Get the sound of your ‘80s PortaSound home keyboard with Plogue’s PortaFM synth plugin

Software emulations of classic synths are ten-a-penny, but for its latest release, Plogue has decided to revive an instrument with a rather less prestigious heritage. If you’re of a certain generation, you may well have played one of Yamaha’s PSS PortaSound home keyboards back in the ‘80s - they were common Chrtistmas presents and also found in schools - and now you can savour its less-than-rich sounds all over again with the PortaFM plugin.

The first release in Plogue’s Chipsynth line, this gives you the ‘vintage’ PSS sound but offers more control over it. Its main synth engine is powered by a pair of emulated OPLL (YM2413) FM chip cores, with another core being dedicated to creating drum sounds.

Despite this being ageing, lo-fi technology, Plogue has gone to great lengths to emulate it accurately, and PortaFM is a completely sample-free zone.

Find out more on the Plogue website, and check out Cuckoo's demo above. PortaFM is available for PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats and costs $29.95.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.