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Can you remember it all??

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby desmond » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:00 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Recorded in Replay 16 on the Atari ST and transferred to the 4Mb sample RAM over MIDI (it took ages to transfer!)

Heh, I remember this well - I used an RM50 (drum module that uses the same engine as the TG500, the rackmount version of the SY85), and had the sample ram in it, and I also used the MIDI SDS using Replay 16 and a cool SDS tool for the Atari at the time called SampleC...

Those Replay 16 carts were dreadful though... :headbang:
But hey, it was an awful lot cheaper than an S1000...
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:47 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:[*]The track https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/raven is 100% a direct-to-stereo recording of the the SY85's onboard sequencer
Straight onto my 'keeper' list!!!

Brilliant - right up my street!
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby Folderol » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:16 pm

He's not just a pretty face is he? hadn't spotted this one before, really enjoyed it.
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:35 pm

blinddrew wrote:Somewhat randomly, can anyone else tell from the mouth shape that the person in Martin's gif (I know not who it is) is pronouncing the last word 'gaaaad'?
It struck me straightaway and now I'm strangely fascinated.

I suspect he's American ;)


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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:03 pm

Indeed, it's just never been quite so obvious to me on a gif.

Anyway getting back on topic, just listening to The Raven now, very work Mr Deegan. :)
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:55 pm

Thank you for the lovely feedback all - the main point was to give some credence to my love of the SY85, but it's always nice to hear people like one's work. It's been too long (about 2 years I think) since I did anything new and I need badly to get more stuff recorded :D
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby zenguitar » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:52 am

Eddy, one of my long term projects has been to 'get my head around' FM synthesis. Obviously, the DX7 is a classic, and also has a great reputation for it's keyboard as a controller. But how does the SY77 compare? I seem to recall reading that it is a bit of a hidden gem, DX7 on steroids and a very good keybed too.

It would be useful and interesting to hear your opinions.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:36 am

You have to love a bit of FM synthesis really ... though as for 'getting your head around it' I've always found that when editing a sound, what you may have had in mind as the result is far from what you end up with, the smallest changes affecting the sound greatly. This of course is part of the fun!

Describing the SY77 as a DX9 on steroids sums it up quite well really. The keybed is virtually effortless to play - a really nice feel actually, and perfect for fast playing. I prefer it to the Motif keyboards (even the new ones, up to and including the Montage). I'd say the closest feel to any other board I've owned is the keybed you get with the 73-note Korg M3/Radias, but that's probably quite subjective, and in my case once I'm in the zone on a synth I don't really notice the feel of a keybed any more, it's all about the noises.

Given the similarity of the FM architecture, I'd choose an SY77 over the DX any day of the week. I'm pretty sure it can do anything that a DX can do plus of course you have the AWM section, onboard FX (which are not bad considering) and sequencer to supplement things as well as the more powerful FM section (same number of operators but more algorithms and variations of source waveforms)

It's also got two modulation wheels (in addition to the pitchbend) which is something I'd like to see on more synths. One is neutral when centred (thus has positive and negative throw) and the other is the usual neutral-when-all-the-way down - it's surprisingly useful for creative performance purposes though it's 50/50 that you'll grab the wrong one when you forget there are two :-)

Sound-wise, I like it a great deal. If I was an FM expert I suspect I'd love it like I love the SY85 - though it's less of a 'wall of sound' than the SY85 (hehe), it's a very different animal, has a certain something about it and does all the usual things you'd expect from a really good FM synth, plus a few you only get from an exceptional one (mmm... RCM and multiple feedback loops!).

I've still not spent as much time with it as I'm intending to, but I'm looking forward to creating some new sounds myself (and trying to recreate an amazing lead sound I had on the DX9 and haven't been able to get anything close to since) and using them in some new music. I can tell from the manual it's got a lot of depths to explore.

Build-wise it's not quite as tank-like as the DX7 but it's still a solid bit of gear. I suspect the weak points would be the screen/backlight and microswitches as both have suffered a little over the years on mine. I'm planning to replace the backlight on mine for sure - and may end up giving it some replacement switches as well.

Overall my feeling is that the presence of an SY77 pretty much renders the presence of a DX9 unnecessary.

(I've pondered trying to pick up an SY99, but I think that would be overkill given the other SYs I have floating around the place!)

Dave may well have more opinions all round of course ... and I'd be interested to hear them if he does :tongue:
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:01 am

PS: You might find the FM sections of this an interesting read by the way, if you haven't found it already: http://www.herbert-janssen.de/doc/sy-prog.pdf
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby Dave B » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:21 am

I'm pretty much in agreement - the 77 is a great machine and a bit of a beast. The 99 is also worth having as it has some sample memory that you can use to drive the operators. So in theory it's a monster, but I suspect that only a handful of people ever really pushed it hard and the rest of us just loved playing it. For the time, it had a great Rhodes and a nice dirty organ that were eminently playable. And the rest of the stuff.

As to learning FM programming, my starting recommendation is always to get the dexedit plugin and go through that as it shows you in a very pretty way what all the controls do. And it sounds perfect. If you 'get' FM, you quickly can move on to something like the 77/99 and combining with AWM gets you much better sounds than FM alone. If you don't 'get' FM (and many people don't - I've only got a shaky grasp of it and only got that as I learned on an old CX5M computer with a 4op editor) then you've not wasted any investment in old hardware that may be fickle to shift.
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Re: Can you remember it all??

Postby zenguitar » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:17 pm

Thanks Eddy and Dave, really helpful. That PDF looks really useful too.

:clap:

Andy :beamup:
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