Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by wildpaws » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:57 pm

balma wrote:I owned the SY99 during 8 years, sold it after most of the buttons died due to overuse and getting the EX-5.

It can produce great vintage FM type sounds, nice basses and a lot of cold and also lovely pop leads.
This synth is a pain in the a*s to program and requires a devoted programmer. Is a very cool sound engine, fitted in the body of a strict rigid Yamaha workstation. Navigate lots of screens/menus over a complex FM engine using arrow buttons and cursor.

If you take a closer look to the Yamaha EX5, it has almost the same interface of the SY99, but with knobs under the screen.

The sampling function you mentioned, is barely a feature. 0.5 Mb. I think you can "expand" it to 2Mb or similar. You can load the samples Oh yeah.... aja.... give that!, dance, get up! and the memory will be full.

You´ve used synths that can create sounds similar to the music you mentioned. Give a try to modern VAs.
Lots of them can produce the sounds you´re looking for, with 25% the time you would invest doing it in a SY99.

....Or buy a OBX :ugeek:
The SY77/99 is only a PITA to program for those that don't take the time to learn how to program them. I don't find the SY77/99 "a strict rigid Yamaha workstation" at all, I find them to be extremely flexible and capable of sounding like most anything you want them to. "Navigate lots of screens/menus over a complex FM engine using arrow buttons and cursor", obviously you never learned about using jump marks. Sample ram can be expanded internally to 3mb, while that is relatively small compared to today's generous sample ram in many synths, it can be extremely useful and will hold a lot more than you are giving it credit for, you just can't use huge megasamples. The SY99 was never intended to be a sample monster rompler. I would suggest that perhaps you never learned how to maximize the usefulness of an SY99. I've owned and used an SY77 since '89/'90 and bought an SY99 several years ago, I find them to be extremely useful and capable of doing most anything I want to do.
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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by Bitexion » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:10 am

That goes for pretty much any 80s digital synth. People seem afraid of a synth covered in buttons with menus.
But it can be sooooo much fun to dive into them.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by balma » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:05 pm

wildpaws wrote:
balma wrote:I owned the SY99 during 8 years, sold it after most of the buttons died due to overuse and getting the EX-5.

It can produce great vintage FM type sounds, nice basses and a lot of cold and also lovely pop leads.
This synth is a pain in the a*s to program and requires a devoted programmer. Is a very cool sound engine, fitted in the body of a strict rigid Yamaha workstation. Navigate lots of screens/menus over a complex FM engine using arrow buttons and cursor.

If you take a closer look to the Yamaha EX5, it has almost the same interface of the SY99, but with knobs under the screen.

The sampling function you mentioned, is barely a feature. 0.5 Mb. I think you can "expand" it to 2Mb or similar. You can load the samples Oh yeah.... aja.... give that!, dance, get up! and the memory will be full.

You´ve used synths that can create sounds similar to the music you mentioned. Give a try to modern VAs.
Lots of them can produce the sounds you´re looking for, with 25% the time you would invest doing it in a SY99.

....Or buy a OBX :ugeek:
The SY77/99 is only a PITA to program for those that don't take the time to learn how to program them. I don't find the SY77/99 "a strict rigid Yamaha workstation" at all, I find them to be extremely flexible and capable of sounding like most anything you want them to. "Navigate lots of screens/menus over a complex FM engine using arrow buttons and cursor", obviously you never learned about using jump marks. Sample ram can be expanded internally to 3mb, while that is relatively small compared to today's generous sample ram in many synths, it can be extremely useful and will hold a lot more than you are giving it credit for, you just can't use huge megasamples. The SY99 was never intended to be a sample monster rompler. I would suggest that perhaps you never learned how to maximize the usefulness of an SY99. I've owned and used an SY77 since '89/'90 and bought an SY99 several years ago, I find them to be extremely useful and capable of doing most anything I want to do.
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Wow, finally somebody realized I´m lazy with my gear and I do not dig my synths, maybe I should re-purchase the SY-99 and you could teach me how to get the juice of it? Only then, I will learn to tell the truth about synths, and above all, will relearn how to use Yamaha´s vintage digital synths/workstations...

I did not say the SY99 is bad synth, I used this synth to the point that many of the numerical buttons became inoperant for overuse. Then I had to sell it, otherwise it will be on my room.

It´s an extense, formidable synth to create many sounds, but Yamaha never invested enough to design a proper interface to get an easier access to most of its parameters. They just implemented a generical interface for several synths and made a few modifications depending of the model, instead develeping the software and features while creating an interface to control them. That´s not related with how I used it.

And this is what I meant saying a cool engine fitted in the body of a rigid Yamaha´s workstation.
Same interface for a FM synth, and a rompler/sampler/VA/virtual acoustic synth..... PITA

SY99 Image
EX5Image
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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by arcturus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:51 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks everyone so much for your massive input

I think i might do what balma suggested and get an ex5. It has digital and analog capabilities, sequencer, 76 keys (which i really want) and all the other stuff.

Im working with a small budget of up to $600 and these ex series synths seem to be in my price range and might be a lot better than the sy77/99 series.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by balma » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:09 am

The EX5 has AW2M (rompler) with around 1200-300 generic waveforms, a virtual analog engine-some FM functions, a VL (virtual acoustic) engine, FDSP effects (only found on the EX series) and sampling function.

Is a great workstation but with a terrible, slow OS, and some bugs on the sequencing functions. Use it on voice mode and you´ll never find any problem

Adding a hard disk and non-flash memory rams for the sampler is almost a must in order to get access to the best of the EX5.
It comes with a 30.000 notes sequencer (song/patterns) and a cool keymap feature, wich allows you to use the keys to trigger patterns and samples, so you can manage the whole pattern database just pressing keys.... very useful for live performance or composition with MIDI.

$500-600. Take in consideration is a very heavy keyboard so that could mean some extra $.
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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by b3groover » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:32 am

Hey, that's my picture of the SY99! :) Actually it's the SY77 on top and the SY99 on the bottom.
It´s an extense, formidable synth to create many sounds, but Yamaha never invested enough to design a proper interface to get an easier access to most of its parameters. They just implemented a generical interface for several synths and made a few modifications depending of the model, instead develeping the software and features while creating an interface to control them. That´s not related with how I used it.
That's not really true. You could make that argument for the synths that followed but I don't think that's the case for the SY77/99. Remember, the SY77/99 were the first synths to utilize that new design. In fact, the Yamaha V50 was released at the same time as the SY77. It is also an FM-based synth with sample playback for the rhythm generator, and has a sequencer and yet it looks radically different than the SY77/99. I think it is more true to say that Yamaha realized the interface of the SY77/99 worked well and adapted it for other synths. But it was initially designed specifically for the SY77/99, not as a generic interface. And as such, it works quite well actually. Indeed, it is not all that different from the Kurzweil K2000 interface or the Korg Wavestation interface, two contemporaries synths with the SY77/99. The addition of the "bank" buttons on the right, which become editing on/off buttons for the various AFM/AWM elements and FM operators, is a distinct and very handy touch.

Honestly, the SY77 and SY99 are not that hard to program. You have to learn the JUMP pages. Envelopes are represented graphically as are algorithms. The order of "modules" (osc, filters, EG, FX) makes logical sense. All the parameters are right there on the screen with a few clicks of the navigation buttons. Of course, I've had my SY77 since I was 13, so I'm intimately familiar with it. :)

As for the EX5, it is a powerful synth (and arguably Yamaha's last true "synthesizer") but it is also finicky, buggy, and vastly underpowered considering what it's potential is. You'll have to get the SCSI interface and then do the card reader modification unless you want to suffer through ridiculously long sample load times. And you'll need the FLASH RAM, which is increasingly rare and expensive.

In reality, for $500 to $600, why not just get a first generation Motif? It can do all the sounds you want just fine.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by Pro5 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:46 am

Have to agree, the SY77 is NOT hard to program due to it's interface! it's actually very well catered with multiple ways to do what you want and multiple ways to display the needed data. I never have a problem getting where I need to go and doing what i have to do.

I think, as I've said before, it's FM itself that is confusing people more than the SY's menus!

If you know FM then SY77 is a joy to program vs many other FM synths. If only the DX7s had such a cool big screen with cursors you could move around 6 op's parameters on ONE screen!!

Brilliant synth and considering it's depth/power the menus are really not that bad.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by Bitexion » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:49 pm

I remember being quite terrified to program my Roland D-50 at first, but then I read the manual and everything just clicked together. There are plenty of shortcuts on the button panel usually. You just have to know they're there.

Now I can churn out 4 oscillator bass sounds with ease.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by balma » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:47 pm

Well I give up my aversion towards Yamaha´s interfaces :D Maybe I got sick of those numerical pads and screen after using several of them on 90ies... I just always missed some soft knobs under that screen... and after getting a Vsynth, I became kind of lazy with vintage workstations and their way to manage features.
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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by tekkentool » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:10 am

Pro5 wrote:If only the DX7s had such a cool big screen
Image
Pro5 wrote: with cursors
Image
Pro5 wrote:you could move around 6 op's parameters on ONE screen!!
Image

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by b3groover » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:37 am

balma wrote:Well I give up my aversion towards Yamaha´s interfaces :D Maybe I got sick of those numerical pads and screen after using several of them on 90ies... I just always missed some soft knobs under that screen... and after getting a Vsynth, I became kind of lazy with vintage workstations and their way to manage features.
Not to beat a dead horse, but the SY77/99 has soft buttons under the screen. That's close to knobs. :)

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by arcturus » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:03 am

Hmmmmm no sy99's for sale at the moment. I will just have to be patient. Theres only one on ebay and the guy mods it all and charges $999. what a ripp off. I just want a stock one for around $500. Not one that glows different colours and has aftermarket mods lol.

Anyone has a SY99 and wants to sell to Las Vegas let me know! :)

Ive kinda gone off the ex5's they are wayyyy too big to lug around to jams and cannot load dx7 patches. IM still thinking about it though. But i prefer something that has older more vintage type sounds on it. There are 2 for sale at the moment. One for 600 with broken plastic at back. or one with mods for more money.

Anyone know of any other 76 key synths i have missed that you can get for under 700 bucks?

i only know so far the SY99, O1w pro, EX5, Super JX,

Is there a JP8000 type synth that comes with 76 keys? I do miss the super JX. what an amazing overlooked synth. Although a nightmare to program with that annoying dial thing.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by arcturus » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:27 am

Oh and I forgot the Ensoniq TS12. theres a few of these babies on ebay for under 500.

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by b3groover » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:17 pm

Not to defend the guy on eBay selling the SY99 for $999, but pretty much every SY77/99/TG77 needs at the very least a backlight replacement by now and that's not an easy or quick job. If you're going to go through all the trouble to replace the backlight, it just makes sense to replace the entire screen since the backlight will burn out again in 10 to 20 years. Replacement screens are not cheap, especially since one of the best, least expensive sources dried up. I'm thankful I bought two screens from said source before he sold out of his very reasonably priced stock.

So yes, try to score one for $500 if you can (I did) but then plan on putting another ~$200 into it in parts and a whole lot of labor to get that screen replaced (assuming you're handy with electronics and assembly/dissembly of complicated Japanese synths and can do it yourself) . All this talk of programability is moot if you can't read the damn screen. :)

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Re: Traditional Analog sounds for SY77 SY99

Post by arcturus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:37 am

Okay after hours of reasearching and youtube videos and reviews I went with the ENSONIQ TS12.

500 with shipping and perfect condition, and the floppy works. So i can load on analog sounds and dx7 sounds.

Only bad thing is its a pain to program because lack of buttons and simple screen. Oh and it doesnt have resonance which sucks but oh well. it was cheap and i get the cool piano hammer keys and sounds amaaaaazing from what ive heard.

Thanks everyone. :) :D

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