Yamaha plans to take on the compact synthesizer market with the miniature Yamaha SEQTRAK groovebox. The tool is built on the “DNA of the DX and AMW2 tools,” the company noted.
The presentation of the groovebox will take place at the NAMM 2024 exhibition , which will be held from January 25 to 28 in Anaheim, USA. The instrument is described as a multifunctional dawless device that combines a drum machine, synthesizer, sampler and sequencer in a compact package.
Equipped with a battery, SEQTRAK will be available in two body colors: all-black and grey-orange. Externally, the groovebox resembles a mixture of other popular small instruments – the Korg SQ-64 and Teenage Engineering OP-1.
SEQTRAK features a sample-based drum machine with seven sound slots for kick, snare, claps, open and closed hi-hat and two percussion options. Users will be able to upload their own sounds to the instrument’s library to create unique drum kits. The manufacturer notes that the groovebox library will offer more than 2,000 different sounds.
The synthesizer section consists of four synthesis engines: frequency modulation (with four operators), two AWM2 engines with 128-voice polyphony and a DX engine. According to the description, the DX engine sounds identical to Yamaha’s full-size DX series synthesizers, while the FM engine is inspired by other FM instruments from the company.
The SEQTRAK sampler records a signal at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz and 16 bits. For recording, the built-in microphone is used, or the signal is taken from connected sound sources. It is noted that you can also transfer sound to the sampler via USB – when connected to a computer, the groovebox is defined as an audio interface. Additionally, there is an option to resample files stored in the instrument’s memory.
The instrument is equipped with a set of effects consisting of delay, reverb, distortion, compression, as well as a set of modulators. Effects can be applied to individual sounds or to the master channel. Detailed effects control is available in the synthesis section, as well as in the SEQTRAK companion app, available on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. The application also visualizes the signal and more clearly shows changes made by the user.
The sound of the groovebox is controlled through the control section on the body. For example, users can change the signal’s pitch, volume, position in stereo space, and also control the AD envelope and filters. For deeper patch changes, the manufacturer recommends using the SEQTRAK application.
SEQTRAK’s 128-step sequencer captures the sound inside the synthesizer and the system’s notes in monophonic, polyphonic, and chord modes. When working with a sequencer, some of the keys on the groovebox body replace the keyboard and work in chromatic mode. The sequencer supports various scales, modes and scales, and at the same time is equipped with an arpeggiator with a wide range of its own settings.
To connect to computers and smartphones, the groovebox is equipped with a Bluetooth module with Bluetooth MIDI support, which is used to exchange information with a companion application. To transfer samples, exchange information, control external devices and manage the groovebox, SEQTRAK is also equipped with a Wi-Fi module, MIDI In/Out connector, USB-C port, as well as AUX and headphone output. There is no separate output for monitoring systems: it is assumed that users will work with headphones or use the built-in speaker.
Sales of the device will begin in February 2024. The model will be presented at the NAMM 2024 exhibition. The recommended cost of the groovebox will be $599. For more details, visit Yamaha’s official website .