Keyboard: Yamaha PSR-31 / PSR-32

Yamaha PSR32 top

Yamaha PSR-31 / PSR-32

  • Year Produced: 1986/1987
  • Synthesizer Chip: YM3812 (FM 2-operator) + PCM Sampled drums
  • Polyphony: 9 Voices
  • Stereo: Yes
  • Number of Keys: 61 full-sized keys
  • Line Out: Stereo RCA + headphone Jack
  • MIDI: No
  • Velocity Detection: No
  • Number of built-in instruments:  16 (PSR-31) or 32 (PSR-32)
  • Synthesizer Controls: None.
  • Other controls: Sustain toggle switch

David’s Thoughts:

This keyboard is big, and feels professional.  It’s strength is definitely that it has 61 keys, which gives a really good range of notes to work with.  It also has a good selection of drums compared to most of its peers at the time.  They are also PCM sampled drums. The only thing it lacks is a good crash cymbal.  It also has a sustain switch, which I have a feeling could be modified into a pedal jack with a little soldering work (I’ll try this in a future episode).  It has some decent sounding speakers too.

The main disadvantage of this keyboard is the lack of instrument choices.  The PSR-31 only has 16 instruments and the PSR-32 has 32.   Oddly enough, many of the instruments have the same names as some of the other Yamaha keyboards of the time, such as Cosmic and Funksynth, two of my favorite sounds.  But they sound different on this keyboard, and in my opinion, inferior.  There are no synthesizer controls, so what you see is what you get on the instruments.

I do like the appearance of this keyboard. And I like the feel of playing it.  I only paid $20 for mine.  They can be had pretty cheaply on the used market.

Never the less, I’ve managed to record some neat stuff with this keyboard.  And it does have RCA line-out jacks for use in multi-track recording (or dare I say, live performances)