Dx7 programming

Pulling out your hair? Don't know what to do or where to go? Ask in here.
Forum rules
READ: VSE Board-Wide Rules and Guidelines

If your Help request has been solved, please edit your first post in order to select the Image Topic Icon to let others know your topic has been solved.
1985
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:51 pm

Dx7 programming

Post by 1985 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:02 am

Hi All,
Ive been tinkering around with my dx7 kk1 and editing some of the original patches but not coming up with any usable sounds :cry: . I have a basis understanding from watching
and from messing around myself.

anyone any pointers in programming the following sounds, which algorithms, freq ect...??????
I know i can download similar sounds but trying to get a bit of understanding how to put sounds together myself

patch at 1.41
pad at 2.52
patch at 4,28



many many thanks

User avatar
tekkentool
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3218
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:51 am
Real name: Steve
Gear: Lasers (ส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้ ωส้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้)
Band: none currently
Location: Sydney, australia.(I moved)

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by tekkentool » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:07 am

I have absolutely no concept of why anybody interested in FM sound design would choose an actual DX7 for that purpose, it's like choosing to have sex through a bear trap.

That being said most of these are probably presets, I actually have a load of presets for the Dx7 MKII on my computer so I'll see if I can find the ones in particular.

1985
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:51 pm

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by 1985 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:22 am

[quote="tekkentool"]I have absolutely no concept of why anybody interested in FM sound design would choose an actual DX7 for that purpose, it's like choosing to have sex through a bear trap.


Thanks for your help, was not a concious choice bought the dx7 before i realised the difficulty in programming it :oops: looks like that bear trap will be getting some use :D :D

thanks again

User avatar
Big Gnome
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 410
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:14 am
Gear: E-mu Proteus 2500
Ensoniq ESQ-1
Ensoniq VFX
SCI Prelude
Waldorf Blofeld
Band: The Nondescript
Location: Oakland, CA
Contact:

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by Big Gnome » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:35 am

The DX7 interface is really not that bad (and I understand later models improved upon a few things--I know the '5 did); actually, I find programming most romplers to be way more aggravating.

I'm definitely not a talented FM programmer and it's been a few years since I owned a DX, so pardon the lack of specifics; I'll do my best to get you in the ballpark though.

The first sound requires two stacks of 3 (whichever algorithms those are--3 and 4, maybe?), both with ratios of 0.5:1:1, and with each stack (consistently) detuned from one another. Ops 2, 3, 5, and 6 will have a more or less instantaneous attack and and a medium decay to a lowish sustain level--a high rate 1 of 90+, time and level 2 left at 99, and lower values for time and level 3; rate 4 to taste. You'll probably want ops 3 and 6 to decay a little faster than 2 and 4. Also experiment with keyboard scaling on the envelope rates and modulator outputs in the upper registers.

The second patch is really easy to approximate. Sounds to me like a few 2-op stacks, so you'll want to use alg. 5 or 6; all ratios at 1:1 (although I'm having a hard time telling if one stack is an octave higher--if that's the case, set its ratios to 2:2). Ops 2, 4, and 6's output should be relatively low, with some velocity sensitivity and a little amplitude modulation from the LFO, and detune all ops a little bit (you may or may not wish to detune each carrier/modulator pair consistently). Give each operator longish attack and release (that is, lower rates 1 and 4).

I can try to work out the third patch in detail later on when I have more time, but it sounds to me like a pretty standard brass/polysynth type thing with a modulator tuned higher--experiment with ratios of 2-4:1--with a quick decay in one stack.
"Sure that's fine in practice, but what about in theory?"
Some of my c**p

User avatar
bouzoukijoe1
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:56 am

maybe it would be easier to play with a software app first then go back to the actual DX7 afterwards? the hard thing about the DX7 is the poor visual feedback. I mean it's hard enough anticipating how a patch will behave even with hours of experimenting, much less doing it blindly. if you have an iPad for instance, there's the DXi app which is pretty neat to play around with just to get a feel of the basics, maybe next to the real DX7. the real-time algorithm diagram and simultaneous envelope displays make it much more intuitive I think. I mean you still have to know the basics of the DX7's carrier/modulator/feedback structure (see algo. diagrams) and this might not be identical to the real thing, but it might still help. you can't readily connect a midi keyboard to it and dialing in the frequency ratios is a pain in the butt, but the other controls aren't too bad. it only takes about a couple of hours to familiarize yourself with (then the rest of the time complaining how much touch interfaces suck haha). it would be interesting though if they released a new DX7 with this much visual feedback. anyway the programmer is pretty genius (Takashi Mizuhiki) and overall the app is amazing. there's also a web version available if you don't have an iPad: http://www.taktech.org/takm/WebFMSynth/
iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dxi-fm- ... 38065?mt=8



more DX7 algo. stuff: http://cnx.org/content/m19841/latest/#eip-840

psygoat
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:12 pm

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by psygoat » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:38 pm

I did a lot of programming on the DX9, which is a 4 operator version of the DX7 so I would recommend switching off (turning volume down) 2 of the operators. You'll find it much easier to make usable sounds and avoid the standard ring modulation / metal white noise that is so easily created with the DX.
Hint -You only need a little bit of modulation of the carrier wave to create a lot of harmonics, so as you go down the chain you set the volume of the operators lower and lower.

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

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by Joshy » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:40 pm

The Complete DX7 may be handy to you.


Tiger Jackson
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:14 pm
Gear: Ensoniq ESQ-1, Microkorg, Yamaha DX100, Fizmo

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by Tiger Jackson » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:09 am

psygoat wrote:I did a lot of programming on the DX9, which is a 4 operator version of the DX7 so I would recommend switching off (turning volume down) 2 of the operators. You'll find it much easier to make usable sounds and avoid the standard ring modulation / metal white noise that is so easily created with the DX.
Hint -You only need a little bit of modulation of the carrier wave to create a lot of harmonics, so as you go down the chain you set the volume of the operators lower and lower.
Ive been programming my dx100 for a while with its 4-ops, i feel like a got the concept down. But is the 6-op yamaha dx7 really THAT hard, like would i have problems?

User avatar
ryryoftokyo
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 650
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 1:19 am
Real name: Ryan
Gear: Metal, plastic, wood, and electricity.
Band: Tarot Sync
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by ryryoftokyo » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:36 pm

People try and make it sound like programming a DX7 is the hardest thing you'll ever do. It's really not that bad. The only frustrating part is the fact that the DX series is a menu dive, and nobody likes that. If you're a halfway decent programmer, you should need more than a few hours at the panel before you have at least the basics figured out.
MU Modular (Moog, Dotcom, STG, Analog Systems, and Moon modules), MS20 (x2), Microbrute, Electribes (EA-1, EMX), microKorg, AN1x, Nord Lead 2x, Blofeld, Alpha Juno 2, DX7, JX8P, Poly 61 (x2), Split 8, TR-505, Monotron Delay, Ace Tone FR-3, Paia Fatman

wildpaws
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:46 am
Real name: Clyde
Gear: DX7IIFD, SY77, SY99, Hammond C3, Steinway L, CP300, etc.

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by wildpaws » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:30 pm

ryryoftokyo wrote:People try and make it sound like programming a DX7 is the hardest thing you'll ever do. It's really not that bad. The only frustrating part is the fact that the DX series is a menu dive, and nobody likes that. If you're a halfway decent programmer, you should need more than a few hours at the panel before you have at least the basics figured out.
I'll agree with those statements. I've been listening to people complain about programming DX synths since the mid '80s. I started learning how to do FM programming on 4op Yamaha synths back then and in '87 moved to two DX7IIFDs, I never thought it was as complex as all of the complainers would have you believe. And it became easier still when I moved to the SY77 in '89/'90 and added an SY99 several years ago. And there are ceratinly some good books to help out if needed, like "The Complete DX7" by Howard Massey and some others.
Clyde
DX7IIFD, SY77, SY99, Hammond C3, Steinway L, CP300, AW1600, etc.

White
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:22 pm
Gear: Quite a few synths
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by White » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:37 pm

Well, I remember programming 320 DX7 sounds on my DX7S back in the 90's. Great fun but stressful. People say that programming a DX7 is hard, I don't see programming the complex DX7 that hard. Try to get hold of a book called "600 sounds for the Yamaha DX7"
Duncan J. White + quite a few synths
http://www.myspace.com/stickman76590059

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:19 pm

The ultimate annoyance with the DX7 (and any Yamaha DX I guess) is the algorithm list. What you want are free algorithms, rather than prefab routings. With a fixed algo it's quite tough to change plans halfway, and if you've no clue what you're doing then changing plans is often a necessity. Also, having only one feedback parameter is a bit of a limp sausage.

Another turd in the swimming pool are the envelopes, far more options than just your daily ADSR, but with all the menu diving, that also requires more efforts to get things done.

The more significant parameters a synth has, the less likely it'll be that operating with physical controls will be a blessing. That's why operating - say - a JP8 works a charm and a DX7 won't.

Go software; either by using a VST FM synth or a voice editor for your DX7.
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

User avatar
synthRodriguez
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 372
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:46 pm
Real name: Scott
Gear: Moog - Roland - Yamaha
Location: Western Ohio

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by synthRodriguez » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:00 pm

This is well worth the $15 he asks. I use his SY99 version; it's great.

FM Alive

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: Dx7 programming

Post by rhino » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:51 pm

Another vote for FM ALIVE.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

Sweep
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Dx7 programming

Post by Sweep » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:47 pm

Thanks for the info on FM Alive. I'm actually an experienced DX7 and TX81Z player, but I'd be interested in the software if it opens up more possibilties than I have at present.

The FM Alive info page refers to "hear as you go" patch editing, but I'd like to know exactly how that behaves. This question is crucial for me as I play FM synths in edit mode and change parameters while the synth is sounding, pretty much as some of us do with analogue synths.

On the Yamaha DX/TX synths the sound continues as you change parameters in edit mode. On synths like the Casio CZ1000 there's a brief pause in sound as you change the parameters. If FM Alive allows me to edit with no pause, then it would be useful for me, but if the MIDI transfer process introduces a brief pause, that would make it unsuitable.

I'm aware this is a bit of an odd question, as I've never found anyone else who plays FM synths the way I do. Tracks like Diving Through Crystal Waters (DX7) or Parisian Parks in Autumn (TX81Z) on my website are good examples of what I mean (tracks 58 and 46 respectively, in the music player on the main page). Diving Through Crystal Waters is a particularly clear example of changing frequency ratios while playing.
Free the Jupiter 8!

Post Reply