In August 2017, the much-anticipated successor to the hugely popular Yamaha Tyros keyboard range was revealed, and it had a really strange name. At first, we couldn’t agree on how to pronounce it! ‘G-noss’, ‘Gen-oss’, ‘Gee-nozz’, were some of the options that were thrown around (We settled on ‘G-noss’). It was a striking black colour, which was rather unexpected as we were just getting used to the lovely gun-metal grey finish on the Yamaha Tyros 5. The Yamaha Genos was, visually, far more different from Tyros 5 than we ever expected, and to be honest, we were a bit worried!
We needn’t have been worried because the Yamaha Genos turned out to be a worldwide success and our most popular keyboard ever. Indeed, many Genos owners have subsequently said to me that they can’t imagine how Yamaha can improve it much further! Well, while I do think that the Genos is the best arranger keyboard Yamaha have ever made, after nearly 4 years of playing one I do have a few ideas about how they can improve it. So, my blog today is all about what I hope we’ll see from its successor, whatever that may be, and whenever that may arrive.
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1. I hope that sharing with the Genos community is easy to do.
We’re all very connected with each other online these days, aren’t we? It’s so easy to share pictures, videos, etc. Here’s how I think we could really harness this new connectivity in a potential successor to Genos.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could send our keyboard settings to each other instantly at the touch of a button via WiFi? For example; Imagine that you see a YouTube video of someone playing a breathtaking arrangement of your favourite song on Genos, and all you had to do to get their precise settings is search for their name on your Genos screen, and then press a button to instantly download their setup to your own keyboard. Genos players around the world could create their own personal profiles and upload their homemade settings for sharing, and fellow players could rate them so it’s easy to identify the best ones. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic way to share music on this wonderful instrument?
A similar system to this is currently available for some Yamaha stage pianos, like the CP range. It’s called ‘Soundmondo’ and all you need is a tablet or smartphone to use it. It actually used to be possible with the Yamaha Tyros 5 via an iPad app called ‘Repertoire’. We had a lot of fun with it, but it was discontinued by Yamaha for some reason or another. You can watch David demonstrating it a few years ago below.
Watch David showing us how the Yamaha Repertoire app allowed Tyros 5 users to share their settings around the world.
2. I hope that there are more size options to choose from.
The Yamaha Tyros keyboard range only used to be available in a 61 note version, until the Tyros 5 came along and we were served up a choice of 61 or 76 notes. The Yamaha Genos has only ever been available in one size: 76 notes. Although, conveniently, due to the design of the chassis, the length of the Genos (1234mm) was nowhere near as wide as the Tyros 5 76-note version (1347mm).
It would be very nice to have 61, 76, and 88 note versions of the Genos 2, and if the 88 note version had fully weighted piano keys that would be a very welcome feature for people who prefer a piano-style feel to the keys. The 61 note version would ideally be as compact as possible, for there are many players out there who are limited for space and would appreciate something that will fit where their Tyros keyboard does.
If you are one of those unfortunate people who couldn’t upgrade from a Tyros to a Genos for space reasons, you might consider the ‘mini-Genos’ keyboards – The Yamaha PSR SX700 and SX900. They are essentially very compact Genos keyboards with built-in speakers and offer most of the features you see on Genos. You might find my video about it below helpful.
Is it worth upgrading from a Yamaha Tyros 5 to the 'Mini Genos' PSR SX700/900 keyboards?
3. I hope that the operating system remains the same.
One of the great advances in technology that we saw with Genos was the introduction of a touchscreen operating system. It wasn’t just that touching a screen (which is becoming second nature to us all!) made it inherently easier to use, it was also the fact that the screen layout was no longer restricted by having to correspond to buttons around the edge of the display. This has allowed more flexibility for displaying information on the screen, therefore, making it easier to see and control what is happening on the keyboard.
I would like this system to remain on any potential new version of Genos. In fact, I would be astonished if Yamaha decides to revert back to a button-only system like the Tyros keyboards used. Touchscreens are surely here to stay (at least until mind-controlled systems are developed!). Funnily enough, when I do find myself playing a Tyros keyboard (or one of that era), I keep accidentally pressing the screen expecting to control it. It’s a very difficult habit to break, a bit like driving a manual car for years then changing to an automatic and always searching for the clutch with your foot.
The original operating system on Genos, like most software these days, has also had some significant upgrades (which were all free!) that have included some excellent new features. This is a testament to the flexibility of this particular operating system. The biggest upgrade was version 2.0 in November 2019, which added, amongst other things, 60 new voices, 50 new styles, and the Chord Looper function. You can watch David’s video about it below.
David explains what software version 2.0 will bring to your Yamaha Genos
4. I hope that Playlist is revamped
When the Genos was launched, after getting over the new black chassis and deciding on the correct way to pronounce Genos, the next thing that we were surprised to learn was that the excellent Music Finder feature from Tyros was not included on Genos. It was replaced by a feature called Playlist. Yes, the very same Playlist feature that you’ve been pulling your hair out over for the past 3 and-a-bit years. In my opinion, Playlist is an excellent feature that is let down by a poor user interface. This is not the fault of the many players who have struggled to get to grips with it, it’s the fault of the software designers who have failed to make it simple to use.
In whatever comes to replace the Genos, I would like Registrations and Playlists to be better integrated so that users can more easily compile their own custom lists of songs, order them as they please, and then switch between them without getting lost in sub-menus and folders.
For those of you who are currently struggling with Playlist and would like some guidance (before you are left completely bald), have a look at part 2 of our Genos Tipsters Information Guide by clicking here. The entire 10-part guide, which is available in a ring-bound folder or as a downloaded version, can be seen by clicking here. (Part 8 also covers using Playlist)
5. I hope that sheet music can be displayed easily
Although it is possible to display music notation on the Genos, it’s hardly a straightforward operation. It is, however, made somewhat easier if you use the Songbook+ app, but that requires you to own an iPad. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to do the following things with a Genos 2:
- Upload high-quality pictures of your existing sheet music from your smartphone
- Organise them in a library on the keyboard and link them to a Registration of your choice
- Display your uploaded music on the screen while you play
- Be able to purchase new music directly to your Genos 2 via WIFI at the touch of a button
The type of sheet music that players like to view varies somewhat too. Some people like the traditional treble and bass score, some people like the ‘easy keyboard’ notation where the notes are written within the score itself. Just look at the variety of sheet music that is in our preowned keyboard books selection and you’ll see what I mean.
It would be really nice to think that the ability to configure the sheet music display to your own desired style would be included in any Genos successor.
6. I hope you can videocall the Genos Tipsters for tips and tricks!
Okay, I might be dreaming with this one! – But, wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could connect your hypothetical Genos 2 to the internet via WIFI and videocall other Genos owners for a chat while you play? What a great way to connect with other players. It would have been particularly useful during the Covid lockdowns! It could also allow our customers to connect to me or David (a.k.a. The Genos Tipsters) for technical support, or to take part in one of our livestream video sessions.
The (affordably priced) technology to do this might well be more than a few years away, but I hope the ambition is there from our friends at Yamaha. We’ve all got rather used to connecting with each other via Zoom/FaceTime/WhatsApp etc, during this past 18 months, so I think that more people than ever are receptive to using this type of technology. For me, it would be a really wonderful way to keep the Genos community together and to share the enjoyment that this keyboard brings us all.
Used Keyboard Selection
What do you hope to see from a Genos replacement?
I’d really like to know what you are hoping to see from a successor to the Genos keyboard. Get in touch and let me know by either leaving a comment below or by emailing email@example.com. Take care, everyone!