Yamaha YS200 / B200

Yamaha YS200 Image

Yamaha YS200

The YS200 is a 4-operator digital FM synthesizer in a rather funky looking keyboard design released in 1988. It featured an 8-track on-board sequencer with many advanced edit functions and up to 8 song capacity. It has a 61-note velocity/aftertouch sensitive keyboard, can hold up to 300 patches, two LFO's, vibrato, and more. It tends to produce very deep dance/techno basses, eighties digital synth sounds, and new age sounds.It uses the same synthesis as the TX81Z, which means it has 8 waveforms to choose from rather than just sinewaves, which gives it a wide range of possible sounds.

The complexity of FM synthesis is somewhat relieved by the "Easy Edit" controls for basic editing operations, but this can also be limiting since not all parameters are accessible. Full editing of the patches requires a MIDI based patch editor, such as YSEditor, which is available for free but only for the Atari ST. Fortunately, it works on Atari ST emulators for the PC. It's worth the trouble because it allows you to load up your YS with original patches from the TX81Z and some of Yamaha's other classic 4-operator DX synths, making the YS a good way to get your hands on classic patches from several keyboards all in one box.

Yamaha B200 Image

Yamaha EOS B200

The Yamaha B200 is essentially a YS200 with speakers and a more subdued appearance. The B200 uses rather powerful 2 x 20W speakers and also has a stereo line-in (for amplification only). The pitch and mod wheels on this version form two halves of a sphere, which looks modern but ends up being a bit awkward. In Japan, the B200 was called the "EOS B200".

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32 Visitor comments
willie f
November 1, 2010 @ 5:08 am
i found the ys 200 keyboard to be a remarkable machine i had mine for 15 years and have really enjoyed it. i now use it to midi my xm1 and xmc1 hammond module organ and the two is great together.
October 5, 2010 @ 8:01 am
I remember playing this in my local music shop for view to buy. It looked awful (matter of taste i know) and it sounded like a "home organ" type keyboard. It has a very dull and boring sound.
Chris Nightingale
October 1, 2010 @ 9:40 am
Had (and still have) a YS-200 as my first synth when I progressed from the Yamaha Portatone range as a kid.

Interesting range of sounds and a good sequencer. I loved the fact that compared with the DX range it was very easy for a beginner to get into the editting of sounds. The best bit was a parameter where you had to a random 4 digit number to change the sound - I guess it was tweaking the algorithm and other bits.

Oh and it had some superb demo tracks especially "Opening..." and another one I can't remember the name of which had a great distortion FX.
August 31, 2010 @ 4:31 pm
I bought the YS200 when it came out, for home recording. Enjoyed it OK. I use it now strictly as a MIDI controller in ProTools!
Alekx V
May 21, 2010 @ 8:32 pm
What can i say. The B200 was my first "semi" professional synth back in late 80's. What I remember most is how easy was to get into sequencer mode for composing almost on the fly. Coupled with a RX-17 Rhythm Box I needed no more for quite a time. The speaker system is still missed for its punch and deepness, and for programming, it was no difficult for me once i discovered it was a TX-81Z in disguise. I made my editor program which I still use but now for a V50 which purchased in early 90's and which is alive and kicking. If you are an average player which like to play just for fun and like FM sounds, get one of this. But if you are more into programming and experimenting with new sounds and voices get a V50 ox DX7-II they are in my humble opinion the culmination in pure 4 and 6 ops.
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  • 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 - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 4-Operator Digital FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 8 parts
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - reverb, delay and distortion
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w / Velocity and Aftertouch)
  • Memory - 100 Preset, 100 User, 100 more via External Card
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT/THRU, Breath Controller Input
  • Sequencer - 8-Track, 8 songs (w/ quantization, cut, copy, paste, insert, punch, and more)
  • Arpeggiator - None
  • Date Produced - 1988
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthony.

    Info provided by Adam Deslauriers and GTmusic.

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