A strange intrument, this Korg PSS-50 is – in its cool eighties design with membrane keys and modest colors. The name "Programmable Super Section" is a bit confusing, as only 40 preset patterns and 8 interchangeable fills/ endings are available, making 16 of "your very own" variations storable.
These variations are composed of drum sounds, bass and accompaniment, each volume level being separately controllable. The membrane keys, offering 12 different types of chords, can be used to transpose variations to different pitches.
The bass drum, snare, rimshot, open/closed hihat, hi/lo tom and handclaps sound like early PCM samples, just with their own, peculiar charm. The warm, analog-like bass and chords synth sounds could originate from a simplified subtractive synthesis similar to the Korg Poly 800, with only 1 bass and 12 chord sounds.
To reanimate this iconic device a bit, I modified as follows:
- Mute switches for almost each individual drum sound
- Additional "tempo fine" controller
- Transposition controller for ring modulator effects
- 2 chaos switches for interesting pitch effects