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Yamaha RX7





yamaha rx7

info Country: Japan
Weight: 3 Kg
Dimensions: 439 (w) x 78 (h) x 270 (d) mm
audio demo trend price : 100€
manual demo comments

Yamaha RX-7 (1988)
Digital Rhythm Programmer


Digital drum machine based on low-fidelity samples, 24 dynamic pads and internal sequencer.


info DRUM MACHINE Main panel features 16 X 2 lines display, 24 dynamic pads, 4 sliders and 36 buttons.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- Midi interface
- tape interface
- main signal out +- headphones out
- metronome click out
- assignable pedalswitch
- data cartridge slot memory expansion (only data)

info Power supply external PSU 12V +)- polarity original model is PA-1210.


infoTECH a 8 bits MPU model HD63C03YP manages up to 16 voices polyphony mainly based on custom wave generator YM2409 (same found on sampler TX16W). OS burnt into TC571001D-20 CMOS Eprom. Each RX7 voice is assigned to a PCM sample each with some sound edit parameters:

16 voices - pitch tuning
- audio level setting
- stereo panning
- delay start wave
- sound decay: repeats the note thus decreases polyphony, as the core does not feature any FX DSP engine inside.

WAVETABLE internal ROM contains 100 PCM waves at 12-bits resolution, mainly drum percussions but also some bass sounds, brass hits and some synth sampled from classic FM keyboard Yamaha DX7.


The PCM wavetable is organized into 15 category groups:
electric, fusion, high, heavy,hihat, high open, high mute, jazz, low, processed, percussion,
reverse,Fx and snare.

info EDIT RX panel is quite clear but programming is intricate with single function JOB.

technical info There is quite nothing to externally edit the RX7 with computer but an old retro program by Yamaha YRM302 RX EDITOR for 8 bits computers MSX (although it is optimized for models rx11/15/21).


info LFO a single triangle modulator- frequency range from 3,4 to 78 Hz

LFo amd

- PMD = LFO to Pitch

- AMD = LFO to Amplitude.

patterns can be written using either pads or external Midi devices:

recording mode

- realtime with quantizes 1/96 resolution + 5 swing models (levels: 54% / 58% / 63% / 67% / 71%)
- step by step classic entry.

demo HEAR pattern

info MIDI
Sequencer and pads send Midi OUT messages and special Chromatic mode allows to play a sample at different pitches just like a synth patch.
SYNC tempo can be set by 3 sources:

midi clock - internal frequency from 20 to 250 BPM
- external Midi clock
- tape sync protocol.

info MEMORY:

- 5 ROM kits
- 5 RAM kits
- 100 patterns (max 99 measure)
- 20 songs (max 999 parts)
- 3 chains (max 90 steps).

LEFT : Battery replacement: soldered Lithium battery 3V Cr-2032. Internal memory can be doubled using RAM4 memory cartridge, same used by DX7 Mk2 or Tx802 FM module expander. - click for bigger picture -

rx7 motherboard


infoRX-7 MODIFICATION as many digital drums, the RX is doomed to circuit bending experimentation

circuit bending

LEFT - pic from EBAY auction: circuit bending machine

<- click for video demo-


rx11video rx15video
rx21video rx21lvideo
RX11 first of the series

RX15 improved rx11

RX21 different soundset RX21L same as RX17 latin-oriented


yamaha rx5 rx8video
RX17 halfway between RX21 and RX21L

RX120 a preset pattern version of 21

RX5 flagship with mixer less sounds than RX7 RX8 first with 16 bits sample

VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION no official Yamaha plugin, but there are some free samples set:

free samplepack



free sample pack

download rx7 samples


custom RX7 custom RX7
Yamaha RX7 ad big picture
mimì the synthcat custom rx7 ebay original advert hi res pic

Company: Yamaha Corp
Model: RX-7
Class: drum machine
Dates: 1988
Pad: 24 dynamic
Synthesis: PCM
Display: 16 X 2 LCD
Polyphony: 16 voices
N.waves: 100 PCM
Resolution: 12 bits
LFO: 1
Envelope: only decay
Filter: none
Sequencer: 100 patterns
Quantisize: 1/96 resolution
Sync: Midi / tape
Tempo range: 20-250 BPM
Effect: delay
Memory: 5 kits
Wave generator: YM2409
Power: PSU 12V DC



demo RX17 megamix
demo internal pattern 1
demo internal pattern 2
demo internal pattern 3
demo all bassdrum sounds
demo all hihats sounds
demo all reverse sounds
demo all snare sounfs

demohave some RX7


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Yamaha RX-7 for sale

yamaha rx7 for sale




motheboard Ym 2399 eprom
PCM obsolete Keystroke boredom


REVIEW "Retro 80' 12 bits sounds for cheap, and a nice hardware sequencer"

manual manual
-Biggest RX wavetable -no separate outs
-dated sounds
  -JOB keystrokes


"Much more than a mere drum machine, this microcomputer-controlled marvel lets you create complex
and convincing accompaniment arrangements" -

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Yamaha RX-7 Digital Rhythm Programmer Yamaha RX-7
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