Yamaha SY99

Yamaha SY99 Image

The SY99 is like having a super-sized sampling workstation with the synthesis and sounds of a DX-7mkII. Basically the same as the SY77 it features a larger 76 note keyboard with upgraded synthesis, sample memory, sequencer and more! For its synthesizer section it employs a 6 operator AFM synth engine similar to, if not better than, the original DX's. Sampled preset sounds (AWM2) can then be fused 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 ability to recreate the warm analog sounds of classic synths, or something entirely new.

There's an enhanced on-board sequencer section for creating your songs right on the SY99. It's got 16 tracks, from which channel 16 belongs to the built-in drum synthesizer. The sequencer can hold up to 27,000 notes, 99 patterns and 10 songs. And since the SY99 features 16 voices of polyphony for the AFM section, and another 16 voices for the sampled sounds, there are 32 voices to go around to build your song. Not to mention there are 2 digital multi-effects processors which include reverb, delay, chorus, panning and more! Professional features for those of you want to really control and shape your sounds using the unique sounds (and complex synthesis) of a Yamaha FM synth with some special features up its sleeve. It has been used by Vangelis and Chick Corea.

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55 Visitor comments
March 22, 2009 @ 8:37 pm
"Still, it is quite enough different from SY77 - you can't use the sound of SY99 on SY77 and vice versa."

Sorry, that is absolutely untrue, you can load SY77 files to the SY99 and you can save SY99 files in SY77 format, the only issue is since the effects units are different you will have to go in and edit the effects settings after transfer. I've owned an SY77 since 1990 and always regretted not upgrading to the SY99 when it came out, several years ago I picked up an SY99 in pristine condition with five optional SYEMB05 ram memory boards and have never regretted it. Both the SY99 and the SY77 are excellent synths that only require some programming to sound up to date, powerful synths that can hold their own today.
March 2, 2009 @ 5:12 pm
The above text says "...with the synthesis and sounds of a DX-7mkII...". That is not accurate. While the SY77 employs FM synthesis just like the DX7II, the synthesis on the SY99/77 is way superior. On the DX7 you have 32 algorithms with six sine-wave only operators and one feedback loop per algorithm, for instance. On the SY99 you have 45 algorithms with six operators (with 16 waveforms per operator) with three free feedback routings, noise generator and sampled waveform input into FM synthesis, plus two analog-sounding resonant filters per element (one voice can be made up to 4 elements, each element can be either a FM algorithm synth or a sample-based synth.
Kirk Slinkard
January 14, 2009 @ 12:25 pm
With high quality waves, greatly expanded FM capability, multiple effects, and sample playback ability, this makes an ideal ultimate synth. Lots of modulation and interface. Totally blows away more recent keyboards. Where I previously needed 2 synths for gigging, this wide keyboard provides all the keys I can use. I will never sell this one.
December 3, 2008 @ 6:08 am
Do not under estimate this classic early 90's top drawer work station, Yamaha's flagship at the time, with the option of sound sources, FM2, AWM2 and samples imported over Midi Sample Dump this is a true classic musicians instrument, I paid around £1700 back then and now they go for £350-500 and at that price they are never going to dissapoint, great operating system, superb sounds and mazing keyboard action warrants a positive 10+ for all its incedible features, check one out and get a bargain.
October 2, 2008 @ 12:12 pm
I've also found some sounds in Pet Shop Boys albums
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Rated 4 (502 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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; AWM2 sample ROM with 267 waveforms
  • Filter - Multi-stage Time Variant Filters with resonance
  • Arpeg/Seq - 16 track sequencer, 27,000 note capacity, 99 patterns, 10 songs
  • Effects - 2 internal digital effects processors with 63 effects
  • Keyboard - 76 notes with velocity and aftertouch
  • Memory - 128 preset & 128 user patches, 16 preset & 16 user multi-patches
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1991
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthony.

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