Synth Site: Yamaha: SY-85 Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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Nick Chan a part-time user writes:
What a worthy 'upgrade' from Alesis QS7 !!! I just love the SPX900 effects ! The Distortion is so wonderful. All effects seems beautiful. It has the most responsive, expressive keys I have ever played on. Sending aftertouch seems almost effortless!!! It sits besides Wavestation as my all-time favourite synth. (used to have sy77, 01w, qs7, etc etc etc). The synth engine is very deep. almost as powerful as SY77. The acoustic sounds seem a bit outdated nowadays, but most are still usable, without being embarrased. Sequencer works well. PLUS: The SY85 can also function as a MIDI DATA FILER FOR YOUR OTHER EXTERNAL MIDI GEAR ! It can receive midi data from other gear and save it into the floppy! What other keyboard does that??? Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ! One word: BUY IT WHILE YOU CAN !!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-03-2002 at 00:20
Bee Lloyd a professional user from uk writes:
An SY85 has formed the central component of my studio since 1992. The day it dies on me, itll be like losing a member of my family. I learnt how to produce on it, and recently signed a contract with sony, largely thanks to its incredible potential for sound control. If you see one second-hand, BUY IT. I just got a 'track of the month' review in the british mag 'future music' and a track on the cover cd; so please check the website for a couple of free tunes (which were entirely created without a computer, with the sy running the show... www.actualitymusic.co.uk

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-17-2002 at 12:14
luke from england writes:
had mine for years, still use it as a main part of my set up, visit www.geocities.com/viralwax/ to hear some of my work. also i would like more sounds so please email some if you have some. cheers luke

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jan-05-2002 at 20:03
Steve B a hobbyist user from UK writes:
The SY85 is one of the unknown great keyboards of all time. I've used mine for years now and still find something new every time I use it.

I'd guess it's common knowledge by now that you can actually put 2 x 4Mb SIMMS into it to give you 8.5Mb of sample RAM. Takes ages to load and save the ALL file with this much RAM to be shovelled out to 720k floppies.

Soundwise, it's astounding. With sample RAM you can load pretty well anything you like in and get totally new sounds. The inbuilt waves are showing their age a little, but are still useful for the meat and two veg sounds every player needs. Remember, for every "Spaceship arriving with two carrier bags full of glitter" type of sound you use, there are many more strings, pads and organs that will fit more easily into tracks.

There are a few niggles. The eight sliders allow amazing editing of any sound, but you cannot then store the edits. Live only, I'm afraid. And they get a little scratchy without regular cleaning. When in need of cleaning, you will find that parameters in sounds junp spontaneously to wierd values. Could be intermittent contact of sliders, I'd guess.

Effects are the best of all the SY range. Quiet, easily accessed and easy to edit.

The sequencer is getting a little long in the tooth now, but it's perfectly OK as a scratchpad to throw ideas together fast. You can always export to MIDI file for editing on something else once the idea has taken shape.

Th word Workstation really does say all there is to say about this. You can quite reasonably expect to put complete tracks together on it.

Still worth buying. In fact, I'd quite like to get the module version to beef up the polyphony a bit. 30 voices seems a bit niggardly these days.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-12-2001 at 04:48
Darren Briggs a hobbyist user from England writes:
Been using SY85 for years, no faults, no hassles at all apart from support as mentioned in other emails, I have quiet a few disks with extra sounds if any one wants a copy. Yamahasynth.com Classic corner has some very good sounds and samples available. These have been very usefull to me. Give them a go. Also good WAV to SY85 sample converter for PC/MAC to download. Does any one know where i can get some non volitile memory?? I have some 1 meg memory modules which work well if any one wants to buy one. I put 2 in and now have 2.5meg . Ive got about 10 spare. Have fun Darren

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-11-2001 at 16:32
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