Calling on all Yamaha SY-1 Owners...can't get certain sound.

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Bingo
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Calling on all Yamaha SY-1 Owners...can't get certain sound.

Post by Bingo » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi there! Back in 2006 my room-mate and I went half on a Yamaha SY-1 synthesizer. At the time, we both were aware of the Kaipa album, self-titled from 1975. The credits list Yamaha SY-1 synthesizer as the sole synth.

Anyway, my friend said to me then, "this SY-1 doesn't sound like the one on the album that's for sure!". I disagreed, I said, nah, that's the same synth, you can tell. To me it had the same sound, the same "pitch bend" effect, the same filter. That, and the album credit actually says SY-1!

Anyway, through time I wound up being the 1 owner of the synth. So, finally after all these years about a week or so ago I turned on the Kaipa album, listening to the song "Se Var Morgon Gry". I tried to get the same sound on the synthesizer. Well, sure enough my old roommate seemed to be right. It is 100 per cent impossible to get that sound on this synth. Yet the Kaipa album's synth still has the SY-1 flavor. I've included the clip, perhaps you can check it out and see for yourself what I mean.

Why might this be? Were there two versions of the SY-1? It's almost like his synth has something going on with the filter, or like there might be some kind of sync sound going on? It sounds very angular, and the vibrato seems different (a little wider range) on the Kaipa album. Yet it's clearly an SY-1 synth. I'm so confused here. Could he have been using the SY-2 and printed SY-1 incorrectly? And lastly, maybe they are running the synth through an effect. But what effect makes this sound?

I've owned Two Hammond Piper II organs before, and realized the original 1977 one has 1 different sound tab from the other Piper II I have which is from 1979, but it took me a while to realize it because they look identical in all respects. I have to wonder if the very first SY-1 models are different somehow, in some small but significant way? I've seen some pictures of European models with a white switch. Is it possible models used in Europe sound different?

The clip is forwarded to 1:10. At 1:10 you can really hear the synth clearly.


The credits (instrument list) are on Wiki, and I believe printed on the album:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaipa_(album)

Thanks for reading.

Virgule
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Re: Calling on all Yamaha SY-1 Owners...can't get certain sound.

Post by Virgule » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:07 am

That's a great sounding solo...

If you compare the controls for both, you can notice the SY2 has sliders for Highpass Fillter Frequency and Resonance. It must be what differentiates the tone between the two.

I played a SY-2 for a few years but that's all I know. It was released in 1974


edit: I'm pretty certain it's all SY-1 too by looking at period pictures. The synth seems to be played through a Leslie speaker? Maybe even a fuzz

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ppg_wavecomputer
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Re: Calling on all Yamaha SY-1 Owners...can't get certain sound.

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:13 am

Virgule wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:07 am
[...] I'm pretty certain it's all SY-1 too by looking at period pictures. The synth seems to be played through a Leslie speaker? Maybe even a fuzz
Just what I thought -- using fuzz, tape delay, reverb, and Leslie can alter a sound significantly.

And since the SY-1 is all-analogue, there might be some variance in the way it was calibrated internally.

Stephen
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Bingo
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Re: Calling on all Yamaha SY-1 Owners...can't get certain sound.

Post by Bingo » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:54 pm

Thanks for the replies. I guess this topic will always be elusive. I was shocked to find about 7 years ago I made a similar post. I had completely forgotten I asked about this! I guess this was the first time I really tried to nail one of the Kaipa sounds and found that it's impossible.

This trick of the leslie really sounds interesting. Leslies have a way of making everything sound very different, and enhance the harmonic richness of things if it's a tube leslie. That's an interesting thought....it does sound like a slow-swirling leslie now that you mention it.

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