New Toys

Yamaha S90XS and S70XS Synths

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Yamaha S90XS and S70XS Synths Brand new at the Summer 2009 NAMM Show were Yamaha's two new weighted-action synths, the 88-key S90XS and the 76-key S70XS. They combine all the Voices, Performances, Arpeggiators and Virtual Circuit Modeling effects found on the Motif XS with 142 megabytes of high-quality piano waveforms taken from Yamaha's concert grand S6 piano for a total of 456 megabytes of instrument samples.

For the first time to further enhance the sonic accuracy of the pianos, Yamaha's unique Balanced Hammer Effect action that simulates the touch and response of a grand piano action, is available in both 88 note and 76 note models. An intuitive front panel includes real time controls for tweaking sounds on the fly while the Performance Creator makes it easy to create layers, splits and complete drums grooves.

Cool features include: a combo input jack for adding vocals, guitars or external effects and the direct USB record and playback functionality lets performers record their performances as stereo 44.1/16 bit .wav files to external USB memory devices or to the internal Flash memory. I liked the Song Chain function where a list of up to 100 songs of either MIDI or .wav audio files are available for instant playback.

The S90XS and S70XS both work as a master keyboards and a full-function, multi-timbral tone generators, and also as DAW remotes with 50 different control templates to control any DAW and/or VST instrument directly from the panel controls.

The S90XS ($3,799) and S70XS ($3,699) are expected to be available in September 2009. For more information, visit

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