YAMAHA PSR-510 (1995)
Today I use a 61 key M-Audio Axiom Midi keyboard in SONAR. I’m able to access and create thousands of great sounds through VST instrument plugins. However, there are times when you just want a certain vintage sound. For me those sounds are found on the Yamaha PSR-510. In fact, there are sounds I’ve not (yet) been able to find or tweak into existence on a VST instrument that gives me quite the same sounds as the ones found this old synthesizer.
After the Tears Of the Weeping Willow demo, the sound of Cernunnos Woods is entirely due to this Yamaha synthesizer. I recorded some demos, compilation tracks and the full length album using this 61 key Yamaha 5 track arranger synthesizer. The PSR-510 had some really cool and useful features for the time. Things such as “Orchestration” which was their name for individually editing and then layering voices and blending those voices each with their own effects anywhere across the keyboard. The 5 track arranger section included both live recording as well as step recording and quantization. Basically this synth was like a 1500 note on-board midi sequencer, no PC required. This model was also one of the last ones produced before the widespread use of the LCD menu screens. So as you can see from the images, the PSR-510 is loaded with immediately accessible function buttons instead of a few buttons and endless menu screens. It also featured sounds not appearing on any other Yamaha models before or since, making it a truly limited edition “cult model”. My original PSR-510 was sold to one of the bands on Dark Age Productions after I had purchased a new Roland synthesizer around 1997. The fancy new Roland was alright but I always missed the Yamaha.
Fast forward to 2015, I am remastering the original Cernunnos Woods material and working on a new album. I found myself once again thinking about the old Yamaha synthesizer, so I did a web search and I was able to locate a small mom and pop computer parts vendor in northern Minnesota who not only had one but two Yamaha PSR-510s in perfect working condition. The shop owner told me he had purchased 10 of them from a vendor a few years back and these were the last two. He was more than happy to sell me both of them for next to nothing. I immediately jumped in the car and drove the 3 hours each way to go and get them. I couldn’t believe my luck finding this synthesizer I’d been thinking about periodically for almost 20 years.
So I present some images of the “Cernunnos Woods synth”, the Yamaha PSR-510. You can be sure some of its sounds will be making an appearance on the new Cernunnos Woods album in 2016.
You can read or download the Yamaha PSR-510 user manual here: http://www.manualslib.com/manual/196410/Yamaha-Psr-510.html
Click to enlarge the views: