Yamaha DX11

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A Yamaha DX11 Digital Programmable Algorithm Synthesizer
A Yamaha DX11 Digital Programmable Algorithm Synthesizer
Manufactured by Yamaha
Dates 1988
Price Approx. US$ 200-300
Technical specifications
Polyphony 8 voices
Timbrality Multitimbral
Oscillator 4 operators
LFO yes
Synthesis type Digital Frequency modulation
Filter none
Aftertouch Yes
Velocity sensitive Yes
Memory 128 preset patches, 32 performance patches, External cartridge memory holds 64 patches, cassette interface
Effects reverb, delay, pan, tremolo
Hardware YM2414 (OPZ)
Keyboard 61-note with velocity
and aftertouch sensitivity
Left-hand control pitch-bend and modulation wheels
External control MIDI

The Yamaha DX11, or Yamaha V2 in Japan, is a digital synthesizer and one of the later DX-series instruments produced by Yamaha in the 1980s, having been released in 1988. It is a 4-operator FM synthesis-based instrument. Other 4-op FM synths by Yamaha include the TX81Z, which is essentially the rack-mounted version of the DX11; the simpler DX9, DX21, DX27, DX100; and, beyond the 4-op DX/TX series, the simpler FB-01 and more advanced V50. The V50 offers additional voice parameters and may be considered the most advanced 4-op FM keyboard and the next stage of evolution after the DX11, seeing as the DX11 was originally named the V2.

The DX11 had 61 keys (with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity), and its memory included 128 preset patches, 32 user-programmable patches and 32 "Performances". It also had a slot for an external memory cartridge, and a cable for saving and loading sound data to tape. Like other DX-series instruments, no on-board arpeggiator or sequencer is present.

In terms of voicing, the DX11 is backwards-compatible with its predecessor keyboards but offers various new possibilities. Its multitimbral features in "Performance" mode allowed different patches to be assigned (using static voice allocation) to independent ranges of keyboard notes, or for reception on different MIDI channels. New patch-level features when compared to older 4-op synths include: 7 non-sinusoidal waveforms for each operator, allowing creation of complex timbres with less programming and creating some of the distinctive sounds associated with the DX11 and TX81Z; and play effects comprising simulated reverb, MIDI-based delay, pan and tremolo. These new features also appeared on the TX81Z, which was the rack-mounted equivalent of the DX11: both use the same sound-generating chip (Yamaha YM2414B/OPZ) and almost identical and compatible voice patches. Compared to the TX81Z, the DX11's voice architecture was further enhanced with the addition of a pitch envelope and channel pressure (keyboard after touch).

The DX11 features a "Quick Edit" function that gives the user immediate access to a patch's tone (brightness), envelope attack and release times, perhaps mitigating the oft-cited concerns about FM synthesis being difficult to program. The DX11 would edit the appropriate operators' parameters accordingly, allowing simple changes to a sound's character without knowledge of FM synthesis.


In Japan the DX11 was named the V2 (cf. Yamaha V50), but this was not used in the west for fear of association with the V-2 missile of the same name.