|Synth Site: Yamaha: YS-200: User reviews Add review|
|Average rating: 3.6 out of 5|
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|Glen Stegner a professional user from US writes:|
I bought this synth used back in 1993 at a music store for $400, even then I think I paid too much but I didn't know anything about it at the time. It's ...ehhh... alright I guess, certainly nothing to knock your socks off. It's compatible with the DX 11,21,27,100, TX81Z, V50, and TQ5 (which is essentially a table-top version of the YS200 sans keyboard). 4-op 8-algorithm FM synthesis (Yamaha's 3rd generation FM) which admittedly does sound much cleaner than 1st or 2nd generation FM. Supports sysex dumps of files from all these keyboards/modules, and there is even a very cool TX81Z editor on the net called Syma100 that allows you to deeply program the FM synthesis engine (which Easy Edit does not permit), however you need to have an MPU-401 card installed in your computer, it will not talk with other MIDI interfaces. Also, when importing TX81Z and compatible patches, you would still have to use the front panel to add effects to the dry voices to bring them alive, since those older boards don't have the YS200's effects processors. The YS200 also has a built-in sequencer, but you already knew that. Not much use when you have a computer-based sequencer.
As for sound/quality/etc., it's okay as a cheap source of FM sounds, wouldn't pay more than $100 for one today. Since getting a Korg M1, I have had very little use for this thing, and it's been sitting in my closet for a while. I don't see the point in selling it because I can still use it as a controller if need be, and get more use out of it than the approx. $75 I would receive for it. But I've sat with this thing for many hours with the Syma100 editor and have really had a hard time coming up with any truly useful voices other than the DX7 electric piano and a small handful of new age sounds. Couldn't really get any useful lead sounds out of it. Some pads are okay, and it can do okay basses.
To sum it up, I've really outgrown the need for this board, and to be honest I never liked the overall design. It's not built like a tank as some previous reviewer said, it's made of cheap vacu-formed plastic. If you knock on it with your knuckles, it almost feels hollow. There can't be very much inside; it's light as hell, which might be a blessing as far as portability, but doesn't speak much as far as build quality. The front panel design was a big mistake by Yamaha and they immediately reverted back to the sleek black small-button & slider combination for the V50 and beyond. Professional musicians did not take this board very seriously. In look, feel, design, size & weight, it is almost like a home personal keyboard of the kind you might buy at Target or Wal-Mart.
Quite frankly I'm glad to get it out of my keyboard setup, I always felt it to be a bit of an embarrassment. It was okay as a controller for my Sound Canvas, but I now have the M1, so the YS200 had to go.
I'll give it a 3 just because it's not too bad for the very cheap price, as a source of Yamaha's 4-op FM synthesis.
|Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Oct-07-2003 at 14:49|
|Ricardo a part-time user from Brazil writes:|
It's a TX81Z with a velocity and aftertouch keyboard and a complete 8 track sequencer. The YS-200 looks different, sounds clean, is built like a tank and is cheap. Definetly, a good thing to do with your money.
|Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-10-2003 at 12:01|
|RobT a hobbyist user from US writes:|
If your looking for a cheap but versatile MIDI controller. It's not bad. I've been a musician for quite awhile and have always been interested in synthesis. Just now taking the plunge for very little money. You should be able to pick one up for less than $100 USD. Not bad to learn on. The basses are nice. I like some of the strings in particular the Cello and CelloEnsemble. The violins and assorted digital noises. It doesn't have the most modern sequencer but it works for me. Now if I could get a straight answer from Emagic about whether SoundDiver actually supports this thing, it might turn out to be more flexible than I thought.
|posted Thursday-Apr-10-2003 at 16:31|
|Scott T a hobbyist user from Florida writes:|
Had this board for over a decade. It's a great sounding board and a TRUE FM synth. While some will note that it's just a 4-operator FM synth as opposed to the 6-operator units like the DX-7, this was Yamaha's new enhanced 4-op version of FM that provided more complex operator waves than just simple sines like the DX-7 provided. So, this board is capable of some VERY expressive and bizarre sounding stuff that you couldn't come close to with a DX-7.
One problem with the board though is that Yamaha tried to dumb down the FM programming since many found it tough to grasp. They should have provided an expert mode for those who understood FM. The onboard programming will allow you to create quite a range of sounds, but NOTHING like what you can do with a good external PC based patch editor. I wrote an editor for this thing on the Amiga years ago that provided full control over all the SYSEX voice parameters. Once you understand FM, that's the only way to go. It's a lot of fun to generate randomized FM patches. I've created some amazing stuff with this thing doing just that. Play around enough and you can get this thing sounding more like a sample based unit than simple FM.
Anyhow, overall I'd say it's a great little board if you can find one.
As the others have noted the output is absolutely noise free so if you want clean FM, this synth can provide it.
|Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Feb-20-2002 at 12:58|
|Armitage a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:|
Though limited in its on-board editing options, the YS-200 is able to receive SysEx-Data from other 4-Op Yamaha synths (DX 11, Tx81z,...) which have more parameters. Some of them like portamento are ignored but the original sound seems to be pretty good conserved. The onboard effects are sufficient to fatten up the sounds and make them appear more alive.
|Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Dec-13-2001 at 11:26|
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