How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Yamaha SY77 is a 16 voice multitimbral music workstation first produced by Yamaha Corporation in 1989. The SY77 is a synthesizer whose architecture combines AFM (Advanced Frequency Modulation) synthesis, AWM2 (Advanced Wave Memory 2) for ROM-borne sample-based synthesis, and the combination of these two methods christened Realtime Convolution and Modulation Synthesis (RCM).

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RichieP
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How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by RichieP » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:36 pm

I took my SY77 (cased) out of the garage a few weeks back. I have owned it since 1990, but in the last 10 years it has seen little use. I had forgotten that the disk unit had stopped working some time back which was dis-heartening as I was keen to resurrect some of the songs I had laid down 20 years ago to impress my 15 year old son with what this amazing machine could do. Then I came across this great forum where it described how to fix the disk, and with a relatively small outlay on a new drive belt and a little bit of screw-drivering I managed to get it all working again. Big thanks to the folks on the forum who described how to do it.

Needless to say, my 15 year old was impressed and spent seven straight hours on Sunday, laying down his own tracks.

Now my SY77 is up and running again, I wondered if anyone could describe what pieces of equipment and software would be needed to allow me to hook up and interface with a PC ? I have never made music on a PC or controlled a MIDI devicewith a PC so while reasonably computer literate, I am pretty clueless in this space.

Would welcome any suggestions

Thanks
db7

Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by db7 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Unless you have any hardware for your computer with its own MIDI or joystick connector, you will need a USB-to-MIDI cable. Do not buy one of the extremely cheap ones from eBay, Amazon, et al. because they almost always prove to be completely incompetent when it comes to System Exclusive (sysex/bulk data) and sometimes for normal notes and suchlike too. I have used a MIDISPORT by M-Audio, although apparently it contains lead, as a friend of mine made sure to admonish me after I recommended it without having noticed that. I doubt it really matters to health, but there it is as a caveat emptor just in case.

Then you need to get a program that can send the right handshakes to the 77 so that you can send/request data to/from it via System Exclusive. Two that come to mind are SY Manager by FM-Alive (Jon Morgan) and sy.factory by Derek Cook, who is a moderator here. Or you could program your own! Which is always fun, as I can attest. :roll:
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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by Derek » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:19 pm

Hello and welcome.

To add to the good advice that DB7 has given you, to me, it's not clear what you want to do with regards to hooking up the excellent SY77 to the PC.

Is it to back up your patches and songs and to send new ones to the keyboard? In that case all of the above advice covers that, or do you want to move into the world of PC sequencing/song writing, using the SY77 as a sound source in addition to other keyboards, samples etc.? To do that you need the MIDI interface as described and you need a sequencer, which can be a major investment.

I use Cubase user myself and have done since 2001, so I'm unlikely to change product line due to the time investment in it. You can download a trial version here.

http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/cubase/trial.html

A lot of people say good things about Reaper, which you can also try, and is substantially cheaper than the sequencers from the big players like Steinber, Logic (OSX only), Pro-Tools, etc., with a $60 fee for non commercial use.

http://www.cockos.com/reaper/

For a free alternative, then i hear good things about mu.lab

http://www.mutools.com/mulab-product.html

Good to see your 15 year old enjoying a classic synth, that still holds its own against what is on the market myself. I have a TG77 and SY99 myself (amongst other things), and would not be without them now.

it's always good to get feedback that people find the guides useful as well. :)
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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by Derek » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:46 pm

db7 wrote: I have used a MIDISPORT by M-Audio, although apparently it contains lead, as a friend of mine made sure to admonish me after I recommended it without having noticed that. I doubt it really matters to health, but there it is as a caveat emptor just in case.
At the risk of going off topic, I'd advise anybody with an interest in questioning what they are fed by the media/politicians, etc., to read a copy of "Scared To Death" by Christopher Booker, which covers, amongst other things, how we came to the ROSH and WEE directives and how they are based on (if you believe the book) flawed research by one "expert".

That's not to say or deny that lead can be a nasty substance if overexposed to it (too much of anything can be bad for you), but if you read this book, you won't know whether to laugh, cry or be mad about the scare mongering that becomes flawed policy that asserts more and more control over our lives. It covers all the "classic" scares, from BSE, Salmonella, Listeria, DDT, Lead, Passive smoking, Asbestos (did you know that most asbestos is harmless?), Climate Change, Road Safety (including the "speed kills" fallacy) and organophosphates (e.g. sheep dip). The last one is an interesting reverse example of what is a genuine danger being hushed up by the politicians after the initial scare was supressed. What is amazing is the constant pattern of the scares and how they evolve and then self perpetuate are very consistent.

Maybe something for further discussion on the "Don't Get Me Started Forum" :)
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Derek Cook

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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by jima » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:05 pm

I would second db7's recommendation for the MidiSport. I run a MidiSport Uno, a MidiSport 4x4 and a MidiSport 8x8/s and they all perform flawlessly. The Uno particularly for QAD hookups is great. As to his warnings about lead well, over-exaggerated in my view but if you really care just put it in your will that it should be preserved for posterity and it will never enter the eco-cycle :) I preserve way more lead-containing vintage computers and equipment than I contribute to landfill but I'm also with Derek about not going off-topic so a subject for a different forum methinks!
Jim
Yamaha EX5, AN1X, TG500, Moog Werkstatt, Korg Wavestation SR, Sigma, Legacy Digital, Nord G2 Engine, Focusrite PRO 40, MIDISPORT 8x8/s, Uno
Loves keyboards but so little time :(
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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by Derek » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:03 pm

Yeah, MOTU stuff is pretty good for interfaces. I have their MIDI Express 128 which does most of the MIDI interfacing in my studio. Also have an EMU1212M which is my main sound card which also has a MIDI Port and a Focusrite Saffire (in my gigging rig). My Line Pod X3 also proves to be a very good USB Audio/MIDI interface as well.

PS: Jim is preserving some of my fully leaded Commodore Amigas that needed to go to a good home.... ;)
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Derek Cook

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http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by Clyde » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:09 am

Hi Richie,
Welcome to the Forums! I think you've gotten good information to point you in the right direction. I'm another SY77 user that has owned one since '89/'90.
Clyde
DX7IIFD, SY77, SY99, Hammond C3, Steinway L, CP300, AW1600, etc.
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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by RichieP » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:47 pm

Thanks very much to all of you.
This is also my first time in any online user forum of any kind and I just hope they are all provide such rapid and quality responses as this :)

To Derek's clarifying question, I would at some point like to have the ability to do sequencing/song writing on the PC, at least to experiment, but initially I think my first steps will be to manage the songs/patches. Once I have built some confidence there, then hopefully I can move to the next stage.

I am also harbouring thoughts of purchasing a reaonable quality Digital Piano with weighted keys and action, which will have MIDI capability so the interface options listed in the thread with multiple MIDI scokets seems like a good plan.

Thanks again
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Re: How to connect SY77 to PC ?

Unread post by Dylancat » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:41 pm

I know this is a really old message, but where did you get the info on how to fix disk drive - min's bust too!
Ta
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