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.

Related forum topics


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
December 2, 2013 @ 9:57 am
incredible synth. not an allrounder, very specific. use in between a kurzweil stage piano (great strings and pads, good pianos) and some analog monophonic with great dual moltimode-filters (for bite and edges). it delivers primal bass layers and secondary string sounds as well as some more artificial pianos to be mixed in. performance mode is fantastic though 8 voices sometimes are a bit less. some would better get two of them having 16 voices for stacks etc.
November 22, 2013 @ 12:49 pm
exceptional synth, though a little bit inferior in overall sound quality much more versatile than the classic dx7. capable of doing incredibly warm sounds as well as icecold biting stuff.

the 20$ editor is one of the best working synth-editors as well. the midi/sysex-implementation of the synth is superb - complete (system values, program change maps, microtunings and the more regular stuff), reliable and quick.

i use it as primal source for bass and keys, and second layer for pads/strings. it has a strong character, certainly not everyone's cup.
November 10, 2013 @ 10:47 am
This is the most incredible piece of kit I have ever heard. Based on the DX7-11 ( make that 8 of them!) we hooked it up to a Yamaha QX1 sequencer, using the legendary MIDI Mode 4; thought we'd died and gone to heaven.
Dj Tricks
October 1, 2013 @ 11:34 am
@josh I also 100% agree with your comments .. you can produce FAT warm Bass sounds from this 80's FM synth....

Quick demo of analog &. Digital vid http://youtu.be/ZilF-_20BwM
September 21, 2013 @ 2:18 am
After several years in softsynth land I finally made the move to hardware with an Integra 7 and this. NOW I understand what all the HW guys talk about. I never heard any softsynth do FM like this. Prefect match to cover the bass that the I7 can't. Since I'll never have a real Jupiter 8, I'll just make due...

Much like the CheezBurger cat, I haZ a happy.
Post Comment!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.19 (697 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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.