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
July 21, 2012 @ 8:57 am
the sy99 is more versatile (a couple of programming shortcuts, better effects and better rompler sounds, which you can augment with your own samples) but the sy/tg77 is more widely available. plus, my sy77 and tg77 team up to double the polyphony of the sy99, which is so important for making multis (combos in korg-speak, performances to roland).

never selling mine!
July 15, 2012 @ 5:06 pm
I've owned my TG77 for just about a month now. The more I dig into it, the more it amazes me. Capable of near-analog warmth, FM grit and dynamics, strange but often useful hybrid sounds via RCM, and more - this is easily my favorite synth so far. How is this thing less than $200?

It's the most powerful and versatile Yamaha FM synth out there (except *maybe* the FS1r), complemented by tons of outputs (2 stereo mixes plus 8 individual), good-for-1990 AWM, and an excellent-for-1990 effects engine.

Five stars. One of Yamaha's all-time best - FM in its finest hour.
July 11, 2012 @ 2:53 pm
How can I add Hammond, Wurlitzer sounds to my SY77...?
Is there a rack effect I could buy or cards so I could add those pads to the existing ones...?
July 5, 2012 @ 6:51 pm
I agree with Bill - this is DEFINITELY a 5 start synth! One of the best/most powerful ever made and can do so much. It out-analogs MANY VAs, has more depth and width to it's sound too. SY85 is nothing next to this, I've had an 85 and still have a tg-500 but they are pure romplers. SY77 is massive!
July 5, 2012 @ 6:48 pm
@aly - these are amazing synths and a real bargain these days. They can be picked up on ebay routinely for LESS than £200, so they are not worth much these days. Back when they were released I believe they were close to £2500 - very expensive cos of all the tech in there. These days, they go for beer money. even in mint condition. At best you could claim for maybe £300-£400 but i've rarely seen any go for that. Mine cost me £120 for reference :)
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User Rating

Rated 4.33 (1135 Votes)

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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 - 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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