slighlty OT: some synths...

Martin Hatfield ST95000430 at
Wed Nov 10 16:58:01 CET 1999

No-one seems to have answered Marks query about the DX11. Here's what I 
do know.

The DX11 is a smaller version (in terms of polyphony at anyrate and 
poss size too ) of Yamaha's classic DX11, which was essentially the synth 
that halted the progress of analogue. It uses FM synthesis whereby the 
frequency of one sine wave is modulated by another to form an operator. 
A voice is constructed by linking several operators together in different 
ways. The different DX's all had a different number of operators. I think 
the DX7 had maybe 8? and the DX11 possibly 6? This is guessing a bit 
though. If you look on the front panel of the synth (built like a tank as 
you've no doubt already noticed) you'll see the different configurations 
of the operators possible displayed in the top right corner. 

FM synthesis is best known for it's electric pianos, bell sounds and hard 
(rather than analogue style warm) basses. The DX's have a reputation for 
being hard to program though I think people expect all styles of 
synthesis to be as immediate as analogue. 

Yamaha's most recent rackmount synth also uses FM synthesis and a 
vague descendant of it called formant synthesis. It's probably worthwhile 
seeing if you can get your hands on the synth for an afternoon and having 
a good tweak.

Martin Hatfield
M.C.Hatfield at

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