Yamaha S90ES

Yamaha S90ES
Specs Desc FAQ Resources More



Number of Keys: 88
Key Weight: Piano
Key Size: Full
Touch Sensitive:


Number of Voices: 512
Polyphony: 128
Sound Generation: AWM2
Piano Sounds:
Real World Sounds:
Sounds Editable:

Extra Features



Tablet Connectivity:


Power Supply:


Audio Out:
Audio In:


Sustain Pedal:
Soft Pedal:
Expression Pedal:

Release Info

Year: 2010
RRP: $2600


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, stereo grand 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.

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, it’s the perfect balance of both. The new multi-velocity stereo samples of Yamaha’s 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 ES’s 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 it’s 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 piano’s 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 controller’s 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 today’s 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 won’t 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 ES’s 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. Up-to-date applications and USB drivers are available for download at www.yamahasynth.com.

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 it’s almost like adding another synthesizer to your system without losing any of the S90 ES’s onboard voices.


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