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
Keith Canisius
July 21, 2013 @ 12:22 pm
Just got this one today with 4 cards; Matt Sorum, Dave Weckl, House & Rap and Tommy Aldrigde. Interested in finding the Dance & Soul card some day.
First impression is that it sounds very clear and neat and extremely powerfull sounding.
I bought an R8 mkii some weeks ago which sounds fantastic.
A little more dirty than the RY30. But the RY seems a little easier to use at a first try.
Anyway the RY30 is a good alternative to the classic Roland sounds and it deserves a least one star more on this site.
Dj Tricks
June 12, 2013 @ 4:54 am
Totally underrated drum machine ,yep at the time it was competing with the R8, but now who cares when you can pick up a RY30 for under £100, what I really like about mine which I still have from 1992... Once you get use to the programming you realise what a wonderful piece of kit this is,....love the filters to compressing the 909 drums patch sounds..YES digital filters...and that modulation wheel ...forgot to mention you can also make synth sounds too... :)
June 11, 2013 @ 2:45 am
Just picked-up an RM50 for pennies. Not the deepest of editing options, but well-suited for drums. Sounds are high-quality and good fodder for building your own kits. MIDI delay module for each sound. Solid low-end-thump. Individual outputs and triggers. Lot's to explore without being overwhelming.

Happily, mine had a syemb06 RAM card inside, and it's been a breeze to load samples onto it using Elektron's c6 sysex tool.

Editing from the front panel is not at all daunting, but there's also a nice editor available: http://www.linuxtech.net/musicgear/synth_yamaha_rm50.html

Evan Long
March 19, 2013 @ 12:11 am
The RM50, the more expansive (but sequencer-free) 1U rack version of the RY30, is an excellent box full of great sounds. It's also very programmable, and several computer-based editors are available for it, but if you want to set up an RM50 hardware programmer, you have a difficult task ahead of you, as the MIDI architecture is peculiar. Aside from those which have been categorized by Yamaha as "easy edit" functions, many of the key parameters which, on other boxes, are handled at the "kit" level are here built into the individual drum voices. This can make on-the-fly editing difficult.
June 22, 2012 @ 12:23 am
One of the last cool drum machines made. The digital filters in this box sound a lot better than ok. One of the bargain priced pieces of hardware.
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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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