Yamaha SY35

Yamaha SY35 Image

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.

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25 Visitor comments
thomas a anderson
February 2, 2010 @ 8:45 am
i have found that this instrument fits well into a mix. it occupies it's own sonic territory. i don't think everything needs to be obscenely fat like the botox lips on a ho... if everything was fat, fat, fat, like the marketing freaks want us to lust for, then our mixes would be bottom heavy no?
this board is excellent for ambient zones and ambient fx sometimes require delicate textures. give your subs a rest and your mind some bliss.
July 7, 2009 @ 2:35 pm
The Sy35 is the first synth I ever bought and I still use it today. I will agree that occasionally, it can sound a little thin, but the pads are fantastic. The string sections are really nice and the aftertouch along with the vector joystick really add to it. It also has a nice amount of storage memory for patches. This is a good, and physically TOUGH synth as well. I've gigged with it since 1994 or so and I've NEVER had ANY problems with it. This thing is RUGGED ! I highly recommend this synth !
May 24, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
Its got that one vital ingredient......character.A very distinctive synth that has a tendency to sound a bit thin, but is very good for playing around on.
February 25, 2009 @ 5:54 pm
Just to correct the first post, this board _does_ have aftertouch in addition to velocity. The low polyphony makes it useful as an additional sound source - it's fairly limiting for using as the sole sound source for anything more than the simpler arrangements. It makes a pretty good controller too. Note, this board is not GM, so bank/patch selection is not as easy as it is with the boards that came out a few months later.
January 23, 2009 @ 10:16 am
the vector control is the big deal on this instrument.
if you want pianos and other generic samples look elsewhere. although there are some real instrument samples here, this dude excels at atmospheric sounds. a plus is that you can record your
vector motions and store them with the patch. very dynamic.
keeps my interest for much more than a half hour.
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User Rating

Rated 3.88 (256 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 voices, 8-Part Multitimbrality
  • Oscillators - 2 FM Operators & 2 (AWM) Digital Acoustic Sample playback oscillators.
  • LFO - 4 LFOs
  • Filter - None
  • VCA - 4 Volume-Only Envelops
  • Sequencer - None
  • Effects - 16 Digital Effects (Delay, Reverb, Reverb/Dist. Combo, etc.)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w/ velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 64 preset and 68 user patches, 16 Performances
  • Control - MIDI In/Out/Thu
  • Date Produced - 1992
  • Resources & Credits
  • Retropolis.

    Reviewed December 2007.

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