Synth Site: Yamaha: SY-55: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Mather's Studios from UK writes:
Ahh, Man this was my first ever encounter with a synthesizer. We had one at school and I remember groping around on the front panel trying to find the power on switch when it was hiding at the back!

So I never owned this synth, but made the most use of it in the music group at school, almost eight years ago now. It was a great instrument and sounded better (and most definitely was better) than anything else we had in the school at the time. Ever since I played the SY55 I wanted some sort of synth like it. It looked great and it sounded great. I seem to remember that my favourite program was the pick bass (#32) and there was a cool electric piano-type sound called 'Elektrodes' and had a sharp, shiny cutting edge. Some of the synth brass sounds were cool as well.

We had the synth plugged into an Atari at the time, running Steinberg's Notator. It did a good job and I wrote about three compositions with the synth for my coursework (Grade A-star by the way!).

I guess the usual gripes would be the lack of a backlight in the display, and the actual display itself was tiny like on the DX7. It displayed what was needed though and no backlight means no worry of bulbs burning out.

I never programmed the SY55. I knew nothing of synthesizer programming at the time. I don't think I even realised it was programmamble. At the time I was only 14 turning 15, a synth to me was simply some huge black thing with no speakers and had to be made out of metal - and oh yeah, it had to sound cool and make synth sounds!

From what I can remember the piano sound was rather like the SY77. I was never really that impressed by it, and also thought the strings sounded too "home keyboard-ey", but organ sounds, synth sounds and basses were definitely very much in. I also remember a patch called VCO lead, which was very cool.

One last good thing. SY55 is well made but at the same time rather small and very portable, probably not much larger than Korg's X5 - just a little deeper from front to back.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-04-2002 at 09:17
john a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I have been very much into my sy55 , the sequencer is nice and I found that earlier versions of cakewalk can comunicate .syx midi send and recieve for voices and sequences. This is a great little board.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-11-2002 at 22:36
ben a hobbyist user from uk writes:
got the synth the other day and im finding it a pain to use.no-matter how much i tweak the envelopes etc it always sounds the same, but this could be because i'm new to the game.its well built and the waves are nice sounding.im hoping that with a little more practice i might be able to get some quality sounds out of it.with a bit of luck!!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-May-04-2002 at 11:40
Synaptic Gap a professional user from london writes:
I have programmed some really nice patches on this machine.The choirs are beatiful and with some external processing can sound as good as anything else out today.Programming is really easy once you get your head around the structure of a sound which is easy anyway,within a few hours of use you will be using this thing like a pro.Some of the internal waveforms are a little dated and the lack of other waveforms is a real shame because the ability this machine has to twist and turn a basic sound into something unusual is amazing.This machine is worth having for the textures alone, beautiful choirs and nice deep pads.I make progressive house and trance and electro and breakbeat and this has been used in one way or another on all of my creations.At the end of the day for the price you can pick one of these up for it is worth getting to add something else to your sonic pallette.I have made a really nice vangelis type cs80 synth sound(think soil festivities) with its filters which are analogish sounding,well usuable,would buy again,infact i am going to get the SY 77 and SY85.The sy55 is basically an sy77 without the fm,a very much overlooked series of machines and still relevent in todays electronic dance world with the right programmer behind it.

Get one,and program it you will love.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-21-2002 at 09:50
GRIMM a professional user from freeport ny writes:
i have to ad to these opinions about the yamaha sy55. it was my first K.B . i purchased it new in 1995 and i still have it today. sadly it has been through so many gigs it is now pretty much falling apart, but for all the years and abuse it has performed in spectacular fashion. it now just sits here next to more state of the art gear like a decaying and broken relic. it was definately a well built board.

posted Thursday-Feb-28-2002 at 16:07
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