Yamaha EMT-1

Sometimes, when you're browsing around Yahoo Auctions, you find silly-looking things at good prices.

I think towards the end of October 2022, maybe the 27th or 28th, I was browsing the Desktop MIDI boxes.I saw this strange Yamaha thing with lots of buttons. It was being sold for the equivalent of $0.01 with only $5 domestic shipping. Overseas is effectively free as I have many larger boxes it can fill dead space in.

Needless to say, it was quite hard to resist. This page is dedicated to that silly purchase.

Released at some point in the late '80s as a companion to the Clarinova, Portasound, and Portatone instruments, the EMT-1 is a MIDI box which you can use to "expand" the sounds which your other stuff can provide.

It has a ton of buttons. I think the front is pretty self-explanitory? It's not a complex box at all. Plug a MIDI keyboard in, you select a sound to play, you adjust it with the Pitch and Variator buttons, then you play around.

The EMT-1 Manual is still available from Yamaha and it goes into some nice detail about all the little features the box has.

We've got yMIDI In, Out, and Thru jacks for doing MIDI things. The Aux In jacks let you plug in some other sort of instrument, mixing it into the sound of the EMT-1. The Line Out jacks are, well, your audio output.

I have no center-positive power supplies, only center-negavite, so I either have to flip the polarity on the power jack or buy a new power supply. Heck.

The bottom of the unit doesn't sport much more than some screws and this simple information sticker.

Not too busy in the case, eh? Just one large single-sided PCB with a few connectors going off to the front panel.

Sadly most-all of the important ICs are blacktopped, there's not much to see on them, but there is one we can make out:

One important IC is available to see. Check out that OPZ!

The YM2414 was the same chip used in the TX81Z and DX11, two much more well-known FM synthesizers that I still occasionally see people talking about to this day. Because of this, well, it doesn't sound amazing but it also isn't entirely horrible?

Check this video out to hear a demo of all available sounds.

Once I get a power supply I'll try making funny fart noises and Sea Shanty 2 on this thing.

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