Ultimate DX7 sounds

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Rokk
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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rokk » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:31 pm

Hallu, it CAN create a generic sawtooth patch only that it sounds like a DX7. But sawtooth and also square waveforms CAN be produced but while they sound terrific in upper registers, they sound rather thin in the bass range. To me the DX7 excels in upper octaves.

ThirdFloor, many people are asking me for sysex files, so I decided to make complete banks which will be available soon for a donation. There will be a lead bank, bass bank, string/pad bank, ambient & experimental bank. So, 32 sounds per bank. Many patches will be my own creations and some patches will be modified existing patches (some more, some less) as I've found some patches from the old DX7 banks to be quite good and I thought why not to include them, too. I've spent weeks loading those countless banks into my DX, auditioning all the patches, then selecting the good ones and arranging them into new banks, then again selecting the best ones from the good ones, then making my own patches,....time is money, so I have decided to give these banks for a donation.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by ThirdFloor » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:00 pm

Perfectly reasonable! Time is money, indeed! Thank you!

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by zukskywalker » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:07 pm

Very much a "gold vein" thread here(thanks Push-Pull for the beautiful tune and, wow, the sysex?!!).
DX IMHO is vastly unexplored I'm looking forward to looking at the Rokk banks.
(BTW: the membrane buttons went away on the DX7II of course, adds better midi, and then there's the E!)

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Purpureus » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:10 pm

I totally agree that FM has been vastly unexplored in modern contexts. Otherwise, there would've been large demand for it and there would be some modern FM synths. People just have to get over the fact that FM does not go with knobs and it is a different animal from a subtractive synth. I give it two years... the FM revival must come!

I'm thinking about getting a DX synth again but the fact that they are nearly 30 years old really bugs me. If I crack and buy it, I'll do my best to promote what FM can do in conjunction with modern gear. And I know from first hand experience that it can deliver.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by commodorejohn » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:25 pm

Purpureus wrote:I'm thinking about getting a DX synth again but the fact that they are nearly 30 years old really bugs me. If I crack and buy it, I'll do my best to promote what FM can do in conjunction with modern gear. And I know from first hand experience that it can deliver.
Do it. The DX7s are some of the most solidly-built keyboards I've encountered - the DX7-II in particular is an absolute tank, and both have excellent keybeds that eschew rubber-dome contacts for mechanical switches that will hold up a h**l of a lot better over time. My DX7-IIFD came to me full of dead bugs, crumbs of s**t, and splotches of God-knows what, and after a good cleaning it works like absolutely new.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rokk » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:21 pm

Purpureus wrote:I totally agree that FM has been vastly unexplored in modern contexts. Otherwise, there would've been large demand for it and there would be some modern FM synths. People just have to get over the fact that FM does not go with knobs and it is a different animal from a subtractive synth. I give it two years... the FM revival must come!

I'm thinking about getting a DX synth again but the fact that they are nearly 30 years old really bugs me. If I crack and buy it, I'll do my best to promote what FM can do in conjunction with modern gear. And I know from first hand experience that it can deliver.
Yeah, FM is really great if you know what you are doing, otherwise you might end up with weird metallic growls and noises that are 99.9% unusable in a musical context...well, unless your music consists of such sounds :)
12 years ago I had a DX7 borrowed from my friend, who didn't want to bother with it. Then I returned it and a few months ago I bought one for for 190 euros. It was not perfect though. I had to open it up, repair a few keys as they had a strange springy feel, then I tried to repair the lowest Eb key which sustained it's note, but in a process of repairing it I destroyed it instead. Now it's there, but doesn't work. But anyway, I'll never use that Eb key probably :)
Then there is a problem of bottom octave velocity. It works and it doesn't work. I still have to take a closer look at that. But the keybead? Man, this is the best keybed I've played. Nice resistance, pretty heavy feel, but fast, like it should be for a synth. The only other synth keyboard that I immediately felt was really cool was on Waldorf Blofeld KB. Very nice. So, yeah, it's 30 years old, BUT. They are cheap and there is plenty of them around. I'll simply buy one more only for parts. And I'm seriously considering buying a SuperMAX expansion card. 200 USD, but probably really worth it as it gives you layers, splits, arpeggiator, 512 memory locations and better midi.
DX7 is built like a tank, though. Really.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by ranzee » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:28 am

Hey Rokk,

Really nice vids - great job on the programming.

I got my DX7ii-FD a little while ago, it is perfect condition (previously owned by a church). It also came with a massive book called the Complete DX7II by Howard Massey (as well as the original manual), and a flight case!

I read a fairbit of the book and the manual, but haven't really had a chance to dive into programming it yet - but this video of yours has really inspired me to get back onto it. My analog stuff has been getting way too much love at the present

- time for some Digital FM!

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rokk » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:07 pm

ranzee wrote:Hey Rokk,

Really nice vids - great job on the programming.

I got my DX7ii-FD a little while ago, it is perfect condition (previously owned by a church). It also came with a massive book called the Complete DX7II by Howard Massey (as well as the original manual), and a flight case!

I read a fairbit of the book and the manual, but haven't really had a chance to dive into programming it yet - but this video of yours has really inspired me to get back onto it. My analog stuff has been getting way too much love at the present

- time for some Digital FM!
Ranzee, first of all, get to understand the algorithms. For the more usual synth sounds use algorithms1-6 and 14 or 15. These can give you sort of a two or three osc synth architecture. Then you use the rest of the operators as modulators. For example in algorithm 3 you have OP 1 and OP4 set up as carriers. Others are modulators. To make things simple set the envelopes of modulators the same as envs for the two carriers. Then play with modulator level and pitch and you'll hear you are getting different waveforms. You can make a lot of sounds using only algorithms 3 and 4. I mean, DX7 has almost limitless waveform creation possibilities. You can make all sorts of waveforms using only these simple algorithms, what to speak of engaging feedback loop or using other, more sophisticated algorithms.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by ranzee » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:10 am

Hey Rokk,

Thanks! I've got a pretty good handle on all the techo side (Computer Scientist here) - but the info is definitely helpful. I'll probably grab you to pick your brain once I get fully into it in the next couple of days.

I want to put together an ambient track, and thinking of using the DX7 to create some original sounds ...

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rokk » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:29 pm

Those of you who want to get the patches from my youtube videos (plus some more) can get them by contact me at:
ultimate.dx7@outlook.com
I have thre banks available now as a set:
1. BASS
2. LEAD & ARP
3. PADS & STRINGS

Note: As mentioned earlier in this topic I'm not giving them for free, but for a donation (give as you feel).

I have both sysex and Herr Mueller Editor banks available.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Bitexion » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:31 pm

Just don't try to sell soundbanks that are already available online for free. That's bad karma. There are literally thousands of sysex files just a google search away.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rokk » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:44 pm

First of all, I'm not selling anything here. It's just that if someone wants these banks I will ask for an exchange of energy in form of a donation as I've spent hours upon hours programming, selecting and modifying patches. Yes, there are thousands of DX banks, but have you auditioned lots of them? I did and mostly there are same old basses and electric pianos over and over again. So what I did is I found an interesting sound here and there, saved it, tweaked it a bit in order to make it more playable (if that was necessary) and include it in the bank.

If someone feels I shouldn't get anything for this, he's free to feel that way, but I don't.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rezisehtnys » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:56 pm

Do what I did and go all out and get a SY77/99. Advanced FM synthesis for the win!

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by Rokk » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:05 pm

I used to have TG77. A crazy synth, but that was 10 years ago, and I found it even more difficult to program than DX7, so I sold it. I don't miss it for FM sounds, but the choir sounds were among the best ever.

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Re: Ultimate DX7 sounds

Post by HideawayStudio » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:45 pm

Push-Pull wrote:Rokk, your first demo has very cool pads, some are well "Eno-ish"...

The DX7 is often poorly estimated. However, it is able to take us very far in strange musical landscapes !

A few years ago I did a DX7 demo where all sounds came from the DX (except a discrete strings pad starting at the middle of the song), even the drum sounds !
Enjoy: At Night in the Cuyabeno Jungle
I'm finding this piece is strangely addictive - I'm on my third listening!

I especially like the piano and percussive sounds you've chosen. It almost reminds me of Air's Moon Safari at times.

I am sensing a definite rekindled interest in FM and I find this quite exciting as I'm itching to hear the DX/SY used/programmed in more contemporary genres.

I too recently fixed up a Mk 1 DX7 and I'd forgotten how nice and expressive it can sound. I spent two days solid sifting through hundreds of old patch banks I downloaded off the net and yes there are a lot of cheesy sounding patches but there are also some real corkers which make it clear that the DX still has something to give.

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