Said the YAMAHA YS200 to the lesser-endowed synthesizers!
The YS200 is one of the lesser-known YAMAHA FM synths, and that's a pity cause it's by far one of the best FM synths out there (the best IMHO), here's why:
- Biggest knob of any synthesizer known to mankind, so has no problem attracting lady synthesizers.
- Makes simplified FM programming as easy as editing envelopes, LFO's, and timbre, with dedicated buttons for each.
- Has an aftertouch keybed, velocity, twin wheels, and breath input.
- It's an FM synth with a built-in delay, reverb, and distortion effects processor (something the DX7 lacks).
- It's an FM synth with a built-in multi-track sequencer, a powerful one (something the DX7 lacks).
- It's an FM synth with selectable waveforms for the operators (something the DX7 lacks).
- It's an FM synth that looks so fucking ugly, it's beauitiful in an industrial kinda way (whoever designed it clearly has kick-ass design skills).
The above image is taken from a website about it, which you can find here:
The YS200 is also available without the sequencer in the form of the YS100, but the sound engine is the same, and both have the same fantastic-sounding DAC:
You might be wondering why I posted this, well it's simple really, I have always thought it odd that during this FM revival, one of the best FM machines around gets completely ignored. This is actually one of two machines I have but have never mentioned before (I'll reveal the other next month in a new thread). The reason I don't use this machine is I hate having to lean over one keyboard to get at the other. If I were to use this machine again, it's specification (especially due to having a powerful sequencer on-board), would mean the QY700 and the SX-P30 would effectively be duplication of functionality.
In other words, if I were to use it again, the only gear I'd need for a complete setup would be this for synth and sequencer, the A3000 for sampler and mastering, and the MT8X for recording. That would be a complete hardware studio right there (one perfect for creating 80s music).
These are getting quite rare now, mainly because those that have them have started holding onto them. The reasons for that will vary, but read that list above and it doesn't take a genius to understand why. One final thing I would like to point out about this machine is that Yamaha were kinda careless when they wrote the manual for it. You'll notice that people often complain that the editing was a bit limited. This is actually not true at all, its just done different cause the whole point of the OS on this machine was to make FM easy to program. The problem is the manual fails to point out two very important things. The first is that detailed editing functions can be got at simply by starting the edit with any sound that features the specific options you require. Another thing they failed to point out is that edits you make on this machine are 'accumulative'. I'll try to explain this as best I can. People think that when you reach the highest value of a parameter on this thing, that they have reached the actual limit of the parameter itself, but they haven't. What you do is re-enter the parameter you're editing and the value will reset to zero while leaving the curent edit in place, meaning that you can push the parameter up or down from zero to whatever value you want again. You can repeat this process up to a value, if I recall, that is ten times what you think you can on the first "accumulation". Programming this thing compared to a DX7 is a dream come true, and once you understand those two things I just pointed out, you can get the sound you want quite easy, even using basic synthesis type parameters to do it. Having a built-in reverb running on the same clock as the FM synthesis itself, is also something not to be sniffed at. There's something about it you just don't get when you put it through a separate reverb running on a different clock. This machine also has the most fantastic-sounding DACs, and don't forget, it's a 4-OP engine that has a nice trick up it's sleeve due to having multiple waveforms available to the operators, not just a sinewave. I remember I created the most incredible, dynamic, distorted guitar on this thing, best one I ever heard from any synth even if I do say so myself!
So anyway, this was a geeky, show-offy kinda post looking at a lesser-known machine, part one of two, the second of which will reveal a super-rare machine to geek-out over next month!