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Yamaha TX81Z




yamaha tx81z

  audio demo trend price : 100-150€
manual factory patch demo video sample comments

Yamaha TX81Z (1987)
Multi Timbral FM tone generator

Rack module featuring a FM variation of traditional DX 6OP: budget spin-off from the famous Yamaha DX-7 synthesiser with some interesting technical improvement.

logo omb5
tx81z technical data

info RACKMOUNT (weight: 3,4 kg / dimension: 480 x 282 x 45,2 mm).
Main panel features a 2 x 16 lines display and 11 push buttons.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- main outputs
- aux outputs
- Midi interface
- tape interface for data storage.

Front panel terminal connectors:
- headphones out.


edit VOICE CPU is a HD63803XP Hitachi which manages 8 digital voices - DAC is based on a IC YM3012.

STRUCTURE: IC chip YM2414B offers 4 OP and 8 combinations on the other hand if offers 8 waveforms including standard DX sinusoidal plus 7 computer-generated harmonics variations with partials, overtones and fundamentals fixed settings.
NOTE: previous DX7 synthesis is based on a 6 operators system with just pure sinewave and 32 combinations algorithms.



spectral harmonics
TX81z : first sine wave, then a kind of triangle? then half cycle of a sine :) weird!


edit SYNTHESIS there are 4 sinewave operators organized as algorithms, assigned as carrier or modulator, linked between them on different pathways interacting on their harmonic contents depending on the varable feedback strength.
- carrier defines the amplitude and the spectral frequency
- modulator sets the sound timbre and the relative harmonic contents.

ALGORITHMS Tx81Z offers 8 combinations algorithms with frequency ratio or fixed frequency: the output is fed back to its input with 7 levels feedback, as general rule, high values feedback results in richer harmonic contents.


data 4op


edit PERFORMANCE system manages 8 parts each with independent settings:
- analog mix level
- Midi channel
- effect amount
- panning position
- stack mode Eg: 4 voices or 8 monophonic
- portamento with glide time
- analog out assignment.
The processor has some limits and cannot layer some particular algorithm combinations, furthermore Midi response has some freezes with data flows (depends also on the OS EPROM official from 1.0 to 1.6).


lfo LFO there are 2 delayed modulators (frequency range from 0.007 Hz to 50 Hz)
1- LFO amplitude
2- LFO pitch

The modulators can be set to retrigger mode and features 4 shapes: saw, square, triangle and sample & hold.

adsr ENVELOPE 4 EGs: each OP features 1 amplitude EG (4-segments) + 1 general shift. Very simple Key tracking scale less sophisticated than previous DX line.

tx81z demo


effect EFFECTS not a real DSP but faked simulated by a Midi notes trick reducing polyphony.
There are 3 kind of effects:
1- delay: with possible pitch shift and adjustable feedback
2- pan moving: stereophonic path with follow velocity or LFO from left to right or vice versa
3- chords mode: handles up to 4 notes.

memroy MEMORY:
- 128 ROM patches (preset list)
- 32 RAM patches
- 24 RAM performances.
No external storage but full Sysex dump and edit by Midi or tape dump; note that MIDI Sysex strings are NOT compatible with 6OP DX line.
TX81Z BATTERY REPLACEMENT is quite easy but involves soldering a new lithium 3V CR-2032 (check picture below).

tx81z demo


scales MICROTUNE 13 different microtuning tables: 11 ROM preset + 2 users for non-standard intonation including Equal, pure, major-minor, Vallotti and Werckmeister.

scales EDITOR there are many computer-based editors:
- Ctrlr (free)
- Midiquest ($$)
- noize ($$)
- TX81Z Programmer ($$)
- VSTizer TX81Z
Atari: YSEDITOR , Steinberg synthwork (PIC) , caged 4 OP artist
MAX MSP : yamaha tx81z editor

txz81z editor




yamaha dx9 Yamaha DX-9 (1983) first 4 OP model. Quite incompatible with other 4 Op DX line VIDEO
yamaha dx21 Yamaha DX-21 (1985) real first started of the 4Op series with bitimbric layer with chorus and pitch EG VIDEO
dx100 Yamaha DX-100 (1985) : same as dx21 with minikeyss (cutteee!) VIDEO
dx27 Yamaha DX-27 (1985) simplier DX 21 version with 1 part, also a "S" version with speakers VIDEO
fb01 Yamaha Fb-01 (1986) simple 4OP module VIDEO
yamaha dx11 Yamaha DX-11 (1986) more or less the Tx81z version with 8 harmonic waves VIDEO
yamaha ys200 Yamaha YS-200 (1988) : consumer 4 Op version with sequencer. VIDEO Also:
- YS-100 without sequencer and
- TQ-5 is a laptop version
- B-200 with internal speakers
yamaha-v50 Yamaha V-50 (1989): Boosted Ys200, top notch of 4 op series with sequencer and drum machine VIDEO
korg z3 Korg Z3 Guitar Synthesizer - with ZD3 pitch to Midi for guitar. Same 2414B as tx81z VIDEO VIDEO
yamaha-v50 TX81ZT : a new third-part project with new optimized board using the original IC.
NOT tested - check out original TX81ZT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO


effet VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there is no official VST emulation, however here's some FM emulator (6 or 4 OP)

  name price link demo
sample download polynominal free sample pack! 65 mb free samples:

HERE n/a
dexed VST plugin DEXED free VST
effet dexed FM emulation
hexter HEXTER Free VST effet hexter dx7
odsay MDA DX10 free VST effet mda dx10
oxe fm OXE FM SYNTH free VST effet oxe fm synth
vx7 vst plugin VX7 free VST effet n/a
fm8 Native instruments FM8 commercial VST effet fm8
It imports both DX7 and Tx81z patches
effet fm8


demo You spinme round, 100% tx81z sound !
demo harmonic tablas mutation
demo famous lately bass
demo DX tine rhodes
demo "grand piano"
demo light my Farfisa
demo Sh101 bass?
demo DX Big bells
demo brasss me
demo koto?
demo another cheap organ
demo EBM bass
demo loud bass
demo string-pad
demo electronic violin (white boar)
demo EXPERIMENTAL: harmonics
demo EXPERIMENTAL: fixed frequency
demo EXPERIMENTAL : lately bass destruction
demo EXPERIMENTAL : harmonics p2
demo EXPERIMENTAL : bubble subbass
demo EXPERIMENTAL : weird noises

effet Soundcloud TX81Z

demo1 demo2 demo2




TX81Z Trackdriver Presets Yamaha TX81z Yamaha TX81Z Performance Mode
Trackdriver Presets demo1 Performance Mode

yamaha tx81z
Mimì the synthcat with Tx81z and DX100


yamaha tx81z

























original scan





original scan





Yamaha TX81z for sale

Yamaha TX81z for sale




left side yamaha tx81z panel logo printed


- cheap
- sinewave variations


- edit
- midi buffer
- polyphony


REVIEW " aggressive digital sound at low price! needs a lot of time for programming and the awful interface can discourage good wills---
Power for few bucks! "

yamaha tx81z




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yamaha tx81z 4 out of 5 based on 33 ratings. price €80