Yamaha Design “Synapses” SessionCake


An amplifier you can hold in the palm of your hand.


Created around the concept of a “connectable gadget,” SessionCake is small and light enough to put in your bag and carry around, with large knobs embedded into the square upper surface in a geometric layout. Colored a lively primary red or blue rather than the more serious hues generally used for mixers and amplifiers, these products leave a fun, pop-infused impression.


With a design comprised predominantly out of resin materials, SessionCake features different textures on its upper and lower sections. The upper case, which is seen and touched often, has a glossy, brushed finish, while the lower section, which is more prone to nicks and scratches, has a rougher texture. The Yamaha Logomark set in the glossy body has a matt texture that is intended to represent the center of the product body, and emphasizes the solidity and precision of the product itself.


Small, light, and utilizing the color of the plastic itself rather than any coating, SessionCake can be carried easily and placed almost anywhere. The red SC01 is intended for monaural instruments such as electric guitars, while the blue SC02 is designed to connect to stereo instruments such as synthesizers, and to vocal microphones. With a strap hole—rare in headphone amplifiers—this product makes sessions with digital and electronic instruments easier and more convenient than ever before.


SesssionCake functions as a headphone amplifier when connected to an instrument, and allows other musicians to join in for jam sessions by connecting their own SessionCakes. Connecting to other SessionCakes in a chain allows up to eight people to enjoy playing in a session together. Since anyone can join in just by connecting with cables, SessionCake can be used in a range of situations, from practicing at home to jamming with friends.

Toshihide Suzuki
Toshihide Suzuki
Yamaha Design Laboratory

A “connectable gadget”

While the SessionCake functions as a headphone amplifier for digital and electric instruments, it also allows up to eight people to enjoy a simultaneous performance experience, just by connecting to each other.
During sessions, the volume and positioning of each part in the mix can be adjusted on each device, allowing everyone involved to balance what they are hearing. What’s more, SessionCake is equipped with a “Me” knob that allows each player to adjust the volume of their own part without affecting the other instruments in the session, so that they can adjust the sound when their own instrument or the person they want to listen to is buried in the mix. In this, SessionCake is a product that offers a proposal for new ways to practice and perform.
The size of the SessionCake takes both presence and usability into account, balancing thickness with a diminutive horizontal and vertical size. In terms of design, we wanted to convey the impression of a device that would deliver quality sound, utilizing a smooth surface that hints at a pressure exuding from within, in a natural balance with the solidity of its box-like form. In giving the simplicity of the overall shape a swelling, natural roundness in a molding that expresses a feeling of weight and tension, I think that we have been able to convey the impression of a condensed “chunk” of quality sound. In utilizing large knobs half-embedded in the body we sought to communicate the idea of a condensed, solid packed full of content.
SessionCake utilizes differing textures on the upper and lower surfaces of the case to reflect their different roles. Both are the color of the untreated plastic, allowing users to apply printing or stickers that match the molding, or make changes around the jacks so that they do not stand out. Their finish and size means that users can shove them in their bags and carry them anywhere, so we hope that people will use them to their fullest extent.
With cheerful, pop-culture coloration, and a “gadget”-style feel to its construction, we encourage musicians at any level or performance or success to incorporate SessionCake into their rehearsal or practice sessions and add some style to their living space at the same time.

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