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differences between DX7 and DX7 mk2.


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hello

 

i own dx7, but i've heard there are some problems with controling parameters via midi in real time. the gossip says that dx7s and other newer ones can be controled via midi in real-time, so using stuff like evolution uc-33e would be possible.

 

is that true? should i replace my dx7 with dx7s or other one?

 

and is there any thing in which dx7s is WORSE than dx7?

 

cheers

 

EDIT

 

oh, and what about synths like Korg DW-8000, M1, Roland D-50 - is it possible to control their parameters in real-time via midi?

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The DX7II series have a much better MIDI implementation. Better sound quality, and more editing options. It also has the ability to layer/split the keyboard. I don't know much about 7s though. All these synths you ask about use SysEx to control their functions. Not standard MIDI CCs. A lot of controller boxes don't send Sys Ex, only CCs. If you want to get a controller for the D-50, you're best off buying the actual programmer box for it. It'll cost you about as much as a controller would. All the others have a few open slots for assigning an external controller for various functions. But there are some controller that have templates for controlling Sys Ex synths. I don't think the DX7 does though. as it has just WAY too many editing layers. It's too complicated of a machine.

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The DX7S has WORSE audio quality than the DX7? I think not...

 

The original DX7 sounds noisier and not as clean (I've seen people use the term "warmer" for this, go figure) as the II, which has better converters. If you like that, then you should get the mk1 or the TX7.

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Yep.. good advice :) "look into" an upgrade that's been unavailable for decades and possibly rarer than rocking horse shit.

 

If you DO find one though, let me know where, cos I will retract my sarcastic comment and buy one myself :D

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The DX7S and DX7II both sound better than the DX7 - on paper. The improved convertors (and I think a better output amp) made them cleaner, but I had saved all my original DX7 voices and installed in the DX7II and they had lost some of their charm. Maybe it was the inherent noise and distortion that I actually liked...

Other than that, the MIDI implementation on the original was pretty lousy - but what would you expect from one of the first machines to ever have MIDI? Can you even imagine a controller that wasn't capable of sending velocities of over 100? The GreyMatter-E! gave some great benefits to the original DX7, but it still pailed in comparison to a stock DX7II. And the E!-upgrade to a DX7II made them great as a controller (for that time period) and increased their sound generating potential a LOT. But, like Jez said, it's as rare as rocking horse shit (great comment by the way), and you would pretty much have to buy a machine with it already installed - which many of them did as an upgrade.

If it were me, i'd keep the DX7 and buy a dedicated controller board.

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Yep.. good advice
:)
"look into" an upgrade that's been unavailable for decades and possibly rarer than rocking horse shit.


If you DO find one though, let me know where, cos I will retract my sarcastic comment and buy one myself
:D

 

Uh, well, er, I think I just might know where an E! card might be lying around! I'll check it out.

 

But, "for it's time" that was the best controller I could muster up and I'm still impressed. Today, if I were to try to find a new controller with more up to date features (full midi, breath controller, 16ch. patch mapping, aftertouch, blah, blah, etc.) what might be a good choice: ON THE CHEAP!!!!!

(btw, what an insane name: DX7IIFDE!)

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But, "for it's time" that was the best controller I could muster up and I'm still impressed. Today, if I were to try to find a new controller with more up to date features (full midi, breath controller, 16ch. patch mapping, aftertouch, blah, blah, etc.) what might be a good choice: ON THE CHEAP!!!!!

(btw, what an insane name: DX7IIFD
E
!)

 

Agreed. It had some truly "state-of-the-art" features, had a nice feal to the keybed, and had all those cool options.

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I had a DX7IIFD w/E! (from the factory) back in the late '80s, while the features were extremely nice for that time, I always found the E! mod to be very quirky, sometimes freezing up or voices not sounding right, etc. and often requiring a power off and back on to clear it. I sold it in 1990 after buying an SY77 as that had most of the features and was more reliable.

Clyde

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Incidentally, as we're hovering around the topic anyway, I have some questions about the E! board, even though I'll probably never see one.

 

1) How does it work?

 

2) What does it look like?

 

3) What's it made of?

 

4) Where does it attach?

 

It seems to me that if it works the way I think it does, it would be fairly easy to recreate with modern components on the cheap :) There's no real reason they couldn't be copied by those with the right skills and "re-released".

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1) It's a "daughterboard" that adds a small "operating system" into the DX thru the ROM socket. Externally all you see is a different display in the LCD screen with MANY more menu options. Existing DX buttons become multi-functional and you just haveto learn your way around. It takes a little getting used to, but it's really not that bad. You need the E! software to get it up and running.

 

2) It looks like a daughterboard. Roughly 3" wide and about 7" long.

 

3) Standard printed circuit board with Grey Matter rom and support chips and interconnecting cables coming off of it.

 

4) It plugs into the ROM slot for the stock DX voice ROM. Screws in tight via longer screws that hold the daughterboard thru the motherboard and into the DX chassis.

 

As many DX7's as there still are out there a reverse-engineered re-release could be interesting(more up to date features!!??). And yes, in some cases stability was indeed an issue, but when they worked they worked great.

 

Take a look here:http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Keyboard+And+MIDI/product/Yamaha/DX-7+FD+Grey+Matter+E!/10/1

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When it comes to real-time control of parameter via midi, the original DX7 is about worthless. I you change the sound parameter values during a note, the sound will stutter. The DX7II, hovever, will handle it just fine. With the control panel I use, I can routinely adjust several parameter values at once without any problems.

 

The only thing you have to watch out for is sending too much data at once. If you shove a whole bunch of data to the DX7II full bore, it will lock up due to a buffer overflow, as it can't actually process the data as fast as the midi channel can shovel it in.

 

It's truly an unbelievable feeling when you start playing that beast with real-time controls. It ends up being a very dynamic instrument, and pretty easy to learn the basics of.

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The DX7S has WORSE audio quality than the DX7? I think not...



The original DX7 sounds noisier and not as clean (I've seen people use the term "warmer" for this' date=' go figure) as the II, which has better converters. If you like that, then you should get the mk1 or the TX7.[/quote']*Hello from the next decade*I think people use the word 'warm', to describe sounds coloured with artifacts. Maybe a bit of character leaves a warm feeling? E.g., the perception vinyl is 'warm', when it's actually missing the bottom end present in a high quality digital signal.

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Used to own both many times along with the beast DX 5 which i sold as an idiot, Mk1 has a more "old school" sound due to its 12-bit converters compared to 16-bit ones of Mk1 models (DX7II, FD, S). So it depends on what you want from a DX 7 to sound like. A then "modern" and more advanced in specs synth, nowdays is not always what you want. I prefer Mk1 definitely, for that early 80s sound. Most of the well known hits of the era used a Mk1 if that ads something to the discussion.

Edited by OPEN OCEAN
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Only a little help, I own a DW-8000, and have the manual, but offhand, I know (or believe) that MIDI controllers can be manipulated live (volume, pitch, pgm changes, etc.) can be done via MIDI, but I don't believe you can call up parameters and change them from a MIDI source.  To do so would require you to change from Patch to Parameter mode remotely, I don't recall that you  can do that.  I'll take a look at the book and get back to you, but it was a very early MIDI capable keyboard, and since it could only recall one parameter at a time, I doubt there was that kind of flexibility. 

On a side note, these older keyboards are fun to play with, and do their thing very well, but I would be cautious trying to lug them around for live performances.  Back in the day, I had a friend who worked almost exclusively with a DX7, she said it could often surprise you by forgetting all its patches, losing output, etc., and that was when it was new.  I recently got interested in performing live (after a 20 year (kids) hiatus).  While my DW-8000 still works, it has been at least that long since I changed the battery in it.  I did copy its memory to a digital recorder, but that still needs done.  My EPS (Not the greatest sampler, but a great controller keyboard) went poof shortly after I started with it.  My point is, while they are fun to fool with, I would be concerned about their longevity.  It might be worth it to look at a Motif Rack, or some other items, that provide a number of the sounds from those earlier keyboards, with the reliability and flexibility of much newer pieces.  Just my $.02, as a "serious" hobbyist.

 

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