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.

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82 Visitor comments
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
January 19, 2014 @ 4:22 pm
N.B.: Never had a problem with a low volume level of the main outs with proper settings. Using the headphone out is not a good idea IMO, it's slightly noisy and some sounds may get distorted.
January 19, 2014 @ 4:20 pm
If the volume of a certain patch or multitimbral setup is too low, check its output settings, it should show "LR" (output to both channels) instead of just "L" or "R".
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Rated 4.19 (684 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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

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