Yamaha SY22

Yamaha SY22 Image

The SY22 is one of these digital synthesizers with a thin metallic sound. It uses a synthesis method known as vector synthesis (similar to that on the ProphetVS and Korg Wavestation) in which samples and FM sounds (adapted from Yamaha's DX line) are altered and combined using the on-board joystick to create new and often interesting sounds. Joystick moves can be recorded and repeated too, a feature rarely seen until the JP-8000 came!

There is no filter, no resonance, no ring modulator sand no sign of any arpeggiators or sequencers on-board. Although this is unfortunate, its strengths lie in its ability to record data manipulation in real-time and its multitimbrality - both of which lend themselves to creating some complex and cool sounds perfect for ambient, dub and industrial styles. It also has a drum kit sound set and simple built-in effects. A desktop module version of the SY22 is the TG33 which also has increased memory. The SY22 has been used by Moby, Skinny Puppy and Scanner.

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40 Visitor comments
April 2, 2014 @ 7:31 pm
I'm about to purchase a Yamaha SY22. My band need those brass sounds and Synth Pads. Could this synth provide those sounds for me on a nice way? Need some advise. :)
victor jones
April 2, 2014 @ 4:39 am
how did this sy22 get 4 stars i owned one got it off ebay £50 mint condition and couldnt wait to sell it .
it is thin and the preset sounds are awful not even one sound i liked.
i have a yamaha dx100 and this is a little beast compaired to this rompler and look at the rating the dx100 got. 2 stars

that goes to show the ratings are not 100% but love vintage synth all the same

i would prefer and still have a roland mc303 compaired to the sy22
listen to the demo on youtube how can anyone make music with this rompler.

January 19, 2014 @ 5:24 pm
The SY-22 CAN sound thin and metallic if you want to but that's not a valid definition of its overall tone which is much more versatile as alex already put it. Thank god the in-crowd and collector scene has ignored this and other off-broadway gear so far, it's still very affordable and makes an excellent addition to the studio of creative musicians who know a great-sounding synth when they hear one instead of just chasing after machines with famous names on it.
May 22, 2013 @ 7:55 am
The pipe organ sound is excellent, one of the best out there. Anthing but thin and metallic. I suggest the reviewer buys better monitors :-)
March 8, 2013 @ 6:33 pm
this synth sounds anything but 'thin' and 'metallic'. The guy writing that review must have mistaken the synth for another one.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.46 (404 Votes)

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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 notes (8-part multitimbral)
  • Oscillators - 2 digital FM Operators and ROM samples (2 osc per voice)
  • LFO - Amplitude Mod & Pitch Mod with Saw Up, Saw Down, Triangle, Square and Sample&Hold waveshapes
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - 16 Digital Reverbs and Delays
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (with velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 64 preset / 64 user
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU (8 channels)
  • Date Produced - 1990

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