Yamaha PSR SX900 Review: Is it worth it?
Today, I am going to do a review of the new Yamaha PSR SX900 arranger workstation keyboard. In case you are about to buy one, or for any reason you are reading this, I will answer all your questions.
This is going to be an in-depth review, therefore, I would advise you to get a cup of coffee and relax.
The PSR SX900 possesses features that are surpassed only by the Genos Workstation keyboard. Due to this, it is commonly known as “Baby Genos”. It features advanced functions which have been made easy for use.
DESCRIPTION – A Review of the Yamaha PSR SX900
The most important aspect of any Keyboard is the voices, and the PSR SX900 has got you covered! The Yamaha PSR SX900 comes with a total of 1337 high quality voices. That is a whopping number.
Well, that is not all. This includes 252 Super Articulation Voices, 24 Organ Flutes! Voices. 56 Drum/SFX kits. More Super Articulation Voices have been added. This is a useful feature that helps a keyboardist play a Guitar, for instance, exactly how human guitarist would.
The voice section has a total of 7 voice categories. They are: Piano and Epiano, Organ, Bass, Synth, Guitar, Woodwind, Brass and then you have the Expansion packs. The voices were intelligently arranged and grouped into one family.
The Piano and Epiano have been merged into one. This is a good way to organize voices, compared to the past generations. It is now easier to find a voice. So far, people are happy with this improvement.
There are two ways to select a voice. The first one is simply using the touchscreen, while the second is by hitting the preferred button category button. The voice buttons can be found on the right hand side of the screen.
I would like to take you on a journey through some voices in each category.
Piano&E.Piano: It has phenomenal Piano and Epiano voices. Some voices here are: Concert Grand Piano, Rock Piano, Upright Piano, Rhodes, CP80, DX7 Rhodes. These are all high-quality voices.
Organ: There are 5 pages of organ sounds with many many organ voices. CurvedBars, WhiteBars JS, Classic Scanner, JazzRotary JS, AllBarsOut JS, EvenBars, ClassicBars JS, RoskOrganJS, ProgRockOrgan JS, HollowBars and many more. Among these are Super Articulation Organ voices.
Guitar: JazzGuitar, ElectricGuitar, SteelGuitar, SemiAcoustic Guitar, CleanFingers, SteelAcousticPick, BrightChorus, ConcertGuitar, FlamicoGuitar, 50sVintageSolo, NylonGuitar, SpanishGuitarSlide, SteelGuitarSlide, ElectroAcoustic, and so on. There are over 7 pages of guitar voices to choose from.
As expected, this voice category also comes with many Super articulation voices that make the music real.
Accordion: MasterAccordion, AccordionClarinet, JazzAccordion, Harmonica, BluesHarp, ModernHarp, FrenchMussette.
Strings: SeattleStrings, OrchestralCello, TheatreStrings, SeattleClassical, OrchestralViola, OrchestralViolins and of course, many others.
Brass: BrightTrumpet, Cornet, PopHorns, WarmPopHorns, GoldenTrumpet, SweetTrombone, MutedTrumpet, Flugelhorn
Woodwind: There are 5 pages covered with various woodwind instruments. Saxophone, GrowlSax, BaritoneSax, PopTenor, SopranoSax, Piccolo, Flutes, Clarinets
Choir&Pad: JazzScatVocals, PopVocals, BoysChoirAah
Bass: SlapBass, FretlessBass, MellowFinger, AcousticBass, AcousticJazzBass, VintageMute
Synth: 80sTakeMeOut, 80sPitchySaw, 80sUnisonLead, 80sArnoldLead
Percussion&Drums: Vibraphone, RockDrumKit, PopDrumKit, Marimba, Vibes, Xylophone
In conclusion, the Yamaha PSR SX900 features a wide range of very realistic voices. You may not understand till you get your hands on one.
The Demo Feature
There is a built-in demo feature for the 1337 voices in this keyboard. This is a cool feature that lets you hear how a voice sounds and have a feel before before you play.
You will find the demo icon on the top right-hand of the voice page in the screen. It is symbolized with an icon of a speaker. All you have to do is to select a voice and hit the icon – viola!
The Part Select
Right below the voice categories is the Part Select, where you can not only select which instrument voice you want but where you want it to change.
The PSR SX-900 gives room for layering three voices on the right hand side. In other words, you have: Left, Right 1, Right 2 and Right 3.
This is a big improvement when compared to an average PSR keyboard which can play only two voices on the right – the Main and Dual.
In essence, you can layer an organ, SeattleStrings and Trumpet, and play them all together.
This category can be found at the left hand side near the screen. Normally, styles are always found on this position on every Yamaha PSR keyboard.
There are 9 styles on the PSR-SX900 and they include: Pop&Rock, Dance, R&B, Jazz, Latin, Ballroom, Movie&Show, Ballroom, Entertainer, World.
This is a phenomenal instrument for song writers because you’ve got the template to compose virtually any song.
Along with the styles section, there are 3 different Intros, 4 main variation parts, 4 Fills, 3 Endings. With the SyncStart button on, you don’t have to press “Start” to begin a style. All you have to do is a strike a chord. It works with the same principle as previous generations.
The Expansion Bank
Yamaha has been known for this for many years. The Expansion makes it possible for keyboard players to make music from various Traditions, Ethnic groups, Genres around the world.
There are tons of expansion packs you can purchase. If you like African Music, American, Japanese, Greek and so on, you can load them into the PSR SX-900. Furthermore, with the generous 1GB flash memory, there is room for more.
The Assign Function
Sometimes, you may need to swiftly activate certain features. The Assign function helps you accomplish that. It is likened to a shortcut. There are a variety of functions you can assign to the six assign buttons below the screen, your sustain pedals, the Home Shortcut menu, or even to the Live Control Knobs.
It is pretty impressive to experience this level of opportunities in a PSR keyboard.
There are two assignable Live Control Knobs in the Yamaha PSR SX900. The knobs are well-known in the PSR S series and highest keyboards in the E series. They are located at the left hand side of the keyboard.
The Direct Access Button
This button does the work of assigning a function to a contoller. A controller may be a sustain pedal, the knobs.
Through this button, you can assign the function of controlling the volume, sustain, pitchbend variation etc to your foot pedal or even your live control knobs. You will find this at the buttom left-hand side of the screen.
With the Yamaha PSR-SX900, a keyboard player can efficiently channel signals. It comes with four sub line-out connections. You can send various components of your music through to separate speakers. For instance, if a headphone is connected, The Metronome click can be channelled to it. And then, you can channel the Voice to a speaker. That brings us to another feature.
Four High-Quality Speakers
It is interesting to know that a keyboard of this price range comes with four powerful speakers. You cannot imagine how sounds will be produced with so much life.
The aim of this is to balance the sound output between the keyboard player and the listeners. It ensures that your performance sounds rich no matter where your listeners are. The diaphragm of the speaker was intelligently designed to fulfil this.
This also leads us to another feature.
The Bluetooth Audio
You can now connect your phone wirelessly to the Yamaha keyboard through the Bluetooth. Guess what.. Files in your phone can now be played with the expansive soundfield speaker system of the SX900. Enjoy better quality.
The previous generations can only be connected through the USB Port. But here, we have an advantage. Let us go wireless!
The modulation and control wheels have been replaced with a Joystick that rotates in 360 degrees. This allows for optimum expression. With the Joystick, you can better control the pitch, modulation and make fast trills.
There is a Modulation Hold button at the top of the Joystick. It allows you to turn the modulation OFF, so that you can focus on controlling the pitch.
With the “Artificial Intelligence Fingered” mode, you can play advanced chords with only a couple of fingers. For instance, you can play a five-note chord by striking only three notes – with three fingers, of course! The keyboard will neatly complete the job for you.
Also, a Triad can be played by simply striking the Root and Third. It is a simple way to play chords or voicings.
This is one of the premium features that the Yamaha PSR SX900 offers. When I say Premium, I do not mean you will pay for it.
This feature lets keyboard players to record and loop a chord sequence automatically. Get your hands off the keyboard so you can focus on doing other things with both hands. You could play a solo, use the knobs and do your thing.
Instead of having to worry about Chord changes, the PSR-SX900 will do that neatly for you.
To access this, click on the Menu button, and you will find the Chord Looper submenu under the Menu1.
I hope you found this Yamaha PSR SX900 Review helpful. Thanks for reading!