RM-20 | Beach House Organ
Beach House's magical Yamaha PS-20.
The Yamaha PS-20 is an electric organ built by Yamaha in 1981, boasting a built-in speaker for portability and an automatic bass accompaniment feature. The sound are lo-fi but charming, and it has been used heavily by the band Beach House, which you can read about in my article Beach House Keyboard Sounds.
In these instruments for Ableton Live and Logic Pro X, all ten of the PS-20’s sounds have been sampled across the full range of the instrument, and the samples retain the charm of the original instrument whilst adding modern functionality the original lacks, such as MIDI capability. The samples are run through fully adjustable chorus, delay and reverb effects to help bring the original instrument to life.
The Yamaha PS-20 has a Sustain switch that adds a long release times to each note, allowing for fluid, sustained playing without an external hold pedal. The RM-20 Instruments emulate this feature with fully adjustable release times, set individually per patch.
Beach House’s Victoria Legrand likes to run hers through a Line 6 Echo Park and a Boss Digital Reverb. In the Live Instruments the sampler is processed with the DAW’s delay and reverb effect, set up carefully to sound like some of the classic Beach House recordings. The original PS-20 had no MIDI capability, but now the sounds can be programmed, recorded and tweaked via MIDI.
All sounds other than bass guitar and drums made with RM-20 Instruments.