4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

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madmarkmagee
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4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by madmarkmagee » Fri May 23, 2014 6:10 pm

Getting a bit board of the analog subtractive model of synthesis and want to get a Yamaha DX synth and get some interesting sounds out of that. Not interested in software. I understand very Basic FM concepts.

I would be more keen on buying one of the later DX series like the dx 100 mainly because of the size. The DX7 is just so big and heavy and I have limited space.

But my question is, to all the FM nuts out there, is having 8 OP's a much bigger advantage with regard to making interesting/complex sounds, then only having 4 0Ps?

Thanks,

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by commodorejohn » Fri May 23, 2014 6:21 pm

Short answer? Yes, absolutely. But it's not just the number of operators; the 6-op and 8-op FM synths have a lot more flexibility in general - much more flexible EGs, finer-grained tuning for the operators, the ability to have operators at a fixed pitch and control whether they're synced to the start of the note, etc. So there's a whole lot more possibilities in crafting sounds than the 4-op FM synths. (Though the TX81Z and descendants do have multiple operator waveforms going for them, which opens up a different direction of interesting sonic territory.)

If space is at a premium, I'd get yourself a TX7 or TX802 - the interface is no worse than the corresponding DX7's, and the guts are exactly the same.
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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by pflosi » Fri May 23, 2014 6:42 pm

8-op? Is there anything else besides the FM1R?

But yeah, the more operators the better. I also concur that especially the ability to fix their pitch is very missing on the 4-ops.

The DX100 is very cool (the interface is really immediate IMO for a DX synth), but it's also kinda expensive nowadays. Probably because of hipsters wanting it to use with talkboxes. Check the DX21 from the 4-op lot, it has a nice chorus and you can layer patches.

The TX7 is not programmable from the front panel, you need a midi controller or software. Or a DX7 of course ;) It was just intended as a voice expander. The racks are usually programmable, although a bit tedious. IMO the DX7 itself is not so hard once you get the hang of it.

I'd also have a look at the SY and TG series.

Cheers!

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by CS_TBL » Fri May 23, 2014 6:53 pm

madmarkmagee wrote:But my question is, to all the FM nuts out there, is having 8 OP's a much bigger advantage with regard to making interesting/complex sounds, then only having 4 0Ps?
There are very few sounds in my own FM8 collection that really require 6 ops for one intrinsic sound, they'd merely be the complex stuff like piano, violin etc. Many other sounds are perfectly fine with 3..4 ops, and for most basses 2 ops will do. In FM8 the detail comes from the effects section, the segment envelopes and (now and then) the filter. The effects are what you'll be missing out on with a DX. The SY (somewhat dated effects still) or FS1r would be the better option - SY77/99 is not all bad to program, programming the FS1r is like painting the interior walls of your house from the outside through the mailbox using an extension arm.

If you make 2-op sounds, then 6 ops would mean you can do 3 layers, kinda like having 3 tones in a patch on a Roland JD/JV/XV. So, also from that point of view: more operators just means 'more'. More complexity, or more layers, or a mix of both.

Honestly though, you really don't want to learn programming FM with any synth that has a fixed FM-flow using algorithms, you'll end up sterile. :) You want a custom FM matrix, you really do.
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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by pflosi » Fri May 23, 2014 7:07 pm

CS_TBL wrote:programming the FS1r is like painting the interior walls of your house from the outside through the mailbox using an extension arm.
:lol:

I also agree to what CS said - often on the DX7 I make three "layers" of 2-op patches, etc. So certainly you can make nice stuff with 4-ops already! Maybe it's even better to start. And the fixed algos are not that bad IMO ;)

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by Jabberwalky » Fri May 23, 2014 7:13 pm

Go for a Dx21. Complexity can easily be achieved with a single patch, but it's also bitimbral and can get very interesting. It's about as small as you can get for 61 keys, and built very well. Minor gripe: no backlit display. I just scored a Korg Ds8 which blows all the other 4 ops into oblivion though!

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by Virgule » Fri May 23, 2014 8:41 pm

The Yamaha Electone HX-1 is a mix of 8-op FM and AMW samples but I don't know how programmable it is. They also made the non-editable 8op FM-only expander called FVX-1.

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by HideawayStudio » Fri May 23, 2014 10:36 pm

Jabberwalky wrote: I just scored a Korg Ds8 which blows all the other 4 ops into oblivion though!
...but DS8 is a repackaged Yamaha FB-01... It's a Yamaha 4-OP

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by commodorejohn » Fri May 23, 2014 11:03 pm

It does have Korg's sweet DDL chorus/delay, though. That thing can make even plain single-oscillator sawtooth sound great.
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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by Hugo76 » Sat May 24, 2014 12:38 am

You should also consider he dx200, which is a dx7 in desktop format with some added bells and whistles.

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by Jabberwalky » Sat May 24, 2014 2:44 am

HideawayStudio wrote:
Jabberwalky wrote: I just scored a Korg Ds8 which blows all the other 4 ops into oblivion though!
...but DS8 is a repackaged Yamaha FB-01... It's a Yamaha 4-OP
Ease of editing, FX, keybed, realtime manipulation, patch memory, win it over for me.

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by dr.blitzen » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:44 pm

I got a TQ 5 that I tend to use more than my TX802. Mainly due to programming the damn thing (TX802). For the TQ 5 I use Pfarm for my 4Op synth which basically mixes patches together to create interesting and sometimes not so interesting patches - dead easy. As for sound quality you can't beat the sound of an 8 Op synth so long as it's hardware of course! ;)

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by Virgule » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:14 am

At one point, I was using FB-01s more than my SY77.

Depending on what you're after sound-wise, each FM units can have something to offer not found on this or that model.

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by Hallu » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:44 am

If you want the peak of FM synthesis, get a TG77
If you want it slimmed down but still powerful, get a TX81Z

If you're an FM nerd and really want more sounds, the FB-01 will cover your 10 bit DAC tone the DX100 has and a TX7 or DX7 will get you the classic "hiss" tone, but aren't really doing anything crazy for music making and will just cost you more money.

DX100s need a break, especially since I want a spare for parts and I don't want you lot competing for 'em :cry:



EDIT: You WILL use a software editor, these things have over 100 parameters easy (the SY77 pushes 200? anyone care to correct me on that?). Getting a knobby controller only works for fine tweaks over some things live, since these synths have rudimentary MIDI control and a lot of parameter changes don't affect in real time. Any grand idea of buying a MIDI controller and somehow getting an analog subtractive-style interaction should leave your body now. You are entering the digital world, get ready for single data knobs and screens :geek:

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Re: 4 Op DX synths Vs 8 Op DX Synths

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:13 am

Hallu wrote:EDIT: You WILL use a software editor, these things have over 100 parameters easy (the SY77 pushes 200? anyone care to correct me on that?). Getting a knobby controller only works for fine tweaks over some things live, since these synths have rudimentary MIDI control and a lot of parameter changes don't affect in real time. Any grand idea of buying a MIDI controller and somehow getting an analog subtractive-style interaction should leave your body now. You are entering the digital world, get ready for single data knobs and screens :geek:
Now, a 2-op FM synth could be accessibly knobby - and I'm totally going to do that once I get around to having someone with more electronics experience draw up a suitable SBC design for me. Gotta love that vintage OPL2 tone :)
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