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
Greg Fredericks
August 29, 2013 @ 12:31 am
With the Yamaha SY77 and TG77 (same synth, keyboard & rack) evolved into the SY99 which had a more advanced effects section, extra samples and the
ability to add your own samples if you put memory in it.....but any patches loaded from
the 99 to the 77 or visa versa had absolutely no effects.....that's a pretty crappy way to
do things since effects can literally "make" the sound. Getting the effects to sound right
from scratch is a lot of work !!!
August 11, 2013 @ 6:59 am
Not sure why Yamaha are not producing FM synths of this quality - analog is back why not full on FM - unless I'm missing something.
tom landry
July 21, 2013 @ 6:19 pm
Internal FX are a weak point, muddy and indistinct. V50's seemed to sound much better. Otherwise a nice FM synth with a great keybed.
June 28, 2013 @ 2:42 pm
I had a dx-7 ver 1. i sold it, regret it, bought a D-50 like new at 250$, cool synth but not as good as a dx-7 as a master keyboard, and i exchange my d-50 for a SY-77, now i'm in heaven, this thing is crazy, (i only use AFM sound, ok maybe saw, sq, tri etc. that's it) i use the software don't remember the name to convert dx-7 to sy-77 work like a charm. AFTERTOUCH IS INCREDIBLE. 5 stars.
April 30, 2013 @ 1:22 pm
This machine simply rocks.To truly appreciate its power you have to delve into programming. The best editor I have found for this is Sound Diver. Personally I write psy trance and this machine is ideal for finding bizarre FM soundscapes that I wont even try and describe!
This is a beastly FM Synth, 6 OP and has much quieter DACs than the DX7/TX81Z/TX802etc. Also has good filters, good FX. I wouldnt say its better than the DX7/TX81Z/TX802 just very different.
Also has AWM2 sample synthesis for a different flavour both the AFM and AWM blend extremely well if required. Highly Recommended Cheap
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Rated 4.33 (1129 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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