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Yamaha S90ES 88-Key Weighted Action Synthesizer

All the synthesis power and control capabilities of the Motif ES line with a stunningly natural acoustic piano sound. (72) Read 17 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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When you're on stage, your focus is on connecting with your audience and making every moment magical; you don't need some clunky workstation keyboard, with its complex sequencing and arranging functions, getting in the way. It sure would be nice to have all those premium piano and synth sounds, though. Meet the Yamaha S90ES, a professional performing keyboardist's dream come true. The S90ES features the same powerful sound engine that's at the core of the incredible Motif ES workstation, but with a streamlined design and interface that's geared towards explosive live performance.

Lean, Mean, Gigging Machine
The sleek look and low-profile of the S90ES testify to its role as a finely tuned performance instrument. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a road crew haul our gear around, but with a weight less than 50lbs and few extruding knobs to worry about, you won't mind carrying your Yamaha S90ES around by yourself. The controls themselves are intuitively laid out, with each button and slider clearly labeled to eliminate guesswork. The large and super-bright LCD screen gives you instant feedback as to which patch is selected, what parameter is being manipulated, and what effect is active, and can be read even under low-light stage conditions. Actually playing those patches is a breeze, too. The S90ES's keyboard features 88 keys for the full piano range, letting you switch from support player to lead player without fussing with octave up/down buttons. The keys themselves are full-sized, with weight, action, and rebound that respond like those on a real, top-notch piano. They're weighted just enough to feel like you can dig into them, but not so much so that you'll get fatigued, even during long, demanding sets. The final touch on this intuitive 'board is the placement of the pitch and mod wheels--moved from their above-the-keyboard position on the older S90 to the left of the keys for quick, painless access. Every aspect of the physical design of the S90ES has been honed for effortless performance.

Powerful Motif ES Synth Sounds
The S90ES may do without the arranging, sequencing and compositional tools of its workstation brethren, but that doesn't mean it doesn't boast extensive sound-sculpting options. Just like the Motif, the Yamaha S90ES has a huge and varied sonic palette, and gives you the ability to tweak every aspect of those sounds. Whether you simply want to adjust EQ, reverb and LFO, or get into the nitty-gritty and edit waveforms, velocity curves and the like, the editing functions are self-explanatory and comprehensive. And don't worry about getting lost in a whirl of editing madness; if you ever feel like you've gotten too far from a patch's original character, a press of the "Compare" button will instantly switch between the preset sound and the edits you've made. Support for Yamaha Modular Plugin System expansion boards makes for a virtually limitless variety of sounds. Of course, the factory presets already sound phenomenal; on the Yamaha S90ES, getting great synth tones is a easy or as complex as you want it to be. No synth would be complete without a killer arpeggiator, and the S90ES's is second-to-none. 1,787 different arpeggio patterns are included, and while they sound sweet on synths and drums, special things happen when you combine the arpeggiator with one of the keyboard's "Mega Voice" patches. Select an electric guitar, for example, and the arpeggiated phrase will automatically generate hammer-ons, pull-offs and fret noises, turning an automated process into an breathtakingly organic musical passage.

53MB Of Acoustic Piano Sounds
The perfect gigging keyboard needs to have great synthesizer capabilities, but it also needs to have great acoustic piano sounds--no point in making it lightweight if you're going to be lugging a second "digital piano" around with you anyway. Luckily for you the Yamaha S90ES boasts amazing, stereo-sampled acoustic piano patches that'll have your audiences doubting their own eyes. Across their entire digital keyboard line, Yamaha is proud of their stereo sampled grand piano sound, but the S90ES's piano emulations are the cream of the crop. The keyboard's designers dedicated a whopping 53MB of sampling memory to the sophisticated acoustic piano sounds, all sampled from a hand-built, $250,000 Yamaha S700 grand piano. By allocating so much on-board memory, Yamaha was able to construct the S90ES's piano voices from longer stereo-sampled waves. The longer waves make for exceptionally natural pianissimo decay; on down tempo, sparse piano ballads, where other digital pianos are exposed as thin and lifeless, the S90ES remains full and complex. Special note should be made of the S90ES's piano patches' half-damper capabilities: when paired with the FC3 sustain pedal, the keyboard reads half-position movements to simulate the effects of a gently or partially applied damper, a huge improvement over most keyboards' rudimentary on-or-off operation. This sophisticated playability, combined with incredible stereo sound, makes for one of the most expressive and realistic multi-sampled pianos available on any digital keyboard.

At Home In The Studio, Too
After you fall in love with all the amazing sounds the S90ES has to offer, it's going to be hard giving it up when you get into the studio. . . so don't! USB connectivity turns the Yamaha S90ES into an outboard plugin, giving you DAW access to every incredible patch. That's not all: the S90ES can even act as a control surface when connected to your computer. Your projects sound better, and the production process is much quicker.

It takes a very special instrument to make a great musician even better. With its depth of sonic variety and expressive playability, the Yamaha S90ES could easily be that instrument for you, as well as the last performance synth you'll ever need to buy.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Yamaha products.
Keyboard: 88-key balanced hammer (BH) action with aftertouch

Tone Generator
Tone generator: AWM2 (complying with the Modular Synthesis Plug-in System)

Maximum polyphony: 128 notes + the polyphony of the Plug-in board (if installed)

Multi-timbral capacity: 16 internal parts + 3 Plug-in Boards + audio input part(s) (A/D, mLAN*), arpeggio preset x 1,787 types

* 4 stereo parts

Wave: 228MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 1,935 waveforms

Voice:
-- Preset: 512 normal voices + 64 drum kits

-- GM: 128 normal voices + 1 drum kits

-- User: 128 x 2 (Bank 1: Original, Bank 2: copied from Preset bank) Normal Voice + 32 drum kits

Plug-in voice:
-- Preset for the PLG150-AN/DX/PF/DR/PC: 64

-- Preset for the PLG-150VL: 192

-- User: 64 for each Plug-in slot

Performance: User: 128 (up to 4 Parts)

Multi: User: 64

Filter: 18 types

Effects: Reverb x 20 types, Chorus x 49 types, Insertion (A, B) x 117 types x 8 blocks, Master Effect x 8 types, Master Equalizer (5 bands), Part EQ (3 bands, stereo), Plug-in Insertion (available when the PLG100-VH has been installed to slot 1)

Expendability: 3 slots for Modular Synthesis Plug-in Boards

Sequencer Section
Sequence: Modular Synthesis Play SMF Format 0 (playback only)

BPM (Tempo): 1 - 300

Number of Chain Steps: 100

Arpeggio:
-- Preset x 1,787 types

-- User x 256 types (when loading the User Arpeggio data of MOTIF ES).

* MIDI Sync, MIDI transmit/receive channel, Velocity Limit, and Note Limit
can be set.

Other
Master: User: 128

* 4 Zones (Master keyboard settings), Assignable Slider settings, Program Change Table

Sequence software compatible with the Remote Control function:
-- For Windows: Cubase SX 3, SQ01 V2, SONAR 4, S90 ES/MOTIF ES/MOTIF-RACK ES/MOTIF-RACK Multi Part Editors.

-- For Macintosh: Cubase SX 3, Logic Pro 7, Digital Performer 4.52, S90 ES/MOTIF ES/MOTIF-RACK ES/MOTIF-RACK Multi Part Editors

* Functions to be controlled by the S90 ES differ depending on the
software you use.

Controllers: pitch bend wheel, modulation wheel, assignable control sliders (4), data dial

Display: 240 x 64 dot graphic backlit LCD

Jack and terminals: Output L/Mono, R (standard phone jack), Assignable Output L, R (standard phone jack), A/D Input L, R (standard phone jack), Phones (standard stereo phone jack), Foot Controller 1, 2, Foot Switch x 2 (Sustain, Assignable), Breath, MIDI in/out/thru, USB (To Host, To Device), AC inlet

Power consumption: 33W

Dimensions (L x W x H), Weight: 58.88 x 15.40 x 6.52 in., 22.5 kg

Accessories: AC power cord, owners manual, data list, sticker label for optional mLAN16E.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 714-522-9011

Product Description

The S90 ES combines a stunningly natural acoustic piano sound with all the sonic flexibility of the award winning Motif ES. A new multi-velocity, stereogrand piano sample, the new sound board simulation and the half-damper capability (when used with the Yamaha FC3) all ensure a rich and realistic acoustic piano sound. The 128 note polyphony tone generator, Studio Connections compatibility, mLAN expansion slot, and PLG expandability give it all the synthesis power and control capabilities of our Motif ES line.

Features
88-key balanced hammer action with aftertouch

Complete Motif ES Wave ROM

53MB S700 Acoustic Piano with Sound Board Simulation FX

128-polyphony, 8 Part-ins effect, reverb, mastering, & master EQ

MIDI master keyboard functions

Full function remote control for DAW/VST software

Half-damper (requires FC3 pedal)

3 PLG slots

Optional mLAN16E card to turn your S90 ES into a multi-channel ASIO soundcard

The Perfect Balance of Synthesizer and Piano
Is the S90 ES an 88-note weighted action digital piano with the sonic flexibility of a synth or a synthesizer with the best sounding piano samples ever available? Actually, its the perfect balance of both. The new multi-velocity stereo samples of Yamahas hand-built S700 grand piano, the damper reverb effects, and half damper capability all ensure the S90 ES has the most expressive acoustic piano sound Yamaha has ever offered in a synthesizer. The 128-note polyphony tone generator based on the award-winning Motif ES (including 8 inserts, 2 system and separate mastering effects) and Studio Connections, mLAN, and PLG expandability give it all the sonic power and control flexibility of our Motif ES workstation lineup.

The new S90 ES, the perfect balance of synthesizer and piano.

The Most Expressive Piano Voice Available in a Synth
In designing the S90 ESs new grand piano voice, the focus was in creating a voice that produces naturally sounding long tones even when played at a pianissimo level. To realize this goal, a generous 53MB of memory was dedicated to this voice to use longer samples of a specially selected S700 grand piano -- a $250,000 acoustic grand handcrafted by Yamaha's master artisans. Played at normal tempos and dynamic levels the sound of this voice is truly superb, but its at the opposite end of the tempo and dynamic range that the results are most stunning. The longer waves give each note a very natural sustain that, when used on ballads and slow, exposed pieces, plays expressively with a full, natural sound.

This voice also features stretch tuning and a damper resonance effect, which bring this voice even closer to reality by simulating the inner workings of an acoustic grand piano. Damper resonance simulates the resonance of the strings and soundboard when the damper pedal is pressed -- a factor that contributes to the unique sound of a grand piano. Using the sustain pedal on soft, slow pieces it adds a rich resonance to the pianos tone and enhances its natural sustain and decay.

Half Damper Capability
Some classic pieces call for a half damper technique, where the damper pedal is pressed half way down raising the felts only partially off the strings. As the sustain function on most synths is a simple on/off operation, such use is normally unavailable. The S90 ES however, is able to respond to small changes in the FC-3 foot controllers pedal position due to its half damper capability. This gives the performer greater control over the muting by the damper, and expressive freedom to create the subtle nuances required by the music.

Tone Generation Derived From the Motif ES
Using a powerful new tone generator derived from the Motif ES, the S90 ES produces voices with stunning clarity and great response that heightens the musical experience for both you and your listeners. To meet the needs of todays players its 228MB* of wave memory holds an enormous library of expressive voices and drum kits, many of which come from the Motif ES, that cover everything from acoustic pianos and orchestra to cutting-edge hip-hop and Electronica.

* When converted to 16-bit linear format.

88 Keys That Put You In Touch With Each Voice
An 88-note weighted action keyboard based on our acoustic piano designs offers players a feel that is natural, smooth, and responsive especially on keyboard voices like the acoustic grands and electric grands. For its non-keyboard instruments like basses, drums and percussion, which require slightly varied playing styles, the action is evenly balanced from top to bottom making these instruments feel and play more responsive. Aftertouch is also included so you can gain more expression from every note.

New Signal-Processing Effects System
The S90 ES takes great advantage of the processing power inherited from the Motif ES to produce effects like damper resonance, reverb and others with stunning clarity. This power also satisfies users of its multi-timbral capabilities, allowing liberal application of effects without the restraints experienced in lesser designs.

The system is designed with two blocks of insertion effects (117 types) for each voice and two overall system effects that include 20 reverb types and 49 chorus/delay effects. This way you can apply the right type of signal processing where its needed most. Even in song or pattern modes you wont feel confined since voice insertion effects can be applied on up to eight individual parts simultaneously. Further sound tailoring is available with three-band individual part EQ settings, eight types of mastering effects, and a five-band master EQ.

Seamless System Integration
Compatibility with Studio Connections lets the S90 ES function as if it were a plugin within compatible DAW applications like Cubase and Nuendo. Hardware and software systems integrate seamlessly in this environment where total recall of entire hardware/software systems is possible. In other DAW systems, the S90 ESs sliders, knobs and data dial can be used to control start/stop of record or playback, track volumes, panning and more to increase system efficiency.

The graphic user interface of the dedicated voice editing application lets you edit and create your own voices with point and click convenience.

If you want to connect the S90 ES to an mLAN network just install an optional mLAN expansion board and start sharing MIDI data and multiple channels of 24-bit/96kHz digital audio with other mLAN equipped devices and computers through an IEEE1394 FireWire cable.

Powerful Arpeggiator Delivers Real-Time Performance with a Human Touch
The S90 ES arpeggiator is a powerful real-time performance tool that can be used in combination with Mega Voices to create remarkably realistic instrumental performances. Call up a guitar voice for example, play a chord and it delivers a performance complete with hammer-ons, pull-offs, harmonics, slides, even fret noise.

A library of 1787 phrases offers everything from popular phrases to the latest cutting edge rhythms. With drum kits it generates innovative rhythm patterns while normal voices and its chord recognition capabilities produce pitched phrases. For fuller accompaniments use a split voice to create two part accompaniments -- bass phrases from lower keys and chords or melodies from mid and high range keys -- that are great for backing vocals or instrument solos.

Modular Synthesis Plugin Expandability
The S90 ES delivers a lot of impressive features and sound on its own, but if you want to expand its capabilities its Modular Plugin System lets you add the sounds you need with easy to install expansion boards. Add the legendary sounds of the DX7 or the warm punch of an analog synth. Each expansion board has its own dedicated tone generator and polyphony so its almost like adding another synthesizer to your system without losing any of the S90 ESs onboard voices.
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (72 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"Heaven in an 88-key weapon..."
Sound: The piano, as many have stated before, is wonderful. I also happen to be in the possesion of a Boston grand piano, and I can say that the s90's actually sounds far better. "Steinway perfect" if you will. That is not the only good part about its sound quality however. The leads are crystal clear and, well, so is everything else. The accoustic voices, (such as the violins and flutes)are incredibly realistic, so much so, that it feels as if you have not a keyboard, but an orchestra at your command. As long as you have a good set of speakers or some decent headphones, this is the keyboard for you. As an example, my friend owns a trombone and came over to see it. We compared the two's sounds and the s90's was actually better! Feature: Many have mentioned the s90's lack of a built in sequencer or sampler. I actually do not mind the absence of such features. Mine came with pre-packaged sequencing software which is more than sufficient for recording needs, and smapling is what samplers such as a Korg Kaoss Pad are for. The arpeggiator is absolutetly wonderful as well, and the effects options allow for complete customization of a voice. Not only this, but you also have the option to transfer MIDI data to a computer via USB 2.0 (using a printer cable), which is incredible handy. The sixteen track recording mixer and the four track "Performance" mode is the icing on the cake, giving the s90 great versatility. Also look to the three expansion slots. Ease of Use: When I recieved the s90 for Christmas from mum and pap, I had never touched an electronic keyboard before in my life. Within an hour, I was editing voices, changing Performance Mode rhythms, and generally having a blast. As always, it pays to read the manual, and if you seek to use the computer recording software, it may take a day or two to get down the basics. Quality: I am very "hard" on my possessions, and have the "touch of a blacksmith" according to many of my close friends. Yet all the same, the s90 has not yet broken, faltered, or even stalled or frozen in one year of use (which cannot be said for my laptop). There is little to worry about braking, as the build is solid. Value: The Yamaha s90 is all about balance, a balance between performance and production, and balance between value and features. If you're looking for a keyboard/studio of great quality but are on a budget, then look no further than the s90. For a thousand dollars less than a Motif 8, you get the most beautiful piano voice in the world, and you still get the same Yamaha quality. Manufacturer Support: When I was starting to mess with the sequencing software, I called on Yamaha twice for help (not for technical issues, just for some general advice). They were not only expedient, but patient, friendly, and even offered humor at times. Expect your probelms to be solved with speed and effecience beyond your highest expectations. The Wow Factor: The the sleek, black color and the simplisic layout of buttons and sliders make the s90 a sort of "stealthy sexy" appearnce one might associate with a ninja. But don't be disarmed by its simplistic appearnce. Beneath that stealthy exterior lies a analog and digital killing machine. It's big, but not clunky or unweildy as many 88 key synths are. The smooth weighted action only helps it seduce you into it's world of endless pleasure. Once you play this synth, it will become an unbreakable addiction as it has for me. Overall: Chances are that the s90 will stay with me for the rest of my life. I'm already saving up to get three plug-in cards for it, and play on it at least once a day. I believe that the Yamaha has given me the perfect audio weapon, something I will never replace or sell, for any price. If you're still bent on having a dedicated workstation such as the Motif 8, a Korg Triton or Triton Extreme will sate your tastes, and completment the s90 well. I have already made an album off of the s90, and am working on another.
Style of Music: Classical, Jazz, Drumms and Bass, Trance, Breaks, Trip-Hop, Dance, Experimental Electronica, Techno
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"Yamaha U3 acoustic upright for sale."
Sound: The best piano sound out there right now. Drums are pretty good, the remainder are fine for filling in as pads. Connected to a pair of half decent monitors (BX8a's), it sounds quite impressive. Feature: Lacks sequencing/sampling, but that's not what this board is intended for. Good selection of voices, editing, effects. Limited on board storage memory for performances and backups. No problem using an external USB drive to correct for this. Would have liked to have seen a firewire interface, and colour display for the ES version. Ease of Use: I have to give a less than perfect score for this. I play piano, first venture into synth boards. The manual could have been written to be a bit easier to understand. For someone with zero experience, I recommend getting the instructional DVD for first time use. Quality: I'm always confident when I purchase Yamaha products, and they have never let me down. They obviously take quality very seriously, and it shows. Fit, finish, quality of material are all first rate. Value: The price is excellent, considering what you get compared to other boards. The sound quality/quantity are excellent compared to an RD700 in the same price range. Add $$$ for a Motif or Fantom to get the sequencing that you would probably do with a computer anyways. Manufacturer Support: Yamaha support is always excellent. The Wow Factor: Nice, solid, functional piece of gear. I don't know about the sex appeal, I wanted it enough to buy it, how's that. Overall: An excellent keyboard, period. Doubt I'll replace this for a long time. There is a learning curve to get the sound you want, but easy enough to sit and play right away. Add some decent monitors, and a software sequencer, you have a pretty good home studio. I'll probably sell my Yamaha U3 upright now that I have this.
Style of Music: classical piano to drum and bass
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