MAN CAVE, a grotesque of mid life crisis
TG77: A Baroque Confection of Sine Waves
There may be 1 person who ever reads this post that ever paid any attention to the recordings I have made over the years. To that one person – yes, you have found me out, I sold a SY77 and re-bought this later, but I have an excuse.
To the right is a SY77. It’s what I used to own. It weighs like a small piano, and it doesn’t want to be moved. Put a mattress on it, make it a bed, because you can’t fit a real bed now. More than any other instrument the heft of this made me rid my world of big slabs of keys.
Above is a TG77 which is much the same thing except you can have it in the same room as a couch. Dig?
So then what is interesting about the 77? Well, cutting through all the blather – it’s a 6 operator FM synthesiser, with samples, and the FM can modulate with the samples. You could have a choir sound as one of the operators. It will sound like shit but you can. There are some circumstances that will not sound shit. I was never very good at achieving them. The FM section can also have multiple feedback loops or indeed with the right software can have algorithms designed from scratch. Then there are 16 sinusoidal wave forms, and all go through dual filters with resonance.
So on paper you could do just about any kind of synthesis. In reality the TG77 sounds like a big reverby wash of DX7. The sound starts with a FM clank, then a ridiculously frothy sweep of undulating stringyness and then a tiddly sample and hold fade, all through a overdone hall reverb. I love it.
Near the end of my career-that-was I was just starting learn how to get some uniquely lovable sounds. Once the career was careering I lost interest. Now it’s BACK.
The TG77 was built as a luxury yacht. It has much better D to A than the DX7 and makes the TX81z sound like a mouth organ. Built quality, but now not worth that much – less than the DX200. This one was unsold for months and I finally bid out of pity. Well that and bargain hunting.
Again, software such as FM7 will give you 90% of the experience. I own both hardware and software and the honest difference is minuscule. FM with samples is different, but then so is curry ice cream.
THIS TOY IS COMPLEX TO USE EVEN
WITH AN EDITOR
IT MAKES LOTS OF SHIMMERY FLOWING SOUNDS
THE SOUND QUALITY IS GREAT
IT WAS CHEAP AND IS COMMON
ITS RATING IS WORTH THE EFFORT
It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.