The Yamaha DX-7

The Yamaha DX-7 is a popular digital synthesizer that was introduced in 1983. It was the first commercially successful synthesizer to use digital synthesis, specifically a type of synthesis called frequency modulation (FM).

The DX-7 was very influential in the music industry, particularly in the 1980s, and it was used in a wide range of genres, from pop to jazz to film scores. It was known for its unique and versatile sound, which was different from the analog synthesizers that were popular at the time.

The DX-7 was also significant because it was relatively affordable and accessible compared to other synthesizers of its time. Its popularity helped to establish digital synthesis as a viable alternative to analog synthesis, and it paved the way for many other digital synthesizers that followed.

The Yamaha DX-7 was used by many popular artists in the 1980s, and its distinctive sound became a defining feature of the era’s music. Here are some examples of artists who used the DX-7 in their music:

  1. Michael Jackson – The DX-7 was used extensively on his album “Thriller”, particularly on the hit song “Billie Jean”.
  2. Toto – Their hit song “Africa” features the DX-7, and the band used the synthesizer on many of their other recordings.
  3. Phil Collins – The DX-7 was used on many of his solo recordings, including the hit song “In the Air Tonight”.
  4. Duran Duran – The band used the DX-7 on their album “Rio”, which featured the hit songs “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Rio”.
  5. Stevie Wonder – The DX-7 was used on his album “In Square Circle”, particularly on the hit song “Part-Time Lover”.
  6. Prince – The DX-7 was used on his album “Purple Rain”, particularly on the hit song “When Doves Cry”.
  7. Depeche Mode – The DX-7 was a key element in their synthpop sound, and was used on many of their recordings in the 1980s.

These are just a few examples of the many artists who used the Yamaha DX-7 in their music.

The Yamaha DX-7 is known for its distinctive sound, which is different from the warm and organic sound of analog synthesizers. The DX-7 uses a type of digital synthesis called frequency modulation (FM) synthesis, which allows for complex and evolving sounds that are difficult to achieve with analog synthesis.

The sound of the DX-7 can be described as bright, sharp, and metallic, with a complex and rich texture. It is capable of producing a wide range of sounds, from bell-like tones to deep basses, and can also create complex and evolving pads and textures.

One of the unique features of the DX-7 is its ability to create “algorithmic” sounds, where multiple oscillators are combined and modulated in complex ways. This can create sounds that are difficult to replicate with other types of synthesizers, and has made the DX-7 a popular choice for creating unusual and experimental sounds.

Overall, the sound of the Yamaha DX-7 is distinct and recognizable, and has played an important role in the development of electronic music over the past few decades.