Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

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Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby sandwich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:56 am

Hello!

I was just wondering if it is possible to load the original DX7 patches into a DX7IID, and if so, is there any difference in the actual sound?

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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby adamstan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:41 am

They load just fine - sysex format for single patch is same for both. I can't comment on the sound differences, because I don't own brown DX7.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby sandwich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:57 am

Aah thanks for that, yes I don't have an original DX7 but I do have a DX7IID and FM7. It would be interesting to compare how an actual patch from the original DX7 sounds across all three!

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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby Weirdofromouterspace » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:58 am

sandwich wrote:I was just wondering if it is possible to load the original DX7 patches into a DX7IID


As adamstan already said - yes, without any problems. When developing the DX7II, Yamaha made sure they were 100 % compatible concerning sound files. I use MIDI Ox to upload the sounds via a sysex dump, and that works like a charm.

sandwich wrote:is there any difference in the actual sound?


Just like adamstan, I "only" have a DX7IID but no DX7I so I cannot compare directly. However, the sound will most likely be slightly different, because they use different DACs. The DX7I is said to sound a bit "noisier" or "grittier".

Also, velocity ranges only from 0-99 in the first version whereas it ranges from 0-127 in the DX7II.

Edit since you posted in the meantime:

sandwich wrote:yes I don't have an original DX7 but I do have a DX7IID and FM7


I also use FM7 to preselect patches on my computer - much more convenient than uploading them into the real thing one after the other :D .
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby madtheory » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:01 pm

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:However, the sound will most likely be slightly different, because they use different DACs. The DX7I is said to sound a bit "noisier" or "grittier".

This is not a criticism at all, just something that interests me. It turns out the whole converter thing is an over-simplification. For example, even though the DX7 converter is "only" 12 bit, it is floating point. So comparing it to a 12 bit sampler is nonsense.

User acreil on Gearslutz has done some very cool reverse engineering on all the Yamaha synths in this thread:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electro ... ost9792456

FM7/8 is not exactly the same as a DX-7, there are some interesting issues with how Yamaha did the envelopes, which NI did not re-create:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/9792456-post255.html
Basically all of the crazy hardware hacks Yamaha engineers did to make FM work cost effectively and still sound good! Their entire approach would make no sense at all in the software world, unless you wanted to model the behaviour of old hardware.

I remember Eno talking about this strange envelope behaviour a long time ago. It explains why his 4 patches published in MT magazine back in the eighties sound as intended (and pretty cool) on a real DX-7 but not in FM8 (not so cool). FM8 is still a fab synth though. I personally prefer it to Yamaha's FM because I always found that kind of weird and plasticky sounding, and never liked that gritty distortion that happens in the bass.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby sandwich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:17 pm

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:
sandwich wrote:I was just wondering if it is possible to load the original DX7 patches into a DX7IID


As adamstan already said - yes, without any problems. When developing the DX7II, Yamaha made sure they were 100 % compatible concerning sound files. I use MIDI Ox to upload the sounds via a sysex dump, and that works like a charm.

sandwich wrote:is there any difference in the actual sound?


Just like adamstan, I "only" have a DX7IID but no DX7I so I cannot compare directly. However, the sound will most likely be slightly different, because they use different DACs. The DX7I is said to sound a bit "noisier" or "grittier".

Also, velocity ranges only from 0-99 in the first version whereas it ranges from 0-127 in the DX7II.

Edit since you posted in the meantime:

sandwich wrote:yes I don't have an original DX7 but I do have a DX7IID and FM7


I also use FM7 to preselect patches on my computer - much more convenient than uploading them into the real thing one after the other :D .



Thanks that's cool, does that mean you actually dump the patches directly from FM7 into a DX7IID?

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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby elsongs » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:20 pm

The DX7II series was meant to be backwards-compatible with DX7 Mk1 sounds, so they will play, with improved sound quality.

HOWEVER, the original DX7 had a tiny envelope glitch (I heard this was present in the pitch envelope) where if the same sound were ported to a DX7II machine, the sound would sound slightly different, as the envelope glitch on the II machines was corrected. Some programmers used the "glitch" on the Mk 1series to their advantage to make a characteristic sound, so when played on a DX7II, it would have lost some of its character. So it's more like 98% compatibility.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby Weirdofromouterspace » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:22 pm

sandwich wrote:does that mean you actually dump the patches directly from FM7 into a DX7IID?


No ;) :

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:I use MIDI Ox to upload the sounds via a sysex dump


I proceed as follows:

a) listen to/select the patches I want using FM7 on my computer (living room! sofa! comfy! convenient! :lol: )
b) compile the patches into banks using Herr Muellers DX (weird name for software, but it works great)
c) upload these banks into the DX7 using MIDI Ox
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby madtheory » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:27 pm

elsongs wrote:HOWEVER, the original DX7 had a tiny envelope glitch (I heard this was present in the pitch envelope) where if the same sound were ported to a DX7II machine, the sound would sound slightly different, as the envelope glitch on the II machines was corrected. Some programmers used the "glitch" on the Mk 1series to their advantage to make a characteristic sound, so when played on a DX7II, it would have lost some of its character. So it's more like 98% compatibility.

Ya that;s the one Eno was talking about. He said "envelope 4"... I don't remember what that does on a DX-7. Is it assignable?

Eno interview:
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/eno-sense/2245

Eno patches:
http://www.spoogeworld.com/music/instru ... an0002.jpg
Last edited by madtheory on Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby adamstan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:32 pm

"Envelope 4" would probably be envelope for 4th operator. AFAIK DX7 has 7 envelopes per voice - six amplitude envelopes (one for each operator) and pitch envelope.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby sandwich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:10 pm

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:
sandwich wrote:does that mean you actually dump the patches directly from FM7 into a DX7IID?


No ;) :

Weirdofromouterspace wrote:I use MIDI Ox to upload the sounds via a sysex dump


I proceed as follows:

a) listen to/select the patches I want using FM7 on my computer (living room! sofa! comfy! convenient! :lol: )
b) compile the patches into banks using Herr Muellers DX (weird name for software, but it works great)
c) upload these banks into the DX7 using MIDI Ox



That's great thanks :D I'll give that a try ;-)
Cheers Weirdofromouterspace, somehow I feel mean calling you that lol!!

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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby elsongs » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:34 pm

adamstan wrote:"Envelope 4" would probably be envelope for 4th operator. AFAIK DX7 has 7 envelopes per voice - six amplitude envelopes (one for each operator) and pitch envelope.


I don't know exactly. But I've ported the original DX7 Mk 1 factory bank into NI FM8 and the Marimba patch sounds much more duller than on the original DX7.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby Zamise » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:39 pm

Even tho I have a bit of DX stuff and experience I am far from an expert and I am probably totally off track here, and it has been a while, however I remember while working on creating a particular VSTI (RS7000 to SE7000 via synth edit) I had to do some odd things, don't remember what all exactly, thinking it had to operate in reverse for the pitch decay, where 64 to 0 was normal instead of 0 to -64 normally pitched down or vise versa or something weird like that for the pitch decay envelope to work similarly to it's yamaha counterpart. Neither were DXfm based synths tho so I hesitate even mentioning this on here but maybe someone else in this world other than myself would find that interesting, I do remember feeling that the hardware synth I based the VSTI off of that the the pitch decay always made more sense to me how it operated and the software side VSTI had it backwards or goofy and I had to do some strange things to get it to better mimic the yamaha hardware synth. Technically it is all software and hardware, right? Right. Whatever...Anyway... I had a DX7IIFD for a while, always thought it sounded crisper than the older DX7 recordings I've heard whatever the cause of it, crisp and clean or warmer and fuzzier, don't give much of two squirts which is better or not, I'll just say you can make clean sound dirty a lot easier than dirty sound clean, and that I'm using a DX200 and FS1R more than I ever did the DX7IIFD unless you count it as an actual door stop, that thing was a tank.
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Re: Original DX7 to DX7IID Sounds

Postby sockmonkey » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:42 pm

Sorry to open this topic again, but I've been doing some research into this and just got a DX7IID to compare. The biggest difference which I can discern (and which pretty much every emulator gets wrong) is that the original DX7 amplitude envelopes could be programmed to provide a delayed onset. Consider this:

Code: Select all
       —————
     /       \
____/         \____


Let's say that is R1=99, R2=40, R3=90, R4=90 and L1=0, L2=0, L3=99, L4=0

On the Mk1 hardware, this will cause the attack to come a few hundred ms later than the key-down event. The "Encounters" patch (linked here) uses this, for instance, to generate an "arpeggio".

The DX7II (and the SY77, FS1R, etc.) ignores rate if the level remains the same and skips the step. So "Encounters" on the DX7II is a chord instead of a melody. Kind of annoying, and a good reason to hang onto the Mk1 hardware (including the TX7, TX816, etc). The SY77 series & FS1R added a "Hold Time" parameter to enable this again (although they don't import DX7 patches to use it, unfortunately), but I don't think there's a way to get the DX7II to do the same thing without some hackery using low, non-equal levels (if you know of one, please let me know!).

Hope that makes sense and is useful -- I couldn't determine anything taking advantage of this in the Eno patches btw.

I recently submitted a patch to Dexed (it's on the main repository now, but not yet in a release) which fixes this for that emulator.
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