Yamaha TX81Z

Yamaha TX81Z Image

Yet another FM synthesizer from Yamaha, this one comes in a compact, multitimbral, 1-unit rackmount module and is basically a key-less version of the DX-11. It has far more professional features than its relative, the FB-01. The TX81Z features great FM type synth sounds similar also to the DX-21 and DX-27. It's still not as good as the classic DX-7, but it's an inexpensive source of those sounds with lots of programmability. Eight voice polyphony, 128 preset sounds, 32 user and lots of functions hidden behind 11 push buttons.

The TX81Z features a new ability to use waveforms other than just a sine wave. There are eight voices that can be split, layered and detuned. Also onboard are pseudo-effects including delay and reverb. These features can be stored as performance setups. The effects are simply envelope and re-triggering effects. The TX81Z works great as a sound-module for any live or studio production. It's got a wider range of sounds than the DX-7, may not be quite as warm or 'classic' sounding, but at its low price and with the excellent MIDI implementation it makes a great alternative or backup synth for percussive, punchy FM synth sounds. It's used by Fluke, Roni Size, Astral Projection, Squarepusher, Jimmy Edgar, Future Sound of London, and Josh Wink.

Lookup Yamaha TX81Z Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Yamaha TX81Z? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

84 Visitor comments
June 25, 2014 @ 11:25 am
Hooked one up to an ipad as sequencer works great. The little drawer of paper under the TX with the menu really helps. Really impressed with that! Great synth lovely FM noise and bass. Worth every penny for £60!
April 29, 2014 @ 3:56 pm
just got this 4 days ago. This thing howls! snatched it up for 79 bucks in New York. I am really looking forward to making some hot tracks with this little beast!
April 8, 2014 @ 5:15 am
to compensate for low levels, I use an Alice Matchpro balancing unit (~£50) to balance the output from the TX81z and use the mic pre-amps on my Orpheus soundcard; this allows for more gain than you can shake a stick at! Another alternative would be a half decent DI. Those softer sounds can take new shape when they're nicely distorted.
January 24, 2014 @ 3:53 am
I've been working on a HTML voice editor for this unit, still work in progress but 1st tests are promising. People who have a TX81z can hook it up, browse through the voices in 'single play'-mode and see some visualized voicedata by: http://www.cx5m.net/TX81Z/
January 23, 2014 @ 1:59 pm
Looking for one to buy, in very nice condition only..thanks!
Mail me at whitarmusic(at)gmail(dot)com
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User Rating

Rated 4.19 (701 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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 notes
  • Oscillators - 4-Operator Digital FM synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 8 parts
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - Built-In Pseudo-Effects: Reverb by envelope modulation, Delay by re-triggering on free voices
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 128 patches, 32 user, 24 performance setups
  • Control - MIDI (w/ Velocity and Aftertouch)
  • Date Produced - 1987
  • Resources & Credits
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