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Yamaha DX7 

Remarkable for being: Japanese-pop-venture gone wild, first turning the scene upside down and then living a life of its own.

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This has to be one of the coolest synths I have ever heard. FM synthesis and DX synths are truly awesome in their results, and those who spit out primitive judgments like "DX is useless" are most probably malicious haters taking their revenge on the synth's horrible interface (because it really is horrible...)

This is paradoxical, or ironic, but the DX7 which is the epitome of digital technology that ousted analogs back in the '80s is the most 'organic' synth soundwise. And I don't mean instability or little inaccuracies in sound; I mean that the patches you can create using this thing astonish people to the point that they're not sure if they're listening to an instrument or some natural phenonmena. Moreover, DX7 (FM) sounds are not as obvious and "customary" as analog sounds, so they enrich the music to a great degree and you no longer have any reason to say "oh, that's a synthesizer / electronic song". And I guess this would be the ultimate reason for me to choose DX7 as the best synth ever - because it doesn't sound like a synth... at least a synth everybody has heard before. A real individuality still having potential despite being so overused and cliched. One of the greatest rides of my life was the discovery that underneath the official, glossy surface of the typical DX sound, DX7 can sound like some diseased, genetically modified living organism with complex technology incorporated as its interface. And this is what I decided to show to you in the demo (I'm sorry if you wanted to hear the Rhodes patch for the 1000'th time).

If you're looking for this solid yet transparent subbass for your song - it's here. If you're looking for a panzer-tank build quality - it's here. I love the fact that my DX7 is the only synth that had been tossed in a dusty corner without a dust-cover, yet it still works flawlessly after each power-up. I also appreciate the best-keyboard-action ever, and the slight noise that my DX7 gives out (is it normal?), giving it a lo-fi character.

But yes, the interface is a real shame and there's now way of brushing it under the carpet. Remembering the horror I was going through during editing, the experience mark has to be dropped from superb to proper. Nevermore this kind of stupid horseplay.


Also, there is a funny story relating to this synth. During the 1980's the Polish television aired a cult series called "Zmiennicy" ("Co-Drivers") about the adventures of a yellow taxi in Warsaw. The series gained cult-status partly due to its great soundtrack. Starting with the late '90s, when the kids who used to watch it on tv grew up and could afford their first synths, everybody was in a frenzy to nail the instruments used to make those cool sounds; "Was it an Oberheim?" / "Was it a Roland Juno-106?" / "Whatever it was, it must have been an analog - that's why it sounds so great", etc. What I myself decided to do, instead of fueling the dead-end debates, was to try to find the now-late Przemyslaw Gintrowski himself. By some miracle I succeded in this and asked him directly what he had used to make those sounds. Guess what he said.

Hint: it wasn't an analog :D

Ten syntezator jest jednym z najciekawszych jakie kiedykolwiek slyszalem; synteza FM i seria DX sa genialne, natomiast ci, ktorzy twierdza ze to lipa, to zapewne zlosliwe dziady mszczace sie za okropny interfejs Yamahy. Mozemy pomijac slabe syntezatory ze slabym interfejsem, ale nie oczerniajmy ciekawych syntezatorow tylko z tego powodu, ze dotknelo ich nieszczescie kiepskiego design'u.

Paradoks lub ironia polega na tym, ze to wlasnie DX7 bedacy ucielesnieniem cyfrowej technologii, ktora obalila analogi w latach 80tych, produkuje najbardziej 'organiczne' dzwieki. Nie mam tutaj na mysli niestabilnosci czy malych niedokladnosci w dzwieku, lecz barwy ktore mozna wykrecic na tym modelu i ktore wprawiaja ludzi w oslupienie, nie bedac pewnym czy to co slysza pochodzi z instrumentu czy od jakiegos naturalnego zjawiska. Co wiecej, dzwieki z DX7 (FM) nie sa tak oczywiste, przewidywalne i zwyczajowe jak dzwieki analogow, wiec ogromnie wzbogacaja muzyke i nie ma juz powodow by po przesluchaniu kawalka powiedziec "to kompozycja oparta o dzwieki syntezatorowe". I chyba to by bylo ostatecznym powodem dla ktorego wybralbym DX7 jako najlepszy syntezator w historii - bo nie brzmi jak syntezator... przynajmniej nie jak te ktore juz wszyscy kiedys slyszeli. Pod fasada klasycznego wypolerowanego brzmienia, DX7 brzmi jak jakis chory organizm, skomplikowany technologicznie i zmodyfikowany genetycznie. I to zdecydowalem sie pokazac w demo.

Ja osobiscie lubie ten szumik, ktory moja DX7 wydziela, nadajacy jej charakterek lo-fi. A jesli szukasz glebokiego subbassu do swoich piosenek, wlasnie go znalazles.



Watch the video demo:



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