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Yamaha TG77 (Frequency Modulation)

The TG77, along with it's keyboard sibling the SY77, represented the pinnacle of Frequency Modulation (FM) Synthesis that started with Yamaha's DX7. More recently Yamaha offered the FS1R, and 8 operator FM rack that also utilized formant filters, that may represent the new pinnacle, but I have yet to actually hear it.

While the DX7 offered six operator sine wave FM, the TG77 has what Yamaha called AFM, for Advanced FM. This incorporated the same 6 operator routings, but added different waveforms. Beyond that waves could be pulled from a sample rom, or even from another FM instrument.

But at another level, the TG77 could do a clean, high quality replication of the DX7, which was at times all you needed. FM sounds are unlike anything else because of the mathematics involved. Subtractive synthesis has long been the most popular synth method because it is extremely predictable and therefore easy to program. But that predictability infests the sounds as well. FM, while mathematically predictable, is much more difficult to relate to sounds consistantly. As a result the sounds complexity in an FM instrument is much less linear. Small variations in performance, like velocity or mod-wheel, can create huge differences in spectrum.

The Yamaha FM instruments, from the DX7 to the TG77, have always been legendary for their difficulty. This is in part to do with their FM sound engine, but it also has a lot to do with the interface provided for editing as well as the Jap-lish manual. This synth is almost impossible to program without a computer based editor like Unisyn or Sounddiver.


Tone Generator Realtime Convolution and Modulation (RCM); AWM2 - 16 bit linear waveform data, maximum 48 kHz sampling frequency; AFM - 6 operators, 45 algorithms, 3 feedback loops, 16 waveforms, modulation from AWM output; Filter - Time variant IIR (infinite impulse response) digital filters, 2 filters for each element (maximum of 8 filters per voice); Maximum simultaneous notes - 16 notes AWM + 16 notes; Maximum Simultaneous Timbres - 16; Note Assignment - Last note priority, DVA (dynamic voice allocation), SVA (static voice allocation)
DSP Effects (Reverb Effect + Modulation Effect) x2; Reverb effects - 40 types; Modulation effects - 4 types
Memory Preset Memory - 128 voices, 16 multis; Internal Memory - 64 voices, 16 multis; Waveform Memory - 2 Mwords (4 Mbytes), 112 sounds; Card slots - parameter data x 1, waveform data x 1
Controllers (Switches) Power on/off, VOICE, MULTI, UTILITY, EDIT/COMPARE, COPY, MEMORY, EF, BYPASS, SHIFT, function keys F1-F8, EXIT, BANK/SELECT, ELEMENT, OPERATOR, PAGE <, PAGE >, JUMP/MARK, -1/NO, +1/YES, cursor ^ v < >, numeric keypad 0-9, minus (-), ENTER
Controllers (Rotary) VOLUME (dual concentric, OUTPUT 1/OUTPUT 2), LCD contrast (on rear panel)
Sliders Data Entry
Display LCD: 240 x 64 pixels (with backlight); LED: red x 4
Terminals Audio output - Output 1/1+2, (L/MONO, R) OUTPUT 2 (L,R), PHONES, INDIVIDUAL OUTPUT 1-8; MIDI -IN, OUT, THRU
Power Requirements US and Canadian Models: 120V; General model: 220 - 240V
Power Consumption US and Canadian models: 28W, General model: 28W
Dimensions (W x H x D) 3U: 18 7/8 x 5 1/4 x 15 1/4 inches (480 x 132 x 390 mm)
Included Items MIDI cable (3 m) x 1
Weight 8 kg (17 lb 10 oz)
Output Levels Measured with a single note (AFM) 1kHz sine wave, all terminals connected, and volume at maximum
Individual Outputs +5 dBm (10 k ohms)
Headphone +5 dBm (150 ohms)
Stereo Outputs -1 dBm (10 k ohm)


TG77 Manual (PDF Scans)

Part 1 (4.2mb)
Part 2 (5.0mb)
Part 3 (2.4mb)
MIDI Specs (1.2mb)


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