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Yamaha TX81Z




yamaha tx81z

audio demo Country: japan
Weight: 3,4kg
Dimensions: 480 x 282 x 45,2 mm
audio demo trend price : 100€
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 DX7 synthesiser with some interesting technical improvement.

The Tx81Z is still especially appreciated for the low price and a famous eletro bass preset called LATELY BASS (info)

logo omb5
tx81z technical data

info RACKMOUNT one unit height. 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 HD63803XP Hitachi manages 8 voices - DAC is based on a IC YM3012.
main IC chip YM2414B features 4 OP + 8 combinations unlike previous DX7 synthesis is based on a 6 operators system with just pure sinewave and 32 combinations algorithms.
The tx81z ROM has 1 stored digital half sinewave on a lookup table that can be read in different way and speed (similar to PD synthesis concept) creating 7 extra harmonics sinewaves variations with partials overtones and fundamentals fixed settings.
IHMO Just to be clear: the Tx81z does features "more waveforms" like subtractive synthesis, and it is not more "powerful" than traditional DX7 as this trick just compensates the lacks of 2 more OP.


spectral harmonics

spectral harmonics


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.

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


algorithn tx81z

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

tx81z tech


lfo LFO there are 2 delayed modulators (frequency range from 0.007 Hz to 50 Hz):
- LFO1 to amplitude
- LFO2 to pitch.
The modulators can be set to retrigger mode and features 4 shapes: saw, square, triangle and sample & hold.


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

effect EFFECTS not a real DSP but faked simulated by a Midi notes trick reducing polyphony.
here are 3 kind of effects:
- delay: with possible pitch shift and adjustable feedback
- pan moving: stereophonic path with follow velocity or LFO from left to right or vice versa
- 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 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 DX-9 (1983) first 4 OP model.
Quite incompatible with other 4 Op DX line VIDEO
yamaha dx21 DX-21 (1985) real first started of the 4Op series with bitimbric layer with chorus and pitch EG
dx100 DX-100 (1985) : same as dx21 with minikeyss (cutteee!) VIDEO
dx27 DX-27 (1985) simplier DX 21 version with 1 part, also a "S" version with speakers VIDEO
fb01 Fb-01 (1986) simple 4OP module VIDEO
yamaha dx11 DX-11 (1986) more or less the Tx81z version with 8 harmonic waves VIDEO
yamaha ys200 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 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 opl3 YAMAHA OPL3 soundcards: during the 90, most of the soundcards feature an OPL chip with 2/4 OP FM synthesis.
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 Mix techno1 (+sampled drums)
demo Mix techno2 (+sampled drums)
demo Mix techno3 (+sampled drums)
demo Mix techno4 (+sampled drums)
demo Mix techno5 (+sampled drums)
demo Mix techno6 (+sampled drums)
demo EP: tines rhodes
demo EP: celesta
demo EP: Wurlitzer
demo Organ: hammond Blues
demo Organ: sixties Farfisa
demo Organ: the Ultima VII fellowship theme
demo Organ: light my VOX
demo Brass: 1
demo Bell: dx like
demo PlucK: banjo
demo Synth: trill
demo Synth: smalltown
demo Synth: pacman
demo Synth: modulator
demo Synth: light
demo Synth: lucy sky
demo Synth: minimoog FM
demo Synth: abused LFO
demo Synth: very soft
demo Synth: Turrican Amiga
demo Synth: granular weird
demo Synth: 8 bits
demo Bass: like a Sh101
demo Bass: liner
demo Bass: saturnay niigghhttt
demo Bass: the lost patrol amiga theme
demo Bass: short bass liner
demo Bass: EBM
demo String: FM 4OP
demo String: fun
demo Pad: Arrakis
demo Pad: Darkvoice
demo Pad: sounds like a 90 games
demo Pad: metal pound
demo Drums: old cheesy drum machine
demo Drums: tablas feedback variations
demo FX: atmos
demo FX: burning
demo FX: chaos
demo FX: frequency
demo FX: grany
demo FX: reverse sounding
demo FX: robot talk
demo XP: all harmonic variationswaves
demo XP: all LFO shapes
demo XP: stereo panning LFO
demo XP: portamento glide
demo XP: FX delay
demo XP: FX reverb

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