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Yamaha DX7, DX7IID,TX7 Japan 1983, 1987
Digital FM synthesizer.

The classic DX7 is a digital FM synthesizer from 1983. It completely changed the synthesizer world back then and maybe not in a good way because it heralded a new digital era of "cold" sounding knobless synthesizers.
Hundreds of thousands were sold and most people used it more as a homekeyboard using the same old preset sounds for years. Unfortunately, because the DX7's FM synthesis is capable of a wide rich pallette of exotic sounds. If you take the time to program it (its not as difficult as people say, you just got to know what the knobs do...and there is a knob for every function) you will always find new directions to go from haunting thick basses to ethereal dreamy pads....and that makes it an adventerous instrument for generating new unknown sounds.

The classic DX7 (with fake wooden top) with a TX7 "expansion" module on top.

The TX7 is a spartanic module version of the DX7 which you can't program from the thing itself, you can use a DX7 or a software editor. It was originally meant as an "expander" module for DX7 owners so they could have more voices or layer patches and stuff.


The DX7IID came out in 1987 and is a sort of bitrimbal super DX7. Its full of luxurious gadgets such as microtuning, a very nice chorus effect (called unison), nice knobs, an extra fader, stereo outputs and much more. The chorus/unison effect greatly expands the sound of the 6 operator FM synthesis, creating thick almost analog sounding basses and phaser like effects on strings. The DX7S is sort of the same but isn't bitrimbal and the DX7IIFD is the same but has a floppy drive to save your patches on.

DX7 sounds:

DX7 fog - A classic DX7 through a delay/reverb unit creating some eerie old school BBC-stone tape-ish 70s soundtrack stuff

DX7+TX7 atmosphere - A classic DX7 layered with a TX7 coming in later through a Korg phaser filter/delay.

DX7 piano - A piano patch is programmed into something else, envelopes and operators are changed and a S&H random LFO is added.

DX7 bellish stuff - A sequenced bell patch is programmed into oblivion.

DX7 Arp pad - A square LFO makes a kind of fake arpeggiated pad sound. The square LFO gets changed in a S&H random LFO again later on in the mp3.

DX7 jam - just going through some patches and randomly programming them.

Tracks with the DX7/DX7IID etc:

Driving home with a Computer the haunting "shining" string brass comes straight out of the DX7 classic. Taken from the Smackos - Computer Day album.

Dark ambient sounds from the album Sammy Osmo - Schaduw Horizon. Most of this album was done on a DX7IID

The Franz Falckenhaus project is full of DX7 sounds too, Thursday Telephasis and the Loneliness of Irena S. are a mix of the DX7IID and the classic DX7.

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