Yamaha Design “Synapses” Genos


Red Dot Award
iF Design Award

A workstation that gives you unlimited control over your music.


The Genos control panel—a critical workspace for the performing musician—has been styled in black and boasts a highly logical arrangement of display items, buttons, knobs, and other controllers that lets you focus squarely on your performance, even when playing to a highly charged audience. Meanwhile, the feel of sliders and knobs, with their rich glossy finish, adds to the thrill of performing in all sonic settings—tranquil or loud.


In contrast to the highly-functional design of the control panel, the back and bottom panels—the face of the instrument from the audience perspective—are sleek yet dynamic in much the same way as an aircraft body. And the screws that hold everything together have been carefully positioned and countersunk so as not to disturb the panels’ smooth lines.


While inheriting the awesome functionality of its predecessor Tyros series, the Genos sports a totally new UI. Thanks to newly added elements such as the touch screen and XY controller as well as knobs and sliders, you can direct and manipulate your live music in a much more intuitive way than ever before. Stimulating more active interaction with the instrument while performing, they also bring performer and audience closer together in a powerful way.


Stretching out from the center and curving upwards, the left and right sides evoke the image of airplane wings. Appearing almost aerodynamic, they are perfectly suited to highly active performances. Effortlessly sailing through the intense gaze of even the most passionate crowds, this design will surely elevate your performance to new highs.

Kunihiro Takei
Kunihiro Takei
Yamaha Design Laboratory

A control panel that allows sound to be manipulated with meticulous precision, and a dynamic form perfect for expressive, inspirational performances.

As the crown jewel of Yamaha digital workstations, the Genos is worthy successor to the Tyros series of instruments, which were primarily marketed in Europe and the US. Outside Japan, these workstations have been eagerly adopted by the one-man band (OMB)—that is, musicians who handle everything from master of ceremonies through live performance unassisted.
Our first step in developing the Genos was an information-gathering trip to Germany—the main market—to renew our understanding of how OMBs perceive the workstation. There, we came to appreciate how these performers see themselves keyboard players, but much more so as entertainers—performing, singing, dancing, and speaking to the audience, all to a very high level. As a result, we surmised that this type of musician would be best served by a workstation with a dynamic design perfectly suited to full-on performances.
Under the gaze of the audience and buffeted by all of their raw emotion, the OMB can appear like an aviator expertly controlling his craft inside a tempestuous airstream. Inspired by this image, we designed a workstation with surfaces that curve in the same subtle way as an airplane’s, deftly slipping through this intense energy, and a neat, clean-cut UI that provides a constant stream of accurate, reliable information, much like cockpit instruments.
We also went with a bold color difference between the upper and lower casing. And coming to see the rear and bottom panels as the de-facto face of the instrument from the audience perspective, we gave these components—which have rarely before been purposefully designed—a unique personality using off-white tones and curves. In addition, we offset the surface of the terminal section, which can appear confusing to the eye, creating an edge that catches the light in a distinctive way, and we also worked to ensure that cables and plugs would be less conspicuous. Sticking with this approach, we bucked tradition and went with subdued logos, further enhancing the dynamic nature of the instrument itself.
Our efforts to better understand how best to connect one-man band and audience has produced a synergy between the workstation’s dynamic physical form, perfectly suited to live performance, and a refined control panel that allows music to be directed and manipulated in a highly precise manner. It is this synergy that underpins the appeal of the Genos.

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