Yamaha TX802 Digital Synth

Yamaha TX802In 1983 Yamaha released their DX7 synthesizer which utilised a revolutionary new form of synthesis which they called FM (Frequency Modulation). FM was radically different to the analog subtractive synths which featured prominently in the popular music of the day as it was a purely digital form of additive synthesis. The DX7 took the market by storm and it became one of the most popular synthesizers of all time, beaten only the mighty Korg M1(which utilised sampling & synthesis technology).

In 1987 Yamaha released their DX7II which included a number of enhancements over the original and, in 1988, they released the TX802 FM Tone Generator. TheTX-802 features the synth engine of the Yamaha DX7 II but it is 8 part multitimbral (can play 8 different sounds at once) so much more complex sounds can be created and layered in such a way that it could be said that it is, roughly, equivalent in power to 8 DX7 II synths (although polyphony, unfortunately, remains at 16 notes).



More About The Yamaha TX802
Yamaha TX802 Specifications
Notes About The Yamaha TX802
Famous Yamaha TX802 Users
Yamaha TX802 Samples


More About The Yamaha TX802

One thing to keep in mind is that the audio outputs on the TX802 are much, much better than on the original DX7 II which means that there is far less noise. Furthermore where the DX7 II sometimes sounds as though the sound has been somewhat compressed the TX802 does not suffer from this strange problem resulting in a much more dynamic sound.

A great way in which to use the TX802 is to assign the same patch to two or more parts but detune them slightly. This results in a much richer sound which could be described as warmer. While FM synthesis does not have any form of filtering it is actually possible to create sounds which appear to open and close. However the TX802 can create sounds which are impossible to create using any other form of synthesis. The sounds can be hard and metalic but also soft and smooth. During the Eighties popular music used the Yamaha FM synths extensively and it is possible to recreate all of these sounds on the TX802. While programing the TX802, like the DX7, is a nightmare there is a huge wealth of freeware patches available to download from the Internet and the TX802 will load all DX7 patches.

Voice allocation on the TX802 is NOT dynamic meaning that it is necessary to assign a number of notes to each part. Some of the bass sounds that this module is capable of are truly awesome but most bass parts are played monophonically. The synth is also capable of producing expressive leads too, especially if you layer and detune them. The TX802 is 16 note polyphonic and 8-part multi-timbral so if you assign one voice to a part for bass and one voice to each of three parts (same patch but with 2 detuned) this would leave plenty of polyphony for a few more monophonic parts and about 4 voices to be assigned to a patch for a pad sound.

One of the most exciting ways in which to use the Yamaha TX802 is in performance mode. In this mode you can assign each of the 8 parts to a different midi channel and assign polyphony. If you assign all of the parts to only one midi channel you can layer up to 8 sounds and play it duophonically (2 notes at any one time). This results in an extremely complex sound capable of extreme movement. As mentioned earlier it is possible to layer the same sound by assigning the sound to multiple parts. If each part is then detuned slightly you can create extremely thick sounds, perfect for string ensembles and the likes.


Yamaha TX802 Specifications

  • Polyphony: 16 notes at once, maximum.
  • Oscillators: 6 digital operators (operator or carrier) configured in one of 32 algorithms
  • Osc Waveforms: Sine only.
  • LFO: 1 LFO.
  • Filter: None
  • Effects: None.
  • Control: Midi
    Special: 8-part multitimbral.
  • Keyboard: None.
  • Manufactured 1988


Yamaha TX802 Notes

"Nothing ages more quickly than a new sound" was a quote given in a documentary about the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshop. While the DX7 and other keyboards & modules which used Yamaha's FM synthesis have the ability to supply an almost endless variety of new sounds they all seem to have that hard, some say brittle, digital sound and the sound effects created had distinctive elements which made them recogniseably FM. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the programming, most users opted to stick to using presets or the available sound libraries rather that invest the enormous amount of time required to develop their own unique sounds. As the FM sound was extremely popular during the Nineteen Eighties the sounds quickly became "cliche" so when these sounds are used today the artist has to be pretty careful not to sound cheesy. One way in which to avoid the use of some of these overused sounds is simply to run the keyboard or module through an analogue filter or some external effects.

As the TX802 has many outputs it is possible to send sounds through various different effects. We like to send some of our sounds through our analogue filters by which we are able to create some amazing bass sounds and superb pads. Using our TX802 sample collection it is possible to create similar sounds using the filtering facilities of your soft sampler.


Yamaha TX802 Famous Users

For the sake of simplicity the following list is of famous artists who used the Yamaha DX7 and its derivatives:

A-ha, Astral Projection, Babyface, Beastie Boys, Brian Eno, BT, Chick Corea, Crystal Method, D:Ream, Daryl Hall, Depeche Mode, Donald Fagen, Elton John, Enya, Fluke, Front 242, Greg Phillinganes, Herbie Hancock, James Horner, Jan Hammer, Jean-Michel Jarre, Jerry Goldsmith, Jimmy Edgar, Julian Lennon, Kitaro, Kraftwerk, Les Rhythmes Digitales, Level 42, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael Boddicker, Michael McDonald, Mike Lindup, Orbital, Peter-John Vettese, Phil Collins, Queen, Roger Hodgson, Scritti Politti, Sir George Martin, Sneaker Pimps, Stabbing Westward, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Supertramp, T Lavitz, Talking Heads, Teddy Riley, The Cure, The Dregs, Tony Banks, Toto, U2, Underworld, Vangelis, Yes.


Yamaha TX802 Samples

For those considering purchasing and Yamaha TX802 the samples below will give you an idea of the capabilities of the synthesizer. For those who cannot afford to buy this amazing synthesizer we have thoroughly sampled different sounds/instruments/patches created on the synth for use in a wide range of software samplers. See our TX802 sample collection



Yamaha TX802  

Kontakt, EXS24 + WAV

Contains 125 Yamaha TX802 sound patches at 24-Bit

PRICE: £17.77

P&P: £1.99 (UK ONLY)

TOTAL: £19.76