I sampled the drum sounds from the Yamaha PS-3. Isolating all the sounds required some temporary modification, as one sound never plays by itself and it’s not possible to separate them after recording.

The drum sounds are generally described as analog, but they’re not really. They have analog envelopes and are processed by analog tone filters, but they use digital noise sources and low resolution sine waveforms stored as analog waveform memories (more on this later). This approach was used for drum sounds in many Electone models between about 1978 and 1984, several other keyboard models like the PS-20 and CP-11, and the MR-10 drum machine. The bass drum isn’t particularly good (it’s just a filtered pulse wave), but the other sounds have an unusual quality that I like a lot.

I’ve included several variations of the hihat/cymbal sound. It’s muted in some of the patterns, but the gate length depends on the tempo, so it’s not really possible to capture all variations through sampling. The noise sources are also free running, so samples aren’t sufficient to exactly recreate the sound of the original. I’m also including the raw noise and tone signals. These are recorded from the PS-3’s output rather than directly from the tone generator IC itself, so it still passes through the same analog filters.