The Yamaha SY35 is a bit unique in that it is a Vector Synthesis system, combining FM and AWM sample playback voices to create sounds suitable for virtually all kinds of music. It features significantly expanded memory capabilities over the SY22. It has an extremely large database of over 128 AWM sampled sounds (you cannot add more) and around 256 FM waves. Waves and samples are combined and edited with a roller/joystick (the vector wheel). At a time when Yamaha was making the switch from FM synthesis, which ruled their synths of the eighties, to AWM and AWM2 synthesis in the nineties, the SY35 represents a model that was on the cusp, having one foot (or pair of oscillators actually) in each world.
Programming is an extremely tedious affair, as all values are modified via the "-1" and "+1" buttons. But the SY35's sounds are extremely good, providing high-quality sounds such as those found on the Alpha Juno 2, and the DX7. The synth also features an 8-part multi-mode, for easy multitimbral setups. Ultimately, while an extremely difficult synth to program, the SY35 offers a huge amount of capability for a relatively low price tag. Use this synth for epic pads, deep basses, screaming leads, and raging hoovers.
Demos & Media
Reviewed December 2007.