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 23, 2009 @ 12:22 am
I have used the SY22 as a soloing keyboard on top of a three tier rack for about 10 years. The keyboard works well but the key suspension springs eventually cut through the hooks on the underside of the keys and I have had to replace many keys over the years. I wouldn't trust it for gigging anymore! The key spring assemblies are very poor!
March 3, 2009 @ 6:45 am
The description here doesn't do this synth justice. The reason it sounds like 'one of those thin metallic' synthezisers is because a lot of the patches have the 'metal reverb' effect on them. This can be a nice effect but if you turn it off, pull up an FM brass patch and work the feedback /tone parameter you can get incredibly warm pseudo-analog stuff happening. Plus the LFO on this thing has a nice bite to it. It was my first synth and it's still my favorite after all these years. I used to make songs with nothing but this synth with no multitracking by putting the drumkit on one of the PCM elements and I listen back to some of them today and they sound better than a lot of the stuff I make currently, with reams of hardware synths, hardware effects, softsynths, and plugins at my disposal.
November 13, 2008 @ 10:40 am
FM semplice e divertente.
se sei paziente e curioso si possono cavarne cose molto interessanti....
August 27, 2008 @ 3:26 pm
Oh yes, I forgot one thing...in the power section of the circuit board there seems to be a faulty transistor in some units (mine had this). Someone in the sy22 yahoo group was nice enough to send me instructions on how to repair it. There is also an exploded view of the keyboard and all the different sections of circuits available on that group.

So if you find an extremely cheap broken one that has the problem of having no sound come out of the main outs (but it still turns on and works etc) you can still salvage it!
August 26, 2008 @ 10:48 pm
This is a really fun keyboard to have because it is VERY light. So for that reason alone it's a great controller (with aftertouch toot!). The sounds are pretty cool and the interface is fairly straight forward. The real beauty comes from editing the fm sounds with sysex. I've made some fun and useful pads with it (which is very surprising to me considering there is no filter).
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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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