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
March 22, 2009 @ 8:50 pm
"Sounds are good, but don't expect strong analogue sounds.Sound design is nice."

Obviously you have not listened to all of the preset sounds nor even begun to pay attention to all of the other sounds out there for the SY77. It indeed can be a wonderful, full, thick analog mimic. One of the most endearing qualities of the SY77 I've been playing since 1990 it it's ability to mimic most any type of sound, 95% of my work over the last 19 years has been done on my SY77, the only exception being parts that I do on my Hammond C3, Steinway L, or SY99.
February 17, 2009 @ 3:10 am
This is one of the best synthesizers ever. It has a lot of programs and it is compatible with the patches (programs) of DX series.This means thousand sounds ready to play with! Plus the embedded sequencer.
Rene van der Wouden
January 14, 2009 @ 3:47 pm
I own the SY77 for years and find it a dream of a synthesizer. With only the FM-part of the synth you can make sounds bigger and more massive than on the DX7. Forget the sample part because that sounds so 1989.

The 16 waveforms consist of sine, square, varations on PWM and so on. The programming is easier than on the DX7. If you get to the envelopes which are devided in rates and levels, just put the levels for L1 on 99 and L2-4 on 0 for a start. Then you can use the rates as a normal ADSR. Great keyboard to play on.
January 12, 2009 @ 9:22 pm
Good Idea. Output is a bit weak on TG-77 I have tried. Was going to by one, but the slaesman held fast the price and would not drop price because of increasing poularity in mid-late 1990s. 1997-1998 and output was weak. I think. Sounds are good. Was going for convoluted FM as strong point. . Like the 3 wheels on the SY-77. Wish current ones had that. Sounds are good, but don't expect strong analogue sounds.Sound design is nice.
Mike Harris
December 31, 2008 @ 8:08 am
These things are just sick! The music dept at the college I went to had one (and still does to this day), and I would spend hours coaxing various sounds out of it. I told the director to give me a call if they ever plan on selling it. In addition, a little bit of (bad) trivia. I discovered while looking through the presets that the sawtooth pad used in that awful Shania Twain song, "Man, I feel like a woman" is actually one of the presets on this synth. That dubious distinction aside, it's still an awesome board.
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Rated 4.33 (1137 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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