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Topic: Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

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  1. #1

    Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

    I\'m considering buying a Yamaha S-80 as a controller for playing Giga piano libraries. Does anyone have experience with this keyboard and the good piano libraries?

    I understand that the feel of a keyboard is largely subjective. However, I wonder about the things that can be judged objectively:

    Is the response to velocity accurate enough for the big piano libraries with many velocity layers? The onboard pianos have two or three velocity layers, so I\'m not sure it can register the four to sixeen layers of the good pianos. (Presumably it can register them, but does it register them well?)

    The key travel on the S-80 is long, compared to most contemporary controllers. Feels like an old, maybe badly maintained Steinway, needing a little extra pressure to get the key moving, but moving fast once it\'s going. Is this going to be a bad thing playing contemporary piano samples? (Or does this initial resistance come from it being a new keyboard, one that will have a \"smoother\" action after its broken in?)

    Thanks for any insight. I like the feel of the S-80, but don\'t want to commit to a keyboard that won\'t do justice to the good pianos out there. Any S-80 users out there?

  2. #2

    Re: Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

    Hmmmm... Im thinking of getting a MOTIF-8 myself - to use as controller and \"feel good\" thing. Its up against the Korg Triton Pro - and I am really not sure what to choose. Anyway. Here are the webspecs on the MOTIF-series.

    http://www.yamaha.com/cgi-win/webcgi.exe/DsplyModel/?gSYS00005MOTIF

    Love - Chris

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    294

    Re: Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

    Hiya...

    The Yamaha S08, S90 and Motif-8 all share the same keyboard, with the S08 being about half the price of the S90 and in turn about half the price of the Motif-8 (here in Aussie anyway!).

    Only difference is that the S08 doesn\'t have velocity aftertouch and the only other controls are the mod/pitch wheel. S90 and Motif-8\'s got more sliders and better sound presets. But you are using Giga anyway so who cares about the sound!??!?!
    [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
    If I were you, I would buy the S08 and use the extra cash to buy better libraries... [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] Or even buy an Oxygen 8 for the knobs and stuff... [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    meeehoon

  4. #4

    Re: Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

    Yes, yes. But gentlemen, about those original questions...?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    294

    Re: Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

    Oh yah... Sorry... Your original question... [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    In my opinion no matter how sophisticated your board is, nothing can be perfect with how you want to play... All of the Yamaha keys come with touch control, allowing you to change the response/feel of the keys... But how well this translates to controlling giga stuff really depends...

    If you use Logic, you can create a transformer object in the environment to suit your playing style for the particular sample... I myself have 3, one for GOS, Gigapiano and Yellow Tools Pure Guitar samples... Switching between these 3 doesn\'t even take 2 seconds and I find it better than changing the \"touch\" of my keys, not that I can do that either with my Technics SX-P30 board!!!

    Lee & Sharmy: You are right about S90\'s arpeggios and synth stuff!!! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] I must admit thought Yamaha\'s very good with organs etc, even on the cheap S08, the organs are very good...

    layter...
    meeehoon

  6. #6

    Re: Yamaha S-80 as a controller for piano libraries?

    Originally posted by Jake Johnson:
    I\'m considering buying a Yamaha S-80 as a controller for playing Giga piano libraries. Does anyone have experience with this keyboard and the good piano libraries?

    I understand that the feel of a keyboard is largely subjective. However, I wonder about the things that can be judged objectively:

    Is the response to velocity accurate enough for the big piano libraries with many velocity layers? The onboard pianos have two or three velocity layers, so I\'m not sure it can register the four to sixeen layers of the good pianos. (Presumably it can register them, but does it register them well?)

    The key travel on the S-80 is long, compared to most contemporary controllers. Feels like an old, maybe badly maintained Steinway, needing a little extra pressure to get the key moving, but moving fast once it\'s going. Is this going to be a bad thing playing contemporary piano samples? (Or does this initial resistance come from it being a new keyboard, one that will have a \"smoother\" action after its broken in?)

    Thanks for any insight. I like the feel of the S-80, but don\'t want to commit to a keyboard that won\'t do justice to the good pianos out there. Any S-80 users out there?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Jake,

    I may not offer you prefect answers, as I just recently got GigaStudio 96 that came with GigaPiano (which you probably have)...and haven\'t tried any different, newer sample libraries that have what, 16 layers of velocity control. (Really??)

    However, I\'ve had the Yamaha s80 for a 13 months now. I can comment on it from having used it practically now every day...

    I decided on the Yamaha s80 because it had the best 88 actioned keyed keyboard with the feature set I needed/wanted at the time for the price point. I initiially THEN wasn\'t SO much into controlling other MIDI devices, or samples, and wanted to focus on having what I felt, was a professional feeling and looking \"instrument\". (Plus, the old piece of crap traditional upright I had in my apartment had a broken/loose sound borad and the tuning pins would loosen up and put the beast out of tune quickly.... ah the digital realm!)

    The onboard brass sounds and solo string sounds I thought were pretty good too.

    Also, the Yamaha, is my first synth and digital keyboard. I\'ve had real pianos around my entire life, but I am not a keyboardist by training... though I did develop enough good keyboard skills to get my degree (along with early lessons as a kid for a few years.) But I do have strong opinions, at least, on what a could feeling/sounding piano aught to be.

    For me, the GigaPiano library sounds a lot better than the on board Yamaha s80 piano sounds. (no suprise perhaps...and now there are even better ones? I should look into yet another piano library. Seems like there is no end..)

    As far as being a controller, I think your initial comments were right on. They s80 keyboard is hard and does need rather more force and less finese than others... YET, I personally find it excellent for practicing my finger strength. Again, I\'m not a pianist by training... (also, I\'m afraid I can\'t comment on the number of velocity layers it outputs.)

    Consequently, when I play say a real piano (my parents have a Baldwin upright at home), my fingers fly all over the keys and the action is much easier. (I think that\'s a general Baldwin trait anyhow...) At school, we had a few Steinways of varrying lengths and few Baldwins... the Baldwins were more fun to play cause of the easier action, but the Steinways sounded better.

    Now that I\'m getting into more sampling, etc... I have no complains with the s80 as a controller really. Perhaps I don\'t have enough experience ... but I find it adequate and not cheesy with the extra junk it it the Motif models try to sell you. In that respect, I think it\'s not bad. (Yet it is now a 4 year old model I think.)

    -H

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