Sound module identification

Saw someone post their rack gear in an old thread on gearslutz, but I can’t for the life of me find out what the top module is, the brand/model is not in the picture. It looks like it might be a Yamaha module, but can’t be sure. I’m interested to know what it is because there’s a sort of vector controller built in.

What is it?

Technics WSA-1R

Thanks :slight_smile: that’s one brand I never thought about looking at.

It was their late 90s take on physical-modelling, a la Yamaha VL-1.


Yeah, but a little easier to use from what I have read. I thought it was either a sampler or a workstation because it had a floppy drive, but then I saw the “GM” mode button and thought it must be a sound module. It seems to be a workstation with physical modelling, how odd.

Technics must have thought physical modelling was going to be big given they produced such a big expensive unit. There’s a SOS article that talks about it being sold off cheap eventually.

The way the SOS review describes the synth architecture reminds me a bit of LA synthesis.

I think the principle is similar to Elements- an initial impulse, followed by various kinds of resonators, modelled on various acoustic instruments. LA Synthesis was similar, in that it had various short samples that could form the attack of the sound, after which a sustain sample of synthetic waveform took over. I had an LA synth module for a while, but it didn’t have any builtin editing, so I never really got into the nuts and bolts of how the system worked, at the time.


“followed” make these sound the same, but in the case of LA it’s a temporal relationship (the first part of the sound is sampled, the rest synthesized), while in the case of physical modelling (Elements or whatever is implemented in the WSA-1R) one follows the other in the signal processing chain (the impulse is processed by the resonator).

The WSA does have samples though. There’s a description of how the synthesis works in this review: