Yamaha Portasound electronic musical keyboards were produced by the Yamaha Corporation during the 1980s and 1990s. The name suggests the instruments' portability, with battery operation being a consistent feature across the line. Many of these keyboards were designed for children with small keys and simple preset functions suitable for educational use.[1] In 1982, the line introduced a card reader system which allowed players to learn and play along with sequenced songs.[2] The PSS line features mini keys and the PSR line features full size keys. Some of the higher-end keyboards have advanced features like programmable synthesizer controls, midi capability, and sampler functions.

Contemporary use edit

Electronic musicians and sound engineers have used these instruments to achieve an authentic lo-fi sound[3] and some modify them with circuit bending to extend their sound palettes. As of 2015, musician Dan Friel continues to use a Portasound that he received as a gift in 1984.[4] Circa 2017, Italian artist Modula released an EP called 780's Chronicles, recorded primarily using a Yamaha PSS780.[5] Cyril Hahn uses a Yamaha PSS380 in his original compositions, and notes its noise profile as an endearing characteristic.[6]

Unofficial software and VST plug-ins edit

In the 21st century, several independent software developers have produced additional tools to modify and store patches for midi-capable PSS keyboards, such as PSS Edit,[7] PSS Wave Editor and CTRLR.[8] VST plug-in soft-synth versions of some of these keyboards have also been released by various developers, including the Yamaha PSS-170 and PSS-480 by Audio Animals,[9][10] GSS-370 (based on the PSS370 keyboard)[11] and PortaFM.[12][13]

References edit

  1. ^ "Yamaha Portasound keyboard advertisement (1982)". The Central New Jersey Home News. 1982-03-07. p. 188. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  2. ^ "Yamaha Portasound advertisement (1982)". Great Falls Tribune. 1982-09-05. p. 98. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  3. ^ "7 Cheap Ways to Add Unique Tones to Your Tracks". reverb.com. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  4. ^ Cohan, Brad (2015-11-21). "Dan Friel Is a DIY Renegade Here to Save Us from Ourselves". Vice. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  5. ^ "5 Excellent Electronic Albums Made With a Single Synthesizer". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  6. ^ November 2013, Tony Ware 28. "Cyril Hahn talks production techniques, the influence of DIY culture and creating ambience". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2020-05-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Bobby's place". members.chello.at. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  8. ^ "Ctrlr – Control your MIDI life (MIDI editor for all your hardware)". Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  9. ^ "Yamaha PSS-170". Audio Animals Ltd. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  10. ^ "Yamaha PSS-480 - Free VST Instrument Download". Audio Animals Ltd. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  11. ^ "Download Free PSS-370 emulation plug-in: GSS-370 by SynthIV". www.vst4free.com. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  12. ^ "PortaFM - Plogue Revives The Iconic Yamaha PSS Synthesizers In A New Plugin". SYNTH ANATOMY. 2018-05-15. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  13. ^ May 2018, Ben Rogerson 16. "Get the sound of your '80s PortaSound home keyboard with Plogue's PortaFM synth plugin". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2020-05-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)