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Yamaha Portasound VSS-30 Digital Voice Sampler

   1 review  -  3886 views

    The Yamaha Portasound VSS-30 Digital Voice Sampler is a voice sampling keyboard in the VSS line of samplers. It was released in 1987. Despite being seen as a toy the VSS-30 has achieved some popularity amongst experimental musicians.

    The 8-bit sampler can record short samples of about 2 seconds that can be played back and processed instantly. Additionally, an overwrite mode is available for layering more than one sample for some interesting results.

    The mini-keyboard features 11 Internal Sounds: Piano, Harpsichord, Banjo, Vibes, Marimba, Crystal, Strings, Jazz Organ, Brass, Clarinet and Galaxy. It also has 7 Effects: Loop, U-Turn, Reverse, Echo, Fuzz, Frequency Modulation and Amplitude Modulation. There are no built in rhythms but the Arpeggio makes up for this short fall. There is also a basic pattern recorder using the arpeggio.
    Type: Digital
    Synthesis: ROM, Sampling
    Oscillators: 1
    Waveforms: ROM, User Drawn
    ROM Resolution: 8 bit
    Osc Modulation: Envelope, Keyboard, LFO, Sequencer
    Oscillator Notes:
    + 12 preset sounds: Sample, Piano, Harpsicord, Banjo, Vibes, Marimba, Crystal, Strings, Jazz organ, Brass, Clarinet, Galaxy
    Sampling: 8 bit, Loop, One Shot (Phrase)
    Sampling Notes:
    + Rate: 8.9 - 16.7 kHz
    + Time: 1.8 - 3.5 seconds
    Envelopes: 1
    Evelope Paramerters: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Looping
    LFO: 1
    LFO Parameters: Sine
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 4
    Timbrality: 1
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Polyphonic
    Patches RAM: 1
    Storage: Internal
    + Key order sequencing
    + 12 patterns: Rock, 16 Beat, Country, Samba, Polka, Waltz, Locomotion, Beguine, Techno 1, Techno 2, Rock-A-Ballad, Boogie
    + Reverse, Echo, Fuzz, Freq Modulation, Amp Modulation, U-Turn, Loop
    + 500 notes max
    + Real time recording and playback
    Chips and Operating System
    + Yamaha YM2416 sounds chip.
    + M881256-15 DRAM Sample memory.
    Case: Keyboard
    Keyboard: 32 keys, Mini-Keys, Plastic
    Controls: Buttons, Sliders, Arpeggiator, Sequencer
    Display Type: LED
    Dimensions (WxDxH): 18 3/8 x 7 1/8 x 2 1/4 inches / 467 x 180.4 x 57.4 mm
    Weight: 1 lbs / 2.2 kg
    Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, Mono Out
    Audio Output Count: 1
    Inputs: 1 x RCA jack
    DAC Bits: 8
    DAC Frequency Rate: 17 kHz
    Power: 9V DC / 6 AA Batteries
    Year Released: 1987
    Used By
    No-Thing, Sigur Rós,
    Manuals & Documents
    MSRP List Price: $99 - convert
    Retail Street Price: $89 - convert
    Used Price: $150 - $300 - convert
    YouTube Videos
    References & Sources
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Jack Hertz

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Easily the best of the early lo-fi samplers. Yamaha did a great job of designing a sampler that had a lot of great features and is easy to use. Always good for hours of fun and sampling discovery. I will never sell this thing.

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