Whats beyond the DX7?

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mrfrisky330
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Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by mrfrisky330 » Thu May 21, 2009 1:26 pm

As you know by know I have a cool DX7s and as i'm getting better and better at FM synthesis everyday i'm looking to the future and upgrading to a modern equivalent.

Are there any synths made today with FM synthesis? Are there any where you can create sounds from nothing like you can with the DX7s??

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by Yoozer » Thu May 21, 2009 1:58 pm

Nothing available today except for software FM synths, or building an FM-like setup in the Nord Modular G2, or doing something similar in Reaktor. The G2/Nord Modular classic are pretty good at that, actually.
Are there any where you can create sounds from nothing like you can with the DX7s??
Uh, nothing? I assume you mean additive synthesis. Kawai K5/K5000-series can do it, and again, several software synths - but these don't work according to Yamaha's DX-style FM principles (as you may know FM should actually be PM - phase modulation).

The last modern FM synth by Yamaha was the FS1r (not counting the DX-PLG/DX200 as those were DX7 clones on a single board) so that's your upgrade path. However, things can get more interesting if you get more of 'm - so see what layering with a slightly detuned TX7 or TX802 does for you. The DX7IIFD I have has a wonderful Unison.
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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by meatballfulton » Thu May 21, 2009 2:50 pm

The ulimate FM layering solution is the huge TX816 rack system which goes for cheap these days. This is eight DX7 synths in a rack mount, you can use it as 8 individual synths but more interestingly you can layer them up to 8 deep. You can program it using your existing DX keyboard or via a computer editor.
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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by Pro5 » Thu May 21, 2009 3:04 pm

Yeah... a quick upgrade would be a DX7 II with layering, or an SY-77 with even more + mix in some PCM if that's your bag. I mostly use the layering on my DX7 II for actual sounds now, the single voices have their uses to and of course are the building blocks.

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by paugui » Thu May 21, 2009 3:57 pm

I think the Yamaha SY77 is a great synth.
I had one and only sold it because I got a good value for it.
The only thing not good about it is that it is really big and has no significant extras from the TG-77 (it doesn't have that much performance controls, only the fact that it has 3 modulation wheels is a bit exotic), which made me want to get a TG77 or an SY-99 instead.

Right now my two FM option are my Alesis Fusion 8HD and my Clavia Nord Modular G2X.
The Fusion doesn't emulate the DX7 since it only has 4 stage envelopes. However, you can use a filter, 8 envelopes and 8 LFO's simultaneously, which is far more modulation madness than what it is allowed on the DX7. It also has no fixed algorithms, you can use all operators to modulate themselves and all the others.
The G2X can emulate a DX7 (or at least it is supposed to, I cannot tell that for sure cause I never tried my SY77), and it allows for much more complex stuff to be done too.

I would say any of these two would be a great choice, especially because they can do other things quite well.
The Fusion has a nice VA and PM engine inbuilt, however I think the sampler part could be better, while G2X can really do whatever you want it to, it is simply an amazing piece of gear.

If I was to get another FM synth the only ones I would consider would be the FS1r, the TG-77 and the SY-99 and probably a DX-1 (if I could ever find one for a good price).


Hope this helps

Paugui

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by vanitypolice » Thu May 21, 2009 7:20 pm

Are you all really so afraid of FM8? It's definitely easier to use and a MUCH more capable synth than any of these and it can do everything any DX/TX synch can do. I can't speak for the SY series but I'm sure there's some overlap there too.

What's really cool about the FM8 is the ability to define different waveforms to use sort of like in the TX81Z. It even has the waveforms from all those synths.

The only reason I could imagine for owning a DX was if it were the DX7 and you REALLY had to have its, I think, 12 bit conversion, which, yes, does sound beautiful.(but if you're doing a track with any serious amount of multitracking that's hardly going to matter. ;)
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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by gcoudert » Thu May 21, 2009 7:34 pm

Is it true that the SY77 can load DX7 sysex data?
GC

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by paugui » Thu May 21, 2009 8:34 pm

gcoudert wrote:Is it true that the SY77 can load DX7 sysex data?
You have to convert it to SY77 data, but there is at least one free software that does it.
This one seems to do it:

http://www.nonoctave.com/tuning/Retube/

But I think I had other when I had my SY-77, despite I ended up by never using it (I got more "toys" in the meanwhile and ended up not using it a lot...)

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by Operatron » Fri May 22, 2009 1:05 am

The DX7 is the ultimate FM synth imo thats what im saving for and really looking forward to learn FM synthesis in the near future .

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by Bitexion » Fri May 22, 2009 9:34 am

Well, the Alesis Fusion is a new-ish synth with a complete FM engine with 8 operators. Think it was released a couple years ago.
There are no limits as to how you can combine the operators, so surely you can recreate the DX7 algorithms. It has 3 semi-separate parts. A Virtual Analog (the Ion engine w/ 3 oscillators and lots of filter models), full FM engine, and sampler.

But having those 32 algorithms is more of a help than a limitation for me when I program my DX7S. I'd never get my head around this stuff if I had "limitless" ways of combining the operators. I simply would have no idea how they would best be combined for different sound types. The Yamaha engineers figured that out for me, and I'm eternally happy they did or the synth would have been next to useless.

Stumbling blindly in the dark is not the best way to learn FM synthesis though..all those parameters that interact in such wild ways, not to mention WHY the algorithms are made the way they are. I bought 2 books when I got mine, both are from the mid-80's and both teach DX7 programming down to the very last detail of the synths' menus, with tons of step by step instructions.

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by paugui » Fri May 22, 2009 12:36 pm

Bitexion wrote:Well, the Alesis Fusion is a new-ish synth with a complete FM engine with 8 operators.
The Fusion only has 6 operators just like the DX7.
I think the main difference from the DX7 to the Fusion lies in the envelopes, cause the ones on the Fusion are only 4-step, and the fact that on the Fusion you can use a filter and you have quite a nice range of filter types you can choose.

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by D-Collector » Fri May 22, 2009 1:10 pm

Doesn't the Nord Wave have some FM capabilities? I remember playing and tweaking it for a long time in a store, and I got many nice and lush FMish pads out of it.

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by felini » Fri May 22, 2009 2:00 pm

If you want to stick to Yamaha, you should go with the FS1r, or if you like it vintage, the TX802 (great synth), but a cool option, IMHO, is a nord modular. I have both the TX802, which sounds awesome, and a NM, that doesn´t sound exactly as the TX802, but is waaay more flexible.
I remember seeing a live jam once performed by Max Mathews and Francisco Kröpfl, and they were using an SY99. It completely shocked me, great fm sound. They had a soprano singer too (Maureen Chowning), and she used a Yamaha VSS-30 to process her voice.

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by Bitexion » Fri May 22, 2009 2:33 pm

I remember when I tested the Nord Wave, I found some simple 1 osc sound, tweaked the FM amount knob and suddenly had a kickass FM lead sound..I think it's pretty limited though, can't make those "acoustic recreations" that DX synths are so (in)famous for?

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Re: Whats beyond the DX7?

Post by Shreddie » Fri May 22, 2009 2:40 pm

Yeah, the Fusion has just six operators but they are freely routable (no fixed algorithms) and do allow a number of waveforms to be used including noise. As a side note to FM, the Fusion is the only hardware synth which can use FM in it's sample engine IIRC... As in actually frequency modulating sample based sounds.

It was released in '04 or '05 and is now discontinued. Ebay prices do remain high though as it is a very powerful/flexible synth indeed... It's polyphony figures alone are quite staggering! I love the FM sounds on it though the FS1R beats it for quality/presence... However, the Fusions FM is fairly easy to program as far as hardware FM goes so I generally stick with the Fusion alone when I'm doing my FM thang!

As for the FS1R, it sounds bloomin' lovely and is arguably the most powerful FM synth ever made but it's probably one of the worst synths ever to program... At least without a computer editor.

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