Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby wildpaws » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:24 am

rickyd wrote:
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.


If you think the SY77 can't do acoustic sounds authentically, then you really need to hear the Mirabella track I mentioned previously, we'll have to see if we can find a way to get it on the net. As well, I've been working on acoustic/grand piano sounds for the SY77/99 for quite some time, I've managed to get some very good grand pianos that pass muster with my wife, she was a classically trained concert pianist (toured some with the National Symphony) that teaches piano these days, we have a Steinway L here to compare piano sounds to.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby rickyd » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:21 am

wildpaws wrote:
rickyd wrote:
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.


If you think the SY77 can't do acoustic sounds authentically, then you really need to hear the Mirabella track I mentioned previously, we'll have to see if we can find a way to get it on the net. As well, I've been working on acoustic/grand piano sounds for the SY77/99 for quite some time, I've managed to get some very good grand pianos that pass muster with my wife, she was a classically trained concert pianist (toured some with the National Symphony) that teaches piano these days, we have a Steinway L here to compare piano sounds to.
Clyde


Everyone says the acoustic samples sound dated and not so authentic. Yes, I wouldn't mind if the track would get posted here so we can give it a listen. I'm interested in hearing it. Then again, my TG-77 supposed to be here any day now, so I will be able to judge for myself too how authentic they sound, although that is not what I got it for at all.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:41 am

Tonight I spent about two hours trying to make a triangle wave using three operators of AFM on the SY77. I finally had success. The trick was messing with the phase of the modulators and choosing one of the non-sine waveforms for the modulators. Last night I made a nice sawtooth and square.

Here are some of the patches I'm working on. These are straight out of the SY77, no effects, and single AFM patches (6 operators). They are inspired by the Studio Electronics ATC-x. More proof that the SY77 can emulate analog synthesis very convincingly.



I don't think the D50 can do this. :)
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby D-Collector » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:09 am

Nice sounds, but they still sound very FM to me. And the D-50 can do alot of those squidgy basses.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby wildpaws » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:33 pm

As we all know, presets on any synth rarely tell the whole story. People also say that the drum sets on the SY77 are very weak, but there were edited ones (not counting the drum cards that were later released) that sounded quite good. The difference between presets and edited voices on the DX7IIFD were like night and day, the same can be said for many synths including the SY/TG77.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:27 pm

D-Collector wrote:Nice sounds, but they still sound very FM to me.


Really? What specific sonic characteristic makes them sound "very FM"? If you heard the original ATC-x sounds I'm basing them on, there really isn't much of a difference. In an actual mix, I doubt you'd be able to spot that they are not analog.

Here are the waveshapes, for those who are interested. The top is the SY77, the bottom is the ATC-x.

http://www.organissimo.org/pub/tri.JPG
http://www.organissimo.org/pub/saw.JPG
http://www.organissimo.org/pub/sqr.JPG

The ATC-x has some very interesting waveforms, imo. The square wave is wild; almost like a trapezoidal wave! :) But they sound really nice. The SY77 ones I created are obviously not perfect, but they sound really nice as well. I let my ears guide me rather than my eyes.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby rickyd » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:34 pm

rickyd wrote:Everyone says the acoustic samples sound dated and not so authentic. Yes, I wouldn't mind if the track would get posted here so we can give it a listen. I'm interested in hearing it. Then again, my TG-77 supposed to be here any day now, so I will be able to judge for myself too how authentic they sound, although that is not what I got it for at all.


Crap, it finally came today, but the seller didn't mention that the backlight was about to crap out :evil: . Now I gotta find a new backlight for it. Better yet, I should just send it back for a refund anyway instead of goin through all of that. I got a G*d damn $200 cell phone bill that needs to be paid anyway :shock: So gettin that cash back would help out.

No prob. I can always get another one at a later date, and that is a DEFINITE. Until then though, I'm stuck with the FM8, which isn't so bad, but it's no SY/TG77.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby D-Collector » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:42 pm

b3groover wrote:Really? What specific sonic characteristic makes them sound "very FM"? If you heard the original ATC-x sounds I'm basing them on, there really isn't much of a difference. In an actual mix, I doubt you'd be able to spot that they are not analog.


What I meant is I still hear that annoying aliasing (is that the right word?) in the deep basses, especially the first three in your clip. I have heard that on bass patches in every FM synth I have used, from TX7, DX21, FM7 to Toxic 2, so it is obviously a common phenomenon. Not saying your sounds are bad at all, quite the opposite. No one would probably notice in a mix, like you say.

I'm all about ears too, and I like FM synthesis.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby aeon » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:43 pm

Most TG77 LCD backlights will be shot or near it by now. It can be replaced for not too much coin - less than shipping the old one back and getting another one, only to find out it is dim too.


cheers,
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:16 pm

rickyd, check out this thread about how to replace the LCD screen with an LED screen, which is much better than replacing the backlight (which will just fail again in another 10-15 years).

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=44985&start=0

The nice side-effect is the inverter circuit can be disabled which will get rid of the annoying high-pitched whine from the inverter transformer.

Like Ian said, pretty much every SY/TG77 backlight is going to be toast by now. Unless you can find a NIB TG77 (good luck), you're going to face the same problem. Rather than send it back, I'd just replace it.

If you're not confident with replacing it, PM me. Perhaps we can work something out. I've replaced the LCD in both my SY77 and SY99.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby wildpaws » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:58 pm

b3groover wrote:rickyd, check out this thread about how to replace the LCD screen with an LED screen, which is much better than replacing the backlight (which will just fail again in another 10-15 years).

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=44985&start=0

The nice side-effect is the inverter circuit can be disabled which will get rid of the annoying high-pitched whine from the inverter transformer.

Like Ian said, pretty much every SY/TG77 backlight is going to be toast by now. Unless you can find a NIB TG77 (good luck), you're going to face the same problem. Rather than send it back, I'd just replace it.

If you're not confident with replacing it, PM me. Perhaps we can work something out. I've replaced the LCD in both my SY77 and SY99.


Absolutely, I've been planning for a while to replace the LCDs on both my SY77 and SY99 in the near future with the newer blue/white screen, I've been listening to that inverter whine on my SY77 for almost twenty years.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby rickyd » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:58 am

Good point guys. I havent even thought about replacing the light. I guess I was sorta pissed at impulse, especially when the seller listed it as in mint condition. I asked for sure if anything was wrong and he said no, it just has some dents and scratches as shown in the pics, but everything works. Well, at least he wasn't lying about the latter parts. It does work fine as said.

I was thinking the dimness was due in part to the contrast dial at the back but that isn't it. Anyhow, to b3groover, BIG thanks for bringing up that topic link you posted. I am about to look into it and see if I can get a new LED light put in it.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby b3groover » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:07 am

D-Collector wrote:What I meant is I still hear that annoying aliasing (is that the right word?) in the deep basses, especially the first three in your clip. I have heard that on bass patches in every FM synth I have used, from TX7, DX21, FM7 to Toxic 2, so it is obviously a common phenomenon. Not saying your sounds are bad at all, quite the opposite. No one would probably notice in a mix, like you say.

I'm all about ears too, and I like FM synthesis.


I hear you. I hear the aliasing worse in the upper octaves, not so much in the bass. I think that's just digital for you. Always dealing with the Nyquist ceiling.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby rickyd » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:02 pm

Where do you guys usually go to upload your mp3 files? I uploaded a mp3 to several sites and tried posting here, but the mp3 player on this site won't play it for some reason. :?

I finished a track with the TG77 that I wanna post here.
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Re: Yamaha SY-77 vs Roland D-50

Postby wildpaws » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:34 pm

rickyd wrote:Where do you guys usually go to upload your mp3 files? I uploaded a mp3 to several sites and tried posting here, but the mp3 player on this site won't play it for some reason. :?

I finished a track with the TG77 that I wanna post here.


Glad to see you're getting along with your "new" TG77, let us know how it goes.
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