yamaha DX7

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
mirt
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:10 am
Location: Legionowo | Poland
Contact:

Post by mirt » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:25 pm

imo sounds are hard to program, not the synths.
you don't need big knowledge to do some tweaks on dx or analogs, even from scratch.
if you know sequence of modules and what they do it is very easy.

User avatar
Synthaholic
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1206
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:43 pm
Gear: Motif XS6, TX802, D-550, A6
Location: NH

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:36 pm

I think this forum needs a sticky "DX7 Programming Tips" thread. A place to post tips and tricks one has come across while programming this beast. It would be a great resource for all of us FM-heads. ;)

If my wife lets me, I'm going to try and spend some, *ahem* quality time with my TX802 today.
If you can program a VCR, then you should have no problem programming a DX7. :)
I've come across VCRs that I couldn't figure out how to stop from flashing "12:00" without the manual. And I'm an electronic gadget freak. ;)
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)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

User avatar
Bitexion
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 4230
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:43 pm
Gear: Alesis Andromeda A6
Roland D-50
Creamware Minimax
Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
Ensoniq SQ-80
Waldorf Blofeld
Location: Drammen, Norway

Post by Bitexion » Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:38 pm

Too bad there's only a couple of us who knows how to program anything but loud blarts on a DX :P

I actually think it is easier to program on the synth itself, because the menu system is very intuitive and there's a button for every menu.

However, I have the DX7S, which is improved menu-wise, they're more tightened up, and some menus have several functions on each page compared to the MK1. Like the EG menus have all 4 parameters on one screen, instead of having to click 4 times to get through all 4. Exactly the same amount of functions and sound engine though.
Plus it's black and looks sleeker, and has no nasty membrane buttons.

It isn't really an issue of bad user interface at all, but the fact that FM programming is so totally alien and different from subtractive programming that people just can't do anything with it, without learning lots of new terms and ground rules. You head off immediately looking for filters and oscillators, and lo and behold there's SIX "oscillators".
Most people are content with browsing presets I guess, since so many of the DX presets have become super-famous.

I recommend any DX7 owner to buy "The Classic DX7" book or "Programming the Yamaha DX7" book by a japanese guy (Fukuda). I found both on amazon.com, although they're probably both out of the print since the 80's, but you should find used copies.

They're step-by-step guides through every menu and lays down all the rules you need to program your own stuff.

Martin P268
No Longer Registered

Post by Martin P268 » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:52 pm

A short example of how my DX7 is enough for my VA needs ;-)

http://www4.webng.com/martinp268/labyrinth.mp3

bluedad
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:12 am
Gear: Yamaha Motif ES rack/DX7//TG77/SY77/AN1X/MM08 MicrowaveXT/ Korg DW8000/M3r/ Ensoniq ESQ-1 /Mirage Rack/ Nord Micro DSI Mopho Roland Juno 106/D550
Band: Split Second
Location: Birmingham, AL
Contact:

Post by bluedad » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:43 pm

Dave Benson's page is a great resource for all things DX7.
There's also a pdf of a reprint from Keyboard mag of an article by Bo Tomlyn, on how to program the DX7. He made some great commercial presets.
For those too lazy to actually visit the page, here's the link

User avatar
impaler42
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:10 am
Real name: Shaikat
Gear: Ensoniq Fizmo, Yamaha FS1R, E-mu Ultra Proteus, Korg Wavestation SR, Waldorf Blofeld
Band: Grainshifter
Location: Dallas
Contact:

Post by impaler42 » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:54 pm

I love the videos ive seen for this synth on youtube. I really wanna try out a FM synthesizer. Seems to have an aggressive sound. But Im sure it can be used for other things too.
electronic music forever

http://www.grainshifter.com[/url]

User avatar
elsongs
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 8:12 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Post by elsongs » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:37 pm

Actually back in the day I became an ace at programming the DX7 - if for the sole reason it was pretty much my only synth (I also had a Casio CZ-101 at the time too but I only really used it as a bass synth) and I had nothing else to tweak around with. Having a subscription to the old Yamaha AFTER TOUCH magazine helped too, since they'd publish parameters for various patches there and I got a better understanding of how the algorithms worked. And this was back when I was in high school...

User avatar
Synthaholic
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1206
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:43 pm
Gear: Motif XS6, TX802, D-550, A6
Location: NH

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:53 pm

I created a couple sounds on my TX802 today. They're not the greatest but I can work on them further as time permits.

First, I tried creating a "mono synth" sort of patch, consisting of 2 "squares" and a "pulse" with some detuning. Not quite the same as a Minimoog though.

TX Mini

Next, I tried some out-of-the-box thinking and created a pretty nifty pad sound. The "tat-tat-tat" comes in when aftertouch is applied.

TX Pad

Not as good as Martin's patches, but I'll get there, someday (I hope)...
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)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

User avatar
Jack Spider
Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Posts: 902
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:42 pm
Gear: -
Bit One
Boss DR-220
Boss DR-660
DSI Mono Evolver Keyboard
Korg LP-10
Roland XP-50
Yamaha QX21
Location: Old Blighty

Post by Jack Spider » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:54 pm

elsongs wrote:Actually back in the day I became an ace at programming the DX7
Your patches more than back that up, Elson! :wink:
I didn't get where I am today by posting on internet forums.
http://www.myspace.com/thegreenalsatian
http://www.soundclick.com/greenalsatian

User avatar
Alex E
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2237
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:07 am
Gear: Jupiter-6, Juno-60, Polysix, Pro One, DX, Miami, M1r, Live 9, iMac MC309XX/A
Location: Anaheim, CA

Post by Alex E » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:44 pm

I miss my DX7 now. :( I even made some of my own sounds on DX-Manager. But it's nice to know that if I ever get a DX7 again, I can load it up with all of my old sounds because they're still right there on my computer.
It's an excellent legendary synth that's not hard to find or afford.
soundcloud.com/vectron


User avatar
xpander
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:15 am
Gear: UltraProteus, Xpander, 200e, Minimoogs, Radias, Prophet VS, PolyEvolver, Arp 2600
Location: los gatos, california
Contact:

Post by xpander » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:26 am

you can program at least 10 times faster using a soft editor, plus you have all of the values there in front of you.

User avatar
i_watch_stars
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:49 am
Location: Seattle

Post by i_watch_stars » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:05 am

mirt wrote:imo sounds are hard to program, not the synths.
you don't need big knowledge to do some tweaks on dx or analogs, even from scratch.
if you know sequence of modules and what they do it is very easy.
Absolutely true. Any idiot can learn the basics of FM "oh 6 OPs, EGs, ratios...that's easy!". However, rare are the people that can actually take that technical knowledge and turn it into an ability to create awesome FM sounds and not just the DX wallop bass over and over again.

And by awesome sounds, I don't mean replicating a saw or pulse wave. Thats totally not the point. Why the h**l would you get an FM synth to replicate an analog wave when you can do so much more with FM. Ok, you know how to emulate a saw and a pulse with FM...big freaking deal. That is square one, and I bet the majority of FM users on this forum know how to do that.

People need to stop trying to be badass and saying it is "so easy". No its not. It is not impossibly hard either, but it is NOT "so easy", "easy as analog", etc. You can intuitively work out in your mind the components of a analog subtractive...can you intuitively work out in your mind the relationship between 6 OPs in a complex chain, with different ratios and levels? Can you work out what changing OP5 and OP 3's ratio will do the sound when OP 5 and OP 6 are both modulating OP 4 and OP 3 is modulating OP 2 which is modulating OP 1 all at different settings, EG, ratio, level, etc? You can emulate a bass guitar on analog from scratch, but can you emulate that same instrument on FM from scratch? Oh..but it should be the same difficultly right?

You can? I want to hear patches.
JP-8080, Virus B, TG-77, JD-990, D-550, XV-5080, CS1x, Matrix 1000, SE-1, SuperNova II Pro Rack, MKS-50, EMX-1, TX-802, Nord Rack 2X, Korg RADIAS

Martin P268
No Longer Registered

Post by Martin P268 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:21 pm

I created a couple sounds on my TX802 today. They're not the greatest but I can work on them further as time permits.
I liked the pad you've made. Add a sparkling sample and hold line on top of it and you'll have instant Blade Runner soundtrack ;-)

I often find that almost every sound, I make, could benefit from some slight improvements after I've played it for some time. Some of my patches evolve over weeks :-) This is why I never get bored with the DX7.
And by awesome sounds, I don't mean replicating a saw or pulse wave.
Why, if it sounds awesome? :)
You can emulate a bass guitar on analog from scratch, but can you emulate that same instrument on FM from scratch? Oh..but it should be the same difficultly right?

You can? I want to hear patches.
I think bass guitar sounds aren't the best example of your point, because they come out of the DX7 almost on their own ;-)

User avatar
mirt
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:10 am
Location: Legionowo | Poland
Contact:

Post by mirt » Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:07 pm

it is hard to compare dx programing and juno/polysix programing, imo dx programing is more like modular programing, you don't need much experience with programing synth with one oscillator, it is linear, you are turning two or three knobs and finding something you need, but when you have more vco's more modulation sources minor tweaks are more important.

it isn't important what kind of sound you want (natural bass sound, saw or totally abstract pad from outer space) it is important how close you can get to it. you can program for hours, and made many great patches by accident - experimenting, chaotic tweaking, but imo it isn't alike good programming, when you know how to do all of this sounds you are good.

Martin P268
No Longer Registered

Post by Martin P268 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:43 pm

The DX7 actually requires two persons to operate it properly.

Watch this (starts at about 2:00) ;-)



I've never owned a modular synth, but from my experience with software emulations of Moog Modular and Arp 2600, I think, the DX7 is a piece of cake. It's all subjective and a matter of familiarity.

Post Reply