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Dtronics DT-DX: A Standalone Hardware Evolution of the Dexed FM Synthesizer

Bringing the Legendary DX-7 Sound to Non-DIY Enthusiasts

NEWS  Musical Instruments  April 16, 2024  Reading time: 3 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)


The quest for that iconic DX-7 sound has been ongoing since the Yamaha DX-7's heyday. Over the years, various software emulations and DIY hardware solutions have emerged, each offering its take on this legendary sound. Among these, Dexed FM Synthesizer has stood out as a popular free plugin, faithfully replicating the DX-7's sonic capabilities. Now, Dtronics, known for its quality hardware editors, is introducing a new standalone hardware version of Dexed, named Dtronics DT-DX.

 

Dexed has long been hailed as the go-to solution for affordable access to DX-7 sounds in music production setups. Its open-source nature and accurate emulation of the DX-7's architecture have earned it a dedicated user base. Additionally, DIY enthusiasts have explored avenues like MiniDexed, a Raspberry Pi-based hardware port, to expand Dexed's capabilities. However, for those less inclined towards DIY endeavors, Dtronics DT-DX presents an attractive alternative.

The Dtronics DT-DX hardware synthesizer is built upon the MiniDexed code, running on Raspberry Pi models. Leveraging the foundation of the free Dexed plugin, DT-DX offers six operators, seven envelopes, and comprehensive support for DX-7/TX-7 SysEx programs. What sets it apart from its software counterpart is its multi-timbral capabilities, allowing users to run up to eight instances simultaneously, each independently detunable and stereo-shiftable.

One notable feature of the DT-DX is its minimal yet functional interface. Sporting a compact desktop unit with a screen and a push knob for menu navigation, it provides access to 144 parameters per instance. While this interface may not cater to real-time parameter tweaking enthusiasts, it offers a streamlined experience for users focused on capturing the classic DX-7 sound.

  

On the connectivity front, the DT-DX offers a range of options including USB power, MIDI controller connectivity via USB host, and traditional 5-pin MIDI in/out. With stereo output via two 6.3mm line outputs, users can seamlessly integrate the DT-DX into their existing setups. Moreover, the inclusion of a USB host socket enables on-the-fly connection of MIDI controllers, enhancing the synth's versatility.

For those seeking ultimate control over their DX-7 experience, Dtronics offers the DT-7 hardware editor, albeit at a premium price point exceeding €1200. While this may cater to hardcore DX-7 enthusiasts, the DT-DX serves as an accessible entry point for non-DIY users looking to explore multi-timbral FM synthesis.

In a landscape where real-time control is paramount, alternatives like the preenFM3 exist, offering more immediate parameter manipulation. However, the allure of the DX-7 sound, coupled with the convenience of standalone hardware, makes the Dtronics DT-DX a compelling choice for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

As Dtronics prepares to unveil the DT-DX, anticipation mounts regarding its price and availability. For those intrigued by the prospect of a multi-timbral DX-7-style synth with hardware convenience, the DT-DX promises to be an exciting addition to the world of FM synthesis.

For more information and updates on the DT-DX, visit Dtronics website.

As an alternative you can purchase the Korg Volca FM 2 synthesizer on Amazon US or Amazon EU*

 MEDIA CREDITS: DTRONICS 

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