Yamaha PSS-380
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Yamaha PSS-380
A Portasound from 1989 with a more sophisticated set of voices than its predecessors.


Synth settings on the 380 are editable via the sliders on the top right of the control panel. You can also layer a second voice, which cuts the number of notes of polyphony in half. Some of the sounds are effectively a version of 4 operator FM (2x layered 2-operator sounds), making for a thicker sound than most other FM Portasounds.


A quick look at how I mixed the audio for Eagle Hover. It looks at using reverb fairly subtly to give the mix depth, getting more stereo width from mono sounds, fitting the mix together using EQ, and how I used effects creatively for the final section of the track. When I first started doing these videos I was doing a lot more shaping of sounds with EQs, compressors and various effects plugins, but these days I mainly try to keep things simple and let the sounds speak for themselves.


There are so many great sounds on the 380 that one track was never going to be enough.


This track utilises some of the more unusual sounds on the 380 to create rhythmic sequences and sci-fi robot noises, among others.

These tracks are all from the Once album...

Hear the album


One more track from this little FM box of tricks, together with the PCM sounds of the RX11, which are particularly good with a little tape saturation. This track is on an album called Straight To Tape, which was recorded on a Tascam Porta05 Ministudio.

Hear the album