just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
zardoz677
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:30 am

just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by zardoz677 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:38 am

Hey everyone. I just picked up a DX7 for under 200 bucks. Its my first hardware synth and I know its not the best to start out but I couldnt resist the price and all my favourite bands from the 80's use it....
anyways I love the sounds I hear from demos, but I am a bit intimidated by its reputation of being so hard to learn to program. Does anyone have any suggestions on resources or tips in general?

I have heard that people are downloading patches or something? How does this work since it doesnt have a usb obviously...? Or do they just mean they are copying the parameters manually off of the screen?

Any help would be great.

User avatar
rhino
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2611
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:00 pm
Real name: bill
Gear: keepers:
Kurzweil K2500x
Ensoniq TS-12
Yamaha SY-99
Alesis QS-8
Roland JD-800
Roland JX-10
Akai AX-80
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
Fizmo
Location: kentucky hills

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by rhino » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:01 am

Welcome to the board!
Now, a few first steps up the learning curve.

Most (NOT ALL) patches on the web are written in a synthesizer "language" called SYSEX (stands for SYStem Exclusive message). You will need a USB/MIDI adaptor. Plug the USB end into your comnputer and the two five-pin MIDI plugs into the DX-7...the plug marked TO IN (or similar) goes to the MIDI IN port on the DX.
Now, find and download a MIDI SYSEX reader program (one good one for PC is "MIDI-OX".

Read the"help" file of the program and get to know it. Check the manual for the DX and learn how to enable MIDI SYSEX reception and program protect disable.

Download the SYSEX file from the web and save it on your computer. Then run the Sysex program to send it to your DX.
Yeah, it's a swamp. Took me about 50 times to get it down pat. All knowlege takes work and practice.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

goom
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:55 am

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by goom » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:33 am

Congratulations on the new toy! If you can find it, get a copy of Howard Massey's The Complete Guide To The DX7. It's goes into detail of how to program the DX, but in an easy to understand way. Of course there are many parameters in the DX7, so the books is a bit thick. :)

Still, if you can program a well-spec'd analog synth, the DX7 isn't much more difficult than that really. It's just a different beast. WHAT?! No FILTERS?! :D

goom
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:55 am

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by goom » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:36 am

Here's a nice Keyboard Mag article to start you off, from Bo Tomlyn:

http://www.fm-alive.com/Downloads/prgrmdx7.pdf

User avatar
Dano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 2:03 pm
Location: Springfield, IL USA

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by Dano » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:32 am

This is good program to consider if you want to program your own patches or even to just play around with editing patches:

http://fm-alive.com/pages/DXM3.aspx

User avatar
garranimal
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by garranimal » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:00 pm

Book Secrets Of Analog And Digital Synthesis (Ferro Music Technology Series) [Paperback]
by Steve DeFuria.
Has a simplified description of audio theory up front, also the section on FM synthesis is a good introduction.

cgren72
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:41 pm

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by cgren72 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:18 pm

And if you get an adapter, i would strongly recomend not getting the 5 dollar midi adapter thats everywhere on ebay. i bought it and it is pretty bad. spend a few more dollars and get something that will work well. i use a cakewalk um-2g and it works well. any adapter from a decent company should work fine.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MIDI-USB-Cable- ... 1e5fce5e01 this is the bad adapter.

ebay has plenty of good adapters, ive seen a roland um 1, and something from m-audio that would probably work fine. if you plan on using software synths, i would suggest the um 2g because it is just a little more expensive and has 2 ins and outs
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAKEWALK-UM-2G- ... 4cf875e87a

midi was frustrating at first for me

User avatar
Joshy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:38 am
Real name: Josh
Location: Utah

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by Joshy » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:41 am

I think you'll find this handy: The Complete DX7

:D


mharris80
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:24 pm
Gear: Korg M1
MicroKorg
Ensoniq ASR 88
Ensoniq ESQ-1
Roland JX-8P
Roland MKS-50
Yamaha RX7
M Audio Oxygen 49
AV Linux
Location: Robinson, IL

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by mharris80 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:58 am

If after programming it for a bit, you're ready to pull your hair out due to the data slider, one of these will come in very handy:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/BCR2000.aspx

Kidney05
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 5:34 am
Gear: Juno 106, Tetra, Mopho Keyboard, Little Phatty Stage II, RX-5, Volcas, JX-3P, R5, 505, TX-7, D550, TX81Z, Korg MS-20 Mini, Minibrute, Six Traks, TR-8
Contact:

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by Kidney05 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:14 am

anyone else have a tx81z? I got one a couple months back but have done no patch editing.

zardoz677
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:30 am

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by zardoz677 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:10 am

Thank you all so much for the replies!

The midi usb hookup sounds a bit complicated but I will jump on it after I have learned as much as I can from the manual and books!

Also I will be sure to get a copy of that book on amazon, the problem is they mostly go for over $100!

Also thanks for the link to the ebook just from the title Im sure it will be just what I need but Im on a mac right now so I will have to open it on my PC later.



Just as a side question I know that lots of my favorite bands like talking heads, eno and the cure uses a DX7, but does anyone know of specific songs where the synth was used just so that I could get a feel for what it really does in action?

Would that have been the DX7 all over the cures disintegration album like the classic line in lullaby? How about all the wacky synth lines in Talking Heads "speaking in tongues"?

mharris80
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:24 pm
Gear: Korg M1
MicroKorg
Ensoniq ASR 88
Ensoniq ESQ-1
Roland JX-8P
Roland MKS-50
Yamaha RX7
M Audio Oxygen 49
AV Linux
Location: Robinson, IL

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by mharris80 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:39 am

zardoz677 wrote: Just as a side question I know that lots of my favorite bands like talking heads, eno and the cure uses a DX7, but does anyone know of specific songs where the synth was used just so that I could get a feel for what it really does in action?

Would that have been the DX7 all over the cures disintegration album like the classic line in lullaby? How about all the wacky synth lines in Talking Heads "speaking in tongues"?
Not sure about those, but for a look at what can really be done with it, there's always this:


Kidney05
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 360
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 5:34 am
Gear: Juno 106, Tetra, Mopho Keyboard, Little Phatty Stage II, RX-5, Volcas, JX-3P, R5, 505, TX-7, D550, TX81Z, Korg MS-20 Mini, Minibrute, Six Traks, TR-8
Contact:

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by Kidney05 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:24 am

mharris80 wrote:
zardoz677 wrote: Just as a side question I know that lots of my favorite bands like talking heads, eno and the cure uses a DX7, but does anyone know of specific songs where the synth was used just so that I could get a feel for what it really does in action?

Would that have been the DX7 all over the cures disintegration album like the classic line in lullaby? How about all the wacky synth lines in Talking Heads "speaking in tongues"?
Not sure about those, but for a look at what can really be done with it, there's always this:

I normally love a good DX-7 patch, but almost all those were damn eerie to me...

User avatar
Dano
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 2:03 pm
Location: Springfield, IL USA

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by Dano » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:58 am

zardoz677 wrote: Just as a side question I know that lots of my favorite bands like talking heads, eno and the cure uses a DX7, but does anyone know of specific songs where the synth was used just so that I could get a feel for what it really does in action?
I'm pretty sure that The Cure's Head On The Door has a lot of DX7 on it (and not the typical DX "Full Tines" type patch that was so prevalent for part of the 80's). Watch the 1985 Live Aid concert - IIRC there are at least as many bands there with a DX7 as ones without.

cgren72
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:41 pm

Re: just got a DX7. Suggestions on learning or patches?

Post by cgren72 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:34 pm

zardoz677 wrote:
The midi usb hookup sounds a bit complicated but I will jump on it after I have learned as much as I can from the manual and books!
the midi usb hookup shouldnt be too difficult. download the driver off the website or off the included disc and then select it in the setup of the program you are using. and if you ever use softsynths, you might want to download and select a sound driver(asio4all is free and works well.)

Post Reply