(Installed on your machine by circuitbenders)

The yamaha VSS series were strange beasts. They came in three versions, the VSS30, VSS200 and VSS100. Essentially the VSS200 and 100 appeared to be other PSS series keyboards with a sampling section strapped on, where as the VSS30 seems to have actually been designed as a sampling keyboard (possibly as an answer to casios SK1 and SK5) and as such it is the best sounding of the three. The VSS30 sampling has a mysterious 'bastard hard' crunching 8-bit sound about it that gives drum loops an almost magical quality. As a result they are the most expensive of the range, sometimes fetching insane prices secondhand.

These mods are only applicable to the VSS200 and the VSS30. We have yet to find a way to implement these mods on a VSS100.


14 way main patchbay: More information and details of our patchbay mods can be found HERE. Having a patchbay on a Yamaha VSS Is rather like having a stack of VST plug-ins built into a lo-fi sampler. As every connection produces a different effect you end up with a vast number sample grinding options available. Anything from sinister delayed time stretching sounds and distorted fuzz-fests to chopped up random loops and beats that sound like they've been through a major Recycle session.

Patchbay connections can be made before or after sampling for different effects and you'll often find that sampling over the top of a previous sample with connections in place will result in the two samples being cut and spliced together in bizarre ways. The patchbay on these machines only effects the sampled sounds.

The patchbay also includes 2 X Patchable switches and 2 X 3 way Patching multiples for a huge range of extra percussion grinding possibilities.

Click on the demo's below for and idea of what these mods can do.



This optional pitch knob and associated switch controls the clock speed, and therefore the pitch of the unit. The switch is to change between the standard pitch, so you can actually play in tune if you want, and the pitch controlled by the knob.

The knob effects both the preset sounds and the sampled sounds, along with slowing down and speeding up the tempo of the accompaniment section. The sample time can be extended massively by recording samples with the pitch / clock rate set lower than normal. As you sample with a lower and slower clock rate, the samples are recorded at a progressively lower sample rate. This means excellent 'bitcrusher' style effects can be achieved by sampling with a lower sample rate and then playing back at the normal speed. As an example, savage digital bitcrushed effects can be achieved by playing a 150BPM drum loop at 30bpm into the the VSS30 and sampling it with the clock rate turned way down. If you then play it back on the VSS30 with the clock rate turned up again you can get it to run at the normal 150bpm rate, but abused beyond all recognition.

Yamaha VSS30 pitch2

One minor issue is that while you can usually switch from normal mode to pitched mode while the machine is turned on, if you try it the other way around the keyboard tends to crash about 70% of the time. If you power up the machine in either mode then you are perfectly safe as long as you don't switch from pitched mode to normal mode.

You can hear a demo of the effects this mod creates using the player below. The demo features sampled acid lines from a TB303, a breakbeat, some of the preset sounds and a vocal sample. There are no other patchbay effects applied.

If you want your VSS modded get in touch using the CONTACT form.