Yamaha DX1

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Yamaha DX1 front view 1.jpg
Yamaha DX1
Dates1983[1] to 1985

JP¥ 1,950,000[2]

US$ 13,900[3]
Technical specifications
Polyphony32 voices in single or split mode
16 voices in dual mode
Bitimbral in split mode
Oscillator6 operators
Synthesis typeanalog frequency modulation
Attenuator6 envelope generators
Aftertouch expressionYes
Velocity expressionYes
Storage memorytwo sets of 4 banks of 8 voices (A and B channel, total 64), 8 banks of 8 performance combinations
Hardware2x YM21280 (OPS) operator chip
2x YM21290 (ES) envelope generator
KeyboardDX-1: 73 with
velocity and polyphonic aftertouch
DX-5: 76 with
velocity and channel aftertouch
Left-hand controlpitch-bend and modulation wheels
External controlMIDI

The Yamaha DX1 is the top-level member of Yamaha's prolific DX series of FM synthesizers.


The DX1 features two sets of the same synthesizer chipset used in the DX7, allowing either double the polyphony, split of two voices, or dual (layered) instrument voices. In addition, it contains twice the amount of voice memory as the DX7. It has an independent voice bank for each of two synth channels (engines). Each of 64 performance combinations can be assigned a single voice number, or a combination of two voice numbers - one from channel A and one from channel B.

It includes a handmade Brazilian rosewood case, a 73-key weighted wooden keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch, comprehensive backlit LCD displays for instrument programming, and solid push-buttons as opposed to the membrane buttons on the DX7.[4] Only 140 were produced.[citation needed]

The Yamaha DX5 is a derivative of the DX1, introduced in 1985 with a list price of US$3,495. It has the same synth engine, but lacks the DX1's fully weighted keys, polyphonic aftertouch, aesthetics (rosewood case and wooden keyboard), and user interface features (parameter displays). It includes 76 keys with channel aftertouch and slightly improved MIDI features.

Programming on a DX1 is a little easier than on a DX5 because of extensive parameter displays, but both are easier to program than a DX7 because they have bigger displays as well as dedicated buttons for some programming tasks.

Notable users[edit]


  1. ^ Yamaha Synth 40th Anniversary - History, 2014
  2. ^ Yamaha LM Instruments (brochure) (in Japanese). Yamaha Corporation. 1985. pp. 3.
  3. ^ "Yamaha DX1". Vintage Synth Explorer. Although the DX1 may seem like a better buy than the more popular DX7, remember that the DX1 is expensive. There were only about 140 of these synths made and the retail value of a DX1 during its production year in 1985 was $13,900. ...
  4. ^ Gordon Reid (September 2001). "Sounds of the '80s Part 2: The Yamaha DX1 & Its Successors (Retro)". Sound on Sound. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  5. ^ Buskin, Richard (March 2005). "CLASSIC TRACKS: New Order 'New Faith'". Classic Tracks. Sound On Sound. Sync'ing The Unsyncable.
    "When New Order commenced working with Stephen Hague, they brought an interesting array of gear into the studio: a Yamaha QX1 sequencer, a rackmounted Octave Voyetra 8 polyphonic synth, a DX5 that provided most of the bass sounds and which Hague succinctly describes as "Yamaha's attempt to put two DX7s under one roof — it weighed a ton," and an Akai S900 sampler."

Further reading[edit]

  • "[Chapter 2] FM Tone Generators and the Dawn of Home Music Production". Yamaha Synth 40th Anniversary - History. Yamaha Corporation. 2014.
    The development outline of Yamaha FM sound synthesizer; especially, the prototypes of GS1 (TRX-100), DX series (PAMS: Programmable Algorithm Music Synthesizer), DX1 (prototype DX1), and these tentative programing interfaces are seen.

External links[edit]