Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:40 am

Mr Gone (Weather Report - 1978)

Mr Gone.mp3
Mr Gone (Zawinul)
(2.11 MiB) Downloaded 28 times


Using 6 x edits I made (took me a week to learn how to do them though!) :-

1 x (Dual) Bass

1 x (Dual) Lead

1 x Saxes

1 x Brass

I was not sure if this site accepted WAV. files so I just used mp3 in case.

Timing not perfect as I played them straight into Cubase as Audio (everything is left dry/flat). Its only short but it took 25 x mins and was a bit of fun to actually play something on the synth finally. Sax patch took the longest by far to program. Achieving FAT 'voicings' with limited Polyphony is quite a challenge so I had to make workarounds. 8O

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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:39 am

Milestones (Miles Davis - 1958).

Milestones.mp3
Milestones (Davis)
(1.22 MiB) Downloaded 9 times


Using 4 x edits and the ROM 'Cyballs' (unaltered).

1 x (Split) Elec. Pno Bass / Guitar

1 x (Dual) Brass

1 x Cymbal

Keyboard is split at Middle C. I put the LH. Bass in Mono and added some Porta to try and get a 'slide' FX. Brass is Detuned, Layered and in 5th's (to get 'voicings' which would otherwise be impossible to achieve with 1 x hand!).

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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby parametric » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:43 am

Nice couple of tracks Paul,

you've been putting in some serious time on your recent acquisition . . .

Just goes to show what can be achieved - with the manual and asking some questions.

You obviously have an understanding and a feeling for Jazz - which also explains your "handle" in here :D

I think there is a tendency to write-off the 4-op synths as the "poor-relation" of the DX7 - partly due to the reputation for extreme difficulty that programming FM has.

Most people never venturing inside the presets (I include myself there too - well I was kinda young when I got my 21 - and the pages of parameters rather sacred me away :oops: ).

Obviously many DID venture inside - as the mass of 3rd party Banks available proves.

More recently, my focus has moved towards composition rather than programming, though I'm experiencing a "dead zone" at the moment - with little inspiration happening . . . .

Perhaps I should visit the DX again, or at least get it back from "on loan"

I WISH I had more ROOM . . . .

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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:17 am

Nice couple of tracks Paul,
Thanks very much Chris. I just wish I COMPOSED them! Lol

you've been putting in some serious time on your recent acquisition . . .
Well maybe I am a bit obsessive, or because I am a Virgo! But yes, I have watched zillions of You Tube videos and, spent an hour per day programing, and also reading books and this forum. I feel more confident than I did a month ago but obviously I have a hell of a long way to go.

Just goes to show what can be achieved - with the manual and asking some questions.
I think a lot of it is to do with having the confidence to ask. I am age 45 and on lots of these forums I am aware that many people replying are less than half my age. Plus, I was a teacher in London for 4 x years and it feels a bit weird being the one who is stuck when I am so used to giving out advice to pupils.


You obviously have an understanding and a feeling for Jazz - which also explains your "handle" in here
Ha ha...yeh man :wink: When I was at Leeds College, if you were a 'good' player you were referred to as 'monster', and 'licks' is (as you know) groups of notes which form a musical-sentence and the goal is to make these as 'personal' as you can. My strength lied in my Left Hand Bass 'licks' and most of my gigs were given because of this skill. And obviously I lacked in other areas where others scored.


I think there is a tendency to write-off the 4-op synths as the "poor-relation" of the DX7 - partly due to the reputation for extreme difficulty that programming FM has.
I never actually ever even looked at it like that, but I totally see your point here. For me, I see it as an entry-level (starting point) for newbies before progressing on to the more comprehensive models.


Most people never venturing inside the presets (I include myself there too - well I was kinda young when I got my 21 - and the pages of parameters rather sacred me away
I turned pro in 1988 and I did not have a clue about ANYTHING! It was terrible and I was given a massively hard time (I kid you not) by my collegues and also famous cabaret acts I was working with. After about 6 x years, that's probably the main reason I ended up with a serious alcohol problem. So I kicked to booze (20 x years now!) and went to college for 5 x years. So yes, starting out is awful and totally daunting from all angles (unless you are naturally gifted). I had to work at it and it took years! And was utterly clueless about playing styles and also where to start programing and the subject of Synthesis. 8O


Obviously many DID venture inside - as the mass of 3rd party Banks available proves.
That's great for you and I as we can learn from their creations. :D


More recently, my focus has moved towards composition rather than programming, though I'm experiencing a "dead zone" at the moment - with little inspiration happening . . . .
That's very interesting. You know, have you every signed up to a MOOC course before. I never heard of them and then someone on the Cubase forum sent me a link in January. Berklee College (in Boston, US) are running quite a few right now and I signed up to the 'Music Production' course. I am sure the have Harmony and Songwriting classes and all that :-

https://www.coursera.org/courses?orderb ... cats=music

I have a lot of PDF and MP3's from College and teaching if you ever wanted anything? Lots on Composition, Arranging, Jazz, and some 'playalong' recordings for jamming with. I can whack them on a GB stick and post it to you?


Perhaps I should visit the DX again, or at least get it back from "on loan"
You could have borrowed one of mine if we lived closer!


I WISH I had more ROOM . . . .
Ha ha...bloody tell me about it!


I may post some more demonstrations but I wondered if it accepts WAV. files?

Paul
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby Clyde » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:50 am

I think you can do some very good sounds with 4op FM, but you really have to work hard at it to get them. I found it much easier and able to build fuller sounds with 6op, as well I don't think any of the 4op machines gave you as much versatility in the envelopes, etc. as the DX7II series did, much less the SY77/99. That said, 4op is capable of some excellent sounds.
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:10 am

Hi Clyde,

Would you say that 6op FM is a double edged sword in that you can get fantastic sounds out of it, but the programing is much more comprehensive (compared to 4op)?

I am actually very impressed with most of the ROM sounds on the DX21 (despite it's lacking in quality Piano and String sounds). The Bass sounds and the Synthy presets are great! I think I will get a good couple of years learning curve at least out of it. Some keyboards don't offer much in the way of inspiration. But not the DX21!

Paul
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby Clyde » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:33 pm

Paul, I really don't see 6op programming as being that much more comprehensive or difficult, just different (though there are similarities). All of my early FM programming experience started with my DX21 and later added TX81z, all of that 4op experience made it much easier when I got my first DX7II. I think you have the desire and drive to get a good handle on FM programming, I don't recall if we mentioned the book FM Theory by Chowning/Bristow earlier in this thread, but that should be a good source for you.
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:36 pm

Clyde wrote:Paul, I really don't see 6op programming as being that much more comprehensive or difficult, just different (though there are similarities). All of my early FM programming experience started with my DX21 and later added TX81z, all of that 4op experience made it much easier when I got my first DX7II. I think you have the desire and drive to get a good handle on FM programming, I don't recall if we mentioned the book FM Theory by Chowning/Bristow earlier in this thread, but that should be a good source for you.
Clyde


Hi Clyde,

I could greatly expand on lots of things you are saying here but to keep it fairly concise :-

I have quite a good little library now of relevant books. It has taken me about 6 x months to build up and I now have all the obvious publications as well as the John Bristow (which I won on eBay last week for £30 plus shipping). I have read a couple of the shorter books just after xmas.

That's great to see you followed along the DX pathway from the DX21, TX81z to DX7ii. Best way to go I would imagine.

Thanks, yes I do have a strong interest in learning what I can about FM Synthesis and also what the DX21 can achieve from a live 'gigging' point of view. I have been working thru the 'Dummies' series of Algebra books because I want to improve my Maths as lots of examples in the couple of (DX) books I have read give mathematical exaplainations, as do many of the videos on You Tube in relation to (any form of) Synthesis.

I am also trying to learn Cubase! Lol

Best,

Paul
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby rawl747 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:17 pm

Paul,

Clyde makes some very good points.

I started from the other end with the DX7 as my first keyboard purchased new in 1986 (or maybe it was 1987). This was before the TX81Z and other 4-OP synths from Yamaha came out. So, my early programming efforts were all 6-OP and without the advantage of computer based programming tools with nice GUI interfaces such as DXManager or Unisynth. Still, with my background as a radio engineer, FM was not too foreign to me.

It is my understanding that the with TX81Z, Yamaha's thinking was that it would be able to reduce the number of operators to 4 with the introduction of additional base waveforms for the primary signal source or "carrier" and still maintain a similar level of patch complexity as with the original 6-OP sine wave carrier based DX7 and it's cousins but with a simplified programming model. The addition of square and sawtooth waveforms in particular as carriers beyond the original simple sine wave carrier allowed this reduction since a lot of what the additional 2 operators in a 6-OP synthesizer are providing are the FM harmonics that essentially produce pseudo-square or pseudo-sawtooth waveforms using the modulation of the carrier by a modulating oscillator. One is not an exact substitution for the other as Martin Tarenskeen of DXConvert / TXConvert fame can attest and as a visual analysis of the waveforms would show. Still this is essentially what Yamaha had in mind with the TX81Z synth engine that also became the basis of an entire family of keyboard synths. The 4-OP FB-01 is sort of a dark horse in this 4-OP synth has only sine wave carriers lacking the additional carrier waveforms found in the TX81Z and its cousins. So the complexity of the sounds that the FB-01 are capable of producing are limited compared with 4-OP synths that have these other waveforms available for carriers and of course to 6-OP synths as well. Still, with its multi-timbral capabilities allowing layered sounds, the FB-01 and its keyboard cousins have their uses.

I have found my TX81Z to be a very interesting animal to program. Different of course from the DX7 but not necessarily inferior. Since my DX7 has an E! card supporting micro-tone scales like the TX81Z, this makes it more on a par with my TX81Z in that respect. So, I consider them both just different. Not less or more capable than each other. Some may yell Blasphemy!

I suspect that when you get your DX7 back from the shop and you get more into 6-OP programming, you will see why some consider the DX7 a "beast" to program. It does require you to do more of the work. But it is still IMHO, one of the great musical instruments of the 20th century. Just Remember what FM stands for:

F**king Magic!

(old radio engineer joke)

And Never Forget,
Microwave Engineers Do It With Greater Frequency!

Play On,
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby Clyde » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:51 pm

Just to clarify, here is the timeline for various Yamaha 4op synths.
1983- DX9
1985- DX21, DX100, DX27
1986- DX27S, TX81Z
1988- DX11 (aka V2 in Japan)
1989- V50
The FB01 is not listed as it was not a DMI Division product.

The TX81Z was the first 4op with alternate waveforms, alternate waveforms were also on the 6op SY77/99.
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby parametric » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:20 pm

Clyde wrote:The FB01 is not listed as it was not a DMI Division product.


Indeed. I have it on good authority that the FB01 was a product of the HiFi Division - which doubtless would explain it's sysex differences to the DXs.

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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:39 am

Clyde wrote:Just to clarify, here is the timeline for various Yamaha 4op synths.
1983- DX9
1985- DX21, DX100, DX27
1986- DX27S, TX81Z
1988- DX11 (aka V2 in Japan)
1989- V50
The FB01 is not listed as it was not a DMI Division product.

The TX81Z was the first 4op with alternate waveforms, alternate waveforms were also on the 6op SY77/99.
Clyde


Cheers Clyde,

I dare say there are fanatics out there who own ALL of these! Lol

I had not heard/seen the FB01 before so I had a look on You Tube. It has more in terms of Presets and User Perf Memory. Maybe this is because if you by a module version you get more in other ways (because there is no keyboard). From what I heard, Strings, Brass and Basses sounded pretty much the same quality as DX21. However, its not a model which I would have chosen to purchase because I much prefer 19" rackmountable modules.

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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:06 am

It is my understanding that the with TX81Z, Yamaha's thinking was that it would be able to reduce the number of operators to 4 with the introduction of additional base waveforms for the primary signal source or "carrier" and still maintain a similar level of patch complexity as with the original 6-OP sine wave carrier based DX7 and it's cousins but with a simplified programming model. The addition of square and sawtooth waveforms in particular as carriers beyond the original simple sine wave carrier allowed this reduction since a lot of what the additional 2 operators in a 6-OP synthesizer are providing are the FM harmonics that essentially produce pseudo-square or pseudo-sawtooth waveforms using the modulation of the carrier by a modulating oscillator. One is not an exact substitution for the other as Martin Tarenskeen of DXConvert / TXConvert fame can attest and as a visual analysis of the waveforms would show. Still this is essentially what Yamaha had in mind with the TX81Z synth engine that also became the basis of an entire family of keyboard synths.

So you mean the DX7 Mk1 and DX9 only had SINE waveforms? And the DX21 (and similar 4op's) had the addition of Square and Tooth's? I know this will sound very basic (and possible wrong!) but you are referring specifically to the waveforms used by the OP's to generate a (basic) tone/sound. NOT, the waveforms in the LFO section (Triangle, Tooth, Square). I know that stacking up OP's (mathematically) you can get (say) a Carrier and Modulator to produce a Square wave (or whatever). So are you saying that (on 4op synths) that you can start out immediately with a Square or Tooth wave? And if so, how do you arrive at this starting point please because I thought the only option other than to edit a pre-existing patch (ROM preset) would be to 'initialize' it which would give you a Sine wave for Carrier #1.

I hope I have explained that ok for you. It is something I really want to understand and experiment with if possible.



I suspect that when you get your DX7 back from the shop and you get more into 6-OP programming, you will see why some consider the DX7 a "beast" to program. It does require you to do more of the work. But it is still IMHO, one of the great musical instruments of the 20th century.

Yes, I am looking forward to getting it out of service. By then I will have had a couple of month programing practice on the DX21. It should be quite interesting transferring knowledge from one instrument to another.


Just Remember what FM stands for:

F**king Magic!

Or "Fear Of Maths"! :P
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby db7 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:43 am

monsterjazzlicks wrote:So you mean the DX7 Mk1 and DX9 only had SINE waveforms?
yes

And the DX21 (and similar 4op's) had the addition of Square and Tooth's?
no, please read my post above, which clarified/corrected some of the points in rawl’s post: non-sine waveforms only featured in the later TX81Z, DX11, V50, SY77, TG77, and SY99

and none of them were squares or sawtooths either:
Image
They are simply rudimentary alterations of sine waves that Yamaha could easily produce from the same sine wave ROM. See how they are made simply by inverting the polarity, silencing some segments, or squaring the sine. The manuals of the featuring synths explain the harmonic content if you care that much. None are identical to well-known waveforms.

I know that stacking up OP's (mathematically) you can get (say) a Carrier and Modulator to produce a Square wave (or whatever).
not by stacking alone. You need feedback to linearise the amplitude slope of the upper harmonics. Then, yes, you can create waveforms that are very close to ‘real’ sawtooths or squares. Take a carrier with a modulator self-feedbacking, the latter set to the appropriate output and feedback levels and a C:M frequency ratio of 1:1 for a saw or 1:2 for a square. This method of 2 ops and feedback is all that are needed. Yet, for some reason, most people seem to think making a square requires 3 or more ops without feedback at 1:2:4:etc ratios. Which is false, as they would know if they tried the feedback thing and compared the two methods using an oscilloscope, as I have. Whereas the feedback-less stacking method produces very poor results, 2-stack with feedback can produce saw- and square-like waveforms that are so close to the ‘real’ waves in both sound and shape that they might as well be identical.
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Re: Yamaha DX21 (Help?)

Unread postby monsterjazzlicks » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:13 am

Hi db7

And the DX21 (and similar 4op's) had the addition of Square and Tooth's?
no, please read my post above, which clarified/corrected some of the points in rawl’s post: non-sine waveforms only featured in the later TX81Z, DX11, V50, SY77, TG77, and SY99
Ok, I see now cheers. Just trying to get all the differences and similarities digested.


and none of them were squares or sawtooths either:
They are simply rudimentary alterations of sine waves that Yamaha could easily produce from the same sine wave ROM. See how they are made simply by inverting the polarity, silencing some segments, or squaring the sine. The manuals of the featuring synths explain the harmonic content if you care that much. None are identical to well-known waveforms.
That diagram was very helpful ta. Yes, these are dis-similar to Square, Triangle and Tooth. Gee, there is so much more to this than I originally thought!


I know that stacking up OP's (mathematically) you can get (say) a Carrier and Modulator to produce a Square wave (or whatever).
not by stacking alone. You need feedback to linearise the amplitude slope of the upper harmonics. Then, yes, you can create waveforms that are very close to ‘real’ sawtooths or squares. Take a carrier with a modulator self-feedbacking, the latter set to the appropriate output and feedback levels and a C:M frequency ratio of 1:1 for a saw or 1:2 for a square. This method of 2 ops and feedback is all that are needed. Yet, for some reason, most people seem to think making a square requires 3 or more ops without feedback at 1:2:4:etc ratios. Which is false, as they would know if they tried the feedback thing and compared the two methods using an oscilloscope, as I have. Whereas the feedback-less stacking method produces very poor results, 2-stack with feedback can produce saw- and square-like waveforms that are so close to the ‘real’ waves in both sound and shape that they might as well be identical.
I was only aware of achieving it with 2 x Op's and setting the appropriate Ratio (2:1 / 3:1/ ...). I never experimented with the Feedback parameter in this instance as yet. I did not know either that there was a school of thought whereas people thought 3 x Op's were required. You learn something new every day!

Ta,

Paul
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