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Yamaha SY-99




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 comments

Yamaha SY-99
Music Synthesizer (1991)


Classic digital workstation based on a complex mix of FM + PCM samples playback.

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

fm vintage synt

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

Back panel terminal connections:
- main analog signal out
- aux analog out
- Midi Interface IN / OUT / THRU
- breath controller input
- headphones out
- volume pedal input
- assignable pedal input.



edit TECH
main cores CPU H8/532  (IC 128) + sub HD63C0 + HD63B1 manage 32 voices or so called "elements"- DAC system based on Burr Brown PCM56P + YM3029.

SYNTHESIS the whole polyphony is shared between 2 digital syntheses:


- AWM2 PCM samples

- AFM FM frequency modulation+ 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 SY99 patch is composed by 1 / 2 / 4 elements from different syntheses according to 10 soundpath structures (notes: 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.

01 1 X AFM - mono
02 2 X AFM - mono
03 4 X AFM - mono
04 1 X AFM - poly
05 2 X AFM - poly
06 1 X AWM - poly
07 2 X AWM - poly
08 4 X AWM - poly
09 1 X AFM + 1 X AWM - poly RCM
10 2 X AFM + 2 X AWM - poly RCM

the intenal 8 MB ROM wavetable contains 267 PCM waveforms coded at maximum 48 kHz at 16 bits based on AWM2 synthesis (YM7119 also digital filter).
The internal ROM 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:

1- standard SDS Midi dump

2- disk floppies also TX16W sampler compatible

3- PCM cards from other AWM2 compliant machines like SY55, SY85 or SY-77
import samples

edit EXPANSION a collection of set of DATA / DATA +PCM cards were available.
The Sy99 is fully complatible with both SY/Tg77 PCM+ data cards (it needs prior special import function) but also with AW2 PCM cards e.g. RY30 or TG/SY-55 systems

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

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 variations

import samples Special FREE ALGORITHM EDIT mode allows to freely connect FM elements for custom-user algorithms using only Midi exclusive systems. 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 demo HEAR RCM

system handles up to 16 tracks in mutitimbric modes and some special performance features:

sy99 tech - 4 split zones

- 4 patches per layer. Each layer features an amplitude EG bias and a programmable stereo pan movement with 64 motion envelope presets.

- special microtuning tuning allows 64 editable slots with pre-loaded most common scales.


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.

demo HEAR resonance

cv LFO various modulators depending on the synthesis:

- LFO AWM: 3 modulators, 5 shapes with variable phase attack: triangle, saw, square, sine and sample & hold. Destinations: pitch, amplitude and filter.
- LFO AFM: 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 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 filter 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.
demo HEAR FX rich phasing



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.
Sync: the internal sequencer can be hooked to external clock from other Midi systems

MIDI full Sysex implementation, but few Midi CC#.
filterSome 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

demo HEAR Yamaha original sequence


filter MEMORY :

sy99 motherboard

- 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. Finally whole data can be saved to 720 Kb floppy drive, which is compatible to MS-DOS File system.
filter Battery replacement: RAM system features 2 X CR-2032 battery soldered to the board.
- Click to enlarge pic -

filter MAINTENANCE 2 common issues:
- Floppy drive stops working with errors. Original Mitsumi MF-353C-62M 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 a standard PC disk drive or a USB drive emulator. Consider drive pinouts and connectors are different from standard and a rewiring is needed or a special 24 to 36 pin adapter DIY.


filter- 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

SY-77 a more affordable version with same RCM synthesis. Rackmount is the TG77
sy-99 vs sy-77 The 77 features a smaller wavetable, no sample import and different sound fx engine.

yamaha sy22 SY-22 (1990) vectorial synth: a mix of FM and PCM synthesis. Upgraded later to SY-35.
Module version is TG-33
yamaha sy85 SY-85 (1992) last of the SY : plain rompler with sample import. Relative module version is TG-500
yamaha montage Montage (2016) latest workstation . A new Sy99?


original scan original scan
sy99-cat yamaha sy99


Company: Yamaha
Model: SY-99
Class: Synthesizer
Keyboard: 76 keys
Dates: 1991
Display: 240 x 40 LCD
Synthesis: HYBRID RCM
PCM Resolution: 16 bits
N. waves: 267 PCM
ROM size: 8 mega
FM operators: 6 OP
Algorithms: 45 models
Polyphony: 32 voices
Multitimbric: 16 parts
Filter: low pass + high pass
LFO: 3 modulators
Sequencer: 16 tracks
Notes: 27000 max
Microtuning: 64 tables
Sync: Midi clock

CPU (main): H8/532


demo factory song demo
demo demo song by Yamaha
demo demo song funk 1 *
demo demo supersynth 1 *
demo demo seq turrican 2
demo Organ: Bach Pipe
demo Piano: DX tines
demo Synth: harp in space
demo Synth: FM
demo Synth: arpbass
demo Synth: wavestation
demo Synth: vector FM
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 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 Pad: stereo2
demo Pad: deep kaos
demo Bass: quick
demo Bass: minimoog
demo Bass: lately bass
demo Bass: digi
demo Bass: analog
demo Ambient: bells
demo Ambient: OP wind
demo Ambient: textures
demo FX: noise daemon
demo FX: percussions
demo FX: evil FM
demo FX: metal FM
demo XP: sample import C64 speech
demo XP: all FM waves
demo XP: bypass fx DSP
demo XP: RCM convolution 1
demo XP: RCM convolution 2
demo XP: convolution 3
demo XP: convolution 4

demohave some sy99







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.


edit Sample SHOP
edit Report Error


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. 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

The S99 represents a new generation of Yamaha synthesizers featuring the new realtime
Convolution and Modulation (RCM) hybrid tone generation system" - Yamaha Manual

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Yamaha SY-99 Yamaha SY-99
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