I’ve been with Yamaha since 1987 and the years have flown by… Back then the company was working on their third computer, launching alternate MIDI controllers: the BC was in its 8th year by then, the WX7 Wind MIDI Controller, the PTX drum pad Controller and the G10 Guitar MIDI Controller were all happening, and the company was coming off of one of the biggest success stories in synthesizer history, the DX7. The DX7IIFD was in the market… Behind closed doors, the research for what became Virtual Acoustic synthesis was just getting underway. What an exciting place to be… and it still is!
My path to where I am today, Senior Product Specialist (Technology Products) in the Product Support Group, Pro Audio & Combo Division of the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments, is one that is amazing even to me.
I can recall the moment I first wanted to be a musician: I was 7 or 8 years old at the edge of stage watching an organ trio get ready to blast off into a Blues. Up until that time the only music I can recall seeing was either on television or in the movies… and it was always a bunch of people sitting in chairs reading music, with a guy standing on a platform in a tuxedo waving a stick. Here were three guys on a stage, one on a B3, one with a guitar and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums (I knew it was Purdie because it said so on his drum kit). When I see him I always remind him of this to make him feel old - he looked like an old guy to me (he was probably 19 or 20 at the time)
Well, the organ player, who I later learned was Ernie Hayes, turned to the other two guys and said the following: “Blues, “F”, One-two, One-two-three-four” .... and WHAM!!! for the next 10 minutes these guys had more fun than I thought anyone could have. I ran back to the table where my Dad was sitting and asked, “How could they memorize all that music?” He laughed and told me they were making it up as they went along… I said, “You can do that!?!”
Looking back on that moment, I knew whatever it took I wanted to be a musician. And my quest began. I now realize there are few situations where you can get a group of people together, give such a short set of commands and have such a coordinated result. Get any three people you know together and say “Politics, Middle East, One-two, One-two-three-four” .... All you get is an argument. Only musicians can move forward through time, making consistent sense, intuitively and creatively shaping sound and communicating such joy!
So music is singularly the most enjoyable thing I know. And this is one reason I enjoy helping others get to it. I deal with musicians, a special subset of humans who, as diverse as they may be in background or in their musical tastes, have a similar goal. So when I see a question that is all about someone trying to accomplish a musical goal it is my pleasure to try and help. It is part of the corporate philosophy but more than that it is the right thing to do.
At any rate, I pledge that this BLOG will be informative (funny at times) and hopefully enjoyable to read - Remember it is all about having fun and making music! (The gear is just the tool)