Yamaha S70 XS 76-Key Weighted Synthesizer

No longer available at zZounds
Get all the voices, performances, arps and VCM effects found on MOTIF XS with the expressive Yamaha S70 XS synthesizer.

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 of the premium piano and synth sounds that come in most workstations, though. Meet the Yamaha S70 XS, a professional performing keyboardist's dream come true. The S70 XS features the same powerful sound engine that's at the core of the incredible Motif XS 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 S70 XS testify to its role as a finely tuned performance instrument. Not all are lucky enough to have a road crew haul their gear around, but with a weight less than 50 pounds you won't mind carrying your Yamaha S70 XS around by yourself. Once you've loaded it in and set it up, you'll find the controls are intuitively laid out, with each button and slider clearly labeled to eliminate guesswork. The large, 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 S70 XS's keyboard features 76 keys--Yamaha's response to players demanding an even more portable version of the 88-key S90XS. The keys themselves are read more 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 instrument is the placement of the pitch and mod wheels--moved from their above-the-keyboard position on the older S90-range to the left of the keys for quick, painless access. Every aspect of the physical design of the S70 XS has been honed for effortless performance.

Powerful Motif XS Synth Sounds
The S70 XS 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 S70 XS 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 Plug-in System expansion boards makes for a virtually limitless variety of sounds. Of course, the factory presets already sound phenomenal; on the Yamaha S70 XS, getting great synth tones is as easy or as complex as you want it to be. No synth would be complete without a killer arpeggiator, and the S70 XS's is second-to-none. You get 1,787 different arpeggio patterns 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.

142MB Of All-New Acoustic Piano Sounds
The perfect gigging keyboard needs to have great synthesizer capabilities, but it also needs to have great acoustic piano sounds. There is 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 S70 XS boasts amazing, stereo-sampled acoustic piano patches that'll have your audiences doubting their own eyes. Across the entire digital keyboard line, Yamaha is proud of their stereo sampled grand piano sound, but the S70 XS's piano emulations are the cream of the crop. The keyboard's designers dedicated a whopping 142MB of the S70 XS's sampling memory to the sophisticated acoustic piano sounds, all sampled from a hand-built Yamaha S6 concert grand piano. By allocating so much on-board memory, Yamaha was able to construct the S70 XS'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 S70 XS remains full and complex. Special note should be made of the S70 XS's piano 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.

More New XS Features
If you've played the last-generation S90ES, you already know what a powerful performance machine it is. The XS series steps up the live game even more by adding a microphone input (with dedicated input gain and peak metering) and a whole suite of effects specifically tailored for vocal processing--including a robo-tastic vocoder effect. The ES also sported a bunch of studio friendly features that the XS preserves, and adds to. You can still connect the S70 XS to your computer via USB to turn it into a plug-in-host and DAW controller, but now the keyboard boasts its own internal flash memory for up to 18 minutes of recording time! For even more recording time, connect a USB thumb drive. This isn't MIDI information; this is real audio data. The Yamaha S70 XS is its own sophisticated, portable studio! Make use of recorded audio in performance, too, for custom-tailored backing tracks or instant vocal harmonies. You can even import audio files from external sources and play them back using the S70 XS!

It takes a very special instrument to make a great musician even better. With its depth of sonic variety and expressive playability, the Yamaha S70 XS could easily be that instrument for you, as well as the last performance synth you'll ever need to buy.

Power Supply:Power cord (included)
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Keyboard: 88 keys, Balanced Hammer Effect Keyboard (Initial Touch/Aftertouch)

Tone Generator block
Tone Generator AWM2 with Expanded Articulation:
- Maximum polyphony 128 notes
- Multi-Timbral Capacity 16 Internal Parts + Mic Input Part
- Wave 456 MB (when converted to 16-bit linear format), 2,772waveforms

- Preset: 1,024 normal voices + 64 drum kits
- GM: 128 normal voices + 1 drum kits
- User: 128 x 4 (Bank 1 - 3: selected and copied from Preset bank)
- Normal Voice + 32 drum kits

- User: 128 x 4 (up to 4 Parts)

- User: 128

Filter 18 types

- Reverb x 9 types, Chorus x 22 types, Insertion (A, B) x 53 types x 8 blocks,
- Vocoder x 1 (uses both Insertion Effect A and B blocks), Master Effect x 9 types, Master Equalizer (5 bands), Part EQ (3 bands, stereo)

Sequencer Section
Sequence Play:
- SMF Format 0/1 (playback only)

BPM (Tempo) 5 - 300

Number of Chain Steps 100

- Preset x 6,779 types
- User x 256 types (when loading the User Arpeggio data of MOTIF XS).

Audio Rec/Play Section
- Recording: WAVE (.wav/44.1kHz/16-bit/stereo)
- Playback: WAVE (.wav/44.1kHz/16-bit/stereo), AIFF (.aif/44.1kHz/16-bit/stereo)

- User: 128
- 4 Zones (Master keyboard settings), Assignable Knob/Slider settings, Program Change Table

Sequence Software compatible with the Remote Control function:
- For Windows: Cubase 5, Cubase 4.5, SONAR 8
- For Macintosh: Cubase 5, Cubase 4.5, Logic Pro 8, Digital Performer 6
- Functions to be controlled by the S90 XS/S70 XS differ depending on the software you use.
- Controllers Pitch Bend wheel, Modulation wheel, Sliders (4), Knobs (4), Assignable Function button (2), Data dial, Input Gain
- Display 160 x 64 dot graphic backlit LCD

Jack and Terminals:
- OUTPUT L/MONO, R (standard phone jack)
- ASSIGNABLE OUTPUT L, R (standard phone jack)
- MIC INPUT (combo jack)
- PHONES (standard stereo phone jack)
- Power Consumption 25 W

Dimensions (WxDxH):
- Width 1,350mm (53.1 in.)
- Height 173mm (6-3/4 in.)
- Depth 385mm (15-1/4 in.)

Weight: 20.4kg (44.2 lbs.)

- AC Power cord
- Owner's Manual
- Owner's Manual CD-ROM (containing Reference Manual and Data List)
- DVD-ROM (containing DAW software)

Power Supply:Power Cord (Included)

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 714-522-9011
Web: https://usa.yamaha.com/support

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (6 ratings)
Submitted January 20, 2010 by a customer from gmail.com

"If you play it, you'll want it."

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
If lost or stolen, I'd replace it. It is without a doubt the best combination of features, touch, sound, portability and programmability I have ever had.
The most gorgeous piano sounds I've ever played in a live venue - responsive, resonant, nice. Brass is excellent, although I prefer Roland's trombone and sax sounds. Guitars and Organs are also very high quality. Don't get much into the synth sounds on the gigs I play, but they seem abundant and sound good.
Recording vocal and keyboard directly and saving to audio file is nice touch. Patches set up pretty easy for yamaha, and I've had no trouble throwing a few together on the gig. Solidly built, not too heavy. My biggest complaint is that I haven't been able to find a 76 note case that fits it. I have to go to the next size up (because of the matter of 1/4"! C'mon guys, would it have been that hard to save 1/4" so we could save $75-100 on a hard case? That is the absolute worst I can say about it, though.
Ease of Use
Probably the most intuitive Yamaha interface I have seen. But it is still a Yamaha.
Like a rock.
Of course I would like to pay less for this. Who wouldn't? However it is definitely worth the price. Wouldn't mind having the 88 note version, it's only $100 more.
Manufacturer Support
Haven't had to use live support yet. I've never had a problem downloading patches, manuals, etc. from their site though.
The Wow Factor
I own it.

Musical Background:

Active musician, Music Teacher

Musical Style:

Jazz, Pop, Rock, Standards
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