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Yamaha TX-816




yamaha tx816

  audio demo trend price : 1000€
manual factory patch demo video comments

Yamaha TX-816
Tone Generator System Midi rack (1984)


The TX is a big frame expander which hosts up to 8 individual TF1 modules- each TF1 module is a compact version of a complete Yamaha DX-7 Frequency modulation engine.

tx 816 display

led circuits

info RACK (weight: 10 kg fully loaded) huge 4 units height.

Front panel description:
- The TX main frame features 2 buttons for overall Midi control and general Midi I/O
- The TF1 module features a 7-segments display and 3 buttons.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- TX rack frame: none
- TF1: 1 XLR out and Midi IN and THRU.


edit VOICE The TF-1 based on YM2128 YM2129 IC.
Depending on the models and numbers of installed TF1, there are different voices configurations:
- TX816 contains 8 modules (128 voices)
- TX416 contains 4 modules (64 voices)
- TX216 contains 2 modules (32 voices)
- TX116 contains 1 module (16 voices).

tf1 module


edit FM SYNTHESIS a TF1 module is identical to DX-7 synthesis offering same 16 voices and 6 digital sinewave operators (either a carrier or a modulator) that can be chained in 32 different combinations called "algorithms".
Please refer to this pagelinks for more FM information:
- DX-7 6-OP FM synthesis
- TX81Z 4-OP FM with variable sinusoidal harmonic contents
- SY-99 FM/PCM convolution RCM function.
- DX200 realtime FM groovebox.


fm dx


edit PERFORMANCE full loaded TX-816 is like having 8 indipendent DX7.
Unfortunately there are no general performance functions controls except the for the common Midi, but It is possible to manually program:
- mix volumes
- stereo panning
- TF detune
- zone split or assignment
- voice stacking.


edit TF1 STRUCTURE parameters are split 4 into main categories:
1- PLAY: Midi channel and detune function
2- EDIT volume and split zone range
3- STORE saves a sound to a patch destination
4- UTILITY dump data, reset TF1 and clear memory.
Not much else cannot be edited: it is necessary to use a Dx7 (or a kX88) or external software.


edit MEMORY each TF1 holds 32 sounds in non-volatile RAM maintained by a Cr-2032 lithium battery. The UTILITY tool includes a battery voltage read out.
No external media are available and DX cartridge cannot be directly read.

tx816 ym2128




TX is a solid machine, an industrial built, far from those dj toys like REFACE:) But years have passed and inflated / leaking capacitors should be changed on both switch power supply and on the the TF-1 modules.
Have a look before buying a machine: try to peek inside or note if the power supply "whines" after a while.
PIC: bulging capacitors around now replaced!

leak burn

capacitors replacement



lfo EDIT you just cannot edit parameters on the screen as the TX-816 needs the original DX-7 keyboard for this task. A cheaper and quicker way are the computer programmers:

Atari ST : Dx-android, Dx expert or caged ST (PIC)
PC-based: Soundiver, Midiquest, DX-manager, Synlib and others
MSX: YRM 103 -102 cartridge Voicing program / YRM304
IOS: Yamaha DX7/TX7/TX816 Editor

android dx atari st



dx7 family tree


effet VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there are some free and commercial samples or DX7 plugins:

  name price link demo
dexed VST plugin DEXED free
effet dexed FM emulation
hexter HEXTER Free effet hexter dx7
odsay MDA DX10 free effet mda dx10
oxe fm OXE FM SYNTH free effet oxe fm synth
vx7 vst plugin VX7 free effet n/a
fm8 Native instruments FM8 commercial effet fm8




demo Visitors demo
demo 8 strings layer
demo official demo 1 (1985)
demo official demo 2 (1985)
demo official demo 3 (1985)

effet Soundcloud TX-816

tx tx816 3 tracks



DX7+TX816 TX816 Fulltines V! visitors theme
DX7+TX816 Fulltines V! visitors theme

audio demo

hi res picture tx816


















yamaga tx816 brochure




magazine scan




android dx atari st




behind tx816 audio demo midi edit


- great sound
- excellent quality built.


- needs external programming
no global performances


REVIEW "Raw and subtil: can even blast every FM machines from this era including expensive Dx1.
Tx816 NEEDS to be programmed and the logic NEEDS to be understood. OUTSTANDING! "

yamaha tx816



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Yamaha tx816 4.5 out of 5 based on 39 ratings. price €1000