Yamaha V50

Yamaha V50 Image

Imagine the excellent sonic characteristics of the DX11 synthesizer or TX-81Z sound module. The V50 is the ultimate 4-Operator FM synth workstation comprising 16-note polyphony, a dual effects processor (with distortion), a large dual line, backlit LCD display, a drum machine, a 16,000 note sequencer and a 3.5in floppy drive to save your songs and voices!

The DVA function and built in voice-based pitch delay are two interesting features in this synth. It's great for percussive sounds such as short bass sounds, marimbas, clavinets, etc and should one pitch an operator really high and work with the pitch bender, one gets very cool ambient effects. It's very rare yet cheap in today's 2nd-hand market and coupled with an outboard (analog) filter it makes an unbeatable digital FM synth!

The V50 has been used by Sin.

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56 Visitor comments
June 29, 2010 @ 8:02 pm
Just grabbed a V50 off eBay. I remember really wanting one back in 1989 (14 at the time). I had even sent off to Yamaha for all their marketing material.

My first impression is "damn, this is a very nice board." I was really surprised by the build quality (excellent). Nice solid buttons with a real clicky tactile feel. The key action feels better than my D50, M1 or SY99. Of course either of the aforementioned three synths can blow the V50 out of the water when it comes down to realistic instrument sounds, but for some nice FM "digital" stuff, this machine is great. A very clear, bright, noise free sound. Highly underrated.
Alekx V
May 21, 2010 @ 9:07 pm
This is an amazing synth, really. Nothing comes close for a 4 operator synth. Buyed in early 90's and used for years, still is the main keyboard in my stack. Love it so much that i've decided to inmortalize it by creating an exact copy of this synth in software (softsynth) and in the run create another one, code named "andromeda" which will have what i consider would be the synth Yamaha had builded if 4 op were still a business for them.
The softsynth is still in its design stage but i'am pretty confident that will be a delight for all of those who loved and learned to appreciate the power and versatility of this beast.
Izera Stephen
March 21, 2010 @ 8:23 am
My first Yamaha synth.
I wasnt really sure what to make of it when I got it home but I figured for $80 I could learn to love it.
At first I was a bit underwhelmed aside from 3 samazing sounds.
I then stumbled across a site on the net where a guy had made a few experimental songs on one.
I quickly had a new found respect for this thing!
They are a beast in the right hands and can hold there own against a DX7 albeit in a slightly different way.
Not sure wher FM is sitting in 2010 but its a fun machine to play with.
Very heavy and solid!!!
February 11, 2010 @ 2:27 pm
It was my first synth- I got one in the mid 90's for $600 and another last year for $20- so I'm a little biased, but I LOVE this thing. Great for rich FM synthesis, and it can really make some nasty and experimental sounds if that's what you're into. In fact I would say experimental noise is where it excels. I have played it for audiences solo, and there is enough meat on it to put up a nice hearty wall of sound. Presets are cheesy but you can make them sound good pretty quickly. Easily navigable (also I personally think the step sequencer is very intuitive, but this is the machine I learned on). Built incredibly solid (weighs a ton). The ROM battery will die, and the disk drive may fail (I had to replace my drive belt with an old one from a VCR)- those are the only two known problems with this thing and neither make it unplayable. If you find one for under $200, BUY IT, you will not regret it.
December 27, 2009 @ 4:23 am
Very underrated synth! Built like a war tank, and capable of layering up to eight synth parts plus effects, it can produce wall-destroying bass, brass, percussion, FX, etc. Not very good at strings, mediocre drum samples and the sequencer is a joke nowadays, but really useful velocity and aftertouch response.
After so many years, it still surprises me.
Get one now that it is still cheap ...
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 - 16 notes
  • Oscillators - 4-Operator Digital FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 8 parts
  • Filter - None
  • VCA - 1 DVA env , 1 Pitch Envelope Generator
  • LFO - One
  • Effects - 2 FX Units - 16 different effects
  • Keyboard - 5 octave touch sensitive with pressure sensitivity.
  • Memory - 100 preset / 100 user voices, 100 preset performances / 100 user, 3.5in disk drive.
  • Arpeg/Seq - sequencer: 16000 notes, 8 songs, 32 note polyphonic, punch in/out, real / step programming.
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from AudioFanzine.

    Thanks to Edwin Balzan for providing this info.

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