw (from top of key to "bottom out" position). If you play with it awhile, you realize you can move *seriously* fast on this board - a plus if you are a "player" type, not much of a plus if you are a "programmer/loop" type. I wish all synth keyboards had this exact same action.

I should offer up that I am a terrible synth programmer and freely admit to using presets, other people's patches, and paying for patches. I am an athletic-fingered player, though, and as a sound enhancing tool this axe is really neat.

For sound: 5/5

For interface: 3/5 (at best)

For sequencing stuff ?/5

PS: For sound, this thing is a five out of five.


posted Thursday-Jan-13-2000 at 18:10
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