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Genos 2? – My hopes for Yamaha’s next flagship arranger keyboard.

"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".

Genos 2? – My hopes for Yamaha’s next flagship arranger keyboard.
Chris Hammond

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

  1. Upload high-quality pictures of your existing sheet music from your smartphone
  2. Organise them in a library on the keyboard and link them to a Registration of your choice
  3. Display your uploaded music on the screen while you play
  4. 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 sales@epianos.co.uk. Take care, everyone!

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Chris Hammond Manager
Chris is the manager of ePianos.co.uk and the driving force behind the demonstration, comparison and review videos that we feature on our website. He is responsible for overseeing all areas of the sales and marketing team, with extensive product knowledge and many years of experience as a musician and composer.
chrisonpiano
20 Replies on

Genos 2? – My hopes for Yamaha’s next flagship arranger keyboard.

  • Hello Dave and Chris, it’s a real pleasure to read this post. I’m almost certain the next flagship music keyboard will host Bluetooth facilities as does the PSRX 900 and the CVP 809 piano. I’d certainly like to see playlist become a lot more user friendly and they upgrade this on the current STUNNING model Genos. For compact ability, I’d love to see the next model incorporate a built in speaker system with bass booster though the current separate speaker system is very good excellent. it would be extremely imperative the current expansion packs are compatible with the next generation of flagship workstation music keyboards as SURE we DONT want to miss out.

    Regards from Rickie from the nice West Midlands.

  • khime1943@gmail.com-Hi Chris, as a complete beginner I wonder if a future Genos could have built in speakers like the ones on the SX900 which I hear are particularly good for the keyboard player and his audience to benefit from. Is the quality of these speakers better than the external speakers for the Genos? or better still, to get maximum sound quality would it be better to hook up Studio Monitors. Just a thought.

    1. Thanks, Mike. That would be really nice to have a ‘Genos 2’ with built-in speakers, and weighted keys perhaps? The speakers on the SX700/900 are really impressive, particularly the 900. I would say that the Genos x3 set is more impressive though as you have the floor subwoofer in action too. It’s a big sound when you really turn the volume up. Studio monitors are great, but, I’ve found the sound to be quite dry. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying playing with headphones as the sound is so direct. Take care now. Chris.

  • Updates to Genos? Having spent a fair amount on keyboards over the years, I’m more interested in potential updates and possibly accessories for Genos:
    Replace the music rest with an optional touch sensitive screen for displaying keyboard settings and or music files.
    A dedicated library of music/registrations/midifiles accessible to all Yamaha keyboard owners to download.
    Bluetooth is a must.
    A sound bar similar to the Korg one, which hooks on the back of the keyboard that can also connect with a sub woofer.
    Reinstate the old IDC (Internet Direct Connection) for updating the instrument and loading registrations/styles etc.
    Video manuals like the ones available on the Korg.com website.
    Converter on the keyboard to turn midifiles into registrations/styles etc., – Strawberry Music would hate it!
    Simpler chord looper – the current one is a bit too cumbersome!
    I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be done in the ways of apps for keyboards, I use SmartPianist with my CSP170, and would like to use it also with my Genos and PSR-SX.

  • The genos came out as a first keyboard to be constantly updated so you dont have to buy another one for many years, others have done this concept and think of the cost each time you upgrade to a new keyboard so this will change in the future . As people dont that there is a shortage of electronic components but as memory is cheap I find that the memorys are puny canyou can buy terabyte ssd now think how many sound and styles you can have. I would say that perhaps you could be fair and do a assessment on the korgpa4x because it’s just stunningly lovely ok I’ve said enough

  • Hello Chris !
    What a very interesting and informative (imaginative) article you write !
    As the proud owner of an SX700 I would dearly love some means by which the multitude of song titles it arrived with
    would allow me to ‘sample’ how the song goes ?
    As usual, Yamaha assume a mass of knowledge on behalf of their customers, that the customer simply doesn’t possess .
    I am somewhat disadvantaged in that I have never been able to ‘sight-read’ music, which is a problem created by my music teacher at prep school , who , for whatever reason , seemed to have a dislike for the male gender in general and little boys in particular , as every bum note played resulted in a sharp whack across the knuckles with a wooden ruler ? Consequently, I left that establishment with a burning hatred for all things involving musical theory (and music teachers in particular) and have never really progressed from there.
    Hum a tune for me, and I can ‘knock’ one out on the keyboard and…..thanks to modern technology from Yamaha….even have a small orchestra accompanying me ! So, maybe all will not be lost ?
    Sincerely, Steve Lewis .

  • Great article Chris, even with a touch of ambitious thinking at the end – but why not. I have only had the Genos for just over 16 months but with lockdown, have got to know this keyboard better than any other keyboard I have ever owned – however still a long way to go. I upgraded from a Tyros 5 and one of the buttons I used a lot on it was the ‘rhythm suggestion’ facility which has not been included on the Genos. While I would have an idea of the rhythm required, this facility gave you about 8 possible suggestions some of which I would not initially have thought about and allowed for a greater variety for backing selection, so I do hope Yamaha reconsider including this in any future upgrade of Genos.

    I do like your suggestion about sharing registrations over wifi – while Genos is connected to my router there seems to be very little you can do with it and the manual is very light on its use other than telling you how to connect to the router.

    Another aspect of the Tyros 5 which appealed to me, was the fact that the screen lifted up from the keyboard. This, in my view, gave a better viewing angle and removed the issue of over head lights reflecting on the screen. I have over come this latter point by purchasing music stand extenders which work extremely well.

    Finally, a small point that applies to both Tyros and Genos – The floor speaker would benefit from having four rubber feet to prevent damage to the base of the speaker. This is probably only an issue for folks like myself who play in residential homes etc. and am moving the speaker in and out of different locations.

  • Chris the Genos 2 needs an external keyboard with 8 touch pads for percussion. When recording I use lots of long file names and the touchscreen is too slow.
    Also need ability to add larger touch screen current is too small and not easy to see for those with sight issues.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to comment guys. As well as the Genos I’ve had every Tyros and they all needed the addition of the C3 vibrato feature as found on the larger Hammond tone wheel organs of the past to give greater variety and authenticity to the organ. Also I need to adjust the depth of the rotary speaker effect when not used with sampled organs (not drawbar setups). The only way I can do this is using the joystick until the depth is required then using modulation hold. This is difficult to do during a performance.

    I thin that the YouTube sessions you are doing on the Yamaha keyboards are really great and are inspirational even to experienced players. Thanks, Keith from sunny Brighton

  • This article by Chris is stunning and every paragraph gets an “oh yes” from me, not just for the Genos but for the SX 900 as well. , a couple of “extra” observations, would be the addition of a scratch pad that would enable trial registrations to be built up and only put into memory when ready. Second would be the touch screen, yes its great but during playing I hardly ever use it a) because, my fingers may be too dry, so it rarely works first poke ! b) because the landing area is so small i almost always hit the options picture in registrations not the on/off, resize? Thank goodness there are alternative buttons as well.
    I purchased the 900 ONLY because I didn’t have the space for the Genos and SHMO said I couldn’t move !! I would love another octave but only increasing the width by 12cm !!! (My alcove) and maybe extra size andmove the joystick up.
    Just found this blog, it’s really good. Thank you

  • I think the full 88 note option would be nice along with some more piano voices and yes weighted keys but wouldn’t it be nice to switch back to non weighted at a touch of a button ( if only ) .
    Yamaha have a mountain to climb to improve the Genos and manage to sell in the same numbers the original Genos has.

    PS
    Be nice to get back to the monthly club back on the road and even the odd road show at the hotel

  • Hi Tipsters
    Genos has many great sounds.
    Many Genos players maybe ex organ players and although the Hammond type sound is good it could be better when you hear Nord and others who seem to be very close to Hammond now.
    Also the Leslie sound could be improved maybe Yamaha could offer a pocket Leslie.
    Also more live vocal tracks so we could play along with the artist and with music scores
    Or the community could share via the internet their vocal tracks with we could load straight into the genos. I am sure there are some very talented players out there.
    Keep up the good work

  • Hello David and Chris. I was very interested to read your ideas/suggestions for improving the Genos in its next generation. I particularly liked your suggestions for better Playlist and Registrations integration. I very rarely use Playlist, but on the odd occasions I do, I find the procedures rather complicated.
    As for Registrations, I set up a Registration Bank for each song I play, and to make life easier for myself, I have set up two folders in my User. 1) Work Folder – for Registrations of songs I’m working on. 2) Completed – For those I have completed when I am satisfied with my “creation” (obviously – lol).
    Setting up my songs this way enables me to incorporate all the changes to variations, voices, multipads, transpose, harmony etc I need whilst playing. As you will be aware, setting up these Registrations can be quite time consuming, and have to be revised constantly until the required result is achieved. I would therefore, love the next Genos to have a kind of batch facility for amending all ten memories within a Registration Bank in one go rather than having to individually amend each one. e.g: I decide I want to change the left hand voice or style in all memories within the Bank, I select “batch” mode and insert the new voice or style which will automatically change all memories within the Bank.
    I hope this makes some kind of sense to you.

    Thank you both and all your team so much for all you do for us in keeping us “Keyboardists” informed with your newsletters and videos etc

    Best regards – Chris Carroll

  • As an owner of a Genos and a Technics KN7000 I find a few things on the Genos a bit Lacking. Although the sound
    Quality is far better than the 7000 the Technics I think is still a better technical keyboard than the genos considering
    the age difference, but one thing that would make a big difference is how the sequencer works. In the Technics the
    Sequencer has a track control and I use it all the time, If you record a song the track control will allow you to save your
    song and when you select the song to play it you can switch off all the tracks barring the control track and you can then play the entire song without having to keep pressing loads of changes, It is Brilliant. Anybody with one of these
    keyboards will understand what I am saying, I would love to see this on the genos but as of yet I have not found a way
    of doing this but I am an old fart so please forgive me. Many kind regards.

  • Hi Chris I agree with your comments on proposed spec, for Genos 2. I would like a more weighted piano like keyboard. Also I would like the option of adding a larger touch screen. The one on Genos is rather small and can be difficult to see in certain light conditions.
    I would also like option to add an external keyboard with programmable touch pads for percussion. The current touch screen is ok but zi us long file names when recording and touch screen is too slow.
    Dave Lucas

  • What I would like to see in a Genos 2 is that the six assignable buttons could be saved globally and not just rely on the registration memory buttons

  • The post by Steve Lewis was interesting as it proves what I have always believed that it is not just education education education but more communication communication communication. I had such a teacher for maths who was more interested in his ruler than being able to communicate the subject. We can’t all be good at everything and remember that for complex subjects like science and medicine you need a photographic memory anyway. As for the Technics, I thought this was a super keyboard and it is a shame that they came out of the market because some of the sounds were well ahead of their time. I have made two cd’s with twenty songs on each, one with the technics and one with Yamaha and I think that in a lot of respects the technics sounds are better. Nice to hear other people’s comments and thanks to e pianos for giving us the chance to air our views

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