2ND Generation 4OP's Equal DX For Everyone

By: Nux Aug 2011(updated Oct 2011)

In the mid 1980's YAMAHA released three entry level DX synthesizers that were budget friendly compared to the far more expensive DX7. These DX synthesizers were the second generation of 4 operator FM synths succeeding the previous 1st generation 4OP the DX9. These three synths the DX21, DX27 and DX100 employ 4 operators which are arranged into 1 of 8 algorithms to form frequency Modulation synthesis (FM). The DX7 employs 6 operators arranged into 1 of 32 algorithms to achieve 'frequency modulation'. FM synthesis is called 'additive synthesis'. Analog synthesis is called 'subtractive synthesis'.

Contrary to some claims of these synths being inferior, these 2ND generation 4OP DX synths are quite capable of producing rich beautiful sounds. With careful patch editing and use of outboard FX these 4OP DX synths can hold their own! They are renowned for their bass, bells, organs, metallic sounds and talk box capabilities. I have heard some great purposelessly made "Lo-Fi" patches and crazy out of this world "Sci-Fi" patches along with some very distinct pads. Knowing the limitations of these machines and more importantly capitalizing on their strengths, you can make great use of them. YAMAHA scored a home run with these synthesizers essentially putting a DX into the hands of the common musician.