DX7 programming (Was [sdiy] Steel drum synth)

media.nai at rcn.com media.nai at rcn.com
Mon Jun 24 19:54:50 CEST 2002

>> While we're on the topic of FM and a couple people mentioned operators
>> and DX7's, where could I find a good guide to programming the DX7, in
>> all the gory detail? I seem to recall some book that was written, but
>> I'm sure that's out of print long since. Anything PDF or Web-based
>> floating around? I've got one of these machines but could never really
>> get the hang of programming it by just messing with it.

There is plenty of stuff that a google search will find.  If I remember
correctly, Dave Benson has a page entirely dedicated to the subject.  There
is also Chowning's book which you might be able to get from a Yamaha dealer.

I use my TX-7 all the time (it's a DX7 where the user interface has been
replaced by a doorstop).  However, when it comes to heavy reading, I have
the attention span of a ferret with a bad rash :)  So for me, the most
useful is thing a Peavey PC-1600x.

There are also thousands of DX7 patches on the internet.  Even though half
of them sound like a bad harpsichord, I use Uniysyn (a generally buggy MOTU
editor/librarian based on Emil Tobenfield's original DX7 programmer for the
Atari) to sift through them and sort them into folders on my computer.

Then, if I want to adjust the patch I'm using, I can tweak it with the 1600
or find a similar patch that came from the same folder.

Not to discourage you, but even with the help of software and a fader box,
I've never been able to program a useful patch from scratch, not even by
accident.  However, there are people who can think of a sound in their head
and then program it using an FM synth.  Then again, there are people who
can make an FS1R sing lyrics.  Perhaps, with some theory and a bit of
hardware, you could become one of them :)

More information about the Synth-diy mailing list