The Yamaha DX7 is a synthesizer that was released in 1983 and is widely considered to be one of the most influential synthesizers of all time. It was the first synthesizer to use digital frequency modulation synthesis (FM synthesis), which allowed it to produce a wide range of unique and complex sounds. The DX7 became one of the most popular synthesizers of the 1980s and was used by many famous musicians and producers.
The development of the DX7 was led by Yamaha engineer John Chowning, who had been working on FM synthesis in the 1970s. FM synthesis is a method of generating sound using a carrier signal and one or more modulator signals. By changing the frequency of the modulator signals, the timbre of the sound can be altered in complex and subtle ways.
The DX7 was the first commercial synthesizer to use FM synthesis, and it was a major breakthrough in electronic music. It allowed musicians to create a wide range of sounds that were not possible with other synthesizers, including bell-like tones, metallic sounds, and complex, evolving timbres. The DX7 was also capable of producing percussive sounds, which made it popular with drum machine manufacturers.
The DX7 was used by many famous musicians during the 1980s, including Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, and Phil Collins. It was also featured on many classic albums, including Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” and Peter Gabriel’s “So.” The DX7 was particularly popular in the pop and dance music genres, and it was used on many hit songs, including “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics.
Today, the DX7 is still highly sought after by collectors and synthesizer enthusiasts, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest synthesizers of all time. It has had a lasting influence on the world of electronic music and is still considered a benchmark for synthesizer design. Many modern synthesizers have attempted to replicate the sounds and capabilities of the DX7, and it remains an important part of the history of electronic music.