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Yamaha DX/TX7 & TF1

Those who know own these classics. The DX7 and TX7 form the heart of my live set up. I have tried various other more modern keyboards but don't find that I get the same "depth" of sound. The sounds other instruments make may be more interesting, realistic, atmospheric, dynamic - whatever, you know what I'm sayin' Jerry. They just don't seem to cut it the way the FM synths do. For live work I midi the K1, Proteus and JV880 with the FM synths. Somehow the DX/TX combination seems to always end up predominant in the mix, not least because of its ability to "project", far more than the DX7 does on its own.

Strangely enough the DX7 is one classic synth that hasn't gained any "retro" value. A Prophet 5 would probably fetch more on the second hand market than a DX7. I can easily reproduce the sounds of a Prophet 5 using softsynths available free on the net. But software synthesis has yet to come up with a convincing emulation of the Yamaha series of 6 operator FM instruments.

No other type of synthesis sounds like FM. It is incredibly good at reproducing a wide range of timbres. And with careful programming six operator FM can produce subtle dynamic variations that lend a natural acoustic feel to sounds that no other form of synthesis can reproduce.

If you have read so far, but don't actually own a six operator FM keyboard or module, then take my advice. Go and buy one, or even better buy two. Second hand TX7's are often available at knockdown prices. If you buy a DX7 you run the risk of early mechanical failure (the keyboard & especially the membrane switches do not stand the test of time). So a TX7 seems to be the best VFM.

Balanced Output presents two zip files for your delectation. The first is It contains the following files:

  • "timperdx.syx" & "timpertx.syx"
  • These two banks of sounds are the DX7 and TX7 sounds that I use for live work. The TX (timpertx.syx) bank includes Performance settings. They are very similiar, mostly with operators detuned slightly or small differences in LFO speed. I pan my DX and TX hard left and right and detune the TX7 to +3. Some of these sounds (about half of them) are original.

  • "timsown1.syx"
  • These are patches I have written myself (as far as I can remember... like me they're very old). They do not include performance settings. Some are duplicates of patches in the "timperdx" file.

    The second zip file is:

    "" - 1,109 kb

    This file contains the patch banks from the DX Owners' Club. You used to find them everywhere on the net, but now they are harder to locate. Look no further, web wizard. There are hundreds of banks of patches here, some sorted, others not.

    I have not tried using any of these sounds with any of the successors to the DX7/TX7 - such as the DX7II FD, DX802. I have used them with TF1 modules.

    I have a lot of other original DX7 sounds, but they are in Dr T's DX Heaven format. My copy (and back-up) of this program was destroyed by little fingers quite a few years ago. When (If) I can get hold of another copy of DX Heaven or convert the files to sys-ex format I will put them at this site.

    If you use these sounds with a master keyboard other than the original DX7 don't forget that the velocity levels from your master keyboard will probably need to be adjusted downwards. The original DX7 didn't transmit velocity values of more than about 96! I usually reduce the velocity levels by about 30, but that's just the sort of crazy guy I am.

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