Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

The Yamaha SY99 is a synthesiser combining frequency modulation synthesis (branded as Advanced FM) and sample-based synthesis (branded as Advanced Wave Memory 2) and the direct successor to Yamaha's SY77/TG77

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dlmorley
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Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by dlmorley » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:43 pm

Hi all
I am considering buying an SY99 but it is ROM V 1.13 (seq 1.10) Are there any REAL world issues with the earlier ROMs? Can I upgrade to later ROM versions easily?
Many thanks
David



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Derek
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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by Derek » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:18 pm

Hi,

Versions prior to 1.57 have some sample management issues, so it depends on how much you plan to use custom samples. Availability of ROM upgrades would be the challenge, and from memory 1.57 requires further upgrades on the motherboard, so not really an option.

OS upgrades on old Yamaha kit usually fix some pretty esoteric issues that few people ever see in practice - i.e. the early versions are not bug ridden.

If it's a nice clean SY99, I'd still consider it - and I've never worried about OS versions when looking for old synths.

HTH


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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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dlmorley
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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by dlmorley » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:24 pm

Thanks Derek.
That's what I thought it might be. I might use a few samples but I doubt the sampling side would be used much.
Thx!
Derek wrote:Hi,

Versions prior to 1.57 have some sample management issues, so it depends on how much you plan to use custom samples. Availability of ROM upgrades would be the challenge, and from memory 1.57 requires further upgrades on the motherboard, so not really an option.

OS upgrades on old Yamaha kit usually fix some pretty esoteric issues that few people ever see in practice - i.e. the early versions are not bug ridden.

If it's a nice clean SY99, I'd still consider it - and I've never worried about OS versions when looking for old synths.

HTH



dlmorley
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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by dlmorley » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:50 pm

Hi. Figured I'd report back.
Well I'm an SY99 owner. It's actually quite tatty (end cheeks cracked and missing bits and a couple of cigarette burns) but hey..it works.
A couple of issues. It needs a new backlight and aftertouch not working.
Backlight is ok. I'll order one from Midi Rakette as I did this for my MPC60 and Emulator III without problem)
Concerning the aftertouch though, I looked inside and not only was the aftertouch strip sliced between the keyboard and circuit board, the wires coming from the small circuit board to the main circuit boards inside (orange, white and blue) have been cut so there is no connector! Odd as if you didn't want it connected (perhaps the aftertouch was freaking out) you could just unclip the connector. In any case, I'll try and find a connector and reconnect.
I only paid £220 in euros, so not the end of the world..but a bit of a pita with the aftertouch issue..
Cheers
David



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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by scottrod » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:30 pm

SY99 - 1.jpg
SY99 Guts
David:

Since you've replaced a couple of backlights, it sounds like you know what you're doing, but be prepared for some serious surgery with the SY99. I've done it twice and that's enough for me. You almost have to dismantle it completely.

There's an online tutorial by Christopher Baxter floating around the web which pretty much lays out the procedure. In his article, Step 1 is "Decide if you really want to do this", and I have to agree. It's easily the most complicated procedure I've ever performed on a synth. The SY99 is a masterpiece of circuit board nesting and shielding engineering. It took me a solid weekend, two 8 to 10-hour days as I recall, but I was doing both units at the same time.

Went fine in the end, no leftover screws! :mrgreen:

Edit: I did have one with a hum afterward that turned out to be a bad connection on the backlight power connector. Make sure it's well plugged in.



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Derek
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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by Derek » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:55 am

Congratulations on your purchase. The SY77 I purchased in 2007 was really tatty, but it cleaned up well. I was lucky to get an SY99 in good condition a few years back for £250 and a day trip to Anglesey to collect it! Given they go for over £400, then £220 is not a bad price for the condition.

As well as the link the Scottrod provided re baclkight replacement, I have one as well http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk/Do ... pgrade.pdf

Even if you are not doing the cool blue mod (highly recommended) it shows you how to get into the display.

That is crazy about the aftertouch. 8O There's no logic to do it!


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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: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by Derek » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:03 am

dlmorley wrote:Thanks Derek.
That's what I thought it might be. I might use a few samples but I doubt the sampling side would be used much.
Thx!
Derek wrote:Hi,

Versions prior to 1.57 have some sample management issues, so it depends on how much you plan to use custom samples. Availability of ROM upgrades would be the challenge, and from memory 1.57 requires further upgrades on the motherboard, so not really an option.

OS upgrades on old Yamaha kit usually fix some pretty esoteric issues that few people ever see in practice - i.e. the early versions are not bug ridden.

If it's a nice clean SY99, I'd still consider it - and I've never worried about OS versions when looking for old synths.

HTH
Sorry, missed this reply. :oops:

The following is an extract from the sy.factory user manual, documenting the sample problems I found during development
MIDI Sample Dump Standard Loop Point Messages Not Supported
Sadly the SY99 does not seem to support the transmission or reception of these MIDI SDS messages. So whilst sy.factory can edit loop points, you cannot synchronise them to the SY99, unless you delete the sample on the SY99 and resend the sample
MIDI Sample Dump Standard Bug
Some versions of the SY99 operating system (1.24 and previous I think) can corrupt Samples in TNN files for samples 54 and above. The effect is that you cannot send these samples via MIDI Sample Dump Standard, and if you try and receive the Sample from the SY99, the receiving program (e.g sy.factory) will think it is receiving a very, very large sample, and the transfer never completes
You Cannot overwrite an Existing Sample
The SY99 does not allow you to overwrite an existing Sample when sending a Sample via MIDI Sample Dump Standard; it will put the sample in the next free sample slot. If you want to send a Sample to a location that already has a Sample in it, you will need to delete it first.
Problems with Certain Sample Frequencies
If the Sample has a playback rate lower than 21KHz then the pitch code calculations will be significantly wrong.
You can see that most of the issues relate to transfer of samples via MIDI SDS, and the big issue is corruption of header info (not the sample itself) for sample slots 54 and above. Given the limited sample memory capacity (but check out Sector 101s SEMB expansion card!) you rarely see of that quantity in the SY, so you're unlikely to hit the issue in practice

HTH.


Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
http://www.ex5tech.com

dlmorley
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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by dlmorley » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:34 pm

Thanks guys. Yes, I read that it is a pain to change the backlight but as long as it is just time rather than complex technical work, I'll probably do it. Having said that, the screen is totally readable.
Cheers
David



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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by tux » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:39 pm

I'd suggest the Sector101 Waveblade card as a better alternative for custom samples on the SY99 as it avoids all those MIDI SDS bugs that Derek mentioned and gives you 8 MB to play with, instead of 3.5 MB and it works with several other Yamaha synth too, so you get more use out of it.

http://www.sector101.co.uk/waveblade.html


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Re: Yamaha SY99 ROM 1.13 vs later?

Unread post by Derek » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:55 pm

tux wrote:I'd suggest the Sector101 Waveblade card as a better alternative for custom samples on the SY99 as it avoids all those MIDI SDS bugs that Derek mentioned and gives you 8 MB to play with, instead of 3.5 MB and it works with several other Yamaha synth too, so you get more use out of it.

http://www.sector101.co.uk/waveblade.html
Good point, but just to clarify, the MAX SY99 memory is 3MB (0.5MB internal and up to 5 0.5MB expansion cards). The DataBlade gives you 8MB but that is split into 4 2MB chunks and the max available to the SY 99is then 2MB and 0.5 MB internal. However, the SY internal memory of 0.5MB and the Wave blade 2MB addressable block is not contiguous in the way that the 0.5MB and 2.5MB of expansion cards are.

Of course the expansion cards and Data Blade give you the maximum amount possible in an SY99 :)


Regards
Derek Cook

http://www.carregddu.co.uk
http://www.echoes-music.co.uk
http://www.xfactory-librarians.co.uk
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