Yamaha unveils MX49 and MX61 synths

Yamaha has announced two new portable synths - the MX49 and MX61 - that are designed both for performance and to integrate with your computer setup

Differentiated only by keyboard size, each of these 61-part multitimbral keyboards contains over 1000 of Yamaha's flagship MOTIF sounds, effects and an 'easy' split/layer/performance mode that enables you to quickly come up with custom tones.

What's more, the MXs are designed to integrate tightly with your DAW: audio can be piped directly over USB, and you can switch to a DAW Remote mode that enables you to use the hands-on controls to adjust parameters in your software.

You can also use the Ms as an audio interface, though disappointingly, the only input comes in the form of an aux mini-jack. Another thing that's lacking at present is the option to use the MX's synth as a VST instrument (complete with software editor) though we're told that this is on the way.

The MX49 and 61 both ship with a copy of Cubase AI, plus Steinberg's Prologue synth and Yamaha's own YC-3B virtual organ. As such, anyone who buys one is getting a full music production starter kit.

Perhaps the most striking thing about these keyboards, though is their price: the MX49 has a target price of £499 and the MX61 should be available for £649. Both models will be shipping in December.

Yamaha MX49 and MX61 specs

  • 166MB of internal Wave ROM
  • More than 1000 Voices taken directly from MOTIF
  • USB Audio/MIDI interface built in
  • VCM Effects
  • Auxiliary input and WAV/MIDI file playback
  • One touch Layer and Split function
  • 128 note Polyphony / 16 part multitimbral
  • 999 arpeggio patterns
  • Advanced synth editor
  • Remote Mode for DAW control
  • Bundled with Cubase AI, YC-3B organ emulator, Steinberg Prologue analog synth
  • Lightweight design: (MX49: 4kg, MX61: 5kg)
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.