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Augmented YDS-120 Saxophone

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

I didn't expect the Yamaha YDS-120/150 electronic saxophone would be a good wind controller before because it does not have a bite sensor and I didn't know how its midi function would work with other sound modules. After applying my midi knowledge and experiences modifying various wind controllers to this basic/cheaper YDS-120 model, I was able to make a fantastic digital saxophone controller : adding a bite sensor, adjusting pitch bend range & breath sensitivity / curves by midi programming, wireless midi function, rechargeable Lipo battery. etc. I also added a DIY bell with a bigger/louder speaker. With this, now I cannot put down my augmented YDS-120 saxophone from my hands. It works great with the Audiomodeling saxophone app, V-horns saxophone as well as Yamaha VL synthesizers like VL-1m and VL-70m.



YDS-120 Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

- same keys and sounds from YDS-150

- no blue tooth connection

- customizable fingering (but some glitches)

- short battery life

​- same saxophone key arrangement

​- some keys/fingering can be difficult to use (rarely, can be overcome by custom fingering)

- Adjustable breath sensitivity, dynamic and key touch sensitivity

- difficult playing with straight neck/mouth piece

- Midi function can be set on the YDS app. It can send the real time velocity value related to breath and aftertouch.


Snapshots about how to modify YDS-120 into a wireless midi digital saxophone



Materials/Components : YDS-120, CME WIDI host x2, MIDI Expression pedal USB controller, Pressure sensor resistor, Lipo battery, 3" full Round Miniature Speaker, Type-C USB 5V 2A Boost Converter Step-Up Power Module Lithium Battery Charging Protection Board , USB cables, 24.5 mm Alto Saxophone Sax Bend Neck Brass/mouthpiece/ligature, etc.

Video demonstration






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