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GeneralMusic S3 Turbo Music Processor

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    The Generalmusic S3 Turbo Series Music Processor is an instrument conceived and developed with the most up-to date technology to guarantee a high degree of reliability and durability. The name “Music Processor” describes the instrument’s ability to handle the complete, creative process, starting from sound synthesis right down to the registration of multitimbral songs and the complete control of the entire MIDI setup.

    The S3 Turbo Music Processor is a digital synthesizer workstation with 6 MB of sampled waveforms as the basis for the oscillators which are processed through two variable filters and a programmable envelope. The S3 Turbo Music Processor came standard with 2 MB of sample ram and with the new Turbo feature, it allowed sample data to be loaded directly into the S3 from floppy disk without having to be converted on a computer first. Other new features added were 2000 sounds up from the original 1600 plus 100 Performances.

    The S3 Turbo retains all the great features from the original models like 209 waves in rom and two 12db variable filters that could also be set to act as one 24db variable filter. The keyboard still has Aftertouch and Velocity. With it's multiple sliders and buttons, plus two sets of MIDI jacks, make the S3 Turbo a great MIDI Master Keyboard Controller.
    Type: Digital
    Synthesis: ROM, Sampling, Subtractive
    Oscillators: 2
    Waveforms: ROM
    ROM Size: 6 MB
    Osc Modulation: After Touch, Envelope, Keyboard, LFO, Mod Wheel, Pedal, Sequencer, Velocity
    Sampling: 16 bit, 44.1 kHz
    Sampling Notes:
    The S3 Turbo has 2 megs of Sample ram and can load samples from Wav/AIFF or Akai Directly without being converted on a computer first.
    Envelopes: 2
    Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
    Filters: 2
    Types: 12dB Slope (2-pole), 24dB Slope (4-pole), Band Pass, High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance, Parametric
    Filter Modulation: After Touch, Envelope, Keyboard, LFO, Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel, Sequencer, Velocity
    Filter Notes:
    Both 12 db filters can be set to make one 24 db filter.
    LFO: 1
    LFO Parameters: Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Saw Down, Sine, Square, Triangle
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 32
    Timbrality: 16
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Mono, Polyphonic
    Patches RAM: 2000
    Multipatches RAM: 100
    Storage: Tape, Internal
    Editing: MIDI
    2 effects blocks with Chorus, Flanger, Rotary Speaker, Delay, and, Reverb
    16-Track sequencer, up to 250 000 notes
    Case: Keyboard
    Case Details: solid chassis
    Keyboard: 76 keys, Buttons, Semi-weighted
    Controls: Aftertouch, Buttons, Faders, Mod - Wheel, Pitch -Wheel, Sequencer, Pedal - Sustain, Tempo Knob, Velocity, Pedal - Volume
    Display Type: LCD, Backlit
    Display Count H: 240
    Display Count V: 64
    Display Notes: LCD with Blue Neon Backlight
    Dimensions (WxDxH): 1077 x 116 x 350 mm
    Weight: 18.5 kg
    Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out, Stereo Main, Stereo Headphone
    Audio Output Count: 7
    MIDI Ports: IN, OUT, THRU
    Control Features: Not GM Compatible but can load standard MIDI files
    Year Released: 1993
    Manuals & Documents
    YouTube Videos
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· Edited by lucasasdelli


The keybed uses metal contact and provides a very good tactile feedback; moreover, the S2 and S3 features one of the best polyphonic aftertouch on the market, making them as excellent master keyboards. And as more notable features:

  • keyboard release velocity
  • four high-quality Analog Devices DACs on their audio chain
  • no portamento effect
  • double MIDI port sets (2 MIDI IN, 2 MIDI THRU, 2 MIDI OUT, separately configured)
  • S3 is 76-key, S2 is 61-key

The internal NiCd battery is prone to acid leakage and motherboard damage. I highly recommend to owners to replace the NiCd one with a NiMH battery, setting it aside from the motherboard and connected with a pair of wires, to avoid possible damage. It could be easily made without removing the motherboard, by simply cutting original battery leads and using them as terminals.

They are built like a tank, quite heavy compared with current keyboard production. The button keys on panel are, lilke as the traditional italian instruments, tiny and with small action range. The encoder could need some cleaning, but it restores to the original precision. Pitch and mod wheels are big and gives great feedback. The display is highly readable even in sunlight.

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