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
September 7, 2011 @ 6:43 pm
buy it now on ebay £50 mint condition also downloaded the sy22 editor another best buy of 2011 this is a cool synth able to edit everything in (windows vista) there are plenty of freaky dark sounds very cinema kind of vibe. the vector is a great idea also the detune function is great for creating a bagpipe sounds kind of weird drone's although there is no bagpipe sample to be found in the synth. i found my roland dp2 pedal i have for my (roland mc303) switch work's in the sustainer input so no need to buy one i am so proud of this synth. and so glad i picked one up
April 7, 2011 @ 11:52 pm
its a fun little board for cheap. i mean its not analog sounding and its romplish with fm simplicity. its different and its worth the cheap prices they go for as long as you know why you are buying one. i mean some people expect it to sound like a moog but come on. its a sy22 its great for ambient music and industrial stuff. i would never get rid of mine. its not fun to program but worth the effort
o holmes
April 2, 2011 @ 12:05 am
i purchased mine couple years for 149 dollars
Graham G
February 28, 2011 @ 5:21 pm
However, if you experiment with the voice editing you'll find that you can make some extremely good sounds - when I was using mine regularly, the vast majority of the sounds I was using were either entirely created or substantially modified versions of some of the presets - For example, the best preset piano sound is pretty lifeless, so I had about four or five much improved versions of that.

If you do play with editing, you'll wear the +/- keys out very quickly and they are likely to be almost dead on any secondhand example which has been well used. Fortunately, spares are still available.
Graham G
February 28, 2011 @ 5:13 pm
If you bought one of these and never experimented with sound editing, you'd be severely disappointed with all but a handful of the 64 preset sounds. There are one or two exceptions, such as the massive 'Matrix22'. Otherwise mostly poor.

Yamaha went out of their way to burden the machine with a very high number of 'novelty' preset sounds when what they should have done was provide core keyboard, brass, string and bass sounds in the unalterable preset memories and preload the 64 editable memories with the novelty sounds. But they didn't.

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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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