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MIDI experts: DX7 and modern tech question

Jim Alfredson

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This is a long post, so forgive me, but I cannot figure out what the issue is.


I was recently given a Yamaha DX7 mkI, the original brown model, just like I had when I was a kid. I've really enjoyed getting reacquainted it, like an old friend.


Mike Martin (I think) hipped me to DEXED, which is a free VST plugin that emulates the DX7 and acts as a patch librarian and an editor for a real DX7. It's really cool. The problem is that I can receive individual patches from DEXED and it works as an editor, but I can't send any of my patches or banks from the DX7 to it. I also cannot receive banks from DEXED. However, I can play DEXED from the DX7, including all controllers.


So basically, I'm having trouble sending SYSEX and also trouble receiving bulk dump SYSEX from DEXED.


Before people mention MIDI cables or hardware; I've tried various MIDI cables (including a pair of old Roland cables that I've had since I owned my original DX7 back in 1988). I'm using the MIDI jacks on my Yamaha N12 digital mixer. I tested my SY77 and FS1r through those same jacks and cables and their editors work just fine. I also tried a M-Audio UNO USB MIDI interface and that was even worse. I think the drivers on that are messed up.


After messing around with this problem for several hours last night here's the latest:


The same problems are evident with different MIDI programs like MIDI-OX and the FM ALIVE! DX7 editor. I can receive but not send. With MIDI-OX, I can actually receive full banks via SYSEX even though the DX7 screen displays a MEMORY PROTECT error (yes, Memory Protect is turned OFF on the DX7). With FM ALIVE I can't even get it to talk to the DX7 at all.


I was able to bulk dump the internal bank from the DX7 into MIDI-OX but only after removing the MIDI IN cable from the DX7, so that it was only talking to the computer but the computer was not talking to the DX7, and even then the DX7 never sent the final OFF code command (F7) so I had to manually append the resulting file. But it did work. I was able to load that bank into DEXED and back into the DX7 from MIDI-OX as well.


If I leave the MIDI IN cable plugged into the DX7 and perform a bulk dump to MIDI-OX, the DX7 dumps the bank twice (again without the ending F7 command) and then just sits there and spits out F0 43 F0 43 F0 43 over and over again (which is the start of the bank) until I cancel the transfer.


I'm thinking it's a speed issue that's causing a communication error between the computer and the DX7. I've tried various settings in MIDI-OX to slow down the communication but then the DX7 starts sending the aforementioned F0 43 F0 43 F0 43 string over and over again even if I don't tell it to start sending. It's very strange.



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I'm going to try Bome's as well - thanks!


I love my DX7, just picked it up a few months ago - had one as a teen. I run it through some effect pedals (BOSS CE-2, Strymon Flint, MXR Carbon Copy) and it sounds so warm and luscious. Lots of emulations out there, but nothing like the real thing.

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No luck with the Bome software. Same issue. The DX7 send a bulk dump (with a bunch of FO 43 pairs in front of it) and never sends the F7 end command.


How can I tell what firmware ROM version my DX7 is running?


EDIT: I popped the hood and according to the ROM chip number (and my serial number, in the 14000's) this has the earliest firmware ROM, version 1.1. I think that may be the problem.

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I never worked with a DX7, but my Kurzweil PC2 uses sysex to load and save patches, and to load the OS and sound files.


The only software that was recommended (on a PC) was Windows Media Player (sending out MIDI instead of audio), slow but it worked well. MIDI-OX worked for saving patches. Kurzweil made a point that most sequencing software sent the information too fast.


I'm thinking that the PC2 is also an older machine, and maybe Media Player (I was using a notebook with XP the last time that I made any changes on the PC2) might be of help, at least in one direction.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


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DX7IID owner here. Agreed, the newer emulations are cool but they do not fully capture the essence of a DX.


When I first picked up the DX, I tried a USB-MIDI cable but it didn't work. Picked up a 2X2 MIDISPORT and it worked like a charm.


MIDI-OX works but FM Alive DX Manager is fantastic. Send and receive files and create custom banks effortlessly.


The DX perfectly complements my Korg SV-1 and Moog Sub 37. It will have a resurgence on my watch. :cool:




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

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To check the MIDI settings on your MKI do the following :


Press the FUNCTION and 8 buttons simultaneously on the DX7's front panel

Set the MIDI receive Channel to Channel 1 using the DX7's Data Entry Slider

Press button 8 again: the DX7's screen should display SYS INFO AVAIL.


If the screen shows SYSINFO UNAVAIL press the + (On) Data Entry Button.

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Wasn't the DX7 the very first keyboard with MIDI? Along with something from Sequential. The whole point was to demonstrate 2 synths from different manufacturers communicating.


Totally sexy stuff at the time!


It was a Roland JP6 connected to a Sequential Prophet-600


MIDI History







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EDIT: I popped the hood and according to the ROM chip number (and my serial number, in the 14000's) this has the earliest firmware ROM, version 1.1. I think that may be the problem.


Hey Jim-

I have an old DX7 ROM but no clue which version it is (no label or other markings). You're welcome to it if you want.

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