Yamaha TX816

Yamaha TX816 Image

The TX816 is a monster of DX and FM digital synthesis. It is a unique system in that it is a rack unit that could take up to eight TF1 modules. A TF1 module is basically a DX7 condensed down to a single circuit board with almost no front panel controls. Definitely designed for use with external hardware and software controllers the TX816 allows you to easily carry around up to eight DX7s! Software such as MOTU Unisyn, Emagic SounDiver, or even another DX7 can be used to program the sounds in each module via MIDI.

Yamaha TF1 Image

Each TF1 module consists of a 16-voice, 6-operator digital FM synth engine. So a complete TX816 with all eight TF1 modules would offer up to 128 voices and 48 operators! Each TF1 also features an indepednent audio out (XLR) and MIDI I/O for a total of eight audio outputs and MIDI I/O's. It also has one global MIDI in/out port with 8-part multitimbrality, but no common stereo or mix output.

The TX816 was designed for demanding live use where portability, polyphony, and lots of outputs are a must! The TX816 is fully compatible with all other DX synthesizers including Native Instruments FM7 software-based plug-in. You can use the TX816 like it's eight seperate DX7s or mix and pan each module together to layer your sounds into one monsterous DX powerhouse! It has been used by Kitaro, Chick Corea, Michael Jackson, Europe, and Scritti Politti.

In the early eighties these sold for anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on how many TF1 modules were installed (from two to eight typically). Luckily for today's musicians you can get a software plug-in like FM7 for ten times less money and you still get everything the TX816 could do, and much more too!

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45 Visitor comments
July 18, 2012 @ 4:10 pm
Also used by Alphaville, BBC Radiophonic workshop, Howard Jones, Ken Freeman, Harold Faltermeyer, Hans Zimmer, John Massari, Tangerine dream, Tony Banks/Genesis, Robbie Buchanan, David Frank, Billy Currie/Ultravox, Amin Bhatia, David Bryan/Bon Jovi, Gary
Chang, Vince DiiCola, Alan Holdsworth, Alan Parsons Project, Casey Young, Duncan Mackay, Suzanne Ciani, Wally Badarou, Jens Johansson/Yngvie J. Malmsten, New Order, Chick Corea, Kraftwerk (?), Bil Wolfer, Moskwa TV and others.
June 29, 2012 @ 4:51 pm
Im looking to buy a Yamaha TX816 fully working and in very good condition. Please get in contact. Thanx Guyz
June 22, 2012 @ 8:12 pm
I've never heard this synth so I don't know how it compares to the fm7
But the d-a converter is not the only difference here.. We cannot assume the
Algorithms/DSP code is the same, in fact, of course it will be different unless NI had access to the yamaha code base, right?
May 7, 2012 @ 9:18 pm
I have one in my studio, I m using it with Midiquest and a lot of sysex files, in this way I can create everything in every TF module: choose every single sound for every module and I if need edit it, etc.. nothing can emulate the huge sound that comes out from the TX 816, in particular vst. I recommend every owner to try Midiquest..
March 5, 2012 @ 9:46 pm
i don't understand how this guys at vintagesynth can compare the sound of the tx816 with any vst... as they also did on the tx802 and some other synths.
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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
  • Manual - Download the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 128-voices via eight 16-voice TF1 module cards
  • Oscillators - Digital FM synthesizer with 6 Operators and 32 algorithms per TF1 module
  • LFO - Yes
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 256 patches (32 x 8)
  • Control - MIDI 1 IN/OUT per TF1 card, 1 global IN/OUT (up to 9 I/O total) with 8-parts multitimbral
  • Date Produced - 1984

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