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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84 Visitor comments
a u r i s
April 29, 2009 @ 10:01 am
As I understand it the TX-81Z has a 14 bit dac, not 16. I believe the other 4-OP synths such as the DX21 have a 12 bit dac and the venerable DX7 has a 10 bit dac. The 81Z is known for its Lately Bass preset. I use it primarily for Pads. I'd like to find another one so I can take advantage of the 16 note polyphony (you can chain 2 units together) I also own a DX21. It seems to me the TX81Z has less aliasing in the low end. The extra waveforms are very (very) handy compared to the DX21s sine wave only setup. The 8 part multitimbral performance mode is very useful. As the manual put it you can "out analog the analogs." with an 8 part unison. Fun stuff! All in all a great synth with a mean low end! I love it and will be buying additional units for backup and to use the alternate note thingy to extend the poly to 16.
April 2, 2009 @ 4:44 am
I play this sampler after 1987 ( home studio)
I would like a DX21
Whith ATARI 520 or 1024 + Prg TX81Z you can build sound design but like DX7 it's very hard...
I use TX81Z like bass sequences and metal drums maybe FX & strings brass...
It's like ADSR but complcated = ADSR1 & 2 &3 &4 & mixer=new sound...
Ok good job ...Try it ! Very funy !
TX81Z very standart DX sounds...
Sorry for my bad english! Bye!
January 26, 2009 @ 12:54 am
I have 2 of these. I set the 1st unit to all odd MIDI notes and the 2nd unit to all even MIDI notes and double my polyphony.
January 14, 2009 @ 9:24 pm
i just picked up one of these yesterday CHEAP and have spent the better part of today with it. i have been programming my DX21 for the last 15 years and i have gotten more done on this little box then i ever could with the 21. the choice of waveforms and multitimbrality makes this a superior 4-OP synth. not to mention everything is laid out nicely and is very intuitive (MIDI especially). i am going to be spending time with this one.
January 12, 2009 @ 8:29 pm
Great sounds. Quiet Pro Operation. Had extra waveforms aside the norm Sine waves on DX7. So starting point to prgram was alittle easier for certain type of sounds. The FX are to laugh at a little. It was more like change in Release times (Reverb)and retrigerring(Delay). It was nice and lasted a long time. The FS1R is much better and has all original comercial DX-7 sounds in ROM 11 Banks I believe. Manuals are in French and English. I love Yamaha so FLuke of Habit after power upon the TX81Z was not bad because I had always dreamed of owning a DX-7 then I saw a luminary with a familiar father's voice playing a DX-7. I had to have one. PLG-150 DX and FS1R are much better. Others are FM7 and FM Heaven.
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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
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