Yamaha TG500

Yamaha TG500 Image

The TG500 is basically a box-o-sounds. It is based on Yamaha's SY85 (1992) and doubles the polyphony but loses the sequencer and most of the buttons and controls for real-time and patch editing. You can go with just the stock sounds, their sound quality is excellent, using AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory), Yamaha's synth-engine of choice since the days of FM-synthesis. You can also add external ROM cards for many more sounds in various styles. Despite the lack of controls, the TG500 has edit capabilities as extensive as the SY-85, and is easiest to program using an external or software based editor.

But as we said, it's a box-o-sounds with four expansion card slots right on the front-panel (two slots for data cards & two slots for wave cards) and a big fat volume knob. Six individual audio outputs make tracking or live PA mixing possible. It has three basic modes of operation: Voice - allows access to one patch at a time. Multi - allows up to 16-part multitimbral patches for sequencing. Performance - split/layer up to 4 patches across keyboard. Like the SY-85 it's got multi-mode filters and a dual-effects processor with chorus, flange, reverb, delay, exciter, parametric EQ, echo, ring modulation, leslie, distortion, etc. The effects can be used in series or parallel, and there are 4 busses to route sounds through them. The TG500 was a great and economical way to get Yamaha's AWM2 style sounds, but may seem limited today.

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16 Visitor comments
May 25, 2010 @ 1:09 am
I just add this beautiful module to my palette of sound on my rack, very nice sound quality, vast memory, easy to use, fair good effects, and the original sound programs are very useful for ambiance music, the brass sound are really good, main piano has a nice brite sound with deep low end, the Electric pianos sound like real DX series with nice effects, AWM2 was great.
December 29, 2009 @ 5:41 pm
This synth is great for its atmosphere and quality. I use it with Motif synth and Ive found that reactions of this rack are better then mines new one and it sounds more lovely. I dont want to use word fat cuz its not the correct one. Its just pop-sound of 90s. I love it very much. Much more then younger brothers of Yamaha.

PS: Clavinova sounds better to me then this one but it is different.
March 24, 2009 @ 3:49 am
The description above makes the TG500 sound so diminished. If you've ever took the time to seriously program this beauty, it really is one of the most gorgeous sounding synths you'll ever hear. It can sound extremely elegant and ethereal (which in my opinion it excels at), or equally raw and upfront.

Some of the drawbacks which users complain about are actually not quite as bad as they make out to be. Its not terribly difficult to program but it does require patience. Believe me, the sounds that can be created with this synth are well worth the effort.

If you're on a budget and looking for a rack module that will provide you with stunning sounds, you cant go wrong with the TG500. Its a wonderful alternative to anyone looking to make a switch from software synths and one that contains an incredible amount of character.
September 5, 2008 @ 2:13 pm
use soundiver and its a stunner - it can be very ppg like and these Are very beautifull sounding machines which no software can match - all tehse olf vintage digital synths will oneday be colectors items , right now they are peanuts.......many have unique waveforms only available to them and many have a unique character and sit in a mix in a certain way , Tg800 , Tx802 . Jv880 ( better than the 1080 and more organic sound) Wavestation sr , Fs1r , Korg m1 . D550.......( not the vsynth version which sounds crap !) - all these justy cant be emulated by software , you may ' think ' you can but trust me - ive released and produced music for 25 years and tried the software against the hardware and you cant get the same effect or character.The tg500 is a classic going for peanuts
Oneki Kai
August 26, 2008 @ 9:35 pm
Yamaha XG predecessor (the MU series.) Many of this box's waveforms ended up in the MU-80 too. Like the XG synths, I feel this sounds thin and tinny.
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Rated 4.07 (267 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 - 64 voices voices (2 x 32)
  • Oscillators - AWM2 (2nd-generation Advanced Wave Memory)
  • Filter - Digital LPF, HPF, BPF, BEF (Band Elimination Filter)
  • Sequencer - None
  • Effects - 2 Discrete FX units, each with 90 effect types (Chorus, flange, reverb, delay, exciter, EQ, ring modulation, leslie, distortion, etc.)
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 384 Patches, 252 Performances
  • Control - MIDI (16-part multitimbral)
  • Date Produced - 1992

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