WNAMM06: Yamaha S90ES Piano Sound Focus

Private audition - we film.      07/02/06

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WNAMM06: Yamaha S90ES Piano Sound Focus
Phil plays the S90ES

Released last year, the S90ES was designed to build on the former S-series synthesizers, the S90ES inheriting the best features but also introducing many more useful additions such as, increased wave ROM, double the polyphony and support for Studio Connections Total Recall (Yamaha’s software package for complete studio management). Also get more beefy DSP effects for both insert and master usage, a performance arpeggiator for patterns and musical phrases such as guitar strums, drum grooves, keyboard riffs. One of the main features of the new soundset is the 53MB piano multisample and related effects. We had a talk with Phil Clendenin who demonstrated them beautifully. Sounds from the Yamaha flagship ‘MOTIFES’ synthesizer introduce the unique MegaVoice Technology to the S-series for the first time; plus 53MB of S700 grand piano samples.


The keyboard for the S90ES, uses the same robust Yamaha Balanced Hammer Effect (BH) keyboard as its predecessor. This ‘road-ready’ weighted-action keyboard provides a smooth and realistic piano touch–yet, because it features an even balance from top to bottom, voices such as drums and synth basses feel more responsive – all that and aftertouch too. New to the S90ES is the Piano Dynamic Emulation System. This enables an FC3 pedal to be used with synth, allowing half-damping of the note sustain to be controlled just like on a real piano for a more realistic piano experience. For the power user, voice and multi-part editors can be freely downloaded from www.yamahasynth.com and the S90ES can be controlled like a VST instrument from a computer. This is made even easier when the mLAN16E board is installed (optional extra) into one of the 3 expansion ports giving 16 outs and 8 inputs of digital audio I/O. But the built-in (two!)USB ports means that one can be used for voice data and SMF playback data storage, while the other can handle the MIDI connection to your host computer. Peter Peck, Marketing Manager Music Production at Yamaha-Kemble UK states... “Following intensive sampling sessions we believe that the piano voicing in S90ES is the most realistic and expressive that has ever been available in a synthesizer. With such a huge wave ROM it allowed us to dedicate massive blocks of memory to the most critical sounds. This is clearly audible in the 53MB stretch tuned S700 piano program. When this is combined with the special damper resonance feature, the results are truly stunning. We really see S90ES as the ultimate players instrument.� The S90ES is available now.

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