A total of 56 Instrument Racks built out of 18 different presets. The sound of the Yamaha DX7 inside Ableton Live!
18 Instrument Racks with the Direct Input samples, which give the purest signal.
18 Instrument Racks with the Amplified samples, which add the character of a warm tube amplifier.
18 Combo Instrument Racks , which allow you to mix the two signals together.
Each instrument has been outfitted with handy Macro Knob controls that allow you to sculpt the sounds even further and into something entirely new. All for the cost of a beer.
Classic Digital FM Synthesis in Ableton Live
The Yamaha DX7 was the first FM (frequency modulation) synthesizer, and one of the most popular synths ever made. It is distinctly 80s sounding. Such a wide variety of sounds are possible, such as metallic bells, digital brass, deep basses, and long evolving pads. Often the sounds are cheesy, such as the Doogie Howser theme song, but the instrument is capable of some true gems. I’m willing to bet Luther Vandross used it in “Here and Now,” and I know The Beastie Boys put it to use on “Girls.”
Sampling the Yamaha DX7
I recorded 18 presets from the DX7. Because the DX7 is probably the most difficult to program synth ever created, I downloaded a ton from the internet and choose 18 that I thought sounded cool. There are violins, cellos, brass, keys, and some neat pads. I sent the headphone out straight to my Apogee Quartet, and I ran the line out into my Fender Deluxe tube guitar amp. I recorded the amp with an AKG C414. (Side note: because my DX7 was halfway across the room, I used the amazing Touchable iPad app to trigger clip recording in Live.)