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FDP Forum / Rock-it 88's - Keyboard Forum / Love my DX7

Neptune
Contributing Member

North Canton, Ohio

"Zealous for Zion" - Zechariah 8:2
Apr 23rd, 2009 04:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm a guitarist, but I had a brief 'fling' w/ keyboards 20 years ago. It's not that I liked piano that much, I just liked some of the really cool sounds of digital keyboards. Somewhere along the line I got me a DX7 (model: DX7II FD) and played it so much that I really neglected guitar for a few years. That was quite a while ago. My DX has been in a case, unplayed for many years. A couple days ago I dug it out of the cubby hole and plugged it in. OMG! What a great sound! I'd spent lots of $$$ getting patches for the thing and lots of time sifting through it all for the best patches and making my own collection of the absolute best sounds available. That's what was in memory when I turned it on the other day. Awesome stuff. Why does FM synthesis have such a bad name these days? In the guitar world, old sounds always stay popular. In the keyboard world, everyone thumbs their nose at 'old-fashioned' sounds. I don't understand it...

garp
Contributing Member
*****

Connecticut USA

And so it is.
Apr 23rd, 2009 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Because the DX7 played such a prominent role on a majority of pop hits in the mid 1980s, for better or worse, it tends to be exclusively associated with that era. But DX-series synths are still in use today. I saw Garth Hudson perform a few years ago, and he was playing a DX5.

I think another reason that FM synthesis is maligned is that it’s fairly complicated concept to understand. To program a patch from scratch, one needs to have a good grasp on oscillators and phase modulation. IMHO, a lot of younger synth players just want to press buttons and twist knobs — they have no interest in “deep” programming.

I still occasionally use a TX-802 (the rack version of the DX7II) in my studio. I think I have 5,000+ patches saved on disk.

Neptune
Contributing Member

North Canton, Ohio

"Zealous for Zion" - Zechariah 8:2
Apr 24th, 2009 04:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

DX5? I'm not familiar with that one. I also have a TX802 here (also not played for a very long time), and I used to have a couple TX81z's. The TX81z's only had 4 operators so I ran the 2 units together, slightly detuned with each other, for a fatter sound and to make 'em sound more like a DX7. I recently downloaded the demo version of FL Studio and it's Sytrus synth has FM synthesis. They claim you can load DX7 sysex files into it and it'll play 'em.

stevesmith
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**********

Australia

Earth isn't on the Milky Way trivia team
Apr 24th, 2009 06:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

" Why does FM synthesis have such a bad name these days? "

Because in live use the DX7 midrange harmonics disappear behind other instrument sounds and the resulting sound is thin. This is great for letting vocals feature, but useless for delivering heavy textures.

garp
Contributing Member
*****

Connecticut USA

And so it is.
Apr 24th, 2009 06:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Apparently, Native Instruments’ FM7 and FM8 also allow direct importing of sysex files. I’ve been meaning to check those out for a while now.

Anyway...here’s a photo of Garth from the show I attended. The DX5 is to his right.

Garth and his DX5

JBLTWIN1

usa

you want me to play where?
Apr 28th, 2009 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Still have an original dx7 that I use for rehearsal. Unfortunately, one day I didn't have the time to do something myself so I dropped it off at a local music store with a "repair" dept and just had them put a memory battery in it. Guess what? They fried the ram apparently so that every time it powers down, it forgets everything so you have to load it from the cart every time. No big deal, as it takes about 1.5 minutes to do it, counting tuning it up to pitch but it still ticks me off that they could screw up something THAT simple. Serves me right that I just didn't have the TIME to do it myself. Still a great sounding plunker though.

69tele

Rockin Gibraltar

Thou Shalt Gas !
May 27th, 2009 07:07 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a Yamaha V50 which is a essentially a 4 op dx7 with a sequencer and drum machine attached.

was my first proper workstation complete with 720k floppies ! still comes out of the closet for a 80s track I might record.

I also have its archrival back then the Casio CZ5000, that uses tape to load the sounds !

stratman55
Contributing Member
***

Delco PA

...let it steal your heart away.
Jun 4th, 2009 10:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...played it so much that I really neglected guitar for a few years." - Neptune

I had the same experience, except it was programming, not playing it, that captivated me. The concept of FM synthesis was so utterly fascinating to me that for a couple of years in the late '80s I spent countless hours programming sounds from scratch - and actually got fairly good at it. I had the entire internal memory and a full cartridge loaded with patches I made up.

For some reason programming wavetable/sample based synths didn't, and doesn't, appeal to me. When the DX's power supply blew out, I replaced it with an Alesis QS6.1 and in 6 years I haven't done one patch on it.

I'm glad I saw this thread. I gotta get my DX fixed, even though the repair dude says it'll cost more than it would to buy one on eBay.

Neptune
Contributing Member

North Canton, Ohio

"Zealous for Zion" - Zechariah 8:2
Jun 5th, 2009 04:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow, I have nightmares of something like that happening to my DX7. Do Yamaha dealers still do repair work on these things? Yep, I spent an ungodly amount of time playing around with programming FM Synthesis - and also listening to purchased patches over & over & over again, trying to create a bank of the absolute best. In fact, it's still in memory so I have to remember to back it up so I have it if something happens. My DX has a disk drive, but I'm not sure about trusting 20 year old magnetic data...

(This message was last edited by Neptune at 04:52 AM, Jun 5th, 2009)

JBLTWIN1

usa

you want me to play where?
Jun 16th, 2009 02:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They don't support parts or data from them anymore. I'm still able to use mine but it's a PITA. Luckily, I have SEVERAL carts to re-load from.

69tele

Rockin Gibraltar

Thou Shalt Gas !
Aug 27th, 2009 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My DX has a disk drive, but I'm not sure about trusting 20 year old magnetic data..."

you can always do a sysex dump via midi to your PC

Neptune
Contributing Member

North Canton, Ohio

"Zealous for Zion" - Zechariah 8:2
Aug 28th, 2009 04:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"you can always do a sysex dump via midi to your PC". Yep, I'll need a program for my PC that'll take MIDI dumps - and I'm not sure what to do about that. I'd like to find something basic that'll do that...

acorkos

SoCal

Apr 6th, 2010 05:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

dx7 pc software

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steve.sims/2nd%20page.html

Chris-K

MD, USA

Jun 14th, 2010 02:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

" Why does FM synthesis have such a bad name these days? "

Because early PC sound cards used it. Hence, it was associated with cheap, fake sounds.

FDP Forum / Rock-it 88's - Keyboard Forum / Love my DX7




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