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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24 Visitor comments
Fruitsnake
May 28, 2013 @ 9:34 am
The SY35, SY22, and TG33 are all prime targets for circuit bending. They'll yield some of the mot usable results of any keyboard I've ever bent. You can even bend the silly little built-in demo sequence and mangle it into something almost cool. They're such bend-friendly units that I'm surprised they're not more popular. I would say they're like the HR-16 of synthesizers, when it comes to how well they can be bent.
andy
May 14, 2013 @ 12:51 pm
This board is next on my want list, used to have one in the 90s when they first came out. At the moment in the UK they typically go for no more than £100, the related TG33 is considerably more though. Has two big assets going for it. One, is the sounds are wonderfully fat and chunky- the dual FM/AWM architecture gives a crayon-like, impressionistic effect. Secondly, whilst serious programming is limited, casually creating an original sound is very simple and accessible. It's a bit limited as a sole source of sound, but would make a nice companion to something like a Sound Canvas.
Bill
June 24, 2012 @ 7:30 am
Not that unique. Sy22 tg33 and there was also korgs wavestation and even a portasound vector synth.it does have some pretty nice possibilities for pads . I'm not sure why or how tis synth is being compared to a alpha Juno. A alpha Juno is subtractive analog . Sy is simple fm and sample playback. Sy35 more of a pad texture machine. Also not very dx7 like as it is only 2 op fm. I also seem to recall the sy22 being a bit more Lofi than the 35. In a good way:)
gridsleep
August 27, 2011 @ 8:54 pm
olof@ You appear to be correct, sir. The Operator Manual has a couple of mentions of "filter EG" in relation to voices #15 "SP Filtr (Filter)" ("Synth pad with filter EG tone change") and #23 "SC sFz< (Sforzando)" ("Comping with filter EG and distinctive attack") and one multi #13 "BellPad" ("Filter sweep synth pad".) Aside from the various uses for the envelope, there is no specific reference to any filter, LowPass or otherwise. The Quick Start Manual does not contain the word "filter" at all, nor does the Operator Manual for the TG33, or for the SY22, for that matter.
zing
March 14, 2011 @ 8:23 pm
I think it's nice for pads, I think it's made for pads really, pads and more pads that hum along nicely if I use the vector controller. Oh, and it's got good metallic bells too. It offers you some good (digital sounding) patches that you can't find these days. It sounds quite end 80s, early 90s in a rather elegant way, without being tacky. I got mine real cheap as well, so I think it's good value. I just don't know if I really want to get into programming it... Due to a complete lack of obvious parameter controls it does not exactly convince me to do so...
 
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VSE Rating

Excellent

User Rating

Rated 3.88 (250 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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