Back in 1989 when I used a DX100 with its distinctive FM sound, I wanted a sound module that added real sounding pianos to my setup. Professional sounding piano modules were expensive at the time, so I picked up this little budget unit. The Yamaha EMT-10 costs around £250 and gives you twelve sample sounds in a small compact unit. Designed by Yamaha’s Piano and home organ division, rather than the professional instruments unit like the DX7 meant that this was designed for home users but for the times the sounds were actually pretty good.

The EMT-10 uses AWM (Advanced Wave Memory), which is a sample-based-technology and has eight note polyphony. You could chain two units together for sixteen note polyphony, to help with this it has an audio input and power output.

As well as piano sounds it also has electric piano, guitar, harpsichord, strings, brass, upright bass, electric bass, and slap bass. You can split the bass sounds so you can have any of the bass sounds for the left hand, and the other sounds for the right hand. There are also some controls for adjusting the brightness and envelope.

As you can hear in the video for 1989 the sounds are good, 8 note polyphony is a bit of a limit but it was a budget device. In 2023, there isn’t much call for the EMT-10 but some of the sounds have an interesting quality.

Did you have an EMT-10? Or one of the other EM instruments in the range? Let me know in the comments!

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