Any insight on Yamaha pss keyboards?
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Level 9 Mixist
post #91492 :: 2017.10.23 2:26am :: edit 2017.10.23 2:30am
  MS, anewuser and mootbooxle liēkd this
Hey guys! I'm looking for a PSS yamaha keyboard and I don't know which one is the best. The 480 pss seems to get a lot of love, I was going for a 795 first since it's the latest but maybe it's not that great?

With this keyboard I want to emulate the sega chip as much as I can. Also it would be a benefit if I could connect it to my pc via midi so I can record the sounds from the keyboard.

Level 19 Chipist
post #91497 :: 2017.10.23 11:03am :: edit 2017.10.23 11:04am
  Cessor Safari and Savestate liēkd this
If you could get in touch with .. I think he owns most of them (or at least many of them)

Otherwise, I think knows alot about this subject too.
Level 29 Mixist
post #91499 :: 2017.10.23 1:30pm
  Cessor Safari and anewuser liēkd this
I have some resources for you, as I've been using Yamaha PSS keyboards since 1988. I love them! I currently have my original PSS-470 from the 80s (highly recommended, OPL2-based) and a PSS-480 (great drums, flexible synthesis parameters, but noisy output).
I had a 570 as well but I sold it to tothejazz. It's the same as the 470 except it has PCM drums rather than FM synthesized drums.

Here's a list of Yamaha's implementation of every FM synthesis chip they made:

I say go for a PSS-470 or 570 if you want classic OPL2 sounds, but go for something in the -80 series (480, 580, 680, 780) if you want more flexibility with sound design. I just wish the output wasn't so hissy. There's probably some way to mod it to have better s/n ratio, but I don't know enough about electronics to come up with it on my own. :)
Level 24 Mixist
post #91506 :: 2017.10.23 3:49pm
  Robyn, raphaelgoulart, MiDoRi, Sinc-X, Cessor Safari and Xyz liēkd this
Yamaha PISS keyboards

[also please ignore me; i don't have a brain]
Level 22 Pedagogist
post #91510 :: 2017.10.23 4:39pm
what has been seen cannot be unseen
Level 23 Mixist
post #91517 :: 2017.10.23 10:35pm
  Jangler, mootbooxle and MS liēkd this
I actually don't know much about the yamaha fm keyboards. I have a PSR-11 which sounds really good but it extremely limited compared to the other PISS keyboards
Level 22 Chipist
post #91520 :: 2017.10.24 1:32am
  anewuser liēkd this
The PSS480 is OPL2 based, which is the same soundchip found in many of the Adlibs and Soundblasters. It's nowhere near as powerful as Megadrive's FM synthesizer, the YM2612 (OPN2).

If you want to get close to the YM2612, the YM2151 (OPM) is a very comparable sound chip. There are some differences, but the FM generator is mostly the same.
I know there are some DX series keyboards that use the OPM.

If you want to record it with Audacity, then you'll need to make sure it has line out jacks. MIDI cannot be used to record the sounds, only the keys pressed (like a PC keyboard)

This might be a very tehnical comment so just ask if something is unclear I guess...
Level 9 Mixist
post #91523 :: 2017.10.24 6:45am
So if I get a Yamaha dx7 I can't record the sound from the actually keyboard to my pc? It just becomes a midi keyboard and I have to use a vst?

Also should I get the original dx7? I mean there's a II and dxs one etc
Level 20 Pixelist
post #91534 :: 2017.10.24 9:47am
  anewuser liēkd this
DX7s have both MIDI (only 1 channel tho) and analog audio outputs, so you can use it either as a MIDI controller for other things, or record its own output signal
Level 22 Chipist
post #91537 :: 2017.10.24 10:46am
  sc, mootbooxle and anewuser liēkd this
I didn't mean the DX7 (that thing's got way more beef than a YM2151), although if you're looking at that then the best choice would be a DX7II-D (it has dual timbres and 15-bit output).

The DX21, DX27 and DX100 have the YM2151 on the other hand. Try looking for other synthesizers with that chip, I'm sure there's more.
Level 9 Mixist
post #91542 :: 2017.10.24 11:00am :: edit 2017.10.24 11:09am
so the original dx7 isn't the way to go? And what do you use cartridges for?
Level 19 Chipist
post #91547 :: 2017.10.24 11:12am :: edit 2017.10.24 11:52am
  Cessor Safari, mootbooxle, anewuser and ViLXDRYAD liēkd this
Moot has been using PSS keyboard since he was five years old :P :p :P
Level 9 Mixist
post #91560 :: 2017.10.24 4:14pm
Cool so far I've only found a decent TX7 for a reasonable price in Sweden, how different is it from DX7? There's also a guy selling a pss 480 but he rarely responds, almost like he doesn't want to sell it to me.
Level 16 Chipist
post #91561 :: 2017.10.24 4:25pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
The TX7 is basically the DX7 in a box, in non-mountable form factor. It doesn't have a keyboard, but you can plug a midi keyboard and use it that way.

TX7 info
Level 9 Mixist
post #91562 :: 2017.10.24 4:39pm
oh so it's not even a keyboard?
Level 26 Mixist
post #91563 :: 2017.10.24 7:18pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
I have 3 lol

Coolest one of mine is a 570
Level 10 Mixist
post #91572 :: 2017.10.24 8:35pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
If you ever see a cheap PSS-170 at a yard sale or thrift store, buy it. They have YM2413's (OPLL) so you can jam out Sega Master System FM style.
Level 29 Mixist
post #91578 :: 2017.10.25 6:14am
I think m9m is right, skip the PSS synths and go for a cheap 4-operator DX-series.
The DX21 is the best of the cheap 4-ops, but it doesn't compare to the DX11, which has crystal-clear DAC, velocity and aftertouch, and more powerful synthesis capabilities. The TX81Z is basically the rack version of the DX11, iirc.

The TX7 is a synth that I've bought and sold a couple times...It's exactly like a DX7 inside, but the only way you can program it, besides a few basic parameters, is with a computer editor/librarian program like MidiQuest.

The TX802 is a DX7-IID inside, but it's pretty hard to program at first. Steep learning curve. It has the best multitimbral capability of all of them, though. I really miss my DX7-IIFD.

If you wanted to get really crazy, you could find a TX816, which is 8 DX7's in a rack, but totally devoid of onboard editing.

My recommendation is either a DX21 or a DX11!
Level 9 Mixist
post #91579 :: 2017.10.25 6:25am :: edit 2017.10.25 6:46am
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Right now I might just buy a USB midi with a long cable so I can sit on my sofa and jam with fm drive. I havent really found good deals yet that ship to Sweden.

I don't know what midi to get though, the one I might get is a alesis vi61, let me know your thoughts :).

By the way mootbooxle I acltually found a dx21 on ebay so that might be interesting, I guess the dx7 is newer? And does dx21 and dx11 have midi?
Level 29 Mixist
post #91605 :: 2017.10.25 4:54pm
The Alesis controllers are a good value for money...I recommend getting something that has aftertouch on it though. I know that one of the Alesis ones has it.
Of course, these old DX synths make great controllers as well! The DX7 has one of the nicest key feels of all time. It was my main MIDI controller for years!

The DX7 came first, in 1983, followed by the big behemoth DX1, then later the DX5, which is a cut-down version of a DX1 but still very expensive. The DX9 was next, which is a very simplified 4-OP version of the DX7 with not many features.

The next batch was around 1986-87, when the trio of DX21/27/100 came out. The DX27 and DX100 are functionally identical, only one of them has full-sized keys. The 21 adds chorus, the ability to split/layer sounds, and some other nice features. Still no velocity sensing or aftertouch though.

The DX11 is the most advanced of the line, as you are no longer limited to sine waves for the operators- they can be any type of waveform, so you can get really analog sounding tones from it, and also very aggressive sounds.

Other good options that may be cheaper because they're not as well known:
YS200 (very similar to DX11 or TX81Z except it adds a sequencer)
V50 (also similar but also adds sampled drums and digital FX)
B200 (really silly looking but a good value for an FM synth. It's almost the same thing as YS200, but adds speakers)

I hope this helps!
Level 9 Mixist
post #91613 :: 2017.10.26 12:51am
  mootbooxle liēkd this
mootbooxie it helps a lot, what is your thoughts on the dx11?

I have actually found one for a good price, cheaper than alesis.
Is it good as a midi controller? Is it a heavy synthetic etc?

Will I be able to make sega genesis style with it?

I have to double check the condition but right now I might go for the dx11 or just go for the alesis and call it a day.
Level 29 Mixist
post #91614 :: 2017.10.26 1:06am
I really think you will like the DX11! It's good as a controller too. You will need a USB MIDI interface of some kind if you don't have that, but they are really cheap for a basic one.
Level 9 Mixist
post #91615 :: 2017.10.26 1:19am
mootbooxie I have one but I noticed now that they don't ship the dx11. I finally found one here in Sweden and they don't ship it -. -
Level 22 Chipist
post #91617 :: 2017.10.26 5:30am
The DX11 is particularly interesting because the FM synth is similar to an YM2151, but with 8 waveforms instead of just sine waves:
Level 9 Mixist
post #91620 :: 2017.10.26 9:11am
Alright guys so what would you do?

Seems pretty hard to buy vintage synts here, at least dx ones.
Anyways would you buy a dx7 or dx11 or just call it a day and buy a alesis vi61 with a long cable and jam with fm drive?

Also I don't know how well dx7 and dx11 works as midi controllers.

I have found some dx7 and dx11 ones in okay condition but they don't ship it to my city in Sweden.

By the way is dx7 and dx11 a heavy synt?
Level 29 Mixist
post #91645 :: 2017.10.27 4:44am
DX7 is quite heavy, as it is mostly made of metal. The DX11 is quite a bit lighter.
You could also look into a new or second hand Yamaha Reface DX, if you don't mind the small keys! It's really easy to make great FM sounds with it. By far the most user friendly DX synth.
Level 9 Mixist
post #91646 :: 2017.10.27 5:54am
  mootbooxle liēkd this
There's actually a seller that wants to sell his reface dx but it only has 37 keys, seems quite limited or am I wrong?
Level 29 Mixist
post #91648 :: 2017.10.27 12:01pm
It is quite limited as far as the keys go...But as a synthesizer, it is anything but limited! I'm thinking of selling my DX100 to get one.
I got to spend some time programming a friend's Reface DX recently, and totally connected with it.
You could always connect it to a keyboard that has more/bigger keys, via MIDI, if you find that the 37 mini keys is too limiting.
Level 25 Mixist
post #91654 :: 2017.10.27 4:32pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Don't get the original dx7. I used to have one. It's huge, made of metal (heavy), mono, and the only way to program sounds is by using a very small black and white screen. Toggling through the fm parimators and setting the numbers is really a headache. The carts barely help. They have like 10 sounds each and only a few will be good. Each cart costs a lot for what you'll get. I think the dx7 2 has a way to import instruments from a computer although I've never owned a 2. Maybe someone else has some input on that.
Level 9 Mixist
post #91659 :: 2017.10.28 11:32am
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Thanks for all the response guys, I've almost made my decision. It will either be a reface dx with an alesis vi61 so I can use 61keys instead of 37 keys on the reface dx or yamaha dx11. It just depends on how much patience I have, we'll see but you guys have really helped me.
Level 29 Mixist
post #91665 :: 2017.10.29 6:29am
The original DX7 is definitely a pain to edit on the machine itself! I mostly used MidiQuest from a PC to edit it/import sound banks.
That's a really nice thing - even from the free version of MidiOX on the PC, you can send SysEx dumps to any of the DX or TX synths to import new sounds or entire banks of sounds.
My first DX was a DX7-IIFD...Really miss it. Just having a larger, backlit screen made a big difference with editing.
The last one I had was an original DX7 with the Grey Matter E! expansion chip. That eliminated the need for RAM cartridges because it had expanded internal memory - 10 banks of 32 sounds. It also added a lot of other features, but that meant many more layers of menu diving to change them.
I think my next DX might be a DX11!
Level 25 Mixist
post #91671 :: 2017.10.29 4:36pm
How did you transfer the data from PC to the original dx7? With a midi soundcard or something? I don't really get how midi data can send soundbanks. I think the dx72fd has a floppy drive right? I thought that was the only way to transfer instruments from a computer. Of course the original dx7 didn't have the drive so I couldn't try it.
Level 29 Mixist
post #91688 :: 2017.10.30 10:13pm
  sc liēkd this
Yeah, just SysEx from a program like MidiOX on the PC. You just have to have MIDI in and out to the computer. It sends a data dump of the whole bank of sounds. A program like MidiQuest can also send and receive single sounds, to build custom sound banks.
It's also nice because it gives you a GUI to edit sounds, but the results are not instantaneous, since it has to send the changes to the synth first before you can hear them.
Level 9 Mixist
post #92433 :: 2017.11.24 10:46am
  mootbooxle and MS liēkd this
I ended up buying a dx11, hopefully it's the right choice :)
Level 22 Pedagogist
post #92434 :: 2017.11.24 11:32am
Level 20 Pixelist
post #92435 :: 2017.11.24 12:42pm
  ViLXDRYAD liēkd this

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