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Classic Yamaha Dx-7 vs. Plug-in board


hermanjoe

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I just bought a yamaha s-30 for a great price. The reason I got it was to use it in conjunction with the dx-7 plug-in board and the analog plug-in board. However the s-30 only handles 1 plug in at a time. Now I am questioning why I bought It. Would it be better to just pick up a real dx-7? What the are advantages of the classic DX-7 vs. the plug-in. Any thoughts?

"Learn the changes, then forget them."

 

-Charlie Parker

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The Plug-in board is actually much more flexible. It has over 900 voices, it comes with a software editor and even through the S30 it should sound superior than an original DX.

-Mike Martin

 

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I wasn't impressed with the fact that Yamaha's plug boards require a computer for serious editing. Korg's EXB MOSS board gives you access to all parameters in the keyboard itself. Seems the easier and faster way to go.
When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I agree Synthoid. The fact you need a computer and software to access the DX plug-in board is one of the two main drawbacks of the Motif ES that have kept me from buying one (the other being the user-unfriendly interface/OS). Give me an ES with a large screen and all-new OS, and FULL editing of the DX plug-in board, and I'm first in line to buy one.
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Originally posted by hermanjoe:

Would it be better to just pick up a real dx-7? What the are advantages of the classic DX-7 vs. the plug-in. Any thoughts?

A real one is worth it for the retro look! On a plug in board no one can see the Dayglo green buttons.
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Originally posted by DKeenum:

Or that 12 bit sound! The DX7IIs had 16 bit, but the origional was 12 bit.

I didn't realize or had forgotten that the original was only 12 bit. There was a time when we all thought 12 bit was really nice!
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I Didn't know you need to edit plug in voices in the computer. Another thing that really bothers me about the s-30 is the huge wall wart power supply. I HATE THESE THINGS. Is it so much to ask to have a decent power suply. I think not.

 

Synthoid. I would like to try one of the moss boards. I have a Karma so its an option, but I have never been able to hear one. You can never demo them in the store. Ironic...

 

Maybe a dx-7MKII is the way to go?

"Learn the changes, then forget them."

 

-Charlie Parker

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Hhhhhh.... I have the PLG-150PF, and I can edit it from my S-80. I don't have any other boards, but I'm surprised to hear you need the PC editor to edit them. Personally, the on-line editor looks rather confusing, at least for the PF, and even simplistic. But I haven't take the time to get to know it, so my impression could be off. Anyway, I generally do most of my editing from the synth itself, and the PF is no exception. (Unless there's a lot that I'm missing by not using the PC editor that no on'es told me about...)

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Yamaha requires you buy a computer and then run Yamaha's software to access all the programming parameters of the AN and DX boards, and I think the VL board as well, as these are all new and different synth engines, unlike the piano or drum boards, which are simply more ROM. Why Yamaha can't simply include the OS to access these boards on the boards themselves or in the base OS of the host workstation is beyond me. (Korg does one of these with MOSS; I'm not sure which) It's a real shame, as having to buy a computer to program a hardware synthesizer defeats the entire purpose of me buying a hardware synthesizer to begin with! So basically if you buy the VL, DX, or AN boards, and you don't have or don't want to use a computer, you're basically buying 3 boards with a bunch of preset sounds that you're stuck with, like them or not.

 

Speaking of MOSS, it's the same engine that's in the Z1 synthesizer, so if you can demo that you know exactly what you're getting, except the MOSS board is 6-note polyphonic whereas the Z1 is 12 note base polyphony, expandable to 18-note polyphony. MOSS is awesome; it's analog sounds don't sound as real as most other virtual analog, nor is its acoustic modeling as authentic as real instruments, but you can create all sorts of sonic wierdness with great realtime controls.

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Another major drawback with the DX PLG board is that user programs are stored in volatile memory. In other words, when you power the host keboard down, all of your user patches go away! When you power back up, they will not be there again until you reload them from storage - just like user sample data...

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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I much prefer to edit these boards on computer than on a little screen. I wonder how many musicians do not have access to a computer? It cannot be a large percentage.

 

I found that the sound quality of the PGL-150 boards vary depending upon the unit in which they are installed. IMHO the DX-200 sound better than the DX-7, and the same card in a Motif ES sounds better than the DX-200. D/A converters and the effects unit probably have a lot to do with this. You might consider a Yamaha FS1r for FM synthasis that compares to the PLG-150 FM board but those are hard to edit. My FS1r came with a computer editor. :D

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Originally posted by kad:

Another major drawback with the DX PLG board is that user programs are stored in volatile memory. In other words, when you power the host keboard down, all of your user patches go away! When you power back up, they will not be there again until you reload them from storage - just like user sample data...

 

Kirk

Kirk,

You can make your PLG sounds "autoload" into the volatile memory of the plg board when you turn the host device on. Info is in the manual on how to create and autoload for the bulk data for a card in a particular slot in one of the host devices.

-Mike Martin

 

Casio

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The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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I've also found it annoying that stores don't have these optional boards installed in synths and workstations. I can understand the "local yokel" place not having any, but Sam Ash or Guitar Center should be more customer minded, and AT LEAST have a MOSS board in a Triton. Pretty lame.

 

(To argue an earlier post, I've heard some ratings of the MOSS board that put it head to head with some current VA's out there. I'm looking forward to giving it a listen.....someday.)

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I have the TX-802, which is the rack version of the DX-7 mk II. I really like the sound of it, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Once in a while, it's nice to go "old school" with vintage synths and samplers and leave the software and plug-in boards behind.
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Since Synthetic mentioned the TX802, maybe it's worth to remember the TG77 too. It (and the keyboard version, SY77) has the most complete FM engine, excluding perhaps the FS1r, but the TG is much easier to program with its large display, graphic envelopes, etc. Of course, "easier than the FS1r" doesn't mean "easy" at all... :D

 

The TG77 voice channel adds to the DXII/TX802 engine with more algorithms, more feedback points, several (selectable) waveforms per operator, and the possibility to FM the operators with the onboard ROM samples. It's an amazing tool for sound creation.

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Originally posted by Mike Martin:

[QBKirk,

You can make your PLG sounds "autoload" into the volatile memory of the plg board when you turn the host device on. Info is in the manual on how to create and autoload for the bulk data for a card in a particular slot in one of the host devices.[/QB]

Mike,

 

I do recall you mentioning this before and this capability definitely takes the "sting" out of the volatile memory limitation - thanks for that insight! :)

 

I would also like to once again encourage you (and Yamaha) to consider re-issuing the FS1R - perhaps a keyboard version as well. As a synthesizer, I believe it is one of the most amazing machines ever made by anyone, and its sound is breathtaking. When it was first released, the industry was not ready for it. I'm willing to bet that it would be far more successful in today's market...

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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Kirk,

I agree, the FS1R is one of the most amazing sounding synthesizers I've ever heard. I was lucky enough to find the last one in the office here at Yamaha US.

 

I agree the market was not ready for the FS1R when it was released. It was only when the product was being blown out that anyone bothered to listen to it. Several niche instruments suffered a similar fate because they were not understood. The question remains would a new FS type product be successful at a higher price point?

-Mike Martin

 

Casio

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The Big Picture Photography Forum on Music Player Network

 

The opinions I post here are my own and do not represent the company I work for.

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Originally posted by Mike Martin:

Kirk,

I was lucky enough to find the last one in the office here at Yamaha US.

 

...The question remains would a new FS type product be successful at a higher price point?

Talk about lucky - I bought the last one from Mars during the blowout for $249 brand new!!!

 

Regarding whether or not a new FS synth would be successful... I suppose it depends on what you mean by "FS type product". Formant sequencing was only a small subset of what the FS1R was all about. It's real power was its FM engine, filter and effects - that's mainly what makes it sound so amazing. I'm not sure how many folks would be interested in just the FS part without the FM engine.

 

If Yamaha were to develop a new product that included, and perhaps expanded on, all of the components of the FS1R, I think it could be VERY successfull!!

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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