Synth Site: Yamaha: RM-1X: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Modern Sound Knower a hobbyist user from United States writes:
I bought this machine to run my studio songwriting sessions and live performances. I paid $150 for one on eBay. I have no interest in using a PC to make music. Instead of spending thousands on a computer and software - and then spending further thousands for proper MIDI hardware controllers - just to emulate old-school hardware approaches, I opted to go back in time to the way it used to be done. Of course, the RM1x itself came out in the era of grooveboxes, when manufacturers were trying to squeeze every function of truly old-school pieces into a single unit. Personally, I think this thing might have even been more popular if it had come with no internal sounds whatsoever. Its beauty comes from the fact that it is a fully mature MIDI device that gives absolute and total control over every aspect of electronic music-making. I have no opinion on the internal sounds; I never use them. This is a hardware MIDI control surface and editor. It is very interesting, reading through all the reviews of this piece through the years. A number of people understand this machine. Here are some highlights from other reviews:

"What people think of as this machine's limitations are just the result of peoples' lack of putting energy into what they're doing."

"If you have time to go through all job and edit tasks, you will be delighted!"

"A lot of people should really read the RM1x owners manual. It is really helpful for learning the RM's capabilities."

"Expect a week or two of trial and error, but once you come to grips with it you will be set with a really flexible piece of equipment."

"Initially I was expecting this to be another groovebox. Was I wrong. I have to say that this machine is rather intuitive and VERY deep."

"The RM1x is for programmers, people who want to get into the guts of the machine and come up with their sound. This machine is for the more serious musician."

"This box is for composers, people who want to write their own music. Read the manual. Study this machine. It's gonna take a couple of months to really learn it."

"The RM1x is probably the best hardware sequencer out there for people who need a live / improvisational sequencer...the mc-80 and qy-700 being more for people who fully compose a track first."

And then there are plenty of poor people who simply haven't taken the time to learn their equipment. They end up writing reviews like this: "Editing on the RM1x is a joke and pisses me off to no end...you can't really change much[!]..." That is just plain wrong, and based on a lack of understanding of the RM1x. Editing is deep and complete, and also very intuitive. Of course, if you're manually editing every control change of a 480 ppqn sequencer numerically, it's going to be involved. But the RM1x makes it as easy as it can be.

Some people do come around, though: "Well, I posted a review few weeks ago saying how difficult a time I had learning how to program the RM1X. Well, what a difference some serious quality time makes! For someone, like me, who is NOT a tech head, there is simply no alternative to simply hunkering down and spending four, five hours or more just exploring the machine. I finally did so, not just tinkering around for 10 - 15 min and giving up in despair. Remember I'm saying all this having learned just 1/10th of what the RM1X is capable of. Give yourself time to learn the machine. Read the manual, and practise, practise and practise." No truer words have ever been spoken!

Don't pay any attention to the opinions of people who have spent less than 100 hours concentrating on using this machine's vast interior architecture (including your own!). It is true - as noted above - that the qy-700 (and especially the mc-80) are the best and most serious hardware sequencers ever made for studio song production. However, for actually playing/writing music, the RM1x gives the easy control that is essential to making electronic music breathe. It should probably be the first piece purchased by the aspiring electronic musician.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-18-2008 at 11:45
WatchOut! a hobbyist user from Holland writes:
To much to read about this device:see other reviews,this box kicks ass! But for 2hand buyers of this machine:CHECK AL KNOBS BEFORE BUYING!!! these are fragile and many units have become almost worhtless because of this,and almost not possible to repair! wish al possible 2hand buyers succes with purchasing this unit,cause i had one of these too,some knobs stay dead,fixing is hard,must replace whole circuit board,very expensive!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-18-2008 at 06:16
Pirx a hobbyist user from Germany writes:
I've got the RM1X recently, and I'm really pleased with this unit. The interface is well thought out, actually the best I've seen so far, lots of functions, and the most important of them reachable very quick. The sequencer is a breeze, it finally allows me to switch off may laptop, because I don't like making music the PC-way that much for several reasons. The RM1X is a well worth replacement for my DAW. It's also a MIDI-Controller in case, I decide to use PC-based instruments like the Spectrasonics stuff or Ableton or the like. I really like the intuitive way I can compose and play music, and the word 'play' gets back it's meaning when the RM1X is in use. It has MIDI delay and Harmonize (to add and shift to second harmonies), you can add the effects realtime, big fun, and record the results to the track you are using it on. There are lots of useful functions (incl. Undo/Redo), and it will take time to completely explore them, if possible at all. Soundwise it's not up to date, but the sounds are usefull, and, which is not the worst, they don't dominate the mix, which is an advantage for me. They can sound thick after tweaking, but out of the box they can be used to build up a frame, a backingtrack or just the basic material to compose MIDI tracks to control external gear later. For that purpose it has 64 voices (32 for the internal sound engine), which is enough in most cases. The RM1X brings me back to my music, lets me sit down and play, which my laptop doesn't, and I'm seriously thinking about getting a second unit, just in case, because especially the Keyboard buttons are a bit flimsy and probably can't stand heavy use for a long time, while all the other knobs and buttons seem to be sturdy so far. I give it a 5, because it brings fun AND lots of possibilities for serious composing work.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-19-2008 at 04:21
a professional user writes:
I have been using the Rm1x for four or so years now, and I am still willing to defend it's interface to the death. It's incredible. The sound catalog, as most who know will say, is a bit dated, but if your looking for a seriously specific level of unique sound you should probably go with sampling or a dedicated module. The sounds it does bring are very good, and I have found that the limitations they broke were in my mind, not in itself. As to it's interface, the three part Pattern/Chain/Song process is incredibe. You can actually manipulate your pattern chain to further modify the songs sound. Using both the pattern and chain modes simultaneously as you build a song is an excellent way to understand from a fresh perspective how a song can best flow. I don't know of any other sequencer that works in this way. Add the Octave-and-a-half micro keyboard, 8 realtime knobs, 4 recording modes... and you have a great sequencer. A few complaints; First: the one-dimensional view of note data in step record mode (It's a one line 'score'). Second: the lack of a USB out (due to the age, no doubt) and a non-standard file format. (*.MID? NOPE! And I DON'T trust floppy!) Overall, though, I believe that this is an outstanding sequencer.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-11-2008 at 02:32
shekhar raj dhain a professional user from united kingdom writes:
Im a soundtrack composer and producer/engineer for all kinds of music, and Ive used this for the last 7 YEARS in nearly everything ive ever done.

The internal sound engine is a bit dated these days, but the real time sequence manipulation that is available on this is STILL UNBEATABLE to this day ( The only machine that does beat it, is yamaha's RS7000). Even some of the well known "band-in-abox" type DAW's arent as immediate or inspiring to use..you really can take a riff and run to the hills with it VERY VERY QUICKLY

Perhpas im biased cause i know it inside and out, but it is still such an inspiring piece of kit.

top marks!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Dec-15-2007 at 19:33
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