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
March 27, 2011 @ 10:56 pm
I picked up the DX21 from some guy who lived in the woods and needed someone to haul off his huge, ancient broken mixing boards.
I was pretty excited, until i plugged it in.

At full volume, the output is barely audible!
Does anyone have any clue as to why, and what I could possibly do to solve this issue?
January 12, 2011 @ 6:25 am
battery change: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF3cbyVfy9I
January 5, 2011 @ 6:58 am
Just rediscovered my DX21 - it's been stored away for at least 10 years. It doesn't remember its settings once unplugged - any ideas how to get to the internal battery? I took the back off, but can't see it.
January 1, 2011 @ 7:23 pm
When i first god my dx21 it came with an official audio tape with a spoken version of the manual. This was very helpful as i have very poor vision. i was able to listen and remember to all the instructions. Sadly the tape has long since become lost. Does anyone know how to get a copy of the tape or better whear can it be downloaded. i love this board to bits for making wacky sounds. sound great if traggered from a drum machine whilst chaging values live! Thanks in advance
December 22, 2010 @ 1:12 pm
Ha, thin and brittle! So wrong. It's a deeper synth than most of the VAs and sample-based digital synths commanding huge prices today. This complements the DX7 beautifully, great chorus, simple envelopes, fewer operators. Great for working out your ideas before you transfer them to the 'big daddy' synth - the DX7!
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  • 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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