Yamaha W5 / W7

Yamaha W5 Image

The Yamaha W5 and W7 synths are powerful workstations utilizing Yamaha's own AWM2 tone generation, coupled with an excellent GM set and a powerful set of onboard features including a 16-track fully featured sequencer. The W5 model is only slightly different from the W7 in that it has a full 76-note semi-weighted keyboard and the W7 has a typical 61-note keyboard, both of which respond to initial-touch (velocity) and aftertouch.

The AWM2 tone generation system provides 8 MB of wave memory with 384 realistic voices to choose from. Each voice is composed of 4 elements for added realism and depth. Editing is made simple with Voice Templates - choose from preset amplitude types (39), filter settings (59), pitch envelope settings (40) and LFO settings (33) to quickly punch up and edit various voice parameters. This eliminates the need to get deep into tedious editing of your sounds from scratch, but the option to get deep into editing is also there. A large backlit LCD display facilitates easy visual programming. There's also a double dial which allows for quick access parameter tweaking.

Yamaha W7 Image

Also onboard are studio quality DSP effects. They can be assigned to individual voices or they can be used as a global effect over the whole system. There are 3 Insertion Effects and 3 System Effects available. With a ton of tried and true effects processors to its name, you can expect these Yamaha effects to be of superb quality and there are enough processors in the W5 / W7 to provide you with all the sweetening you need!

A powerful sequencer is onboard to provide you with the creative flexibility to create entire songs and performances right from the synth itself, with no need for any other gear! The sequencer has a 100,000 note capacity. It is a 16-track sequencer and its memory can hold up to 16 different songs. There is only 32 notes of polyphony, but it should be enough for most arrangements and performances. Sequences, voices and songs can be stored to an external disk and as standard MIDI files for archiving. Yamaha released a "Version 2" upgrade for all models made before 1996 which added more voice banks (P2 and P3). The W-series has since been replaced by Yamaha's new EX5 and EX7 synthesizer workstations.

Lookup Yamaha W5 / W7 Prices

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30 Visitor comments
March 14, 2010 @ 8:24 pm
First let me say this is a very well kept board. I like it that way too because a lot of cats don't know what I'm using to get some lush strings and piano sounds. Trammells is right editing is limitless on the W7. However, Trammells is wrong when he says there are no copy/paste capabilities in the recording area. You have to go into the Jobs key section and you will get to the copy/paste area. To make this board really shine though you have to have Version 2. I run this board up against most out there. I also have an Akai AX60, Roland XP60, Yamaha DX100, Ensoniq SQ1+, Boss SP500, and Emu MP7. The W7 is better than all of them with perhaps the Akai AX60 providing better weirder sounds.
December 10, 2009 @ 6:46 pm
For my taste, this synth is "too much GM", and I am not satisfied with rubber contacts , that is not good enough for serious pro keyboard;
That`s the reason why i prefer much more DX7, older but made of metal, with more serious keys, for pro players. W 5/7 sounds good, but some other keyboards in this class are more attractive for me.
September 25, 2009 @ 10:27 pm
I got a nice used w7 on ebay about 5mos ago. I've used it as a controller, for sequencing and controlling multiple synths, and for composing. The main limitations that I've run into are 1) for recording, there's no copy/paste function so you have to perform or program every single thing. 2) you can't record a section on the fly without stopping and recording, so no improve sequencing, 3) no longer updated, and only plays AWM files, so you're stuck with early 90s sounds and the drums are general midi. However, you can microedit every individual key and voice from the samples they play to the envelopes, to the effects, midi signals, loudness, etc - pretty much limitless editing capabilities, plus you can combine basic patches to make incredibly lush patches of your own ...really a very versatile instrument if you read the manual and spend time understanding the instrument.
August 2, 2009 @ 6:21 pm
This synth does not have portamento.
February 11, 2009 @ 1:47 am
just picked it up yesterday for 130 dollars canadian! (Thank you Juan! Thank you Craigslist!) ( broken disk drive stuck buttons) Amazing deal. It actually compares quite favourably with an ex5 though sans the extra synth engines so its pure awm2 all the way. I have a kurz k2000rs with 16megs of ram os 3.87j and scsi to a jaz drive, a korg n264, emu proteus 2, yamaha rm1x, kawai k1m , yamaha djx mark1 and a Peavey DPM3. Next to the Kurz the most powerful synth I have right now and definately has the nicest pianos and best key action of all my machines. Jessica best of luck getting one!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.11 (266 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 notes
  • Oscillators - Systems AWM2, 8 MB preset wave memory
  • LFO - Yes
  • Sequencer - 16 Songs, 16 Tracks, SMF Formats, Real and Step time Recording, 96 Clocks per Quarter Note, 100,000 Notes capacity
  • Effects - 3 Insertion and 3 System Effects
  • Keyboard - 61 Keys (W7) / 76 Keys (W5) with Initial Touch and After Touch
  • Memory - 128 GM voices + 8 drum kits, 128 Preset (AWM2) voices + 2 drumkits, 128 User voices + 2 drum kits; External Memory 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive; Optional Expansion Wave/Voice Board (4 MB of Waves and Voices on ROM)
  • Control - MIDI (16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1994 - 1998
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Thomas R Kolb.

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