The Yamaha DX7 II FM Synthesizer

This is a demo of the classic Yamaha DX7 II FM Synthesizer.

The Yamaha DX7 was a synthesizer manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation from 1983 to 1986. It was the first commercially successful digital synthesizer, and its sounds can be heard on many recordings from the 1980s.

Three improved “DX7 II” models were released between 1987 and 1989, all of which featured updated internal circuitry and a new style case.

These were:

  • the DX7 IID, which improved sound quality from 12 bit to 16 bit, and allowed bi-timbrality;
  • the DX7 IIFD, which was identical to the DX7 IID except that it also had a floppy disk drive; and
  • the DX7s, which had improved sound quality and the updated case, but otherwise had the same essential functionality of the original DX7.

There was also a TX802 rackmaount version.

DX7 IIs could transmit and receive on any one of 16 MIDI channels at a time.

If you’ve used the Yamaha DX7 II FM Synthesizer, leave a comment with your thoughts/ratings!

Specifications:

  • Polyphony: 16 voices;
  • Oscillators: programmable 6-operator A & B,
  • 32-algorithm FM tone generator;
  • Env: 6 Envelope generators with 8 parameters;
  • Keyboard: 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch, Split and Layer;
  • Memory: 128 patches, external cartridge;
  • Effects: none

Resources:

Demo video via retrosound72

8 thoughts on “The Yamaha DX7 II FM Synthesizer

    1. I consider the updated version of the DX7 the DX7 II-s In my case not just a great synth. But the GREATEST SYNTH of alltime. I have got sounds out of this amazing synth that you arent supposed to. After 18 years using one I know it well. Programming may be difficult to the casual observer. But EDITTING ISNT. And thats where the great patches come from. Taking a sound that is somewhere close to what you want then tinkering arround until its better than you wanted.

      Anyone who thinks a DX7 cannot produce great strings and pads. Doesnt know the DX7 II. It can do pads like nothing you have heard. It has more weight and presence to than a D50 or M1. And its already king for BASS and ELECTRIC PIANO/BELLS etc. I recommend getting the REAL THING. No plugin will ever TRULY capture the power and presence-playability of a real HARDWARE DX7 II.

  1. I used to own a DX7 II-D when I played with an 80s tribute band. I used it as my main source of classic 80s FM sounds, of course. Being able to layer two sounds was perfect because it allowed me to add a percussive layer underneath a lead sound, for example, allowing it to cut through even better. If you thought that the original DX7 had some fat basses and lush strings, imagine how much bigger it sounds when you double them! Programming was also much easier.

    If it weren’t for FM8 and how easy it is to run plugins in a live setting these days, I’d consider getting another one of these. Well, I might do that someday anyway, for old times’ sake 🙂

    Cheers!

  2. The VST's sound good… but don't seem as good as the DX7IID or FD it all comes down to the DAC on the Yamaha hardware I guess. Similarly the original has DAC that were only 14bit so there was some crunch going on that will no happen otherwise from your computer generated VST.

  3. The DX7II, D in my case, was a mainstay of mine for many years. I have sold most of my gear maintaining only the essentials needed for a modern day digital studio. But my DX7IID is still by my side. I don't use it much anymore but I simply can't part ways with her, not yet.

  4. The DX7II, D in my case, was a mainstay of mine for many years. I have sold most of my gear maintaining only the essentials needed for a modern day digital studio. But my DX7IID is still by my side. I don't use it much anymore but I simply can't part ways with her, not yet.

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