Yamaha RY30

Yamaha RY30 Image

The RY30 is an elegant Drum Machine with advanced synth-like features that give it a really great sound. Its sounds come from a sample-based ROM synthesis engine belonging to Yamaha's SY/TG series of digital synthesizers. It's sounds are 16-bit, 48kHz PCM with digital multimode filters. It can store up to 100 user patterns and 20 songs, plus it comes with 100 preset patterns in various styles for instant drum accompaniment.

The RY30 has 90 waveforms, most of which are acoustic drum and percussion samples. There are an additional 6 analog waves including sine, triangle, and saw waves. Two oscillators can be layered per voice, and the voices can be pitched and played via MIDI. It has 16-note polyphony, but loses one voices to the metronome. There are eight touch sensitive pads dedicated to a certain type of drum sound. There are 96 drums sounds built-in (12 banks of eight). Additional sounds and patterns can be brought in via ROM cards for the RY30/RM50 as well as some SY/TG cards.

There are digital 12 and 24 db/oct hipass and lowpass filters which sound ok, and are great for contouring sounds. There are no effects except internal samples can be played in reverse. It also has four outputs that you can assign any drum sound to (kick, snare, hihat, etc). A nice little Modulation Wheel can adjust the pitch, decay time, pan, filter cutoff and the balance of the oscillators. As far as drum machines go, the RY30 is one of the nicest and biggest rivals of the venerable Roland R8.The RY30 is used by Asian Dub Foundation among others.

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30 Visitor comments
Evan Long
May 20, 2014 @ 4:32 pm
You can find sound examples of the RM50 (very similar to RY30) here:

April 29, 2014 @ 9:45 am
I have fond memories of the RY-30. It was a really great machine for experimenting with electronic sounds, it has a nice filter and some great effects. We used to smash the crap out of the pads so I'd give them a good check over before buying! Well worth the typical £75 they seem to go for these days.
Station 3
February 24, 2014 @ 10:35 pm
Picked one up a bit ago in a gear trade, thought it would probably sound cheap. The stock sounds are crap but once you start layering & editing the sounds this thing becomes a great drum machine for making electronic music. Has a really nice low end, editing is pretty straight forward & the mod wheel is a lot more useful than one would expect. All in all you get quite a bit outta this machine, and with the ability to use rom cards from the SY series and use it as a polyphonic synth it seems like the $300+ price tag these have been fetching is worth it for its versatility and innovative design.
January 28, 2014 @ 6:39 pm
I have a problem with my Yamaha RY30 not sound the percussions
could help me how to make sounds again
Evan Long
January 23, 2014 @ 10:34 pm
There is now an early release of a Behringer BCR2000-based voice editor for the RM50 called BCRM50. Get it here: http://www.yamahaforums.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7234
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 note polyphony (metronome takes 1 voice)
  • Sounds - 16-bit AWM2, 48 kHz. Drum tones: 96 internal PCM sounds, 32 sounds per external ROM card.
  • Sequencer - Resolution: 1/96 note, Tempo range: 40-250bpm.
  • Filter - Digital Filter, High (12 and 24 dB/oct) and Lowpass (12 and 24 dB/oct)
  • VCA - Decay Rate + Volume. Envelope rate can be modulated by Velocity.
  • Keyboard - 12 pads with velocity sensitive controlling filter, volume, EQ, and pitch
  • Memory - 100 preset and 100 user programmable patterns (up to 4 measures per pattern), 20 songs (up to 999 measures each).
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT (16-part multitimbral)
  • Date Produced - 1991

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