YAMAHA MK-100: Related Models

Related Models

Portasound series

MK-100 belongs to YAMAHA Portasound series. Portasounds are YAMAHA's pop keyboards with mini-keys. The ones with regular-keys are called Portatone series.

According to the Warranty Void site, the earlier Portasound PC-100 uses the similar synthesis engine to MK-100 (called "dual natural waveforms"), though PC-100 is non-editable.

While Portatone began to focus more on playability, Portasound series shifted to equip unique features like synthetic editability.
This ambitious shift began with this model - MK-100.

Later non-editable version of MK-100 is released as the new PSS series - PSS450. It looks like MK-100 without its key feature - the multi-menu bar.

YAMAHA PSS450 (1985)

The line of development pioneered by MK-100 culminated at the end of 80s as the full-fledged FM synthesizer PSS780 and the PCM-vector synthesizer PSS790 (See related information on YAMAHA TG33 page).


It's my impression that YAMAHA was so proud of their FM synthesizer DX7, that they tend to emulate DX7 with various other machines.
In those days most manufacturers were thinking about emulating accoustic instruments with PCM samples, on the contrary, YAMAHA tended to emulate DX7 with PCM; their drum machines like RX5 has various DX7 samples - even orchestra hit; TG55, their first PCM synthesizer without FM, has many FM electric piano samples in its small 2MB ROM space.
It seems that MK-100's waveforms are also an attempt to emulate DX7.

YAMAHA DX7 (1983)

Unfiltered waveforms

There are many home keyboards with the related synthesis engine - "dual natural waveforms" (See the Warranty Void site).

PEARL POLYSENSOR may be the highest-end synthesizer of the dual natural waveforms synthesis.
It's an 8-polyphonic digital synthesizer, and one of the early synthesizers with velocity sensitivity.
It uses DWS-II synthesis engine - Digital Wave Shaper.
Though the detail is unknown, at least it's clear that it has no filter - it seems that it creates sounds only by the dynamics of digital waveforms.


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9. 6. 2004