general discussion: DX7mkII / TX802

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danialad
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general discussion: DX7mkII / TX802

Post by danialad » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:33 pm

Image

waiting for a TX802 i just bought on the bay for $120
hoping i made a wise decision, as i've always wanted
to delve into the FM programming, like many have before.

i know there's plenty of software editors out there,
but maybe there's a particularly special one you know?
(i do plan on trying editing on my own at first though.)

any links to libraries/patches/wonderful anything?

also. i know it says everywhere the TX802 is basically
a DX7mkII rack version, would anyone disagree?

and basically. general anything on the DX7mkI/II,
your thoughts, memories, love/hate stories, tips/tricks?


OH and Jexus' videos on youtube are amazing
(with the DX7mkII I beleive?) ... crazy sounds!!

let's get talking!!
/danial
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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Post by Analog Freak » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:03 am

I really like FM-Alive's DX Manager software. I have also used MIDI Quest 9 XL, but I don't like that piece of software very well for editing. You can get DX Manager here: http://www.fm-alive.com/pages/DXM2.aspx There is also a great support site here that I have gotten literally thousands of patches from here: http://www.maths.abdn.ac.uk/~bensondj/html/dx7.html Finally, there is another good web site for you to visit here: http://www.thedx7.co.uk/index.html Despite what some people seem to think about them, I really like mine and will never part with it. It sounds totally unique, and it's the best weird sound generator I own besides a Kurzweil K2500. I hope that yours arrives safely, and that you have a lot of fun with it.
"All Your Synthesizers Are Belong To Us!" Literally.

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Post by Synthaholic » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:00 am

$120 is a good deal, I paid twice that for my 802, but mine was mint w/original box and manuals.

I think it's the best of the DX7mkII series. It sounds the same as a DX7II but its performance architecture is a little different, to accommodate multitimberal operation. The DX7II lets you split/layer two voices in a performance; the 802 can do up to 8. They can be on different MIDI channels or on the same, split, layered, or rotated through. Each of the 8 tone generators gives you 2 note polyphony but you can stack them for up to 16 note polyphony using a single voice (like a DX7).

A software editor is nice to have but the front panel interface isn't bad for a rack unit. The 8 tone generator buttons under the display double as parameter page select buttons in edit mode. Arrow keys move between the fields on a page, and then you can use +/- or enter numeric values directly using the keypad.

As for editors, I tried DX Manager and it's nice for loading/saving SysEx dumps but I found it tends to freeze when using it as an editor (have you had that problem Analog Freak?). I haven't tried MIDI Quest yet (just downloaded a demo version).

Here's a pic of my TX802 I took when I got it back in November or so.

(Click for a REALLY LARGE image!)
Image[/quote]
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

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danialad
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Post by danialad » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:08 am

Analog Freak wrote:I hope that yours arrives safely,
and that you have a lot of fun with it.
thanks so much! it seems that i will have a LOT of fun with it.

and wow! that DX Manager editor looks absolutely amazing.
i'll definitely be giving it a shot once i need it. i'm looking to
make a lot of ambient pads with this thing, so i'm sure i'll
find some starting points in um... a couple HUNDRED patches
out there! ha! thanks so much for the links though! awesome.
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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danialad
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Post by danialad » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:16 am

Synthaholic wrote:I tried DX Manager and it's nice for loading/saving sysEx
dumps but I found it tends to freeze when using it as an editor
hmm. i'm hoping it's just a computer related issue? maybe?
since, i really want the program to be as badass as it looks!

that thing IS mint! must not have been used... at all?

and only now, with that picture, have a i realized the machine
doesn't have MEMBRANE buttons like i thought it did!
my akai ax-80 had all membrane switches and they scared
me to death, in fear of them not responding eventually.

but yes, thank you for the advice, i'll definitely be coming back
to this page once i get it, since it does NOT come with a manual.
i should probably find it online before i get the beast, and do some readin'!
[the gypsy moth project]

have: alesis ion, casiotone 403
had: akai ax-80, korg poly-800, roland juno-6, korg er-1,
alesis sr-16, yamaha tx802, korg dw/ex-8000, korg ms2000

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Post by Synthaholic » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:23 am

danialad wrote:hmm. i'm hoping it's just a computer related issue? maybe?
since, i really want the program to be as badass as it looks!
I think the author stopped doing updates to DX Manager. I don't think it was a computer issue in my case, others have reported it freezing too.
that thing IS mint! must not have been used... at all?
It was in a studio rack for most of its life, never gigged, and hardly used.
and only now, with that picture, have a i realized the machine doesn't have MEMBRANE buttons like i thought it did! my akai ax-80 had all membrane switches and they scared me to death, in fear of them not responding eventually.
Nope, the mkII series stuff has real buttons, but even the "membrane" buttons on the DX7 mkI were actual real buttons underneath the membrane panel, so they are quite reliable.
but yes, thank you for the advice, i'll definitely be coming back
to this page once i get it, since it does NOT come with a manual.
i should probably find it online before i get the beast, and do some readin'!
Ask and you shall receive: http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/emi ... TX802E.PDF
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

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Post by OriginalJambo » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:17 am

I've tried using DX Manager a couple of times and found it so buggy that it's damn near unusable.

Your mileage may vary though so there's no harm in trying.

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Post by Bitexion » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:22 am

DX Manager v1.1 has some issues yeah, it tends to crash all of a sudden. I didn't do much real editing with it (although it looks awesome on screen), but it works fine for transmitting single patches and soundbanks to the synth. Plus it's nice to just doubleclick on a sound and see all the parameters at one screen to learn from, instead of clicking through the menus on the synth to see how a sound was made.

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Post by Analog Freak » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:35 am

I remember that the older versions of DX Manager were a little bit unstable (read as crashed occasionally for no reason), but the newer versions have all been fine for me. Even back when it was buggy, it only crashed on me once in a long while, it was never to the point where it crashed every few minutes. You wouldn't think that it would vary much from computer to computer, but I guess it does.
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Post by Bitexion » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:43 am

Is there a newer version? Wow, I thought the program was abandoned years ago so I never bothered to look.

The thing about FM programming is that it is so unlike subtractive programming that most just give up. You can't just tweak values and see what happens if you don't understand the basics of those values and what they do to affect the sound. And the careful frequency relationship between operators to form different stable timbres (not disharmonic ones). The importance of the envelopes. One would think FM is simply an oscillator modulating another oscillator and that's that. But the DX synths have 32 different operator configurations, each sounding totally different from the next due to different routings between operators. Envelopes still do the same thing as they used to, but here they can modulate the level of FM modulation between operators to the best effect.

When you really learn this stuff, you can figure out what combination you need for certain sounds you want. There are books and articles on FM programming. I suggest you read up on it before diving into the menus on your own and get discouraged.

I have two books made specifically for use with the DX7,

The Complete DX7 (1986) by Howard Massey is the best. It's like a bible for the synth, has a separate chapter for every single parameter and lots of practical exercises as you go along, where he leads you through every single menu to make the sound by hand.
The foreword states that he used to hold FM courses in the mid-eighties, and was tired of keyboardists not knowing a clue about their newly acquired DX7's when they attended his courses. So it's like a "dummies guide to DX7". He made a book for the DX7 II aswell.

As for patches, you hit the right synth. There are literally tens of thousands of soundbanks for both synths available all over internet. Just do a search in google. You'll find big zipfiles containing hundreds of soundbanks in .syx format to be imported directly. That's where DX Manager shines, it makes it mega easy to do that.

There was also a big industry in the 80's that thrived on making ROM cards (memory cards) for various digital synths with soundbanks on them that they sold. Most of these cards have also been converted to .syx format.

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Post by xpander » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:42 am

Synthaholic wrote:I think it's the best of the DX7mkII series.
i push everyone towards the SY77/TG77, the price difference is nothing these days and they are more complex and powerful.

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Post by synapsecollapse » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:54 am

xpander wrote:
Synthaholic wrote:I think it's the best of the DX7mkII series.
i push everyone towards the SY77/TG77, the price difference is nothing these days and they are more complex and powerful.
i recently bought a tg77 and am having a hard time getting along with it. i noted you have an sy77, what editor do you use with yours?

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Post by MrFrodo » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:03 pm

The DX7 MkII FD is the one I'd lean towards if I had to specifically get a 61-note DX keyboard. I'd also go for the 802 if I just wanted the synth engine. (I do have a 76-note keyboard.)
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Post by gmeredith » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:51 am

Congrats on your purchase, I also just recently got one, it's fabulous!!

I had trouble just getting the DX manager to install that I gave up on it.

I use Winsysex with the DX Editor plugin for editing the TX802. It's not as good as the DX Manager because you can only send parameters, not receive them off the TX. In other words, all the Winsysex controls are set at neutral positions when it starts up - they don't reflect the actual position of the patch on the TX module. When you move the controls, they send to the TX and it changes ok, but you never know where it used to be unless you look at the TX diplay before you change the control.

But it does the job, and both the Winsysex and the DXEditor plugin are shareware, so they are free, but have a nag screen to remind you to purchase it and a timed OK button that doesnt activate for a few seconds to make sure you read the screen.

You can get winsysex v3.0 here:

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/ ... ftware.htm

You can get the DX editor plugin for it here:

http://www.thedx7.co.uk/2nd%20page_Q.html


Another one another that looks great is MIDI Editor and has the TX802 as a preset, but you have to buy it:

http://perso.magic.fr/llebot/welcome.htm


I'm considering getting a hardware MIDI controller to edit my TX802 instead of software. So far, this is the best runner up - a CME Bitstream 3x:

http://www.cme-pro.com/en/product-detai ... oduct_id=6

I've seen ebay shops selling it for $399 brand new.

This would be the best thing, in my opinion, as you can edit your TX802 without being near a computer, or change parameters real-time in a performance for analog effects.

Cheers, Graham
Casio: FZ1, CZ101, PG380, VZ10M, SK8, SK60, RAP10, DP1 drums, DH100, CDP200, DM100
Yamaha: TX81z, TX802, SHS10, DTXv2
Roland: SH101, DR660, MS1, PM16, TR33
Others: Korg MicroKontrol, ES-1, Alesis MMT8, Emu ESi2000 & card reader, BCR2000, V-Machine

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Post by xpander » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:39 am

synapsecollapse wrote:i recently bought a tg77 and am having a hard time getting along with it. i noted you have an sy77, what editor do you use with yours?
honestly, part of why i like the SY77 is because it beats the DX7 in the cryptic user interface category.

i use mine with the old Opcode Galaxy 2.5.3 editor from the 90s running on my old iMac i literally keep in my studio next to my Duo Core 2 iMac for the sole purpose of running Opcode's Galaxy. best editor software ever programmed, it was worth the 300 or so i spent on the OS9 iMac just to run it.

i have Unisyn but that editor (like most of Unisyn's editors) is not so nice to use.

i wonder how many people really understand how powerful multitimbrality is in a MIDI sense...

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