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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33 Visitor comments
June 29, 2010 @ 5:25 am
I got a half a year ago and am very pleased. Having already used it in several recordings. Only the drum sounds are worth the purchase and provides a range of classic FM drum sounds. It is difficult to program and navigate, so you have to download the manual and use it actively. An excellent supplement for those who wish to have a real FM synth in the studio or live. For nostalgic reasons, you may want to hunt a real DX7, but if it's the sound you're searhing, you get it with a DX200.
silent pair
April 20, 2010 @ 5:55 pm
this is hardly a "toy" or "useless", but to each their own. this and the an200 are the only sound generating hardware i feel the need to own (other than an old w7) and if i had to ditch one, it would be the an200 easily. if you have a keyboard controller with control sliders/knobs, you can assign any of them to any function on this...sustain on/off is especially insane if you want long drones and walls of noise.

otherwise, you can use the editor and then save the patch and you're good to go. it's easy to find online and has great features but honestly i only use it for bulk dumps and the occasional eq tweak.
January 15, 2010 @ 1:58 pm
great sounding synth. the only problem is the lack of editing features available without the editor. if all youve got to program with is the front panel, it's reduced to pretty much a toy. you can't adjust amp envelopes for any operator beyond the first, so when you release a key, the only operator that sustains is the first one ... it pretty much rendered it unusable for me but if youve got a decent editor you can do some really cool stuff with it and its infinitely more valuable.
September 13, 2009 @ 12:28 pm
I'm considering selling my tx-7 to help pay for one of these. I love the sounds that it makes but I almost feel as though selling an origional tx would be blasphemy. Anyone have any feelings on the matter?
4 bit Reverb
September 1, 2009 @ 7:31 am
These are hard to come by nowadays.
People that get a hold of one tend to keep them.
I need one badly :-(
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Rated 4.19 (611 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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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