Today is a great day to be part of the professional audio/video industry. Why is that? Because the Yamaha TF digital consoles were announced at Musikmesse in Germany! The TF Series is a trio of digital mixing consoles that raise the bar for live sound reinforcement hardware. The trio is as follows: Yamaha TF1, Yamaha TF3 and Yamaha TF5. These compact units feature advanced TouchFlow Operation technology that vastly enhances workflow by making nearly every function and parameter available for editing in the included touchscreen display.
Before we dive into the depths of the Yamaha TF digital consoles, let’s address the most important feature: the price point. These are some of the most affordable consoles on the market. They’re pretty much in a class of their own! The TF1 runs a retail price of only $2,499, the TF3 is $2,999 and the TF5 is $3,599. Those prices obliterate some of the more expensive digital consoles. Taking into account all of the features of the TF digital mixers, their affordability is one of their highest selling points.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s examine these digital mixing consoles!
The standout feature of the Yamaha TF digital consoles is the TouchFlow Operation technology. The touch panel control sits at the core of this technology. It offers malleable control over just about every preset and function available. Commercial touchscreen technology has existed since the mid 2000s and has become part of our daily lives. The Yamaha TF1, TF3 and TF5 build on our familiarity with touchscreen technology. What does this mean exactly? It means you can treat the touch panel control like you would your smartphone or tablet. You can swipe, scroll, drag, point, pinch and flick to operate various functions and parameters. TouchFlow Operation gives you the freedom to shape sound with your fingers!
The inclusion of a Touch and Turn Knob furthers the reach of TouchFlow Operation. This rotary encoder is located next to the touch panel and gives you the precision you need to fine tune EQ and other settings. Four User Defined Knobs sit below the panel and can be assigned to control parameters like compressor threshold and EQ gain. Now your most vital functions are within your grasp! As an added bonus, the knobs always affect the currently selected channel. This means that there’s less room for accidental changes.
The TF1, TF3 and TF5 digital mixers also have 1-Knob Comp and 1-Knob EQ functions. The 1-Knob Comp lets you compress vocals, guitars, percussion and more in a single knob paired with the touchscreen display. While this ability was originally introduced in Yamaha analog mixers, it’s been refined and digitized for the TF digital consoles. The 1-Knob EQ function is new to Yamaha hardware, but is inspired by the same concepts as 1-Knob Comp. The 1-Knob EQ function is fine-tuned thanks to Yamaha’s collaboration with industry-leading audio engineers. It gives you amazing results within a short timeframe. Vocal Mode makes it easy to get clear, defined vocals. Intensity Mode gives you one-knob control over EQ curves, which you can create from scratch or pick from a set of presets. Both 1-Knob Comp and 1-Knob EQ work on the output channels, which means you can achieve overall output compression and EQ that corresponds to your venue and audience size. The touchscreen control panel shows complete compressor and equalization parameters when using either functions.
Beyond TouchFlow Operation and knob functions, Yamaha has included their acclaimed fully recallable D-PRE microphone amplifiers. The circuits achieve clean, detailed amplification with low noise and distortion at all levels. D-PREs are industry-adored mic preamps because they provide a flat, wide frequency response that maintains the original sound. Advanced processors and effects provide you with the tools you need to shape your sound.
There’s plenty of other features to talk about in regards to this trio of Yamaha TF digital consoles, but we’re going to end this post talking about the compatible software applications. The TF1, TF3 and TF5 are compatible with two types of Apple-based software: TF StageMix and MonitorMix. TF StageMix is an iPad application that gives you remote wireless control over TF series digital mixing consoles. Not only can you use your iPad to control your mix from afar, you can use it as an extension of any TF digital mixer interface. MonitorMix is a software application that lets you utilize individual wireless Aux mixing with up to 10 Apple devices (iPhones and iPads). Now any onstage performers can control their personal mix in a simplified interface!
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