Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
Yamaha keyboard music synthesizer SO3

Yamaha keyboard music synthesizer SO3


The Yamaha keyboard music synthesizer SO3 is the most inexpensive model from any manufacturer that can truly be called 'professional'.

To start on a career in professional music, recording or production, it is necessary to 'cut loose' from home keyboards. Home keyboards, particularly arranger keyboards and those with auto-accompaniment, can be fun. But that's not the way the professionals work.

It is important to have a least one keyboard that can provide a full range of basic sounds. That includes grand piano, a good selection of orchestral sounds including ensemble strings, and also the synths, basses and processed sounds typical of modern recording studio production.

Also important for a studio keyboard are full editing facilities. Although it is great to have a wide range of standard sounds available at the touch of a button, professionals realize that to be successful, they have to come up with their own, unique sounds. With the Yamaha keyboard music synthesizer SO3, you can start with a standard sound, then bend and shape it to the way you think it should be.

Probably the best thing about this keyboard is the price. It is a truly professional instrument at an affordable price. Audio Masterclass has not found any instrument at a lower price point than this that is suitable for professional recording.


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  • Over 700 differenct sounds
  • Quick access to sounds including category search
  • General MIDI compatible with additional XG functionality – useful for sharing music with a friend with a GM synth, even if it is not the same model
  • High-quality digital effects. Although it is professional practice to add effects externally, these internal effects can 'polish' the individuality of a sound
  • Software to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer
  • Editing software
  • Ability to edit and import your original audio samples.

User comments

  • “I purchased an S03 in the summer of 2001, and I'm still crazy about it. I haven't yet heard a synth at this price that has sounds of this quality “out of the box” – I haven't felt the need to edit any of the sounds (at least not yet)! The keyboard action is light and fast; it inspires me to try things I wouldn't do on my Korg X5D. The learning curve on the XG Works Lite sequencing software is a little steeper than I expected (I'm used to Cakewalk), but so far I'm having a great time making music with this synth.”

  • “I use it on stage for a church, and bang for the buck, it is awesome. Sound selection is awesome. If you know anything about synths, you know that for most of them, only 10% of the tons of sounds are usually decent, and the rest are just buttons you click through on the way to the decent sounds, but there are a bunch of actually useable sounds here, and they are easy to find. I use as a top tier keyboard, and it really is fantastic.”

  • “Huge amount of quality sounds coming from his S80 big brother, easy to use and well crafted, this is what the S03 is about. Excellent choice for the beginner. And it's certainly the best synth for that price!!” rating for the Yamaha keyboard music synthesizer SO3: 8/10

David Mellor

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David Mellor