Yamaha RY-30?



About a year ago I sold most of my drum machines - so now I only have synths and outboard gear. I’ve been having this idea about not using up-to-date machines, but trying to work with some old stuff. Maybe combine a mpc1000 and a yamaha ry-30? I’m thinking about getting one, and doing a project with only that and a sherman fb - like heavy distorted dancey idm beats.

Thats people opinion on the yamaha ry-30 - good or shite?

I dont know much about it, other than some videos on youtube, where people seem to like it very much. I saw a show with Takeshi Muto (Rumolo form Phoenecia) - where he rocked a single ry-30 and 2 H3000’s shit that was pure schematic vibes.


Owned a RY-30 back in the 90’s and used it extensively.

It’s a very capable machine, with deep editing potential. You can sculpt drums using just the filter/res and mix waveforms for more variety. Control wheel brings some real-time performance. Managed to get some very analog sounding drums from it alongside interesting percussion and noises. It’s even capable of passable synth sounds/playable chromatically.

The four output are freely configurable and allow external processing, which really brings the sounds alive.

Onboard sequencer is a pain/low point, but drive it via MIDI and it shines, or consider the RM50 which is a rack mount/sequencer-less version.


It is ofcourse an oldy, but still very capable. I don’t think there have been many machine since that surpassed it (except MD or RYTM ofcourse). I made almost a complete EP with it, back in the days. Even bass sounds come from the Yamaha:

If you can pick it up cheap, no reason not to try it out…


Sick tracks - sounds great!! Lovely work Binaural :slight_smile:

It has that 90’s/early 2000 idm sound to it, which it really dope. The MD has it also, but it has that elektron sound to it - it think the ry30 has the proper 1998 sound to it.


Used to rock an RY30, and also owned a Roland R8 and Kawai XD5 at the same time. I would say (excluding the sequencer), the Yamaha sat in-between those two for sound manipulation powers.

It had a nice sound to it, especially some of the expansion ROM cards, but it was quite ‘rock’ sounding in general. The R8 was punchier in sound, and the XD5 more powerful regarding synthesis, but all three of them have a particular 90’s vibe and are worth chasing down.

I agree with the suggestion to chase down an RM50 and sequence it from the MPC or another external sequencer.


@binaural nice tracks. :ok_hand:

@ OP, Boss DR-660 might be worth a look as well. Maybe a bit less IDM but a really nice drum machine to use (designed by Roger Linn).


This is a realm I’ve been exploring for the last few years. There’s so much good stuff out there that exists outside of the pre-order lifecycle. Yamaha RY-30? Sure. Go for it.


RY-30 is dope, they called it the poor man’s machinedrum.


That sounds really lovely :slight_smile:

You can record the modulation, right? Cant wait to try one out!!!


It’s a really powerful machine. The mod wheel rocks and the synthesis is just about as deep as you can get on a drum machine, but I always found it a real headache to program. It’s certainly no MD in terms of ease of use / instant gratification. That said, if you’re prepared to spend the time you’ll get results.


Some gear can be tough to get your head around, especially old stuff. But since I got my head around the kurzweil k2000, I think my synth-programming-patience is max level :slight_smile: But I think I’m just going to get one, since I dont know anyone that has one I can try out.


Empress Reverb pedal sounds good but it’s debatable as to whether it’s any better than the Space/H9 or BigSky. Plus it can ‘only’ save 35 presets.

In terms of older stuff - Alesis Quadraverb 2?


is this Romulo show up somewhere or did you see it live? would have loved to see that

80s/90s digital gear as a whole has a lot of undiscovered territory

i recently picked up an R8 (with 909 card), Kurzweil K2000, Yamaha A3000, SPX90, Boss SX700, Ensoniq SD1 all for stupid cheap. there is so much potential in these machines that has not been explored

i know baseck is a huge fan of the RY30, he says its pretty much king of all the 90s drumboxes

also this is all RY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FzZjyMW8ds


I saw it live, it was magic! But here’s a excerpt of another show where he’s using the same setup (or i think, but def a RY30) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIupynS1T2c

RY30 king on the beaaats


Recently got to try an RY30, quite a brilliant little machine. Weird and wonky, but in the right ways. Cool that you can zoom into the step grid and other tricks. Love the Autechre stuff done with it.

Oof nice, listening to his record from 2000 now, very nice stuff - thanks for recommending his music!

I’ll add this to the RY30-heavy IDM pile:


Nice, I can wait to try it out. I think I need to find the manual and start reading :slight_smile:

The Takeshi Muto stuff is really really good! (You know it for sure, but check out Phoenecia - Brownout, one of the best idm-records, IMO)

Mike P is king!


So I got my hands on a RY30 in pretty good condition, and it is indeed a very funny machine!! I like the sound of it, and the editing possibilities are pretty impressive when you think about its close to 30 years old.

Over all my first impression is veeery good :):slight_smile:


GAS:ing hard for an RY30, lol help me.
Could be a looooooot of fun with one of these https://www.sector101.co.uk/datablade.html

(Edit: Argh, it’s out of stock now?? Was in just yesterday. It must be a sign.)


The Datablade supports the SY-35, etc. but I didn’t see the RY-30 listed. Is that a potential issue?


I always wanted an RY-30. Never got one, though. I had an RX7 (bought new in the 80s) and made a lot of music with it. Pitching those sounds down was instant industrial grunge. I really loved the Yamaha drum machines in general.