Yamaha QX-3 80’s sequencer powerhouse!

Yamaha QX-3 Sequencer
Yamaha QX-3 Sequencer

This morning I found a Yamaha QX-3 Sequencer for $10 bucks at the Hard Off used music store here in Nagano-city, Japan. ( Like the one in the photo ). I’m so excited about this because I really like this sequencer for it’s basic approach to sequencing. The program keys are awesome and there is very little if any menu diving. Everything is all spelled out in front of you and once you get the function keys down, it should be super fast to record. Yes, it’s old and big, but it works very well and for the price, it’s difficult to find a better one.

Although it has the E-SEQ sequencer format rather than saving to MIDI, there are two outs in the back and it’s pretty easy to dump the tracks if necessary. There is also a DD floppy disk drive which works well. The LCD is backlit and all of the keys along with descriptions are on the face of the sequencer. There are also two midi outputs which is great, plus the recording /quantize resolution is very good. According to the manual it was paired up with the Yamaha RX-5 drum machine and DX7II keyboard when it came out. The QX-3 is also built like a tank and seems to be very reliable if played on stage.

I first learned about the Yamaha QX-3 from Synthfreq which I posted a video from below. I don’t believe she has it anymore due to some gear lost in a fire if I remember correctly. She posted about it a while ago. Synthfreq uses the Yamaha QX-3 to play the back tracks in the video linked below.

Since then I’ve been on the look out for one and was pleasantly surprised to find one in mint shape at the store today. Needless to say I grabbed that puppy fast!


One thought on “Yamaha QX-3 80’s sequencer powerhouse!

  1. Bob Tyler

    I’ve got one of those too. I used to use it in a sequenced duo. Heads up on one thing that I learned the hard way. The first time we gigged with it outdoors, the LCD turned black, so I couldn’t tell what song I was loading! I had about ten floppies, and I knew what the first song was on most of them, so I put a cloth over the display, prayed to the gods, and we started playing the first song on each disk. Luckily, the thing cleared up after a few songs. I was sweating it there for a while!

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