[sdiy] DX7 hacking?
21pointy at tpg.com.au
Mon Jul 2 05:20:00 CEST 2012
On 01/07/2012, at 3:00 AM, Barry Klein wrote:
> When the DX7 came out I was one of those in awe. When I compared it
> to my
> simple modular I sort of just gave up on modulars and building and
> spent time playing. Then I started buying analog synths in need of
> fixing them, playing them for awhile, and then sticking them in the
> with the rest. As analogs were not as well favored as digitals back
> analogs needing repair were affordable - so it was a satisfying
> Going through all this helped me learn a bit about synths that I
> never would
> have been exposed to earlier - yet alone have the money to buy back
> So anyway, as I progressed through this I occasionally went back to
> that DX7
> and enjoyed its unique character but hearing it in most every patch
> audibly boring. I didn't get into effects devices like Eventide or
> the like
> until much later. I always expected someone to hack the DX7 into
> more of a
> I never saw it happen. Has anyone ever made any progress or
> attempts? -
> something that gives it a sound character other than FM? Is the
> design too
> "purposed" for FM to alter?
> I'm sure I could just forget about it and realize that newer synths
> have the FM as just one sound option. I just don't have anything
> that new.
Back in the early 1990s Robin Whittle sold ROM chips for the original
DX7 that turned it into a versatile midi master controller, with an
adjustable keyboard split, midi panic button, and various assignable
midi CC options.
This ROM mod also provided interesting voice options:-
• one to three unison voices (at the expense of polyphony) with
individually programmable detune amounts - truly speaker-shattering on
some FM bass sounds,
• a stretch tuning feature to emulate acoustic pianos,
• full-range velocity sensitivity
• new ranges for the Fixed Frequencies, 10 kHz and 0.36 Hz, allowing
the bottom operator in an algorithm to act as an LFO for example,
• programmable voice volume, and up to twice-normal operator output
levels, which could cause a lot of distortion if you weren't careful.
Robin at that time could also provide hardware mods that improved the
DAC and SNR, accomodating the higher operator output levels.
I bought the ROM, and the machine to this day is still my studios midi
master keyboard (and occasional provider of monster bass patches - but
I still hate programming via that 2 line LCD!!)
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