We were lucky to have John from Yamaha in the Sam Ash Studio to give us expert insight into the Yamaha TF5 and TF-Rack mixers. Starting with the TF5, John was very adamant about the idea that this mixer is for everyone, on and off camera. Its intention was to remove all of the difficult things that come along with learning audio. This mixer is for those of whom audio is the second thing they worry about when they show up to their gig, their church, their rehearsal space, etc. This mixer aims to be approachable and remove all of the mystery and intimidation of running sound. So have a look below and learn everything that you need to know about the Yamaha TF5.
Ins and Outs
This is a stereo console with 8 mono aux’s, and 6 stereo aux’s. It features output presets as well for front of house, in ear monitors, and that sort of thing. There are 32 local inputs in the back of the mixer which gives you an incredible amount of range as far as what you are connecting to your board, and if somehow that isn’t enough, you can expand it with the Yamaha NY64-D Dante Card.
How About Them Faders?
As you can see below, the motorized faders work incredibly well. John taught us that Sends on Faders was a pioneering innovation from Yamaha that lets you control your mix of aux’s and effects on the same board that you control the main mix with. That’s huge! No mess or hassle. Just tap the aux button, adjust what you want, and tap aux again and watch the faders snap right back to where you had them. Incredible. All of this makes this board faster and easier to use for everyone involved in your audio production. On top of that, every channel strip has what Yamaha has been putting into their digital mixers for years: 4 bands of parametric EQ, high pass filter on every input, gate, and a compressor.
The Touch Screen
For those who aren’t audiophiles, John will show you the value of the touch screen. The whole console is completely based around using the touch screen. You can drag the EQ bands around with your finger, pinch your fingers to change the size and make a notch filter to drag left and right to isolate feedback, and so much more. Not familiar with frequencies? Tap at the bottom of the touch screen to pull up a piano to show you where the notes fall. Simple. If you turn the piano on and off and then tap it again, you’ll get an RTA for “Real-Time Analysis” of your signal. But hey, if you don’t want to use the touch screen that much, you can control anything on the screen with the silver control knob, as well as user defined knobs.
You can also use the screen to call up a preset from one of three microphone manufacturers. And these aren’t just EQ presets, but head amp and gain settings as well. And these presets were designed so that you’d never be in trouble. If you have a situation pop up on you and you need to queue up a preset, then you can have confidence that it’s going to be right. The board is also color coded to make it easier for you to know what you’re looking at and looking for. There are also digital scribble strips for labeling, so everything is clean and organized.
Take control of your mixer even when you’re away from the console. The TF5 can be controlled via an iPad and you can have separate monitor mixes with your iPhone as well. This is incredible because it means that each performer can adjust their own mix with their iPhone without editing yours. You can do this with iTouch as well as Android devices.
The Full Overview
John went on to educated us on the TF-Rack which operates very similarly, but in a rack unit. There are 16 XLR or 1/4 inch inputs and 16 outputs as well. There is a convenient home button which is always there for you if you get lost. Just give it a tap and it will take you to the main screen. All of your faders are on the main digital touch screen. On the faders, you can tap the EQ to call up that screen and it has all of the same drag and pinch fictionality that we saw with the TF5. Yamaha offers apps available to adjust the levels via an iPad wirelessly. You can also download their monitor mix app which allows 10 people control over 1 aux send at a time. So they can control their mixing without affecting what you are doing.
The Full Overview
As I stood behind the camera and watched John talk about these awesome mixers, I couldn’t help but think about how great they are from conception all the way up to production. This will save so many people the trouble and hassle of learning audio. As we all know, Do-It-Yourself is pretty much life these days. So many of us wear multiple hats in the music industry. I run the recording software, mixing console, and I play guitar in the band. That’s a lot to have to handle yourself. These mixers aim to help you with all of that. So be sure to check them out as Sam Ash!
TF5 TF-Rack TF1 TF3