Voice Crystal SY77 Sound Disks
As anyone familiar with the SY77 will know, its powerful AFM/AWM voice architecture gives it pretty formidable sonic potential, but like most synths, there is a limit to the number of radically different sounds it can produce. Having ploughed through around 3,000 of them during my time as an SY77 owner, I reckoned I knew the limits of the machine and wasn't expecting to hear anything radically different on these two disks from Voice Crystal.
I was partly right: the first few sounds on Disk 1 are a fairly uninspired collection of pianos with little to distinguish them. Things change dramatically, however, when you run into 'Dream Piano' which, I'm sure, is where the inspiration came for the sound in the SY85's first Performance position. Then there's 'Two Pianos' which sounds like... well, two pianos, really - but it's interesting all the same. 'Zip Strings' is the only pure string sound on the disk; there's lots of scraping bows - which I particularly like - and I also grew fond of 'Horn-Strings', a nice open combination with lots of reverb.
Then there are the acoustic guitars; these can sound very effective if you strum a few open chords - though it must be said, they suffer a little from their limited decay times. 'Guitar Vox' is quite different: I couldn't decide in what context I'd use it, but it sounds great. One thing I did decide is that 'Chroma 1' is going on my next house track, whatever that may be. It's an excellent sound only eclipsed by my overall favourite in this collection, 'Lexus' - a raspy, mellow horn with delayed strings.
Disk 2 is is broadly similar to Disk 1 and, oddly enough, starts off with some bland pianos. It progresses to organs, flutes, saxes, brass, strings, electric guitars (some nice heavy stuff here) and then onto synths, pads, and analogue imitations. There are some interesting vocal textures, too, which are actually pretty useable (for a change), and also a collection of sound effects for those who like that sort of thing.
Both disks seem to take a 'something for everyone' approach, which is commendable enough, but I would liked have to see a description of each sound included with the disks - as it is they come with voice lists only. Many sounds use velocity and aftertouch and give the impression that they have been put together with considerable care. Certainly, both disks are worth exploring if you're looking for a collection of general sounds - though if you already have plenty of other disks, you may not find anything here radically new. Then again, there are a few tasty items and many people are prepared to buy collections like this for the handful of stars.
Price: Voice Crystal SY77 Disks £29 each
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