Yamaha DX200

Yamaha DX200 Image

The hot new DX200 is a programmable desktop sequencer with a return to Yamaha's legendary sound of FM synthesis. Based on the classic DX7, an authentic 6-operator FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesis engine sits at the heart of the DX200, bringing back the famous sounds of the DX-series synthesizers. Taking a few clues from the success of Korg and Roland's desktop sequencing synthesizers, the DX200 is a realtime 16-step sequencer (groove-box) designed for musicians and DJs alike! On top of that, the DX200 is fully compatible with DX7 System Exclusive MIDI data for downloading DX7 patches into the DX200, and vice-versa!

In addition to the 16-voice polyphonic FM synth sounds, the DX200 also provides 32 voices of AWM2 sample-playback for drum, percussion, bass, and rhythm sounds. There are over 120 sounds available to choose from; most are geared towards the dance genre. Sixteen realtime control knobs provide hands on access to FM parameters, LFO, envelope, filter, and effects. FM synthesis/programming has actually been somewhat simplified for use in the DX200. One feature that was sorely missed in many classic DX-series synthesizers was the omission of filters. However, the new DX200 has an advanced resonant multi-mode filter with variable 12, 18 or 24 dB/oct slopes and lowpass, hipass, bandpass, and band reject modes. The lowpass features a dedicated envelope generator. The ADSR envelope can control both the filter and the Amp. Also onboard are portamento, polyphonic, mono, and unison modes. The LFO features up to 21 waveforms and can modulate either the pitch or filter.

Although the DX200 can be used as an FM sound module via MIDI, its advanced sequencer makes it an excellent all-in-one FM groove machine! And with all those classic FM sounds (punchy bass, ambient textures, metallic sounds, etc.) the DX200 is definitely set apart from other similar groove machines. The sequencer section is also modeled after classic analog style sequencers. A simple turn of a knob can control each step of the current pattern. That is - for each of its 16 steps per pattern, the pitch, gate time and velocity can be independently tweaked in realtime. The sequencer offers one track for your FM sounds, and three additional tracks for the AWM2 rhythm sounds. Each track can be assigned to individual MIDI channels. Patterns can be created live in realtime or carefully programmed in step-mode, and they can be chained together for up to 10 songs. Songs can be exported via MIDI for use in sequencers or off-line storage.

Motion Control is also implemented in the DX200 via the Free EG. It's an envelope generator that gives up to 4 tracks for recording parameter tweaks giving complex, evolving motion to your sounds and patterns! All knobs transmit MIDI control change messages too. Yamaha's Scene Memory function is also onboard for quickly storing tweaked parameters for instant recall or to "morph" between the two scene memories in realtime! The two scene memories are stored with each pattern.

Although the realtime control is essential for the DJ, the DX200 also comes with tools for the studio musician! A great software editor package is bundled with the DX200 for even easier editing via external computer (Mac/PC). The software editor provides in-depth editability and control, such as the ability to hand-draw envelopes, and much more. A graphic simulation of the DX7 is included as well as the ability to import original DX7 sounds and patterns.

In the end, the DX200 is a God-send for any musician looking for those classic DX/FM sounds without all the hassles and complexity of programming and maintaining the old synths that provided them. The DX200 has realtime control, built-in realtime sequencing, filters, morphing ability and much more! At such a reasonable price, the DX200 just may transcend its classic ancestors.

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32 Visitor comments
Savojr
June 9, 2009 @ 4:16 pm
"What does adding the PLG100DX card do for the unit?"
Nothing. Its FM section is silent as a rock with it. There is newer version of the card allready inside (PLG150-DX).
I just got DX-200 from EBAY with wrong card inside.

About editor, it is possible to use all DX7 capable editors with it to create more advanced fm sounds..
I used Peavey PC1600-x and i had to tell that hands on control with all those fm-parameters is NICE. Imagine operator frequency sweeps etc.. . .
Now my PC1600X is for sale and i use Bitstream 3X for this purpose also. =)
Andrew Beddoes
December 28, 2008 @ 6:58 am
A good idea of marrying the FM sound with rhythm. The FM synth isn't multi-timbral, however, and the synth channel has drums sitting on the lower octaves, so you can't play bass keys from a controller keyboard. The tablas sound great.
Tobias
October 11, 2008 @ 6:33 pm
Yahoo has a user group for this machine which is astounding. It has a file section including the editor and 3200 patches for this puppy. There are also step-by-step instructions on getting the editor going (dx 200 plug-in for xgworks) on windows xp if you are having problems. I found it to work wonderfully.

Cheers

Tobias Mixer
Tobias
September 20, 2008 @ 12:38 pm
I just bought one and I think it was a great purchase - the sounds are incredible and very tweakable. Can someone tell me if replacing the data knob is possible? Also - my unit was bought used without the editor. Can someone kindly help me with a link to the DX200 Editor?
I don't see any issues since I own the unit. What does adding the PLG100DX card do for the unit? Thanks!
Savo Jr
September 17, 2008 @ 4:03 pm
About sounds. Its has DX7 sounds with better D/A converters than original DX7.
Otherways pretty much same. Everyone knows that this is compatible with its sounds but there is some extra parameters as well.
Like noise and resonance filters. I have owned TX81Z but not DX7 earlier so i was happy to found pitch envelope from DX200 aswell.
Another fact that have not had much emphasis in reviews.

I dont like user interface of DX200. There is too few FM-synthesis parametes available this way.. its necessarily to use editor to create interesting new sounds with it.
Effects could have better quality too. Usable as portable techno toy or professional synth module if using software editor. 4/5 stars.
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - A series of short musical demo sequences in various styles showcasing the DX200's groovy sounds!

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices on FM engine, 32 voices on AWM2 sample-playback engine
  • Oscillators - MAIN SYNTHESIZER: FM - DX7 compatible, 6 Operator FM, 32 algorithms;
    NOISE: 16 variations in 5 categories - white, up, down, pitch, variation;
    SUB SYNTHESIZER: AWM2 (Rhythm Section Sounds)
  • Filter - MAIN SYNTHESIZER (FM): Filter + (FEG) ADSR env; 12dB, 18dB, 24dB; Low-, high-, band-pass, band-reject
  • VCA - AEG: ADSR envelope to control Amp; FREE Envelope Generator: 4 tracks per pattern
  • LFO - Speed/Depth control, 6 waveform types: triangle, saw down/up, square, sine, sample-and-hold
  • Keyboard - 16 rubber pads
  • Effects - 13 types: Distortion, delays, reverb, flangers, chorus, phasers, overdrive
  • Sequencer - 16 step sequencer with 4 parts per pattern; 1 track for Synth, 3 tracks for AWM2 drum sounds; 10 songs capacity
  • Memory - 256 preset patterns, 128 user patterns; Scene Memory (2 memories per pattern)
  • Control - MIDI IN/OUT (1-part multitimbral FM, 3-part multitimbral AWM2), MIDI CLOCK (Int/Ext)
  • Date Produced - 2001

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