October 22, 2005

Yamaha PSS-470: Synth Of The Gods

by Chris Randall

Well, okay, maybe not "the Gods." How about Synth Of The Dogs? I came across one of these at a yard sale a couple months ago for $2.00, and I was like "hey, why the fuck not?" It sat in my workshop area until today, when I got the wild idea that I would, like, turn it on and stuff. Come to find out, as hippy-dippy home keyboards of the 80s go, this one is actually kind of semi-cool. Not so much the built-in sounds, but it is a 2-op FM synth, with various non-sensical controls (like only Yamaha can do) to chew up the preset sounds. This section is called, inexplicably, the Digital Synthesizer.

But never mind that. What is fucking fly about this stupid little thing is the drum machine. Not only are the sounds, like, totally amazing (I'm not entirely sure at this juncture, but if someone told me the drum sounds in this bitch were analog I'd believe 'em) but you can program your own beat. Like, from scratch. How often do you see that on a home keyboard of this vintage?

Hours of fun ensued, and I can now add "Master PSS-470 Programmer" to my resume. This bad boy gets two thumbs up from me. If you see one at a yard sale or Goodwill, I give it a strong "Buy" recommendation. I can now say there's a piece of Yamaha gear I like.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand (well, okay, one demand), Here is a zip containing the absolutely stunning sounds of the PSS-470 Custom Drummer. You can go ahead and delete your Discrete Drums folders now, kids. You'll never need another drum sample. Seriously. I'm right in the middle of composing my PSS-470 Demo Song, As Realized By Someone Who Really Likes Yellow Magic Orchestra.




Oct.22.2005 @ 9:17 PM
aaaahh soon you will be as hooked on yamaha as scum like me.....the downward spiral begins

Oct.22.2005 @ 10:11 PM
think you could throw up a zip set of the drum sounds? after that tantalizing description, I'm others are curious.

Oct.22.2005 @ 10:47 PM
Chris Randall
No problem. Give me a minute.



Oct.23.2005 @ 9:21 AM
Here's a track of mine that's 100% PSS-480, a very similar machine, also with the "digital synthesizer" section.

link [www.helstab.com]">link [www.helstab.com]

These little PSS jobbers are my favorite FM synths.


Oct.23.2005 @ 8:57 PM
Wow, you really call it the "foot" drum? I've heard bass, kick... never foot. I thought it was going to be a foot-closed hi-hat or something.

Oct.23.2005 @ 10:08 PM
Chris Randall
It's a Chicago thing. It's not even the "foot drum." Just the "foot." That's generally what old skool Chicago house guys call it, and since those are the people I learned to produce and engineer from, that's what I call it. When I make samples for mass consumption like that, I generall rename it the kick, but I don't have a "kicks" folder on my computer; rather, I have a "foot" folder. I just forgot to rename it in this case.

Example usage, in case that was unclear: "Man, that foot is bumpin' like a motherfucker."





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