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
July 11, 2010 @ 5:46 pm
the rm50 is probably the most under-rated drum machines of all time... i will therefore not tell you anything about it so you will buy something else & i'll continue to use mine...
May 29, 2010 @ 3:00 am
I've just picked up one for 50 euros. I'm really amazed by this little machine. Nice sequencer, and enough modulation possibilities for the kind of electronic music I make. Buy one if you can!
April 27, 2010 @ 10:28 pm
Great piece of kit from Yamaha. It's recently become one of my favourite pieces of gear due to it's flexibility. I had made a lot of patterns all over the memory and wanted to organise them better. VERY easy to transfer patterns around.
Jan Linton
February 14, 2010 @ 1:06 am
A powerful sound, and the pitch bend is a really unusual and seemingly unnecessary feature on a drum machine, but it allowed me to program Jungle/drum n bass style sub bass melodies on it!

One unfortunate and annoying design flaw though is that it is not possible to see which pads/drum sounds you have used in the patterns you have programmed; you ll have to go through all the pad banks and hear them until you find the one you think it is by ear. Also, the memory is indeed a bit limited.

Nevertheless, quirky, powerful and cheap.
October 11, 2009 @ 4:04 pm
I used this in place of a drummer for a rock band in the 90's,when i programmed that Motorhead style double kick this machine THUNDERED.Could also put some pulsing bass a'la ZZTop and had a fine enough resolution(96ppq) to get some real nuance in the breaks and fills.I was a programming novice but found the unit really straightforward and useable with superb sound quality.Would really like to own one again.
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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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