Circuit Bending

Yamaha VSS-200

The VSS-200 is a comfortable, compact sample keyboard with stunning sample editing functions, making it a unique instrument with iconic status, used by many innovative musicians.

Similar to the PSS-140, it has 100 2-operator-FM-sounds and 16 beats with corresponding auto accompaniment. The sample can be incorporated in the bass/ chord sound, at times leading to interesting effects. On top, several accompaniment modes can be elected, like auto bass or fingered mode.

The sample module is exactly the same as in the VSS-30, i. e. approx. 1.5 sec sample time in 8-bit quantization at a sampling rate of approx. 10-11KHz. However, the recording microphone was separated from the device and reattached via spiral cable, making it really flexible to use. There are a whole row of good editing effects like reverse, echo, fuzz, frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, u-turn, loop and a real ADSR envelope generator and level adjustment. What makes this device really special are the preset sample functions; each of the 100 preset sounds is.

On my device, I built in an 8-switch matrix that directly takes hold of the sample IC, achieving crass effects. An additional GND potential switch doubles the amount of possible effect combinations and I also built in a potentiometer that can effect the CPU clock.

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