Yamaha RM1x

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Yamaha RM1x.jpg
Manufactured byYamaha
Datesmid to late 1990s
Technical specifications
Polyphony32-voice polyphonic
Timbrality16-part multitimbral
Synthesis typesample-based
Filter1 per voice
Velocity sensitiveNo
Memory654 patches
46 drum kits
60 styles
16 patterns per style
20 songs
110,000 note sequencer
Effects1 insert, 2 send or 3 send
Keyboard2 octave, pushbutton
External controlMIDI & foot switch

The Yamaha RM1x is a groovebox manufactured by Yamaha from the mid to late 1990s. It integrates several, commonly separate, pieces of music composition and performance hardware into a single unit: a step-programmable drum machine, a synthesizer, a music sequencer, and a control surface.

The front panel of the RM1x is angled slightly to facilitate tabletop use but Yamaha also produced an accessory to allow rack-mounting the unit.

The RM1x is organized into five blocks: sequencer block, tone generator block, controller block, effect block, and arpeggio block.[1]

Sequencer block

The sequencer block has three modes of operation: pattern mode, pattern chain mode, and song mode.[2]

All patterns, pattern chains, and songs are saved in non-volatile memory. The RM1x also has a 3.5" floppy disk drive for additional storage and archiving.

Patterns may be up to 256 measures long for looped playback, and up to 16 MIDI parts deep. Patterns may be grouped into named styles, with up to 16 patterns per style. Yamaha supplies 60 preset styles. Patterns may be programmed step-wise, like a drum machine, or recorded in real-time from MIDI input and control-surface buttons and knobs.

A sequence of patterns may be chained together in up to 999 chain slots.

The RM1x can save up to 20 songs at a time in memory, from sequenced or realtime recorded MIDI events.

Tone generator block

The RM1x has a Yamaha AWM2 tone generator block, producing sound in response to sequenced events, the controller block, and from the MIDI IN connector. Up to 32 notes of polyphony can be played simultaneously from 16 timbres selected from 654 voices and 46 drum kits.[3]

Each voice has an independent filter with cutoff, resonance, and envelope control.

Controller block

The unit's control surface consists of a backlit graphic LCD, many pushbuttons, potentiometers, and rotary encoders. The potentiometers are user-assignable and can control multiple MIDI parameters in realtime during recording or performance.

A two octave pushbutton keyboard may be played in real time or using during stepwise pattern recording. This keyboard does not generate MIDI velocity or aftertouch information but the AWM2 tone generator will respond to such information if delivered by one of the realtime knobs or an external MIDI controller.

Visual feedback comes from individual red and green LEDs, several red seven segment LEDs, and a 240x64 pixel LCD with green backlighting.

Effect block

Three effect systems are available simultaneously in the effect block: reverb, chorus, and variations.[4]

Reverb effects include hall, room, stage, plate, "white room", tunnel, and basement. Chorus effects include conventional, 3-phase LFO "celeste", and flanger.[5]

Variation effects include delays, echos, cross delays, early reflections, gate reverbs, reverse gate reverbs, rotary speakers, tremolo, auto-pan, phaser, distortion, overdrive, amp simulations, auto-wah, and equalizers.[5]

A digital low-boost with +/- 24 dB gain and selectable boost frequency is also available.

Arpeggio block

Arpeggios can be played on the built-in keyboard or external keyboard in realtime, during performance or recording. Arpeggios may move up, down, or randomly with several sorting, holding, octave range, and transposition options.[6]

Notable users

Soul Coughing, CuriositySuck!!, Apollo 440, Ichae Ackso, Crystal Distortion, Darude, Elysian Fury, Crysco, JP Automatic, Justin Berkovi and Signal Electrique are known to use the RM1x.


  1. Owner's Manual, page 34.
  2. Owner's Manual, pages 35-36.
  3. Owner's Manual, page 37.
  4. Owner's Manual, page 39.
  5. 5.0 5.1 List Book, page 10.
  6. Owner's Manual, page 62.


External links