Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Korg PSS-50 (Programmable Super Section)

This is a bit of a unusual one. It's from 1984.
The Korg PSS-50 is basically a drum machine with backing.(Bass & Accomp).
These are still pretty cheap to buy. I think I paid less than $100 for this one a few years ago.
I still see them on Ebay for about $150. 

 There are 3 dials for the volume of these sounds. So if you wish to just use it as a drum machine turn
the volume for bass & Acc to zero. The bass drum, snare, rimshot, open/closed hihat, hi/lo tom and handclaps sound like early PCM samples.

You can see this as a very early form of  "BeatBox" ..... long before the rise of the Electribes.

Sadly there is no midi, dinsync, trigger out or in.
So if you wish to sync this to other machines its a bit tricky.
Unmodified , you will need something like an envelope follower.
The PSS 50 can be modded quite easily..... a good reason to owning two.

The sounds are digital with analog filters.

The analog bass & chords sounds are warm & super cheezy 1980's
Kinda reminds me of  Nintendo sounds. This might use a  from of subtractive synthesis ???   similar to the Korg Poly 800.

The upside down Membrane Keyboard. :-)

The membrane keys offer 12 different types of chords. They can be used to transpose variations to different pitches.

There are 40 preset patterns and 8 break/endings are available.

 The 40 patterns are grouped under the headings: Rock, Jazz, Latin & traditional.

The PSS-50 lets you program both the backing pattern and chord progression.

This machine is also ripe to hack.
There are loads of modding sites on the net.
Here is a good one:
For more info on the history of Korg Drum Machines Click Here

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