Today I found a prestine condition Yamaha V-50 at the local used music and audio store in Nagano city. I already have two Yamaha V-50 synthesizers so I REALLY didn’t want to buy a third. What caught my eye other than the $30 dollar price tag was the fact that the Yamaha V-50 was bundled with documents and DISKS!! We all know that synth accessories can be very difficult to acquire and are usually expensive on Ebay for example. Bundled with this Yamaha V-50 was a mint condition MCD64 Ram card with the box and the original wrapping. It probably was rarely used. Along with the Ram card was a Keyboard Voice Library CD case with a 3.5″ 2DD floppy inside titled “SHOFUKU NO.1”. The disk apparently had 100 voices and 100 performances on it. The Floppy was produced by Rittor which is a publishing company I’m familiar with in Japan. The same company distributes the Japan Guitar, Keyboard, Bass, and Drum Player magazines in bookstores here.
Anyway, I decided to buy the Yamaha V-50 basically to get acquire the MCD64 Ram card and to try out the SHOFUKU No.1 disk. Indeed the Yamaha V-50 is in mint condition and even the floppy drive works great. It probably needs the battery changed likely soon as my other two needed to have that done shortly after I purchased them. For 30 bucks, I felt it was a pretty good price to get the Ram card, Shofuku Disk, and a V-50 for parts or to sell in the future.
When I got home I fired it up and everything worked great. I tried out the Shofuku No.1 disk and WOW! It totally changed everything on the V-50 for me. The guys who developed the Shofuku sounds which are dated 1989 by the way really did a fabulous job on the synth and bass sounds. They also did a great job on programming some cool Industrial drum hits that could easily be used for something like Information Society type stuff. The performances are heavily layered which really adds to the thickness of the FM sounds and add a sort of motion feel to them. The SHOFUKU series also extends to the SY series but am not sure about those sounds.
If anything, the SHOFUKU NO.1 sounds added an enormous amount of inspiration to jam on the Yamaha V-50 once again. I’ll likely use a looper or recorder instead of the on board sequencer due to polyphony, but that’s what I do quite a bit lately anyhow. Layering on the V-50 is actually quite good and I highly recommend trying it out if you have a V50. It might breath new life into the synth.
I also need to revisit the Yamaha V-50 librarian situation to see if I can also save the SHOFUKU data to sysex format. I tried searching for this set on the web, but couldn’t find it. Also note that the retail price on the SHOFUKU was 6,000 yen back in 1989. I paid less than half that for the sounds PLUS the V-50 and MCD64 card altogether. My have times changed and of course some luck had to be thrown in…smile.