I threw away my organ expander modules

Work has destroyed my ability to do anything recently but the studio got rearranged, and selling the Nord Stage made room for a cheap Yamaha HS-8 that I’d bought mostly 'cause it had a CVS-10 and MDR-3.

Anyway. HS-8s are kickass MIDI controllers. My Zynthian’s been sort of orphaned as I wanted to write an in-depth review and lockdown/stress derailed that, but I’ve also never really found a space for it in terms of controllers/when to play it in an already fully-featured setup.

Until the HS-8 came into the main studio:

And boom!

All of a sudden it’s the main synth I’m playing - looking forward to making some bespoke pedal/upper/lower presets for it. The bracket needs some refinement but it works…


And when do we get our :face_with_monocle: ?

The review, or a demo of the HS-8?

The review is probalby 40% done, I shot all the build and made notes and also got the new audio board (I’m going to buy the CV and new Zynaptiq as I have many modular things to play with), but depression meant it’s been a struggle to meet my 9-5 job. A curse; I got away from a poor relationship, and the freedom to play with my synths returned, just as a broken and defeated heart took away the energy and motivation.

A video of playing with the HS-8 probably this weekend; I’m now learning how to make the best snapshots and layers for what I want to achieve; the HS-8 can do MIDI on 1, 2, 3 but the predefined pipe organs map pedals to 4, for example - and the HS-8 is a bit dumb in that regard, I can remap MIDI channels to 4 & 5 for the manuals, but it resets after power cycle and it’s purely for adding more tracks to the MDR-3’s recording.

Also I am a terrible musician, but at least I’m enjoying being terrible with no-one else to judge me :wink:


The review, or a demo of the HS-8?

Comparative demo HS-8 against zynth might be fun…

“HS-8s are kickass MIDI controllers.”
Is there any decent ideas we can ste/pay homage to in this regard?

That is a lot of toys!!!

Oh waouh !

HS-8 against Zynthian? Not even a comparison. That’s the whole point, the HS-8 is 1988 FM+AWM organ tech, it is cheese personified, it is not without merit but it is outdated tech of the highest order. That’s why the Zynthian is now the brain - and if I had any time/skill I’d give the HS-8 a proper brain transplant with a Zynthian built into it.

Though UI designers could learn a lot from the roll-log /hardware/ switch matrix. That’s VERY clever and an idea that I’d love to see come back.

As a controller you get 2 keyboards with velocity and aftertouch, pedals with aftertouch, a sustain knee control, a pitch bend and mod wheel and a clock source with a big red LED tempo display. In theory you get two expression pedals if you can find the second pedal option, too.

It needs some figuring out - like, sustain is a physical control but the MIDI response to it depends which manuals you’ve assigned it to on the control panel, and I am not sure EVERYTHING I’d like to be MIDI is - there are extra controls on the foot pedal for (I think) start and fills on the drum machine side, for example. But with the right memory card I believe the HS-8 can also be a MIDI sequencer.

Definitely need a Korg microKontrol or Nocturn or something that I can fit on the organ somewhere with a row of MIDI CC generating knobs,


I Tawt I Taw an antenna.

Just to bore y’all senseless, but also to confirm…

Yes, the antenna is a Theremini, the autotune of theremins (but also MIDI).

There’s a bunch of obvious stuff in the pic, but the things I love are the KeyStep Pro, Mooer Ocean Machine, Circuit (Mono Station hasn’t gelled), Elektron model:samples and Neutron when I get into it. Theremini gets played very rarely, I hardly touch it…

… plus there’s a MIDI guitar setup just out of shot and fretless bass.

My studio/toys past & present are all on Gearspace after I lost track of AudioFanzine.

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