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In-depth Feature:  Yamaha DX200
Trevor Curwen writes:
  • Specifications .

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    The Synth
    Basically the DX200 is a FM (Frequency Modulation) synth with six operators combined in 32 different algorithms just like the original and classic DX7. From the front panel, you simply select one of those algorithms as a starting point for creating new sounds and then tweak each of the algorithm's three modulator groups individually or collectively using the Harmonic, FM depth and Decay knobs. Tweaking of the individual operators is available in the software editor. Further to this you can add in a noise source from one of the 16 specified noise types for more grunge. Default mode for the synth is 16 voice polyhonic but there is also a monophonic mode, both modes can be used with a unison option which stacks up four notes for a fatter sound, and there is an adjustable portamento time.

    Sounds created by the FM tone generator can be further shaped by the LFO, envelope generators and filter. The VCF section offers contol over filter cutoff, resonance and filter envelope generator depth. There are six filter types to choose from including band-pass, band-eliminate, high pass and 12dB, 18dB and 24dB/octave low pass. The main envelope generator has attack, decay, sustain and release knobs that can be applied to the amplifier envelope or the filter envelope either independently or at the same time. Modulation can be applied to a variety of sources by the LFO which has 6 basic waveforms. The synth also has distortion that can be applied, this takes the form of a simple front panel switch with adjustment of the amount but has more complex possibilities on the software editor page.

    More variations on the sound is available by adding an effect. Only one overall effect applied globally at the DX200's output (so it effects the rhythm tracks as well as the synth) is available per pattern but you have 13 to choose from, including reverb, delay, flanging, chorus, phasing and some overdiven amp type distortions. Each effect has one main parameter that can be adjusted as well as the wet/dry mix and although the options are a little limited, the overall quality is good with the BPM synced delays being particularly useful.

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