TX81z: Twisty Little Passages.

 

“You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike”.

 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem with FM synthesis. You could probably get some great sounds with it if you did absolutely nothing else for years on end. But how many ways can you connect up those 6 operators, and what proportion of the choices lead to a tedious sizzling sound?

 

There’s actually only a limited set of things you can do with FM of the sort available from Yamaha, which often involves teaming up two operators to get something approaching a square or a saw wave. If Yamaha just go ahead and provide waveforms that equal these combinations then you can cut the number of operators down to 4 and still get a good result, in fact a better result because the combinations and tedium are both less.

 

TX81z Homage Page.

 

I know I get stuck on names but what is that Z for? OK so they already had a TX816. But that’s the one and only Z. There must a cabalistic reason. There's also a TX81P. Piano?

 

So this was a module I could afford back in 1988 and ended up all over Rotund For Success alongside the ESQ-M. I guess that was the main reason I wanted to blow 100 bucks on another, to see it again 24 years later. I used to program it through the little window and buttons in a way that I could never figure out on the DX7, and this still seems a more humane system than the big 6-op machines. The different wave forms matter. – I also had a DX100, which had the same wheezing, but very dull sounds.

 

Since that time people have worked out how to get pretty much the same result with traditional synthesis. Sonically, it’s not going to set your world on fire, but then neither is it a bad use of a single rack space.

FLEACORE

THIS TOY IS ANNOYING TO USE WITHOUT AN EDITOR

 

IT MAKES CLANG WUMP SOUNDS

THE SOUND QUALITY IS DODGY

IT WAS CHEAP AND IS COMMON

 

ITS RATING IS ONE HIT WONDER

It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.