Are you looking to find out more about the Yamaha DX1 features and what makes it such a special synthesizer? Do you want to know the Yamaha DX1 price and how that has changed since it was originally made? We can’t get enough of one of the top synths in the music industry so we will tell you all about it. Let’s go!
The Yamaha DX1 is the top-level member of Yamaha’s prolific DX series of FM synthesizers. It is extremely rare and one of the most elusive FM synthesizers that Yamaha have ever made. It would be very hard to buy one today. It is like having two FM Dx7s in one box, but in terms of this particular synth, it is in a wooden box and there is a wood trim. In short, you have 2 different 6 operator FM synthesizers in one machine.
This synth allows for either double the polyphony, split of two voices, or dual (layered) instrument voices. In addition, it contains twice the amount of voice memory as the DX7. It has an independent voice bank for each of two synth channels (engines). Each of 64 performance combinations can be assigned a single voice number, or a combination of two voice numbers – one from channel A and one from channel B.
Only 140 were made and there may be less in existence today, so if you manage to see one, then really make the most of it!
There are fully-weighted keys and in terms of the FM synth engine, there is a large display so you can see what is going as you play. It tells you how your algorithms are being routed or your operators.
There is an envelope generator, keyboard scaling, sensitivity for your velocity for your keys.
As we have touched upon above, there are plenty of features that would make any musician very happy. This is not your average synth. Let’s go into more detail.
Compared to both the DX5 and of course the DX7, accessibility and programmability are greatly enhanced by the sheer amount of displays available:
Keyboard scaling panel
For all of those features, you would definitely need to use the Yamaha DX1 manual to really get to know your way round the system. You can now understand why there is a pretty hefty price tag put on these synthesizers. Remember that it was made in a time when digital synths were only just starting to make some headway over analogues synths.
So back in the early 80s when the first Yamaha DX1 was manufactured, it would have cost you around $14,000 in 1984 and in terms of what that would cost now, we are looking at around $33,500. So it means that back in the day, it would have only been achievable to buy one if you were a wealthy superstar or super rich. I’m sure nothing will come up if you type ‘Yamaha DX1 Ebay’ into your search engine, or they will certainly be sold out, but you can try it.
However, if you are looking for a Yamaha DX1, Reverb may be able to help you, as I have seen a Yamaha DX1 Programmable Algorithm Synthesizer advertised – it may not still be on sale – for £6,745.98, which is less than I thought it would be. Have you heard of a Yamaha DX1 for sale at this price?
Also it is worth mentioning that other sellers on a similar site may charge more, as there is another DX1 available for £134,938.12, so make sure you review the product before you make a purchase.
If you are looking for a Yamaha DX1 cartridge, then the hypersynth Hcard-705 is exactly what you need. This is a multibank cartridge pair for expanding the external memory of Yamaha DX5 and DX1. Pretty clever right?
The DX5/1 voice memory is limited to 32 presets for each parts A and B, which could be upgraded to 64 presets by adding an external Yamaha “Data RAM” cartridge. “Data RAM” is discontinued, rare, and expensive. Its third-party versions rely on a battery for data retention. “Hcard-705” can be used as a drop-in replacement for Yamaha “DATA RAM” cartridge. It stores up to 400 banks per cartridge without the worry of battery life and data loss. Hcard-705 is compatible with DX5/1 voice and performance format.
The “Hcard-705″ pair is loaded with 52 voicebanks per card, of which bank 2-3 includes Yamaha DX1 DX5 ROMs (original voice).
In relation to synthesizers, if you want to find something similar to a Yamaha DX1 VST, then there are plugin softwares available for your DAWs today. For example, Ableton Live or Logic certainly do use FM synthesizers already built in.
There is even FM Suite which is a collection of 5 new and updated instruments that deliver the history of FM synthesis straight into your DAW.
You will find a collection of authentic vintage hardware FM sounds, and there are 8 FM synthesizers, from common to the ultra-rare, like the dual 6-operator Yamaha DX1.
Software has progressed in recent years so soft synths have become an item most musicians will invest in, but it must be said that to use a real synth up close, there would of course be a marked difference in experience. It’s good to hear that there are now more affordable analog synths for you to purchase.
We go into more detail in other articles about the difference between a vst and an analog synth, so do check this out.
Plenty have all played this unique and now very rare piece of equipment. Here is a list of just some of them.
It did become too large and expensive, so it was followed by DX5 – more affordable and compact. Most DX1 units were made as 100V. And nobody would be able to reject the amount of power it has – just look at all those buttons!
Now, if you are looking to purchase one of the Yamaha DX1 synths, then you should be prepared to have some large savings ready to go. But with all of those incredible features and the history beyond one of them, then who wouldn’t want one? It truly was and still is a beautiful piece of kit.
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