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

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Bitexion
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Post by Bitexion » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:35 pm

Aw shucks, I didn't mean to sound like a mean schoolmaster. That last comment was a bit unneccessary I know. Blame it on pre-coffee grumpyness at 7am in the morning. :?

I just don't think you can get very far with DX7 without reading something about FM and how it is implemented on the synth.
On analog/VA's you can more or less figure everything out by turning knobs and see what they do. But this synth has lots of parameters not found on a subtractive synth, so you might leave 60% of the synth's possibilities undiscovered, you know?
Like the keyboard scaling thing for instance. There is a complex relationship between the operators and output levels depending on which algorithm is used. How it works isn't easy to figure out just by clicking randomly. Detuning a modulator gives a very different sonic result from detuning a carrier. Etc etc.

There is a very good editor called DX Manager that is tailor made for the DX synths, it costs nearly nothing and you can get a free demo online.
Just search for DX Manager with google. It is a perfect way to load up new sounds and banks to the synth (you just open a bank you downloaded, leftclick on a sound and it sends to the temp buffer on the synth for playing immediately. Then you store it yourself or erase it).
The editor part is very powerful and simple, you get all the menu parameters on a single screen with Envelopes graphically drawn. Can change whatever you want there with sliders or type in the value you want. But unless you know what will happen, it is a bit hard to predict the results :)
The reason I don't use it when editing sounds is that I prefer to be turned away from the computer and focus on the synth, not start to click around and get sidetracked. I also know the menu system well so clicking around is no big deal.

I'm getting to know the DX7 really well because of those books I mentioned. The're great if you've never touched an FM synth before.
Last edited by Bitexion on Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

zukskywalker
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Post by zukskywalker » Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:48 pm

There's a nine page thread over at HC about live rigs and NOBODY there uses a DX7 live. Kinda makes me feel special with my old DX7II master controller. Not to mention that it holds it's own very nicely. :D.

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ItsMeOnly
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Post by ItsMeOnly » Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:48 pm

Somehow I don't feel odd that I'm programming almost every of my FM things from the panel.... :P
I bet noone of you stinking ranters has used ZX Spectrum (j/k)

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Post by Martin P268 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:42 pm

There are probably plenty of people who program the DX7 from its panel, including myself. That synth is not such a pain at all. I prefer the DX7 panel because everything is there, a function per button, algorithms and envelopes nicely shown above the buttons. I don't know what kind of menu diving people talk abaut, are there any on later DX7 models? Mine is Mk I and there is one of the simplest user interface on one of those more complicated synths.

The major part of DX7 programming process takes place in your FM imagination anyway. If a computer programme helps you visualise the process, good for you. For me, adding a PC would make the programming boring and more complicated than it really is. I see synthesizer as stand alone musical instrument and don't want to be distracted by a PC. I'm sure many other people share my point of view, no matter how convenient some computer programs are.

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Post by t3hsd » Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:38 pm

Bitexion wrote:Aw shucks, I didn't mean to sound like a mean schoolmaster. That last comment was a bit unneccessary I know. Blame it on pre-coffee grumpyness at 7am in the morning. :?

I just don't think you can get very far with DX7 without reading something about FM and how it is implemented on the synth.
On analog/VA's you can more or less figure everything out by turning knobs and see what they do. But this synth has lots of parameters not found on a subtractive synth, so you might leave 60% of the synth's possibilities undiscovered, you know?
Like the keyboard scaling thing for instance. There is a complex relationship between the operators and output levels depending on which algorithm is used. How it works isn't easy to figure out just by clicking randomly. Detuning a modulator gives a very different sonic result from detuning a carrier. Etc etc.

There is a very good editor called DX Manager that is tailor made for the DX synths, it costs nearly nothing and you can get a free demo online.
Just search for DX Manager with google. It is a perfect way to load up new sounds and banks to the synth (you just open a bank you downloaded, leftclick on a sound and it sends to the temp buffer on the synth for playing immediately. Then you store it yourself or erase it).
The editor part is very powerful and simple, you get all the menu parameters on a single screen with Envelopes graphically drawn. Can change whatever you want there with sliders or type in the value you want. But unless you know what will happen, it is a bit hard to predict the results :)
The reason I don't use it when editing sounds is that I prefer to be turned away from the computer and focus on the synth, not start to click around and get sidetracked. I also know the menu system well so clicking around is no big deal.

I'm getting to know the DX7 really well because of those books I mentioned. The're great if you've never touched an FM synth before.
I the only other synth i have is the CZ 1 and it revealed itself very slowly but much more fluidly
Ill look into those editors everones been telling me about. I feel a little more optimistic about it.
(P.S. Coffee deprivation is tough :))
Last edited by t3hsd on Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
just pretend for all intensive purposes that im completely retarded

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Post by t3hsd » Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:45 pm

wrong thread
just realized
just pretend for all intensive purposes that im completely retarded

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Post by adamstan » Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:46 pm

I don't know what kind of menu diving people talk abaut, are there any on later DX7 models? Mine is Mk I and there is one of the simplest user interface on one of those more complicated synths.
MkII is even better, because display is bigger - 2x40 :-)
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