Yamaha DX7 II-FD

Digital programmable algorithm synthesizer

Yamaha DX7II mk2 FD floppy disk synthesizer
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1986 (Dec.)
Initially sold for ¥277,000

The DX7 mk2 FD may be the best FM synthesizer produced by Yamaha, and even if the sound is less dirty than the original DX7, thanks to the amount of added features it may as well be the best choice for anyone looking for a hardware FM synthesizer today.

It's rich in sound capabilities, with the ability to layer two 6op voices. It's sturdy, with a metal chassis, hard plastic inserts and much more durable physical buttons. The keyboard is a pleasure to play, light keys with fast action, with velocity and after touch sensibility. Plus the larger backlit LCD screen, full MIDI implementation, two real-time sliders and most importantly, a floppy disk drive.

On top of that, a third party expansion called the "E! Card" added 8 voices layering, 4 banks of internal memory, and a full sequencer, turning the DX7 mk2 in a machine perfectly able to competed with the workstations of the following decade.

Some FM purists complain about the switch to a 16bit digital to analog converter, that produces slightly different sounds compared to the original 12bit DAC found in 1983 (sometimes less punchy, sometimes much more detailed). Comparison is easy to achieve given that the newer model can read voices programmed on the first DX7 — even first generation cartridges can be used through a (now very rare) adapter.

A nearly identical model named DX7 II-D was available as well, without the floppy disk drive. The cartridge slot is designed for the new type of cartridges, such as the RAM4 or RAM5, but older DX7 cartridges can still be used via the ADP1 cartridge adapter.

Features

  • 2-channel 6-operator 32-algorithm FM tone generator.
  • Improved FM technology delivers superior sound quality.
  • Full compatibility with existing 6-operator FM voices.
  • Dual, split and single play modes.
  • Stereo outputs.
  • Dual continuous sliders for data entry and real-time parameter control.
  • Micro-tuning capability permits use of alternate tuning systems.
  • Fractional level scaling for unprecedented level scaling precision and control.
  • Random pitch simulates intonation of acoustic instruments.
  • Stereo pan with touch, LFO, key number or EG-control.
  • 16-key multiple LFO timing for live, natural ensemble sound.
  • 64-voice internal memory.
  • 32 performance memories combine voice and function data.
  • Aftertouch pitch control offers fingertip pitch bend.
  • Pitch EG with adjustable range for extra fine adjustment.
  • Full MIDI implementation offers vast MIDI system control.
  • New cartridges for voice, performance, micro-tuning, fractional level scaling data.
  • Internal 720 k-byte (formatted) 3.5" micro floppy disk drive on "FD" model stores voice, performance, micro-tuning and fractional scaling data.
  • DX7II-FD micro floppy disk drive also functions as a MIDI data recorder for external MIDI equipment.
  • Dual foot controllers, dual foot switches, breath controller.
Yamaha DX7II brochure
Yamaha DX7II brochure
Yamaha DX7II-FD on Music Technology, Mar 1987
Yamaha DX7II-FD on Music Technology, Mar 1987
Floppy drive on the Yamaha DX7II-FD
Floppy drive on the Yamaha DX7II-FD

Technical
specifications

Keyboard

61 keys
Touch control: inital touch, after touch

Sound source

FM tone generator (6 operators, 32 algorithms)

Simultaneous note output

Polyphonic: single 16 / dual 8 / split 8+8
Monophonic: single 1 / dual 1 / split 1+1

Memory capacity

Voice memory: 1 bank x 64 voices
Performance memory: 1 bank x 32 performances
2 micro tunings
1 system set-up

Connection terminals and interfaces

Output A/MIX-B (unbalanced)
Output Phones (phone jack)
Control jack: sustain, foot switch, foot control 1, foot control 2
Cartridge insert
3.5" Micro Floppy Disk Drive
Breath control
MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, MIDI THRU

Dimensions and weight

999w x 85.8h x 333.7d (mm)
11.2Kg

Yamaha DX7 II-FD
patches

The Yamaha DX7 II voice data format is compatible with any other 6op FM synthesizer from the same period such as the TX802 and some of the earlier ones such as the DX7 and TX7. 4op voices can be easily reproduced as well.

Special data such as performance patches, fracional scaling and microtuning are reserved to mk.2 models. Download Yamaha DX7 II-FD sysex patches.


External
links