Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:34 pm

Thanks, guys. I had fun digging that one out of the archives. I've been going through my floppies and transferring sounds via SYSEX to the computer for storage. The side-effect of that process is listening to old sequences I made. There are a few that aren't half bad. I actually found an unfinished idea using a four-part AFM voice called "Ultimate Saw" that is pretty cool... might have to do something with that one. The "Ultimate Saw" voice is really cool sounding.

Concerning the SY77's sequencer, it was the first sequencer I ever used. I can't speak to whether it is easy or hard to learn. It is certainly not easier than using a computer! But I do find myself still using it. In fact, on my upcoming solo disc I used the pattern sequencer in the SY77 to control some of my modern analog synths instead of Cubase. It was just faster for me to set up since I am so familiar with it.

It is a 16-track sequencer. Track 16 is reserved for the pattern sequencer. You can dump patterns from the pattern sequencer to a track on the main sequencer. You can copy parts between tracks, quantize after the fact, record in real time or step time, basically do all the major functions any decent sequencer has. The memory is fairly limited; only one song at a time, too. But tempo changes and time signature changes are easy to do. The song above is alternating between a measure of 6/4 and 5/4, over and over. I don't remember how I did it, but it's possible! :)

rickyd wrote:b3, you sure you did not get this from a virtual analog? lol. Talk about FM fatness, jeeeeeez. Fat and just bloated as hell.


In many ways, the AFM of the SY77 is a virtual analog engine, especially with the resonant filters. 32 note polyphony (16 notes for AFM, 16 for AWM), up to 4 parts per voice each with its own resonant filter, EGs for each operator, panning, and filters, etc. Its a highly flexable synth.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby ItsMeOnly » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:11 pm

D-Collector wrote:
ItsMeOnly wrote:Both, they complement eachother.
TG77 at its best http://ftp.do.id.uw.edu.pl/pub/music/TG ... Chorus.mp3
D50 take http://ftp.do.id.uw.edu.pl/pub/music/D- ... quence.mp3


That D-50 patch is your creation if I'm not mistaking?

Both are (did I mention that "ARP&CHorus" is actually single, not sequenced program?)
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:32 pm

Very impressive and beautiful sounds! I like the Neverending Story reference. Do you offer your sounds for sale?
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby ItsMeOnly » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:38 pm

b3groover wrote: Do you offer your sounds for sale?

Just grab'em when I'm not looking :D

lol, j/k. They're freeware (the only restriction is you can't (re)sell them, but you're more than welcome to use them in new tracks)
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby D-Collector » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:50 pm

What I have always loved about the D-50 is the way it can create dreamy, fantasy-like atmospheres and textures. Not only Jarre, but also Gary Numan was/is a big fan of the D-50 and it was heavily featured on his Metal Rhythm album. Like in the song "Cold Metal Rhythm" (one of my favourites) he makes excellent use of it. Here is the opening sequence.

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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby D-Collector » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:02 pm

For more nice SY77 action, check out the patch demos at http://www.electric-himalaya.com/yamaha_sy77_sy99.html

They really make you drool...
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby ItsMeOnly » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:03 pm

Single tone, first high, then low, then dry
http://ftp.do.id.uw.edu.pl/pub/music/TG ... single.mp3 drat, the player doesn't like ampersands.

And to be blatantly honest, not impressed about the Electric Himalaya demos at all, so no drooling here...
Last edited by ItsMeOnly on Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:08 pm

D-Collector wrote:For more nice SY77 action, check out the patch demos at http://www.electric-himalaya.com/yamaha_sy77_sy99.html

They really make you drool...


Yes, that's a GREAT set of sounds. I use many of them on my upcoming solo disc (linked in my sig). I was so impressed with them that when I got my SY99, I coverted the soundset to the SY99, making use of its improved effects engine, and gave them back to Raphael so he could offer both SY77 and SY99 versions.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby wildpaws » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:15 am

I'm new to this forum, but a long time SY77 and SY99 user, bought my SY77 in '89/'90 and already had a D550 for a couple of years then. I added the SY99 about five years ago as I had always regretted not upgrading to the SY99 which had some nice improvements over the SY77. After buying and using my SY77, I found I was using my D550 less and less, until it reached the point that I felt it was redundant and sold it. The SY77/99 could do decent D50 emulations (and some D50 emulations were better than the D50), unlike the D50 the SYs could also do good "real instrument" emulations like acoustic piano, guitar, brass, flute, etc., at least in my opinion. I will post a link to a YouTube video (which just has some still pictures) that someone else put together, it is a collection of a very few of the original SY99 factory demos. BTW, Chick Corea's voice at the introduction is nothing but user samples loaded into the SY99 and played back, I still have the original factory disk of that one. If I could find one of the old SY77 demo collections I'd put that up somewhere and post a link. One of real interest is from the Italian Collection and was done by an Italian SY77 user, it is a classical piece that replicates an entire symphony orchestra from the onboard sequencer using 16 tracks and stays within the SY77's polyphony and it is absolutely and fully complete, a composition called Mirabella.
SY99 Demos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHdYLIai-c4

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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:18 am

Clyde, I have Mirabella. Let me know if you have trouble finding it. And welcome to VSE!
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby Jonnyboy » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:32 pm

I frequently use the sy-77 because we have one in our school. I love the way it sounds but it's really tricky to program.
Otherwise it's a great synth. I have never used the D-50 but i bet i'ts a great synth after all the lovely things i've heard.
If i would buy any of these myself i would propably go for the D-50 because it's virtual analog and not FM.
I know the sy-77 is great though. If i could afford, i would buy both of these. But now im going for a Yamaha DX-7.
I love Queen and they used the DX-7 a lot.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby wildpaws » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:10 am

b3groover wrote:Clyde, I have Mirabella. Let me know if you have trouble finding it. And welcome to VSE!


Thanks for the welcome! I have Mirabella also, I just don't have it recorded anywhere so I could put it up and make it a linkable MP3 or something.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby HideawayStudio » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:57 pm

I absolutely adore both the D-50 and the SY77 - I have had both in the studio for 20 years and will never part with them.

For me they are like chalk and cheese. The SY77 is an amazingly complex beast with just the most fantastic expression and real time control - it really is capable of some beautiful sounds thanks to the combination of one of the finest 6OP FM engines around with decent control of layered PCM - albeit a little dated. In my opinion the SY77 (and indeed it's rackmount counterpart, the TG77) have a lovely complex, but delicate, almost glassy nature about them warmed by usable digital resonant filters.

The D-50 is a -very- different beast which operates in a different way BUT somehow IMHO is simply oozing with a sonic character that no other synth has replicated. Whereby the SY77's sheer engineering excellence shines through it's actually the D-50's shortcomings and rather bizarre architecture (along with one of the most brilliant factory patch sets ever programmed!) that give it it's signature sound. The D-50 makes use of very low bit rate/width PCM coupled with a very strange way of implementing pseudo resonance which, ultimately, make it almost impossible to emulate in software. It's also capable of some lovely PWM heavy sounds.

The irony here is that you could probably do the ultra complex SY77 more justice in software emulation than you ever could of a D-50 simply because what you are hearing in D-50 is primative hardware leading to a sonic mess that somehow sounds good as a result!

I love them both.... long live these two wonderful beasts... that and my 1/4 ton, tube infested, mammoth! :)
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby rickyd » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:39 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:I absolutely adore both the D-50 and the SY77 - I have had both in the studio for 20 years and will never part with them.

For me they are like chalk and cheese. The SY77 is an amazingly complex beast with just the most fantastic expression and real time control - it really is capable of some beautiful sounds thanks to the combination of one of the finest 6OP FM engines around with decent control of layered PCM - albeit a little dated. In my opinion the SY77 (and indeed it's rackmount counterpart, the TG77) have a lovely complex, but delicate, almost glassy nature about them warmed by usable digital resonant filters.

The D-50 is a -very- different beast which operates in a different way BUT somehow IMHO is simply oozing with a sonic character that no other synth has replicated. Whereby the SY77's sheer engineering excellence shines through it's actually the D-50's shortcomings and rather bizarre architecture (along with one of the most brilliant factory patch sets ever programmed!) that give it it's signature sound. The D-50 makes use of very low bit rate/width PCM coupled with a very strange way of implementing pseudo resonance which, ultimately, make it almost impossible to emulate in software. It's also capable of some lovely PWM heavy sounds.

The irony here is that you could probably do the ultra complex SY77 more justice in software emulation than you ever could of a D-50 simply because what you are hearing in D-50 is primative hardware leading to a sonic mess that somehow sounds good as a result!

I love them both.... long live these two wonderful beasts... that and my 1/4 ton, tube infested, mammoth! :)



I'm lovin' it =D>. Well said.

Nicknames for the D-50 should be "The Lush Entity" and "The Milky Way Bar Synth". lol.

It is very neat how the D-50 is so unique that it could never be replicated. Lushness, surreal, warm. The SY-77 can do FM, super fat virtual analog type sounds, and acoustic sounds (though not real authentic, as we all know). Also can be lush, surreal, and warm. I dunno, but sonically, both sound pretty similar to me. It's a CLOSE call, but I'm finding myself leaning more towards the latter for the reasons mentioned.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:25 pm

If you can only afford one, I would go with the SY77. It is more versatile.

Last night I was working on creating the basic waveforms on the SY77 using as few operators as possible. I made a pretty good saw and square. I was using my ATC-x (analog dual oscillator synth from Studio Electronics, for those who are wondering) as a reference and was able to program some very similar sounds on the SY77. I think I may do an entire bank of ATC-x inspired monophonic sounds for the SY77.
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