Lo-fi Sampling With The Yamaha VSS-200

This video, via PROJECT NULL, explores lo-fi sampling with the Yamaha VSS-200, a vintage home keyboard (1988).

The VSS-200 was not intended to be a professional quality sampler and is technically archaic. But, as the video demonstrates, the VSS-200 is like the bullet train to weirdsville.

The video demonstrates sampling a variety of sources, including: melodica, a shinobue, voice, synth and singing bowl. The lo-fi sampling results in artifacts that take the sounds into Boards of Canada territory.

Check the video out and share your comments on the Yamaha VSS-200, or your favorite cheap ‘secret weapon’, in the comments!

Timestamps:

0:11 : melodica
0:45 : resampled internal sound
1:41 : overdubbed shinobue
(2:57 : fuzz, 3:28 : FM, 3:44 : AM)
4:26 : voice
5:00 : singing bowl
5:30 : singing bowl (hit)
6:18 : line in sampled synth
6:55 : jam

5 thoughts on “Lo-fi Sampling With The Yamaha VSS-200

  1. Wow this video took me back! Great demo! My older brother had one of these when I was around 17. I remember the (was it) ‘over sampling’ feature where you could sample over the top of the previous sample? I manage to make some great sounds on this little thing. I completely agree it has character. Thanks for recording this video!

  2. casio sk1 is also great dare i say a bit more friendly. has portamento, envelopes, lots of sculpting and still easily found for 25-50$

  3. Years back I had both the VSS-200, as well as the VSS-30 (sort of the sleeker little bro of the VSS-200). For a while I also had a Casio SK-5, and did some side-by-side comparisons with the VSS-30. There’s really no comparison between the two in terms of sound quality. While the VSS-30 rolls the high-end off internally, the sample data is still there, and with a parametric EQ run into a noise gate, I was able to get some very crunchy samples. The SK series on the other hand, basically truncates the data above about 8khz, and there’s just nothing there to work with. The Yamahas, though intended as novelties, could be used in inventive and musically demanding ways, but the Casio equivalents were stuck being novelties.

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