Yamaha SY77

Yamaha SY77 Image

The SY77 is like having a super-sized sample-memory workstation with the added synthesis and sounds of a DX7mkII. For its synthesizer section it employs a 6 operator AFM synth engine similar to, if not better than, the original DX's. The AFM section offers 45 algorithms, 3 feedback loops and 16 waveforms for creating some of those unique FM sounds. Sampled sounds (AWM2) which are in memory (or on external ROM cards) can then be mixed with the AFM sounds to create entirely wild new sounds! And these sounds are quite shapeable thanks to the resonant multi stage Time Variant Filters which offer the chance to recreate the warm analog sounds of classic synths, or create something entirely new.

There's an on-board sequencer section for creating your songs right on the SY77. It's got 16 tracks, channel 16 belongs to the SY77's built-in drum synthesizer which holds up to 61 sounds. The sequencer can hold up to 16,000 notes, 99 patterns and 1 song. And since the SY77 features 16 voices of polyphony for the AFM section, and another 16 voices for the sampled sounds, there are (32) plenty of voices to go around to build your song. Add the fact that there are 4 independent digital multi-effects which include reverb, delay, chorus, panning and more and you have yourself a classic music production workhorse.

Yamaha TG77 Image

The SY77 was also marketed in a rack-mount module called the TG77. All the same features as the SY77, except the keyboard, sequencer and 3.5" disk drive are gone. Following the SY77 came the upgraded SY99. Its main features and guts were the same however it had increased memory, waveforms and a bigger keyboard. The SY77 (or TG77) is great for really controlling and creating sounds for use in various electronic forms of music and has been used by 808 State, Skinny Puppy, Brian Eno, Europe, Toto, Vangelis, Chick Corea, and Front 242.

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100 Visitor comments
Andrew Beddoes
December 28, 2008 @ 7:05 am
Highly programmable, exciting timbres. Sounds like the Wavestation with morphing voices and sample loops clunking around. I decided to stay with my V50 instead.
Dan Wilson
October 29, 2008 @ 5:11 pm
1000 parameter per voice monster! This synth is underrated - I think this is due to the rather poor factory presets. There are tons of fantastic presets available on the net. It's capable of some extremely expressive and really quite beautiful sounds - esp. analog emulations, strings, pads, bells and wacky sounds. Its like having 8 DX-7s layered with samples and then warmed up with resonant filters.

They are built like tanks but suffer from dim EL backlights. These can be replaced although it's NOT for the faint hearted as it's staggering how much has been packed into the case - and it ALL has to come out to gain access to the LCD module. The floppy drive is a cheap belt driven one too - it has a non standard pinout BUT by making an adator cable you can replace it with a standard modern black faced PC drive. I have performed both repairs to my SY77. Also makes a great mother keyboard due to 3 modulation wheels and breath controller input.

Dan, Hideaway Studio.
August 26, 2008 @ 10:43 pm
I'm so lucky to own this synth. It's incredibly deep and powerful. I find the interface very intuitive. I wouldn't trade it for the world (except for maybe an SY99). One of Yamaha's greatest achievements.
August 25, 2008 @ 8:47 am
I owned an SY77 up until a few weeks ago. I had to sell it for reasons beyond my control. I'm lost without it, a fabulous piece of technology, constantly overshadowed by it's DX7 predecessor. A real shame, cause this blows the DX7 out of the water, hands down.
August 19, 2008 @ 11:54 pm
It was also used by Level 42
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Rated 4.33 (1130 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 - 32 voices: 16 AFM voices, 16 AWM2 sampler voices
  • Oscillators - 6 operator AFM synth with 45 algorithms, 3 feedback loops and 16 waveforms; 16-bit AWM2 sample ROM waveforms
  • Filter - Multi-stage Time Variant Filters with resonance
  • Arpeg/Seq - 16 track sequencer, 16,000 note capacity, 99 patterns, 1 song, 61 built-in drum sounds
  • Effects - 4 independent digital effects processors
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Memory - 128 preset & 64 user patches, 16 preset & 16 user multi-patches
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - SY77: 1989, TG77: 1990

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