Yamaha Design “Synapses” PSS-A50 / Remie (PSS-E30) / PSS-F30


A mini-keyboard that anyone can enjoy.


The design of the entire series is characterized by egg-like roundness, while each keyboard has a panel design and body colors distinct from the others. The PSS-E30 a pure white body, and the PSS-F30 features a pleasing interplay between the yellow and orange panels. Meanwhile, the PSS-A50 is punctuated by metallic red, creating a cool, sophisticated impression.


The speaker grill is slightly recessed into the body to foster a sense of unity with the body despite the design techniques used to differentiate between zones. The radial pattern of the speaker holes elicits the image of the sound emanating into the surroundings.


The PSS-F30 is a compact, lightweight version of the PSR-F51, a popular choice for music lessons, and has all the same functions. Although the Song and Voice lists are simplified, the UI emulates that of the F51 to bring the familiar playing experience from the stage and the studio into the home.


The round theme of the design was inspired by the image of a person carrying the keyboard or playing it in their lap. The matte body is smooth to the touch and feels pleasant in the hands, and is angled toward the player in such a way as to gently beckon them to start playing.

Sena Ohtsuka
Sena Ohtsuka
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Small keyboards that offer the chance to touch “eggs for musicians” for the first time.

The PSS-A50, Remie (PSS-E30), and PSS-F30 are mini keyboards with built-in speakers. They are small keyboards designed to be the first instruments for budding musicians. This project began with the development of the PSS-F30, a compact, lightweight version of the PSR-F51, a popular choice for music lessons and in other settings in developing countries in Southeast Asia.

Because these could be the very first instruments that a person has the opportunity to play, I decided on a design concept of “eggs for musicians.” The concept also applies to the PSS-E30, which is aimed at younger musicians, and the PSS-A50, which I envision will be played by beginners of all ages. The design of the entire series is characterized by an adorable egg-like roundness, while each model has a panel design distinct from the others.
For the PSS-F30, I used a bold color scheme for the menu to differentiate between zones in a way that is intuitive for everyone. The PSS-A50 has a cooler, more mature feel with curved lines and a playful feel to its user interface. The PSS-E30 features icons that merrily depict instruments and animals atop solid pink and blue lines.

The latest model features new panel icons and a Remie logo that on close inspection reveals a face and musical notation. I used simple icons that stoke curiosity and imagination in place of the common silhouettes—for example, the button for the trumpet voice is labeled with three circles.
Although the work of drawing the icons for the various motifs was challenging, it was so enjoyable that it reminded me how much I love creating icons.

Although I don’t remember it, according to my parents, I played with a mini keyboard when I was in preschool. Thinking about it now, having a keyboard as a toy definitely laid the groundwork for playing music when I got older. That formative experience could have been the reason I would later come to learn the many ways to enjoy music through things like performing and playing in bands. I would be very happy if these mini keyboards give young children their first opportunity to play an instrument or spark their enjoyment of music.

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