Yamaha V50

Digital Synthesizer

Yamaha V50 digital synthesizer
Buy one (39 on sale)

1989 (Feb.)
Initially sold for ¥156,000

The V50 is Yamaha's first real attempt at piecing together a proper workstation to compete with Korg's M1: a multi-waveform 4 operator FM synthesizer, an 8-track sequencer, 17 onboard effects, a drum machine and an integrated floppy disk drive.

The V50's Synthesizer Section consists of two 4-operator, 8-waveform FM tone generators, for full 16-note polyphony and 8-timbre capability. This is the same engine found on the V2 (DX11) but with extra polyphony, in fact it can share voice data from the Yamaha DX11, TX81Z, YS100, YS200 or B200. The internal memory holds 100 presets and 100 user slots, with an additional 100 voices accessible from an external card. Similarly to the DX11 a "quick edit" function has been added to make FM more easy to grasp for novices (the user manual was also praised for its exhaustiveness).

The Rhythm Section allows the creation of up to 100 patterns (to be used along the 100 preset patterns) with 61 PCM percussion sounds including standard drums, Latin percussions, and special effects. Each percussion sound has its own setting for pan, volume, MIDI note, and signal processing.

The Sequencer can hold around 16,000 notes, each track has its own independent MIDI transmit and receive channels.

Finally, each individual voice can be assigned to one of the seventeen effects available, including delay, reverberation, distortion, compression, equalization, and gate. Only one effect is available per performance however.

An even more powerful workstation, the V80FD, was announced in 1988 but never released. Ultimately, the V50 didn't have much success, soon supplanted by the SY line of synthesizers, but still remains one of the most advanced 4-op FM machines made by Yamaha (excluding of course the FS1R).


  • Eight-timbre 16-note polyphonic FM synthesizer
  • 61-note velocity and pressure sensitive keyboard
  • DSP (digital signal processor) unit with reverb and other editable effects
  • 8 track 16,000 note sequencer with note, measure, and track editing
  • Rhythm machine with 61 PCM sampled sounds
  • 3.5" 720 Kbyte floppy disk drive with MDR capability
  • 40-character 2-line backlit LCD
Yamaha V50 on Sound On Sound
Yamaha V50 on Sound On Sound
Yamaha V50 on Music Technology
Yamaha V50 on Music Technology

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Yamaha V50

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Yamaha V50 Main Panel Right Ok

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Yamaha V50 Volume/Data Entry/Tempo Xf308 Ok Made In Japan

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