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My first impression of this keyboard when trying it for the first time
was that the voices sound extremely shrill and piercing, so much so
that I initially thought the built-in speaker was damaged. But some of
the voices, for example the Piano, sound much warmer and more pleasant,
and the auto accompaniment and bass sound quite nice. Having played
with the keyboard a bit more, I now rather like its sound. The built-in
speaker is reasonable, but does tend to make the already harsh-sounding
voices sound even harsher, so it's better when piped through external
All of the usual features are present: there are 10 voices (with a
selectable "Sustain" function) and 10 rhythm patterns with auto
accompaniment, ("Auto Bass Chord") each of which has two selectable
variations. There is also an Auto Arpeggio function which "adds a
rippling effect to the accompaniment" according to the manual.
The auto accompaniment, rhythm and auto arpeggio levels are all
independently adjustable using analogue sliders, as is the tempo.
The most interesting aspect of this keyboard is obviously the Playcard
system. For more information on how this works, have a look at the Yamaha Playcards
Many Playcards have pictorial indications of where the Tempo and Auto
Arpeggio sliders should be set to sound correct for the music on that
card, but I have found that setting the sliders to these exact
positions usually sounds competely wrong - generally the Tempo is much
too fast, or the Arpeggio is much too low and virtually inaudible. So
you really have to judge the positions of these sliders to make the
music sound right.
Another nice feature of these early Yamaha PortaSounds is that they
come with their own carrying case, which doubles-up as a music stand.
The PC-100's case also has pockets in the lid for storing Playcards.
Curiously, even though a set of 12 cards is supplied with the keyboard,
and the envelope for these cards advises storing them in the envelope
when not in use, and keeping this in the case lid, there is a further
warning against storing any more than six cards in the case lid.
So you can't follow the advice, and have to break one rule or the
I think I may have set
the tempo just a little too fast on these, but they give you an idea of
what the keyboard sounds like. Listen for that Auto Arpeggio sound!
The Operating Manual for the PC-100 can be downloaded from the Yamaha Manual Library