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  FS680 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: early 1990s (1993?)  Specifications
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Patrick Reinartz (patrick@depechemode.com) writes:
I got this as my first instrument about 6 years ago. Then I started playing guitar and forgot about it. Now that I knew a bit more about music, I dug it out again. There are still some reasonable sounds in it and it's quite powerful for a little toy like this, excellent for beginners.

These days, I mainly just use it to control other devices, although it's also rather limited as a controller. There is Pitch Bend, but it exists in the form of two button (up and down) and you can't set how far or how fast it goes.

When recording to the sequencer, you can record 5 parts: 2 sounds of your choice, a bass part, a drum part and one other accompaniment part.

"Effects" are very limited. There is a stereo chorus button, which thickens up the sound a little bit and there is a duet button, which tries to harmonize with what you're playing, but usually doesn't do a very good job. Also, you can double-up two sounds and then detune them a bit.

The keyboard has a built in "synthesizer", but it really just lets you make mild modifications to the exisiting sounds. Each sound consists of two waves and you can adjust their attack, level, decay, sustain and release. You can't actually make your own sounds.

Aside from the 100 sounds, there are also 100 drum patterns, each of which comes with its own (editable) accompaniment. Tempo ranges from 48bpm to 216bpm. It also has a sync option to sync it to another MIDI device.

There's probably some stuff I'm leaving out, but enough is to say that it's a great beginner keyboard, but it'll become pretty useless once the novelty wears off.

Comments About the Sounds:
Almost none of them sounds like what they're supposed to, but there are still a few cool ones here and there. Also, there are 10 patches that split the keyboard, letting you use 2 sounds at once, but only the ones that were picked for you.

(Thanks to Patrick Reinartz for this info.)

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