Synth Site: Yamaha: SY-77: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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Ian a hobbyist user from USA writes:
The SY-77 is a damned fine keyboard. As usual for Yamaha products, it's built like a tank and feels like quality. The stock sounds are pretty meagre, and IMHO even the free libraries on the web are pretty dreary, but with programming you can come out with some amazing sounds. Thumping FM basses, as well as analog-sounding beasts, are all possible with the SY-77. I have one quibble though: The floppy drive! In my experience it is flaky at best, and it seems many people have similar problems. I'm not sure if it's a proprietary 720Kb floppy or not, but if it is and yours is broken ... forget about replacing it!

DRIVE FIX: If you attempt to load/save something and the drive continually spins (apparently a common failure), this is often the drive belt slipping. Just open up the synth, clean the drive belt and pin wheels, and you're ready to go again. It's a quick and cheap fix, and it works!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-27-2001 at 20:39
Cbuilder a professional user from Barrio, NY writes:
The SY77 as a workstation is Ok...the drums suck though....you have to create patterns/edit them in realtime or step with limited options...no CrazyAss DnB or int techno,industrial, unless you are willing to master and be patient with the pattern setup menu...I midi it into a computer and use a RM1X/MC303 for beats....to burn to a CD.You can use it as a separate workstation but is not the end result to get it on CD? or vinyl..the computer is the best and easiest editing option unless you have heavy hardware setups(ADAT,mixers,etc.) As a sequencer it will play whatever or however fast you can go Cecil Taylor or Chick Corea or whatever electronic madness thou desires.....

posted Saturday-Dec-09-2000 at 20:41
cbuilder a professional user from East Harlem,NY writes:
It Kicks,sequencer is easy to use,AFM and the AWM is cool also...i can't complain for $400...It's not a EX5 nor a Triton but it will do as a basic notepad...the variety of sounds from ambient pads to industrial is impressive though.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-27-2000 at 18:55
Jamie a professional user from Philadelphia writes:
If you're someone who enjoys making their own sounds, the SY77 is for you! Even though the 77 is a combination of AWM/PCM technology and FM synthesis, don't expect perfect emulations with the PCM sounds. Instead, as with Yamaha's DX line, expect something a little different. To try and use the 77 as an emulation synth, forget it, you'll hate it. Instead, try to remember the days when MIDI was just beginning to enter our vocabulary, as well as FM synthesis. Remember how the DX7 had a love/hat relationship because some people found the sounds "metallic", so instead, they took their DX7s and layered them with an digital hybrid like a DW-8000, or a Juno-6 to get the warmth into the sounds. This is pretty much the idea of the SY77. Combining a DX7 with a wavetable-based synthesizer into one package. Don't get me wrong, the SY sounds AWESOME, and is clearly one of the most creative sound-makers I've ever seen. I do have a problem with the user interface, I pretty much do with all of Yamaha's gear. Nothing ever seems to be laid out where you'd think it should be, and they all have a significant "learning curve" to get past before you can actually sit down and start creating some serious music with it. This is a good and a bad thing. Good if you like the stock sounds, bad if you insist on tweaking, because unless you're one of the 6 or 7 people out there with a thourough understanding of FM synthesis, which, face it, you NEED to have with this synth, you're screwed. In short, don't count on the best piano sounds, and the organ and string emulations are only slightly better than the DX line, but for the money, it's an outstanding synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-20-2000 at 03:05
Paul Warfel a part-time user from USA writes:
I started with a Korg MS-20, and DW-6000 and ARP Oddessey in 1984. I quickly dropped the DW6000 when the DX-7 came out, and learned to program FM synths. I currently have three FM synths an SY77, a TG77 and a SY99. These all have advanced FM with 16 different waveforms, not just the sinewave. These are also sample playback synths with several megs of excellent sounds. The sample playback side of the synth creates great beautiful washes, while the FM side can make extremely percussive hard edged sounds. All of these are great synths and it is nice to have all three but they all have there own special quirks and benefits. The best sounding of the whole bunch is the SY99 as it has better DA converters and a later SPX sound effects processor and 76 keys. Also, the SY99 lets you download a small sample and use it as a waveform to feedback into an FM algorithm. (If that sounds like greek just believe me it can be real cool) The next best sounding is the TG77. I believe it was released later and probably has better electronics inside as was Yamaha's policy at this time. The TG77 is the cheaper of the three but it doesn't have the sequencer and disc drive of the two keyboards. The last in the heirarchy is no slouch. It has 61 keys and the disc drive and sequencer of its big brother. It sounds great compared to most synths of its time and most synths that still follow. But the sounds are a little dryer and thinner than the SY99, but that just makes it under the SY99 but still heads above most other synths in control capabilities. The sequencer is extensive and fairly user freindly in these 16 voice multi timbril and 32 voice polyphonic synths. A great buy if you find any of the three.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-08-2000 at 04:29
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