YAMAHA SY85 Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a way to restore my SY85 back to the Factory Settings?
Yes. You'll need a copy of the Factory Presets disk supplied with
the SY85 as running a Factory Set will erase all sounds .... Press
the [SHIFT], [STORE] and [EXIT] buttons together. The SY85 will
show a 'Welcome Brother' screen. Press the [MENU] button and then
press the [+1] button. The SY85 will run the Factory Set procedure
and then restart. Instert the Factory Presets disk and then press
the [UTILITY] button and then select Sub Mode 'DISK' button. Press
the [F1] button and then press [ENTER/YES] twice. You'll hear the
disk drive spin-up and the SY85 will load all the original sounds.
Your machine is now fully restored to the factory settings.
Will an SY77 data card work with SY85 ?
Nope. They're electronically different.
What type of memory does the SY85 use?
The SY85 comes with 512 kilobytes of internal wave RAM memory for
storage of sound samples. Extra memory modules can be added to the
SY85 to expand the wave memory to a maximum of 3.5 megabytes. Two
types of expansion memory are available:
Yamaha SYEMB06 Memory Expansion Modules
One or two Yamaha SYEMB06 Memory Expansion Modules can be plugged
into expansion slots provided on the SY85 bottom panel. Each SYEMB06
provides 512 kilobytes. With two SYEMB06 modules installed, you
have a total of 1.5 megabytes of wave memory. Unlike the internal
wave memory, SYEMB06 memory is “non-volatile”, so its contents are
retained even when the SY85 power is turned off.
SIMM Memory Modules
The SY85 will also accommodate up to 2 megabytes of memory in
SIMM memory modules. SIMM memory is volatile, so its contents will
be lost whenever the SY85 power is turned off.
To buy SIMM Memory upgrades for your SY-85 click
Do you know where I can get SYEMB06 memory modules?
SYEMB06 memory modules are about as easy to find as hens teeth!
I wouldn't mind having a couple installed in my SY-85's but I too
have to put up with the normal volatile memory. :-(
If you visit our site and add you email address to our mailing list
I'll keep you informed if we ever come across a secret stash - but
I wouldn't hold your breath!
I have an SY85, but how do I tell if the memory has been expaned?
Easy, you need to be in 'Wave Edit' mode. To do this press [SHIFT]
and [UTILITY]. Once in wave edit mode, press and hold the [SHIFT]
key to display the wave memory status display. This display shows
the amount of free volatile and non-volatile memory in approximate
kilobytes. An unexpanded SY85 will show 512k, and an SY85 with 2Mb
of SIMM memory installed will show approximately 2560k.
Will the SY85 load WAV files ?
Not directly. You'll need a sample format convertor application
Richard Goodwin's Wave-To program.
Alternatively, a program that can perform MIDI sample dumps (a very
slow and tedious method). Back in the dark ages I used Avalon on
the Atari ST to dump samples to the SY85.
I spent about two years doing this which is probably one of the
reasons I am slightly abnormal today.
Can HD (1.44Mb) disks be used with the Yamaha SY85 ?
As far as I can see - Yes - but only when formatted as DD (720k)
Others have said that it may cause problems, but I have seen none.
You can format them in the SY85 and use them in the normal way.
If you cover square hole in the bottom right hand corner of the
disk you will also be able to read the disk in a PC. You will also
be able to format the disk in th PC but again only to DD (720k).
My SY85 floppy drive is not working - Is there any hope ?
I had a problem with my drive intermittantly not reading or writing
disks. I contacted Yamaha and this was there reply ...
"The floppy disk drives built into Yamaha products feature
a precision magnetic read/write head. After extensive usage, the
read/write head can pick up a layer of magnetic particles. This
may eventually lead to read and/or write errors, or cause the drive
to read some floppy disks and not others. To maintain the disk drive
in optimum working order, Yamaha recommends that a commercially-available
dry-type head cleaning disk be used to clean the head about once
a month. Head-cleaning disks are available at most Yamaha Dealers
or Computer/Electronics Retailers.
NOTE: Most floppy disk cleaning kits can be used either dry or wet.
Yamaha does not recommend using the cleaning solution that comes
in the cleaning kits. Using the cleaning disk alone should be sufficient.
IMPORTANT: If, after cleaning the head, it is still not possible
to read or write the data on any inserted floppy disk, a Yamaha
Service Center or Dealer should be contacted."
... I used a dry head cleaning disk and it worked a treat, so
yes there may be a glimmer of hope !
floppy drive cleaning kit is available here >>>
I have heard there is a secret 'Test Menu' on the Yamaha SY85
- Is this true?
Maybe, maybe not. It's a secret so if I told you I'd have to kill
Okay, I'll tell you - but only you ... Press the [SHIFT], [STORE]
and [EXIT] buttons together. The SY85 will show a 'Welcome Brother'
screen and you can then go throught the various test procedures
to mke sure your keyboard is firing on all four cylinders. The most
useful mode is '44' which does a full factory reset of the machine
- however it will completely erase all the Performances, Voices,
Patterns and everythang. You'll need the Factory Presets disk to
restore the sounds etc..
Can the SY85 load Standard MIDI Files (.MID)?
Yes, you will need to rename the .MID file to .X01 to .X99 and
save it to a 720k formatted floppy disk. The SY85 supports type
0 and 1 formats. For more information see the Yamaha
I have bought a second hand SY-85 but it has no manual - Can
I get one?
Yes, you can download all the manuals in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
Visit our Manual 'SY85 Manuals'
page for more information ...
My question is not answered here ... what will I do?
Don't panic! - just email me, Jason
Fitzpatrick, and I'll do my best to help ...