yamaha DX7

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ianjhicks
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yamaha DX7

Post by ianjhicks » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:11 pm

I just picked mine up yesterday, been playing around with it all morning, and I must say I'm realllly blown away by the thing, you can get the most gnarled weird industrial sounds out of it, awesome synth!

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Post by Box » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:12 pm

Wow, you're just picking up all kinds of stuff this week. :P

I've always wanted one but the programming method has always steered me away from it.
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Post by Jexus » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:57 pm

wow, is it really THAT hard to program ?

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Post by Box » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:22 am

Jexus wrote:wow, is it really THAT hard to program ?
IDK, from what I hear people say's it's a real pain. Even on the description here on VSE says so.
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Post by The Cancer Years » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:40 am

I tried to program one once, it was weird. I didn't get very far, mind you it was 3 minute sin guitar center and I am not even sure the thing worked.


I coudln't even get it to change patches if that tells you anything.


I'd love to sit down with one some day though.
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Post by ianjhicks » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:03 am

I havent been able to program a sound from scratch yet, but editing existing sounds is pretty easy, I think what is boils down to is that it is almost nothing like using an analog subtractive machine, the only thing that is similar is the envelopes. I cant say that I really understand what I'm doing with it yet but tweaking it I've gotten some pretty wild sounds

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Post by ianjhicks » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:05 am

Box wrote:Wow, you're just picking up all kinds of stuff this week. :P
yeah the dx7 was on a whim sort of, I saw it on craigslist for pretty cheap so I just decided to go for it, I'm pretty happy I did, it came with the sustain pedal and a gig bag, and it DAMN HEAVY i would hate to pay shipping for one :)

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Post by xpander » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:14 am

you need to understand FM synthesis to meaningfully program it, there is no way around it. it's about 10,000 times easier to program with a good editor, programming sounds on the actual keyboard is sort of a ridiculous novelty. i still have a DX7IIFD, but moved on to the lordy super-FM Yamahas, all great synths. once you understand FM, it'll be as easy as subtractive synthesis.

have fun and watch out- they can produce some ear-splitting noises!

please sell me your PG-300, i've been looking for one forever!

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Post by Synthaholic » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:18 am

Jexus wrote:wow, is it really THAT hard to program ?
Programming a DX7 is easy. But programming good and unique sounds, is a lot harder.
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

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Post by ianjhicks » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:19 am

sorry! I wish I could but the hs10 is extremely frustrating to program without it!

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Post by ianjhicks » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:35 am

can anyone recommend a good free software editor for the dx7 (for mac osx)?

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Post by Big Gnome » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:59 am

Jexus wrote:wow, is it really THAT hard to program ?
No. If you accept that programming a DX7 is absolutely nothing like programming a Prophet 5, everything's laid out pretty logically.

In my opinion the biggest impediment to programming is the non-backlit LCD screen. What was Yamaha thinking?!
"Sure that's fine in practice, but what about in theory?"
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Post by DIGITAL SCREAMS » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:05 am

Programming the DX7 is not that hard. It takes a week or so to understand the envelop generators and how layering the operators and modulators effects the sound. The only real difference between the DX and other synths is that it is time consuming.

These sounds were programmed straight off the front panel. No editors or tricks....just a glass of wine and a few hours to kill

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Post by xpander » Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:30 am

Big Gnome wrote:
Jexus wrote:wow, is it really THAT hard to program ?
No. If you accept that programming a DX7 is absolutely nothing like programming a Prophet 5, everything's laid out pretty logically.

In my opinion the biggest impediment to programming is the non-backlit LCD screen. What was Yamaha thinking?!
they fixed that with the DX7II.

also, following another response, understanding how the ratio between operators effects the resulting spectra is also a pretty key understanding. it's been my experience that you will run into more people that know how to change the sounds on the DX7 than actually understand how algorithmic FM/PM synthesis works (read: know what they are doing).

lemme see what i got for OS X editing, i typicaly use Galaxy on my OS9 machine. a good editor is critical for the DX7 or any complex FM machine.

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Post by gcoudert » Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:00 pm

Get hold of a copy of "The complete DX7" by Howard Massey (1986?). It is quite rare and expensive now but it is the best in-depth guide to DX7 programming I have come across. I was lucky to get hold of a copy several years ago. There was one on Ebay the other day.

Once you understand the carrier/modulator principle, you're OK. The really annoying thing is that you have to keep pressing switches and there's only one data slider. Another thing that annoys me is that the Mark 1 version only outputs a MIDI velocity of about 118 and doesn't go all the way to 127. The audio output volume is weakish too.

I love the DX too. I once had a DX7S (second generation) and I stupidly sold it. I then got my TX7 for £40, which I used to programme using DXHeaven running under an Atari emulator on my PC. That's how desperate I was!

Last year, I got hold of a Mark 1 DX7 for £27. Yes, you read that correctly! It's not in very good condition cosmetically but it came with the Sycologic memory expansion board (4 banks of 32 sounds + adjustable Midi Out channel but still no Local On/Off mode regrettably).

If you're after sysex banks, please let me know. I scoured the Internet for banks and reckon I got them all!! Oh, and if you use Native Instruments' FM7, it loads DX7 sysex banks too!

Gilles
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