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The Yamaha QY10 - the device for which the term walkstation was originally coined Yamaha QY10.jpg
The Yamaha QY10 - the device for which the term walkstation was originally coined

A walkstation is an electronic music device which provides musicians with the facilities of a music workstation in a portable package. The term was introduced as part of the marketing for the Yamaha QY10, [1] presumably as a portmanteau of Walkman and workstation. [2] Its usage is typically limited to the portable members of Yamaha's QY sequencer family. [3]

The features of a walkstation are:

The heyday of the walkstation lay between the time when creating such devices was viable and the time when general-purpose portable devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, were capable of offering comparable functionality.


Yamaha QY70 YamahaQY70.jpg
Yamaha QY70
ManufacturerDeviceYear MIDI KeyboardSequencer tracksAccompanyment tracksUser accompanymentDigital EffectsStorage media
Yamaha QY10 1990Yes1 octave44YesNoNo
YamahaQY20 [4] 1992Yes2 octaves44YesNoNo
YamahaQY221995 GM 2 octaves44YesNoNo
YamahaQY701997 GM/XG 2 octaves168YesYesNo
YamahaQY1002000 GM/XG 2 octaves168YesYes SmartMedia

Other comparable devices:

ManufacturerDeviceYear MIDI KeyboardSequencer tracksAccompanyment tracksUser accompanymentDigital EffectsStorage media
Philips PMC-1001986No2 octaves15NoNo Cassette tape
Roland PMA-51996 GM/GS 2 octaves44YesYesNo

More recent portable music workstations:

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A music workstation is an electronic musical instrument providing the facilities of:

Electronic keyboard

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Yamaha CS-80 Synthesizer made by Yamaha in 1977

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Yamaha QY10

The Yamaha QY10 is a hand-held music workstation produced by the Yamaha Corporation in the early 1990s. Possessing a MIDI sequencer, a tone generator and a tiny single-octave keyboard, the portable and battery-powered QY10 enables a musician to compose music while traveling.

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Yamaha Motif

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Yamaha DX21

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  1. Trask, Simon (May 1991). "Yamaha QY10". Music Technology. Music Maker Publications (UK).
  2. Russ, Martin (August 1994). "Yamaha QY300". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Archived from the original on 2015-06-07.
  3. Johnson, Derek; Poyser, Debbie (August 1996). "Roland PMA5". Sound on Sound. SOS Publications Group. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02.
  4. Waugh, Ian (March 1993). "Yamaha QY20 Portable Workstation". The Music Technology Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-27. [The QY20] houses an eight-track sequencer, 100 preset patterns each with six variations, 100 AWM sounds and eight drum kits. It can store up to 20 Songs with a total capacity of 28,000 notes. It's 32-voice polyphonic (some sounds use more than one voice) and can play a maximum of 28 notes at once. Externally, it has a nice big 128 x 64 dot LCD with adjustable contrast, MIDI In and Out sockets, a stereo mini jack Out and a headphone Out. [It] sports a 25-note, er... button, polyphonic keyboard compared with the QY10's one-octave monophonic affair. You can run the QY20 off batteries for composition on the move or plug in an optional mains adaptor...