Circuit Bending

Yamaha VSS-30

The VSS-30 is a mini sample keyboard with astonishing sample editing functions, making it a unique instrument with iconic status, used by many innovative musicians.

It comes with 11 preset sounds, 1 memory for 1 sample and 12 arpeggio patterns. The arpeggio pattern function is also unique, because it sequences the preset or sample sounds in 12 different successions.

The sample module is exactly the same as in the VSS-200, i.e. approx. 1.5 sec sample time in 8-bit quantization at a sampling rate of approx. 10-11KHz. 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 adjustments. Part of this effect section can be applied to the 11 preset sounds.

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 can change the matrix function and double the amount of possible effect combinations. I also built in a selector-switch input, which allows manual choice of mic, line or an additional external input as sample source (for example an aux channel of an audio mixer) - makes live playing much easier.

The sound example is a good demonstration of what you can construct with a simple pad sound sample taken from the Casio HT-6000, especially in combination with the arpeggio function.

[Abbildung  [Abbildung]

Sound example > circuit bending > yamaha keyboards > Yamaha VSS 30