Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by revtor »

Love mine, it’s in my definitely never sell pile.
As a way to play, mute, solo, add effects, mix all different types of midi tracks, it really can’t be beat. It falls a little bit short if you’re trying to actually compose on the spot because you do need to stop it between recording each track, but once you have the tracks recorded and the variations, playing them live as a “set” is really awesome.
They could fix the need to stop btwn recording tracks, add an extra set of midi ports and another set of audio outputs or two, and keep everything the same and it would be completely valid and amazing compared to almost anything today.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by emperor bohe »

Kattefjaes wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 3:43 pm Really enjoying the random RM1x videos. I never did have one at the time, had an MC-505 (another period rompler!). I still have a weakness for grooveboxes though, a definite vice.

Here's the inevitable Bad Gear episiode, he loves himself a rompler too:

please tell me more about the MC-505! I almost got one instead of the RM1x, tbh I can't even remember what it was that made me go with the RM1x instead. maybe it was 16 tracks vs the 8 of the MC-505 (if I'm not mistaken). might still pick one up someday...
revtor wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 5:50 pm Love mine, it’s in my definitely never sell pile.
As a way to play, mute, solo, add effects, mix all different types of midi tracks, it really can’t be beat. It falls a little bit short if you’re trying to actually compose on the spot because you do need to stop it between recording each track, but once you have the tracks recorded and the variations, playing them live as a “set” is really awesome.
They could fix the need to stop btwn recording tracks, add an extra set of midi ports and another set of audio outputs or two, and keep everything the same and it would be completely valid and amazing compared to almost anything today.
yep, definitely a fun and powerful machine.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by Kattefjaes »

emperor bohe wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 7:13 pm please tell me more about the MC-505! I almost got one instead of the RM1x, tbh I can't even remember what it was that made me go with the RM1x insted
I mean, they were both fun machines. The MC-505 was like an overgrown MC-303, but with assignable outs, way more controls (per-track faders were really nice) and general upgrades across the board. It did have its share of cheesy period rompler sounds (and demo patterns, ye ghods), but also some quite passable stereotypical Roland SoundCanvas-style strings and things. It actually didn't sound bad, especially if you didn't just accept the presets as was. The onboard effects weren't completely horrible either, even if the filter sounded quite digital. Oddly, I quite liked the very nerve-jangling distortion effect, which was firmly in the digital realm- worked nicely for noise/industrial sorts of sounds.

It was very hands-on and build quality was generally decent. Having all those controls for mutes, envelope, track faders and things gave you plenty of control and reduced menu-diving. The actual sequencer was still very Microcomposer-style, with realtime record and weird step sequencing, but you got used to it.

It did have the much-mocked D-beam, but I kinda enjoyed that too- I had some nice theremin patches for.. I forget which software synth at the time, and used to control the D-Beam with that. I have a VERY vague memory that it was able to record and play back control moves from my Juno 106- which would be pretty weird, as the Juno had a very early MIDI implementation, and I think used sysex rather than CC for those things.

I seem to recall that the CPU felt a fair bit more powerful than the MC-303. I used to make a lot of circa 200bpm gabber on that, and it ran out of CPU time a lot with knob automation recorded, even when you thinned it out. A new ROM set kindly supplied by Roland improved things somewhat, but you always felt the lack of wiggle room. The MC-505 was far harder to push into dropouts and so forth.

The really sad bit, that I am ashamed of- I basically skipped my working MC-505. Yes, I was one of those mysterious people who throws away working instruments. It was a time when I was super-depressed and hadn't made music for years. I was trying to clear the spare room, which was buried under junk and I'm afraid I just threw it out in a fit of pique. The little matrix LCD still worked and everything. I should have at least offered it to a charity shop :(

I suspect that if I still had it, threads like this would make me want to dig it out and see what I could get out of it today.


I did always secretly that the RM1x looked like a lot of fun too, though- so nice to see people dusting them off and having a play.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by emperor bohe »

Kattefjaes wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 8:03 am
emperor bohe wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 7:13 pm please tell me more about the MC-505! I almost got one instead of the RM1x, tbh I can't even remember what it was that made me go with the RM1x insted
I mean, they were both fun machines. The MC-505 was like an overgrown MC-303, but with assignable outs, way more controls (per-track faders were really nice) and general upgrades across the board. It did have its share of cheesy period rompler sounds (and demo patterns, ye ghods), but also some quite passable stereotypical Roland SoundCanvas-style strings and things. It actually didn't sound bad, especially if you didn't just accept the presets as was. The onboard effects weren't completely horrible either, even if the filter sounded quite digital. Oddly, I quite liked the very nerve-jangling distortion effect, which was firmly in the digital realm- worked nicely for noise/industrial sorts of sounds.

It was very hands-on and build quality was generally decent. Having all those controls for mutes, envelope, track faders and things gave you plenty of control and reduced menu-diving. The actual sequencer was still very Microcomposer-style, with realtime record and weird step sequencing, but you got used to it.

It did have the much-mocked D-beam, but I kinda enjoyed that too- I had some nice theremin patches for.. I forget which software synth at the time, and used to control the D-Beam with that. I have a VERY vague memory that it was able to record and play back control moves from my Juno 106- which would be pretty weird, as the Juno had a very early MIDI implementation, and I think used sysex rather than CC for those things.

I seem to recall that the CPU felt a fair bit more powerful than the MC-303. I used to make a lot of circa 200bpm gabber on that, and it ran out of CPU time a lot with knob automation recorded, even when you thinned it out. A new ROM set kindly supplied by Roland improved things somewhat, but you always felt the lack of wiggle room. The MC-505 was far harder to push into dropouts and so forth.

The really sad bit, that I am ashamed of- I basically skipped my working MC-505. Yes, I was one of those mysterious people who throws away working instruments. It was a time when I was super-depressed and hadn't made music for years. I was trying to clear the spare room, which was buried under junk and I'm afraid I just threw it out in a fit of pique. The little matrix LCD still worked and everything. I should have at least offered it to a charity shop :(

I suspect that if I still had it, threads like this would make me want to dig it out and see what I could get out of it today.


I did always secretly that the RM1x looked like a lot of fun too, though- so nice to see people dusting them off and having a play.
hmmm.. i'm still tempted to get one if the price is right haha. using the d-beam for theremin patches is something that i never even would've thought of! i think the main thing that scares me off from getting one is the inconsistent screen conditions.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by Kattefjaes »

emperor bohe wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 3:36 pm hmmm.. i'm still tempted to get one if the price is right haha. using the d-beam for theremin patches is something that i never even would've thought of! i think the main thing that scares me off from getting one is the inconsistent screen conditions.
Yeah, those little matrix screens didn't age well sometimes.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by IR »

I need to start using it sometime again because it works perfectly with the first version Volca Sample.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by Headphones73 »

I have a AN200 & DX200, but always have this feeling I could program better stuff if I had them chained up to a RM1x or RS7000. Had my sights set on getting a MC909, but if my local music shop ever got a RM1x in, I’d find a way to pick it up. I did briefly own one, but hated it’s brick power supply. And I forgot why I had to sell it. Hard times I imagine. I owned a RS7000 one time, but I had to lug that over to my local GuitarCenter and can’t even remember what they paid me for it.

I’m sure they’re getting the love denied to them over the years, but unfortunately their patterns probably haven’t aged well. I’d also love to get a SU700, but that’s another topic altogether.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by emperor bohe »

IR wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:03 pm I need to start using it sometime again because it works perfectly with the first version Volca Sample.
how are you using them together? midi clock only? or are you using 1 device to trigger the other? love ur avatar btw lol.
Headphones73 wrote: Sat Jun 04, 2022 8:25 am I have a AN200 & DX200, but always have this feeling I could program better stuff if I had them chained up to a RM1x or RS7000. Had my sights set on getting a MC909, but if my local music shop ever got a RM1x in, I’d find a way to pick it up. I did briefly own one, but hated it’s brick power supply. And I forgot why I had to sell it. Hard times I imagine. I owned a RS7000 one time, but I had to lug that over to my local GuitarCenter and can’t even remember what they paid me for it.

I’m sure they’re getting the love denied to them over the years, but unfortunately their patterns probably haven’t aged well. I’d also love to get a SU700, but that’s another topic altogether.
the onboard sounds/patterns are definitely dated, but a lot of the fun for me is shaping these dated sounds into usable stuff. i've started to enjoy modifying a sound in the RM1x, and then sampling it into my SP-505 or ASR-X Pro and having fun with it.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by IR »

emperor bohe wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:46 am
IR wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:03 pm I need to start using it sometime again because it works perfectly with the first version Volca Sample.
how are you using them together? midi clock only? or are you using 1 device to trigger the other? love ur avatar btw lol.
The first version of the Volca Sample has one MIDI channel per voice, and the RM1X can sequence on any channel, unlike other sequencers I have which force you to have all the drums on one channel.

The Volca sequencer is basically useless, you only get one measure, and if you use the same sounds for different patterns, you can't take advantage of the different samples. There is some pattern chain thing in the Volca, also useless because you can't mute.

If you don't use the sequencer in the Volca, you can use the patterns as "kits".
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by emperor bohe »

IR wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:01 am
emperor bohe wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:46 am
IR wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:03 pm I need to start using it sometime again because it works perfectly with the first version Volca Sample.
how are you using them together? midi clock only? or are you using 1 device to trigger the other? love ur avatar btw lol.
The first version of the Volca Sample has one MIDI channel per voice, and the RM1X can sequence on any channel, unlike other sequencers I have which force you to have all the drums on one channel.

The Volca sequencer is basically useless, you only get one measure, and if you use the same sounds for different patterns, you can't take advantage of the different samples. There is some pattern chain thing in the Volca, also useless because you can't mute.

If you don't use the sequencer in the Volca, you can use the patterns as "kits".
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by bambrose »

Just spent a day overhauling mine… replaced screen, microswitches, encoders etc.
It’s a great drum machine. The stock samples are pretty decent and the fx on a par with an spx(9)90 …
I like it. The interface is good fun. The sequencer is excellent with some great midi fx as well.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by IR »

bambrose wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:24 amThe stock samples are pretty decent and the fx on a par with an spx(9)90 …
I like it. The interface is good fun. The sequencer is excellent with some great midi fx as well.
Yes, but it does have some annoying high pitched aliasing. I like to use an analogue low pass filter on older hardware like this.

I don't really understand how some people say it sounds "dated". They're just synth sounds. Granted, some newer machines do have more sophisticated mangling, but that doesn't have much to do with the base sound.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by Kattefjaes »

bambrose wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:24 am Just spent a day overhauling mine… replaced screen, microswitches, encoders etc.
It’s a great drum machine. The stock samples are pretty decent and the fx on a par with an spx(9)90 …
I like it. The interface is good fun. The sequencer is excellent with some great midi fx as well.
Oh, that's bloody great. Not enough love for cheesy old 90s romplers grooveboxes like this- they often have solid and enjoyable no-messing sequencers, plus it can really challenge creativity to get something interesting out of the more dated and period-specific sounds.

Posts like yours aren't helping me cut down on the amount of electronic clutter that I own :mrgreen:
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by dubonaire »

IR wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:48 am
bambrose wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:24 amThe stock samples are pretty decent and the fx on a par with an spx(9)90 …
I like it. The interface is good fun. The sequencer is excellent with some great midi fx as well.
Yes, but it does have some annoying high pitched aliasing. I like to use an analogue low pass filter on older hardware like this.

I don't really understand how some people say it sounds "dated". They're just synth sounds. Granted, some newer machines do have more sophisticated mangling, but that doesn't have much to do with the base sound.
I think dated might be the wrong word. Some of the sounds are just not great, especially the pads. But I think I might fire mine up after reading this. I haven’t used it for maybe 12 years.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by OIP »

almost worth the price of admission for the MIDI effects alone, the MIDI delay is so much fun that it's wild it is not on more sequencers. just the sequencing in general is incredibly powerful, even by today's standards.

i fully resoldered all the switches in mine, and fixed the dimmed screen after a lot of service manual head scratching.. then sold it a few months later in a downsizing fever. hope new owner has had fun with it.
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by emperor bohe »

bambrose wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:24 am Just spent a day overhauling mine… replaced screen, microswitches, encoders etc.
It’s a great drum machine. The stock samples are pretty decent and the fx on a par with an spx(9)90 …
I like it. The interface is good fun. The sequencer is excellent with some great midi fx as well.
OIP wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:31 am almost worth the price of admission for the MIDI effects alone, the MIDI delay is so much fun that it's wild it is not on more sequencers. just the sequencing in general is incredibly powerful, even by today's standards.

i fully resoldered all the switches in mine, and fixed the dimmed screen after a lot of service manual head scratching.. then sold it a few months later in a downsizing fever. hope new owner has had fun with it.
how hard is re-soldering the switches for someone that can only really do the absolute basic level of soldering? a bunch of the key switches on my RM1x barely respond but i'm reluctant to try resoldering them because i'm too nervous to open it up lol. the only soldering that i've ever done was replacing capacitators on my original Xbox haha..
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by revtor »

emperor bohe wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:45 am
bambrose wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:24 am Just spent a day overhauling mine… replaced screen, microswitches, encoders etc.
It’s a great drum machine. The stock samples are pretty decent and the fx on a par with an spx(9)90 …
I like it. The interface is good fun. The sequencer is excellent with some great midi fx as well.
OIP wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:31 am almost worth the price of admission for the MIDI effects alone, the MIDI delay is so much fun that it's wild it is not on more sequencers. just the sequencing in general is incredibly powerful, even by today's standards.

i fully resoldered all the switches in mine, and fixed the dimmed screen after a lot of service manual head scratching.. then sold it a few months later in a downsizing fever. hope new owner has had fun with it.
how hard is re-soldering the switches for someone that can only really do the absolute basic level of soldering? a bunch of the key switches on my RM1x barely respond but i'm reluctant to try resoldering them because i'm too nervous to open it up lol. the only soldering that i've ever done was replacing capacitators on my original Xbox haha..
Hardest thing is getting the old ones desoldered. I got a solder sucker + iron in one and it worked great for replacing a few pots in my Virus. Beats the separate solder pump and way beats solder wick. (Of course not as nice as a proper desoldering setup)
Something like this
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Re: Yamaha RM1x - anyone still using it?

Post by OIP »

agree, it's all just the desoldering (and taking apart 90s yamaha which as usual is built like a tank but just has a lot of screws). i used wick, once you have the technique down it's easy if a little fiddly sometimes. definitely worth doing, but also make sure you get the right switches as the tactile feel and responsiveness is noticeable.
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