Making MIDI Music with the Yamaha Tenori-On

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I have no musical ability or talent at all. It’s not for lack of trying, I assure you. I love music, and I love creating music. Thanks to the person from the community who recommended this great new toy, I can do this easily! And… special thanks to Ponzi for getting me this for Christmas!

The TENORI-ON from the folks at Yamaha is just amazing. It’s absolutely COOL. It’s so new, you cannot purchase it in the United States as of yet. Using this, you can easily and quickly create your own music, and even save it! You can’t go wrong… with the TENORI-ON, there is no such thing as “bad music”.

You’re going to create your music by changing instrument sounds, and adding different “layers”, so to speak. As the first chords you created loop, you can add another… and another… and, you get the point. As I was demonstrating the TENORI-ON during this recording, the community members in the live.pirillo.com chat room were all dancing in their chairs. This is a lot of fun, and you’ll be the hit at any party!

The TENORI-ON is a unique 16 x 16 LED button matrix performance instrument with a stunning visual display. For DJs & producers it is a unique performance tool enabling them to perform using MIDI and load the TENORI-ON with samples to ‘jam / improvise’ within their set BPMs.

TENORI-ON layers can be thought of as “performance parts” or “recording tracks.” The TENORI-ON has a total of 16 layers. Separate notes and voices can be assigned to each layer, and all layers can be played together in synchronization.
The 16 layers are divided into six performance mode groups as shown in the illustration below. The six modes have different note entry methods and operation. Up to 16 layers created using different modes can be combined for rich, complex musical expression.

Once complete set of 16 layers is called a “block.”
The TENORI-ON can store up to 16 programmed blocks (16-layer groups) in memory, and you can switch from block to block instantly during performance.
You could, for example, create a musical composition in one block, then copy that composition to another block and edit it to create a variation of the original composition. Or you can load a number of previously-created compositions into separate blocks from an SD Memory Card and switch between them to create variation during playback.

The TENORI-ON retails for about $1200.00. It may seem pricey to you, but it can be used by DJ’s and professional Musicians. It’s being used on several artist’s upcoming albums, so be on the ‘listen’ for the TENORI-ON. You can also listen to a free demo!

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49 thoughts on “Making MIDI Music with the Yamaha Tenori-On”

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  3. That thing makes interesting music, but can get very very annoying after a while, especially when you have it hooked up to that amp of yours. 😛
    I want one. Now where to get $1200

  4. I really like! YEa it would do good any party i go too. But i can tell that the repeating pattern can get annoying after a while, just like Condoulo said. A very verstile product. But the $1200 price………… kinda a rip off……………….

  5. preety cool.this is like that electroplankton game for the Nintendo Ds.you had to “draw” music i guess,similar to this.from what ive heard it was a good game(although its more of a toy).if u can find it,u should get it.too bad its WAY too hard to find,plus its $50 and only aviable online

  6. This has to be one of the coolest toys ever, but I can’t imagine spending $1200 on something like that when I can’t even spend that much on a music instrument.

  7. That Tenori-On looks pretty interesting. I like the music it makes. Sounds kind of oriential in a way, although I’d imagine you could make it sound other ways if you wanted. Cool instrument, but the price tag leaves me without any desire to have one of these. $1200 is just a bit on the steep side for what would basically amount to a toy (at least if I had one).

  8. I would love to have one of these but as many others have said that price tag is killing me. I am afraid though if i got it, I would mess with it for a week and then have it sit around. I love things like this though.

  9. If they can make it less than that price, maybe $200 ish, i would like one. It is awasome that i can make music by pressing buttons.

  10. Wow $1200.00 That is Alot, But i can see why, grrr I would just like one of these if only i had the money :), What would happen if you where to spill your Coffee over it :O are if you drop it:O, hehe.

  11. this is an amazing tool/game you have chris i would love to have one if only they went $1200…..but still glad you like it so much!

  12. I heard on the gadget show that it was quite hard to control anyone know if this is true?
    Other than that i think from what i’ve seen they’re awesome 😀

  13. tenori is a heck sick music maker like when u got that think you played that thing not stop all night an day it was funny to but got quite anoying sometimes but dude i wish i had that i would drive my family up the rope wit that thing but keep the good work wit the videos

  14. Dude! This “toy” is awesome =D but yeah due to the high price it will may not be a common thing in every household…unfortunetly=(

  15. what the hell r u buying over $3000+
    am not talking about computer
    yes if u add computer i agree i.e. editing instrument e.c.t.
    but for one instrument $3000+ thats too much.
    U Americas like to speand ur money like it was going out of fashion

  16. hey bro
    i do play music (part time professionally)
    you don’t need to buy every thing at the same time. beside an electronic keyboard can be used
    to play all if not most instrument (simulate)
    before you reply think about it before you do so it’s not an insult just to give you an idea

  17. Check out the monome community…it’s a shame the monome doesn’t come in a package like the Tenori-on, or rather it’s a shame the Tenori-on doesn’t have the capabilities of monome.

  18. If you do play part time professionally, you’d know that musical instruments, such as timpani or mallet keyboards, can EASILY exceed $3,000. In fact, those who play FOR A LIVING most likely have tens of thousands of dollars worth of instruments and hardware in their living space because getting by on some generic saxophone, for example, that’ll break after only adjusting the mouthpiece rarely gets you a gig.

  19. Hey Chris,
    Nice review…really enthusiastic! Check the yahoo or google tenori users groups for useful discussions and details of the MediaMax account where I’ve uploaded a bunch of tenori voice files for us all to share.
    Take it easy

  20. check out the monome fella, its not quite as pick up and play, but with a few samples and the “mlr” app, you can make music with a whole lot more depth. its also a grid of light up buttons, comes in 8×8, 8×16 and 16×16. search youtube for “tehn live” and wait for your jaw to drop. peace x

  21. what?? Awesome? It must be a cheap tool, it is nice idea, but the price is 100 times than investment. There is just a memory, access to the SD, and a small sound processor TMS. The layers technique and repetition is easy to create. Also some software is needed to create that tool like *.asm files. Anyway the price 1200$ is the highest price possible for a toy! For me that tool is just a toy. Good luck to the buyers!

  22. haha at 1,200$ i wouldnt put that in anyones hands.. thats a lot of money for something im sure will end up being sold in K-B toys at the mall…

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  24. this is nothing special ! it is only a sequencer… like others… only not a mouse or button but your finger… wait until next windows 🙂

  25. Just to defend Yamaha and its price structure you should proberbly know that the caseing is made of magnesium and it takes 20 mins to cut out the case with a robot. Then the item is hand finished. Its beautiful and yeah it is a sequencer but unlike a sequencer it is stand alone and if you are creative and load your own samples you can do some pretty amazing stuff.

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