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
November 16, 2012 @ 11:20 am
Ok, so I have a Yamaha TG 77 in a rack mount case ,appears to be working and in really good shape. It was in my dads recording studio but we are selling his stuff now that he is gone. What is this thing worth with the case in really good (excellent even) condition?
November 12, 2012 @ 1:22 pm
Oh as for the discussion below - may as well treat the 77's as their own synths vs the 99. The 99 is rare to find, usually twice the price and overly large for many. Yes it has some nice additions but honestly I find they are the least important additions for my uses (And many) namely the FM part - many turn the effects off anyway (inc on the '99) as FM takes well to outboard / plug in effects with modern quality. Sample ram is a bit overrated and fiddly, most don't use it. The smaller synth and the rack are desirable for the 'same great sound' without being so large
November 12, 2012 @ 1:19 pm
I have used both the SY77 and TG77 in my work and they have always impressed me immensely even to this day. The FM part of these synthesizers is still beautifully capable of sculpting unheard of tones that you just can not get from other digital synthesizers. It also looks good, is built very well and has a pro quality output that sits in any mix just right. Both the keyboard and rack versions are worthy additions to your studio depending on space or keys requirements :)
September 29, 2012 @ 8:45 am
re: robotunes - Yep, the SY99 is the "big brother" model - as you say, a better rompler section with a bit of sample RAM. When I wrote up my glowing mini-review in July, in my excitement I did forget to mention the SY99. I love my TG77 but would gladly hand it over for one of those beasts. :)
August 30, 2012 @ 7:30 am
It's amazing how different the SY77 and SY99 are. At the first look, the SY99 seems like an SY77 with additional octave on the keyboard. But this is were similarities end. Yeah, they both have the same FM engine, but the ROM set is different, the effect processors are different, and it seems none of the sounds that are in SY77 are in SY99, and vice versa. SY77 does seem to have same faults though, like the operators are distoring slightly, and the reverb units also distort, and create weird noises on ocassions. Maybe that's due to the age of the unit, not sure.
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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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