Yamaha PC1

Piano player control unit

Yamaha PC1 PC-1 piano player control unit

1982 (Jan.)
Initially sold for ¥180,000

The Yamaha PC1 piano player control is part of the YIS ecosystem but seems to be able to operate independently from the central processing unit PU1. It's able to record and replay piano playing through a piano drive unit (PL1). Multiple songs can be recorder, replay can be done step by step and everything can finally be saved on a 5 1/4 floppy disk.

Behind a flap on the right side of the front panel there are three additional sliders, to control volume, tempo and transposition. The PC1 seems to be able to only record data information, so the "volume" probably relates to the "velocity" of the notes played.

Yamaha supposedly sold additional floppy disks with pre-recorded tracks, "about 1,000 prerecorded computer programs of classical, jazz, or popular music" states a 1982 press release. A piano playing by itself music recorded by professional pianists in real time must have been an incredible sight back then. As reported by the same press release, by late 1982 Yamaha already sold hundreds of such devices to nightclubs and bars in Japan and was planning to export it by the end of the year.

At the moment, no information could be found about the data interface (a "piano" connector and a couple of "control line" 8 pin connectors). An identical PC1F model was also available, named "F series control unit". With the advent of MIDI, this device evolved in the PPC line of piano controllers.

Yamaha PC1 on a piano (El ordenador personal, Oct 1982)
Yamaha PC1 on a piano (El ordenador personal, Oct 1982)
Inside a Yamaha PC1 piano player control unit
Inside a Yamaha PC1 piano player control unit


Connection terminals and interfaces

Piano connector
Control line IN, Control line OUT