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 8, 2009 @ 12:54 pm
Everybit as good as a DX7 Mk2 (I have both) and goes on to do things the DX7 Can't. It's not a 'classic' as the DX7 is, but if that's a 5 star then so is this beauty!

The sounds coming out of this thing have a good 'weight' them, they sound big but classy. I don't mean the presets particularly (some are ok) but the many custom sounds and your own stuff. The screen is fun for programming (compared to a DX7). Drives likely to fail (Belt) but I replaced mine with a £5 PC belt less drive after modding the ribbon cable (and fitted a new bright blue LCD backlight another common fault on the '77).

It feels like the heart of my studio now, Roland D-50 above it, AN1x above that - my other synths around but I keep coming back to the SY77 for inspiration.
Nicholas Varley
June 14, 2009 @ 11:43 am
Three mod wheels, three ! Why didn't this catch on ? Brilliant idea, so useful, bring it back on the next upgrade to the Motif range.
May 9, 2009 @ 4:22 am
It's worth mentioning that the rack-mounted TG77 has the standard SY77 audio outputs PLUS lots of individual audio outputs ...
Also, the dynamic range of its DACs has to be heard to be appreciated. VERY dynamic!
April 23, 2009 @ 7:19 am
it's worth noting that Wendy Carlos was a big user of the sy77 which she says is "excellent".
April 2, 2009 @ 4:34 am
I use this workstation 1996/1998 with academy music...
Exellent digital synthetiser.
I like the FX wave sound (AWM).
For Novice to Ace good investigation...
But the sequencer & patchs are very complicated...
Good work for novice ( read manual )
Sorry for my bad english! Bye!...
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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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