Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

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Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby Chewy » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:48 pm


I've been looking into synths in the SY/TG series, and the TG33 seems like it'd be the winner for me, since I already have enough keyboard synths, I don't mind that it has no filter, and it allows for realtime control between the sound sources via the joystick!

However, I am not completely dead set on it, and figured I'd look for feedback/suggestions/comments on some of the others. If you have experience with and/or are knowledgeable on SY22, TG33, SY35, SY77, TG77, or SY99 (or possibly others), I would appreciate hearing what you think.

I really like that the SY22, TG33, and SY35 have vector joysticks. But, the SY/TG 77 and SY99 have 6 op AFM and AWM2, opposed to 2 op FM and 1st generation AWM. They also have filters, and the others do not. These may not be a big deal to me, but it is definitely a difference. I was also wondering whether or not some were easier to tweak/edit than others. Any comments/recommendations are very welcome
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:20 am

Depends on what you want it for, I like my TG-33 for swoopy 'Prophet VS' type pads. Running it through a filter after the fact can be interesting but the limited bandwidth on the samples means it has fairly limited filter sweeps...
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:39 am

Do the SY-series filters have resonance? I know a lot of early digital filters didn't, or didn't let it get pushed up to any significant degree.
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby Chewy » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:30 am

Ashe37 wrote:Depends on what you want it for, I like my TG-33 for swoopy 'Prophet VS' type pads. Running it through a filter after the fact can be interesting but the limited bandwidth on the samples means it has fairly limited filter sweeps...


Like I said, I don't really mind that it has no filters, since I have a few other synths. I'd probably be using it for some digital pads too, as well as other "digital" sounds. I know that doesn't necessarily describe what I'm talking about, and I dunno if it makes sense (heh), but I think you get what I'm talking about. My experience has been mostly with analog and VA, so I've been looking at a lot of gear that's not your standard, traditional subtractive.
My VAs and analogs can cover more of the "standard" stuff, and I do have a hybrid (DW-8000) and a CZ-5000, but it'd be nice to add some gear with different synthesis techniques. This series was just one of several I've been looking at that fits that, and they're relatively affordable, as well.
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby Jonahs » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:47 pm

commodorejohn wrote:Do the SY-series filters have resonance? I know a lot of early digital filters didn't, or didn't let it get pushed up to any significant degree.


the 77 and i assume 99 do. the filtering can be useful, but so far the resonance hasn't been anything i've found a use for. oth, i think the filters and their resonance in yamaha's a-series samplers are great.

as far as comparison, with the 77 or 99 you could easily get joystick like behavior because you can have 2 fm and 2 sample based engines going, assign them to alternate mod wheels or something.

do the lower models do some kinda wave sequencing? you could do this on the SY77 by recording parameter changes into the sequencer.

i guess it depends on how much you like programming synths...! 77 + 99 are deep, i don't find editing hard, there is a lot of page jumping, but if you want simple sounds it's fast. on the sy77 you have dedicated buttons to turn the operators on and off which is nice for figuring out what's going on sometimes. :) there are also buttons to jump right to the specific operator. there's just a lot to do, if you don't want to do any of that, there probably isn't a point. oth, i've seen the 77 and even 99 go for way cheaper which is pretty silly.
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:33 pm

The SY/TG55 was Yamaha's first sample based (only) synthesizer.

The SY77 and 99 are basically a DX7 married to a SY55 in a single unit. Very powerful and deep machines.

The SY22/35 and TG33 are not all related to the others. They use 2-op FM presets and low-fi samples layered together to create sounds.
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby Chewy » Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:58 am

Thanks for the replies, guys

I can't believe I didn't think of that, using the 2 mod wheels in that way could do similar things, but with the more "advanced" features of the 77/99. Cool idea

They can't do wave sequencing in the way Wavestations do, but I don't think you meant that. From what you wrote, I don't think they can do the same thing the 77/99 can, but the 22/33/35 can record joystick movements and make them part of the patch.

The way you put it, editing doesn't sound bad at all. And really?? Maybe it's because I've only started looking recently, but I've been seeing the 77/99 going for hundreds more than the others, for the most part.

The description of the 77 & 99 being a DX7 married to an SY55 is a pretty good one, from what I've seen. However, the 77/99 feature AFM ("advanced FM"), and from what I've read, it does seem to be more advanced than the FM on the DX.

Also, I'd hate to be that guy, but while the 22 and 33 use 12 bit samples, the 35 uses 16 bit. Just wanted to make sure I mentioned this just in case someone thinking of buying reads this thread.

Now I'm definitely on the fence between the 22/33/35 and 77/99... That may sound kinda stupid, heh, but I am
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby jereopaq » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:52 am

I owned the SY22 and SY35 for 7-8 years. I purchased both exclusively for the "moby strings", which they deliver on. Honestly, the 22 and 35 are weak synths. You can get some cool pads but seriously I wouldn't bother. They are painful to program unless you are using a cpu editor. The vector joystick is cool and can do some interesting things in realtime, but you can do that kind thing many other ways. Out of the two, I would pick up the SY22 for $50 - $100. 22 sounds much more unique than the 35 (likely the 12 bit samples).

If you wanna try somethin weird, go for a Kawai K5000.
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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby Pro5 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:37 am

No offence but don't even compare the SY77/99 to any other Synth in the SY range. SY77/99 are some of the best digital synths every built, the other SYs aren't.

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Re: Yamaha RCM (SY/TG series) synths

Postby wildpaws » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:20 pm

Pro5 wrote:No offence but don't even compare the SY77/99 to any other Synth in the SY range. SY77/99 are some of the best digital synths every built, the other SYs aren't.

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I would totally agree with this statement, I've had an SY77 since '89/'90 and an SY99 for several years, they are far beyond the rest of the SY series. They can sound very analog or very fresh depending on how you program the patches, they can create almost and sound/texture you want.
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