FE3: Yamaha FE-70 Electone

The Hardware

Yamaha Electone FE-70

The Yamaha FE series of Electone organs were introduced around 1984. They were a departure from previous models having a more modern, digital look which was the thing to have back then. Previous models had very brightly coloured plastic switches and levers.

The ensemble sounds

Upper keyboard

  • Strings 1*
  • String 2
  • Brass
  • Vocal

Lower keyboard

  • Strings 1*
  • Strings 2
  • Vocal 1
  • Vocal 2

* = same sound but at different octaves.

The sound generation changed too. FM synthesis was the new thing; the DX-7 having been introduced the previous year. Sampling was still in its infancy and memory comparatively expensive so the only sampled sounds are on the rhythm unit (drum machine) which, to me anyway, sounds horrible. The samples are extremely short, cutting-off abruptly.

Where I think these instruments score is the Ensemble section. The basic waveforms are transformed by the stereo symphonic effect in a similar way to the Solina and other string machines of the 1970s to create its lush, string and vocal ensemble sounds. This should be no surprise, after all it was the Eminent 310 organ that Jean-Michel Jarre used on his Oxygene album than was reported to be the first instrument to use this technique of creating an ensemble sound. Many home organs throughout the 1970s and early 1980s used this technique.

This Kontatk Instrument offers the best of these sounds. Every note has been sampled and seamlessly looped after one full cycle of the modulation effect, no more, no less. The sounds are in stereo.

The String Ensemble Kontakt Instrument

Details of the Kontakt Instrument and how to purchase it are here. Please contact me if you have any questions.

FK3se: Yamaha Electone FE-70 String Ensemble Kontakt Instrument

The Vocal Ensemble Kontakt Instrument

Details of the Kontakt Instrument and how to purchase it are here. Please contact me if you have any questions.

FK3se: Yamaha Electone FE-70 Vocal Ensemble Kontakt Instrument