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DX EP: The sound that time forgot?


Aidan

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We have plenty of discussions here about the search for the perfect Rhodes or Wurlitzer sound... but there's one EP sound that rarely gets discussed.

 

I was going through the presets on my XS7 today, controlled with the RD, to give myself a vague idea of what the S90XS might sound and feel like in performance, and really found myself spending a lot of time playing the DX piano patches, and mostly liking what I was hearing.

 

I know a lot of people looked down at these sounds at the time, and for a long time afterwards, because they were judging them as an attempt to emulate a previously existing instrument - plus the sound is associated with a million cheesy 80s ballads.

 

But you know what? I think the DX EP deserves something of a rehabilitation in reputation.

 

What say you, KC-ers? How many of you regularly turn to the DX back catalogue when dialling up an EP?

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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I do use it to recreate the sound in the songs where it is necessary. But other than that I have little use for it. Now the Korg DX/Piano mix is a sound I like but I have yet to incorporate it in a song. I may have to write one for it since I do enjoy the texture.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

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This is the one area on Yamaha's Stage DPs that I wish they'd discard in favour of a realistic Rhodes®!! Waste of memoryspace (along with pipe organ & guitar).

 

Some stuff is better left in the David Foster time capsule, to be dug up by future generations.

 

 

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Rod

victoria bc

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Aidan, the DX EP comes up. It is usually from the stomach of most around here as evidenced by the outpouring of love in this thread. :laugh:

 

I still think it is a cool sound despite having over-saturated the market through the 80s/90s.

 

While my preference is a Rhodes sound, one reason I play Yamaha KBs is knowing the DX EP is in there too.

 

I do not play the DX EP regularly but it comes in handy layered with other sounds. The trick is to use it like any spice.

 

I've been thinking of a retro sound. Harpsichord hasn't taken off yet.

 

Maybe it is DX EP layered with Farfisa or Vox organ. :sick::D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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If the DX EP hadn't been overused and abused, or the victim of countless crappy songs, I doubt it would provoke such vitriolic reactions. And don't blame David Foster. "Through The Fire" still rules.
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When scrolling through sounds in a new board, I viscerally and audibly react when I get to that one, and hit the "next" button as quickly as possible. And then I always have the same thought: "There's a wasted memory slot that could have gone to a perfectly useful helicopter, dog-barking, or passing ambulance sound."
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. . . one reason I play Yamaha KBs is knowing the DX EP is in there too. . .

 

 

What Yamaha board and patch(es) are you using?

Stan

Gig Rig: Yamaha S90 XS; Hammond SK-1; Rehearsal: Yamaha MOX8 Korg Triton Le61, Yamaha S90, Hammond XK-1

Retired: Hammond M2/Leslie 145, Wurly 200, Ensoniq VFX

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. . . one reason I play Yamaha KBs is knowing the DX EP is in there too. . .

 

 

What Yamaha board and patch(es) are you using?

I play a Motif ES8 and use the Vintage '74. Contemp is a favorite too.

 

For good measure, I may layer in some DX EP to give it some teeth. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Because the DX7 sound was overused, people got really sick of it. OTOH, Yamaha invented it so the sound and variations they have on the Motif series is a quality sound, even though I'll probably hurl if I used it very much.

 

Anyway, there's tons of great sounding EP's on the Motif series, why would I want to resort to THAT sound?? :bor:

 

Cheers, its almost time for a BEER!

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Yesterday I laid down the basic rhythm sec for a tune I'm doing for someone. An older Yutaka tune. For piano I used the tx802 patch midied to an mks20; bank 8 #7. It worked perfect for the tune. Hadn't used that sound in a while, but it was phat, wide, and smooth. Just finished writin' out the strings and I'll record the rest of the stuff next week, I think.

 

 

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So, I'm with Aidan on this. I realize that most of you would egg my house for that, but the good news is none of you really know where I live, do you? :P

 

I actually like the sound for some tunes. It's not my favorite, but in the right spot it works great. Chester Thompson uses a fairly DX-ish sounding patch live, and so I use it on a couple of tunes in my Santana Tribute Band. In fact, I do Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen as follows:

 

* Organ intro

* Gregg Rolie style first two verses, on a straight-forward old-school Rhodes patch

* Organ for the BMW guitar solo

* Chester Thompson "Sacred Fire (live)" style for the last verse on a DX-Rhodes-ish patch

* Same style for the whole beginning of Gypsy Queen (which we do with some breaks that our leader copped from the current live Santana shows)

* Switch back to Gregg Rolie style at the conga solo in Gypsy Queen

 

Anyway, I like the sound, and I don't care who knows it. So there.

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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Acoustic piano has been around several hundreds years and it is on countless recording, yet, nobody is tired of it.

 

OTOH, DX sounds primarily associated with cheesy 80s music automatically cause ear fatigue and/or conjure painful childhood memories.

 

I do not think Yamaha set out to have the most overused sounds ever recorded in a 20 year span.

 

Most of us old enough to remember the 80s know exactly what happened. It helps to provide a historical perspective.

 

The choices were the usual suspects in heavy KBs and/or analog synths. Ballads did not sound as good played on a Jupiter 8.

 

A portable, 61-key turd brown KB hit the scene and became a fixture in every major studio. Musos turned it on, played and out came an orchestra full of thin sounds.

 

The DX7 beat having to tune a piano, buy tines for the Rhodes, oil the B3 and program analog gear. Not to mention the number of musicians they didn't have to call in to the session.

 

Because it was so amazing at the time, musicians and producers polished and worked that turd into overdrive.

 

The end result is a Time Life box set of songs featuring the DX in all its glory.

 

Noah, your box set will be hand delivered. Your jewels should be healed by New Years Day. :laugh:

 

I'm not defending the DX EP. Just providing an opinion on how it became so ubiquitous to those who may not have been around in its heyday. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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And then I always have the same thought: "There's a wasted memory slot that could have gone to a perfectly useful helicopter, dog-barking, or passing ambulance sound."

 

:D

 

That's some funny stuff right there.

 

http://www.cruzincoolerca.com/images/img-Larry-the-Cable-Guy.jpg

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Seriously?

I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier. Let the children's laughter remind us how bad we used to sound when we played FM EP's!

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