This Is How They Promoted The Yamaha DX7 In 1983

In 1983, Yamaha created a audio cassette that demonstrated the capabilities of their then-new DX7 & DX9 FM synthesizers.

Milestones has a selection of tracks that show the DX synths in a variety of contexts, ranging from ‘switched-on’ style arrangements, to classical, to jazz and funk.

via Encyclotronic

33 thoughts on “This Is How They Promoted The Yamaha DX7 In 1983

  1. Takes me back, as I got DX9 in 1984, just a year into full time employment after University.[Obviously I wanted to get DX7 but it was too expensive for me.I think at the time UK price was £699 or £799 for DX 9 and £1200 for DX7 . .There was also Dave Bristow Demonstrations . Sort of serious version of Kenny Everett.It was the 80s though…Yes it was hard to program but It came with the tag line from John Chowning and endorsed by Brian Eno that with DX7 was theoretically possible to create any timbre and the really big claim was say goodbye to unreliable ,out of tune analogue hassles.I had a small Yamaha system RX15,QX7 sequencer, and MT44 cassette.I got rid of DX9 in 89. …Now of course you can get all this emulated on an IPAD practically for free, and you have the choice authentic Yamaha Circa 83 2 line LCD 48 Character editing ,one parameter slider , …the youth of today have it so easy IMHO. remember its fools like me who paid for this stuff

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  2. Ah, memories. I loved my DX-7. Reading Keyboard Magazine helped me program it with two articles. First Wendy Carlos, in comparing the Synclavier II to her preferred digital synth, the Crumar GDS (and it’s cheaper sibling, the Synergy), said that FM could produce interesting attacks, but the sustain portion was like an analog synthesizer, in that the envelope for the carrier was like a VCA envelope, and the envelope for the modulator was like a VCF envelope. Then when Keyboard did the review on the DX-7, it was VERY THOUROUGH and explained every button and function.

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    1. uhm when was that comment made from W. Carlos?
      that’s only to reflect the proper name at the time of the comment

      just like time travel comments, punctuation is key

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      1. Get over it. Why should the date of the comment matter? You know exactly who Bill’s referring to and it’s not your place to define the identity of another person.

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          1. I was not trying to be negative about Carlos, i just remember a heated debate in another post about it. It was about how hard switched on Bach was to make because of the drift factor of the moogs at the time. It also a note i have seen from several other artist also had this issue.
            And how MIDI and the sythns that came from it solved allot of them and the DX7 was one of teh first performance syths that made it allot easier for performing

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      2. I have no idea what the your point is. Carlos had the transgender operation before her interview in Keyboard Magazine, which was in the November 1982 issue. I found a link with the cover and the article. It was before the DX-7 came out. After her comments I went back and listened again the demo record I had of the Synclavier II, which by the way, is on Youtube. I agreed with her that most of the sounds sounded analog. There were some FM patches that had qualities like acoustic sounds, but most sounded analog. Anyway, my point , which you seem to be missing, is that I found programming the DX-7 to be easier than others did, because of two articles in Keyboard Magazine. http://www.dix-project.net/item/2573/keyboard-magazine-wendy-carlos

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          1. Technically FM synthesis is neither analog nor digital. There are some analog synths that can do FM synthesis. The DX-7 and the Synclavier II both did digital FM synthesis. The “oscillators” (called operators by Yamaha) were all-digital. It only became analog at the end when passed through a digital to analog converter (DAC). In fact, because of technical issues, Yamaha’s FM was technically phase modulation synthesis (Casio’s phase distortion synthesis was something else). The result was FM because shifting the phase of a wave results in shifting the pitch also.

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  3. Reminds me of a CD that came out in the 80s called ‘Bachbusters” (Don Dorsey). It was like the digital/MIDI version of Switched On Bach. Of course, not as classic or groundbreaking as Carlos, but worth checking out if you want to hear FM meets Bach.

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  4. The source recording is not a cassette. You can hear the surface noise throughout the recording. Seems more like a Flexi disc or a 7 inch record. Certainly not a cassette.

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    1. well there was those floppy plastic records that were put on in magazines, i have one for the original ARP Axxe

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  5. A great synth, I remember people selling all their old gear to pay for it !
    Many of those stories of VCS3s found in skips etc. are from just after that time. Its’
    introduction drove down the prices of ‘unreliable memoryless’ analogue synths to
    the benefit of everyone who could see further than fashion.

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  6. This audio demo wasn’t from a cassette, it was from a flexi-disc included in an issue of Keyboard Magazine. You can hear the “pops” in the recording. I remember playing it (having to put a nickle near the spindle to add enough weight to the flexi-disc so it’d properly rotate on the turntable) and deciding then and there to sell my Jupiter-6 to get the DX7. At the time I did not regret that decision because I actually enjoyed trying to program my own sounds or getting weird and wild sounds by editing the factory patches. It really was an incredible synthesis advancement at the time.

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