polynominal logo
Synthesizers Drum machines Samplers Effects 8-16bits+ toys HOME

Yamaha SY99




yamaha sy99
info Country: Japan
Weight: 20 Kg
Dimensions: 254 (w) x 407 (h) x 120 (d) mm
audio demo trend price : 500€
manual factory patch demo video comments

Yamaha SY99
Music Synthesizer (1991)


Impressive and complex workstation based on a mix of FM + PCM samples playback.

Even if time has passed the Sy99 remains a true digital masterpiece.

fm vintage synt
fm vintage synt

info KEYBOARD 76 dynamic keys with aftertouch.
The main panel features a 240 x 40 pixels display, 64 buttons, a data encoder, 2 volume sliders for individual outs and 3 wheels: pitchbender, modulation 1 (or assignable) and modulation 2 (or assignable).

Back panel terminal connectors:
- main out
- aux out
- Midi Interface
- breath controller input
- headphones
- volume pedal input
- assignable pedal input.



edit TECH
main cores CPU H8/532  + HD63C0 + HD63B1 manage 32 voices or elements; DAC system based on Burr Brown PCM56P + YM3029.

SYNTHESIS The SY workstation is able to generate 2 main syntheses:
- AWM2 PCM samples (16 voices)
- AFM FM frequency modulation (16 voices) + RCM convolution this special FM functions allows to use an internal noise generator or a sample element AWM as modulator input for an OP .


edit STRUCTURE A basic patch is composed by / 2 / 4 elements from different syntheses according to 10 structures. NOTE: RCM algorithms number 9 and 10 use a PCM voice or an imported sample as an FM modulator (but not as carrier) to an operator.

1 1 X AFM - mono
2 2 X AFM - mono
3 4 X AFM - mono
4 1 X AFM - poly
5 2 X AFM - poly
6 1 X AWM - poly
7 2 X AWM - poly
8 4 X AWM - poly
9 1 X AFM + 1 X AWM - poly RCM
10 2 X AFM + 2 X AWM - poly RCM


edit AWM PCM SAMPLES the intenal 8 MB ROM wavetable contains 267 PCM waveforms coded at maximum 48 kHz at 16 bits based on AWM2 synthesis (at IC YM7119)

The internal wavetable is organized into 4 main categories:
- acoustic instruments e.g piano, trumpet, reed, bass...
- drum set shots
- basic waves e.g sawtooth, square...
- transients.


SY engine imports waveforms in 3 ways:
- standard SDS Midi dump (1)
- disk floppies also TX16W compatible (2)
- PCM cards from other AWM2 compliant machines like SY55, SY85 or SY-77 (3).

import samples

edit EXPANSION a collection of set of DATA / DATA +PCM cards were available.
The Sy99 is fully complatibile with both SY/Tg77 PCM+ data cards (it needs special import) but also with AW2 PCM cards like RY30 or TG/Sy55 systems

ID n card name Publisher pic  
S7701 2 Sax1 Yamaha pic FOR SALE!
S7702 2 Drum1 Yamaha pic  
W7751 2 Rock Yamaha pic  
S7704 2 Brass Yamaha pic  
S7705 2 String Section Yamaha pic  
W7731 2 Synwave1 Yamaha pic  
W7732 2 Synwave2 Yamaha pic  
W7752 2 House and Latin Yamaha pic  
VC7701 1 Shofuku ACT-1  Yamaha pic  
VC7702 1 Shofuku ACT-2 
Yamaha pic  
VC7703 1 R&D Tokyo Selection Vol.1 Studio Player Yamaha    
VC7704 1 R&D Tokyo Selection Vol.2 90's Pop Source Yamaha    
VC7705 1 JSPA Selection Vol.1 Four Seasons Yamaha    
VC7706 1 JSPA Selection Vol.2 Brand New Sound Yamaha    
VC7707 1 R&D Tokyo Selection Vol.3 Synth Ethnic Yamaha    
VC7708 1 R&D Tokyo Selection Vol.4 Super Pad Yamaha    

edit AFM FM
is generated by IC YM7107 (FM EG by YM7103) is improved from traditional YAMAHA DX7 engine: each of the 6 FM operators uses one of 16 waveforms with variable phase (sinewave + 15 harmonic tonal variations, generated reading the internal halfsine ROM lookup table in different manners / speed) interconnected to together in 45 FM algorithms or signal paths.
Sinewave + 15 harmonic variations demo HEAR


Special FREE ALGORITHM EDIT mode allows to freely connect FM elements for custom-user algorithms using only Midi exclusive systems (note that some illogical connections won't be permitted by SY99).
Each operator has 2 inputs which can be modulated by feedback from any other OP, from a digital white noise or an internal PCM AWM waveform. Check out some RCM in the DEMO section.

edit PERFORMANCE up to 16 tracks, 4 split zones and 4 patches per layer.
Each layer features an amplitude EG bias and a programmable stereo pan movement with 64 motion envelope presets.
special tuning allows 64 editable slots with pre-loaded most common scales.

sy99 tech


engine features 2 digital resonant filters at -12 dB each routable in cascade mode for a total -24/dB routed in serial or parallel mode:
A- filter 1 is set to lowpass mode
B- filter 2 is either lowpass or highpass.


cv LFO various modulators depending on the synthesis:
- LFO AWM: 3 modulators with 5 shapes with variable phase attack: triangle, saw, square, sinusoidal and sample & hold. LFO AWM have 3 possible destinations: pitch, amplitude and filter.
- LFO AFM: 3 modulators same as AWM + 1 extra sub LFO routed to vibrato (only 4 waveforms)
- LFO PAN: 2 extra-oscillators used for panning motion and effects modulation for both AWM and AFM.



various EGs depending on the synthesis:
- EG1 AWM amplitude: is split into attack and hold, 5-segments each
- EG2 AWM pitch: same structure as EG1 AWM
- EG3 AWM filter 1: 7-segments
- EG4 AWM filte r2: 7-segments
- 1 EG AFM pitch: 4-segments structure + 4 time levels
- 6 EG AFM OP: 4-segments structure + 4 time levels
- 1 EG AFM filter1: 7-segments
- 1 EG AFM filter2: 7-segments.


filter EFFECT
very high-quality double DSP - SEEMS - derived from famous YAMAHA SPX-990 multieffect with serial or parallel mode. The digital processor features 63 editable effects e.g reverb, delay, leslie, distortion, ringmodulator, Aphex enhancer, pitch shifter, EQ, flanger and chorus.


filter SEQUENCER main features are: 16 tracks - 99 patterns - 27000 notes - 10 songs.
Main edit functions are: punch IN-OUT steps, quantizes, swings, metronome click and full Midi SMF standard support import / export.
MIDI full Sysex implementation, but few Midi CC#. Some internal Midi utility tools like Sysex recorder, flow data monitoring, events filter and special not-so-common Transform from Control change X to Y function.

sy99 motherboard

filter MEMORY
- 128 ROM patches
- 64 RAM patches
- 512 Kb sample RAM.
Patch RAM doubled if MCD-64 card is present, sample RAM is upgradable using modules SYEMB-05 up to a maximum of 5 modules for a total of 3 MB of RAM. Data can be saved 720 Kb floppy drive compatible to MS-DOS File system.
Battery replacement: RAM system features 2 XCR-2032 battery soldered to the board.

sy99 motherboard


filter MAINTENANCE there are 2 common issues:
- Floppy drive stops working: Mitsumi model based on a belt traction that dries in time and breaks, but easy to fix with new belt replacement. It is also possible to install an USB pen drive emulator, a hard job since drive pinouts and connectors are different from standard and a rewiring is needed.
- Display backlight: fades away, once again there are many cheap third-part -foil replacement on the market, basic soldering skills are needed as well as some patience to disassemble the synthesizer.




yamaha sy77

SY77 a more affordable version with same RCM synthesis.Relative rackmount is the TG77

sy99 vs sy77 The 77 features a smaller wavetable, no sample import and different sound fx engine.

yamaha sy22 SY22 (1990) vectorial synth: a mix of FM and PCM synthesis. Upgraded later to SY-35.
Module version is TG33
yamaha sy85 SY85 (1992) last of the SY : plain rompler with sample import. Relative module version is TG500
yamaha montage Montage (2016) this new workstation SHOULD includes PCM+ FM. A new Sy99? will see that!



demo factory song demo
demo demo song by yamaha
demo demo song funk 1 *
demo demo song supersynth 1 *
demo Piano: DX tines
demo Organ: Bach Pipe
demo Bass: analog
demo Bass: quick
demo Bass: minimoog
demo Synth: arpbass
demo Synth: FM
demo Synth: harp in space
demo Synth: imperial
demo Synth: lead delay
demo Synth: vintage lead
demo Synth: O2
demo Synth: raw fm
demo Synth: sequenced
demo Synth: soft
demo Synth: vector FM
demo Synth: wavestation
demo Ambient: bells
demo Ambient: OP wind
demo Ambient: textures
demo Pad: mega lush
demo Pad: Blade walker
demo Pad: flanged
demo Pad: FMED
demo Pad: FMED 2
demo Pad: happy cpu
demo Pad: hollow
demo Pad: magic
demo Pad: pan trick
demo Pad: resonance LPF
demo Pad: rich
demo Pad: m1 superlore
demo Pad: choir
demo FX: evil FM
demo FX: metal FM
demo FX: noise daemon
demo FX: percussions
demo XP: all FM waves
demo XP: sample import C64 speech
demo XP: RCM - 2 waves then convolution 1
demo XP: RCM - 2 waves then convolution 2
demo XP: RCM - 2 waves then convolution 3
demo XP: RCM - 2 waves then convolution 4

* Kindly provided by Alfred Migs


YAMAHA SY99 PRIVATE SOUND PATCH DEMO ghost rider cover sy99 acoustic demo
PRIVATE SOUNDS ghost rider cover acoustic demo



Company: Yamaha Corp.
Model: SY-99
Class: Synthesizer
Keyboard: 76 keys
Dates: 1991
Price: 500€
Synthesis: HYBRID RCM
PCM Resolution: 16 bits
N. waves: 267 PCM
FM operators: 6
Polyphony: 32 voices
Multitimbric: 16 parts
Filter: low pass + high pass
LFO: 3
Sequencer: 16 tracks

Demo: 49



SY99 Factory patch


SY-99 RESET PROCEDURE[Voice]+[Bank D/EL4]+[8/OP 8]+ [COPY]

OS SY 99 - OS from 1.1 to last 1.5 known - upgrade is possible only installing new set of EPROMS.





original scan
filter original brochure


original scan
filter original brochure


YAMAHA SY99 For sale:

sy99 for sale











main board inside sy99 ym 3029


hybrid synth master
Hybrid freak Synth Master


REVIEW "All-time must from Yamaha: the best FM/ PCM mix. Programming is tough but the sound is impressive ... still today! Yamaha at top-level."

manual manual
-great quality sound - storage
- incredible power
- edit
-FX processor -bulky

Add Comment or Review



polynominal logo
      For sale Comment Contact
Synthesizers Drum machines Samplers Effects 8-16bits+ toys HOME

all snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

polynominal.com is not associated or affiliated with YAMAHA in any manner.

yamaha sy99 4.5 out of 5 based on 90 ratings. price €500