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Saw an old Yamaha Portasound forlorn in a corner at Goodwill for $15. No power brick, untested. Bought it. Took it home, put it on the bench, made a power supply and tapped into the sound generators. The amplifier section is dead and one speaker is blown, but what the heck... I always liked the clean, metallic tones these 3-operator Yammers make. Parts are on the way to make it work better than new, and the Frankenstein mods give it some new sounds as well.

Lecuona's Malaguena is well suited to this sort of keyboard. (Sorry, fans of the chicka-boom rhythm generator, it's not hooked up yet.)
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Uploaded: Nov 14, 2016 - 10:01:12 AM
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2016 - 10:01:12 AM Last Played: Jun 07, 2017 - 10:01:13 PM
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Modified Yamaha Portasound
richard13 said 223 days ago (November 15th, 2016)
Utterly bizarre
and yet utterly wonderful. Almost like flamenco for androids. What a great find Henry: are you making it fully functional? With your abilities I think you could program a shoebrush, or solder together kitchen utensils and a flashlight, and still make great sounds. Especially those which challenge our thoughts on "classical" music. Kudos, bro.
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H3nry said 223 days ago (November 15th, 2016)
Fully functional. Fully. But not like new...
A T-Amp board from eBay (China) is coming, so it will be able to make sound by itself. Two keys don't work, so the broken parts are now on the bottom C and C#. A laptop power brick provides juice. There will be jacks on the back to take 4 voices out independently direct to a mixer. It has MIDI, so I will probably play it from my old Roland keyboard, but it is cheap entertainment. It's a break from building microphones and mic preamps.
Check out my latest song called The Ride
Franciscus_Henri said 223 days ago (November 15th, 2016)
This great Henry!
There is a madness there that is absolutely right..
Like bringing home a pre loved stray dog that jumps through hoops......I was sort of hoping for a small explosion at the end!
Check out my latest song called I KEEP CALLING JESUS
H3nry said 222 days ago (November 15th, 2016)
Fortunately the magic smoke...
...hasn't been let out of the sound generating chips. At least not yet - there's always that chance as I'm poking and probing inside. As you can hear, the keys aren't velocity sensitive, so no dynamics to speak of, and 4-voice polyphony, ie. melody and 3-note chords. Malaguena is multi-tracked, of course. But it makes sounds, and seems to have more than what's printed on the front label available with some tinkering. A mongrel certainly, but fun to play fetch with.
Check out my latest song called The Ride
Warren Smith said 222 days ago (November 16th, 2016)
Finder's Keeper
This is one of the reasons I keep hanging on to the MacJams experience: where else am I going to find musical escapades like this? The whole thing - from back story to performance - is delightfully bizarre .. and bizarrely delightful. I have a request. Could you do a production of "In_A_Gadda_Da-Vida" next?
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H3nry said 221 days ago (November 17th, 2016)
Haven't heard that one in years. Does it work as an instrumental? I'll think about that...
Check out my latest song called The Ride
Doug Somers said 221 days ago (November 16th, 2016)
Switched on Yamaha
Some people talk about using found sounds but this is not normally what they mean. A very cool rendition which works well with the voices you chose. A fun project too!
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
H3nry said 221 days ago (November 17th, 2016)
Found sound
Maybe this is the 21st century version of kitchen percussion. I noticed a display case at Guitar Center with some small bare circuit boards, DIY drum machines by the look of them. I'm sort of wondering if soldering an Arduino or Raspberry Pi into the guts of this thing and reprogramming it mightn't be fun.

Check out my latest song called The Ride
Doug Somers said 221 days ago (November 17th, 2016)
At least
You can tap into some pretty high levels of serious integration if you go that route. I still remember soldering transistors, capacitors etc. to make a synth. Good luck with the project and post something so we can hear your results.
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Daugrin said 220 days ago (November 18th, 2016)
Inventive Sound
Great pallet for your inventive mind. Thank you for posting yer material here.

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H3nry said 219 days ago (November 19th, 2016)
Didja ever have an urge
to build a 21st century pipe organ? Start with a MIDI receiver / control box and have it trigger electronic sound generators with resonating pipes, horns, soundboards, etc.? I know - why bother when it's so easy to synthesize the sounds mathematically... But isn't a player piano more interesting to watch and listen to than a suitcase keyboard? I miss the visual aspect of watching music being created. And I just love Rube Goldberg gadgets.
Check out my latest song called The Ride
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Name: Henry Spragens
Location: Pflugerville TX United States
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Engineer, electronic design. Tubes to chips.... [see more]

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