Yamaha PTX8

Percussion tone generator

Yamaha PTX8 drums percussion tone generator

1986 (Jun.)
Initially sold for ¥111,000

The Yamaha PTX8 Percussion Tone Generator is an 8-instrument multi-timbral tone generator that can be played from percussion pads (PSD8, PTT8, PBD8) or via MIDI.

Brain module of a set of digital drums, it's basically a port of the late RX technology, modified around the 8 inputs for the pads.

Each sound can be tweaked just like on the RX5 and RX7, and added to custom sets, called kits. Waveforms are compatible across late RX and PTX engines, so it's possible to get some realistic samples in, but the included voices are typically 80s Yamaha sounds. Those seems still to be appreciated as source for experiments, given the possibility to set infinite sustaining loops on waves.

The unit does accept sensibility information from pads, but it can't be used as modulation of sounds, as it only controls the volume of the voice. Yamaha issued a dedicated optional cartridge with extra waveforms, the WRC01. Other RX5 waveform cartridges (WRC02, WRC03 and WRC04) are also compatible.


  • Eight independent tone generators with eight pad inputs.
  • 32 "kit" memories stored internally or in a cartridge.
  • A sequence of memories can be programmed in a "Chain" and stepped through using a footswitch or pad.
  • Percussive voices can be edited, and 64 different voices stored in internal memory.
  • Control the PTX8 from another MIDI device (sequencer, rhythm machine or tone generator).
  • Control another MIDI device (rhythm machine or tone generator) from pads connected to the PTX8.
  • Cartridge interface for handy data storage and recall.
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