Synth Site: Yamaha: DX-200: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Michael a professional user from USA writes:
I got this little desktop synth a while ago, and was excited to see that it was, essentially, my old DX-7 in a little knobby box. :)

I sold my DX-7 so many years ago, I forgot how complex FM Synthesis was!

This unit, WITH THE CD-ROM PROGRAMMER that comes with the synth, is incredible. It has seven banks of 128 sounds you can dump into the user memory area, and hear all your favorite DX voices, as the ones programmed on board are extremely bizarre. They are strange noises that morph a great deal to the assigned rhythms.

To be honest, I never could get my DX-7 to sound this out of control. Normally, it was always so exact with voices, it got boring very fast. :*( This was before Sound Diver stuff and everything, though.

Also, what amazed me is that the DX-200 can sound exactly like an analog synthesizer. That was another frustrating thing I could never coax out of my DX-7 Keyboard.

With the FM knob there, it reminds me of when I go bananas with my Nord Lead 2 Rack unit, turning up the FM on that, getting very edgy, sharp noise. This is neat.

Also, the DX200 unit is stereo out. The DX-7 Keyboard was not. Plus, with the CD-ROM Programmer, you are opened to a ton of effects that can be overlaid with the sounds, thickening out whatever you want.

The strange thing is this...if you tweak the face of the DX-200, it only allows you partial access to the incredible depth of programming possible with the free computer editor. I was impressed with what was on the surface, but about lost my mind when I realized there was so much more there.

Also, I thought the fact that the drum noises being sampled kind of sucked and would limit me.

It doesn't! You have full control over manipulating any of the samples, and can feed them through the knobs, filtering them, if you wish. In that sense, you're not confined to a static noise. It can be changed to the point where recognition is impossible. This is way cool.

Also, it's a cheap unit.

You need one.

Skip the AN-200...the analog model. The DX-200, I found, does both jobs of FM precision and analog insanity very well !!

:)

michael

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-27-2001 at 17:47
Dusty a professional user writes:
I just bought mine today.. I love the FM sounds but this thing is flawed.. I am pretty good with these things now adays so its only taken me a few hours to "get it".. I have to say dont bother.. I love the FM but the sequencer is a joke even the MC303 is much better.. Such a long process to do anything.. A example is to step record drums in the MC303 you hit shift trigger the keys till you hit a sound you like let go of shift and mark the locations you want the sound to play 1,5,9,etc to do this on the DX200 you activate the locations 1,5,9,etc the you use a data knob to select the sound you like THIS TAKES FOREVER you micro edit every last damn note.. And to enter a melody its even worse you select the note locations then use a knob to select the note pitch.. The thing is only 4 parts multi 3 of which are drum so you can only get 1 FM synth part it has 16 voices but you can only play one sound come on Yamaha. I am taking mine back tommorow this thing is just a little better then a electribe but for alot more money..

You can flame me all you want defending your desicion to buy this machine and if it is worth the money to you thats great but in the year 2001 I expect a machine based on a 17 year old technolgy to do just a little bit more..

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-26-2001 at 20:37
speckO writes:
Hey, did you know that you have access to all the DX7 algorithim controls from the PC editor. The front panel display is scratching the surface of the FM controls.

posted Wednesday-Jul-11-2001 at 00:44
victor a part-time user from USA writes:
Is there anyone else out there who thinks that this is kind of taking the easy way out? Sure, the DX7 has never been easy to program. It's complex. It's powerful. And you have to know a bit or two about wave mechanics to figure out what kind of waveform you'll get when you mix the modulator and carrier at any given ratio.

But you DO know that you can't really harness the power of FM with this box, right? WHY have FM synthesis if you're only going to use it like a subtractive?!?! When you give up the deep operating system and replace it with some knobs and a 3-digit led, you lose control of the hundreds of features that made the DX7 such a professional synth in its day - keyboard parameter scaling, for example, which is why Speckledomen noted in his review that many of the patches sound different in a higher register. You are now stuck with ADSR's instead of 8-point envelopes, which are crucial to FM because modulators can have an L4 greater than 0. And the subtle interaction of carrier and modulator CANNOT be summed up with a single knob marked "harmonics"!

FM certainly is more versatile and powerful than subtractive. Go Yamaha (or John Chowning?) for having pioneered it. But for the $500 that the DX200 retails at, you can pick up an MC-303 for your canned analog and beats (vastly superior, if that's your thing), and probably have enough left over to go pick up a REAL DX7 at a garage sale for $100 somewhere (it's happened to me twice now).

posted Tuesday-Jul-10-2001 at 23:30
campkoala a part-time user from USA writes:
I just bought this yesterday, and I like it a lot. I have yet to get the hang of programming voices completely, but from what I have done with it it seems like a very powerful instrument for creating unusual sounds and textures. You are certainly not going to get these skind of sounds out of your standard VA synth. I am using this for industrial music,a nd so I am pleased with its ability to create resonant metallic drones. The only problem I have run into thus far is with saving voices, and with program changes via my sequencer, all though this is most likely more of an issue with the sequencer than with the DX200.

I wish that this unit was mulitimbral, but for the money (I paid about $340) I don't think this unit can be beat...

The manual does really suck though, and it *really* lacks in explaing the MIDI functionality. There isn't really much to the MIDI functionality of this unit, but still be prepared to figure this out on your own, because the manual doesn't go much more in depth than how to conenct MIDI cables. I havent had a chance to toy with the software yet, but I look forward to doing so.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-29-2001 at 00:36
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