This is an audio demo of the Yamaha SY77 Synthesizer.
The Yamaha SY77 is a 16 voice multitimbral music workstation, introduced in 1990.
At the SY77’s introduction, a Yamaha spokesman said:
“The SY77’s sound quality is one which allows the accuracy and realism of samples to be combined with the expression of FM. The sound is stunning and eminently playable,” states a Yamaha spokesman. “The interactive hybrid voicing technique produces voices that easily surpass those which are currently available, in terms of accuracy, nuance and expression. They are so musical, that one will never want to play purely sampled instruments again!”
The SY77 uses AFM (advanced frequency modulation) synthesis, AWM (advanced wave memory) ROM based sample synthesis, and Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis (RC&M).
The AFM synthesis of the SY77 is effectively a superset of the 6 operator FM synthesis available on the Yamaha DX7 and DX7II series of synthesizers. With a few minor exceptions, it is capable of all of the sounds that can be produced by those earlier keyboards and more.
Among the advantages of AFM synthesis over FM synthesis are a larger choice of algorithms and the flexible routing of feedback paths. Additionally, the RC&M synthesis it offers is a form of FM synthesis where samples in ROM are used as modulators for FM operators instead of elementary signals like sine and sawtooth waves.
The SY77 is equipped with a 61-key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch, has a large backlit LCD display, expansion slots, floppy-drive, on-board effects, and a 16,000 note sequencer. Programming is performed through a keypad on the front panel. It can generate rich, layered, multi-timbral sounds and there are large libraries of patches available for it.
The SY77 and SY99 were the last Yamaha “flagship” workstations to be natively capable of full-fledged FM synthesis that had been introduced with the DX line.
If you’ve used the Yamaha SY77, leave a comment with your thoughts/ratings!
- Advanced Wave Memory – Second-generation Advanced Wave Memory (AWM2) offers unmatched sample playback quality.
- Advanced Frequency Modulation – Advanced Frequency Modulation (AFM) provides a dramatic boost in FM sound quality and programming versatility.
- Realtime Convolution & Modulation – Realtime Convolution & Modulation (RCM) achieves a new fusion of sample realism and the expressive power of FM.
- Extensive Sample Layering – SY77’s versatile 1, 2, or 4-element voice architecture and complex envelope generators provide extensive sample layering capabilities.
- Advanced Digital Filters – Advanced digital filters provide dynamic timbre control.
- Programmable Envelope Generators – Multiple complex programmable envelope generators are featured.
- Dynamic Panning – Dynamic Panning for sonic animation.
- Programmable Aftertouch and Assignable Controllers – Key velocity and after-touch pressure can be assigned to control pitch, filtering, AWM2 modulation level and/or a range of AFM parameters. Assigned parameters can be controlled in a positive or negative direction. There’s also an extra assignable center-detented wheel and several assignable controllers in addition to the pitch and modulation wheels.
- Internal Digital Signal Processors – Four internal digital signal processors provide essential ambience, two for reverb effects and two for modulation.
- Display and Data Entry Controls – Intuitive programming is provided through a user interface consisting of a 240 x 64 dot backlit liquid crystal control panel that makes several parameters visible at the same time. Flow diagrams and bar graphs displayed in graphic form provide instant recognition. A directory helps you locate functions and a unique “jump” number system allows direct switching between related functions. “Smart” function keys makes it easier to move around the programming environment.
- Multi-timbre Mode and 16-track Sequencer – Multi-timbre Mode in which 16 different voices can be assinged to 16 different MIDI channels. A sophisticated internal 16-track sequencer makes external equipment unnecessary. 16 memory locations are provided for complete “MULTI” setups including voice-to-channel assignments, individual voice volume, not shif, tuning, panning and effects. A wide variety of built-in drums makes the SY77 a powerful production tool.
- Dual Assignable Stereo Outputs – Two pairs of stereo outputs – GROUP 1 and GROUP2 – each with its own front panel group fader provides versatile mixing and real-time control. Elements can be assigned by either or both groups. By using the output assignments parameters in combination with panning it is possible to have each element in a four-element voice to appear separately at a different output.
- External Storage – A built-in 3.5″ floppy disk drive can be used to store both synthesizer and sequencer data.
- Complete MIDI Implementation – A complete set of MIDI parameters has been provided for maximum compatiblity and versatility. Receive and transmit channels are independently programmable, a program change assignment table maximizes voice selection versatility, and a range of bulk dump functions make data transfers to bulk storage devices quick and easy.