Synth Site: Yamaha: DJX: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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ben a hobbyist user from maryland writes:
this thing is really great. all kinds of sounds, sampling, whatever, i mean, for $200 you can't ask for more. the only reason i give it a 4, not a 5, is the fact that it's a real pain in the anus to program and re-program, and, since mine didn't come with a manual, of course, i have no clue how to use the sampler and a lot of the other functions. but it can't be that hard to figure out, probably. the part control feature is really the most unique and coolest thing i've ever seen, enabling you to control the bass, bass drum, snare, hi hat, "percussion," and three other lead parts, not only on and off but reverb, modulation, and all that other fun stuff. it's probably one of the best keyboards you can get under $500. i'm glad i bought mine. all kinds of techno stuff and what not, it's really great, i stay up all night with it. but uh, that's a different story.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-27-2001 at 21:52
TC a part-time user from uk writes:
I want a DJX-II but I've been offered a DJX as new boxed at a third of the price. Essentially I'm interested in house, trance, techno. Can I get the same sort of presets etc., with the DJX? And use as a pattern etc., for producing tracks with samples [as I do] on the PC.? Anyone out there who can send me a more detailed information-salestype guide than the older DJX page.? Grateful thanks, TC. UK.

posted Wednesday-Jun-20-2001 at 18:20
Andrea a hobbyist user from Italy writes:
Today, after reading ALL the reviews here, I received my brand new DJX, and I have to say that it "seems" a toy, but sounds great! I mean, it's a fantastic instrument for that price (I payed for it only 130US$ shipping included, and it's BRAND NEW!). Certainly is not possible to compare with great dance instruments (like Access, Waldorf or Novation), but at that price (or at double) is impossible to play dance music better. Once I had MC303, and it was not easy and funny to play. I reccomend it to anyone, like me, who like techno music, want to play something but is not a professional musician. HAVE FUN!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-24-2001 at 18:12
Ten a hobbyist user from US writes:
Hm... now if you think the DJX was really a crappy keyboard, that in itself would've made it die shortly after its release. But look at all the surrounding controversy. That should tell you something. And what it tells me is that Yamaha made it TOO good. Notice Yamaha stopped making it and introduced the crappy DJXII and IIB. And compare it with ANY other board in the PSR series. No, it's not an analog synth. It's not a Waldorf pulse or Andromeda or a TB or TR. And the sampler is EXTREMELY limited. But the DJX does hold its own against keyboards, synths and drum machines that are much more expensive. Honestly, the industry is full of overpriced crap. That the DJX does what it does for the price, especially now used, should be a wake up call. Some people are just P.O.ed that a piece of equipment came out that can sound just as good as boards that cost much much more. If you want to max this things use, midi it up to a sequencer like Cubase and ultilize the mixermaps. It allows you access to effects the DJX has, that are not accessible through the DJX alone. Check page 114 of your manual. The ability to tweak the sounds through Cubase extends great flexibility in sounds. Sound #38 (Trance Pad) is a phat as hell sound. It also has leads that with the right tweaking, phatten out like certains digital/analog synths that I won't mention. Try it out for yourself. The drum kits shocked the hell out of me... 15 kits including jazz kits, analog kits, dance kits and speciality kits that are just killer! Throw a little reverb on them, compress it and you've got some hard, punchy, crisp drum sounds. Another trick... run it through an amp, and mic the amp... fills out and phattens very nicely. Sure if you turn it on, and play a preset through the speakers, and you are used to working with analog gear through better sound systems, the DJX comes off as very deceptive. It seems weak, thin and fragile. But trust me, the DJX is like the Incredible Hulk, or Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde. It's a monster in disguise. I utilize it with more expensive stuff and it sits VERY nicely in the mix. I can tweak its presets with some effects, on board and off and get sounds that would take me much longer to program on my analog. If you have a studio full of expensive gear, the DJX may be a wasted purchase... I don't t know that is individual taste. But if you are on a budget and want some killer sounds, get this thing! Get a sequencer, download some virtual effects and experiment and play around. You will not regret it. Like I said, Yamaha made it too good. It shows that the industry CAN give you good sounds with good features, at a very decent price... but that is something they rarely do. The DJX was a fluke... like a freak of nature. Something like this will probably never happen again.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-18-2001 at 00:10
Mather's Studios from United Kingdom writes:
I must say that I really forgot about all the joys of live performance and spontaneous jamming until I bought this keyboard. OK, so it could do with being rebuilt into a nice brushed aluminium cabinet with wooden end panels, (which would make it heavy though) but so what, it sounds great! I have produced about four new compositions in the time that it would take to do just one with my Korg programmable synth. I love the filter section and the ability to do basic A/R editing, although the full ADSR editing would have been nice.

Auto drums beats - yes, straight away we are reminded of the 'cheesy home organ' days where everything sounded manufactured and mechanical, but the DJX just isn't like that. Being able to drop parts of the percussion set out and bring them back in again is a fantastic idea, and puts a more spontaneous feel in the performance. One little gripe I have about this though is that if you want to switch Part Control off in order to play that section of the keyboard, when you put it back on again, all the parts come back on instead of it remembering how you last set it. This is a bit annoying since I only tend to use the auto drums (not the note and chord based accompaniment), although a work around for this is to store different Part Control settings to one of the four Performance Memory controls. Another work around is to keep Part Control switched on all the time and play what you would normally play at the bottom end of the DJX (usually basslines for me) on another synth.

OK, so what about sound quality then? Well, for the money I was generally quite impressed with the factory patches, and to quote Sound On Sound Magazine, 'it's hard to believe you aren't dealing with a £1500 pro workstation'. Filter editing and ability to change A/R setting makes some customisation possible, although I feel that for many aplications it would be nice to have the Decay and Sustain editing parameters available as well. DJX sounds are basically split into two halves. The first half deals with special DJX sounds which are unique to the instrument, and the other half contains a basic General MIDI soundset which makes this keyboard able to playback GM files. Most of the DJX sounds are fantastic and have really helped to spice up some of my compositions, and in particular, one of my favourite programs is the pad chord sound 'Trance'. I tried switching off all the chorus and effects, and noticed that it sounded quite a lot like an evolving pad sound I heard once on a DX7, but apply phasers, chorus and all the bells and whistles and we soon enter real synth territory. On the GM side of the sounds, we return to a more 'home-keyboard-ey' sort of sound in some cases. Some of the string pads are worth trying out, decrease the attack and add some release and you can get some really nice sounding patches. I think my favourite sound in the GM set is probably number 243: Synth Bass + Lead. I use this one quite a lot for synth solos because it has a nice, bright edge and an fast attack which responds well to velocity. I find it a shame that the GM soundset is tuned an octave higher than the DJX sounds. You can lower the octave easily enough through the Funtion menu (Funtion 02), but then if you change to another MIDI patch, the octave will have gone back to the default again. This is a similar problem to the Part Control mentioned earlier, and the only solution is to store the settings via the Performance Memory control panel.

Sampling was a bit of a concern for me as well. Storage of only three seconds maximum sampling time is too limiting for all but the shortest sound effects, and I also found that the sample volume was lower than the factory patches. The work around for this though is to turn all the volumes down to match the sample and then alter the master volume from the mixer at the recording stage.

Clearly, Yamaha have made a good attempt to accommodate for everyone with the DJX. It combines ease of use and functionality even for non-musicians, although this is more of a production or live performance tool for me. For the price, DJX really is a must for anyone into keyboards or synthesizers. I have also recently heard that the DJX contains many more functions and has a larger MIDI + synth implementation than the user manual would have you believe.

So, the verdict: I score the DJX a high nine out of ten (so 4.5 out of 5 on the scale here). My main gripes are basic memory functions with the octave settings and Part Control settings, and possibly the physical appearance of the instrument. The sequencer is also difficult to use but many people who are really serious about keyboards will no doubt have either a hardware synth with a more powerful sequencer, or a computer that can deal with that instead.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-15-2001 at 07:30
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