Monday, June 3, 2013

Yamaha TX802 FM Ton Generator "A Truly Collosal Performer" brochure, 1987

Yamaha TX802 FM Ton Generator "A Truly Colossal Performer" six page gatefold colour brochure from approximately 1987.

Summer is slowly making its way here - and I'm loving it. The problem is that when its starts getting nice out, it also starts getting harder and harder to concentrate on writing blog posts. So, it's a sure sign that when I start scanning larger documents it's so I can feel less guilty writing less about them.

So, here's a request from reader of the blog "GinTonic" - a scan of a six-pager for the TX802. He loves his TX802 and has had it for years.

The only other thing I can tell you about GinTonic is that he chose a TX802 over his girlfriend back in the late 80s.  And I quote:
"It's EIGHT frickin' DX7IIs!!!"
Well, there is that.    :)

At the top of this post, I included higher-res scans of each individual page in the order that one would probably read the information. I have also included lower resolution scans below as you would find the pages if you unfolded the brochure.

outer spread
inner spread
Part of fun of designing brochures is the "art" of the fold. There are a number of different folds available and a designer will often choose to use a certain fold type to enhance the design. In the case of this brochure, the six page gatefold was used (third one on the top row below).

The gatefold provides some great opportunities for interesting design. For example, when the reader flips open the front cover of this brochure (scan 1) the first two pages seen before folding out the other side of the gatefold are scans 2 and 3 (see below).

What the reader first sees is a nice little introduction to the TX802 including feature highlights and a really large front panel photo. And even though two pages are not really "connected" to each other, it was designed as one large page, with thw photo of the TX802 spanning the full two pages. And did you notice that the faded background image - a DX7IIFD - also spans the two pages? Nice touch.

Then, when the reader unfolds the other side of the "gate"  to the right (scan 3), it reveals the three-page "inner spread" (scans 2, 4 and 5). The designer set up the page so that the reader still gets that view the photo of the TX802 spanning across two pages.  And now, the "flow" of the design continues with the title (A Truly Colossal Performer) and brochure text spanning across the rest of the inner spread - scans 4 and 5.

Great design work.

Hope my description makes sense and does the whole thing justice. 

Good design in a brochure is one thing. But good design of an actual rack synth is another. Programming an FM synth is hard enough as it is, but it gets even more confusing when you try and cram all those buttons into 19 inches of front panel space.

But Yamaha does everything possible to try and make it easy on the user. For example, using different colour buttons to distinguish the Mode Select buttons and the keypad buttons is helpful.  Better yet, one of the really fun features of this generation of Yamaha racks is their little slide-out reference sheets that attach underneath. I've come across some racks that include reference information on the tops of the racks, but that becomes useless once you've actually racked the thing.

I first came across this feature with the TX81Z and found it really handy to have all the program editing info and the diagrams of the eight oscillator algorithms readily available. And, even better - with the TX802, you get TWO pull-out sheets. One contains all the page editing info, and the other one is dedicated to all 32 wonderful algorithms available on the TX802. I believe the other Yamaha rack unit - the TX812/816 - also included a pull-out sheet (or two?). Or at least it looks like it in photos I've seen online. But I've never had the opportunity to get my grubby little hands on one. YET.

Sadly, that big two-page front panel photo of the TX802 in this brochure doesn't include the pull-outs. They've been removed, leaving a gaping hole at the bottom of the unit (directly underneath the LCD readout).

That's the only flaw I can find in this thing. Now go read it.

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