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Getting Started on the S90

Ten Basic Skills

1. Finding a Sound.
The quickest way to look for sounds on the S90 - both single Voices, and layered or split Performances - is to use [CATEGORY SEARCH]. 

Press [VOICE] then [CATEGORY SEARCH], select a category (using the panel buttons marked A. Piano, Keyboard, Organ etc) and/or sub category (using the F1-3 buttons below the display screen), and then scroll through the items in that bank using the data wheel or inc/dec buttons. You can play each sound as it appears, but to go back to the main Voice page simply press Enter.

If you often gravitate towards the same sound make sure you flag it as 'favorite.' Press F5 [Set/CLEAR] to store a favorite. With [CATEGORY SEARCH] On, hit F4 [FAVORITES] to view your current list of fave raves.

You can use the same Category Search method to select PERFORMANCES while in [PERFORM] mode. The CATEGORY SEARCH feature can also be used to select Voices within a Performance.

For more detailed info read the Category Search Guide.

2. Selecting a Performance.
A Performance is a combination of up to 4 Voices (internal, PLG1, PLG2 or PLG3). A Performance can also store arpeggiator and “analog-to digital” input (A/D) settings. Performances are used for creating complex Layers and Performance grooves. All Performances are in “user” accessible RAM.

Performances can be selected in one of 3 methods. First press the [PERFORM] button. Then you can:

  • Use the [INC/YES], [DEC/NO] buttons to advance through the Performances.
  • Use the DATA DIAL to spin through the Performances.
  • Use the Memory-Bank-Program buttons to select a specific Performance. For example: to select a Performance located at Memory Bank [B] – Program [5], you would push those buttons in that order.

3. Changing the Voices and Split Points in a Performance.
Press [PERFORM] then [F3] (VOICE) for Voice selection.

Move the cursor to the desired Part. Pressing [SF1] (ADD INT) will add an Internal Voice; Pressing [SF2] (ADD PLG) will add a PLG Voice (if you have a PLG card installed); Pressing [SF3] (DELETE) will delete the selected Voice; Pressing the [CATEGORY SEARCH] button will allow you to search for Voices by Category.

You can set the lowest note of the selected Part by pressing the desired key on the keyboard while holding the [SF4] (LIMIT L) button. To set the highest note of the range, press the desired key while holding the [SF5] (LIMIT H) button. This lets you create a split keyboard, with up to four different parts, or Voices, sounding in four different ranges. You can also overlap the parts to create layers.

4. Instant Sound Editing.
Without getting remotely complex you can tweak Voices and Performances using the four panel sliders. If you happen to hit on a great edit, save it to a User Voice or Performance. Use the Control Function knob to activate the particular group of parameters you want to ‘live edit.’

Want more control? In Voice or Performance mode, press [F5] EG and you can tweak each stage of the envelope generator without having to dive into edit mode.

5. Making An Edit Permanent.
If you want to make an edit permanent, hit the [STORE] button and either overwrite or choose a new storage location for your edited sound. If you don’t do this, edits will be lost when you change modes or sounds.

User Voices, Performances, and Master Mode settings are stored in static RAM and are retained in the S90 when you power down.

6. Loading/Saving New Data.
Data can also be externally, on SmartMedia cards. Press [CARD], to save data externally to SmartMedia card. To load data from a SmartMedia card, make sure you have the correct file type (User ARP, Voice, Performance etc.) in the left hand side of the display. Use the Inc/Dec buttons to scroll through all file types available. A list of all files of that type will then appear in the right hand display, and you can then load the data into your chosen location.

Need a SmartMedia card? Pick one up from the S-Mart.

7. File Extensions Viewed from S90 and Computer Desktop.
S90 data can be stored on SmartMedia cards and, if you have a USB computer and a SmartMedia card reader, you can then view and store S90 data on your computer.

However, the files look a little different on an S90 than when they are viewed from your computer desktop. On S90, files show up ‘normally,’ as a single W4V file (for Voice data), for instance. On a computer desktop the same file will appear as a pair of files (EG W4V and W5V).

Be aware that the S90 needs to see the correct extensions in order to load data. For example a .MID file without its .MID extension simply will not show up on the S90. The cure? View the file from your computer desktop and manually add the .MID extension. Then insert the SmartMedia card back into the S90 and, hey presto, the .MID file will be viewable and loadable.

8. Having Fun With Arpeggios.
Instant production! Each Voice can be assigned its own particular arpeggio which you can easily tweak, or change completely. In Voice mode press F6 [ARP]. Cursor over to ‘Switch’ and make sure it's set to ON. Now experiment with different arpeggios in the Pre1, 2, and User banks.

Setting a velocity range of around 90-127 is cool, as this will make the arpeggio fire up only when you play harder.

9. Selecting and Playing Demo Songs
Push [SEQ PLAY]. Press [SF5](DEMO) for to select Demo mode. Use the inc/dec or up/down buttons to select a Demo Song. There are 17 Demo Songs. Press [SF5] (PLAY) to play the Demo Song Press [SF5] (STOP) to stop it.

To return to Voice, Performance, or Master mode simply Press [VOICE], [PERFORM] or [MASTER].

10. Using the S90 with an External Sequencer.
To use the S90 in a Multi-Timbral setup, with an external sequencer: 

  • Push the [SEQ PLAY] button 
  • Push [F6] (MIX) to get to the Mixing display. 
  • Buttons [F1] (VOL/PAN), [F2] (A/D), [F3] (VOICE) and [F4] (EF SEND) correspond to the various MIXING parameters. 

For more detailed info read the guide using S90 with an external sequencer.