Yamaha Black Boxes

1983 is a turning point in the international panorama of music production. Years of experiments on digital synthesis and products way too expensive to have a real audience (such as the ARP Chroma or the Synclavier) culminate in the release of the DX7, produced by Yamaha, the first fully digital synthesizer at an affordable price range even for non-professional musicians.

Yamaha rode success for at least ten years, until the advent of computers and the change in the Japanese economic situation resulted in a progressive lack of interest for professional digital music hardware. Looking back, the hundreds of Yamaha products released during the 1980s maintain a surprising consistency in language. Black metal chassis, sharp edges, green membranes and buttons, red LEDs and green LCD screens - no other electronics manufacturer has ever maintained the same precision.

Yamaha Black Boxes is an online catalog that collects illustrations, photos, information and resources of all the synthesizers, controllers, drum machines, sequencers, computers, mixers and accessories manufactured by Yamaha between 1982 and the early 1990s. The high construction quality of many of these objects allows many musicians today to fully appreciate them, as evidenced by the interest that this initiative has so far aroused.


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