Yamaha MSS1

MIDI synchronizer

Yamaha MSS1
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1987 (Aug.)
Initially sold for ¥118,000

The Yamaha MSS1 is a SMPTE-compatible MIDI synchronizer designed for use in home recording as well as motion picture, television, and professional recording applications. It provides an easy, cost-effective way to synchronize MIDI devices to SMPTE time code. The MSS1 can lock any clock-driven MIDI device precisely to SMPTE time code replayed from a multitrack tape recorder or video tape unit.

The MSS1 is fully compatible with all four SMPTE formats: 30-frame, 30-drop-frame, 25-frame, and 24-frame. In addition, a precision SMPTE time code generator is built into the MSS1, so that you can generate and record your own SMPTE time code tracks on virtually any type of audio or video reproduction equipment.

The MSS1 can also be programmed to transmit MIDI Program Change and Control Change messages in a precisely-timed sequence timed to SMPTE time code from a master tape.

A large 10-bank memory permitted internal sotrage of tempo data for 10 different "songs", and a chain mode automatically played banks in sequence allowing the creating of extremely long compositions.

Internal memory data could also be saved to external RAM4 data cartridges for high-volume, long-term storage.

At 799£ the MSS1 was well received by the critics, although it came quite late to the market. It performed quite well overall even if the interface shared the arguably slow "job table" workflow with other Yamaha machines.

MSS1 on the cover of After Touch, Aug. 1987
MSS1 on the cover of After Touch, Aug. 1987

Technical
specifications

Synchronization

MIDI clock signal to SMPTE time code
30, 30-drop-frame, 25, 24 fps

Memory capacity

7178 beats memory
1795 program/control change points
150 tempo change points

Connection terminals and interfaces

Click IN
SMPTE IN, SMPTE OUT
Metronome OUT
Foot switch
RAM cartridge
MIDI IN, MIDI OUT (x2)

Dimensions and weight

439w x 73.5h x 286d (mm)
3.8Kg / 8lbs. 4oz.