Yamaha S-400B

A Yamaha S-400B from the southern hemisphere sampled with three different mics.

The story


Yamaha S-400B (I thought they made motorcycles..?)

So it was another boiling hot Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. The studio was closed (not to me…), quiet and ready to be used. I jumped in, setup some mics and went to town. She’s bright, if you want it that way, reasonably clean and well presented from 2 vastly different listening positions. Sometimes you just have to try out things that you haven’t before and this was one of those times.

Røde Ribbon mics, capturing the full piano body and miniature omni DPA’s stuck underneath with blu-tak for the why the hell not sound. Check the pictures out for a better description I guess. I also made multiple Impulse Responses which are included here to be used any which way you want, and one should be loaded in the Kontakt instrument by default. These were made through the piano, in the room in a few variations so you can have a strange sustain if you want. Note: If anyone wants my Impulse Response Utility that I made (OS X only sadly) then please just get in touch.

If I did what I think I did right, it should load in Kontakt, with 3 mic knobs:

1. Underneath close mics
2. Ribbon body mics
3. Release Triggers

There’s also a quick EQ panel for fast sculpting and a Reverb amount slider which’ll send through an Impulse that I like. Try them all and see what you like, hopefully something for everyone.


Reviews for Yamaha S-400B

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Bright but Characterful

    As ive said before im generally a fan of darker, cinematic felt pianos. I find most non felt libraries to be stale, boring and too bright. I know Yamahas are notoriously bright but i was really suprised at how much i liked this one. It has alot of character which is so refreshing for me for a piano like this. It also has great dynamics and a very dramatic theatrical quality to it. The reverb also sounds great on it. This might be my new go to non felt piano. Awesome job. The GUI has some nice controls as well.

    septemberwalk12 November 2021
  • Nice and clear sound of piano, versatile library

    Very nicely captured piano! I really like the clear tone of this library. It is easy to play with, and goes well with many instruments or library.

    Asuka Amane20 October 2021
  • A nice sound with extended options!

    This piano instrument is quite nice, very well recorded with a little to no white noise in the samples. If you intend to use the sustain pedal, I highly recommend to completely turn the Release all the way off, since it builds up all the release trigger noises and releases them at the same time with some added white noise that will be hard to deal with in a mix - and in fact scared me at first.

    The different microphone arrangement is fantastic to play with, especially if you combine it with the included EQ. That way you can tune it up and fix some spots you might find over -or- underwhelming.

    One thought though. Why the hell is the Reverb Level a horizontal slider whereas it works with vertical mouse control? It would work better as a knob anyway.

    Alex Raptakis01 December 2021
  • Great for epic low chords

    The piano is very well recorded but, my favorite part of it is the low-end. The high end sounds good but, for my taste, it's a little bit generic. The lows, instead, work perfectly with big lush reverbs and delays, long sustained chords, or octaves. Personally, I like to correct the sound, after the reverb, with a transient designer and then apply some tube or tape saturation.

    Julian Doe12 October 2021
  • Very bright!

    This bright and happy piano is perfect for banging out a happy quarter note rock n roll tunes. The mic position is unorthodox, but Mr. Hay used his ears and found something that sounded great. That release trigger has got some serious low-end mojo! I cranked it up and my speaker cones almost fell out into my lap!

    Sam Ecoff09 November 2021