The Yamaha Music Synthesizer S90
is a synthesizer
, MIDI controller
in one unit, released 2002. As such, it is part of the S series together with the S03
and the S90ES
.. It is notably one of the few digital 'modular' synthesizers with 88 weigthed keys. To what extent the S90 is modular may be a topic of controversy in comparison to analog modular synthesizers as parts of its modularity is plug-in based and not applicable in real time. However, it is still possible to view it as a hybrid modular type in conjunction with software use (see Modular synthesizer
The S90 provides 88 fully weigthed keys, the number equivalent to a standard piano
, emulating the pianistic mechanism. The keyboard naturally provides initial touch, but also aftertouch
response and has a 64-note polyphony
with 16 multitimbral
parts providing a maximum of 4 performance parts.
There are 384 normal (e.g instrumental) presets and 48 drum kits. The S90 also includes standard GM
presets. User presets are 128 normal and 16 drum kits. Presets may be expanded through up to three plug-in boards allowing a bank of 64 presets for each plug-in slot.
Expandability and Memory Slot
The S90 can be expanded through plug-in boards at three plug-in slots, thus providing additional presets, polyphony, effects and synthesizer functionality. Also, a memory slot is included for SmartMedia
(3.3V) cards up to 128 MB.
The S90 is a large black synthesizer with brown side panels and might give the impression of a digital synthesizer with its green display. 71 push buttons are distributed across the front panel (based on image observation). Pitch bend and modulation wheels are placed above the keyboard aligned to the left.
Dimensions (mm): 1,357 (W) x 386 (D) x 163 (H)
Weigth (kg): 23.0
Imperial, English, United States customary, etc.
Weigth (lbs.): 51
Dimensions (inches): 53 3 /8" (W) x 15 1 /8" (D) x 6 3 /8" (H)
Panels and Connectors
The front panel features a standard setup of a pitch bend
wheel, a modulation
wheel and a master volume slider. In addition there are four assignable control sliders and one 'rotary encoder'. The display is a 240 x 64 dot graphic backlit LCD.
Output: L/mono, R (1 /4" Jacks)
Assignable output: L, R (1 /4" Jacks)
Master Equalizer (5 bands)
Phones (Stereo 1 /4" Jack)
2 x Foot controller
2 x Foot switch: Assignable, Sustain
Sound Generation and Effects
The synthesizer uses AWM2, a "Modular Synthesis Plug-in System" and 21 types of filter. Table 1 shows an overview of the S90 factory effects.
Table 1. List of Onboard effects
| Effect Name
|| No. of Types |
||(5 bands) |
¹available for Performance/Song mode
Official Data List