music ramblings

Transferring Patches to a Yamaha DX100 with Sysex and a PC

Yamaha DX100 Cassette Connector CableOn this site, I had previously posted a set of 24 Yamaha DX100 synth patches for download. The DX is a notoriously difficult synthesizer to program. That difficulty extends to its load/save workflow as well. Originally, the DX100 came with a special cord with a MIDI-style plug on one end and three headphone-sized jacks on the other. This is meant to be plugged into a data cassette recorder. The red cable is audio out, the white is audio in, and the black (I assume) controls the tape player. You hit a button combo on the DX100 and then a screeching modem sound is output to the tape. Modern users can record this sound on a computer as a .WAV file and it will work the same as and old-school tape deck. This works okay, but there is a better way to archive and reload sounds.

Meet Sysex


Some Yamaha DX100 / DX27 Synth Patches

I've owned a Yamaha DX100 synthesizer for decades and never really had a strong grasp as to how the heck you build sounds with it. The last few months I have been immersing myself in FM synthesis and I think I finally have a handle on the concept now. Here is set of twenty-four patches that I created:

They all sound better and less brittle with a little reverb and chorus, but you get the idea. I especially like "Astro Pong" and "LoocySynth". If you like what you hear, you can…