I had it for only a week did one jam with it, but didn’t have my trusty Ploytec 34one tap tempo pedal so it was not that exciting.
The truth is that I would have got a Nemo if I hadn’t an Octopus already (for a while I thought of getting a Nemo on top of the Octopus).
It’s limited, limiting, the sounds are average the effects are bad [master effects only. reverb, chorus, flange], some useful stuff is hidden in menus such as the Octopus Align equivalent, duration is set for all notes, no accents on steps, no internal mono mode (no glide), neither CC control nor controllers over the sound (ADSR, Filter etc..) … and so on.. The sampling is there, totally limited [not even pitch up or down of samples], with unusually slow load times as in all Yamaha sampling products, but it’s there (in theory 3 banks of 16 1 second stereo samples).
But it has amazing usability and ergonomics, it’s totally intuitive, it’s fun. You pick it up and it’s hard to let it go, the fact that it has little speakers and it’s battery operated means that you can just pick it up and use it. I have no interest in using it as a controller, for me it’s just for the sheer fun of picking up a different instrument to play.
You are always likely to come up with something interesting (clearly within the given limits of fixed durations and dynamics).
One feature I particularly like is that you can record an improvised performance directly on the SD card and play it back, which means that you don’t need to be always connected to another machine.
It is hard to put a bit of dynamics to patterns since "pages" (blocks in TO lingo) must be switched manually and scale selection is tucked under a menu shared by all "pages". There are some utilities to copy pages and tracks (layers) literally on the fly, but I think you need some time to develop a technique to use that live.
In fact most parameters are shared by all pages, and it is really notes data that change across "pages". It is somewhat easier to do slo-mo abstract pattern with the bouncing balls and the random pages
Clearly it’s Yamaha, so it can be used as a wall clock and can play one of your song as hour chime or alarm clock (really).
If you got some cash to spare it’s worth the fun, even so I’m still thinking in the back of my mind that I could have almost got a polyevolver with that money.
I don’t think is going to be a source of eternal inspiration, in a year once I’ll be done with it my kids will love to take over (and they will let my Octopus alone).
If you have any questions, ask… (if Gabriel and Marcel don’t mind).