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Yamaha SY-55




Yamaha Sy55

info Country: Japan
Weight: 9,7 kg
Dimensions: 911 (w) x 90 (w) x 325 (d) mm
audio demo trend price : 150€
manual demo video comments

Yamaha SY-55
Music Synthesizer (1989)


Digital workstation based on samples-playback, digital filters and an 8 tracks-sequencer.

The first Yamaha rompler workstation, leaving the DX7 FM synthesis.


info KEYBOARD 61 velocity keys with aftertouch.
Main panel features a 16 X 2 display, 39 push buttons, 1 slider data and 2 wheels for modulation and pitchbending.

Rear panel terminal connectors:
- Midi interface
- breath controller input
- damp footswitch
- expression pedal input
- click out (metronome for sequencer)
- master audio outs
- headphones out
- 2 card slots for PCM waves and datas (see expansion)

TECH CPU H8/523 unit manages 16 voices polyphony based on 16-bits AW2 Advanced Wave Memory 2 synthesis (IC YM7119 also filter) the SY55 DAC is a Burr-Brown PCM56P.

sy55 architecture

STRUCTURE a patch main architecture is composed by 1, 2 or 4 PCM samples or ELEMENTS read out from internal ROM wavetable. Each PCM ELEMENT can be individually edited with various parameters:
- volume mix
- pitch tuning
- effect amount
- keyboard zone.
Note: special drum kit mode assigns 61 PCM in a single patch.

WAVETABLE internal 2 MB ROM contains 74 PCM waveforms sampled at 32 / 48 kHz organized 3 categories: acoustic, digital and drums. FULL INTERNAL PCM LIST

- 50 PCM acoustics samples e.g piano, organs, guitar, brass ... demo piano
- 8 PCM basic digital waves e.g sawtooth, square, pulse ... demo square
- 16 PCM various acoustic drums and percussions

EXPANSION a collection of set of DATA / DATA +PCM cards were available.
AI2 PCM cards are compatible between different Yamaha machines, so you can use SY-99 cards , TG77 RY30 on any 55 series

NAME n.cards model pic
Analog synthesizer sound by M. Shinoda 1 data VC5501W edit
Brass 1 data + 1 PCM S5504  
Digi synthesizer sound by M.Shinoda 1 data VC5502W edit
Drums 1 1 data + 1 PCM S5502 edit
Modern Artist Soudscape 1 data TG-502 edit
Modern Artist Soundsource 1 data - edit
Modern Rock classic Soundsource 1 data - edit
Rock Pop 1 data + 1 PCM S5551  
Sax 1 1 data + 1 PCM S5501 edit
Synth goes live 1 data EMS55-R002 edit
Synwave 1 1 data + 1 PCM S5531 edit

Note: This list is not complete.

data cards


edit PERFORMANCE multitimbric section manages 16 parts each with assigned reserved polyphony, tuning, pan position, volume and effect level.


TIP: the global pitch amount can be assigned to aftertouch or randomized for each note.

edit FILTER system is also based on a custom IC YM7119 featuring 2 digital resonant filters in cascade, each with a -12dB slope:
- Filter 1 mode is both lowpass and highpass
- Filter 2 mode is only lowpass.
TIP: Cutoff can be controller by LFO or dedicated EG, but not both at the same time.

filter 55
demo HEAR filter on choir

edit LFO single delayed digital modulator (shapes: saw up, saw down, triangle, sinewave, square, triangle and sample& hold) for each ELEMENT and 3 destinations:
- AMOD: LFO to amplitude
- PMOD: LFO to pitch
- CUTOFFMOD : LFO to filter cutoff
TIP: Frequency is the same for all destinations but depth amount is individual.

filter 55

demo HEAR sample and hold on filter

edit ENVELOPE 3 EG families per element:
- AEG amplitude : 4 segments + 5 levels and octave scaling setting.
- PEG pitch: 4 segments + 5 levels and octave scaling setting.
- CEG1 filter: 6 segments + 5 levels and octave scaling with special breakpoints
- CEG2 filter: 6 segments + 5 levels and octave scaling with special breakpoints

edit SEQUENCER manages up to 8 tracks, recording mode in either step mode or real-time with a 1/48 resolution max. The time signature can be user defines in quite all manners (including 1/4, 4/4, 1/8/, 8/8,1/16, 16/16) in addition it is possible to used dotted, triples and ties.


Some extra sequencer functions like: event filter, track mixdown, insert, copy, delete and note gate time. Internal tempo rate range from 30 to 260 BMP.
SYNC: sequencer can be slaved to external Midi clock.

editEFFECT the DSP YM 3413 handles 34 fully editable effects including: reverb (x8), delay, stereo panning delay, gate and digital distortion. Full LIST


demo HEAR distortion

editMIDI special CONTROLLER section (in utility mode) allows to assign some parameters like filter cutoff, volume, modulations to any control changes on the Midi list.
Full sysex implementation is supported.

edit EDIT many external editors:
- Midiquest
(mac/pc commerical )
- MET-55 for (Atari ST) PIC
- Sound diver (PC-MAC)
- Tg-55 editor (win 3.11)
- Tg-55 (linux) PIC
- CTRLR controller


edit MEMORY:
- 64 ROM patches (PRESET LIST)
- 64 RAM patches
- 16 ROM performances
- 16 RAM performances
- 999 sequencer measures
- 8000 sequencer notes.
RAM is doubled using memory cards model MDC-32 or MDC-64.

yamaha sy55 battery replacement
UPPER - Battery replacement: A cr2032 3V soldered to mainboard



edit MODDING: we did circuit bent a poor Sy55 for your pleasure! some rich digital textures and glitched noises are at fingertips. More demo below.

circuit bent
demo CIRCUIT BENT audio




yamaha tg55

TG-55 same synthesis engine with less controls, no more sequencer but extra analog outs. DAC is not BB but analog devices- maybe depends on revision boards?

yamaha sy22 SY-22 (1990) vectorial synth: a mix of FM and PCM synthesis. Upgraded later to Sy35.
Module version is TG-33
yanaha sy77 SY-77 (1989) workstation. RCM synthesis (PCM+FM). Module version is TG-77
yamaha sy99 SY-99 (1991) flagship of the Sy series with FM + RCM convolution and samples import.
yamaha sy85 SY-85 (1992) last of the SY : plain rompler with sample import. Relative Sy85 module version is TG-500



effet VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there are some free and commercial samples set but no VST plugin: :

  name price demo
FREE freewavesamples some free basic Sy/tg 55 samples n/a




demo factory song 1
demo factory song 2
demo factory song 3
demo sy55+WX controller (yamaha cd)*
demo piano: l'après MIDI
demo piano: tines ep
demo organ: B3
demo organ: pipe + string layer + vcf
demo brass: 90
demo bass: analog
demo bass: wet
demo Synth: vectorial wavestation
demo Synth: delay meloldy
demo Synth: tv 1972
demo Synth: sample and hold
demo Synth: square from 1982
demo Synth: distortion
demo Synth: saw reverb
demo Pad: oldschool chill out
demo Pad: chorused
demo Pad: filter AWM
demo Pad: speaking cymbal
demo Pad: modulated
demo Pad: mellow cherry
demo Pad: detuned saw
demo Pad: galway like saw
demo Choir 1 short stack
demo Choir 2 slow heaven
demo Choir 3 EG VCF
demo Choir 4 harmonic
demo Ambient: space hulk
demo Ambient: insane
demo Ambient: lunatic
demo Ambient: reverse bubble
demo Ambient: rumble resonance
demo Ambient: sparkling
demo Ambient: put the lotion in the basket
demo FX: driller

* thanks to Alfred Migs


sy55 filter Yamaha SY55 original song Yamaha SY55 Sound Demo
filter original song Sound Demo

Company: Yamaha
Model: SY-55
Class: Synthesizer
Keyboard: 61 dynamic keys
Dates: 1989
Price: 150€
Synthesis: PCM rompler
Resolution: 16 bits
N.sounds: 74 PCM
Polyphony: 16 voices
Multitimbric: 16 parts
Oscillator: 4 PCM
Filter: Digital Low pass
LFO: 1 modulator
Envelope: 3 EGs
Sequencer: 8 tracks
Sync: Midi
CPU: H8/523
Demo: 42





DOWNLOAD 400 free SY55 patches !

free korg m3r patches




1.Turn Power on, wait for display to initialize and enter normal mode.
2.While pressing the [SELECT] switch, press and hold the [EXIT] switch, then the [Utility] switch. You will now see the ROM version and date.
3.To reset to FACTORY SETTINGS, press the [EXIT] switch, which will execute test 31 – Factory Settings. Test mode will then exit


- free sample set


sy55 banner



brochure sy55
edit original advert

brochure sy55
edit original Brochure




sy55 banner

Yamaha SY55 FOR SALE

yamaha sy 55 for sale





sy55 banner


sy55 banner

cpu memory yamaha ym7119
pad machine



REVIEW "Good 90' sweeping pads for really cheap!"

manual manual
-filters -polyphony
-sweep pads
-few interesting waves


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Yamaha SY-55 Yamaha SY-55 Digital Synthesizer
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