Yamaha DX21

Yamaha DX21 Image

A consumer level DX synth that sounds just like the DX100 - thin and brittle. Following the DX model this synth also uses FM synthesis which is difficult to master. You will need to program this synth to get better sounds because the presets are only moderately useful. It's capable of a good string, bass and droney-pad sound as well as industrial sound-effects and metallic like sounds.

Still it makes a better option than a DX27 or DX100 because it has the capability of layers and splitting the keyboard and there is a chorus effect. Portamento and a Unison Mono-Mode are also nice features for screaming lead synth performances. For a cheaper source of DX sounds with moderate programmability, check out the DX21. It's been used by Hardfloor, Level 42, Brother Beyond, Astral Projection, Technotronic, Vangelis, and Norman Cook (Fat Boy Slim).

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67 Visitor comments
rui gen
March 24, 2014 @ 7:47 pm
I really like this keyboard - work with it and it will shine.
Its only thin and brittle if you dont use it proper!
The Ghoul
February 20, 2014 @ 2:42 pm
@Dee, Here is a link to a reset PDF, http://www.eanubis.net/Yamaha/Yamaha-KorgFactoryResetList-ver001.pdf
February 19, 2014 @ 8:08 pm
Anyone have an idea how I would Factory Rest an

Thanx in advance

January 28, 2014 @ 4:51 am
it's a great synth, and a cut above the other similar yamaha products by way of dual layering, pitch envelope and a nice chorus which i believe is analogue. tends to be quite noisy, envelopes can squeak a little and background hiss is fairly audible, but it's part of the charm. you'll make it stand out from all the clean sounding vsts people love so much ;) due to the endlessly explorable nature of fm synthesis, you'll be please with the range of sounds it can cover. sold mine for an sy77 but i made some great bells, pads and sega-esque leads that were hard to replace.
January 19, 2014 @ 1:16 pm
Thin and brittle it is not. It can actually scream!
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User Rating

Rated 3.92 (668 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
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Yamaha dx21
    by alphacode909

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual here.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 notes
  • Oscillators - 4-Operator Digital FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - (1) Monotimbral
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - Chorus
  • Keyboard - 61 Keys (no velocity/aftertouch sensitivity)
  • Memory - 128 patches and 16 performances
  • Control - MIDI (w / Velocity and Aftertouch)
  • Date Produced - 1985

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