[sdiy] DX7 hacking?

Barry Klein barryklein at cox.net
Sat Jun 30 21:27:48 CEST 2012

Yea, I have a ton of patches/programs (in fact maybe they may have been lost
in floppies somewhere).
I also have the GreyMatter card already and one or two editing software
I was more wondering about the engine hacking.  I have the service manual
and looked at it for that years ago but didn't see an obvious means.  I'm
not really interested in a hack that just thrashes it like done on speak and
spells etc. - rather something that would allow it to retain its integrity
while perhaps getting more edgy.


-----Original Message-----
From: The Old Crow [mailto:oldcrow at oldcrows.net] 
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2012 12:10
To: Barry Klein; Synth DIY
Subject: Re: [sdiy] DX7 hacking?

   A dozen years ago I made a re-spin of the Grey Matter E! board, which 
I rather obviously called the RE! board for the original (and much 
better built) DX7.  I applied a small code hack to the ROM to show my 
name in the power-up portion of the display.  You had to find and tweak 
the checksum of the firmware when changing the text field for the 
power-on display message.  The only other thing I did was change the LCD 
to an LED-backlighted one.

   You are probably asking about synthesizer engine hacking.  There is 
someone in the UK who was good at that, he sent me that French E!-like 
board long ago.  I'll dig up their email--if it is still active.


Scott Rider
Old Crow's Synth Shop at cs80.com

On 6/30/2012 12:00 PM, 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 just
> spent time playing.  Then I started buying analog synths in need of
> fixing them, playing them for awhile, and then sticking them in the garage
> with the rest.  As analogs were not as well favored as digitals back then,
> analogs needing repair were affordable - so it was a satisfying pastime.
> Going through all this helped me learn a bit about synths that I never
> have been exposed to earlier - yet alone have the money to buy back then.
> So anyway, as I progressed through this I occasionally went back to that
> and enjoyed its unique character but hearing it in most every patch was
> audibly boring.  I didn't get into effects devices like Eventide or the
> until much later.  I always expected someone to hack the DX7 into more of
> monster.
> 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
> "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
> Barry
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