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

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    One of the most impressive features of the DX200 is the bundled editing software which opens up a mass of extra features not accessible from the unit itself. The software consists of 3 sections: A Voice Editor for the FM synth engine, an editor for the Free EG where you can draw control changes in by hand and a Sequence Editor for all four tracks.

    The Voice Editor is extremely powerful as it enables control of many extra parameters not available from the front panel: Each operator has a load of parameters laid out in grid form including tuning, keyboard level scaling and envelope. Operator amplitude envelopes can actually be drawn in graphically as can the envelopes for pitch and filter. There is also improved filter and LFO control, a two band EQ and extended distortion parameters.

    The Free EG Editor makes it easy to create interesting movement within your patterns, although the Free EG tracks must be enabled via the instruments front panel. Unfortunately, changing the settings of the control data, whether that track is enabled on the synth or not, causes the sequencer to stop running. .

    The Sequence Editor allows faster access to pitch, velocity and gate settings for both the synth and rhythm tracks and also drum sample selection. You can start and stop sequence playback from this page but it would be a useful feature if that stop/start control were duplicated on the other pages to save the constant page changing or physically hitting the DX200 start button.

    It would be useful if the sofware had a key command for control of playback - this would allow for easier editing without the need for constant page-changing.

    The editing software suffers from the same limitations Bruno mentioned in the AN200 review - the SYSEX signals do not flow happily in both directions. Accessing a pattern for editing must be done from the computer - the ability to 'learn' settings from the synth would be most welcome, often you have created a pattern which needs only a small amount of extra tweaking via software but to do this you have to store the patch in a user memory, then upload the data to to the computer before you can edit. Incidentally, the editing software also includes a 'DX7 simulator mode' with a representation of a DX7's control panel from which you can do your edits, which, considering the other options on offer, seems a little pointless, but each to their own...

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
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  • DX200 Pages @Yamaha
  • Price from zZounds
  • Check out the AN200 review
  • Price @ PieDog (uk/eur)
  • Price@ Musicians Friend

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