DX7 rant: what the h**l were they thining?!?!

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t3hsd
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DX7 rant: what the h**l were they thining?!?!

Post by t3hsd » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:49 am

I really wanted to spread those stinging sounds out along the entire keyboard range. but for whatever reason it was they programmers and engineers thought it be really cool if they wimped out on the lower range making the lower octaves dull without spreading the stab throughout.
what the h**l is wrong with you? unless its just me. i'm on patch 21, alg 14 for those of you who believe i can fix this :x
just pretend for all intensive purposes that im completely retarded

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Post by Alex E » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:34 am

I don't know a whole lot about it, but you need to adjust the keyboard level scaling. If I remember it correctly, it's somewhat complex, but if this problem is really bothering you, it will be worth looking into.
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Post by t3hsd » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:50 am

Alex E wrote:I don't know a whole lot about it, but you need to adjust the keyboard level scaling. If I remember it correctly, it's somewhat complex, but if this problem is really bothering you, it will be worth looking into.
were can i get a guide for that because this is freaking annoying
why did they do this?
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Post by Big Gnome » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:56 am

Calm down, dude.
You just need to adjust some keyboard level scaling. It's in the manual, which you can download here.
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Post by thediscoking » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:08 am

Reading this thread strengthens my already-formed opinion, which is to never get a DX7.

:)

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Post by t3hsd » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:13 am

Big Gnome wrote:Calm down, dude.
You just need to adjust some keyboard level scaling. It's in the manual, which you can download here.
once i was blind, but now I see :)
thank you
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Post by goom » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:21 am

thediscoking wrote:Reading this thread strengthens my already-formed opinion, which is to never get a DX7.

:)
Not sure if you're serious, but it's actually a great feature to have on any synth. Many analog synths use this feature to control filter cutoff from the lower to higher octaves. The DX7's version is an evolution of the same idea. Same idea, just that it controls operator levels instead of a filter cutoff's control voltage.

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Post by Bitexion » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:34 am

Man, you're going way overboard over something that is totally normal in patch creation on the dx7. Keyboard scaling makes the sound duller at the low octaves, and brighter on the high octaves to better emulate the way the real instruments sound. A piano is dark and dull in the lowest octaves, and bright and sharp in the upper, same goes for brass instruments and strings. There is even a picture of the scaling curves printed on the right side of the synth, next to the envelope picture.

Keyboard scaling is a separate menu on the standard DX7 I believe. Just go to edit mode and click through all the menus until you find Keyb Scaling settings, then set all the values to zero ON EACH OPERATOR. You can set individual scalings to each operator, you see, creating different effects. If you scale only the modulators, the sound will get brighter further up the keyboard. If you scale the carriers (lowest in the algorithm) the volume lowers across the keyboard.
You can use this to create real keyboard splits actually, by setting 2 different timbres/sounds on op 1+2+3 and 4+5+6 in alg.3 for instance, and set opposite scale curves on the carriers (1 and 4). One set of 3 from + to -, the other set from - to +. This will make the sound disappear as you cross the break point (usually key C3) from both sides. Thus you two different sounds on each side of the keyboard. You should see by now what a great feature this is. You can change the break point to any key you like.

It is totally hopeless to claim this is something that makes the DX7 awful, it is a performance feature found on all synths, analog and digital. On analog synths it's called "Keytracking" or "Keyboard following", and is usually programmed into serious patches on them aswell. Don't scream at a synth when you don't know how to change the factory presets yet :) It is way better implemented on the DX than other synths.
Last edited by Bitexion on Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by xpander » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:43 am

Chowning's FM Theory and Applications book is a must-buy, worth the massive OOP price for anyone serious about synthesizing complex algorithmic phase-modulated patches. in my home studio with several nice analog synths, i'm always waiting for the day someone walks in and says "whoa!- an FS1R!"

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Post by DX » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:36 am

The keyboard level scaling is a great feature. Even you can get a "split" sound on the DX mk1 (bass on the left, lead on the right).

If you mess around with Keyb level scaling, think when you set it to 0 that the currently sound can change drastically, so try to decrease the operator output level on some operators for match the right sound you are looking for.

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Post by Soundwave » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:45 am

When I (can be bothered) program FM sounds I find a single exponential curve starting from the lowest note (set your center key point to this and ignore the lower curve) and gently rolling off towards the higher range is a good starting point for most modulators as the DX’s limited resolution really starts to show in the higher end. Again it really depends on the type of sound you’re doing but I found with the DX its best to start simple and keep tweaking until you get it right.

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Post by DX » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:48 am

A thing is proved:
Programming a DX7 is better than the brain training games. When I will be 80 years old, I will program some sounds from scratch for training my brain :)
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Post by t3hsd » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:47 pm

Bitexion wrote:A piano is dark and dull in the lowest octaves, and bright and sharp in the upper, same goes for brass instruments and strings. There is even a picture of the scaling curves printed on the right side of the synth, next to the envelope picture.
let's b-b-break this post down into responses! :)

first, the lower piano registers are indeed dark, but dull? some of the most dramatic piano comes from the anger of those low, thick strings.

and having played violin when i was a kid, i can say that even today cello is probably one of my top 3 favorite instruments because of its incredible color and tone.

as for the diagrams, it took me two days of having it to figure out how the algorithm charts related to the 1s and 0s. also i tried the keyboard scaling and nothing happened...i just didn't know that each OP had four sets of scaling functions
thanks so much for the manual Big Gnome!

finally, if you noted a couple posts up I figured out how to fix everything. the scaling didn't make sense to me, but if its spread out instead of brickwalled and rapidly becoming too quiet to hear, then yes, the scaling feature has a lot of potential
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Post by Yoozer » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:57 pm

t3hsd wrote:were can i get a guide for that because this is freaking annoying
why did they do this?
Your signature is fitting ;).

Steep keyboard scaling is how they fake the splits.

Sounds to me that most subtractive synths still have a lot to learn from the venerable DX7 - not to mention all those VST plugins where throwing in a feature like this can widen the range of sounds - not to mention that the big screen makes it much more userfriendly.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

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Post by xpander » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:24 pm

it occurred to me that some people are actually programming directly on their DX7's... i cannot stress the importance of using a software editor, they are at least a thousand times more efficient and provide you with a graphical user interface.

also, remember that the post-DX7 FM/PM synths (SY77/99,FS1R, etc) let you further process your patches using typical subtractive/analog-style modulators and filtering. with SY77's barely more expensive than DX7's, snatch one up, they are guaranteed to be compatible long after FM7/FM8 are old & tied to a legacy OS, they are super-powerful, 16-part multi, etc... and they are backward-compatible with your DX7 patches!

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