Yamaha DX7 Mini Documentary

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis

    This brings back lots of memories.
  2. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    ....bad memories! Just say no to DX7 “horns”. ;)
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I took a synthesizer programming course in college around 1980 - one semester on an original Moog (an entire wall of dials and switches) and a semester with the DX-7. The final exam was your attempt to make an acoustic piano patch.
    AlexanderB, 2112, wmmj and 2 others like this.
  5. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Carlsbad, NM
    I have a DX7ii-FD in my closet. Though admittedly it doesn't get a lot of use.
  6. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    I started on keys back in ‘76 playing Korg’s and a Farfisa Piano, before I picked up a bass in ‘78. I managed to come by a DX21 in 2000 - it’s an interesting beast. I use it sometimes at certain shows and may start to use it more. It’s a 4 operator little brother to the DX7.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    by today's standards the DX7 may be 'wanting', but 'in the day' it defined "great" affordable synthesis... and it probably did more to elevate the legitimacy of 'non-organics' than any other single piece. it's the 'granddaddy' of modern workstations and it gave millions of musicians their introductory course into the world of midi.

    it's easy to turn up your nose at the DX7's limitations (because you probably don't customize patches anyway!), but there's no question that the thing elevated music (and the music industry) at the 'dawn' of the personal computer age.

    it's tough to accept history and much easier just to ignore it all together!
  8. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I used to want one, but I could not afford it as a grad student.
  9. Polk Salad

    Polk Salad Passenger, Ship of Fools

    Sep 18, 2007
    Never owned one but I wanted one - they were great!
  10. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    My keyboard player has owned one of those Moogs for years. His fills two walls of a large room. Much like my Arp, there seems like a 6 degree knob twist between the sound you want and something 180 degrees different.
    Dr. Cheese and buldog5151bass like this.
  11. I think my favorite sound featured here is that "harmonica" from What's Love got to Do With It.
    Thanks for sharing
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  12. The bumble bee-like characteristic sound of the DX-7 was absolutely everywhere when it was on the market. Whatever other keyboard(s) you might have, you HAD to have a DX-7 to be considered a serious player. I believe it did as much as Rhodes to make synthetic sounds accepted. I was more a fan of the Ensoniq ESQ-1. In fact I still have mine.
    Bassbeater and Dr. Cheese like this.
  13. Stempelloos


    Nov 3, 2008
    A flatmate bought a DX9 somewhere in autumn 1983, because it was more affordable than the DX7 and was also able to create percussive sounds through algorithms. He'd programmed some amazing sounds, that he used in home-jamsessions. And got asked for performances in combination with theater.

    We had jams combining the DX and his old MiniKORG 700S and my MS20.

    He sold the DX9 somewhere at the end of the eighties. Still plays his Wurlitzer electric piano though.

    A friend gave me a present a while back, a Yamaha MU5 tone generator.
    Some of it's voices are quite like DX sounds, handy toy.
    FilterFunk likes this.
  14. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    The ESQ-1 has great action.
    I use emulators frequently, for the old patches mostly
  15. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I was a Yamaha dealer when the DX-7 and DX-9 were introduced. The initial orders from dealers exceeded YIC's projected sales through the prduct life by 50%.

    Even being a small guitar store, eewe had a lot of interest in them. We sold a good number of Yamaha election pianos, including the CP-70, ànd we ordered two each of the DX. They shipped both DX-9s eventually, months, maybe a year after the order. We got one 7 before they split keyboards into a separate franchise from amps and guitars.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    This was the last generation where synths still fulfilled the goal of those who started making them had - to create a unique sound - not just re-create other instruments. These instruments still have a place in modern music. It seems with guitar and bass we are still experimenting, but largely, just seen to be using keys to fill out the studio instruments. Kind of sad. I just sold a Crumar Performer - pre-midi synth. Very flexible - not to mention some sweet strings if you want that.
    FilterFunk likes this.
  17. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I use an SQ80 live all the time. The SQL8 is a great emulator. And it does all the ESQ1 patches, too.
  18. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    @Frank Tuesday
    Same here for the SQ80,
    I don't get the hating on vintage sounds in synths and the rampant chasing of vintage sounds in other instruments. It's all just part of the ever growing sonic palette afaik. Many of the older sounds are very cool with modern treatments and resampling, editing, etc.
  19. mc900ftj


    Jan 21, 2014
    I was in a band in the 80's that, at one point, had two keys players...each had a DX7 in their setups. Even messed around with MIDI control of them using an Apple II computer IIRC. Ah, (foggy) memories.

    Funny, just today I was on a "behind the scenes" tour at the Martin Guitar factory. It was amazing...afterwards, I noticed this beauty in the 80's section of the on-site Martin Guitar Museum...the DX7 is a museum piece!