Yamaha TX81Z
FM tone generator


Yamaha TX81Z

1987

Apparently rack synthesizers weren't really an established concept in late 1986, as the TX81Z was reviewed in comparison with the smaller FB01 as a more complete version of a multitimbral MIDI box. It does implement a lot of the functionalities that were missing in the first wave of digital synthesizers by Yamaha such as the TX7, but it's really a full synth in a compact case: extremely useful for those lacking the space to buy a full keyboard every time.

With a very aggressive price, the rack proved to be very popular. So much that one of its factory patches, LatelyBass, became a definining sound of the late-80s to mid-90s rap, house and dance scene. The new waves available for each one of the 4 operators made possible the creation of more grungy and dirty sounds than before.

Due to its success, the rack was then translated into a full keyboard synth, the DX11. Even with a hard to use interface and the lack of a pitch EG compared to its bigger brother, it still is a very capable and flexible MIDI machine.



Technical specs

Sound source

FM tone generator (4 operators, 8 waves, 8 algorithms)

Simultaneous note output

Polyphonic: 8 notes
Monophonic: 1 note

Memory capacity

Voice memory: 128 ROM voices + 32 RAM voices
Performance memory: 32 RAM performances

Connection terminals and interfaces

Output I, Output II, Output MIX (phone jack)
Output Phones (phone jack)
Breath control
MIDI IN, MIDI OUT, MIDI THRU

Dimensions and weight

480w x 45.3h x 279.5d (mm) / 18 7/8” x 1 3/4” x 11”
3.4Kg / 7.5lbs



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