Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

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Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:57 pm

I recently bought a $167 non-functioning DX7 off craigslist, and am now stuck in the process of fixing it.

The synth's patches made no noise, and all were corrupted on the display, all sorts of misplaced characters in the title of the patch. I assumed all I would need to do is reload the patches and possibly do a battery switch. I checked the piano's voltage via its function and the display read 4.5v. A common fail reading due to the fact the battery doesn't have enough power in general.

I ordered the replacement battery off of mouser, and desoldered/soldered the new one in and the piano now reads a cool 2.8v. However, the display was still heavily corrupted, and no patches were available.

I then used MIDIOX with Dave Benson's default factory patches (rom1a.syx-rom4b.syx) with a low buffer rate (something like 256 bytes / num 16). And after hitting transfer, data would fly by in the monitor area of MIDIOX, and the light on my Midi/USB cable would flash as if data is being transferred. After that, I noticed absolutely no difference with the synth. No new sounds, no message saying MIDI received, etc.

Note, I am still able to initialize voices on the DX7, and save my newly initialized voices into internal memory safely, and they carry over past multiple start ups and shut downs of the DX7. I believe the synth is truly ok, and at this point I'm having problems with the SYSEX transfer. I am using a HOSA Technology USB-MIDI

I was wondering the EXACT full process (including unprotecting internal memory, setting the midi out param to DX mode, etc.) of loading factory patches with the E! Grey Matter board installed. Otherwise, I have no idea why my DX7 is not accepting patches. Also, I have no cartridges, and when I try to access the cartridge memory, I just get "Problem: CRT not ready..." I assume this is because the DX7 doesn't detect any cartridge memory and therefore it is off limits. The internal memory banks 0-9 are still corrupted though.

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by commodorejohn » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:16 pm

The manual for the DX7 Mk.1 E! is here. The reset process is outlined on pages 4 & 3 (yes, out of order - the scan's a little weird.)
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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:46 pm

commodorejohn wrote:The manual for the DX7 Mk.1 E! is here. The reset process is outlined on pages 4 & 3 (yes, out of order - the scan's a little weird.)
Ok, now all banks and voices are default back to INIT Voice, normal uncorrupted sine wave. MIDIOX also picks up when I press keys and display that in the Monitor output. Now I've set Memory Internal Protect to OFF, and set the MIDI In SYSEX Filters to ON. I open up the Sysex View and Scratchpad in MIDIOX, and hit File > Send Sysex File, and then I select one of the default banks, and watch blocks of hexadecimal numbers fly by the monitor, but still no change on the DX7.

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by Sonus » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:53 pm

You'll need a good quality midi interface for sysex transfer:

Image

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:57 pm

I just purchased the Yamaha UX16 Midi Transfer cable, but are you sure my cable is the problem? HOSA Tech is pretty decent stuff, it's priced high but I couldn't see it any worse quality than the third cable you posted. Is there anyway to tell if it's the cable's fault or the synth's fault? It seems after loading in patches, the default init voice sine waves are different volumes, and eventually after trying to just load in each SYSEX bank after another, the DX7 responded with "Problem: MIDI Checksum Error"

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by madtheory » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:19 pm

Wait, you have the sysex filter in the DX set to "on"? Shouldn't it be "off"?

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:49 pm

madtheory wrote:Wait, you have the sysex filter in the DX set to "on"? Shouldn't it be "off"?
According to this page, I should "push button 2 (Midi in filters: SYSEX) and then "on". This enables SYSEX data transfer."

Is this info wrong, is it actually turning SYSEX off?

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by Yekuku » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:55 pm

Are you following these instructions ?
Press "function", then "operator select" twice to select the "memory" page, push button 31 twice (Memory Protect Internal) and then "off". This disables the memory protect. Then press "function", then "operator select" four times to select the "keyboard control" page, push button 2 (Midi in filters: SYSEX) and then "on". This enables SYSEX data transfer. You are now finally ready to send the data from your computer.
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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:08 pm

Yes I am following those instructions. I linked them in the post above you.

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by Yekuku » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:15 pm

Last time I used these instructions they worked for me without any problems.
Memory protect should be set to "off" and sysex filter should be set to "on"
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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by madtheory » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:23 pm

Um, aren't those instructions for a standard DX-7? The E expanded DX-7 works differently, according to page 35 of the manual commodorejohn posted. It says push button 2 to turn sysex on. And it doesn't make sense to filter incoming sysex, if you want the synth to receive sysex.

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by Yekuku » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:31 pm

Unfortunately my e! grey matter is long gone , so I can not test it.
But I am sure that memory protection should be off, "SYS INFO AVAIL" should be set to yes, and the midi channel should be set to 1.
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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:07 am

Yekuku wrote:Unfortunately my e! grey matter is long gone , so I can not test it.
But I am sure that memory protection should be off, "SYS INFO AVAIL" should be set to yes, and the midi channel should be set to 1.

Mem. protection is off, and I'm not sure how to get SYS INFO AVAIL displayed on the screen? Original DX7 manuals say to head to FUNC mode and then press button 8 for the MIDI channels and SYS INFO AVAIL option, but on the E! Grey Matter expansion menus, midi has it's own page, and midi in/out channels are on buttons 1/2, and button 8 of the function page is volume.

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by gwolff » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:49 am

The rabbit hole goes even deeper...

At this point I've messed around with midi settings and tried to send sysex data to the synth like 20 times, and now, when I cycle through the patches of bank 0, something familiar comes up on the MIDIOX Monitor MIDI IN. The DX7 is having a blast saying that it know's the factory patches, and they're loaded. But on the actual synth display and audio output, all I see is "INIT VOICE" and the default sine wave.

Image

Could this provide anyone insight onto what's going on? So frustrating.

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Re: Yamaha DX7 E! Grey Matter & Corrupted Memory

Post by madtheory » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:56 am

It's not the DX-7 identifying the patch names. MIDIOX is using General MIDI patch names in place of the program change numbers. I think you'll find that list of names does not correspond with the names of the DX-7 factory presets! There is no SysEx stream in that screenshot, either. If SysEx was really on in the DX-7, there would be because it will send it when you change patch, IIRC.

You need to completely ignore the standard DX-7 manual on this, because the E! board over-rides all of that, since it adds new MIDI functionality. Unfortunately we only have the manual for the mark 1 E! board, and yours is the mark 2. Try carefully following the mark 1 E! board manual, first.

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